With Valorant’s first Act ending, Riot Games has begun teasing the community with information about patch 1.05 and Act II that launches on August 4th at 10 AM PT for North America and on August 5th at 9 AM CEST for Europe. With the patch, players can expect: A new free-for-all deathmatch game mode, a battlepass with unique cosmetics, purchasable and evolvable skins, and the controversial new agent Killjoy.
The Valorant community is at arms when it comes to the direction they hope the game goes—both in overall philosophy and agent design. Killjoy, a female robotic engineer hailing from Germany, will be the newest addition that may shake the game’s meta up more than players had hoped agent releases would. Before Valorant launched in June, Riot Games CEO tweeted, “To be clear, in Project A, shooting matters. You don’t kill with abilities. Abilities create tactical opportunities to take the right shot. Characters have abilities that augment their gunplay, instead of fighting directly with their abilities.” This tweet had players elated as they feared that Valorant was going to follow the same path that Overwatch did with putting less focus on aiming skill and more on your ability to kill with abilities. This tweet didn’t age too well, however, with the release of Raze. Raze’s kit included two grenades that exploded into smaller grenades (both explosions dealing absurd damage), a roaming robot that seeks out enemies and explodes if not shot, C4 that does damage to enemies and allows her to boost herself, and a rocket launcher for an ultimate that does massive area of effect damage. Since her release, Raze has had one of her grenades removed from her kit and has been confirmed to see more adjustments in the future (possibly this patch).
The problem with Killjoy, however, is not in how explosive her kit is. The issue players have is that she may force players into game states that aren’t player versus player, but player versus ability. This is the sort of kit veterans of the genre have been dreading the most.
“Equip and deploy a bot that hunts down enemies who dare to get in range. When my killer robot friend reaches its target… BOOM! Enemies who get hit are temporarily vulnerable to double damage from all sources. Hold equip if you want to recall your deployed bot.”
Alarmbot will work similarly to Raze’s Boombot. The key difference, though, is that Alarmbot will sit invisible and cover a small radius. Should a player step into its radius, Alarmbot will move towards the player and explode, causing them to take double damage. The reason for the similarities is because Raze stole the technology from Killjoy.
“Sometimes it’s good to plant some roots. Deploy a turret that fires at enemies within its 180-degree cone. Hold equip to recall the deployed turret.”
The turret is stationary but will rotate in a 180-degree cone to react to incoming players. Its damage is dependent on the range between the enemy and the turret. While it can be destroyed, it will prove problematic to approaching enemies due to it allowing Killjoy and her teammates to create a crossfire situation with no downside.
“Throw the grenade. When it lands, it goes quiet. Then, activate the Nanoswarm to deploy a damaging swarm of nanobots and catch the enemy crying.”
Nanoswarm is a Molotov in disguise. The upside that this Molotov brings that no other in the game does, however, is that it only begins to do damage when you tell it to. You can preemptively place Nanoswarm and activate it as enemies cross through it—or save it to surprise them if they choose to go back through where it is placed.
“You’ll have to adjust your timing for the windup, but once you get this device going, it detains all enemies caught in its radius for about 8 seconds. Yeah, enemies can destroy it—except I built plenty more.”
Lockdown will be the largest coverage ability in the game once Killjoy drops. When Killjoy drops her Lockdown device, it will take 14 seconds to arm. Once armed, it will disarm all enemies within its radius for 8 seconds. For reference, it will cover roughly all the way from C Link, CT, B Site, and A Link on Haven. While it has a large circular radius, it does take quite some time to arm.
Thoughts on Killjoy
After reading through Killjoy’s kit, it is understandable as to why she is eliciting the same fear, disappointment, and frustration that Raze did when she released in beta. Many Valorant players have migrated from Counter-Strike and want Valorant to be a modern version of their game that sees frequent care from its development team. As someone familiar with Riot’s design philosophy from League of Legends, it doesn’t surprise me to see an agent like Killjoy. If she does prove to be problematic, I don’t believe she will be as problematic as some of the agents we see released a year from now. Riot is known to constantly push the envelope with its character releases—for better or for worse.
