A few days ago Valorant went live with its 1.11 patch and there were definitely a few things that caught my attention. This update brings in a new agent called Skye, changes to a few other agents, and tweaks to the economic system. I won’t be able to comment much on Skye since I’ve never played her before, but the other changes I can already tell will make a difference to me.
The biggest thing that they made for me are the debuffs they did to one of the agents I mainly play which is Cypher. His main strengths are being able to lock down sites on defense and cover the team’s flanks on offense. The changes made were only towards his Trapwire and Spy Camera abilities.
Trapwire is a placeable tripwire ability that slows and stuns enemies that walk into it. Before, you were able to place your Trapwires and not have to worry about them for the rest of the round, but now, your Trapwires will be revealed and deactivated if you die. This makes a pretty big difference because one of the best things about playing as Cypher is that you could still have an impact in the round even if you died. However now, you have to play extra careful in order to make sure your Trapwires stay active. Another thing that was changed was that you can no longer carry over the Trapwires you place from previous rounds into the next. Even if nobody walked into or destroyed them, you’d still have to rebuy your Trapwires which are not exactly the cheapest ability.
The other change that was made to his Spy Camera is that its location gets revealed if Cypher dies. Spy Camera allows you to place a camera that you can use to watch areas and is really useful for gathering information. At first it might not seem like that big of a deal for it to be revealed since you can’t even access the camera once you’re dead anyways, but this means you probably won’t be able to get away with placing the camera in the same spots anymore. Once the enemy knows where you often place your cameras they’ll be able to easily check and destroy them. I feel like the changes are pretty harsh, but it doesn’t make sense considering Cypher is a really strong agent with a really high pick rate in professional play.
Another agent that had changes made this patch was Breach who I also occasionally use. Compared to Cypher, Breach plays more of an attacking role and got both buffs and debuffs instead. Breach’s Flashpoint ability which is used to blind enemies now has an increased blinding duration of 0.25 seconds. It’s not a lot, but it will help in being able for Breach to play off of his own utility instead of just supporting other teammates.
Breach’s Fault Line and Ultimate ability also got some changes. His Fault Line and Ultimate ability are quite similar in that they stun enemies that are caught in their area. Fault Line creates a straight line while his Ultimate is a much larger area. The charge up for Fault Line was decreased by 0.5 seconds, but now both Fault Line and Breach’s ultimate ability will not affect the first 8 meters in front of Breach making them less effective for close ranges. This makes it so that while it might make it easier for Breach to play off of his Flashpoints, he’ll have to be more supportive when using Fault Line and his Ultimate.
The last thing I’ll write about are the changes to the economy system. The change is focused on deterring players from saving their weapons in rounds that they may not feel confident in winning. “Saving” is a common concept in both Valorant and CS: GO where in a round that doesn’t seem winnable, players can try to hide safely in order to save whatever equipment they have for the next round. The new change makes it so that players who survive a lost round will receive less money than their other teammates who had died for the next. This is almost exactly the same way CS: GO has its economy set up for players who save which forces players to decide whether or not the equipment they have is worth saving, or if it would just be better to try and clutch the round with what they have.
There were a few other changes like debuffs to the agent Killjoy, but I’ve never played her before, so I won’t really comment about those changes. A left-handed view model was also added which is nice because it should make it easier for left eye dominant people to control recoil easier. However, since the model is just a mirrored version of the right-handed model, the direction the gun sways towards is opposite to where your shots are going. So that’s something Riot might want to fix.
Overall, patch 1.11 has some changes that are making me think about some other agents that I could try out because of the changes they made to Cypher, but I’m also interested in how these changes will affect professional play. I think saving will become a lot less common, and players will have to try playing other agents or adapt their playstyle.