Riot Games' upcoming tactical shooter VALORANT has expanded its closed Beta access to Brazil, Latin America, and Korea, and with the playerbase growing exponentially, the VALORANT developers published an update on the official VALORANT Beta website to address community feedback on ranked, provide updates on the anti-cheat program 'VANGUARD', and the conundrum of 'Peeker's Advantage.'
The VALORANT development team has been proactive regarding the factoring in of feedback from the community in adjustments to the closed Beta before the game will be released in full this summer. Ian Fielding, product manager of the VALORANT competitive team, gave some developer insights on why VALORANT allows for any pre-made lobby size to queue up for ranked as opposed to a true solo queue experience.
"It's important to us that competitive matchmaking in VALORANT is focused on teamplay, because we believe that playing as a team is a major component in your overall mastery of the game. If players have a group of teammates they perform well with, we don't want to discourage them and set a precedent that the real test of skill is in solo play.
Having a solo queue can easily lead to that becoming the definitive test of someone's skills and the primary way to play competitively. We've opted instead to allow players to play at any team size they prefer."
Fielding goes on to say that now that competitive mode is live and in full-swing, the team is looking to make adjustments in the short-term for easier queues with friends during placement matches, as well as clearer rank icons. In the long-term, VALORANT made add a rank progression and other similar features, and that more information would be made available in future updates.
VALORANT anti-cheat lead Paul Chamberlain also contributed to the developer update to explain the changes in approach to security via VANGUARD based on community concerns about privacy. "While a small number of drivers are still blocked, from now on almost all of the software that Vanguard was previously blocking will work properly on Vanguard protected computers," Chamberlain explained.
"In the future we’re going to prefer non-invasive solutions to security issues where possible, finding ways for Vanguard, VALORANT and that one weird RGB driver to coexist. If we can’t find a way for them to all work together, we’ll disable the game rather than disable your other software."
VALORANT's technical engineering lead David Straily used a large chunk of the update to deep-dive 'Peeker's Advantage'. Peeker's Advantage refers to the advantage created in an online game due to a combination of human reaction time and ping. Peeker's Advantage is something that exists in all precision-focused shooters, but the VALORANT developers are doing what they can to mitigate its impact on the tactical aspect of play.
"Until humanity learns to move faster than the speed of light, peeker's advantage is never going away. It’s something that exists for all games," said Straily. "That being said, our goal is to minimize it as much as possible in VALORANT. Philosophically, we believe the less peeker's advantage there is, the more tactical the game's meta becomes."
Peeker's Advantage goes hand-in-hand with another online discrepancy present in VALORANT: Strafe Shooting. "It's likely you've come across a situation where you are killed by a player who appears to be mid-run," Straily said. "In actuality, on the server and from their point of view, they are standing still.
"This is something we as a dev team find unacceptable. Some of the asymmetry is Riot's fault (we need to further optimize routing to our game servers), and some of this is player abuse (lag-switches). We will be tackling both topics in the near future." The full update, with in-depth technical breakdowns of the problems and VALORANT's proposed solutions, can be read on the official VALORANT Beta website.
For more content on VALORANT, Riot Games' highly-anticipated tactical shooter set for release this year, head over to our dedicated VALORANT section!