Riot introduces a Battle Pass for VALORANT

The premiere of VALORANT brought a real flood of new features. A new heroine, a new map, a new mode and a new … battle pass. The battle pass is something that was not yet available during the closed beta. However, Riot Games has already announced the desire to introduce such a system of micropayments and turned words into deeds.

The matter is simple — by playing matches and performing daily tasks we will be rewarded with experience points. These, on the other hand, will raise the level of our pass, and each subsequent level will mean subsequent rewards in the form of graffiti, character cards, or weapon skins. It is worth noting, however, that BP will be available in two versions — free and paid. The purchase of the latter will involve a greater number of exclusive items received, but these will not affect our statistics in any way and will be purely cosmetic.

With the release of the game, the first act of the pass has appeared, which is divided into ten chapters, each of which consists of five levels, which gives us 50 levels for premium battle pass holders. Users of the free version will be able to purchase the paid version at any time, and once they have done so, they will receive all items for levels they have previously acquired.

The price of the “Ignition: Act I” season pass is 1000 VALORANT Points or around $10 US dollarsIt is worth noting here that the time we have to enter the maximum level is not unlimited. After some time, the current battle pass will be replaced by a new one. What about items that we didn’t manage to get? Riot does not exclude that they will introduce the possibility of acquiring them even after BP expires, but at the same time ensures that it will certainly be more difficult than simply buying them in the game store.

Spike fever: what is the new mode in VALORANT?

Finally, there it is — the premiere of VALORANT, a tactical shooter from the Riot Games stable, which was awaited by many computer game enthusiasts around the world. FPS producers after a few months of beta testing released a ready work in which we can not only compete for the highest rank but also play in games focused on pure entertainment. As a result, Spike Fever has already appeared in VALORANT, a mode that allows faster and, above all, more crazy gameplay.

From now on in the game client, in addition to regular and ranked matches, you’ll also find the opportunity to compete in Spike Fever mode. In it clashes will be played on all maps available in VALORANT, and one team will normally have five players. So what distinguishes Spike Fever from the usual skirmish at VALORANT?

Well, in the new mode, all players assigned to the attacking team will wear a Spike, so any player can place a package in the bomb area. The condition of winning the round will of course be the same as in the classic game — detonate the Spike or eliminate all rivals.

Spike fever will definitely be a faster and more exciting game mode in VALORANT also due to the fact that in each round all players will receive the same equipment, and in addition, they will always have all the loads of their skills. In addition, special bullets will appear on the map, which, instead of adding one charge to our key skill, will guarantee us additional reinforcements such as the speed of movement, more damage, reloading our ultimate, and even reducing the health of all rivals.

All this will contribute to the fact that the matches will be much more dynamic, and it should also be mentioned that they will not take us much time — because the team that wins four points first wins the match.

Bearing in mind that in VALORANT, apart from the usual shooting range, we do not have a place where we can practice our shooting skills. Spike’s fever due to its dynamics can be a great place to warm up and to train in a bit more demanding situations than shooting at still targets.

What is Ascent? See the new VALORANT map

What is Ascent? See the new VALORANT map

One of the novelties that were included in the premiere update of VALORANT is the fourth map. During the closed beta, there were only three arenas in rotation, which after some time could lead to some kind of monotony. This is to be counteracted by the emergence of a new area of ​​activity, which, according to rumors that have been appearing for some time, has been placed … in the clouds. 

Significantly, we again received a typically urban area, as was already the case with Split. The first thing to pay attention to is the minimap, and it looks like this:

Again, we get two bombsites at our disposal, which is the same as for Split and Bind. Nevertheless, this arena has its own specific property. On some maps we had climbing links, on other one-sided teleports, on Ascent we will find bulletproof doors, which when closed, cut off one of the paths to the site — then you have to destroy them, at the same time alerting your rivals where you are coming from, or look for a roundabout, losing precious time.

And what does the map look visually? Italian inspirations are visible to the naked eye — anyway, references to Venice have already been mentioned. A Venice in the skies, if you would.

Importantly, VALORANT still doesn’t have an option to select specific maps when startint the game. In the case of Ascent, however, an exception was made so that players could learn more about the new arena, without having to wait until it falls in rotation. 

The premiere update of VALORANT: new character, map, mode, and a lot of fixes

Today is the day — today in the morning the official premiere of VALORANT took place, and therefore Riot Games has released the premiere update. In it we will find, above all, several important news, such as new heroine, Reyna. Something about the Mexican agent we could have heard before, but only now we can see for ourselves what she will be capable of. And we can check it on Ascent, a new map thanks to which the pool available in the game has been expanded to four arenas.

