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Valorant - F2P competitive FPS by Riot - out now!


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Full game is out now: https://playvalorant.com/en-gb/

 

Riot, the developers of League of Legends, have made a new competitive FPS. It's basically a Counterstrike cake with MOBA icing; quite a few of the dev team are ex-Counterstrike pro players. In a nutshell, the structure of the main game mode is:

 

  • 5v5
  • 24 rounds, first to 13 wins (sudden death if you get to 12:12)
  • Teams take turns to attack/defend bombsites, switching at halftime
  • You buy guns and armour at the start of each round, and carry them over to the next round if you don't die
  • There are 10 different characters who each have 3 unique abilities and an ultimate. All the characters have the same movement speed and buy guns from the same pool.
  • One ability is available to use unlimited times, but on a cooldown.
  • You buy charges for the other two abilities at the start of each round (like buying grenades/smokes in CS)
  • Your ultimate needs 8 charges to be available, which you get from kills and from Ultimate Points which you can capture around the map.

 

There's also a shorter 4-round game mode called Spike Rush in which you buy guns via pickups around the map, and spawn with a different gun each round (a bit like Gun Game in CS:GO).

 

rllmuk online thread here

 

 

 

Here's some ex-CSGO pros playing it fairly tactically - it's really interesting to see how the abilities factor in; different characters are better at defending certain bombsites, for example:

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the same CSGO pros getting absolutely stomped by the dev team, showing off how clever combination of abilities is just as important as sick aim:

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got beta access today and suddenly it's 3am.

 

This is very very good; it's essentially CS with moba abilities. Loads of scope for combining abilities for attacking/retaking bombsites. Can see this being a massive esport, especially with Riot pushing it.

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I have also made it into the beta, and am enjoying myself immensely with it. I've never really had much to do with Counterstrike, as when I once asked a guy I knew who was into it whether it was worth giving it a spin, he winced a bit - quite clearly he's led a few people to pain an misery on that particular path. When it comes to this game, I am absolutely crap and don't seem win the quickdraw exchanges, but the fact that the rounds are extremely short means that you can keep getting back in the saddle.

 

I enjoy the fact that abilities have limited use per round, and while there's a lot that feels a little bit copy/paste from Overwatch, I do have to acknowledge that it would be quite hard to create a Moberry Shooter these days without using powers that are in that game. Walls, reveals and teleports are always going to be par for the course - but the gruff spoken skull-masked gentleman is perhaps a little too close to the bone.

 

For what it's worth, I'm normally turned off by these hyper-competitive games because I'm getting old and my reactions were past prime a decade ago, and also because I always seem to get matched with somebody who is my mother's (former or current) lover, and that's just uncomfortable really. This game has actually been fun enough to hold my interest. I do wish that there was some sort of ranked play though. I'd like very much to sink to the doldrums where I deserve to be, rather than keeping getting matched with people who, quite frankly, need their sick filth banned.

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Yeah I'm looking forward to ranked when it comes out of beta. At the moment unranked matching seems to put me with either people who've apparently never used a mouse, or people who've apparently been doing nothing but play Valorant for the last 7 days.  Having said that, I've somehow spent 6 hours playing it today :facepalm: It's really very very good.

 

Here's young Shroud explaining all the agents and their abilities:

 

 

As someone who sunk way too many hours into all the different varieties of Counterstrike, I'm really loving playing a fresh take on its core game. The abilities bring a load of different tactical options, and the little quality of life additions are great (like the Apex-style contextual pinging, being able to move while you're still buying, being able to request a drop and provide one in the buy menu, being able to sell back guns if you miss-buy or your team decides to eco etc).

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No, but I think most of these streamers are playing at 1080p or lower. It generally doesn't look particularly flash though, it looks like slightly simplified Overwatch graphics. I think they're definitely aiming for the CS crowd who notice input lag when their fps drops below 150.

 

It runs at ~160fps on my i7 3770k/1070 PC. It also looks a lot better in the flesh than it does in videos or on streams, I found.

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20 minutes ago, Strafe said:

Assume they’re running the game in low graphics mode for the closed beta, right?

 

Nope, it was a design choice made to ensure the game can be played on older hardware and/or at high framerates. It's not a bad looking game, really.

 

I've been playing a couple of matches each night as either Sage or Jett. It's very, very good. It will take time for me to understand some of the recoil and spread mechanics, but I'm enjoying it for what it is right now, which is a CS:GO clone with Overwatch style abilities. That feeling when you're on defence and forced to rotate because 3 team mates just got killed at the other bomb site, hoping you can solo carry the round by being clever with your abilities and aiming good - it's the very best of CS:GO but with some extra flavour, and a lot of people are going to absolutely love it.

 

It's quite odd that the most hyped game on planet right now just passes rllmuk by with barely a mention. Demographics and a lack of people who play competitive FPS games, I guess.

