Olivia R. July 8, 2020
Valorant developers have dropped the 1.03 patch notes after successfully implementing ranked mode into Riot's new first-person shooter.
As the game's ranked queue continues to stabilize, developers have decided to focus on some balance changes this time around to "let the meta evolve naturally." This included some big updates to the Guardian weapon and the addition of surrender options to both unranked and ranked play.
Guardian receives huge buff in Valorant patch 1.03
Communications associate Jeff Landa wrote in the official patch notes that players should "invest in Guardian stocks" since the weapon was given some major changes in 1.03.
"These updates should help the weapon better carve its own gameplay niche as a heavy-hitting and affordable precision rifle," Landa explained.
The Guardian's price was reduced from $2,700 to $2,500, making it a bit more affordable earlier in games. While the rate of fire was reduced fron 6.5 to 4.75, the weapon's penetration power was increased from medium to heavy. The input queue was also updated from 0.083 to 0.1175.
Valorant developers stated that the Guardian had previously "lived in a strange position in the arsenal" since it was just as costly as premium rifles but not as powerful. The weapon was also more powerful in "close-range situations" than developers had intended due to its fast rate of fire. Instead, they wanted it to be a long-range precision weapon that rivaled the other guns in terms of its penetrative power.
"We hope these changes will sharpen the Guardian’s identity as a long-range, versatile weapon, with its heavy penetration values and lower price providing some more nuanced choice competition to the rifle category of the arsenal," Landa stated.
Surrender option updates in Valorant patch 1.03
There is now a dedicated button to help players voice if they'd like to surrender or not. For unranked matches, surrender votes must pass up with no more than one no vote from the voting participants. Competitive will still require a unanimous "yes" from the team in order to surrender.
"For Competitive Mode we plan to keep the vote requirement as unanimous, because surrendering has an impact on your rank (all unplayed rounds count as loss credit), we want to make sure the team is in full agreement before a decision is made that will negatively impact a player’s rank," Landa said.
Players can also surrender sooner now, starting at round 5 instead of waiting until round 8.
Competitive players will notice a few more changes thanks to patch 1.03. Matches now have a new overtime format that allows automated votes on whether the game should continue or end in a draw. The patch notes explain that the threshold for continuing a match will become stricter as more rounds have been played. For example, the first vote will need six players to end the match in a draw. The second vote will need three. The third and onward will need one.
If the vote fails, the match will end in a draw. It's possible to gain a rank off of a draw, but players will never lose a rank through drawing a game.
"Instead of playing a single sudden death round, teams will alternate playing rounds on attack and defense until a team claims victory by being up by 2 rounds. Each round will have a full reset, setting all players at 5000 credits and 4 points short of their ultimate. After every two rounds of overtime, an automated vote will trigger to determine if the match should continue or end in a draw," the patch notes read.
Unranked matches will still use the original sudden death format.
Valorant patch 1.03 updates maps, game modes
A few other noteworthy changes in patch 1.03 included some updates to the game's four maps. Haven had a spot removed where the spike was unable to be retrieved once dropped. All maps saw multiple spots fixed where players could clip inside the level's geometry. Developers also removed a few locations where Sova's sensor arrow had the ability to go through walls.
The Spike Rush game mode was given a new orb called Twin Hunters. Capturing this orb releases two hunting wolves that track down the two enemies nearest to the orb's location.
The wolves, which each have 100 HP, will speed up when they spot an enemy, dashing once they're close. Upon impact, the player will be slowed and near-sighted for four seconds. The wolves will time out at either 15 seconds or upon the elimination of their target.
On Split, the orb location was changed. The mid defender side orb was moved to mid platform to make the map less favorable towards the defending team.