At the same time, we don’t have to limit ourselves to the classic 5v5 mode, because a new mode called Spike Rush has arrived.

However, the focus was not only on new products, because the characters present in the game so far have been improved — in both visual and functional improvements. Significant changes have reached Omen, which will make it easier to use, but at the same time will cause fear among enemies. We also have good information for those who were irritated by problems with getting the center on the map on Split — Riot widened the area there to make attacking with this part of the map more effective.

And this is still not the end, because today’s update has introduced a lot of smaller or larger improvements related to the operation of the game itself. And although this is obviously not the end, because the creators themselves admit that they are aware of certain problems, e.g. with detecting the hit location, still a lot of things that could be bothersome during the beta, simply disappeared. Just as the possibility of playing in the ranked mode has disappeared — this one has been turned off for now, because the people responsible for VALORANT want to work on it and start working with it for some time, when they apply the modifications requested by the players.

The full list of items contained in the Tuesday update is as follows:

Agent updates

  • Sage
    • Healing Ball’s cooldown has been increased from 35 to 45 seconds. We like how much health Sage can recover during a single treatment, but we had the impression that she could use this skill too often in one round.
    • The strength of a single Barrier Ball segment has been reduced from 1000 to 800.
    • The duration of the Barrier Ball is reduced from 40 to 30 seconds.
    • The walls of the allied Barrier Ball are now visible on the minimap. Previous changes to the Sage Barrier Bullet provided additional counter capabilities during early rounds and rounds with pistols, but it had too much impact on each round. We hope that the wall will remain a powerful tool to delay the enemy, but we want players to think about when to use it during the round.
  • raze
    • The maximum damage radius of Bomb Paki has been reduced from 2 to 1 meter. Bomb Crate turned out to be quite powerful, especially used one after the other. By reducing the inner radius of maximum damage, we count on reducing the average damage done by this skill without undermining it too much.
  • Jett
    • The duration of smoke from the Cloud Veil has been extended from 4 to 7 seconds. We think Jett is a valuable agent because of her ability to prevent the opponent from exchanging fire effectively. However, we think her team support skills could be better. In this way we will give her and her companions more time to use the smoke.
    • Successful Wind automatically destroys Cypher’s Avengers shortly after revealing the player. Auspicious Wind is so powerful that Jett should easily break free from any tether. It will allow her a bit more freedom in using aggressive but slightly risky moves, giving more space to the whole team.
  • Phoenix
    • The duration of the Fire is increased from 6 to 8 seconds. We had the impression that the short duration of the fire wall combined with the long duration of use and its short range forced Phoenix to play a somewhat predictable game when he wanted to use it. We slightly extend its duration to give it more room for maneuver.
    • Changed Fire damage from 15 every 0.25 seconds to 1 every 0.033 seconds.
    • Changed the amount of Fire heal damage from 3 every 0.25 seconds to 1 every 0.16 seconds. Damage and healing over time have been updated to accommodate changes in other skills that deal damage over time. In addition, we’ve adjusted the damage / healing value to be half as effective as Hot Hands, and the healing effect of each of these two skills was equal (50 health points each). The changes were also aimed at preventing Pożoga from becoming a real “healing” skill compared to Hot Hands.
    • Change in the amount of damage treated by Hot Hands from 3 every 0.25 seconds to 1 every 0.08 seconds. Updated healing model over time to accommodate changes in damage skills over time.
    • The maximum flash duration of the Curved Ball has been increased from 0.8 to 1.1 seconds. The duration of the flash is short due to the speed at which Phoenix can send the Curved Ball towards the stray enemy. However, we found it too short, especially for the new skill price – 200 credits.
    • The Second Approach automatically reloads all weapons upon rebirth. Closer to this change to improve the quality of the game. Ult Phoenix often puts him in a situation where he empties magazines just before sending it back. This irritated the players playing Phoenix, because they had to wait a few seconds for a revival, to lose another second for reloading, often being under enemy fire. We believe that a few seconds of respawn justify automatic reloading.
  • Omen
    • Paranoia must now be equipped, it is no longer a quick use skill. Hit detection, especially at close range, has also been improved. The usage has been changed to reward more active use of Paranoia instead of its reactionary use. Enemies will be alerted when the bullet is launched instead of just getting in its way. This will hit enemies much more effectively.
    • Dark Shield – to create smoke, Omen now enters the world in which he sees through the walls, and pressing the RELEASE button switches the tracking mode between normal and “phase”. We wanted Omen to be able to create smoke more precisely in selected places, especially those located above. We’ve enabled the switch to the old view to support fast, close-range gameplay using smoke that many Omen players have mastered at a high level.
    • Dark Shield control has been updated – Omen can now increase the smoke distance with the BASIC ARROW key, reduce the ALTERNATIVE ARROW key, and throw it using the ABILITY KEY. Yes, at first it can be a difficult to control change for those who play Omen, but in the long run (and in the case of new players) we decided that it is now more intuitive when we control the distance by holding one hand on the mouse.
    • Step into the Darkness – Omen can now see the teleportation place on the map and the indicator that shows him the selected place when his vision is limited. We want Omen to know where he will be teleported, especially if he teleports from his own smoke.
    • From Shadows – Omen can now cancel teleportation while in shadowy form if he presses the ABILITY KEY again. If canceled, Omen will lose all his ulta points. We want Omen to initiate actions and cause fear in the ranks of the enemy, using his ulta. Earlier, the penalty for its use was almost certain death, if the player was caught by the enemy, so this skill was rarely used. Allowing cancellation of ulta when Omen is in danger (although at the cost of losing all ulta points) may open up new opportunities for players, while allowing them to choose the best place to teleport.
  • We have moved more of the sounds made by agents to the category of sounds showing their audibility on the minimap through the white circle. It’s about the sounds of skill, reload, interaction with Spike and more. Why? We wanted to make players understand when their sounds are heard by their enemies and make them realize how far a given sound can reach.

