Valorant

Valorant dev responds to players asking for map-specific queues

Published: 29/Nov/2020 1:30

by Alan Bernal

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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.

Overwatch

Blizzard changes Overwatch Priority Pass again to stop system abuse

Published: 16/Jan/2021 2:04

by Andrew Amos

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Blizzard has implemented more changes to their Overwatch Priority Pass program to stop players from abusing the system to get their preferred role more often.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch has been a successful addition so far. Giving players the option to jump the queue for high-traffic roles by sacrificing a few games has helped tackle the game’s long queue times.

However, it hasn’t been without its flaws. Game quality has been pulled into question, with people playing off-role for these passes. Also, people have been abusing the current system to just stack passes quickly by intentionally losing.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Priority Passes have been a hit with Overwatch players, but it’s not perfect.

Blizzard are looking to crack down on the latter issue with their latest changes to Priority Pass on January 15.

“Our data indicates that the Priority Pass is functioning as intended, generally providing shorter queue times for those who use them. The goal of the Priority Pass is to improve player experience and get players into matches quicker,” community manager Josh Nash told players.

“In the same vein, we don’t want this feature to have a negative impact on the quality of matches for yourself or others. We want to do our part to discourage players from intentionally losing and ruining matches for the sake of earning priority passes.”

If you lose a match while playing for passes, you’ll only gain one pass instead of two. This will stop players from just inting their games for the ticket.

Blizzard are also refunding passes to players if they queued up for a role using Priority Pass, but then had to wait longer than the estimated time for it.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Blizzard
These changes mean you won’t burn through your passes as quickly.

These changes are active immediately, so you can make use of them straight away. Blizzard are continuing to tweak the system as time goes on, and are “ looking into how we can better communicate when you are rewarded passes after playing a match.”