Riot Games are clamping down on toxic players in Valorant, but they’re looking to rethink their approach, after complaints are surfacing about the negative effect communication bans are having on others’ games.
Toxic players are inevitable in online gaming. Regardless of genre, you will likely come across a degree of toxicity at some point. While trolls are often looking to ruin the game for others, Riot are keen on ensuring their impact is negated by their comprehensive reporting system in Valorant.
Players who build up enough reports for toxic behavior will be investigated by Riot. Providing there’s enough grounds, the devs will punish the player in question with a ban of some kind — depending on the severity of their actions.
But innocent players are beginning to grow tired of inadvertently having to pay the price for others’ actions, and Riot have responded to player complaints, with one developer agreeing that their system needs to be improved.
Should innocent players be paying the price for toxicity?
Imagine you enter your rank-up game, but one of your players has been hit with a communication ban. While this isn’t the end of the world, it does handicap your team severely. And this is the crux of one Redditor’s argument, who believes that the way players are punished needs to be changed.
“If you randomly get a banned player, your [communications] get hurt a lot. Why is this even a thing? If someone’s terribly toxic, you can just mute them,” the user argued. This garnered the attention of one of the developers whose responsibility is to dish out penalties relative to their actions.
“What we have today isn’t what we intend to be the final solution and we’re working on making it better,” the developer explained. “I’ll admit that we probably underestimated the negative effect on teammates of having a comms muted player and that’s something that we’re going to think more about.”
Of course, since Valorant is still very much in its infancy compared to where Riot wants it to be in the long-term — see Riot’s ambition to expand the Agent pool to 60+ characters — they’re continually learning how to adapt their approach and align it with the community’s demands.
The Valorant dev continued to explain how they’d be looking to change how the communication system works. “An awesome future would be to have tools that give the speed of use and specificity of voice chat today, without requiring players to participate in freeform voice chat.”
Riot have previously stated their intentions to improve Valorant’s ping system, to enhance how callouts are delivered by non-verbal comms. While this wouldn’t solve the negative impact banned players have on their team, it would be a step in the right direction.