Riot Games is doubling down on their decision to add Valorant agents that will shake up the competitive meta, just like when they announced Killjoy.
In the company’s latest Dev Diaries video series, Valorant Lead Character Designer Ryan “Morello” Scott gave fans a glimpse of what Valorant’s future will look like by saying, “we’re looking to shake up… what we introduce is going to be disruptive.”
Morello explained that Riot’s agent creation process begins with the players. They envision certain players and try to create agents that would pull them into playing Valorant.
From there, Riot checks to see how these agents introduce new strategies for competitive play. Morello even stated that, “The health of the competitive ecosystem matters more, in our mind.” He then went into detail on how they designed Valorant’s most annoying agent Killjoy.
Riot wanted to add a new Sentinel agent that had its own unique role, hence Killjoy. While Sage was designed to stop site rushes, and Cypher was created for wide map control, and defensive reconnaissance; Killjoy’s main purpose was to “hunker down, fortify, and create ‘risks’ in certain zones,” according to Morello.
Valorant’s Lead Character Designer even went as far as to say that, “setting up [Killjoy’s] Turret or Nanoswarm on its own without being around to capitalize on it doesn’t really do a whole hell of a lot.” For lower ranked or new players who are still learning how to coordinate their agent abilities with in-game information, this statement is true. But in higher ranks, Killjoy’s Turret and Nanoswarm abilities are a nightmare to deal with — if placed in the right hands of course.
The Dev Diaries video didn’t really explain how Killjoy is going to be balanced, but they did explain their thought process on how agent abilities are changed. Riot boils it down to which abilities are over and underperforming. They look to “tuning levers to fix [agent abilities], and if these don’t work, that’s when we’re forced to rework an agent.”
Killjoy is still currently excluded from Valorant Ignition Series tournaments, so we do expect the agent to receive changes in Riot’s patch update scheduled for tomorrow.