The latest Valorant update, patch 1.14, focuses heavily on alterations that should make Icebox a more welcome sight in the map rotation. It also makes two changes to the agent that just can’t seem to find her balance, Sage. Agent and map changes aren’t the only things to get excited about with this Valorant patch. There’s also a limited-time Snowball Fight mode, some competitive changes, and a store update called the ‘Night.Market.’
Valorant Game Director Joe Ziegler recently talked about Riot Games’ plan to prioritize new maps. The latest map to be added to the tactical shooter, Icebox, was released almost three months earlier than planned. As a result, the map isn’t playing as well as Riot (or players) would like.
One of the biggest issues with Icebox is that players don’t just need to hold or push numerous horizontal angles, there’s also loads of vertical angles to account for. The Valorant team has decided that some of these vertical angles are a bit too extreme and is cutting them down a notch. Focusing mainly around the A site, numerous elevated ramps are being lowered. Click on the images below to see the changes.
Changes to Sage
Sage receives two alterations to her Barrier Orb in the latest Valorant patch. The first change can be considered a small nerf, which prevents Sage from using Barrier Orb before a round begins. This change was originally a hotfix solution to an Omen exploit. However, Riot believes the adjustment is solid and inline with other abilities of a similar nature.
The other change to Sage’s Barrier Orb is a buff to Barrier Orb. Once the wall fortifies, it no longer slowly loses health over time. Instead, Barrier Orb will start to deteriorate just a few seconds before it expires.
A snowy shootout
From December 15 to 29, Valorant will get its first limited-time mode: Snowball Fight. Playing one match of this new mode will score you an appropriately-themed Gun Buddy, which will be revealed and delivered at a later date.
Valorant’s Snowball Fight is a 5v5 deathmatch. When you die, you respawn and the first team to eliminate 50 enemies wins. Your weapon is a modified version of Brimstone’s Molotov launcher — thanks, Killjoy. You’ll have infinite ammo, but your snowballs are arcing projectiles that will take some time to get used to.
Presumably, agents will be unable to use their abilities. However, portals will randomly spill presents that contain power ups onto the map. A player can only use one power up at a time. There are four gifts players can take advantage of: Rapid Fire, Growball, Ricochet, and Skates. They each do exactly what you’d imagine based on the name.
Valorant competitive changes
Riot continues the battle against smurfs in patch 1.14 by changing the requirements for unlocking ranked matchmaking. Previously, players were required to simply play 20 games to unlock ranked. This resulted in many people going AFK to get through these matches.
The company has also made changes to the ranked distribution. So, players in lower levels will now find it easier to climb to the higher ranks.
The last notable change Valorant has made in patch 1.14 is the introduction of a feature called the Night.Market. This will give players six chances to receive a random Select, Deluxe, or Premium weapon skin at a discount. You will be able to take advantage of the Night.Market from December 10.
If you’d like to check out all the other Valorant patch 1.14 updates and fixes, you can do so here.