Valorant Ranked Next Week?

Ziegler tweeted that we could be seeing Ranked mode released next week.

Valorant has been available to everyone worldwide since June 2nd. The release has been quite smooth, none of the crazy issues that we were seeing in early beta have reappeared.

Looks like Riot has confidence in their game now, and after about 3 weeks of letting everyone assimilate into the game, ranked mode will be making an appearance very soon! Take that with a grain of salt though, as Zeigler says it will “likely” be out, which could entail possibility of delays.

If you haven’t tried Valorant yet – get it for free

Valorant: How to Make your Enemies GLOW Yellow

Players are changing this setting to make enemies have a brighter glow.

As I was perusing social media, I began to notice that players had their enemies outlined in a yellow glow. I thought it was spectator mode or a replay, but I realized their enemies were glowing during a live match.

I looked into it and realized everyone was using settings designed to aid those with color vision impairment. So apparently if you turn on colorblind mode, you can see all your enemies in full color plus an extra glow.

Everyone Glows.

You see how wild that image is. This definitely makes it easier to spot enemies. It will also change a couple graphics, but the only one I could notice was the red barrier walls on the mini map changed to yellow.
You can access this setting in the General tab and at the very top, the 2nd option is Enemy Highlight Color. You can choose between purple or yellow, the latter being much easier to see.

Find the setting here.

You can watch me play with the yellow setting on.

Legends of Runeterra Review

Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

Card games are a genre that has transitioned into the digital era with grace but also with a lot of legacy features that some of us don’t really find appealing.

Sure, you can justify that the business models that underpin games like Hearthstone by pointing out all of the free content you get but it still makes it a bit annoying to have to shell out cash each and every time you want to upgrade your deck.

At least with a physical game you have cards to hold. In the virtual world, you have nothing other than a printout of your receipt (if you want that).

One game that is charming enough to make us forget the DLC tax that holds it all together is Legends of Runeterra, a fun deck game based on the League of Legends IP.

You don’t need to be familiar with that game, but it might help make everything click with you that much more. One thing that we had a hard time wrapping our head around is the “why” behind this game. Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

The jury is still out on that and it is a shame that almost any contender in this genre is compared with the aforementioned Blizzard property or the real OG, Magic the Gathering.

It might strike you as a copy of something superior at first glance, but what we have on offer here is innovative enough to warrant a second look.

For one thing, the action of the game moves much faster than either of the other games we mentioned. There is some tie in with the League of Legends lore but it won’t impact the game nor how you play it.

Again, we enjoyed how it assumed we knew nothing about one of the world’s biggest multiplayer games and that helped acclimate and establish the game as its own thing.

Another thing that we appreciated is that the game somewhat holds your hand or even helps guide your strategy.

A gameplay feature called the “Oracle’s Eye” will show you the impact of your moves down the road and this gives you loads of insight into how the mechanics of everything works. It’s pretty invaluable, especially if you’re not familiar with this kind of card game.

Graphics are serviceable if somewhat bright and generic from some perspectives. Overall, Legends of Runeterra delivers where it matters but there is one nagging issue.

The purchase of new cards is just a frustrating feature for a video game. We get it: If you’re used to this kind of thing, that mechanic probably isn’t a big deal. And for gamers raised in mobile ecosystems, the occasional purchase is justified. But when you’re trying to fall in love with a game and decide whether or not you want to put more of your time into it, the last thing you want to think about is a potential tax on your fun.

Because let’s face it, you’re going to have to upgrade your deck eventually. That’s just the way these games are. If you can stomach that, then Legends of Runeterra offers just enough of a change in the core game play that we think it merits a look.

Valorant: Reyna is the MOST BROKEN agent.

Reyna is overpowered.

So we’re a few days into Valorant 1.0 release. They introduced one new agent, Reyna, aka, the most OP agent. Let me give you a rundown of all of her abilities and why they are broken as hell.

Leer – this is her flash bang ability. Except it can go through walls and stays in the air for a period of time and blinds (near sights) anyone that looks at it during that time. You can dodge it by not looking at it, but guess what, your back would be turned to her and she could just mow you down. You could also just shoot it down with a couple shots, but that means taking your aim away from Reyna/enemies and pointing your gun at the orb, which gives enemies PLENTY of time to gun you down first. The funniest part is that this is probably her least overpowered ability.

Devour/Dismiss – Reyna can also buy a pool of 4 charges that can be interchanged between using devour or dismiss. If she kills an enemy she is able to choose between these two skills to activate. Devour, heals Reyna to FULL health, yes, she can literally leave every skirmish with an enemy and if she kills them, regain all of her health, up to 4 times in a round. Her other choice, dismiss, instead makes her invincible and transparent (but still visible), giving her more move speed to reposition herself after killing someone. But Riot decided that this wasn’t already OP enough, so Reyna can OVERHEAL herself and gain more than 100 health….

So we haven’t even talked about her ultimate ability yet and her abilities are all 5x stronger than all the other agents in the game. Her flash makes Phoenix’s look useless in comparison and she can heal much faster and more times than Phoenix. Her mobility skill outshines Jett’s as well. Reyna becomes invincible and quicker when she moves away, while Jett can only dash once (unless she gets 2 more kills) and Jett can still be shot and has a delay after the dash ends before she can shoot again.

