Riot to nerf Chamber to fix VALORANT’s meta
Riot tried to nerf the Agent quickly after seeing how overpowered Chamber was in the game. However, the change did not do much to weaken him, with players continuing to exploit his overpowered skills to dominate matches. According to Valorbuff, the Agent has a 57.6 percent pick rate, making him the second most chosen Agent.
Lead agent designer Jay Watford said the update would allow Chamber to shine without “choking out” other Sentinels. Currently, the French Agent overshadows other sentinels like Cypher despite the Morrocan Sentinel receiving significant buffs.
“One of our deep philosophies with agents in Valorant is each one should bring its own tactics it unlocks, its own special strengths and weaknesses, and reasons to pick one agent over the other agents in a game,” Watford said.
Riot can’t simply buff other agents to make them the same level as Chamber. That will cause a long-term issue where the meta will constantly shift significantly.
“The danger we get in is if we buff Cypher to the point where he could compete with Chamber, the second we get Chamber into the place we wanted, we’d have a Cypher problem. Suddenly he’d be the dominant one,” Watford added.
Watford said the team wanted to avoid power creep by pushing Cypher to the “right long-term spot.” The development team is also looking to move Chamber to the “right spot as well.”
Fans proposing how Chamber should be nerfed
Riot is not the only one pondering on how to nerf Chamber. VALORANT fans are also thinking about how to balance the overpowered Sentinel. VALORANT player iTCHYTRIGGERZ posted a Reddit thread where he explained his proposal.
The player said Chamber should have to wait for 1.5-2 seconds before being able to activate his Rendezvous ability after firing a droppable weapon inside the anchor radius.
“The first effect this change has is remove the most egregious form of Chamber’s untradeability,” iTCHYTRIGGERZ said.
“No matter what purchasable/droppable weapon Chamber is holding an angle with, he should be forced to stay engaged in any gunfight if he chooses to use that weapon.”
The Reddit user warned Riot against removing Chamber’s teleport because the Agent’s skill set is closely connected to his gadgets. ITCHYTRIGGERZ also suggested a buff for the French Sentinel by decreasing the Headhunter ability equip time.
“By making the equip time faster, would also lend well to emphasizing the player’s ability to use Chamber’s special weaponry,” iTCHYTRIGGERZ wrote.
Riot to increase agent updates’ speed
Besides balancing the Agents, Riot also wants to increase the speed of Agent updates. However, the developer has to consider several things before making any changes.
“Oftentimes we have esports going on and that’s a really big consideration for us,” Watford said. “We want to keep the game fresh and interesting and solve problems, but we also want to respect these pros who spend so much time learning specific ways to play agents.”
Watford said that the team could not constantly change the game because that would prevent esports teams from displaying high-level, coordinated plays. Riot also has to consider the increase in production budget if it wishes to speed up the pace.
“I know a lot of people see the patch come out and don’t see Chamber and they’re like ‘why are they focusing on all this other stuff instead of Chamber’ but the reality is some problems are just more difficult, and some problems you feel really important to get right at a certain time,” Watford said.