Map updates

  • We present a new map – Ascent. Ascent is a map embedded in Italy. It introduces a large, open area in the middle for which both teams can fight. The center is an area where you can use a variety of skills, and taking control of it opens additional paths for attackers to both points where you can plant Spike. As Ascent is a new map prepared for the premiere, during the first few days it can be chosen more often during matchmaking, so that players have more opportunities to learn about it.
  • Split
  • A narrow isthmus in the middle was rebuilt. We had the impression that the defenders were able to effectively “plug” the main narrow passage in the middle for most of the round. The new layout should remedy this. The changes widen the space a bit and provide an additional opportunity to use the skills to delay enemies on the stairs. Attackers also have a wider field to show off if they want to occupy tower B and valves.
  • The repair crew at the train station was able to replace the burnt speaker system.
  • One frog is warmer in the head now.
  • Haven / Bind / Split / Ascent
  • We have implemented our new system to fight against vulnerabilities on all maps – it will prevent any player from escaping outside the game space.
  • We’re still repairing a collision at a level to ensure smooth gameplay throughout the entire game area.
  • We have completed optimization of the so-called “Drawing commands”.
  • We’re blocking other places where Cyphera’s Spy Camera prevented opponents from counterattacking. Of course, we thank everyone who helped track these locations!

Competition mode update

  • Competition mode will not be available on the day of release. As in the case of the start of a closed beta, here we focus on ensuring the stability of services before launching ranking matchmaking. It is also a nod to new players, just like it was during the closed beta, when everyone had to master the game itself before they started playing ranked games. We will also introduce some corrections here, based on feedback from players after a closed beta. We plan to launch the ranked mode in one of the next patches after the game’s release.

Performance updates

  • In this patch, our team has been able to fix several performance issues. We focused mainly on the decrease in the number of frames you could experience during the fight. In moments when there is not much happening on the screen, you may not necessarily notice an increase in FPS. But know that performance improvements are not over. You can expect more action in future updates.
  • Performance during combat: the number of frames dropped during combat has been corrected. Thanks to this, the game should look smoother, especially when fighting on higher class computers. “Combining effects” for strikes, shots and steps. This should limit the drop in frames during these events.
  • Cartridge scales have been excluded from physical calculations and their reverberation sounds. In the future, after optimization, we plan to restore this function.
  • The consumption of signals available under the Z key and those after the player’s death has been reduced by a factor of 10.
  • Fixed a bug causing 90 raycast per second when signaling.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the frame rate to drop regularly if the game’s options menu was NOT opened.
  • The FPS value on the hardware between the middle and upper class has been increased: CPU-side computations for game threads and rendering have been accelerated. These changes will especially affect the owners of more powerful GPUs, limited by the speed of their CPU. The minimap has been optimized for visible elements.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the minimap being calculated twice for each frame.
  • Edge solids have been repaired for various visual effects, limiting the number of updated effects at any given time.
  • The cost of updating the rendering thread transformation has been reduced.
  • Various HUD elements have been redesigned to date on an extremely slow component.
  • Increased FPS on hardware between lower and middle class: Improved content that will help to render the game world on lower and middle class computers. The so-called “Drawing commands” on all maps.
  • Removed non-gameplay map particles at low and medium level of detail quality.
  • First-person shadows have been optimized so that they don’t contain light that doesn’t affect the final appearance of shadows.
  • Excessive textures in tags, telescopes and silencers have been removed.
  • The visual effects of all skills of characters such as Omen, Sage and Viper have been optimized
  • The vulnerability was prevented by using the Nvidia Inspector tool, allowing view through the walls posed by Viper and Phoenix.
  • Speaker configuration settings have been added.
  • Tooltips explaining individual graphic settings have been added.
  • GPU time statistics now also include idle time.

