Beta is almost over, and it’s time for Valorant to enter the gaming universe 4 realz, yo. Riot Games has announced that its free-to-play competitive shooter will launch nearly worldwide on June 2, which should mean you’ll no longer need to watch streams to get a chance to play it. Probably.
In talking about the transition from beta to launch, Riot had an “honest conversation” about what went right, what went wrong, and what still needs to be done going forward. First on the list was Vanguard, the game’s anti-cheat software, which has taken its lumps for its intrusiveness. In response, Riot has made a number of changes to the system, and while it’s good at tracking cheaters, it hasn’t been doing much with regards to banning them.
That’s going to change with launch, as the full auto-banning suite will be rolled out; until now, ban waves were done manually. “Come launch, we will be more aggressive, widespread, and automated in our ability to detect and ban cheaters.” Riot admits that the system won’t be 100% perfect, but it’ll keep doing what it can to keep things running smoothly.
In terms of in-game toxicity, Riot acknowledges that it’s “been too slow” and plans to implement automated analysis of chat violations and reports of offenders. I have to admit, “bruh” aside, I don’t think I’ve experienced any toxicity in the handful of matches I’ve played, so that’s already a marked improvement over League of Legends.
Other topics on the checklist include more servers coming online to help with ping, and a general notion of how game balance is progressing. One interesting subject is the prospect of another game mode being on the horizon to balance out the “intense” (emphasis theirs) nature of a typical Valorant match. That’s expected to come online at launch or shortly thereafter, and other new features, such as agents, maps, and skins, are also planned for later this year.
UPDATE: Product Manager Jared Berbach has confirmed that the new mode will not be deathmatch, though he knows there’s a demand for it and the team is working on it.
The new mode is not deathmatch. HOWEVER, we hear the desire for that type of mode loud and clear. Aim practice, warming up, fragging out.
We're currently working on the required tech and prototyping for a DM style mode.
Can't commit to a date yet, but we're on it!
— Jared Berbach (@darkhorse4life) May 21, 2020