Valorant’s Act 3 had a lot of hype surrounding its arrival. Not only did Riot Games announce a new Agent for patch 1.11 but it has also been able to release Icebox for the live servers well ahead of schedule.
However, was it able to live up to the expectations?
Probably not, as the majority of the Valorant community is out with pitchforks in regards to the present state of the game.
Act 3, according to them, was a ‘swing and a miss’ for Riot Games. Not only is the game currently riddled with bugs and hit registration issues but the devs have also failed to deal with some of the more pressing problems that are still plaguing the game.
Problems with Valorant Act 3
In the Reddit post, SliverPrincev began by saying:
“Sucks that I have to go from a dev appreciation post to a criticism post. Valorant desperately needs a PBE. Even Riot Ziegler acknowledged the fact that new patches are unstable.”
Riot Games’ other major IP, League of Legends has its own PBE client and PBE servers, which the developers use to test out new changes before launching them for the official servers. This allows the LOL devs to take care of bugs and glitches beforehand, and it has become an integral part of the champion and item balance system over the years.
Valorant having a similar system will help the devs test their patches before shipping them off, thereby avoiding much of the issues that the shooter is facing at the moment.
SilverPrincev provides some interesting points as to what is ruining the Valorant experience for players at the moment.
1. Severe stuttering issues are making Valorant unplayable
The in-game stuttering problem that Valorant Act 3 introduced to the servers is not region-specific, and players across the world have been facing this issue.
Riot Games often stressed on the competitive integrity that they would like Valorant to have. Unfortunately, more than hacks and cheats, it’s these bugs that compromise the fairness of the game more often than not.
“Micro stutters and lag that people see in-game and on streams. This cannot be the future of content updates.”
Every Valorant patch to date has brought some kind of bug or glitch that either made players exploit it or just completely broke the game.
Every time Riot Games bring out a patch, players are not willing to wait out a couple of days before the devs finally hotfix the issues that the patch brings.
2. Abysmal hit registration and visual delay
Bullet hit registration in Valorant has been an issue in their 128 tick servers since day one of their official launch. Almost 5 months later, the issue seems to be as persistent as ever and has probably gotten worse with the latest visual delay bug.
Just like the wall penetration, Valorant’s hit registration is also incredibly janky. There are a lot of inconsistencies in the game, and makes it worse is the “first shot” inaccuracies that are present in all the guns. Hence, Valorant doesn’t exactly boast a balanced gameplay at the moment.
3. Valorant’s unrated games are a mess right now
Not being able to pick a specific map during Unrated and Competitive matchmaking can often be a double-edged sword, especially when there is a whole new arena on the block.
With the release of Icebox, Valorant players have been leaning more towards getting the new map on when they queue up. Icebox is a bit complicated when compared to the other maps in the shooter but many players will naturally want to play the map as much as possible.
The problem arises when some players start to dodge queue when they don’t get Icebox, which significantly ruins the gameplay experience for users who want to play Valorant for the sake of it.
Not only does it waste a lot of their time but it is also a source of great annoyance as the ones dodging don’t really see much punishment coming their way.
“But here is what act 3 has done. Created a terrible new player experience because everyone in unrated is dodging to get Icebox.”
4. Underwhelming observer flash effect.
Valorant patch 1.10 did bring some quality of life changes for the observer tool that really smoothed out some of the rougher edges that the casters have faced so far. However, not all of the changes were positive, and players are especially critical of the new flash effect.
The flash effect now just produces a black screen for observers, and that is what many feel is pointless. The very essence of the observer lies in the ability to see past the flash animation. Putting up a black screen in place of the original flash effect just defeats the purpose.
“Change the observer flash effect. The point of this is so we can see the screen but instead it's just a blacked-out screen.”
5. Matchmaking queues are just too long in higher elos
The higher you go in the competitive food chain of Valorant, the longer it will take for you to find a match. Sometimes queue times are so long that the players either quit the game for some time or just make a smurf account.
There have been instances where even professional players have been making smurf accounts in Valorant. After reaching the rank of Radiant, players often don't get an incentive to grind out any further in their main account, and that is when they create a secondary smurf account.
And though Riot Games have decided to add a leaderboard in the future to provide that much-needed drive for the more elite players, it still doesn't solve the queue time issue.
Smurfing in Valorant is still a huge problem in the current state of the game.
Is Valorant at all ready for an official competitive scene?
For a low-TTK shooter which was made with esports in mind, Valorant seems to have too many bugs and gameplay issues up its sleeve. It’s making quite a lot of players question not just its competitive integrity but also if it is ready for esports, keeping in mind that the First Strike tournament is right around the corner.
If the stuttering continues in pro play, then that’s a big problem for Riot Games.
In a follow-up comment on the Reddit post, a player who goes by the handle of mousepro talked about Valorant’s esports scene and how it might go down the same road as that of Overwatch:
“Riot hyped up this game so much as a eSports ready game but with such a buggy/janky current build this game does not appeal to hardcore competitive players and isn't chill enough for casual types either. If things don't change this game will be like Overwatch in the sense that it'll get a big pop with the first major lan and slowly decline if the player base loses interest in playing it.”Published 18 Oct 2020, 14:08 IST