Valorant developers have big nerfs in mind for the Operator after players have continued to call the weapon OP.
At first, developers seemingly denied that the Operator was overpowered despite many players claiming there were no strategies to outplay the expensive weapon. Valorant game designer Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith said in a developer blog that the Operator wasn’t OP, but that developers were looking for ways to “smooth out the experience.”
It seems that Nickwu may have changed his mind a bit about the Operator.
In an interview with Team Liquid streamer Lucas “Mendo” Håkansson, Nickwu discussed some major Operator nerfs coming to patch 1.09.
The sniper’s price was increased to 5000 instead of 4500. The scope’s movement speed was reduced from 76% to 72%. The accuracy deadzone was lowered from 30% to 15%, and the fire rate was decreased from .75 to .6.
Jump peeking with the Operator was also nerfed.
I had the pleasure to get to talk to @Nickwusmith about upcoming OPERATOR changes, I got to ask a bunch of nerdy and in depth questions about balance philosophy, I brought up community ideas and even some of my own!
Watch here: https://t.co/KeCcaZCyxa
— Liquid Mendo (@Mendo) September 28, 2020
These nerfs are being made with the idea of better balancing the game. The Operator was often seen as oppressive, able to easily get one-shot kills that stopped teams from pushing forward. With the increased price and decreased stats, developers are hoping to create more counterplay options.
“We did an analysis on where all the frustrating points were coming from,” Nickwu told Mendo. “We want to take a deep dive and see where we can help players see the potential in counterplay instead of feeling there’s nothing to do. Players have gotten good at peaking with this weapon and it’s overperforming in a frustrating way.”
Nickwu also touched upon Jett, an agent who has abilities that allow her to get unexpected angles on the map. When this agent is handling the Operator, it’s even more difficult for players to come up with ways to push forward without being taken out by the sniper. It’s not yet clear if Jett will receive any nerfs in the upcoming patch.
While most Valorant players were excited to see Riot listening to their Operator concerns, TSM’s coach Taylor “Tailored” Broomall sent a salty tweet criticizing the changes.
“Maybe Riot should talk to people who know how to play the game,” Tailored responded to Mendo.
Maybe Riot should talk to people who know how to play the game https://t.co/Jh5pd2JXBA
— TSM tailored (@boxrTailored) September 28, 2020
It appeared that Tailored wanted to have some say in Valorant’s decision to nerf the Operator so heavily. Many fans speculated that TSM was unhappy with the Operator nerfs, hinting that they’d fall in the rankings without the OP sniper rifle.
But it also seemed like Tailored was specifically focused on Mendo, unhappy that a streamer he deemed to be casual was influencing the state of the game. Many fans feel that Mendo comes across as “whiny” when he repeatedly brings up concerns about the game and meta on Twitter and on stream.
Oops I slipped and fell into all my trophies ah dang it https://t.co/D6ys9UJ0yS
— TSM tailored (@boxrTailored) September 29, 2020
Mendo saw the drama unfolding and decided to respond to Tailored about the nerf.
“The changes were set before I ever spoke to him,” Mendo explained. “Do you expect to be able to have an interview about a developer with set patch notes and change his mind about nerfing or buffing something? I’d love to see you try that, would be fun to watch!” Mendo challenged.
While some Valorant fans have called out Tailored for being toxic and others have called out Mendo for complaining, almost every player has agreed that the Operator nerf is a needed change. Players are anxiously awaiting patch 1.09 to see if Valorant is balanced after the OP nerfs.