I guess this didn’t already seem broken enough, so Riot decided to give Reyna the most ridiculous ultimate ability ever seen in any competitive shooter game. EMPRESS. Once she activates her ult, Reyna gains – INCREASED FIRE RATE, INCREASED RELOAD SPEED, REDUCED RECOIL. Wow, seems like a pretty strong ult, BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. She can also now see all of her enemies outlined in a bright red glow making them 3x easier to spot.

Literally can spot enemies 2 miles away in her ult

Her ult is so ridiculous, it requires another paragraph to explain what else it does. Her ult also modifies her devour dismiss abilities. Whenever you get a kill while you have your ult active, it will devour the enemy, automatically…without using an orb. Yes, you heard me, you get a free heal after every kill while in Empress mode. Also, if you trigger dismiss during Empress, you actually become fully 100% invisible and invincible to the enemy, letting you move anywhere you want with no detection. With all of this going on with her ult, you would think you could just wait for it to run out before fighting her, right? Wrong. Her ult timer, which is already long off the bat, RESETS every time she gets a kill. Don’t forget that if she has full armor, she can overheal to having a total of 200 health.

There is no other agent that is currently this imbalanced.

Which clown designed this agent and got it approved? I thought I was playing Valorant, not League of Legends. I hope Riot doesn’t follow the same path and make new agents overpowered so everyone spends money to buy them.

Someone nerf her, please.

One Week of Valorant Ranked

Valorant ranked competitive mode has been out for about a week now, giving me some time to evaluate the new mode, here are my thoughts.

Ranking System

The ranking system is similar to league of legends, in order from worst to best, Iron – Bronze – Silver – Gold – Platinum – Diamond – Immortal – Valorant. Each tier has 3 sub-levels, i.e. Gold 1, Gold 2, Gold 3. Now here is where the curve ball comes in – In league of legends, Gold 4 is considered worst, while Gold 1 is highest of the tier; In Valorant however, Gold 1 would be the lowest and Gold 3 is the highest. I’m not sure what the purpose of this was, but it did cause some confusion for a good while, I would think they would just be consistent about it across their own games within Riot, but the only reasoning I could conjure up was that, in counter strike it went from 1 to 4 (highest) as well, and its safe to assume that CS players are going to make up a solid chunk of Valorant players. The only requirement to start playing ranked is to have 20 games played, no level requirement or anything else (thankfully). This seems pretty reasonable compared to LoL, where you had to play a ludicrous amount of games to reach level 30, although at the same time, this could lead to a smurfing problem when the game is fully released.

Gameplay

So how did my first week of ranked go? Not bad. Even in closed beta, there are enough people playing for matchmaking to be decently fair in most games. Individual performance is definitely factored into the rankings, as one person in my party climbed the ranks higher than the rest of us by scoring MVP many games. This did however, introduce another problem, even though we all started at the same time and played many games together, if you are 6 ranks below someone, you can no longer queue up with them. This is total nonsense, considering we ALL won those games as a team, but suddenly we can no longer queue with our friend anymore, because he became 6 ranks higher. The Valorant algorithm doesn’t seem to care for anything aside from kills. Scouting enemies, planting or defusing, healing , resurrection, walls, etc. All of these things can turn games around and create wins for your team, but if you’re not getting maximum kills, then your rank will suffer. This leave no incentive for people to pick up the bomb ever, or play heroes like Sage that are a huge boost to the team, but might not have an offensive toolkit. This also promotes smurfing, as people naturally will still want to play with their friends, but have no choice but to create a new account and purposely tank the MMR, and then proceed into ranked to ruin Iron player’s dreams. Streamers have also pointed out that even though you can’t queue with your lower ranked friends, Matchmaking will still put you into a game with people of those ranks considered “too low” sometimes, which makes even less sense. There is also no definitive separation of solo vs 5 stacks, so an entire team of solos can sometimes end up playing against a 5 stack; summit1g made a comment about this unfairness as well. I would love to see a solo queue mode as well.

Anticheat Issues

Valorant has still been facing a handful of issues. Aside from regular game bugs, there was quite a big issue with their Vanguard Anti cheat system this week. Many users (including myself) have been reporting the Anti cheat has been blocking various things from drivers for PC components, to cooling software being blocked. Yes, you read that right, COOLING SOFTWARE was being shut off, one redditor has his GPU almost fry and start burning plastic, because Riot shut off their cooling software. I was luckier in that it was shutting of drivers for my RAM, causing RGB function to cease, but I haven’t seen any other symptoms. One of my friends stopped being able to launch the game completely for a couple days due to more Vanguard issues. Riot released a hot fix on 5/8/20, hopefully that resolves any major issues for most players.

All in all, its a good start of beta ranked. Get out there and enjoy!
If you still don’t have access to the game, read below.

If you haven’t gotten into the Valorant closed beta, here’s how:

  1. Create a riot account if you don’t already have one
  2. Create a Twitch account
  3. Link your riot to your twitch account here
  4. Watch any drop enabled streamer on twitch playing Valorant here

Riot has stated that watching multiple streams does not increase your chances. We recommend that you leave one stream running all day, you can also lower the resolution in the video player to reduce the network usage.