VALORANT News: servers
Thu, May 21, 2020
Game Director Joe Ziegler and Executive Producer Anna Donlon surprised fans with a video announcement. They revealed that the game would not be launching in a few months, but in a few weeks! Tuesday, June 2nd, to be exact.
While exactly how the global rollout will proceed has not been revealed, this is great news for fans not able to make it into the closed beta.
With server stability, anti-cheat, ranked, and other systems being fine-tuned, is Riot Games ready for launch?
The VALORANT team addressed all of these issues in a blog post.
On Vanguard, the anti-cheat system, the team mentioned that it’s still a work in progress. At launch a new auto-ban system will be deployed that can aggressively remove waves of cheaters as they are detected.
On addressing player behavior, an automated report system will help the team widely enforce a policy that discourages player harassment. 72-hour voice and chat restrictions will be doled out to those found in violation of the policy
On servers, the team is working with ISPs globally to improve routing to the best servers. In the short-term new gamer server deployment will happen in Warsaw, Madrid, London, Atlanta, and Dallas. The team is also looking to address latency issues in Colombia, Argentina, and Eastern Europe.
On regions at launch, the game will not yet be available in Vietnam. Players in India and the Middle East will be routed to SEA and European servers respectively until servers can be built out in those areas.
On the game itself, the team says they will continue to take note of bugs and balance issues to maintain competitive integrity. We can also expect new agents, new maps, new skins, and new ways to compete. Having an alternative game mode by launch or a few weeks after is on their to-do-list.
We’ll keep you updated on further announcements as the launch date draws closer.
Read the full blog post from the VALORANT team »
Fri, May 1, 2020
After a successful EU roll out of the hotfix, Ranked is now live in EU & NA!
The VALORANT hotfix patch brought stability to servers, addressing a number of service issues and bugs. This allowed Riot Games developers to feel confident in rolling out ranked in NA first, then EU in the early morning hours of May 1st.
Looking for Ranked mode? Click the “Play” button at the top of the screen. Then click the “Competitive” tab that appears below.
Remember, to play Ranked matches you must meet the following requirements:
- Complete 20 Unrated matches to unlock Competitive mode
- Queue with up to 5-player parties, but must be within 2 ranks
The eight levels of rank, each divided into three tiers are: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and the highest rank — VALORANT.
For a complete run through of Competitive mode, check out our review of the initial reveal, here.
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
A Hotfix patch is incoming to correct exploits, fix 2 bugs & to bring back the headshot sound, according to a late night post from VALORANT’s Twitter account on April 29th.
The Hotfix will roll out as follows:
- NA: Thursday, April 30 at 4:30am PT. Servers back at 12pm PT
- EU: Friday, May 1 at 3:30am CEST. Servers back at 9:30am CEST
If all goes well, the VALORANT team might activate ranked mode after the hotfix!
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments here at VALORANT Haven.
UPDATE (April 30 - 12pm CDT): NA Server maintanance is taking a bit longer than expected. The VALORANT team now expects NA servers to go back online around 12pm PDT.
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
While Patch 0.49 did roll out, unexpected service issues & bugs prevented Riot from activating Rated mode. An ETA hasn’t been announced, but they did state they “will let you know tomorrow.”
Executive Producer, Anna Donlon noted earlier in the day on April 29th (as EU servers were coming back online):
Stability issues continued as NA servers were updated with the new patch. At 12PM PDT as NA servers were coming back online, the VALORANT Twitter account announced that Ranked would not be activated at this time:
VALORANT Game Director, Joe Ziegler added:
While fans waiting to jump into ranked will be disappointed, it’s best to wait until servers are stable.
The sheer number of fixes in Patch 0.49, as well as the VALORANT team working remotely, means we should all give them additional time to get things working. The VALORANT team has been great about being transparent throughout the Closed Beta, and this is no exception.
While there’s no ETA for Rated mode’s launch yet, we’d presume it’s all hands on deck for VALORANT’s engineers as they work through fixes to have it running soon.
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
EU and NA servers went down today for the rollout of Patch 0.49, including: the launch of Ranked in “Rated” mode, a number of bug fixes, & QoL updates.
EU matchmaking & servers went down at 3:30AM CEST on April 29th, and came back up around 9AM CEST.
NA matchmaking & servers went down at 4:30AM PDT and will come back up at 10AM PDT.
A ton of changes and fixes are featured in patch 0.49 including:
- The addition of Rated mode
- Bug fixes for several Agent’s abilities like Phoenix’s Run it Back, Cypher’s Cyber Cage, & Viper’s Viper’s Pit,
- Fixes to the Spike getting stuck in the map
- Observer mode polishing
- HUD, UI, Menu, and Game Client updates
- Quality of Life updates:
- Audio occlusion system updates to help differentiate audio distancing queues
- Penalties for leavers of matchmade games or dodging agent selects, with increasing queue time penalties for frequent offenses.
Check out the full patch notes from Riot, here.
Mon, Apr 27, 2020
It seems that developers have been churning out FPS games at a staggering pace over the last decade or so. However, only a handful have stayed relevant over the years. The one game that comes to mind is Counter Strike and all of its variants. From CS 1.6 as far back as 2000 to CS:GO now, CS has been a staple in the team based competitive shooter scene and is considered the gold standard for this genre. It is essentially what games such as Valorant and Rainbow 6 Siege are striving to become.
