Opinion: Meta Shifts should be tied to Valorant’s Story
Meta shifts in most competitive multiplayer games have usually only been just that: meta shifts. Some meta changes make more sense than others, some are more extreme, while others are minor. In the end, though, all they really do is affect the gameplay of a title. However, can they potentially be something more? Can meta shifts in Valorant mean something else besides certain characters being picked, or certain weapons being used more or less?
What we’re proposing here is that a meta shift can be explained utilizing a game’s story. If a meta shift had an actual story explanation behind it, such an explanation could potentially have greater impact on players than mere competitiveness. Yes, competitive esports titles have never really had story be their strong suit. However, with the lore that Riot Games has planned for Valorant, this game could transform into being something unique in the esports scene.
Riot had a story in mind for Valorant from the get-go. In fact, they promised that Valorant’s story would be felt in every multiplayer match, at least according to different sources. Whether or not Riot Games has achieved this goal is certainly up for debate. Even so, it’s clear the developers could be doing much more to develop, grow, and promote the backstory of Valorant.
Meta shifts are a perfect opportunity to tie the story into the game, and justify the changes. Nevertheless, competitiveness should always take precedence over story in Valorant since it’s meant to be a competitive esports title. Still, if Riot Games wants to follow through on its promise to have the story impact gameplay or vice versa, meta shifts are a great opportunity to do just that.
One perfect example of how a meta shift can be incorporated into Valorant’s lore is the recent Sage nerf. Sage’s continuous nerfs have made her powers significantly weaker. Some players now think twice before selecting the only healer in Valorant. So far though, there’s no explanation for this, aside from keeping the game competitive. What if some event in the story made Sage’s powers grow weak?
This doesn’t have to stop with Sage, either. Other agent buffs and nerfs can be explained in the story. For example, how did Breach get to upgrade his cyberware to enhance his abilities? Perhaps if Riot decides to remove or disable agents in the future, that can also be incorporated into the story. Agents could be captured by the bad guys or possibly permanently killed this way.
Riot Games has an incredible opportunity here to make an esports game have a captivating storyline. Although competitiveness of Valorant should always come first, meta shifts can influence Valorant’s ever changing agents and their respective kit. This can result in players having a direct say in how the story of Valorant goes! It would certainly bring a new level of interactivity to Valorant.
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