Valorant

5 features Valorant desperately needs

Published: 1/Jan/2021 16:10 Updated: 1/Jan/2021 17:34

by Andrew Amos

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Valorant has become an FPS sensation since its release. The game is still in its infancy though, and there are a few features Valorant fans would love to see appear on Future Earth. We’ve listed our top five to get you thinking.

It’s safe to say that Valorant has had a pretty wild ride in its inaugural year. With Riot Games literally building from the ground upwards, the title has a successful, global esports scene and has become a staple for Twitch streamers.

While Riot has put in the hard yards to ensure Valorant’s success, there are still a few elements of the game that players would love to see improved. Here’s the five features we’d like to see added to Valorant.

Map selection

icebox valorant map
Riot Games
Valorant’s fifth map, Icebox, has created more problems than fixes.

When Icebox was announced as Valorant’s final answer to broadening the restricted map pool, fans went wild. The map’s arrival, though, left a lot of fans out in the cold.

While this doesn’t seem like a major issue (after all, it’s just about preference), the issue with Icebox is that players will happily dodge and drop from games instead of playing it. With the creases still needing to be ironed out regarding the consequences players dropping from Rated matches, this is a real issue.

One way around this would be to introduce a map selection system. While it may mean Icebox is relegated to the depths of the Valorant vault, it would help to solve the dropping problem while Riot organize a more definitive punishment system.

Being able to choose what maps you can or cannot play isn’t on Riot’s radar right now ⁠— citing high queue times ⁠— but players can still hold out hope that as more maps are added, their hand might be forced.

AFK punishment system

Sova standing in Bind defender spawn in Valorant
Riot Games
Joining a game and seeing a lifeless Agent standing in spawn is all too frequent.

Related to the point above, Riot really need to consider how best to punish misbehaving players. As with every game, there will be players who are determined to cause chaos, and it’s something that Valorant has become notorious for.

With discussions on Reddit regarding AFKs pointing to a DoTA 2 style system (if a player is AFK for five minutes their team can leave without penalty), Valorant’s devs are clearly struggling to create a working system.

Simply banning disconnecting and AFK players doesn’t work, because you need to take into account that not all regions have stable wifi. Riot devs have also pointed out that smurfing players are adapting and forming teams to make sure that they can AFK and save their colleagues ranks.

The whole issue is a vicious cycle that plagues games across every developer and genre, but in order to really attract and retain players on Future Earth, the dev team have a lot of work to do.

Replay system

Riot Games
With a replay system, you won’t need Cypher cams to admire your glorious gameplay.

One of the things that’s particularly frustrating about Valorant is that, in order to view your replays and past games, you have to record them yourself. This can take up a hefty chunk of your PC’s power, as well as just being an irritation to flick on and off between games.

It’s odd that Valorant hasn’t introduced something like this already, considering their flagship MOBA League of Legends allows you to download your matches, and other FPS’ like Overwatch have systems that let you view replays really easily.

Replays serve two purposes, the first being that they help players understand where they went wrong. Watching back your replays is a great way to improve on your own style, or to help inform your teammates where they may have gone wrong (politely, of course!)

The second purpose is that they’re just great to show off with. A sneaky little Twitter clip here and there can help build your profile online, as well as let you flex on the wider Valorant community. Fingers crossed we see this adaption soon.

In-game Rated tournaments

Riot Games
Clash would be a perfect addition to Valorant.

One of the best features added to League of Legends in recent years is Clash. While the in-game tournament system got off to a rocky start, having monthly tournaments in the game itself, with plenty of prizes on offer, has made coordinated play outside of third-party events much more enjoyable.

Valorant has a real chance to capitalize on this market in their own client. While services like FACEIT and ESEA exist for CS:GO, there’s nothing developed in-house by Valve. Riot can put up prizes like specific Player Cards and special weapon skins for players who participate and win — just like Clash.

With the Clash system, too, it wouldn’t just be pub-stomping from higher-ranked players. Players would be seeded into divisions against players of a similar rank to make for a competitive experience.

