Toxic Teammates and Players

Valorant Devs Talk Toxicity

Valorant Dev Talks

The current ban system is not enough!

In a recent Reddit discussion, Valorant devs weighed in on toxicity and suggested punishment for toxic behavior will be changed. Currently, you can only report toxic players and very little seems to happen if you are being toxic.

The conversation begins on communication bans, as this is the first step Riot Games takes to combat toxic players. However, this is not always the best approach because it now disadvantages other players who have to play with a person under a chat and voice ban. This even happens in ranked play!

If you play an online game long enough you will encounter trolls and toxic players and in Valorant this is no different. Remember you should always report these players as once they build up enough reports Riot will take a look and issue the appropriate punishment.

The problem is this can even happen in ranked play as these toxic players with communication bans can still play with the normal population of rankers. If you can’t call out a push or peek - you can't help your team. Now the whole team is punished for the toxic player’s chat ban. Have no fear! The Valorant devs working in the central player dynamics group are aware of this flaw in the system and address it in a lengthy post which we will break into sections:

When Valorant launched, we started seeing lots of reports of really disruptive behavior particularly in voice and so we prioritized getting out something to protect players from that harm fast rather than wait for the perfect solution. Knowing this is the case, we chose to focus on a what we felt was a softer penalty that has less potential for player harm. What we have today isn't what we intend to be the final solution and we're working on making it better - although I think folks would be mad if I tried to give any sense of when here.”

The Valorant developers' heart was in the right place and offered a quick fix at the launch of the game. But since the game has been out for some time now, things need to change sooner rather than later. More on punishments:

More philosophically, our goal is to try to match the type of penalty to the type of offense so as to prevent a disruptive player from causing that type of harm again. Most players who are disruptive in comms are otherwise good players, and banning them is more likely to lead to them creating alt accounts and continuing with the same behavior. In this situation, I'll admit that we probably underestimated the negative effect on teammates of having a comms muted player and that's something that we're going to think more about.

They raise a good point. If the ban is too harsh the player just creates a new account and since Valorant is free to play it's hard to deter repeat offenders. The dev. continues and says they draw data from LoL as well:

To be honest, Valorant is new for Riot and we're going to have to learn how to work with it. It would be dishonest to pretend we don't draw on our data from LoL (there are very few established industry conventions on behavior problems), and some of it isn't going to apply as well. This sort of conversation is actually really helpful for me to hear in understanding what's going on in the ecosystem and I take it to heart so don't hesitate to raise concerns.

Riot Games is also aware of toxic players and maybe we will get some LoL like ban system or restrictions soon. We think something like a 1-hour ban from joining competitive matches is logical or for the duration of your communication ban also makes sense. Riot Games has the experience and we just need to wait for them to apply that to Valorant.

Stay tuned for more Valorant news and check EarlyGame or the EarlyGame YouTube channel for everything gaming and esports.

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