VALORANT gets another duelist, Neon, with patch 4.0, who adds another exciting agent for players. But players have noticed that Riot Games is challenging the dedicated roles of each agent, blurring the lines between Duelists, Controllers, Sentinels, and Initiators. Developers shared insights on how to balance agents and how the dedicated roles might evolve and change in the future.
VALORANT Character producer John Goscicki shared his thoughts on the current agent categories and how they might change in the future in a recent developer Q&A session.
“I think many of these categories are broad terms and ways of thinking about the rules and what these characters, such as strengths and weaknesses profiles, should and could be. And we’ve been trying to push those limits all the time, and you’ve seen that not only with Neon but also with Chamber lately, ”said Goscicki. “So I think as the game evolves and continues to grow, we’ll likely come back to a lot of these characters and sharpen their identities for different editions of these roles, or evolve those roles. We always talk about potential: ‘Hey, maybe there are more than the four we have now.’ “
Character reworks are not uncommon in online games, especially if a character has been outside for an extended period of time. VALORANTs The agent list has grown steadily throughout the life of the game and agent changes are the order of the day. Some older agents may continue to customize to further adapt to their assigned role, as Goscicki mentioned, but players may also see new roles.
VALORANT Game designer Ryan Cousart also explained how the agents fit into different “quadrants” so the team can follow guidelines and make sure they fit into their specific roles.
“So they have these very inherent relationships of placing and stalling with smoke and things like that on initiators and duelers who want to make these really sharp windows of capitalization, gain ground, or do X and Y,” Cousart said. “Living in this quadrant helps us create these guard rails.”
That does not mean VALORANT Players are guaranteed to see a new category of agents soon. But the lines between each category will continue to blur as new agents are introduced, keeping the game fresh and exciting.