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Valorant Patch 3.0: KAY/O comes with big balance patch

By Carver FisherJune 22, 2021
Valorant Patch 3.0: KAY/O comes with big balance patch
Valorant has had its fair share of divisive patches since its release, with changes like the OP price increase and accuracy while moving/jumping being contentious for the community at large. However, patch 3.0 isn’t one big balance change or the tweaking of a core system. The entirety of Valorant’s economy is changing on top of more changes to accuracy while moving Ults cost more across the board, many weapons saw some price drops with one particular weapon seeing a much-needed price increase. Ability costs have changed for many Agents, with a few abilities, in particular, being put at ludicrously high costs in comparison to where they were before. Through these sweeping changes, what do you need to know to stay competitive on patch 3.0?

New Agent: KAY/O

Abilities:

Q - Flash/Drive
A flash grenade that explodes after a short fuse, blinding anyone in line of sight.
E - Zero/Point
A thrown blade that sticks to the first surface it hits, winds up, and suppresses anyone in the radius of the explosion.
C - Frag/Ment
A thrown explosive fragment that sticks to the floor and explodes multiple times, dealing higher damage close to the center of the explosion.
X - Null/Cmd
Instantly overload with polarized radianite energy that empowers KAY/O and causes large energy pulses to emit from his location. Enemies hit with these pulses are suppressed for a short duration.
KAY/O fills a new role in Valorant. Suppress works like silences do in most other games, meaning that it shuts down other Agents’ abilities and makes them unusable. It’ll take some time to see what inventive players do with this new type of CC, but the fact that KAY/O also has a grenade and a flash means that he has a full set of tools. His ultimate seems to have a bit of a learning curve considering it makes KAY/O’s health rocket to 850 once he takes lethal damage, but also forces him to remain stationary until he’s revived. KAY/O’s ultimate requires the backup of a well-coordinated team to be effective, but it has the potential to make KAY/O ridiculously hard to kill. Overall, he seems like he’ll be a good addition to Valorant.

All Agents

  • Signature abilities now only provide a minimum of one charge per round instead of accumulating a charge every round.
  • Charges gained from cooldowns are now always temporary
  • Visibility returns faster during the fadeout period of all flashes

Astra (Nerf)

  • (Q) Nova Pulse: Cooldown time increased 12 > 25
  • (C) Gravity Well: Cooldown time increased 12 > 25
  • (X) Stars/Astral Form: Stars are now inactive when placed during the buy phase
    Recall cooldown increased 8 > 15
    Granted signature charges decreased 2 > 1
    Star cost decreased 200 > 150

Breach (Nerf/Buff)

  • (Q) Flashpoint: Total charges reduced 3 > 2
    Cost increased 200 > 250
    Projectile speed decreased 2500 > 2000
  • (E) Fault Line: Full charge time decreased 1.5 > 1 second
    Width increased 600 > 750
    Telegraph windup time decreased 1.3 > 1
    Concussion duration increased 3 > 3.5
    Unequip time after firing decreased 1 > .7
    Cooldown time increased 35 > 40
  • (C) After Shock Now explodes 3 times with each blast dealing 60 damage, blasts are .6 seconds apart
    Explosion radius increased 260 > 300
    Unequip time after firing decreased 1.1 > .9
    Cost increased 100 > 200j
  • (X) Rolling Thunder Width of all explosions increased to 2300, which was the final explosion’s previous width

Brimstone (Nerf)

  • (Q) Incendiary: Cost increased 200 > 250

Cypher (Buff)

  • (X) Neural Theft: Ultimate points required decreased 7 > 6

Jett (Nerf)

  • (Q) Updraft: Cost increased 100 > 150
  • (E) Tailwind: No longer breaks Cypher’s Trapwire
  • (C) Cloudburst: Cost increased 100 > 200
  • (X) Bladestorm: Ultimate points required increased 6 > 7

Killjoy (Nerf)

  • (Q) Alarmbot: Cooldown after pickup increased 7 > 20
  • (E) Turret: Cooldown after pickup increased 10 > 20

Omen (Buff/Nerf)

  • (Q) Paranoia: Cost decreased 400 > 300
  • (E) Dark Cover: Granted signature charges reduced 2 > 1
    Omen now must buy his second smoke for 100
    Cooldown time increased 35 > 40
  • (C) Shrouded Step: Cost increased 100 > 150

Phoenix (Nerf)

  • (Q) Curveball: Cost increased 200 > 250

Raze (Nerf)

