Valorant

Riot handing out big Valorant bans for players who queue with cheaters

Published: 28/Jan/2021 7:20

by Andrew Amos

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Riot Games is making a promise to not just stop Valorant cheaters, but those who play with hackers. New punishments, including big bans, are on the way to stem those who “ride the cheat bus on the highway to hell.”

Cheaters in Valorant have been a big problem since the game’s release. Despite the deep Vanguard anti-cheat, sometimes players slip through the cracks. Late in 2020, this was a massive problem as players grinded for the best Act Rank possible before Episode 2.

Riot’s systems have adapted though. They’ve boasted about their low cheating rate, although were quick to concede that the negative of encountering just one outweighs the positives.

“We’ve worked to make cheating difficult and expensive, and as a result, the percentage of games with a cheater is a fraction of a percent,” developer Matt ‘K3o’ Paoletti told players on January 27.

“However, those who were able to cheat impacted players far too often. Encountering a cheater isn’t just an inconvenience — it could mean a missed promotion, or a demoralizing halt of a win streak.”

While Riot has done a solid job tackling cheaters, including even snagging a prospective pro mid-scrim, there’s another level they need to address ⁠— players who willingly queue with cheaters.

This is harder to detect with Vanguard, as player intent isn’t clear. However, Riot is looking at cracking down on repeat offenders with 90-day bans. It’s not quite a Hardware ID ban like those dished out to cheaters, but it’s something for those who leech off of them.

“We saw that some players also looked to bask in the ill-gotten gains of cheaters by teaming with them—knowing that the cheater would get banned after a few games, but they would get to reap the rewards,” K3o added.

“One of the first new efforts is to discipline players who queue with cheaters, or as we can colloquially call it, ‘ride the cheat bus on the highway to hell.’ Rank should be an indicator of your skill, not your ability to pay for a service.”

Valorant match cancelled due to cheaters
Riot Games
If a cheater is detected in the middle of a match, Valorant will instantly end the game for all competitors.

Further Vanguard anti-cheat changes to recalibrate rank

That change is one of many being implemented to Vanguard in Episode 2. Riot is looking at a system to recalibrate players’ ranks after cheaters are banned. This is a similar system to how Ubisoft tackles hackers in Rainbow Six.

“The team is also looking at other measures to rectify the damage caused by cheaters, most noticeably, re-calibrating your rating after it may have been impacted by illegitimate players. All forms of boosting are being considered,” he said.

More changes are expected in Episode 2 and beyond, but it’s a promising trend to try and tackle what was once an out-of-control problem.

Call of Duty

Warzone Season 2 early patch notes: Ship POI, 2 new weapons, map changes, more

Published: 25/Feb/2021 1:10 Updated: 25/Feb/2021 1:18

by Calum Patterson

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Not long left until Season Two of Warzone kicks off later tonight, so we’ve got everything you need to know about the new update, including new points of interest on the Verdansk map, two weapons, modes, and more.

A new season means new content for Call of Duty’s prized battle royale game. Warzone is set to receive a brand new POI in the shape of a large cargo tanker, along with other undisclosed changes to Verdansk. A couple of new modes will also be making their debut, as well as the FARA 83 assault rifle and LC-10 SMG.

On top of all this new stuff, Raven Software are also making changes to the game and adding in fixes for several bugs. All of the details can be found in the official Season 2 patch notes below.

New Warzone locations in Season 2: Ship POI & map changes

Tanker ship POI in Warzone Season 2.
Activision
New cargo tanker ship POI coming to Warzone in Season 2!

First and foremost, Verdansk is getting some major new points of interest in what feels like forever, starting with the Vodianoy cargo tanker ship that’s approaching the Port. The tanker is said to be carrying “unknown cargo,” so players will be able to access it for loot, although it could end up being a hot spot early in the season.

That’s not the only new POI in Season 2, but it’s the only one we know of right now. Activision said that “something major is beginning to rumble deep underground” within Verdansk and that players can explore these areas at their own risk since further intel is currently “classified.”

New Warzone weapons in Season 2: FARA 83 & LC-10

FARA 83 in Season 2
Treyarch
The FARA 83 assault rifle can be unlocked by reaching Tier 15 of the Season 2 Battle Pass.

Black Ops Cold War is set to receive six new weapons in Season 2, which means that they’ll all be available in Warzone as well due to the two games’ integration within each other.

Two of those weapons will be released right at the launch of S2 – the FARA 83 assault rifle and LC-10 SMG. The FARA 83 is a remake of the iconic Galil AR from previous Black Ops titles, while the LC-10 is a brand new addition to the series.

The FARA can be unlocked by reaching Tier 15 of the S2 Battle Pass while the LC-10 is available after Tier 31.

LC-10 SMG in Season 2
Treyarch
The brand new LC-10 SMG is available at Tier 31 of the Season 2 Battle Pass.

New Warzone modes in Season 2

Rebirth Island Resurgence Extreme

Activision
Rebirth Island is about to get wild in Season 2!

Rebirth Island’s new Resurgence Extreme mode will be available right away when Season 2 launches. This is essentially the current Resurgence mode but on steroids, increasing the player count up to 90!

“The high-octane, respawn-enabled Resurgence mode on Rebirth Island will be taken to the extreme during Season Two, upping the max player count in the limited-time Rebirth Island Resurgence Extreme mode. Up to 90 players can drop onto Rebirth Island for an incredibly frenetic fight for supremacy, as they look to eliminate every last member of enemy squads to prevent them from getting a second, third, or even forth chance at revenge.

Just like Resurgence, squad members can spawn back in if their Rebirth Countdown hits zero and at least one of their allies is still alive, and specific Caches around the map will refresh their items frequently to ensure there is no shortage of firepower around the island.”

Exfiltration

Activision
Warzone Season 2’s new Exfiltration mode will be played on Verdansk.

Exfiltration is a new mode that will be played on Verdansk. It will be added in-season, meaning it won’t be available at the start of Season 2.

“It’s about time that the exfil chopper arrives before the Circle Collapse fully closes in. During an Exfiltration Battle Royale, a portable radio crackles into life, coming online somewhere in Verdansk. The Operator who secures this radio and holds onto it for a sufficient period of time automatically wins the game for them (or their squad, in non-Solo modes). To ensure their exfil isn’t by the book, anyone holding the radio is marked on the Tac Map as if they were under a Most Wanted Contract (also known as an HVT or High Value Target) with all Operators also receiving intel on how much longer the current radio holder has until they win. Other than this new win condition, the same Battle Royale rules apply. Expect a circle collapse and a winner to be determined by last Operator or squad standing, should nobody receive an early exfil with the radio.”

When is Warzone Season 2? Update release date & time

Both the Warzone Season 2 update and all of the new Season 2 content will be hitting live servers at the same time: February 24 at 9PM PT.

Here are the release times around the world:

  • February 24
    • 9:00 PM PT
    • 11:00 PM CT
  • February 25
    • 12:00 AM ET
    • 5:00 AM GMT (UK)
    • 6:00 AM CET (EU)
    • 4:00 PM AEDT (Australia)

For more details about the new content for Black Ops Cold War multiplayer and Zombies, make sure to check out the BOCW Season 2 Patch Notes and our “What’s new in Black Ops Cold War Season 2” page.