Riot looking to slow down Valorant update development

Olivia R. November 7, 2020

The latest Ask Valorant blog offered players more insight into issues with Patch 1.11. 

Due to a lot of game-breaking agent bugs, Patch 1.11 was rolled back at the end of October. Even though the patch has returned, along with new agent Skye, players are still concerned with the buggy update and what it may mean going forward. Valorant developers decided to address this topic in their latest blog post. 

Senior producer Arnar Gylfason said that the patch stability was "far below" their expectations in terms of both internal process improvements and infrastructure. 

"Honestly, we could even include maybe slowing down a bit," Gylfason said. 

Since the closed beta, Valorant developers have been keeping up with their two-week patch schedule. Even working from home hasn't slowed them down. In fact, they even released Icebox ahead of schedule, despite the fact the map wasn't well-received by fans. 

"But it’s time to take a breath and take stock of what we need to do internally to make sure that our efforts are sustainable and hitting the quality bar you, our players, deserve," Gylfason said. 

According to esports strategy manager Riley Yurk, Riot is working towards better syncing schedules between its different departments. The patch ended up dropping at the wrong time due to the developers wanting to enable true best-of-five experiences for tournaments, which resulted in a rush to put the map out. 

Valorant developers talk patches disrupting First Strike tournament

Patch 1.11 was also more disruptive than usual because they added more content to the patch in order to make Patch 1.12 lighter. That's because it's timed to drop midway through Valorant's first major tournament, First Strike. 

"Due to the super dense qualifier schedule happening around the world in the month leading up to the First Strike main event, we had few dates that could both avoid being disruptive to qualifiers and provide the runway of four weeks for Icebox," Yurk said. 

Developers wanted to release Patch 1.11 before most of the qualifiers kicked off, but it ended up not accounting for the NA Qualifiers. Yurk said it was considered "painful but okay" considering their constraints. 

"To avoid having the first NA Qualifier played on two different patches, we’ve unlocked a separate instance where the remaining 16 teams will conclude the tournament on patch 1.10. In the meantime, the live game was updated to patch 1.11 on Nov. 2. These are definitely some growing lessons we’re learning as we stand up the esport scene and game at the same time," Yurk explained. 

For now, Valorant developers are going to do a "thorough investigation" into their process over the next few weeks. This will hopefully help them release updates that have a "higher quality bar." Gylfason said that the team will let fans know their "roadmap for improvements" once they have answers. 

The patch was dropped during the NA Qualifiers for First Strike, making fans wonder if they were too disruptive, especially when they get rolled back. This made fans wonder if, going forward, developers will consider the esports scene when updating the game.