How has CS stayed on top?
- Skill. All players, regardless of experience, have the same weapons/controls and there is no pay to win advantage. There is always a bit of RNG as with all games, but skill is still by far the determining factor in winning/losing.
- Team Dynamics. CS was one of the first games that emphasized team play and different roles. It is important to have superstar play makers but rarely does one player outweigh the importance of proper team play.
- Round Lengths. Battle Royale style games are all the rage still but there is a large segment of gamers that prefers the shorter round matches. This keeps things fresh and engaging. 20-30 minute games just aren’t for everyone.
- Maps. Balanced maps and map design are extremely important. CS has had the benefit of 20+ years of trial and error and millions of hours of playtime to perfect its most popular maps. You don’t want a map that heavily favors one side or another or that is complicated to figure out.
- Skins. Cosmetics and visual addons has fueled CS:GO. It has been instrumental and extremely important from a profitability standpoint as well helping players stay engaged with the game.
- Computer Requirements. CS has always been a computer friendly game. Most PCs can probably run CS in some playable fashion assuming you have a semi decent video card.
- Free to Play. This has kept CS:GO popular since...who doesn’t like free?
Valorant is trying to duplicate the CS franchise but they want to go a step further. From just looking at the gameplay without the special abilities, it seems very similar to CS and you would be right. Each gun has its own special pros and cons, rounds are fairly short, and there is a period that allows you to purchase weapons/abilities at the start of every round. It even seems that the majority of CS pros have found success playing Valorant during this beta run and that should not be surprising to anyone. However, the addition of special abilities, further game development, and the promise of faster servers and seamless gameplay have made Valorant one of the most anticipated games of the year.
In Valorant, you can control an agent of your choice and each agent has a special role and abilities that hopefully complements the rest of your team. From resurrecting and healing allies, to shooting wall hack arrows that reveal enemies, the possibilities are endless. These agent classes give a bit of spice to the typical CS:GO team where all players are exactly identical except for different cosmetics. The gameplay and shooting is fairly similar, but the agent classes adds another layer of tactical skill and specialization skill that CS doesn’t offer. It allows for more team composition varieties and tactical exploration.
Valorant also is hoping to provide the fastest servers and most seamless gaming experience. Short wait times and low pings are what most gamers look for and Riot is hoping to deliver. It is rare when a developer emphasizes exemplary coding as a main. There is nothing more frustrating than shots that don’t register or long wait queues to play.
By making this game free to play, Riot is trying to get as many players as possible and this is also apparent by looking at the graphics and hardware requirements. Minimum requirements are Intel i3-370M and Intel HD 3000. That means that most $300 laptops should be able to run this or even 5 year old desktops. While you may not get 240FPS, the game will be playable and the more players that play, the better for Riot. One of the reasons CS:GO has stuck around is the cosmetics and Riot is trying to capitalize on the exact same thing with their new in-game store. Large amounts of players with optional in-game cosmetic purchases has proven to be a printing press for money.
Riot has also emphasized anti-cheat and development as important cornerstones of the game. Cheating is self explanatory. While it is frustrating getting stomped on by a team of good players, nothing grinds my gears more than cheaters. Cheaters ruin the experience for players on both teams and are in essence wasting everyone’s precious time. Valorant has run into cheaters already during this Beta test (Shroud documented a cheater in one of his games on youtube). This is a beta run so we’ll let it slide for now. Hopefully, Riot can clean it up a bit by the time the game officially launches.
Constant improvements and updates will also be a breath of fresh air. One major issue with CS:GO is that it has seemed stagnant for the last decade or so besides the cosmetics store. The most popular maps are played over and over again and there hasn’t been anything groundbreaking new development/official gameplay. You don’t fix what’s not broken but we hope Riot treats their first entry into the FPS world seriously and gives players, new and old reason, to be excited going forward.
Is Valorant a subtle rip off of CS? Probably a bit. The weapons, maps, objectives, and overall style is very similar. But the new feature abilities and promise of optimization/development will hopefully push this game to the next echelon of not only casual, but competitive gaming. Riot has been able to sit back and see what works and take cues from games such as CS and Overwatch to improve their product. With a strong development team, an overall positive response to the beta so far, and the deep pockets of Riot, we expect this game to be not only polished, but extremely fun to play. We look forward to the official launch.
Wed, Apr 22, 2020
Riot Games announced they are taking down EU and NA VALORANT servers to roll out Patch 0.47+ during the Closed Beta.
EU matchmaking servers went down at 3:30AM CEST on April 22, then were turned off. Servers were restored at 9AM CEST.
NA matchmaking went down at 4:30AM PDT on April 22, then servers went offline at 6AM PDT. Servers came back up at 10AM PDT.
VALORANT devs pleased fans by releasing full patch notes! In an era where some game devs have decided against releasing any patch notes at all, the clarity here is helpful.
A number of Gameplay, Balance, Map Updates, Quality of Life and Bug Fixes are included. Most notably a nerf to Raze, a slight buff to Sage’s Slow Orb, double melee damage to destructibles, fixing Cypher’s Spycam weapon using exploit, exploits on Bind, Haven and Split maps, and reducing outbound network traffic and server crashes.
Read the full patch notes here.