Valorant's second Act is here and brings with it a free-for-all deathmatch mode. Unfortunately, fans have begun to complain about the game type's low experience gain, making it less than viable for levelling the new battle pass.
While the mode is clearly intended as a diversion from the main game mode, the mode was only offering 100 XP per round (which Riot has now patched to 500 XP).
Valorant Fans Unhappy With FFA Deathmatch XP Gains
The issue now then is one of rewarding good performances. Because the mode offers a single, one-off XP drop at the end of a match, players aren't earning XP for kills or streaks. That means whether you jump in and get the required number of 30 kills or you (like me) struggle to hit a barn door, you'll level up all the same.
When you then factor in that the game's missions (bonus objectives that carry from match to match) aren't affected by FFA matches, and it's easy to feel as though it's simply not worth playing the latest map.
Riot software engineer "tehleach" responded to fans on Reddit:
“Our dev data shows that this mode takes [approximately] half the time a Spike Rush match takes (a combination of skipping agent select and shorter match time), so we're awarding half the XP,” they explained.
“If we allowed mission progress in Deathmatch, players would be able to complete any kill or damage related missions insanely quickly,”
“We’d [have to] tune those kill/damage missions to require more kills/damage based on that, which would make Deathmatch a must-play or else battle pass progression would feel much worse.”
That's fair play, and it sounds as though Riot isn't against the idea of change in the weeks to come.
"I definitely see the value of getting more XP for matches where you're popping off, but I think this could cause some subtle gameplay behaviour that we're trying to avoid. Our intent was for this to be a warmup/practice mode where players didn't need to worry about performance at all. The issue with awarding XP per kill is that it could incentivize people to heavily optimize towards min-maxing kills in the mode instead of using the mode for whatever practice they are currently looking for. Like, if a player wants to practice sheriff 1deags it'd suck if they felt like they were missing out on XP by doing so."
For what it's worth, Riot's CCG "Legends of Runeterra" allows matches against players or AI to count towards its daily and event quests, and there doesn't seem to be a problem there.