In addition to the introduction of a new agent in the form of KAY/O, Riot Games have also made a lot of changes to agents and their abilities in the upcoming patch for VALORANT Episode 3 Act 1.
Riot also introduced a couple of price changes to the guns and the abilities in the game; the most notable being that all flashes, regardless of agent, have had their version of their flash grenade increase in price to 250 credits (with the exception of Omen).
Yes, you read that right, VALORANT is introducing the denominator of 50 credits into the game for cost adjustments. Here's what this means.
Previously, for all skills and guns in VALORANT, when they had their price increased or decreased for balancing purposes, Riot had to do it in 100-credit adjustments.
Let’s take the gun Frenzy, for example. Before patch 2.03, the Frenzy cost 400 credits. This allowed players to buy the Frenzy and light armour, which also cost 400 credits, to engage enemies during the first pistol round, as each player starts with 800 credits.
This became the meta for some time. The Frenzy is a fast-firing auto pistol that deals decent damage at close to medium ranges, and this, coupled with the fact that the maps in Valorant contain extremely tight corners at times, made the Frenzy and armour combo pretty lethal in the pistol rounds.
If a player bought other pistols like the Ghost, which costs 500 credits, there was a pretty high chance that they would be outgunned by the Frenzy player in tight spaces thanks to the extra armour because the Ghost will not be able to kill with just a headshot.
Riot then proceeded to increase the cost of the Frenzy to 500 credits, making it cost the same as the Ghost.
But the Frenzy’s value isn’t really on a par with the Ghost, if you’re looking at it from a game balancing point of view.
The Frenzy, even though it is fast-firing, is a gun that needs 2 headshots to land to kill someone at close range. The Ghost also has the ability to rapid fire if you tap your mouse buttons fast enough, and if one bullet hits the head, it is a guaranteed 105 damage as opposed to the 78 damage of the Frenzy. For argument’s sake, let’s just say the Ghost and Frenzy are on a par with each other at close range.
But what about medium and far ranges? The Ghost clearly outguns the Frenzy when it comes to accuracy at these ranges, being far more accurate for its first shots and dealing much more damage as well.
So, is the Frenzy worth 500 credits in game? Riot doesn’t think so with the latest patch. The Frenzy will now cost 450 credits; just expensive enough to not have the game-changing Frenzy and armour combo, but cheap enough to distinguish itself from not being the Ghost’s equal.
Finding the sweet spot for economy tweaks
This same tweak applies to the flash grenades in game as well. The flash grenades are extremely essential in VALORANT, especially when clearing corners, and could even lead to round-winning plays. Most flash grenades cost 200 credits to buy a charge previously, and it was a utility that was pretty easy to acquire without much effect to a player’s economy.
With the Episode 3 patch, each flash grenade now costs 50 credits more, and this makes buying the utility a little more weighted, but not overpriced. Raising it to 300 credits would definitely be overdoing it, and that is the beauty of Riot introducing the 50-credit denomination into the game.
This further extends to the price adjustments for some other guns in the game as well. Guns like the Stinger and Marshall were a little tough to buy at 1100 credits and 1000 credits respectively in the previous patch. In save rounds (where the team consciously tries to not buy any kind of expensive gun or utility to save money for the next round), buying the Stinger is always a pain, because there are other guns that could serve the same function as the Stinger for a much cheaper cost, like the Bucky for close range, or the Sheriff if you’re looking to engage the enemies in medium to far range combat.
Reducing their prices to 900 credits will make it a little too cheap, so with this 50-credit introduction, 950 credits for the Stinger and the Marshall is a happy medium between being too cheap and too expensive.
This also gives Riot the flexibility to tweak prices a little more minutely if they do decide to change things in the future.
Some abilities and guns may just need a minor tweak, and sometimes raising or reducing the prices by 100 credits seem a little too much. But all in all, this is a very welcome change to the VALORANT meta.
Episode 3 Act 1 looks to be very exciting, as this is not the only change that the game implements. You can read more about the changes here.