The Operator, which the developer admits has been “a frequent talking point around the community”, has been hit with a slew of nerfs that range from its price and firing rate to equip time and damage. “We’ve been taking a long look at the weapon to try to understand the best way to adjust some of its outsized strengths while ensuring it remains the most powerful angle-holding weapon in the arsenal,” Riot stated.
The price of the sniper rifle had been increased by 500 credits to a whopping 5,000, which Riot Games hopes will help “[delay] the Operator’s appearance and [increase] the penalty for dying with one in hand”.
The Operator has also received changes to reduce the effectiveness of “aggressive” Operator users. The tweaks include: decreased scoped movement speed from 76 to 72 per cent; reduced firing rate from .75 to .6; instant equip time increased by 0.2 to 0.5; and lower leg shot damage of 120 from 127.
“This suite of mechanical changes […] targets these issues, increasing counterplay around high-mobility Operator play,” Riot Games stated, adding that “the Operator is still quite potent at peeking angles but predictable repeeks should be easier to punish”. In addition, the shooting accuracy of guns after a player lands from a jump, while most prominent for the Operator, has been increased for all weapons across the board.
Patch 1.09 also includes changes to the VFX of Omen’s Paranoia ability, to better reflect the skill’s hitbox. Fire rate bonus for Reyna’s Empress and Brimstone’s Stim Beacon abilities have also been standardised at 15 per cent.
A larger change has been made to the Burst Fire for Jett’s Blade Storm ultimate, which will now require users to wait 0.45 seconds to use Burst Fire consecutively, up from 0.33 seconds. In addition, daggers thrown in Burst Fire will now have a damage falloff starting from 12 metres.
“We think the burst fire on her Blade Storm has been over-performing at long ranges,” Riot Games explained. “The burst fire is intended to be a close range attack, but we found it frequently getting frags at over 20 meters away. These changes aim to rein in its effective range while retaining its close range potency.”
Lastly, the patch also includes even more buffs for Viper, whose impact in the game has been “lower” than Riot has expected. The agent will now start the round with full fuel for her abilities – the debuff for her Snake Bite ability will now last 2 seconds longer and the speed of her Viper’s Pit ultimate will now cast twice as fast.
Other changes featured in Patch 1.09 include minor bug fixes, a small update to queue times for competitive mode and tweaks to the game’s chat functions. Check out the full list of patch notes here.
Earlier this month, Riot Games released patch 1.08 for Valorant, which changed up agent Raze and the rifle Guardian. The developer had previously responded to the game’s Operator meta in the sixth edition of its ‘Ask Valorant’ blog series.