VALORANT developers explore post-death kits for Clove, initially considering flashes but deciding on smokes

By Arjun Nair
VALORANT developers explore post-death kits for Clove, initially considering flashes but deciding on smokes

Riot Games Considered Giving Clove the Ability to Deploy Flashes After Death

Clove’s kit in the game VALORANT has already generated controversy among players, with many considering them to be a broken agent. However, what players may not know is that Riot Games actually considered giving Clove the power to deploy flashes after death. This shows that a lot of thought went into creating this new character.

Tidbits from VALORANT’s Agent Design Team

The agent design team behind VALORANT recently shared some interesting details about the developmental journey of Clove, the game’s first non-binary character. One of the experiments they conducted was exploring aggressive options for the post-death abilities of Clove.

VALORANT agent Clove in the midst of casting their self-resurrection ultimate ability.

Beautiful death. Image via Riot Games

Considering Fairness in Abilities

During their experimentation, the Riot Games team discovered that allowing Clove to flash opponents after death proved to be extremely frustrating for players. It was also deemed too powerful for Clove to be able to stall out chokes after dying. Game designer Dan “penguin” Hardison mentioned in the release that these options were not engaging enough for the gameplay.

Why Balancing Matters

While stalling out chokes may have been a reasonable ability, allowing Clove to flash opponents after death would have unbalanced the meta of VALORANT. It is a good thing that the developers decided against it. Releasing a broken agent would not have been a balanced experience for both the player base and the developers.

Emotional Attachment to Agents and Gameplay Balance

As players, we become emotionally attached to our favorite agents, and any nerfs or changes to them can greatly impact our gameplay experience. The developers have the difficult task of toning down an agent while considering the feelings of the player base. Riot Games has recently adopted a “launch weaker, buff later” approach for new agent releases. However, this approach has not been well received by players.

A Balanced Kit

Fortunately, Clove’s kit seems to strike a good balance. Their post-death capabilities include the ability to deploy smokes in a limited range around their point of death and self-resurrection. While these abilities sound powerful, they also come with fair restrictions. This allows players to be aggressive with Clove’s kit and find value, but they are not as effective as other controllers like Viper, Brimstone, or Astra when it comes to holding down a site.

A Balanced VALORANT Agent

With an equal number of advantages and disadvantages, it can be said that Riot Games has finally released a balanced VALORANT agent. However, it is still too early to make a definitive judgment.

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