Flash changes in patch 5.07

When developers seek to make changes to the game, they often call on the players themselves through the PBE, the test server. The latest patch took advantage of the community's feedback to buff the Stinger. This weekend, the studio was testing modifications to the flashes of several Agents, namely Reyna, Yoru, Skye and KAY/O.

Why changes?

Ability buffs and nerfs never happen by chance. As explained by Dan Hardison, Valorant Designer, via Reddit, the Agents design team is constantly thinking about the meta and the changes that could be made. In this case, the developers wanted to refine some of the characters, and better define their roles.

He also says that the team has realised that Duelists with flashes are often outclassed by Initiators when it comes to generating eliminations for themselves from their flashes. Dan elaborates on this by mentioning Skye and KAY/O. These two agents are ultimately more effective in aggressive 1v1, than Duelists like Yoru, Reyna or Phoenix. The tested changes, which should be implemented in the next patch, will allow rebalance these different agents :

These changes are intended to increase the total teamplay output of Skye and KAY/O when they coordinate plays with their teammates, and decrease some of their efficacy when played alone. We also hope to increase the reward for putting more time into mastering their flash abilities. We believe that Initiators should still be able to make solo plays, but they should ideally be weaker than their Duelist counterparts in these scenarios.

Dan Penguin Hardison - Via Reddit

What changes can be expected?

For Initiators

  • Concerning Skye :

The ability Guiding Light is on the developers' radar. The studio has come to the conclusion that the destruction of birds was too punitive when Skye tried to send them away. As a result, they should not no longer be destructible from patch 5.07.

Also, to facilitate their use, the maximum flash duration via Guiding Light now passes from 1.25s to 2.25s, after a charge of 0.75s after being launched. In other words, the further the bird is thrown, the longer the flash duration will be. The spell should also benefit new visual and sound effects, which will facilitate communication with teammates and make the intentions more explicit in-game.

Another change will normally appear in-game, but has not been tested on the PBE. It concerns the time taken to de-equip the spell : the latter will pass from 0.75s to 0.85s.

  • Concerning KAY/O :

In this robotic agent, it is the ability Flash/DRIVE which was being tested. This is not very surprising, as its pop-flash is probably the most effective in Valorant. The developers want to reward more the left-click throw, which is more difficult to master, while decreasing the efficiency of the pop-flash generated via the right click.

To do this, the team chose to reduce the maximum flash duration obtained by the right click, which goes like this from 2s to 1.25s. Conversely, the maximum duration of the flash generated via the left click will be increased from from 2s to 2.25s.

Just like Skye, the de-equipping time of the spell will also be changed.

For Duelists

  • Concerning Reyna :

Reyna is a Duelist who is supposed to be very effective on her own. However, the studio considers that her Leer does not appear to be a strong enough tool when the Agent is played alone, especially at high level.

The changes tested should make her freer in the way she peeks at certain nearby lines, when the Leer is thrown. For this purpose, the duration of the effect at close range will be increased to 0.6s, instead of 0.4s.

Until then, this capacity was spatially restricted. The restriction on the scope of the effect will disappear. This change should thus help Reyna to break long lines held by Operators.

Finally, while the effectiveness of the spell when Reyna is playing solo is questioned, the developers agree that the eye is too powerful when used for teammates. In particular, they point to the fact that the effect remains functional for too long if the eye is not destroyed. To limit the benefit for the whole team, the overall maximum duration of the spell will be reduced from 2.6s to 2.0s.

  • Concerning Yoru :

The ability Blindside is the one that caught the attention of the developers. The team chose toincrease its duration by 0.25s. It thus increases from 1.5s to 1.75s.

In addition to this change, the team plans to several visual updates regarding the Agent flashes, in particular to better indicate when players are fully under the effect of the flash, or if it has started to fade.

Furthermore, if you are a Yoru main, you should be more rewarding in assists for your flashes. Indeed, the active window to receive assistance via one of your flashes will now change to from 1 to 3s.

All of these changes are expected to appear in Patch 5.07, scheduled for Tuesday 4th October. However, it is possible that some of the changes will not make it to the update.