Riot pushed a new update today and they have made some significant changes to Agent balance, buffing Viper, and then some.
Viper has received a healthy buff in patch 1.04 and this was needed because she seemed to offer a bit less than other agents. Viper’s ultimate brings a big cloud where enemies receive damage, but that also collapses if she steps out of the cloud zone. This obviously limits her tactical ability to make plays, wherein enemies will always catch her inside that cloud, the devs have now increased the time Viper can spend outside the cloud (15 seconds now from 5). This should give Viper players more options to position themselves and maybe better protect the plant. Enemies inside the cloud will also have obscured minimaps and they will now be more noticeable (to Viper). Decay damage from Viper’s toxin has also been increased to 15 (from 10) and now there will also be a sustained effect from her toxins for 2.5 seconds after you leave the source.
Both Raze and Brimstone have received a slight nerf in the form of an increased cost of ult. You will now need 7 ult points to activate them (from 6). This change also makes a lot of sense given both their ults deeply impact rounds and also has the ability to take down multiple opponents at once. This again is, only a slight change and shouldn’t impact how people play these agents, the core tactical advantages remain untouched.
We don’t have much in weapon balance, patch 1.04 only brings changes to the classic. Spread while running has been reduced and the classic is now more accurate in a stationary and crouching stance. Jumping and walking spread has been increased though (slightly).
You can read the rest of the patch notes below.
With Viper being allowed out of her ult for such a short period of time, we felt that she was not only limited in the plays she could make, but also gave too much continuous information to her enemies. The ability to move outside the ult smoke more freely should provide some new and interesting mind games for Viper to play—and hopefully puts the strategic pressure back on the enemy. The other improvements should push Viper’s advantage in her own smoke and help her avoid getting traded by enemies using minimap vision to target her.
Viper’s decay depleting so quickly from enemies was limiting the advantage it provided and wasn’t creating the threat we had hoped for as a result. Adding a delay before it fades will hopefully widen the window where Viper and her team can capitalize and pair with the Viper’s Pit updates (above) to provide fresh ways to play around her ult.
The reduction in total uptime when both her vision blockers were active was making it difficult for Viper to use both tools together. Since Viper’s smoke has so much commitment and makes up so much of her kit, we want to free her to use them in tandem to create powerful options for her team to take sites.
|Showstopper ultimate Cost changed from 6 to 7 Ult points|
Raze’s ultimate is one of the most impactful in the game and useful in almost any situation. As a result, it is being used a bit too often. So we’re upping the cost by 1, which should help reduce how often players have to face her Showstopper.
|Orbital Strike ultimate cost changed from 6 to 7 Ult points|
Much like Raze’s Ultimate, Brimstone’s Ult is very impactful and useful in a wide variety of situations. We feel like it was impacting rounds a little too frequently, so decided to up the cost slightly.
|Stim Beacon no longer Buffs enemies and no longer shows its effect radius to enemies|
The Stim beacon is meant to be a pretty situational ability but we felt that revealing Brimstone’s location and having the potential to accidentally buff enemies was making this ability significantly weaker than we’d like.
|Brimstone’s Arms Fidelity|
When you really think about an FPS, you’ll notice you spend an awful amount of time looking at your arms…like all the time. Before launch, we intended to increase the fidelity of Brimstone’s arms to match the overall quality of the game. We did it—now look at those guns!
|Cyber Cage can now be picked up during the buy phase|
The Classic right-click was the primary bug fix here, but we saw an opportunity to make the weapon behave a bit more consistently. We slightly tuned efficacy of jump right-clicks, but (hopefully) haven’t taken away their viability in close-range scenarios
- Fixed bug where running inaccuracy on the right-click was much higher than intended
- running was adding a 1.5 penalty because it was referencing our generalized running error curves for pistols
- Fixed bug where jumping had no inaccuracy penalty
- Running spread is changed from 3.4 >>> 2.1
- primarily a bug fix
- Jumping spread changed from 1.9 >>> 2.3
- Walking spread changed from 1.9 >>> 1.95
- Added a 10% bonus to accuracy when crouching and stationary
- Intent is to feel consistent with crouch providing an accuracy benefit
HUD & UI
Replaced the previous Weapon Stats textbox in the pre-round shop with an easier-to-compare graphical representation of stats
QUALITY OF LIFE
- Observer minimap vision cones are now colored by team
- Replaced Reyna’s Voice Over for Italian and Mexican
- Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the talents we identified for the role were not able to record due to regional restrictions. You can now find in-game, the voices we originally intended for Italian and Mexican Reyna!
- Adjusted the volume on the Elderflame Operator equip animation
- Fixed bug that would cause the volume to stack if you spam equipped the Operator
- Enemy footsteps duck cosmetic bus properly
- This means that enemy footsteps will always lower the volume of the skin sound effects that are not important to gameplay, like the flame whooshes, dragon roar, etc.
- Elderflame Melee inspect animation now has sound effects for level 1 and 2
- Gun pickup targeting and Sage Ultimate targeting unified with ally character highlights, saving VRam and GPU performance
- Minor rendering performance fixes
- Gun skin upgrade videos are now streamed instead of locally stored, reduced install size by 380MB
- Fixed requirement for Reyna to look at Soul Orbs to activate them and maintain her healing, behavior should match that of patch 1.02
- Fixed one-way Brimstone smokes when the player’s camera was around the top of the smoke
- Fixed Breach’s Aftershock not properly applying damage to all characters if multiple are hit by it
- Fixed jittering when reaching the max flight height of Sova’s drone
- Fixed Marshall bug where the weapon maintained accuracy while walking
- Fixed issues with some translucency effects being one frame behind (such as Jett’s dash, when used by the player)
- Fixed ally highlights not showing up on some AMD GPUs when using MSAA, and some Intel GPUs
- Fixed a bug where loading screens did not cover the entire screen when playing in certain resolution/aspect ratio combinations
- Shortened the text on the photosensitivity warning screen
- Fixed a bug where the “equip” button would stay greyed out when purchasing a skin variant that is being previewed
- Fixed Brimstone smokes on Haven spawning offset of where intended
- Fixed a typo in Brimstone’s biography (thanks mooonlimes for the report)