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08/13/20

Ask VALORANT #5

This is Ask VALORANT. You keep asking us questions so we think we should probably answer them, here, every other week. This week it’s Agent design, abilities, and anti-cheat.
Q
I heard someone at Riot once say that “abilities don’t kill” in VALORANT, but... there are clearly ones that do, like Raze. Are you breaking your promise?

A

This statement isn't completely accurate—especially in a game that already had Raze and Killjoy's gameplay locked in before our announcement... Anyway, that was our mistake—a big part of that mistake was in missing the nuance (specifically that tactical fundamentals—not just “abilities don't kill”—are a key component).

Guns provide the vast majority of kills, and even our damage abilities are designed with the goal of creating threat. When well-played against, guns should be the primary method used to finish off opponents that are preoccupied with a distraction, or trying to avoid the damage. In cases where that isn't holding up—like mid-combat Blast Pack usage—we'll fix those as part of our ongoing commitment to tactical gameplay.

If this promise (abilities never kill) was the thing that made you come to try VALORANT, we're sorry if we misled you, even unintentionally. But our position is, and has been, that abilities that deal damage are a core part of tactical games—whether it be VALORANT or other tac shooters. We can unpack this topic more in the future if you’re interested!

—Ryan “Morello” Scott, Character Design Lead

Q
Are there any abilities or kits that are a no-go in VALORANT? How far is too far for?

A

Specifically, we try to avoid abilities that would remove the high-consequence gunplay. Increased maximum health tends to be a no-fly zone, as do abilities that replace guns (that aren't an ultimate, like Jett or Raze).

—Ryan “Morello” Scott, Character Design Lead

Q
Hi anti-cheat team! We haven’t heard much from you these days, just wondering how things are going. Can you tell us how many cheaters you’ve banned so far?

A

Hi! We've been toiling away in the anti-cheat mines but we've missed talking to you all.

So far we've banned a bunch of cheaters (and their computers) from the game, and have generally tried to keep the miscreants out. We can always do better, but I think we're doing well overall.

I don't have a total number of bans to share but I didn't want you to leave empty handed so I brought something for you number fans out there: 1802

That's the number of manual bans the anti-cheat team has issued after investigating suspicious players. While the overwhelming majority of bans are automatically applied by Vanguard, me and the rest of the team manually review suspicious accounts. This helps us find previously unknown cheats and also lets us evaluate Vanguard's performance. It also gives us an opportunity to manually accelerate the ban for the most disruptive players.

What’s that like? Personally, I like to start my day with coffee and a list of suspicious players sorted by most reported. I start drinking my coffee and go through the list manually reviewing accounts until I've had enough. Coffee, not reviewing. And I really like coffee, which is probably why I am currently top of the team leaderboard for most accounts reviewed. I doubt I'll hold the position for long though because we've recently expanded the pool of people investigating—so I have a lot more competition.

Hmmm. I suddenly feel the need for some more coffee...and justice. So I'll see you later!

—Paul “Arkem” Chamberlain, Anti-cheat Lead