24th July 2020 – 5:45pm
The streams of Riot Morello seem to have become the complaints office. Not a week goes by without the lead character designer of Valorant being called out by the community to answer to more or less thorny questions. Last week, he talked about the direction of the Ranked Games. Tonight, he responded to criticism over the sniper rifles and made it very clear: the Operator will not be nerfed.
The Valorant community is very vocal about what it doesn't like. It expresses, rightly or wrongly, its opinion on the different mechanics of the game and their balancing. It's then up to Riot to consider it or not. In the case of the Operator, nothing will be done for the moment.
The Operator is seen as a weapon way too powerful. It can kill an Agent with a single bullet indeed, but it's a shortcut that put aside a lot of other parameters.
According to Morello, if there's a problem, it's not with the Operator, but with certain tools... or with the level of the players.
I'll say it one more time, I just don't want to repeat it over and over again: we don't think the Operator is overpowered. We think some points of utility might be underperforming in mid elos. [...] We don't think there's a balance problem, we think there's a "I can't access the tools I need to fight an operator" problem in a lot of cases and it's so much harder to do, the coordination for an uncoordinated team. We don't think the Operator is actually overpowered, it's doing what it's supposed to do: you walk around a corner, an Op is standing on the corner, and you walk into that corner, it shoots you and you die, that's by design. We will not be fixing that.Riot Morello regarding the Operator
A consideration full of common sense. The Operator is a tool to punish badly positioned players or those who don't secure their path. While the weapon excels against these players, it's very weak in most combat scenarios. An appreciation that generally escapes players unaccustomed to tactical FPS.
The two points mentioned by Morello perfectly represent the weaknesses of the weapon. The less distance there is between two players, the less it's easy to use an Operator. Choosing suitable trajectories, using smokes of flashes allows you to reduce the distance without endangering yourself. If the path is inevitable, it's the reload of the Operator that should be exploited. A coordinated team will take advantage of the delay between two shots to rush on the sniper and eliminate them.
He then elaborates:
If you're playing double Sentinels, my expectation is that Ops body you, and you have some answers but it's gonna be much harder for you. If you're running double Controller comp, I think that's much better for dealing with Ops. My worry is that I don't see people running over a Breach or a Phoenix or a Reyna who have flash-like utility.
Our flash-like utility might just not be potent enough comparatively to the power of some the guns or weapons. They pop slower, they're harder to place in the right space, they have lower debuff times, they don't go through smokes. If you compare it one-to-one to CS, ours are much worse, and some of that is by design, but maybe too too much worse.Riot Morello regarding the Operator
It's true that Breach, Phoenix, and Reyna are far from the most popular Agents. Their bad reputation sticks to them so much that they're not even considered in the teams anymore. This is precisely what allows the Operator to dominate the fights today. We already know that Breach and Sage should be reworked soon. This could give Controllers and Sentinels a better balance and by extension, reduce the Operator's power.