In an effort to address some of Valorant’s lingering issues, Riot Games previewed numerous changes to the game’s competitive systems planned for Episode 2 Act II.
According to John “Riot EvrMoar” Walker, a senior competitive designer on Valorant, the development team has been listening closely to the problems ranked players continue to face. After some smaller adjustments in patches 2.01 and 2.02, the next patch and act should see even more changes to rank resets, AFK players and more.
Patch 2.03 plans
Just as Riot released the 2.02 patch notes, the Valorant team has already shared what they have in store for the next patch. These changes center around the competitive queue, address end of Act rewards and increase penalties for AFK players.
- Rewards based on the end of Act leaderboard standings
- Penalties for in-game AFKing
Valorant will now award players based on their highest rank achieved during a certain Act. The previous system forced players to win nine games in a certain rank for it to appear on their Act Badge. But now, players will be rewarded for the highest rank they achieve during a given Act. For example, if a player finishes an Act at Silver 2 but managed to promote to Gold 1 at some point along the away, they would earn the Gold 1 reward.
Riot also acknowledged that the number of AFK players continues to plague competitive Valorant. Since penalties still aren’t severe enough, those who AFK in-game will lose additional Rank Rating starting in patch 2.03. This rank rating loss can also go above the normal maximum caps. In addition, If a player leaves a competitive game and that team loses, that AFK player will receive an even greater rank rating loss.
Episode 2 Act II plans
Beyond those planned changes, Walker also dove into what to expect from the next Act of Episode 2. Most of those adjustments will focus on Valorant’s competitive queue, which he said created different pain points for players.
- Act-to-Act resets will be less punishing
- Targeted hiding of your rank during pre/in-game
- Relaxed group restrictions at low ranks
Currently, all player ranks go through what the developers are call a “soft reset” at the conclusion of each Act. This reset requires players to play three competitive games to qualify for their rank again. But starting with Act II, this soft reset will be reduced from three times an episode to just one. Ranks will no longer reset when a new Act comes out, though players will still need to play at least one placement game.
Additionally, Walker said many players have expressed their desire to hide ranks both before and during games because it can create unhealthy pressure. Starting in Act II, player ranks will be hidden until the end of game screen. This takes some performance pressure off of players but still lets everyone see how they stacked up against their opponents during the match.
Valorant has also seen many changes to how rank disparity affects the ability to queue with friends, and this will continue with Act II. While the end of Episode 1 made it so players can only group with those one rank above them, this restriction will be relaxed going forward. Walker didn’t touch on specifics, but mentioned that current data suggests fair matchmaking is still possible with a wider rank disparity.
Walker ended his post by saying other competitive changes are in the works, but that some were too small to note while others are meant to be a surprise. To catch all the final details of Valorant Episode 2 Act II changes, stay tuned to Daily Esports.