Quality of the game

  • Death from a non-enemy player no longer grants ulta points. This includes death due to Spike, fall injuries, companion’s or own skill. This should eliminate the strange methods of collecting ulta points when the player’s death has no major impact on the game (e.g. killing at the end of the pistol round or death at the hand of a companion at the beginning of the saving round). We will monitor the topic to see if you need to further discourage players from dying of their own accord in saving rounds.
  • Added message “VALORANT Community Rules” for new players.
  • Text and voice chat restrictions have been added for people who are notorious for breaking the ‘Community rules’. Text and voice chat restrictions are imposed for 72 hours.
  • After imposing restrictions, the player will have to log out. This will give him a moment to cool down and rethink his behavior before logging in to VALORANT again. 🙂
  • Text chat restrictions will apply to everyone and team chat, but group chat will still be available.
  • Voice chat restrictions will apply to team chat, but group chat will still be available.
  • Submission categories have been updated to reflect the broader scope of violations of “Community Policies.”
  • Added transition screens between character selection and proper game.
  • The weapon skin upgrade button now indicates the type of upgrade received (version, animation, etc.).
  • Visual updates on collection and contract pages.
  • Signaling calculations have been adjusted to be more accurate.
  • A setting has been added to disable the follower number widget in the HUD.
  • Updated camera after death of character to avoid covering the screen immediately after death.
  • Game version watermark added.
  • Observer updates First-person view with fresnel effect added during team observation.
  • Added consistent colors for attackers / defenders in HUD.
  • Attackers and defenders do not switch places in the HUD in rounds when sides change.
  • Key assignments do not change every round when switching between players.
  • The scoreboard has been repaired to show the correct result.
  • The “hold time” which was activated while waiting for the player to reconnect at the beginning of the shopping phase has been removed.
  • Store icons updated.

HUD and user interface

  • Visual effects have been added for skills, kill list and ceremonies (e.g. Ace or Clutch).
  • Inventory view of Spike updated.
  • Store armor icons have been updated.
  • Character portraits updated.
  • Chat restrictions have been added so that when you send the same signal or voice command repeatedly, only one message of this type will be sent.