With some of Riot’s releases, you just know that before they drop that they’ll be overwhelming. At first glance, Killjoy seems like she may be one of those releases. She will be the only agent that will be able to create a crossfire situation that has no drawbacks. She will also be the first agent that makes characters lose all control of their guns. Breach can limit his opponent’s guns, but he doesn’t completely rid them of all control. Killjoy will be a terror when it comes to controlling a site—offense or defense. What has me skeptical, though, is that she provides no smokes or flashbangs in a meta that highly demands both. To fit a Killjoy into a team composition will force a team to drop an agent that provides utility that counters the Operator.
For Killjoy to thrive, her kit will have to provide numbers that offset the disadvantage of losing utility. If her kit has too high of numbers, she will be one of, if not the most oppressive agent in the game due to the invisible site control and the crossfire she provides. Should the Operator see changes, Killjoy may be a staple for success.
Free-for-All Deathmatch Mode
One of the most requested features for Valorant, a free-for-all deathmatch game mode, is being added just months after the game release. Hopping into a ranked match without warming-up aim is often asking for disaster. Some players can hop right in and not skip a beat, but most spend time in the firing range with bots getting ready so that they don’t let themselves and their teammates down.
This game mode will place ten players in a lobby with no restrictions on guns and they will be able to buy and swap out their guns at any point they wish with abilities being disabled. There will be no need to worry about running around a corner into a Raze rocket launcher or Killjoy’s turret—your aim is all that matters here. The first to thirty kills wins.
An issue that Riot is trying to combat is spawn camping and the frustration of spawning near the action. In this game mode, players will always be spawned away from the action and with their backs against a wall so that you are not getting shot from directions you can’t see when you spawn. On top of that, players will spawn with invulnerability for eight seconds that fades upon movement or firing. Of course, the system won’t be perfect, and combat will sometimes be happening everywhere, but this will aim to alleviate the annoyance of having no control on spawn.
Another concern that is being addressed is corner camping. To combat this, the game mode will use a radar system that shows every player’s position every five seconds. On death, players will also drop a health pack that will allow a player to heal back up and hop right back into the action. Both the radar and the health pack should dissuade players enough from camping corners and keep the mode focussed on forcing player engagement so that players can hop into ranked as fast as possible.
The free-for-all deathmatch mode will be released with a beta title on Wednesday, August 5th. It will be launching one day after the patch to, most likely, alleviate the servers from being flooded. Once the game mode matches their expectations, it will leave its beta state and become a permanent game mode.
Act II Battlepass
With the Act I Battlepass ending when maintenance for patch 1.05 begins, Act II’s Battlepass will launch immediately with the patch. Players will be able to purchase it and begin earning the new unique skins, gun buddies, emblems, titles, and other rewards right away.
New Premium Skins: Glitchpop
Pushing Elderflame out of the picture was the Oni line of skins. With the beginning of maintenance for patch 1.05, Oni will no longer be available. Making its debut in the shop will be Glitchpop, a line of skins that will be available for Frenzy, Bulldog, Odin, Judge, and the knife. Similarly to Elderflame and Oni, the Glitchpop skins will be purchasable in the shop individually or as a bundle with the premium currency and will be evolvable with the use of Radianite.
- Frenzy – 2,175 VP ($21.75 USD)
- Bulldog – 2,175 VP ($21.75 USD)
- Odin – 2,175 VP ($21.75 USD)
- Judge – 2,175 VP ($21.75 USD)
- Knife – 4,350 VP ($43.50 USD)
If you are to buy the skins individually, you will be looking at about $130.50 USD. If purchased as a bundle, however, it will cost 8700 VP. That is $87 USD, but due to the system not allowing you to purchase an exact amount of VP, you will have to purchase the $100 option if you do not have spare VP.
Summary of Act II
A new agent, battlepass, evolvable skin line, and game mode. Patch 1.05 packs the biggest punch of any patch we’ve seen yet. This will be the first time that we will get to experience the retirement and beginning of Acts in Valorant. Riot seems to want to follow the same methodology they have for League of Legends with major patch cycles every three months, give or take. This is a good sign for the longevity of the game and seems to be a good tactic for the game to continue to compete in the same space as one of the titans of esports—Counter-Strike. As this is the largest patch Valorant we’ve seen so far (in terms of content), we are bound for a round of balance changes as well. Patch notes will most likely be available during the patch downtime.
This is all the information Riot has made public as of right now. If you want to see more, make sure to keep an eye out on Valorant’s Twitter, Reddit, and homepage for more information as it is made available.