Ask VALORANT #8
This is Ask VALORANT. Our digital town hall brings you answers to community questions every other week. Today we go into how we’re validating some perceived game-to-game inconsistencies, the work behind a potential left hand view model, the recent map rotation update, and updating weapon skins.
Are there any updates regarding a “Left Hand View model”?
We know that this is something that a lot of players have been asking for and we've been doing some exploration into this. We're currently in the process of validating how this would work from not just a technical side but from a competitive and artistic front as well. While this may seem like a small technical challenge, we want to make sure this is done right for players. To do this we need to validate a couple of different things:
The first thing we want to consider is how we maintain the art fidelity of our awesome weapon skins, character models, and abilities. We don't frequently get to see different camera views of our first person weapons and viewarms so we'll need to make sure our art still holds up when we switch hands for players. We'll need to make sure that abilities still originate from the same place and that our hot fire still looks like... well... hot fire.
The second aspect we need to consider is how this might impact the competitive integrity of the game. We want to ensure that there are no advantages or disadvantages to playing with a left handed view model and that we maintain a fair competitive playing field. We want to make sure that left hand view isn't the new meta or that players with this preference aren't nerfed.
While this is something on our radar, we still need to ensure that we meet the criteria mentioned above and to do so we'll need to put these changes through rigorous competitive and artistic testing. With all that in mind, we unfortunately don't have a date we can share for when we think this will be available to players.
—Steven Eldredge, Senior Producer
Are you open to updating existing skins, like adding effects for Spline?
We’re open to it! We’ve stated before that we’re potentially open to adding Variants to melees, so it’s not out of the question for us to update an existing skin line. It all comes down to how much players want it, how much work it is, and what things we don’t make as a result (weighing the trade offs). We’ve done little stealth updates that are pretty fast, like changing the gun buddy mount colors on the Agent skins. But going back to add effects to a skin line like Spline is definitely not fast or easy!
So, as of right now, we don't have plans to add feature-based upgrades (like VFX, new animations, or audio) to existing skins. Before we take on something like this, we want to make sure we're making changes players actually want, and that what we're doing is sustainable. That requires more research and testing, which takes time and resources to complete. So even if we did decide to pursue this, players probably wouldn't see it for a while. Going back to work on something we’ve already released means that we aren’t working on the next awesome thing that you’re all waiting for. This is a trade off we don’t take lightly, because ultimately we want to prioritize the content you all want most.
—Sean Marino, Art Lead, and Preeti Khanolkar, Producer
Will the map rotation changes in patch 1.08 result in longer queue times?
These changes will not impact queue times! That's the main reason we didn't hard restrict players from getting the same map multiple times in a row, but instead made it so we significantly reduce the chance of that occurrence. This way, we maintain a little bit of flexibility to keep queue times popping at the same pace.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer
This is probably frustrating to hear but: it feels like my experience with VAL on a game-to-game basis is inconsistent, like sometimes I'll have problems landing basic shots but other times everything will feel buttery smooth. I'm not trying to make excuses for my own performance, but something just doesn't always feel right. Do you feel this or see it? Are you investigating?
We’re not dodging this, but understanding what’s going on has been a real hoot. I’ll also say it’s not just you: we’re constantly pulse-checking where players are at on the “reliability and consistency of combat” though surveys, gameplay analytics, and yes, social media (hi, Reddit). Over the past couple months, we noticed some less than inspiring trends on perceptions of shooting reliability (namely, declining positive sentiment around “My bullets reliably hit targets when I expect them to”), so that prompted us to dig deeper.
As I bring up what some players are saying, keep in mind there is a team on VALORANT that is chasing down issues with hit registration and clarity, and they've shipped changes throughout VALORANT's existence so far. But for things like "VALORANT feels different game to game," it can be hard to nail down exactly what that means. For these types of situations, we like to sit down with players (in this case, ranging from Gold to Immortal+) to hear in their own words what's going on.
In our conversations, these players said (broadly) that shooting felt reliable and consistent the vast majority of the time—however, there was also clear room for improvement. They highlighted these opportunities for improving reliability in combat: increasing hitbox clarity, improving readability and predictability of states of movement inaccuracy, and minimizing the difference in gameplay feel across different ping conditions. Those sound like good spaces to investigate, so we are!
We’re now in the process of digging into each one of these, while also trying to build a more holistic picture of gameplay reliability—one that blends player sentiment, gameplay analytics, and a deep technical analysis of our underlying systems. Ensuring the game respects you and your opponents’ skill is critical to delivering on the promise of VALORANT, and we won’t be setting this to the side any time soon. Keep the feedback coming, and we’ll keep on digging.
—Steve Mack, Insights Lead