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2 minutes ago, AnimeExpert2003 said:

 

Nope, it was a design choice made to ensure the game can be played on older hardware and/or at high framerates. It's not a bad looking game, really.

 

I've been playing a couple of matches each night as either Sage or Jett. It's very, very good. It will take time for me to understand some of the recoil and spread mechanics, but I'm enjoying it for what it is right now, which is a CS:GO clone with Overwatch style abilities. That feeling when you're on defence and forced to rotate because 3 team mates just got killed at the other bomb site, hoping you can solo carry the round by being clever with your abilities and aiming good - it's the very best of CS:GO but with some extra flavour, and a lot of people are going to absolutely love it.

 

It's quite odd that the most hyped game on planet right now just passes rllmuk by with barely a mention. Demographics and a lack of people who play competitive FPS games, I guess.


That’s cool though I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns up looking a little more polished once it leaves beta. I can’t see the personality of the characters coming out in the gameplay, like you’d see in Overwatch (or even Fortnite). Hope it gets a console release.

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8 hours ago, AnimeExpert2003 said:

 

Nope, it was a design choice made to ensure the game can be played on older hardware and/or at high framerates. It's not a bad looking game, really.

 

I've been playing a couple of matches each night as either Sage or Jett. It's very, very good. It will take time for me to understand some of the recoil and spread mechanics, but I'm enjoying it for what it is right now, which is a CS:GO clone with Overwatch style abilities. That feeling when you're on defence and forced to rotate because 3 team mates just got killed at the other bomb site, hoping you can solo carry the round by being clever with your abilities and aiming good - it's the very best of CS:GO but with some extra flavour, and a lot of people are going to absolutely love it.

 

It's quite odd that the most hyped game on planet right now just passes rllmuk by with barely a mention. Demographics and a lack of people who play competitive FPS games, I guess.

 

Yes, I didn't want to over-egg it as I don't think rllmuk is really the intended audience, but it's amazingly good. It breathes the perfect amount of fresh air into the core CS gameplay loop. The type of scenario you've described there is what I love about CS and I think they might be even better in Valorant, thanks to the variety in approaches the different characters offer you. The importance of aim, sound cues and tactics is spot-on. It's immediately clicked for me and I'm loving it, I feel the same way I did when I downloaded CS Beta 7 in 2000. It actually feels more like original CS than CS:GO, to me; I can't put my finger on why. It's nice to be able to wallbang pretty much every surface!

 

It's already slightly suffering from the same problem that CS:GO matchmaking has, with occasionally silent or abusive teammates. Apparently Riot are pretty militant about acting on reports in LoL, so hopefully they will be managing it better than Valve once it goes live. And at the moment Russian players don't have voice comms, which I'm sure will be looked back on as halcyon days!

 

My Valorant username is pk1 if anyone fancies any games.

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Well, I achieved my first even K/D in a match today, which is a pretty big milestone for an FPS klutz such as myself. Actually won a few rounds by managing to diffuse the spike as well, which was cool. Apparently there is some matchmaking systems in there to make sure you end up with roughly the right people, but I don't think it knows where to put me just yet. Honestly though, when I'm in an approximately balanced group, this is the most fun I've had with a multiplayer FPS since I was a 20-something slacker with the time to get into clan play on Battlefield 2.

It's not even a vaguely comparable experience of course - the games are totally totally different, but just the level of personal enjoyment I've got out of it.

 

It's now been explained to me by another player that I need to be less jittery. I'm used to playing stuff where I jink about a lot and here I found myself regularly repositioning. It's pretty clear that here a core skill is knowing the maps well enough to understand where to stop and breathe for a bit. Obviously the Counterstrike pros here will be familiar, as I understand that it's basically the same over there.

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I know almost nobody cares about this yet, but it's rare for me to be this enthused about a game. Totally torn me away from RE3:R and Noita (still).

Actually managed to get into some games with a friend last night so a vague semblance of coordination started to come together and it was fantastic - especially since the other players were either silent or just enjoying themselves as well. I'm really needing to retrain myself a lot for FPS games because my instinct is to always got to ADS, but this is actually not a particulatly optimal way to do things unless you're really long range because the guns, providing you're not scooting around, are very accurate as they stand, and you're better off firing burst from your hip.

 

In addition, I wasn't entirely sure that First To 13 of 1.5 minute rounds was a great idea because when I first started out it felt a bit too long, but now I appreciate it. It gives you the time and repetition to see micro-scale metas develop.

 

Super impressed with this so far. Sort of wish I'd started CS:GO a decade ago.

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Watching streams to try to get a key now, it’s been a good few hours though and nothing yet. Am I waiting for an email? Twitch won’t tell me I assume? Will it go to the email of the riot account or the twitch one?

