Chamber Mains Panic as Riot Games Ready Another Round of Nerfs
Riot Games released a blog post talking about the state of Valorant's balance and also spoke about how player perception of the meta does not translate to actual stats. Valorant developer John Goscicki and other developer team members shared some insights on how the team balances the game. Despite a number of nerfs, Chamber is once again overtaking the Sentinel role and will be hit with nerfs once again.
How Riot Games decides when a nerf is warranted
When Riot Games approaches game balance, it likes to employ “multiple lenses” to drive the changes that affect the meta. The most important metrics are:
Winrate and Pickrate Data in Solo Queue
While stats from pro play and the game’s winrate/pick rate data are quantifiable factors, things become a lot trickier when design principles and player perception come into play. Riot Games revealed in the blog post, “After they (balance changes) go live, we keep a close eye on the impact the update had on all our balance lenses and how players change their behavior while learning and mastering a new patch. With this retro, seeing things in the live game and how players interact with changes helps us grow our own understanding of the game to guide our future updates.”
The team also shared some fun facts about player perception of the following agents:
KAY/O: One of the weaker agents but is a high-priority pick in pro play.
Breach/Brimstone/Neon: Coordinated play value is much higher than solo play.
Yoru/Neon: High mastery agents that get better as players learn them.
Phoenix: Third strongest agent in terms of high MMR (matchmaking rating) solo queue data.
Brimstone: Three times as many players feel that the character is too weak compared to players who feel he is too strong. But the agent continues to have high winrates in high MMRs.
Sage: One of the best agents across all tiers despite a negative player perception about her strength.
Riot Games revealed, “we’ll nerf Chamber in ways that should make drawbacks of picking him sharper with the intention that our best players shouldn’t always gravitate towards Chamber.”
Cypher is also being looked at and will receive some buffs to restore his presence in the Sentinel spot. The devs are also monitoring Phoenix’s kit and may change the role of flashes in Valorant as a whole.