Riot’s “Ask Valorant #8” came with even more insight into the developer’s plans for the future of the first-person shooter.
Riot sat down and took another round of community questions this week, giving some answers regarding the possibility of left-handed viewmodels, improved gameplay experiences, and queue concerns after the patch 1.08 map rotation fix. The actual answers included more admissions of considerations than actual answers, but the blog’s insight left the door open for improvements to Valorant all around.
We’re answering more community questions with Ask VALORANT. This week, we cover the potential for a left hand view model, more on the recent map rotation update, perceived game-to-game inconsistencies, and updating weapon skins. Read all about it: https://t.co/k9n8cOmXv2 pic.twitter.com/Sw7XHtUp44
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) September 24, 2020
One of the most asked questions in this week’s Ask Valorant concerned the ability to change the side a player’s weapon sits on-screen, more commonly known as a left-handed viewmodel. In CSGO, switching weapon sides is as easy as typing in a console command, but Valorant currently lacks the ability to change the position of a weapon on-screen. This can result in a player’s weapon model blocking enemy players from view, allowing the enemy to hide in plain sight, as seen below in this example from CSGO.
There are also studies that have shown that a player’s dominant eye can affect how quickly they can recognize and aim at a target, meaning that weapon side can have a large impact on a player’s performance. Valorant developers mentioned several roadblocks they would have to overcome in order to make it happen in their game, however. The first problem developers mentioned was technical.
“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,” developers said.
CSGO gets around this problem by mirroring a weapon skin, but Riot seems particularly concerned that they don’t devalue a particular skin by flipping it for players that prefer a left-hand viewmodel. The second set of issues, Riot said, came from a competitive integrity standpoint.
According to developers, they want to make sure that players using a different viewmodel don’t gain or lose a competitive advantage by using a different weapon view. While this makes sense in theory, any competitive advantage gained by switching weapon sides on one angle is lost when the viewmodel blocks an opposite angle, so its explanation indicated that there is already a built-in advantage or disadvantage by using the default model.
Riot ended the viewmodel discussion by saying that there is no current internal date for when this new option might become available to players on Valorant’s live servers.
Developers also addressed the possibility of longer queue times thanks to the changes patch 1.08 made when it comes to player issues around map rotations. Valorant instituted a new system of map rotations in that patch that made it so players wouldn’t frequently play on the same map in consecutive games. But along with the switch came player concerns that the changes might negatively impact queue times for Valorant’s modes. Thankfully, developers over at Riot have it covered. While Riot didn’t make it impossible to play the same map twice, they did make it less likely, which should keep queue times around the same.
“These changes will not impact queue times…This way, we maintain a little bit of flexibility to keep queue times popping at the same pace,” the developers said.
Finally, Valorant developers also addressed the game’s ongoing hit registration issues. While some players feel like the gunplay feels “like butter,” other times it seems to dip dramatically in performance. Devs are hard at work on this problem as well, saying that they are spending their time on tightening up “hitbox clarity,” as well as movement inaccuracy and different player experiences when two players have dramatically different pings.
Overall, “Ask Valorant #8” offered a fair bit of information regarding the behind-the-scenes efforts of the game’s development teams. Interested players can read the entire blog post.