Riot Games give first clues about new Valorant Agents and abilities - Dexerto

Riot Games give first clues about new Valorant Agents and abilities

Published: 27/Jun/2020 10:54

by Andy Williams


Riot have detailed what the abilities for future Agents in Valorant could look like, as they work on expanding their diverse roster of characters.

Valorant is a high fidelity, competitive FPS at heart. But one of the core attributes that sets the futuristic tactical shooter apart from the rest of the pack, is the characters and their supporting abilities. 

Split into four types, each Valorant Agent serves their own purpose in the server. Whether you rock a Duelist to support a hyper-aggressive, entry-fragging playstyle, or a Controller to bolster your team’s attack/defense, there’s an Agent tailored for you.

While the Agent meta has settled into a good spot following Patch 1.02, it seems like more characters could be joining the fold – and adding a bit of flavor into the mix – in the not too distant future, per Eurogamer’s interview with some Riot devs.

Valorant's Agents filtered by type.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Which Agent best suits you?

When asked about the design work that goes into Agents and their corresponding abilities, Valorant Game Director, Joe Ziegler, delved into how Riot prioritized specific functions for certain Agents.

“Our framework for the starting eleven Agents in our roster was to cover the basics of the functions of the known tactical space in creative and interesting ways, while also adding a few new elements here and there to challenge the notion of what is possible in the space.”

Ziegler then touched on ‘the basics’ which can be seen when drawing parallels between games like CS:GO and Overwatch. “Vision blocking, breaching, flushing and distracting […] a lot of our tools for our initial characters focused on filling those purposes.”

Valorant player at Reactor Site A on Bind.
Riot Games
There are a plethora of abilities in Valorant, which adds another layer to Spike Defuse.

Although, perhaps more interestingly, Ziegler delved into what we might see with upcoming Agents and how Riot are looking to expand their horizon to ensure Valorant’s meta never becomes stale.

“With our upcoming Agents, we’re looking to broaden a bit on that and challenge some new areas of the tactical space and allow for the creation of new strategies; new types of plays. I won’t give any spoilers here, but I look forward to seeing how the gameplay evolves with these additions.”

While no specific abilities were mentioned, it’s clear that Riot are keen on remolding the tactical shooter genre, and Agent abilities will play a big role in facilitating that.


Valorant dev responds to players asking for map-specific queues

Published: 29/Nov/2020 1:30

by Alan Bernal


A Valorant developer gave weight to the idea of map-specific queues after Icebox’s mixed reception made it difficult for some to get any meaningful practice on the map.

Icebox has been a divisive addition to Valorant. There are some members of the community who swear it’s a great example of a tactical map that demands a thoughtful approach to Agent ability usage; and there are others who believe it’s the worst map to grace the game.

Unfortunately, people in either camp share the same matchmaking playlist. This presents a problem, at times, in which people who want to play Icebox can matchmake with someone else who will then dodge that particular map.

Luckily, there are discussions within Riot Games for a solution that could include special playlists that feature specific maps.

Riot Games
Some players have been dodging Icebox too many times, and Riot might try to find a solution for it.

“Could you please put a separate queue so that we can quickly get some experience,” a message to Riot said. “I found it hard to get used to Icebox because people keep dodging so I can’t rack up the hours to get used to the map.”

Riot Insight and Strategy dev on Valorant, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, responded with an encouraging word, noting how the idea is “a great suggestion and it’s something we’ve talked about ourselves as well.”

One of the last times Riot addressed map selection playlists was back in July, when Senior Producer Ian Fielding said from a competitive standpoint, separating the matchmaking pool wasn’t ideal for players.

“Splitting up matchmaking into separate map pools would reduce the overall players in our matchmaking pool,” Fielding said in an Ask Valorant blog. “Which not only slows down matchmaking, but makes it more difficult for us to produce fair matches.

“Given that, we currently don’t have plans to enable map specific selection for Matchmaking.”

riot valorant map selection

As disappointed as some players might have been, Altombre’s update has given some hope that Valorant could one day include these smaller matchmaking queues.

Although who’s to say it would look anything like the kind found in CS:GO. In League of Legends, Riot has people lock in a primary and secondary role to choose which one they get in a match.

In some instances, a player won’t get either. Moreover, if the system determines there’s a lack of sufficient players queuing for a certain role, then the game offers a brief reward for anyone willing to fill it.

csgo map selector matchmaking
Valve via 7tlo Reddit
A map selector could be coming to Valorant, though it might not look what people are familiar in CS:GO.

A general idea like that could be applied to Valorant’s maps. Although tweaked to fit the concept, that could be a solution to let people choose which two locales they prefer, while maintaining the possibility of getting any map at the end of the day.

In either case, it sounds like Riot wants to tackle this issue in some capacity soon, and hopefully it results in a meaningful quality of life update for Valorant.