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I think I'm going to have to uninstall this. I nearly failed my degree in 2006 from playing CS 1.6 so much, and now I've just spent the last four days playing this instead of researching my Master's dissertation! It's tremendously good.

 

On 16/04/2020 at 10:49, Lying Cat said:

 

I think you need the Riot ID and the Tag in order for people to add you. I tried PK#1, but that didn't seem to work.

 

I think it's pk1 #EUW 

 

22 hours ago, Lying Cat said:

Actually managed to get into some games with a friend last night so a vague semblance of coordination started to come together and it was fantastic - especially since the other players were either silent or just enjoying themselves as well. I'm really needing to retrain myself a lot for FPS games because my instinct is to always got to ADS, but this is actually not a particulatly optimal way to do things unless you're really long range because the guns, providing you're not scooting around, are very accurate as they stand, and you're better off firing burst from your hip.

 

In addition, I wasn't entirely sure that First To 13 of 1.5 minute rounds was a great idea because when I first started out it felt a bit too long, but now I appreciate it. It gives you the time and repetition to see micro-scale metas develop.

 

Super impressed with this so far. Sort of wish I'd started CS:GO a decade ago.

 

On 16/04/2020 at 11:54, Lying Cat said:

 

 

It's now been explained to me by another player that I need to be less jittery. I'm used to playing stuff where I jink about a lot and here I found myself regularly repositioning. It's pretty clear that here a core skill is knowing the maps well enough to understand where to stop and breathe for a bit. Obviously the Counterstrike pros here will be familiar, as I understand that it's basically the same over there.

 

Yeah knowing when to hold angles and when to reposition is key; it comes naturally after a while. I say that, but after twenty years I'm still crap at it in CS for the most part! If you hit M or Caps Lock in Valorant you can see the map with all the callouts, so you can base the decision on what your teammates are telling you about enemy positions - if they're using comms, that is. It's sort of pot luck at the moment whether you'll get people who will give you good info or will get a completely silent team. Looking forward to competitive/ranked in that regard.

 

@Broker you should get a Twitch notification when it drops - it doesn't give you a key, it just gives your Riot account access to the Beta here

 

image.png.54c81b2a80a9a8c670079617f626cd95.png

 

Some people were saying they didn't get the notification but did get the email. I left a stream with the sound on and my Twitch status set to Online overnight and had it in the morning, but I think it's genuinely RNG and not linked to how long you've been watching.

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Slowly, slowly slowly improving. I got my first Quadra-Kill, although it was under the most absurd circumstances - I wish I recorded this stuff at times.

Playing bind, no enemies at all turned up at Point A, so I decided to head over to B, reasoning that that's where they would be. Because I'm lazy, I took the teleporter. For those who don't play, the teleporters are behind big steel one-way doors, and the teleporter makes a noise to announce you. The idea being that you shouldn't be able to take people by surprise, but nor should you be gunned down because you used it at the wrong moment.

Anyway.

I emerged from the Teleporter to see 4 of the enemy team chipping away at an ice wall that they'd erected using knives. I can only assume they had a plan to go through that way, somebody used the power at the wrong time and they wanted to remove it quietly? It was clearly noisy enough for them not to hear me come through the teleporter, and I was lucky enough to have an SMG. Just wiped out 4/5 of their team with a single sweep. I don't think they even turned around.

Absolutely surreal and never to be repeated.

Once again to restate, this game is fucking magic. Even when you end up in a group with a 14 year old who asks how old you are and then point blank refuses to believe you when you say you're nearly 40, because nobody who's 40 can play games like this, or any games. Did give me a chance to use "I was playing computer games before you were born" in a very literal way. Was pleased with that.

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Six hours of streams and no key. Is there any word on a release of any other kind. I’m honestly a bit sick of looking at it, watching this kind of game is shit if you don’t know the maps, which seem really bland to me at the moment. I’ve watched it for hours and still don’t really understand what’s going on, don’t think I care enough to carry on trying.

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1 minute ago, Broker said:

I’ve watched it for hours and still don’t really understand what’s going on, don’t think I care enough to carry on trying.

 

It's just a very polished counter strike with moba abilities. It's coming out in the summer, apparently.  If you want beta access I would just leave Twitch on overnight on a stream that says Drops Enabled rather than actually watching people play it. Oh and apparently sometimes the linking doesn't actually take effect on Twitch, so I would check your settings there to make sure it says your Riot account is linked.

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4 hours ago, PK said:

@Lying Cat - someone explaining CS-style positioning better than I can

 

 

Thanks, that's pretty excellent. I sort of sussed that this is what I need to be doing, but it's fantastic to see some actual examples. I'll probably go explore maps later. I mean, I know where I look when I'm attempting to breach an area.

 

I found this helpful too for getting into the mindset. Need to practice.

 

 

3 hours ago, Broker said:

I’ve watched it for hours and still don’t really understand what’s going on, don’t think I care enough to carry on trying.

