Ask VALORANT #10
This week’s Ask VALORANT covers weekly challenges, filthy smurfs, and...wait, did you say “test server”?
Thoughts on adding more weekly challenges?
The goal of weekly challenges was to provide a bulk source of XP progress and tie some playful texture to the progression experience. To be frank, we're not happy with the current state, as some of them can be a grind. It's also been difficult to strike the right balance between interesting missions and not promoting unhealthy play patterns (eg. playing only to harvest orbs and use your ult).
Our short term outlook is to reduce the completion requirement for many weeklies in Act III and remove the worst offenders completely. So hopefully these changes, along with the extended length of Act III, many more of you will progress further and faster into the Battlepass.
Long term, we want to revisit how to keep game-to-game progression engaging. It's still early, but we have a design that seems promising for further exploration.
—Naoise Creavan, Senior Production Manager
Smurfing is inevitable in ranked games, but I’m curious what you’re doing to discourage smurfs in VALORANT?
Smurfing always sucks, especially when you have rank on the line. While it’s hard to stop smurfing entirely in a free-to-play game, we are taking action to combat it. Right now we have a behind-the-scenes system for Unrated as well as one that applies to Iron through Diamond ranked players. The latter tracks an individual’s performance and notices when a player makes a highly disproportionate impact in a game. We then quickly boost them to harder matches and higher ranks in Competitive.
We stop leveraging this system for Immortal+ players because there isn't a ton of room to smurf or play down when you are already near the top ranks. Longer term, we’re also looking at ways to further accelerate placing smurfs into appropriately skilled matches. But right now we are prioritizing some improvements to our core rank system and leaderboards ahead of that.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer
Is VALORANT going to get a test server, like League has PBE?
Yes! We will be creating a selectively updated pre-release environment, or PBE, some time in the first half of 2021. Specific features/queues will be advertised or limited and patches will be targeted for a certain length of time in advance of going live.
For those that are familiar with the League of Legends PBE, this will serve a similar purpose. We hope to expand on what we have learned and provide an early access experience that does not drastically differ from the live version of VALORANT, but still allows for a glimpse into what we are working on. This will also help us to gather more information so we can capture performance changes and expose bugs early that players might run into.
—Corrie Hardin, Senior Release Manager