Riot has released Valorant patch 3.0, which is the biggest update the game has ever had. When they released 2.11 patch just a while ago, they aptly called it “the quiet before the Episode 3 storm”. Patch 3.0 brings a massive overhaul to the game, including the new agent KAY/O, ability and orb changes for all the agents, weapon price adjustments, and much more.
There’s just so much to cover in this patch, so let’s jump right into it and start with the agent changes.
Riot’s goal for this patch was to increase the importance of precise gunplay and to enhance the tactical aspect of the game. With that in mind, they went through all the agents in the game and made some pretty impactful changes across the board.
All signature abilities have been changed to now provide a minimum of one charge per round instead of accumulating a charge every round. Also, all the charges gained from cooldowns will now be temporary.
Every agent has been changed in one way or another. Astra’s map-wide coverage has been toned down, Viper’s stalling capabilities with Snakebite were reduced, and the cooldown, ultimate points and the cost of abilities were increased. As we mentioned earlier, one of the goals Riot had with this patch was to put more focus on gunplay, and these changes will move the game forward in that direction.
There are two general changes that will affect all weapons. Bullet tagging’s slow effect has been reduced from 75% to 72.5% slow. This will make the agents slightly more responsive in combat. The weapon deadzone was also reduced from 30% to 27.5%. This one will help with accuracy on the move.
The general weapon economy has received substantial change. All of the weapons have had considerable price reductions, as well as tweaks to walking and running inaccuracy.
Competitive Changes in Episode 3
Riot continues working hard on the Ranked matchmaking system, and this time they have several ideas on how to improve it.
The new changes will allow players to enjoy more fair and balanced matches, and they want the match wins to matter the most, regardless of skill levels.
Matchmaking accuracy will be far more accurate across all ranks, and the player’s individual skill and performance will impact their matchmaking. The rank rating curves have also been adjusted, allowing for a smoother climb or decline.
Further Performance Updates
In the previous 2.11 patch we saw a 1% performance boost, which seemed pretty negligible at the time. However, as we mentioned then, these performance updates add up and eventually make the game a whole lot smoother.
The 3.0 patch brings along another 6% performance boost for medium to high spec PC’s, which is a pretty good deal.
This is the new agent that came with the 3.0 patch, and from the first impressions it looks amazing.
This war machine specializes in crippling his opponents and shutting down their abilities. It’s so effective at what it does, that many fear that it will break the meta and will almost certainly get nerfed in one of the future patches. But for now we get to enjoy this brand new robotic powerhouse.
The Flash/Drive ability is very similar to the classic CS:GO Flashbang. It’s very simple to use and also very effective.
Zero/Point will be the bane of every Jett player in the game. This ability can shut down all abilities, including Jett knives. It will be interesting to see some insane plays in competitive Valorant where KAY/O will save the day and turn the tide of the round with a well-placed Zero/Point.
Frag/Ment is an explosive fragment that KAY/O throws onto the ground and it deals strong damage. If an agent gets caught unprepared and absorbs a few hits from this ability, they’ll be in a world of trouble. If KAY/O’s suppression blade wasn’t enough to shut down the enemy, he also has another ace up his sleeve. NULL/CMD is an enhanced version of Zero/Point with a much larger aoe range. Whoever gets caught in it will get suppressed for a short duration.
AFK Penalties are severe
Every Valorant player who enjoys playing ranked likes to see his RR (ranked rating) spike higher after every match. On the other hand, losing RR feels equally as bad.
Like any online game, there will be those who will try to cut corners and farm RR without putting in the effort required for it. Riot has decided to take action against such players who often AFK during matches, and have increased the punishment for going AFK in the middle of a match.
The minimum baseline penalty for AFK is now -8 RR and the maximum was increased to -12 RR for AFK.
The AFK penalties start at 3 rounds and increase for each consecutive round played. If the player stacks up 6 or more rounds while being AFK, they’ll gain no RR even if their team wins. On top of that, they’ll still lose the -12 RR.
This change should hopefully prevent players from going AFK in ranked matches. If they AFK and their team ends up carrying them, they’ll still gain no RR but lose some. It’s a lose-lose situation in this case, so just queueing into a ranked match and playing until the end will prove to be a far better option for everyone.
Round Rollback is here
The new “Round Rollback” feature has been implemented for Tournament Mode custom games.
In essence, this new feature allows the moderators of the custom game to roll the game back to the start of a previous round and re-play it. This will be a very useful option for analyzing rounds and highlighting some epic plays that might have gone unnoticed during the heat of battle.
It’s also very easy to enable this feature. Just head over to the Options menu during the creation of a custom game and select “On” in the tournament mode.
Progression Updates – Year One Event Pass, Squad Boost, and Account Leveling
In celebration of the game’s anniversary, Riot has added a Year One Event Pass. While it does share some similarities to a Battlepass, this feature is completely free and available to everyone!
This feature rolled out with the release of 3.0 and will be available until the 3.01 update. It’s a perfect opportunity to get some free valuable items, so make sure to grab them while they’re here.
The Squad Boost is a flat XP boost for every member a player has in their premade group. This directly incentivizes socializing and forming new friendships through grouping up, and everyone gets a massive bump in XP gains.
If you have 1 extra player in your group, you gain an extra 8% XP. Two players turns this number into 12%, three players into 16%, and finally an extra 20% when you have a full squad. What’s not to like here!
Finally, Riot has enabled a permanent Account Leveling system into Valorant. Your Player Card will now display your account level, which will reflect all your time spent playing the game. Don’t worry, all your time invested before the 3.0 patch will be automatically calculated and your Account Level will be instantly boosted to an appropriate level.
What kind of a patch would it be if there were no bug fixes in it? Luckily for us, the Valorant team is hard at work and each new patch brings a host of new fixes that make the game better and better.
This time, there were several Valorant bugs that were fixed.
Multiple character-related bugs were fixed, including Sage, Viper, Skye, Cypher, Sova, and Reyna. The bug that was causing a delay in the Ranked Rating Match updates in Match History has also been fixed.
Also, you’ll no longer infinitely load your friend’s career, as that has now been fixed.
We’ll wrap up this long list with a visual update for the in-game Killfeed.
Your kills and assists will now get an updated visual display in the killfeed. The kills you score get a special killfeed border and some abilities will also be displayed there.
This adds more easily-recognizable information to the killfeed while still keeping it as simple and smooth as possible.
We will see how this new agent will fare in competitive Valorant, but from a first glance, it seems like he’s going to become an insta-pick for almost any competitive team. Stay tuned in for more news, reviews, and Valorant betting predictions.