  • (C) Boombot: Cost increased 200 > 400
  • (X) Showstopper: Ultimate points required 7 > 8

Reyna (Nerf)

  • (C) Leer: Cost increased 200 > 250

Sage (Nerf)

  • (Q) Slow Orb: Cost increased 100 > 200
  • (C) Barrier Orb: Cost increased 300 > 400
  • (X) Resurrection: Ultimate points required 7 > 8

Skye (Buff/Nerf)

  • (Q) Trailblazer: Vision radius increased 1750 > 2250
    Max concussion duration increased 3 > 4
    Cost increased 200 > 250
  • (E) Guiding Light: Charges reduced 3 > 2
    Charges are now replenished on a 40-second cooldown
    Skye no longer needs to re-equip to trigger her flash
    Cost of charges increased 100 > 250

Sova (Nerf)

  • (Q) Shock Dart: Cost increased 100 > 150
  • (E) Recon Bolt: Cooldown time increased 35 > 40
  • (C) Owl Drone: Cost increased 300 > 400
  • (X) Hunter’s Fury: Ultimate points required increased 7 > 8

Viper (Nerf)

  • (C) Snakebite Duration reduced 8 > 6.5
    Cost increased 100 > 200

Yoru (Nerf)

  • (Q) Blindside: Cost increased 200 > 250
  • (E) Gatecrash: Cooldown time increased 35 > 40

Weapon Changes

Many of Valorant’s weapons have seen price changes. Most of these changes are decreases for some lesser bought economy options, with a notable price increase for the Judge. This is what the patch 3.0 buy screen looks like:
The new in-game weapon screen.
The new in-game weapon screen.
Price Decreases: Shorty, Frenzy, Stinger, Bucky, Bulldog, Marshal, Operator, Ares.
Many of Valorant’s mainstays (Spectre, Vandal, Phantom, Ghost) have maintained their price, but they seem more expensive compared to their cheaper counterparts after all of these price changes. Riot’s philosophy this patch seems to have been increasing ability prices across the board and making some of Valorant’s economy options a more attractive purchase in the right situation.
For reference, here are Valorant’s weapons ordered by kill % as of the last patch’s end:
As you can see, most of the price decreases are focused around weapons that were at the bottom last patch. The Operator is a special case, but bringing its price down to 4700 means that you can buy the weapon and some of the more expensive abilities without having to hoard a massive amount of Creds.
In addition to all of these changes, two weapons have had some balance changes.

Judge (Nerf)

  • Damage falloff at 10m changed from 13 per pellet > 10 per pellet
  • Damage falloff at 15m changed from 10 per pellet > 7 per pellet

Bulldog (Buff)

  • Hip-fire fire rate increased from 9.15 RPS (rounds per second) > 9.5 RPS

Accuracy Changes

Riot has had an everlasting balance battle with moving accuracy in Valorant, and this patch has a large focus on making Shotguns the only weapon type with decent moving accuracy. Every SMG, Rifle, and Heavy weapon has had its walking accuracy drastically decreased. All pistols have had their walking and running accuracy decreased. On patch 3.0, the importance of stopping and shooting is going to be even more important than it was before. Keep this in mind when using anything other than a Shotgun.

Other Changes/Additions

Along with all of these balance changes, Riot is implementing a whole host of QoL changes to make Valorant a smoother experience. In addition, Valorant will have a player level this patch, making it so that more experienced Valorant players have a way of showing how long they’ve been playing. As is tradition with a big patch like this, we’re also getting a brand-new Battle Pass with that includes all sorts of new weapon skins, gun buddies, sprays, and player cards.
One of my personal favorite changes this patch is an updated kill feed. The kill feed will now show which kills you participated in, it’ll indicate who assisted with that kill, and it will show when you’ve killed someone affected by a revive mechanic (Phoenix ult, Sage ult, etc..)
This may not seem like a huge change, but these sorts of small clarity updates really add up to make Valorant a more enjoyable and streamlined experience for everyone.

The Verdict

Patch 3.0 is a near-complete overhaul of Valorant’s economy. Weapons and abilities that weren’t changed seem stronger or weaker as a result of the changes around them. It’ll be exciting to see whether or not some of the cheaper economy options get some love this patch, or if most players are still going to buy their choice of Rifle when they can and just take the economic hit from increased ability prices. Whatever happens, the best way to get a feel for the new patch is to get out there and play. Valorant patch 3.0 is live now!
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