 

It's videogames - if you're not enjoying it, I would absolutely recommend stopping dead with it until release and then maybe give it a second look. Or if you get an invite - apparently if you've been watching but have stopped, you're still eligible - a friend got a beta account with his computer off while he was asleep.

 

But like books, forcing yourself to engage just spoils the medium for you.

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5 hours ago, Lying Cat said:

 

Thanks, that's pretty excellent. I sort of sussed that this is what I need to be doing, but it's fantastic to see some actual examples. I'll probably go explore maps later. I mean, I know where I look when I'm attempting to breach an area.

 

I found this helpful too for getting into the mindset. Need to practice.

 

 

 

It's videogames - if you're not enjoying it, I would absolutely recommend stopping dead with it until release and then maybe give it a second look. Or if you get an invite - apparently if you've been watching but have stopped, you're still eligible - a friend got a beta account with his computer off while he was asleep.

 

But like books, forcing yourself to engage just spoils the medium for you.


Smart, I’ll get back to Animal Crossing and FFVII for a bit.

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The latest patch has some pretty interesting changes - Raze now only has 1 cluster grenade, and walking through Sage's slow field no longer makes any noise. The former was definitely overpowered and made certain choke points insta-death but I'm not really sure about the latter; seems a little pointless without the info-gathering that the sound provided.

 

You can also no longer attach a gun to Cypher's camera and fire it from the other side of the map :lol:

 

I've deliberately not played for the last couple.of days and I feel like I'm weaning myself off skag. It's a ludicrously addictive game.

 

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2 hours ago, PK said:

[...] seems a little pointless without the info-gathering that the sound provided.

 

I've seen it used for a lot. Outside of the usual Raze grenade/Orbital Strike inescapable combo, it also makes it bastard hard to peek properly because you're so slow. Generally the people I play with are using it defensively, to try and catch people out in the open.

The nerf to sound while walking definitely makes it weaker, but perhaps they felt that Sage's control arsenal was just a little bit out of hand? I dunno.

I got accused of camping today. Camping.

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Oh yeah, it's definitely good when combined with a damage dealer. It was really useful as a 'lob round a corner' info-gatherer too, which won't work any more.  I've not really seen it used out in the open because you can just bunny hop out of it, but I re-read the patch notes and that's been removed as well, it slows you in the air above it now as well!

 

I do hope once the full game is live they don't endlessly tinker with abilities and mechanics in response to community complaints; I'm much more interested in playing their vision than something continuously re-designed to appease reddit and twitter.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm still playing this, and it's still fantastic. Ranked play is now in, and I've qualified for the lowest possible league, but that's fine. I've never quite understood why people are so desperate to climb and get mad if they get "stuck".

 

Surely if you find your level where it's balanced you can just focus on having fun?

 

I've been playing with a pre-made mostly, but I occasionally queue solo, and I'm finding that because the communication is so vital, people fall into three categories.

 

1. People who don't talk

2. People who are great, chatty and enhance the experience.

3. Grumpy people who are probably going to die of a heart attack in their 30's, with the the words "fucking n00b" on their spittle flecked lips, eyes bloodshot with rage and tears.

 

... And that's the order that I'm generally encountering them too, but I suspect we'll see a huge upshift in toxicity once the game hits open release.

 

Part of the issue I think will be that while the game isn't a MOBA, it still asks you to commit significant time to a match. First to 13 means that you can potentially be playing 25 matches of about a minute length with downtime in between.

 

It'll be the same old issue that people won't want to commit that sort of time and then not win, and it sure it a fair chunk of time to be trapped in a group full of toxic arseholes. Personally though, I do see the benefit of such long games with short rounds. You do get to play proper mind games and it's incredibly satisfying to get inside another players head and be one step ahead of them the whole time. Generally if that happens to me I just swap positions with somebody else.

 

Because of the length of games, and how tense they can be I don't think I could ever see myself sitting down and playing for hours and hours a day, which probably means I'm always going to be low ranked - but in terms of actually playing and improving, this is probably the most gratifying FPS I've played, going from just fodder in every game to actually winning a fair few of my 1-on-1s, and having enough of a sense of the map to actually get some ambushes in.

 

We should definitely strongly consider doing some custom forum games of this once it hits general release.

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4 minutes ago, Flams said:

Is it still only a case of being able to play if you get a key from a stream?

 

I'm afraid it is. It's apparently pretty easy to get now though, and provided you watch 2 hours of any given stream and then stop, you're still eligible and they'll email you when you're in.

 

But you still have to go through all the faff of setting it up and linking accounts, though 

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56 minutes ago, MattKB said:

Is there a way of confirming that you’ve watched enough time?

 

Sadly I don't think there's a science behind it, no. Honestly I got mine by just tuning into a stream, muting it, minimising it and then just going about my day, digitally speaking.

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