Game bugs fixed

  • Fixed a ‘scrolling’ hit registration issue that affected all players and became even more intrusive with a lower FPS value. Scrolling is when the client and server communicate with each other to know if a hit has occurred. The server scrolls (tells the client – you should be here) to adapt to delays or lags.
  • Hit registration for clients with a low FPS value has been improved.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed the player to move at tremendous speed after using the Viper Toxic Curtain as a booster.
  • Fixed an issue where Vox Toxic Cloud could be activated in the air if raised.
  • The slowdown has been removed from the description of Viper Venomous Bite.
  • Cypher’s Spy Camera now shows the direction in which it is facing after the takeover.
  • Fixed more places where players should not be able to place Cypher’s Spy Camera.
  • Sova’s arrows have been repaired, sometimes reflecting in an unpredictable manner.
  • Sova’s arrows have been fixed so that they can’t be seen through some walls.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in Jett’s lower body shifting while gliding – Physical Therapy works wonders!
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the blood to be turned off.
  • Fixed an issue with observers where killed players were displayed in the HUD as Phoenix when the entire team was dead.
  • Fixed an observer bug that caused Cypher streaks to appear incorrectly if the observer switched to him after Cypher entered or left the camera preview.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in players being disconnected after switching sides to surrender instead of losing win money.
  • Fixed an issue where client-side streaks were desynchronized when switching control.
  • Fixed an issue where pressing PPM while using Bucky’s weapon would allow it to break through the world’s geography.
  • Fixed an issue with the communication bubble above the player’s head – it should now be visible when using group and team chat.
  • Fixed an issue where the number of credits in the HUD was significantly higher than 800 (which is received during rounds after switching sides).
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the team having more credits than the limit on the leaderboard.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in players’ movement to be inaccurate after being resurrected or revived.
  • The possibility of exceeding the limit on interactive objects, such as bullets or Spike, has been removed.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the companion’s gear to display wounded companions as full health.
  • Fixed a bug related to HUD messages that were truncated if the key used to activate the message was assigned to a key with more than one letter.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the message during the purchasing phase to indicate that the “B” key should be pressed to purchase, even though the key assigned to open the armory was different.
  • Fixed an issue where communications restoration messages were visible at the beginning of each round.
  • Fixed an observer bug that resulted in overlapping text in the purchase phase message.
  • Fixed an observer bug where some skills were not displayed correctly on the minimap.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the signal wheel on the large map not being grayed out after reaching the signal limit.
  • Fixed an issue in the armory that caused weapons to disappear after purchase.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the “Equip Last Used Weapon” keyboard shortcut to not work properly after using a skill.
  • Overlapping instability indicators (e.g. high ping) and observer widget have been fixed.
  • Overlapping texts and overruns in the Battle Report have been fixed.
  • Fixes issue whereby models of dead characters occasionally flickered.
  • Fixed an animation error when watching observers when aiming at Odin’s weapon.
  • The mouse cursor flickering in several places has been repaired.
  • The hint indicating the contracts can now be permanently turned off.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in half of the arsenal’s page to disappear after clicking the ‘Collection’ tab.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in personalized store offers to flicker before disappearing.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in various menus to overlapping the lobby screen after skipping the queue.

Game client bugs fixed

  • Several visual bugs have been fixed in the settings menu.
  • Fixed an issue with the ‘In Window’ display mode where the VALORANT game window did not save its position correctly.

The highest rank in VALORANT will receive a new name

The official premiere of VALORANT is just around the corner — the shooter from Riot Games will enter the market exactly on June 2. On this day, players will be able to return to climbing the ranking ladder, which will have at least one major change.

The highest available rank in the game was called the same as the game itself, which could be a bit confusing. The creators are aware of this and ensure that by the day of release they will introduce changes in this matter.

“When we were thinking of names, Valorant seemed to be a really great choice for the highest rank. What could be cooler than climbing the ranks, aspiring to be an elite Valorant, or the epitome of the game itself! But you’re right, it’s a bit confusing. We understand that, I also understand it. We will change this before releasing the game,” said Sean Szopinski, senior game designer in an interview for Polygon.

The American has also opened the secret about the further evolution of ranked games. Players who achieved the highest rank during the closed beta did not have anything to compete for. According to an employee of Riot Games, the shooter may include a solution known from League of Legends, where people with the rank of Challenger fight for the honor of being number one in the world. 

“When it comes to showing a specific rating for top players, this is something we’ve talked about a lot and will eventually become part of the VALORANT ecosystem,” adds Szopinski.

As a reminder, today you can test VALORANT for the last time in the closed beta phase. At 19:30 CEST, the game servers will be turned off and reopen only in five days, when the title will be available to the public.

One more former CS:GO pro joins T1 in VALORANT

The VALORANT section run by the T1 has expanded to include another name. According to reports that have been appearing for some time now, the new player of the North American line-up has so far been associated with the CS:GO scene Victor “food” Wong.

The 23-year-old spent his entire esports career with Counter-Strike. And although he started in 2014, he sailed into the deep end in 2018, when he and his teammates from Team Singularity won the US WESG qualifier round and reached the ESEA Global Challenge semi-finals. This resulted in a transfer to eUnited, which allowed Wong to play at tournaments such as Intel Extreme Masters or ESL One. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 2020, the American player ended up in unemployment because his current employer finished supporting CS:GO as a discipline.

At that time, food joined Swole Patrol, with whom he was looking for a new organization. However, this search came to naught, so the 23-year-old player decided to try his hand with Riot Games, being the fifth person associated with Counter-Strike in the past who now joined T1 in VALORANT.

This means that only one chair remains free in the team, but at the moment it is not yet known who will take it. “I will not say that we are looking for a leader, because each of us can lead and it should be like that” the player explained just after the transfer in conversation with ESPN.

In this situation, the composition of the VALORANT division led by T1 is as follows:

  • Braxton “brax” Pierce
  • Keven “AZK” Larivière
  • Austin Roberts ‘crashies’
  • Victor “food” Wong
  • Daniel “FRoD” Montaner – coach