On Feb 24, VALORANT developers published their newest “Ask VALORANT” post. The first question addresses the fear of many committed players: being penalized for fair reasons they AFK’d.
Delay in AFK Penalty Changes
In their earlier post addressing this issue on Feb. 15, developers went into detail about a new structure to defer common AFK offenders from repeatedly ruining matches. Problems of AFK’ers farming for XP, ranks, and just plain trolling have been common complaints in the community. Their post outlined punishments for this offense such as XP denial, rank deductions, time bans and even permanent bans for the most consistent offenders.
This serious tone, although helpful for the VALORANT community, caused some players to become uneasy: “Can you explain the reason for the planned Rank Rating penalty for queue dodge? Sometimes I have really good reasons to dodge and I don’t think I should lose RR,” asked one player whose quote was included in the newest Ask VALORANT post.
VALORANT developers again reassured players that the main goal is to target and deter repeat offenders, rather than penalize everyone for a one time AFK penalty: “First thing’s first: these changes target players who repeatedly queue dodge, and will have minimal impact on players who only queue dodge occasionally.” They added that within competitive play, a 3-point rank rating deduction will be added for players who AFK during competitive play. They hope that this will deter common competitive trolls who try to use AFKing to farm off the success of their teammates.
Unfortunately, with this reassurance came the note that they are expecting these changes to occur for patch 2.05. Initially, developers had stated that they hoped these changes would begin as early as patch 2.03, but now they are potentially two patches out. They also explain that any changes they put in place will be monitored and are not final. In true developer fashion, the developers of VALORANT will be closely following and taking in feedback from the game’s players once changes are put into play.
Addressing the Meme: Knife Combat
The second part of this update addressed the issue of knives in VALORANT and their place as a meme right now in terms of gameplay. VALORANT knives are commonly seen in gameplay specifically for the meme with players asking for “knife only” fights, especially in games when the winning team is clear. The new Escalation gamemode has only emphasized the more comical place that knives have in VALORANT gameplay. The knife stage in Escalation hands players a larger knife, a speed/jump boost, a longer range, and more damage, but still doesn’t cut it as use-able.
Right now, the knife hit detection system is far from accurate, so even with these upgrades, it is far from a viable choice unless a player initiates a risky play for laughs. Developers stated that they “hope to come back in the future and give the knife a closer look and the love it deserves—we just need to figure out when it makes the most sense.” It is all about priorities, and right now VALORANT developers have made it clear that aspects of the game such as agent balancing, gunplay, and discouraging AFK’ers are just some factors that take precedence over knife combat.
Which, they are right. VALORANT is most unique for its agent choice and weapon selection. Knife combat is not a necessity for an FPS. It would be interesting to see in the future of the game if a functional knife could change combat, but it is unlikely that it would have a major effect on gameplay.
The meme will live on for VALORANT knife combat for a foreseeable future, which isn’t such a bad thing. VALORANT developers have their priorities in place by listening to their player base, both competitive and otherwise. Their updates will continue to follow in an order that is most imperative to the functionality of the game.