Riot Games has teased big changes to VALORANT by overhauling queues with Deathmatch and Practice Range.

10:16, 19 Nov 2020

Get ready for big changes over at VALORANT as Riot Games has teased an overhaul of how the first-person shooter's Deathmatch and Practice Range modes work. Since coming out earlier this year, VALORANT has gone from strength to strength and joined other big Riot hitters like League of Legends. Similar to LoLVALORANT has made its first tentative steps into the esports scene with the First Strike tournament. 

Despite VALORANT's freshman status, Riot's ongoing roadmap has teased what's new for Deathmatch and Practice Range. While Practice Range has remained pretty much as is since launch, Deathmatch has been given a few quality of life updates after it was introduced in August. Now those within the ranks of VALORANT have confirmed they're looking at introducing requested features like playing Deathmatch while queuing and having friends join you in the Practice Range.


VALORANT Changes: What about Deathmatch?


To say queue times in VALORANT are long would be an understatement. As players reach the higher tiers, problems with achingly long queues are most prevalent. It has led to more moaning about ranked matchmaking and others trying to find a way around it by creating lower-tier Smurf accounts. Although Riot continues to struggle with VALORANT matchmaking, the idea of adding Deathmatch to the queuing system might take our minds off the issue. Well, for a moment. 

It's no secret that fans have called for the introduction of Deathmatch to queues, and now, it sounds like someone has actually listened. On Reddit, Riot Games Software Engineer "tehleach" opened up about how Deathmatch could be overhauled: "Playing deathmatch while in the queue is also something we want to do, but first we need to build the tech to allow players to join an in-progress match so that we can have long-running deathmatches that players flow into and out of - otherwise deathmatches would quickly empty as players found matches.


"My team is looking at building that tech, but it's a large effort because we made a lot of assumptions in originally building our platform, game client, and game server that matches would always start with the full set of players that would be allowed to connect, and breaking those assumptions creates a lot of work".


VALORANT Changes: What about the Practice Range?

Posting on Reddit, u/Kryptic6868 questioned whether bots could be introduced to custom games. The thread continued as others asked why we can't play against friends in the Practice Range. Someone else responded, "I believe a dev replied to this question at one point and the actual answer was basically that spinning up a practice range takes up an entire multiplayer server slot and they tend to reserve server space for actual matches, or something to that effect". It was here that tehleach first jumped into the conversation. 


The Riot dev explained, "Range instances use a disproportionate amount of our server resources for just one player". They said that while suggestions in the thread could help "improve that situation" with multiple people jumping into the Practice Range, they also admitted it would "require some engineering effort". Basically, Riot has taken your feedback on board but can't promise anything just yet.

It's hard to believe queue times have gotten so bad. Cloud9's Tyson "TenZ" Ngo previously said he'd waited a whopping 5 hours and 34 minutes to get into a match. By that point, most of us would've just given up. Whichever way you look at it, queue times are an ongoing problem for VALORANT and one that developers need to address before they have a "riot" on their hands. 



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