Riot intended to add a ranked "Competetive Mode" to Valorant, but they found a last-minute bug and so they're holding it back - probably "for a day or two". That's OK. Numberwang can wait, because yesterday's patch also added a surrender option. That's a big deal, and I for one welcome it. It does mean you'll sometimes wind up with unpleasant teammates who insist on giving up on games that can still be won, but it also means you don't have to sit around allowing unpleasant teammates to make you miserable.
Riot have also tweaked the maps a bit, changed lots of abilities, and adjusted the slowing effect when you get shot "in part to up your chances of escape if you’re near cover". It's a big old patch, even without ranked.
The importance of surrendering bears repeating: not being able to do that has made me miserable, which is something Valorant does anyway even though I like it. I'm partly talking about the toxicity issues I highlighted in my Valorant review, but mainly about the times when I've been playing with friends and a randomer has abandoned the game. Even when that happens, you're not allowed to quit and queue for another game until your current one is over. So I'm mainly glad this (partly) fixes that, even though there are better possible fixes, and even though I totally envisage tension between people who disagree on whether a situation is worth surrendering over. Hi Dan.
They've implemented it a bit curiously, mind. To trigger a vote you have to type "/ff" “forfeit” “concede” or “surrender”. You can't trigger the vote before round 8, and everyone on the team has to agree for it to go through. "Each team can only call a vote once per half", and "the surrendering team will get loss credit for every round necessary to bring them up to 13 rounds". I believe that last bit refers to adjustments to your matchmaking rating, though there could be more to it. It's a shame that will still happen when you're just trying to deal with a leaver.
Anyway, let's move on, because there's loads else new in Valorant v.1.02. That slowing effect has been reduced, like so:
"Effect of tagging on movement speed reduced:
Tagging Movement Speed Reduction (Standard) 80% >> 70%
Tagging Movement Speed Reduction (Wall Penetration) 35% >> 25%
Increased the time it takes to reach desired slow amount when tagged by 100%"
Riot say "Tagging is intended to reward the player with better positioning and the player that successfully lands a shot on the enemy first", which is something I've though about but absolutely makes sense. They get that it can feel frustrating though, so this should help with that.
Let's do map changes next. Riot say they've "adjusted numerous locations to allow clearing angles to be a bit more straightforward", and while I'm sure they're significant I'm also sure I can't tell how without playing. I do like that they've explained their thinking, though - "The intention is that angles that are more difficult to clear are most commonly found in areas meant to reinforce existing territory control. This is to emphasize ability usage and teamwork in order to reliably gain control of these locations."
There are a few too many ability changes for me to cover them in detail, but: Viper's Toxic Screen has had a massive buff, Cypher is less buggy, and it's now easier to wade through every smoke ability such that "pushing through a smoke will still be risky, just more reasonable".
A big old patch, like I said. There's plenty I haven't mentioned in the patch notes.
Here's Riot's tweet about when ranked will actually arrive.
We found another bug that puts competitive at risk, so we're holding off turning on ranked for a while longer. Sorry for the delay, we're working as fast as possible to get a fix and, when we get one, we'll turn ranked on. Predicting a day or two, but nothing confirmed yet.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) June 24, 2020
When it does, the top rank in ranked Valorant will be "Radiant" rather than "Valorant", because people in the beta understandably thought that was silly.