VALORANT patch 1.09 brings some potential meta shifting changes to agents and weapon mechanics, including to nerf to the Operator.
Beginning with the Operator, the VALORANT team decided to hit basically every aspect of the sniper except its damage to the body or head. First, Riot increased the price from 4500 to 5000, making it cost over half of the maximum credit limit and the entirety of overtime credits. Players now have to choose between armor and utility, or the Operator in overtime situations.
Movement speed when scoped is now decreased from 76% to 74%. The sniper becomes inaccurate sooner and accurate later when stopping, with the deadzone dropping from 30% movement speed to 15% movement speed. Fire rate is decreased, instant equip time (after tapping the spike or orb) is decreased, and leg shot damage is decreased. Riot also increased jump land inaccuracy, basically removing any potential for a player to jump peek.
Lead agent designer Max “Orcane” Grossman attempts to justify the changes in detail. Regarding why the team felt the Operator needed a hit, he says “dry peeking angles with an Operator is noticeably more effective than we’d like (especially when jump peeking). Additionally, pushing an Operator off of an angle with utility feels less valuable since the user is able to re-peek and kill their opponent at a reliable rate.” While the reasoning makes sense, it’s hard not to think the nerfs are a little more aggressive than they need to be.
The patch also includes some major agent changes, specifically to Jett and Viper. Jett’s Blade Storm, specifically the burst fire, gets some major nerfs. The time between consecutive Burst Fire is increased. The headshot multiplier on the Burst Fire is decreased, and Daggers thrown in Burst now have a damage falloff that begins at 12 meters and drops steadily (to 35 damage) at max falloff. The Blade Storm changes, along with the Operator nerfs, take Jett down more than a notch - Jett players like TSM's Wardell can't be happy.
Viper looks at yet another set of buffs with her fuel starting at 100 every round (previously 50). The vulnerability debuff applied from Snake Bite now lingers for two seconds. Finally, Viper’s movement speed is doubled when casting Viper’s Pit, and she fast equips her weapon after casting. Maybe these buffs are finally enough to push Viper into the meta.
Sources: Riot Games
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