VALORANT Episode 3 Act 2 is currently in full swing, and fans are treated to the new map, Fracture. While most of the community was expecting a new Agent, Riot Games released the new H-shaped map, which favours defenders for aggressive positioning.
Fans are expecting to see a new Agent by the start of the next Act, but there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. The time difference between content drops and the lack of casual game modes is suffocating the VALORANT community.
While VALORANT is predominantly an esports-centric game, it has a huge casual player base who grind for fun. The game has amassed millions of followers in just a year, but not all of them can aim like a pro.
The result, currently VALORANT is full of sweaty players and there are no proper casual game modes to grind. Even fun game modes like Spike Rush and Replication have turned immensely competitive.
While some are claiming that this is why VALORANT is boring, others state that there is room to improve for Riot's popular FPS. Here's our take on whether new game modes would solve the underlying problem in VALORANT.
VALORANT Episode 3 Act 2: Lack Of Casual Game Modes
The lack of casual game modes like Team Deathmatch, Rescue The Flag, Prop Hunt, has led to the growth of a sweaty and toxic environment. It is nearly impossible to solo queue for ranked matches at any rank, as you will be abused/chastised for your lack of skill.
Currently, VALORANT has only one game format which is the traditional search and destroy mode. At the same time, Deathmatch feels like a trap for anyone who doesn't have impeccable reflexes.
Hence, a majority of the community is left to play the game in an overly competitive toxic environment. This has indeed forced several players and content creators to drift away from the game.
At this point, Riot Games needs to introduce new game modes which are designed to be fun, and not competitive. VALORANT needs to retain its initial charisma as an ability-driven FPS shooter rather than a purely esports-centric game.
This can be done with the introduction of new game modes, and consistent content drops. The latter being one of the prevalent issues hindering the game's growth in 2021.
Time Difference Between Content Drops In VALORANT
Let's consider one of the most impactful factors behind VALORANT's popularity - Agent, maps and the unique lore. The game has become a global phenomenon partly because fans can relate to these supernatural characters.
Their storylines and character arcs appeal to the general audience, and this is one of the major reasons behind the game's popularity. The other reason is esports, and it's doing absolutely brilliant with all the LAN tournaments. However, the general audience is far greater in number as compared to the esports audience.
It is almost ridiculous for a community to have a six-week drought between content drops. While players can use this time to get better at the game, there is nothing much to do besides that.
Unlike popular battle royale games like Fortnite, Warzone, Apex Legends, quests and challenges only play a small part in VALORANT. Similarly, there are no major events that players can grind for fun.
Thus, it becomes relatively difficult to sustain a community with the ranked mode being the only measure of their skill. It is good to see that Riot has finally introduced a map that will be pivotal for lore-drops.
This is indeed a good start, as it will keep the community glued to VALORANT, even if they are finding it difficult to climb rank.
Rank Inflation And Increase Of Smurfs
To conclude we have to consider the natural progression of any video game. Players will become skilled over time, and even beginners will have a good grasp of strategies and tricks.
Thus, it is natural for players to try out their newly learnt skills from a different account. This can be for various reasons, but it ends up contributing to the significant population of smurfs in VALORANT.
Recently, the competitive team from Riot highlighted how a majority of the community is hard-stuck at Silver. This is because players are finding it difficult to go past a certain rank barrier, and also because of smurfs.
While smurfs are the occupational hazard of any competitive FPS title, the community is pleading for a better matchmaking system. The problem may not be in matchmaking at all and is entirely dependent on the specific rank.
Most smurfs tend to leave their mini-accounts in lower ranks to test out their skills, get clips, play with friends and family, etc. Thus, it is more likely for a Silver ranked player to find smurfs while solo queuing in a competitive game.
To wrap it up, the community needs to give the developers more time for all these new game modes to arrive. VALORANT devs maintain an open line of communication with the community, which makes it easier to understand all the problems upheld by representatives.
The game is ever-evolving and there is a good chance that it will introduce new elements sooner rather than later. The community needs to understand that esports is the primary focus for Riot Games right now. However, that doesn't mean they have completely given up on the casual community.
While it will take time, the perfect balance between casual and competitive is inevitable in a popular game like VALORANT.