Chamber Mains are taking a close look at the latest VALORANT Patch 5.12 to see if this Sentinel Agent will remain viable.
According to VALORANT Agent Designers Kevin Meier and Jay Watford, these adjustments were necessary due to Chambers’s dominance. Interestingly, Chamber’s powers had already been adjusted earlier in the year. However, the designers felt that Chamber was still too dominant in ranked play. Therefore, in VALORANT Patch 5.12, the French sharpshooter has taken another hit in order to maintain the overall game balance.
GAME DESIGN BALANCE
The designers explained that “The team discussed and tested a number of ways to balance Chamber. The more we iterated the more it was apparent that his current mechanics were shaping play space in an unhealthy way. He was infringing on other Agent identities, and breaking VALORANT’s core tactical cycle.”
In general, the designers did a nice job of providing explanations for their thought processes for these changes. So, let’s take a deeper dive and look at the specific VALORANT Patch 5.12 changes in detail:
In Patch 5.12, we’ll be making a number of changes to address these concerns. With this update, we want to sharpen Chamber’s identity as a precision-focused Sentinel that puts his body on the line to hold areas, while significantly reducing his sphere of influence and introducing more counterplay for opponents.
- Updated Stability Curve
- Spread increased after 2nd bullet, when spamming. This is explicitly meant to reduce low-precision body-shot spam as an effective combat measure.
- Chamber now places a single anchor that can be teleported to while inside its range
- Radius increased 7.5m >>> 13m
- Removed teleport activation height restriction
- You can teleport to the Anchor while on different verticality so long as you are within its radius.
- Increased weapon equip time after teleporting 0.4s >>> 0.7s
- Headhunter is unaffected by this change
- Destroying Rendezvous teleport anchor now disables it for the remainder of the round, instead of being placed on a cooldown.
- Chamber no longer incurs an additional cooldown when recalling his Anchor after teleporting.
- The trap is now range restricted
- Trademark will disable when Chamber moves out of range, and reactivate once he is inside.
- Can now be recalled mid-round
- Does not require line of sight
- 30s cooldown on recall
- Destruction remains permanent
- Initial Arm Time increased 2s >> 4s
- Health Increased 1 >> 20
Tour De Force (X)
- Fire rate decreased by 57.5%
- This applies to both Trademark and Tour De Force
- Reduced duration 6s >> 4s
Similar to our approach with Jett’s tailwind updates, we believe there is a healthy way for combat escapes to exist in VALORANT’s gameplay ecosystem, as long as they are counterbalanced to offset their strength.
Related Gamelevate articles about VALORANT Agents:
VALORANT Patch 5.12 GOALS
we established many goals when looking at Chamber, but two largely stuck out:
- Strike an appreciable balance between his first angle power and counterplay avenues
- Drive more deliberate thought into setup
“Counterplay” and “Deliberate” are foundational principles to VALORANT Agent design that the team discusses quite often. Chamber’s mechanics took the place of counterplay in many cases. The small number of restrictions on his abilities meant he was not required to be deliberate in thinking about setup. This made Chamber deadly at any angle.
Here are a few examples of how these changes have shifted Chamber in testing:
- The distance traveled when teleporting has been greatly reduced. This gives opponents more precise information about Chambers’ new location, and puts him at greater risk of getting closed in. Chamber will still excel at longer angles where opponents cannot close the gap quick enough without the appropriate tools, but holding shorter angles comes at a much higher risk for him.
- The long distance of Chamber’s teleport also provided strong rotational power that infringed on other Agents’ core strengths. This makes gaining information about Chamber’s location more beneficial because his rotation from one site to another across the map will be slower. More so if he elected to hold an aggressive angle.
- Range restricting Trademark allows opponents to deduce where Chamber could be playing based on Trademark status. This information can be used to better plan site hits or identify which angles are more important to break. Flank watch is meant to be a strength of Cypher, not a standard across all Sentinels. This should more sharply define the Sentinel space and Cypher and Chamber’s strength profiles within it.
- Chamber requires more deliberate setup and decision-making, balancing his first angle location and trap placement. Chambers who elect to lurk or push for more information will have to balance that against Trademark value in the current game state. With this version, Chamber should have to make a call between playing aggressive first angles with less safety, or playing back and anchoring a site.
- Managing anchor placement has become less burdensome in this version, reducing the time spent planning mid-round teleports, thus creating a smoother gameplay flow.
WHY THIS APPROACH?
Agent abilities have varying degrees of impact on each part of the tactical cycle but should be sharp in their delivery and offer compromises (to/for) the enemies’ advantage. This is key to ensuring the tactical promise of VALORANT, keeps design space open, and curbs potential power creep as new Agents try to compete against powerful outputs. The approach is to retain Chamber’s combat strength and fantasy, while narrowing the span of his impact across any given map. Giving opponents more agency to outwit or outplay, and giving Chamber players a deliberate mastery curve. Players who invest the time should still find success as they learn how these new mechanics excel or fail across maps, locations, and play styles.
The hope is that players can still engage in the combat-focused gameplay loop that attracted so many to Chamber, while providing more opportunities for opponents to engage in counterplay.
Judging by these adjustments, it seems that the VALORANT designers are keen to adjust agents for a better gaming experience.