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VALORANT patch 1.14 – Big Icebox changes, new Snowball Fight mode, Sage tweaks & more

VALORANT patch 1.14 has gone live. The latest update to the popular first-person shooter by Riot Games sees significant changes to Icebox, the newest map, as well as a new Christmas map and mode.

Sage did see a bit of tweaking as the Agent can no longer place her Barrier Orb during the buy phase. In addition, the Barrier will no longer lose health over time and will instead start to deteriorate just a few seconds prior to its expiration.

According to Riot, “the changes to Icebox in this update are centered around simplifying the A Site and reducing the height of some of the most vertical areas on the map.” You can find pictures of the changes made below in the patch notes and we recommend checking them out given some are pretty significant and can impact your experience on the map.

The new Snowball Fight mode will be comprised of a 5v5 team deathmatch in which the snowball launcher is the only weapon available. Don’t worry though, it was infinite snowballs. Players can also find gifts around the map that when opened provide power ups.

Initially only the updated holiday version of Icebox will be available for Snowball Fight, but in week 2 all maps will be available.

You can find the full VALORANT 1.14 patch notes below.

AGENT UPDATES

SAGE

Barrier Orb

  • Barrier Orb can’t be placed during Buy Phase
  • Once fortified, Barrier no longer loses health over time—Barrier only starts to deteriorate a few seconds before it expires
  • Overall, we’ve been happy with how the fortified barrier has been playing but wanted to make some changes to prevent the mitigation of the fortifying counterplay, while rewarding Sage players that successfully fortify their walls.

MAP UPDATES

ICEBOX

The changes to Icebox in this update are centered around simplifying the A Site and reducing the height of some of the most vertical areas on the map.

Icebox_1.gif

  • Reduced the height of the A Belt area and connected it via a ramp to the platform below
    • This puts the upper A Belt area more in line with the rest of the verticality in the site
    • Acquiring targets up top also requires less vertical movement of the crosshair

    Icebox_2.gif

    • Added a see-through gate here that can’t be passed from the ground level
      • Pathing should hopefully be more predictable from attackers approaching the site and defenders retaking the site

      Icebox_3.gif
      Icebox_4.gif

      • Sloped the wall (first image) and replaced the double stack of Radianite crates in the site with a smaller object (second image)
        • This should allow attackers to approach the site more safely, and a quicker retake of the site for defenders

        Icebox_5.gif

        • Reduced the height of the yellow container.
          • This allows the top of the container to be fully cleared from several angles as well as reduces the amount of crosshair displacement required when aiming at targets on top of the container

          MODE UPDATES

          Ready to have a Snowball Fight with your friends (and likely your foes)? The limited mode goes live on Dec.15 and will last for two weeks, on Dec. 29. Play a match of Snowball Fight and you’ll also nab a themed Gun Buddy, delivered at a later date.

          • 5v5: Team Deathmatch
            • The first team to 50 kills wins
            • Respawns are enabled, so get back in there
          • The snowball launcher is your weapon of choice
            • Killjoy has rigged a custom version of Brimstone’s molotov launcher
            • Projectile based snowballs have travel time and an arc (make sure to lead that shot!)
            • Infinite snowballs—don’t stop shooting!
            • The gift that keeps on giving: Power ups!
              • Gifts spawn around the map, sometimes a portal appears and gifts come pouring out
              • Each gift contains a power up when opened (shoot to open)
              • You can only have one of each power up at a time, so make sure to share with your teammates
              • If you die, you drop your power ups and someone else can snag them
              • Gift types
                • Rapid Fire: fire even faster
                • Growball: grows over time while traveling in the air
                • Ricochet: for all those snowball trick shots off the ground and walls
                • Skates: skate around quickly and in style. Jump higher!
                • Maps
                  • Week 1: Check out the festivities on the newly updated holiday version of Icebox (Snowball Fight only!)
                  • Week 2: Snowball Fight can be played on all current maps
                  • Progression
                    • Get 750 XP for each game completed, and 150 bonus XP for a win
                    • Snowball mode does not progress missions
                    • COMPETITIVE UPDATES

                      • Act Rank Badge display has been re-enabled on in-game player cards.
                        • Performance issues, such as hitches, have been fixed along with on death performance optimizations
                      • Career page: Match History and Act Ranks have been split out into their own specific sections.
                        • You can still view both your friends Match History and Act Rank progress
                        • STORE UPDATES

                          • Check out our newest feature with the introduction of the Night.Market
                            • Each player will get 6 chances to receive a random Select, Deluxe, or Premium weapon skin at a discount
                            • Opens December 10th

                            SOCIAL UPDATES

                            • Requirements to unlock Competitive play have been changed from Play 20 Unrated matches >>> Win 10 Unrated matches
                              • We hope this will lessen the amount of AFKs and INTing we see in Unrated games caused by smurfs just trying to unlock Competitive mode.
                            • A text field has been added to VALORANT in-game reports so players can provide more information and the reason for their report, if they choose to.
                            • Players can now add friends via the in-game escape menu.
                              • Go forth adding teammates and opposing players to your friends list for future games if you enjoyed playing with/against them!
                              • Changes to the social panel sorting logic when in parties so you are always sorted at the top of your own group
                              • GAME SYSTEMS UPDATES

                                • Manual Game State Recovery
                                  • In cases where tournament organizers need to roll back or replay from a given round, they can now remake any tournament match from that point with our manual recovery tool.
                                • Cinematic Cameras
                                  • We have added cinematic camera locations across all maps for observers to use.
                                  • Observers can press Shift + player number to jump to the best cinematic camera to capture the action.
                                  • Observers can immediately leave a Cinematic Camera to move to Free camera
                                  • We have a lot more ideas for additional functionality, so stay tuned for that in the future.
                                  • Projectile Follow
                                    • Observers can now follow a projectile fired by a player character (Default keybind is F).
                                    • Observer camera will remain at the destination of the projectile and will transition to a free camera from this point.
                                    • Minimal Broadcast HUD
                                      • Observer perspectives that are meant to be used for broadcasting can turn on Minimal Broadcast HUD from the custom game lobby to retain as clean of a HUD experience as possible for custom overlays
                                      • Observer Follower
                                        • Observers can now lock their view to match another observer (Be the passenger instead of the driver)
                                        • Default keybinds for following previous/next observer: ‘[‘ and ‘]’
                                        • Observers can use player numbers on the minimap to jump directly to a specific player
                                        • BUG FIXES

                                          • Fixed an issue where Killjoy’s turret could be placed underneath the ground in some maps
                                          • Fixed an issue where Omen could teleport past the Buy phase barrier
                                          • Fixed a bug where pressing a push-to-talk key while typing in chat would trigger voice chat
                                          • Fixed a bug where queue restrictions would keep resetting for some players

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