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28/03/22Dev

State of the Agents - March 2022

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Hey everyone!

It’s been a minute since the last time I typed words into a Google Doc–but here we are. Patch 4.04 brought the great wave of Controller balance changes, Yoru’s Rework created the craziest of fakeouts, and we had some … unfortunate bugs here and there. We are still monitoring how the landscape of VALORANT is settling after these changes, so I don’t want to comment prematurely, but there are definitely some fun new plays happening.

I wanted to give a quick note around future balance updates/ongoing conversations. Whether it be a future State of the Agents, Dev Diaries, or any other location, you will see the rest of the design and balance team speaking towards those topics in various channels.

Most of my updates will be focused on New Agents… so with that said, let's get into the next Agent!

Remember, new Agents take 12–15 months to develop, and we focus on questions like:

  • What is missing from current, core playstyles?
  • Are there thematics that present big opportunities?
  • What’s needed for game health?
  • …and more.

You can also get a better idea about our development priorities (and see us talk) in the latest Neon Dev Diary.

There have been a lot of conversations within the Characters team around Initiators, specifically Sova. His Initiation tools are unique in that they rely on reconnaissance and information gathering to give you and the team tools to decide your next step. So much of VALORANT’s tactical loop revolves around information. Knowing where enemies are/are not and exploiting that info to execute during that sliver of a window is key to many successful wins.

So the notion of another Agent that revolves around the information gathering aspect of the tactical loop has, for a while, been top of mind for us.

Within that space we had a dream for something new, so when “NickWu”joined the team (previously part of Premium Content) we put his expert eyes on this opportunity. Our focus early on was identifying unique gameplay differences within the realm of recon/info, and landed in a space that has more “localized” Initiation and recon tools.

This next Agent should give you a more…intimate feeling when hunting down enemies. Of course, there is our theme—but the thought of giving away too much frightens me so I’ll leave that out.

Well friends, I’ve searched my thoughts for all the words to type here, and that's all I got. I keep having this recurring nightmare that I won’t finish the Act II Battlepass (THE BP IS SO GOOD I NEED TIER 48). I’m scared of the grind, but hey “Herkesin bir korkusu var.”

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