Valorant developers hesitant about adding new community maps
Olivia R. November 24, 2020
Riot dropped a new Dev Diaries video that discussed the uncertainty of more map-related content in Valorant's future.
Maps have been at the forefront of the Valorant community's discussions over the past few months thanks to the drop of Icebox. For many players, it was exciting to get a new map but disappointing to see how developers handled its quick release. The design also felt rushed and frustrating for many competitors.
"Getting a fifth map to you earlier than expected was so important to us," design director Joe Ziegler said. "We needed to meet your legit demands of more gameplay variety outside of new agents."
Ziegler said that the development team doesn't plan to slow down the rollout of maps. He said that the team's top priority is increasing the competitive map pool in an attempt to offer players a more "diverse range of strategic experience and settings." To reach that goal, Ziegler stated that they need at least a couple more maps to feel comfortable in reaching that target.
Will Valorant get a map-maker feature?
Since developers are so focused on creating competitive maps, some other requested features may have to take a back seat. One of those is community-made maps, which many players have asked for in the past. But Ziegler admitted that it's probably not the best use of the team's time to focus on that content.
Ziegler noted that the Valorant team understands the "incredible value" of this feature, but are not too sure it's the best time to implement this into Valorant.
“Building a scalable community-sharing platform and a set of map-making tools would take us years of development to get off the ground. When we weighed that against other content we could make with the team we already have, the choice was pretty clear to focus on content," Ziegler said.
Developers will be focusing on getting new maps "fully supported and integrated" going forward, dedicating their resources to balance changes and addressing exploits. They will be focused on "fine-tuning the maps for competitive," which is a long and complex process.
Will Valorant get more maps?
Ziegler didn't divulge any details about the concepts of upcoming maps, but promised that they would all be vastly different from the four original maps. Those maps, he explained, were made to introduce players to the "complexities of Valorant and agent utility."
According to Ziegler, the goal with maps now is to challenge player's basic concept of map design, promoting more diverse and strategic play. He noted that Icebox put an emphasis on close skirmishes and accuracy. While some players have complained about this play style, it seems that the team has accomplished this goal.
Going forward, Valorant developers are hoping to introduce even more ways to play Valorant strategically.