Understandably, a feature like this could be months ⁠– or even years ⁠– down the line. If it was eventually added, it would add another lay to Valorant’s competitive mode — giving players something to play for (even if you’re the cream of the crop).

A new healer

Sage in Valorant
Riot Games
Sage has went from being all powerful to a shadow of her former self.

Don’t get us wrong, Sage and Skye are great, but as long as they’re Valorant’s only healers they’ll be pretty much impossible to balance.

Alongside her heals, Sage’s Wall and Resurrect make her kit one of the most versatile in the game, meaning Riot have been forced to continually nerf her to the point she’s perceived to be the weakest Agent. This is because healing is such an inherently strong mechanic to have in a tactical FPS; she’ll naturally always be strong.

So we suggest Riot freshens things up with a new healer. Whoever they are, they’ll need to have an identity that is distinct from Skye and Sage’s, while also being fun to play. With this in mind though, they’d need to have enough weaknesses so that teams don’t just decide to pick loads of healers, which would be ridiculously unfun to play against.

A mechanic like that of TheSHero’s Nada would be interesting, as an Agent who provides team-wide healing, rather than the single-target support Sage offers and the limited AOE radius that Skye has, would add diversity to the class. It would also give Sentinel players some much-needed diversity in the number of Agents at their disposal.


Have we missed something? If there’s something that you’re itching to see in Future Earth, be sure to let us know on Twitter @ValorantUpdates!

Gaming

How to watch PlayStation’s next State of Play event: PS5 games, start time, more

Published: 24/Feb/2021 2:50

by Brad Norton

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Sony’s next major State of Play event is on the horizon as the PlayStation nation is in store for “deep dives” on a wide array of upcoming titles. From when it all kicks off to what we can expect, here’s everything there is to know.

With a lack of physical events in 2021, gaming industry juggernauts have turned to online events to break the latest news. Hot off the heels of Nintendo’s latest Direct event, Sony is next in line for a huge showcase.

State of Play broadcasts have ranged from smaller indie events to blockbuster hardware reveals. This time around, Sony appears set to focus on upcoming PS4 and PS5 titles.

There were just four State of Play events through 2020 and each focused on major developments for the PlayStation brand. You won’t want to miss the next livestream; here’s how you can tune in.

Ratchet and Clank gameplay PS5
Sony
Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart could be a big focus throughout this State of Play.

When is Sony’s next State of Play event?

Sony locked in dates for the next State of Play event in a February 23 announcement. It’s all set to go live on Thursday, February 25 at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET / 10 PM GMT.

While no exact duration was announced, Sony expects the upcoming broadcast to run for roughly “30 minutes or so.”

No different from previous events, this State of Play will be streamed live across the official PlayStation YouTube and Twitch channels. We’ve embedded the stream below for your convenience.

Sony confirms State of Play details

While no specific titles were mentioned, Sony confirmed that 10 games will be in focus throughout the upcoming stream. These games will range from indie titles, to third-party developments, and even brand new game announcements.

The event won’t fixate solely on PS5 releases either. A number of the titles on display are coming to both PS4 & PS5, they confirmed in a recent blog post.

There also won’t be an emphasis on “PlayStation hardware or business-focused updates” throughout the stream; this State of Play is about upcoming games.

Horizon Forbidden West gameplay
Sony
It could be too early for new information on Horizon Forbidden West.

What to expect from the next State of Play event?

Almost a quarter of the way through the year already, Sony still has a long list of titles set for the coming nine months. It’s safe to assume this State of Play could provide new looks at Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Deathloop, and even Returnal.

It’s likely too early for any considerable updates on the likes of Horizon Forbidden West or the God of War sequel, however. 

With new games set to be revealed though, anything is possible.

We’re yet to hear from Bend Studio, Santa Monica Studio is rumored to be working on a second project, and of course, Naughty Dog has been relatively quiet since the release of The Last of Us Part II. It’s possible we finally see the multiplayer update in action, along with a potential PS5 port.