Valorant’s closed beta has been going on for two weeks now, and Riot Games released the first patch for the title this week. Patch 0.47+ was not all that large, but it did see some notable changes to player favorites Sage and Raze, and fixed the pesky bug where cameras wanted to get in on the fight as well. As CB continues, we’re trying for weekly updates on topics we’re seeing all around the world. First up, @RiotSuperCakes and @RiotZiegler tag in Trevor Romleski (design lead), and @Arkem (anti-cheat lead) to talk about game balance, Raze, and anti-cheat. https://t.co/lPhfJ5zVsr — VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) April 21, 2020 Raze’s Paint Shell ability was a main target of the patch, as it reduced Paint Shells from 2 to 1, and it now has a kill reset, requiring players to get 2 kills to refresh cooldown. The team also tuned an adjusted audio for Blast Pack, Paint Shells, and Showstopper, so that they’re easier to hear in more hectic scenarios. Lastly, Paint Shells now have a minimum duration before exploding. As to why they made these changes for Raze? It’s all about balance, as Riot writes in the patch notes. Raze’s goal is to be a highly-threatening duelist that punishes enemies posted in predictable positions, but we felt like the cluster grenades and their number were creating overly oppressive scenarios. Also, players should be supplied proper gameplay information and the audio cues on all of Raze’s abilities didn’t match their threat, so we changed the audio of each. For example, when the Showstopper is equipped or fired from a distance, players should be able to clearly identify and interpret the threat. As for Sage, Slow Orb now also slows the airspeed of players in the zone, and they can walk through the Slow Orb without making noise. These changes were also made in the name of balance, as well as better gameplay in the zone. Players were able to circumvent too much of Sage’s Slow Orb by bunny hopping through the zone. We want the minimum slow amount to be a bit more consistent with all movement in the zone, while still allowing for bunny hopping and walking to provide a slight benefit to traversing the zone. Also, we feel adding a stealthy yet slow way to move through the field brings more nuance to playing against the zone and a bit more uncertainty for Sage, since she can’t necessarily hear people who move through. Melee damage changed as well, as melee attacks now inflict double damage per hit to destructible items, including Sage’s Barrier and Haven’s metal double doors. Why? To add more options during low econ rounds. Riot’s intent is to add a “high risk, high reward” way for players to interact with Sage’s Barrier, while still being able to take it down. Riot also fixed exploits on the maps Bind, Haven, and Split, and moved the Orb from B Mid to B Main. As well, they reduced outbound network traffic for players running at high frames-per-second, as they had seen some ISP’s were throttling game traffic as FPS increased. Finally, they fixed a rare server crash issue, Cypher’s Spycam can no longer use weapons, and they fixed a bug where footstep audible range would sometimes not appear on the minimap. Are you a Sage or Raze main? Let us know what you think of the changes!