Riot admits CEO's Valorant "abilities don't kill" comment "missed nuance" - Dexerto
Valorant

Riot admits CEO’s Valorant “abilities don’t kill” comment “missed nuance”

Published: 14/Aug/2020 1:39

by Andrew Amos

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Lead Valorant character designer Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott has admitted Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent’s comment from Project A’s release stating “abilities don’t kill” was “missing nuance,” and he apologized for misleading players.

On October 16, the day of Valorant’s (then still called Project A) reveal, Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent posted a short tweet that would soon become ammunition for the budding community.

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“To be clear, in Project A, shooting matters. You don’t kill with abilities. Abilities create tactical opportunities to take the right shot. Characters have abilities that augment their gunplay, instead of fighting directly with their abilities.”

Since then, players have had to deal with grenades, satchel packs, and automatic turrets in Valorant. There’s been an uproar about Riot not following through with their promise. However, the comment isn’t exactly what Riot intended.

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Valorant character design lead Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott explained to players that what the CEO said wasn’t necessarily a reflection of the dev team’s ethos.

“This statement isn’t completely accurate — especially in a game that already had Raze and Killjoy’s gameplay locked in before our announcement,” Morello admitted to players in a August 13 dev post.

“That was our mistake — a big part of that mistake was in missing the nuance, specifically that tactical fundamentals — not just ‘abilities don’t kill’ — are a key component.”

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Morello instead offered clarity on Riot’s mantra regarding Valorant. Abilities are meant to enable gunplay and create “threat” instead of just outright kill players repeatedly.

Raze grenade exploding in Valorant
Riot Games
Raze’s grenade is one example of an ability that will kill you in Valorant.

“Guns provide the vast majority of kills, and even our damage abilities are designed with the goal of creating threat. When well-played against, guns should be the primary method used to finish off opponents that are preoccupied with a distraction, or trying to avoid the damage.”

This threat can come in numerous ways. Even for a character like Raze, who has a boatload of damage on all of her abilities, can create threat through zone control. For others, it’s by locking down sightlines and denying intel with smokes.

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Even games with hardcore gunplay, like CS:GO, feature ‘abilities’ that kill. High explosive grenades and molotovs are threatening, and if players position themselves poorly, they’ll die to the utility. That’s the angle Riot is going for. Morello nevertheless apologized for misleading players.

“If this promise was the thing that made you come to try Valorant, we’re sorry if we misled you, even unintentionally. But our position is, and has been, that abilities that deal damage are a core part of tactical games — whether it be Valorant or other tac’ shooters.”

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While they can’t change the past, they can change the future. There’s still some abilities Riot aren’t going to touch at this point in time. They are looking to keep “high-consequence gunplay,” which means no ludicrous weapons or high health bars on command.

“We try to avoid abilities that would remove the high-consequence gunplay. Increased maximum health tends to be a no-fly zone, as do abilities that replace guns that aren’t an ultimate, like Jett or Raze.”

Valorant

Could Valorant get League-style Clash tournaments in-client soon?

Published: 7/Oct/2020 3:31

by Andrew Amos

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Valorant’s competitive system is getting another overhaul in Ignition Act 3, with more strict party restrictions, changes to progression, and more. However, with the “tighter rank queue,” could the door be opening for in-client tournaments, like League of Legends’ Clash, in Valorant?

Valorant’s competitive experience is not only an important point for players, but Riot themselves. The tactical FPS was designed with competition in mind, from the way the game was optimized, to its basic mechanics.

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Whether Valorant’s competitive queue has lived up to that expectation is a different story though. The experience has been widely criticized by players due to numerous factors: no solo-duo queue, no leaderboards, a confusing progression system, and more.

Riot are vowing to change some of these things in Act 3. They are reducing the squad rank disparity limit from six tiers to three. They are also aiming at adding a cap on party sizes at high ranks, a leaderboard, and a more clear progression system early in 2021.

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With these changes though, friends won’t be able to queue up for ranked if their ranks are too far apart. This has opened the door for Riot to implement in-client tournaments like they did for League of Legends with Clash, and they’re entertaining the suggestion.

“We’ve heard from others that there is a desire for even more organized team play, but just not in the same queue,” design director Joe Ziegler told players while outlining the Act 3 competitive changes. “We hear you on these things, [but] they may take some time to implement.”

Clash in League of Legends was a replacement for the old ranked fives queue. Instead, teams of friends can take part in monthly tournaments, being seeded into a bracket based on their rank and playing against teams of a similar skill level. There’s also in-game prizes on the line.

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A similar system has been yearned for by Valorant players since the game’s release. Riot have indicated that such a feature could be closer than ever with the Act 3 changes. However, it’s still in development for the time being.

League of Legends Clash client team building page
Riot Games
Clash lets League players team up with friends to take part in in-client tournaments. There’s also prizing for the winners.

“We know there are many of you that like to queue competitive with friends of a wide skill range. We see this demand for this kind of team-based competition, and it’s on our roadmap,” competitive design lead David ‘Milkcow’ Cole said.

“We’re excited on our end to get this team-based feature up and rolling but it’ll be a bit before it’s out live ⁠— it’s a large feature,” he added on Reddit after the changes were announced on October 5.

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Valorant players should definitely get excited at the prospect of League-style in-client tournaments. It’ll add a more structured competitive experience to Valorant, where you can queue with friends to try and take down other five-stacks in a competitive setting without jeopardizing your rank.

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There will also likely be prizes on the line. While League of Legends has profile banners, icons, and skins on the line, maybe in Valorant special player cards, tags, and skins could be drafted up to celebrate those who win. The possibilities are endless, and only time will tell what Riot has in stock for players.