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07/31/20

Ask VALORANT #4

This is Ask VALORANT. We collected your top questions from under a certain frog’s hat and chose a few to answer every other week. Weapon skin animations, VALORANT lore, hit reg, and custom Agent keybinds are on the docket.


Q

Have you considered an option to disable the special animations / sound effects of gun skins? While the aesthetics of the skins are pretty nice, all the effects around them can be distracting.


A

Yes, we discussed this a lot before launch. There are a few things that we had to consider first before we started building any tech to support something like this, including how players would react to custom effects, animation, and sound.

First of all, we’re committed to fixing anything that compromises the competitive integrity of the game. If it’s objectively interfering with our players’ gameplay, we’ll fix it (like we did for the equip animation and sound priority on the Elderflame Operator). We try to build all of our skins so that they aren't something that players will want to turn off, but we realize that players will always have different tastes. For example, when the Oni skins released, we had lots of players tell us to turn up the audio because they couldn't hear the subtle ghostly sounds in the middle of combat. And, of course, many other players begged us to keep the volume as it is because it was perfect for them.

In terms of the feasibility of turning off different skin elements individually, the possibilities become infinitely complicated. What if I want animations but not the effects? How does that look? Or I don't want the audio, but I want the animations and/or effects? If we played the base audio, it wouldn't sync up to the animations anymore. With so many possible combinations, we can't feasibly ensure a quality, cohesive experience for players. And that's not something we want to compromise.

What is more feasible is enabling the option for a player to toggle between all the levels of a skin they own. This way, if you own a Level 4 Elderflame Operator, you can still toggle down to Levels 1-3, rather than being stuck only using Level 4. A system like this takes time to build and means that the engineers working on it aren't tackling other equally important gameplay needs. All that said, we recognize the value in Skin Level Toggling, and it's something we want to invest in.

—Preeti Khanolkar, Producer, and Sean Marino, Art Lead


Q

When do we get more lore?


A

Are you asking why a chunk of Italy is in the sky? If it can go twice as high? You'll start to understand more as things unfold, but Italy rising into the air is the inciting event for the conflict of VALORANT.

We've always believed that art, creative, and story should serve competitive gameplay first. Now, this doesn't mean we can't tell stories in the world of VALORANT, but that we should pursue other methods—hints and connections buried within the game—while building on a foundational universe that we may never fully explain. We hope you'll join us!


Q

Would you consider the option to create custom keybinds for each Agent?


A

Agent-specific keybinds are very high on our priority list and we've already started work on the feature. Exact patch timing is still unknown, but it's something we want to deliver to players ASAP.

—Jason Falcone, Principal UX Designer


Q

A while back there was a "known issue" with crouching and hitboxes. I was wondering if you fixed it, because sometimes I still see headshots register as body shots?


A

Short answer: Yes, we found and fixed a hit registration bug caused by crouch synchronization in a previous patch.

Long answer: We don't believe there are any major issues with hit registration correctness currently in VALORANT. However, we understand that visual clarity on the result of a shot (particularly in the crouching case) isn't always the best. In this specific example, it’s confusing because a player can crouch their head behind a body shot particle effect, making it look like a headshot.

We're currently iterating on ways to improve readability in this and other scenarios. We're aiming to share an article soon that takes a closer look at the state of hit reg and what we're working on improving, so stay tuned!

—Kevin Lee, Game Systems