Shane Dwyer

Shane Dwyer

Shane has seen esports blossom from projector screens at a comic book store to sold-out arenas with adoring fans. His accolades are modest, but he is a true fan of the gaming community. He aims to bring a strong voice to esports as a whole as it grows in popularity around the world.

Valorant: Riot Games Provides More Details on Patch 0.50

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Riot provides insight on status changes for Peeker’s Advantage, Ranked, and Vanguard.


It’s been a whirlwind for Valorant over the past month-plus. It's strange to think that we are still only in the beta. Patch 0.50 is certainly the most comprehensive update so far and, today, Riot provided a follow-up to discuss the details in depth. We will walk through each segment and provide some thoughts about the changes.

Peeker’s Advantage

The first thing Riot wanted to make clear is that Peeker’s Advantage is never going to be eliminated completely. Their goal, however, is to “minimize it as much as possible”.

Valorant’s technical engineering lead, David Straily, provided players with a lot of math - which was very engineer-like of him. Luckily, it’s mostly addition, so it's easy enough to follow along.

In short, by measuring the milliseconds of four critical components, they are able to determine how much of an advantage one player might have on another. The consistent components include the Network Interp Display (Network Buffering) and the Server Framerate. The variable components include 1-Way Network Lag (For you and your enemy) and Your Client Framerate.

<ENEMY'S CLIENT FRAMERATE> + <ENEMY'S 1-WAY NETWORK LAG> + <SERVER FRAMERATE> + <YOUR 1-WAY NETWORK LAG> + <NETWORK INTERP DELAY>

When these five things are added together, there is roughly 40-70 ms advantage for the person running the better system. Although it is a small amount, any amount of time over your enemy to react can prove deadly.

Riot will try to lower that number as much as they can with future updates. With that said, don’t expect that number to ever hit zero.

Strafe Shooting

Straily also went over the problem with strafe shooting. Strafe shooting is when an enemy appears to be running on your screen, but on the enemy screen, they are standing still. This is something that would likely lead a person to be very confused by how accurate their enemy is while running.

There is a lot of information provided about this subject, but it all pertains to possible future solutions. The only solution they offer that can be implemented right away is Plan E. This plan would result in “a player setting for “no” remote interp delay; it will get rid of that 7.8125ms desync, but at the expense of you seeing a lot of visual “player pops” when you have packet loss.”

For now, this particular issue is not going away. But it does seem like Riot is fully aware of the problem and has a few options in mind to fix it before the final product is unleashed. Keep checking the updates to see if there are any improvements being implemented to combat strafe shooting.

Ranked

Product Manager Ian Flemming, of the competitive team, is up next to go over questions with the new competitive mode.

The main question relates to one of the issues that I actually mentioned in a previous article: Why does Valorant allow any premade [group] size for ranked? Since it was a question I asked previously, I made sure to analyze their answer carefully.

Flemming states that the overall focus of the game is team play. So rather than have a dedicated solo queue, which would apparently encourage individual skill over team play, they opted to allow any group size to participate in the same queues with a matchmaking system that favors teams with similar premade group sizes.

As such, we would have to trust that Riot’s matchmaking will place teams against each other with similar premade group sizes. However, the main complaint people have is that the matchmaking is not organizing teams based on group size well enough.

I am not particularly satisfied with the response. The approach is unwarranted given that we know Riot can provide quality matchmaking with separate queues. We will have to see how the improved matchmaking compares and, of course, wait for the final product to see if they continue on this path or split the queues.

Flemming also mentioned that winning a match is the main metric for advancing in ranked. Individual numbers alone will not move you up the ladder. As such, if you aim to be a contender in the competitive scene, I suggest you find a good group and stick with them to increase your chances of winning.

Anti-Cheat

Lastly, Paul Chamberlain, Valorant’s anti-cheat lead, provided some reassuring news about updates to Vanguard. They are expanding compatibility with almost all previously vulnerable software (a few drivers are still blocked). Riot will also look to provide non-invasive solutions in the future and disable the game, not the software, if a security threat presents itself. It is very refreshing to see the changes being implemented quickly regarding this sensitive topic.

All in all, we got some helpful and informative details about a really important update. We look forward to the continued improvement and eventual final product.

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