With the v2.06 patch, Riot is shifting its approach from small and safe changes to a "more aggressive approach" with a goal to have a larger impact on agents and the meta as a whole.
And we are already seeing this with Viper and Yoru, who received significant buffs with the v2.06 patch.
Following the update, developers have answered some questions from fans on Reddit and shared some of their thoughts on balance changes and how they approach the balance of agents, with a particular focus on Yoru and Breach.
Some fans are concerned that this new approach might be too radical and can lead to some "disgustingly broken" situations, but devs assure players that they have "contingency plans" in line if something goes horribly wrong at any point.
Yoru's performance has been disappointing (Picture: Riot Games)
A developer that goes by the name Altombre on Reddit explained why are they taking this more radical approach, using Yoru as an example.
"Yoru's been out for over 2 months now and the entire community has generally come to the agreement that he's really bad and not worth playing," Altombre wrote. "That's a failure on our part, in my opinion. An agent shouldn't feel like a trap to play for that long without us intervening."
Altombre explained that for every set of big changes, they have a countermeasure ready to release it quickly if balance becomes too disrupted with new buffs. He states that their intention is not to intentionally disrupt the meta, rather "to be more confident in shipping changes to move the needle".
Breach was another agent that was a topic of discussion. Many players believe that he is overpowered and demand nerfs, but contrary to that view, Altombre revealed that Breach is, in fact, the second-lowest winrate agent in the game, with only Yoru being worse than him.
Breach is at a strange place where he is underperforming but it is not fun to play against him (Picture: Riot Games)
Altombre describes this as a unique problem with this agent because some of his abilities are feeling unfair and frustrating to play against, especially his utility.
"It's something we're talking about. Having an agent who's objectively weak in matchmaking but also frustrating to play against isn't ideal, and we have some ideas for things we may want to try in the future," Altombre revealed.
Altombre explains that his suboptimal performance in matchmaking is, in general, the problem of all agents that require good coordination in order to work well, like Skye, Breach, and Astra, and that those agents are capable of making extremely powerful plays in pro games and in coordinated teams, and that's why they need to be careful with buffing them.
Starting with the v2.06 patch, Riot will start delivering balance updates with bigger changes that "move the needle" but that doesn't mean that we will not see patches with smaller tweaks anymore.