VALORANT Wishlist 2023 (And Possibly Beyond)

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VALORANT Wishlist 2023

So, for my editorial piece, I am going to mention things I want or expect from VALORANT, not just in 2023 but also in the years ahead. Of course, I am aware that these things may change over time and I will probably move on to other games. However, like the iconic games of my childhood, VALORANT has already cemented its legacy in video game history. Not only did it capture the distinct elements of Tactical First-Person Shooters (Tac-FPS) but also implemented and refined the elements commonly associated with “hero-based” shooters by seamlessly blending the idea of utility usage as a core strategy and the concept of adapting to how these utilities are used. We can see in VALORANT’s different game modes, except for Deathmatch and Custom Game, that strategies – regardless of rank – are fluid, and not every round is the same. For instance, one of Spike Rush’s main objectives is to gather as many power-up orbs as possible to gain point control, map-wide buff/debuff, and weapon advantage. While the new Swiftplay mode gives us a condensed Unrated mode with a streamlined economy, making economic decisions a crucial part of determining rounds.

The things added to VALORANT in every major update give us a glimpse of a game constantly evolving its player base. The matchmaking changes to both Ranked and Unrated modes have been drastically improved since I started in November 2020. Never will I be in lobbies way above my rank unless there is one whose rank is undetermined (no rank). That was one of the problems in the early days of VALORANT. Speaking of which, remember the Bucky meta that started the “Battle Sage”? How about the Stinger having a very small bullet spread and recoil? Jett and Sova as the top pick from amateurs to pro players? Viper as a low-tier Agent? Those were the days. While VALORANT is in a better place now compared to its early days, some of us still hope for some changes. But, for a free-to-play game, we can only expect as much. As for myself, there are some things I want to see in VALORANT in the coming years.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Codashop.

  1. A best of 2 sets Competitive queue. This is probably  my major wish, with the option to also have it in Custom Game. This is to streamline small-scale tournaments (like fundraisers, school esports qualifications, and the like) and provide non-professional players a glimpse of how professional VALORANT works through the game. I understand that the mechanics for this specific queue will take some time to iron out and implement, but the growing interest in the esports scene may give this wish some leverage. Related to this wish is probably one that can be realistically implemented: A rematch or a regroup/team-up option if the teammates are really good to warrant a second queue with them. This is to not clutter the Friends List by adding people.
  2. A true Team Deathmatch, Capture The Point, or Domination modes… or all of them. Escalation and Snowball Fight showed how VALORANT can be played without the main objective of planting the Spike. Now, with bigger and wider maps like Breeze, Fracture, and Pearl, having a true Team Deathmatch mode can be implemented. Not to mention, Capture The Point (aka Domination) mode is very helpful for players to develop the habit of holding angles and defending them without the Spike and plan a coordinated retake when the capture point changes.
  3. More interesting map designs. I’m a fan of map designs and how their internal logic work. Bind has always been an interesting map for me because of the absence of a mid lane. This translates to one player pivoting sites to get an early rotation or retake. Haven’s three bomb sites are a peculiar choice, but it also means that information should always be gathered. Initiators and a Cypher cam are still the best options here. As for this wish, I think a map with many short passageways could introduce fast duels (borrowing the concept from Bind’s A Short to A Hall) or more wide maps to make decisions about entering a site a little bit challenging. Breeze and Fracture already introduced this.
  4. Agent bans in Ranked. Okay, okay. I think this is already what the community wants.
  5. Agent nerfs/buff should be on the next major update. The thing with meta balance is that it’s a paradox: it’s both fluid and static simultaneously. Take Chamber, for example. After his first major nerf – reducing Trademark from 2 to 1 – he was still a top pick across all ranks for the majority of 2022. It also meant that as a choice for at least one map, Chamber was not the optimal Agent. Honestly, I’m not a fan of nerfs/buffs in the incremental update(s). Why not do those things in major updates, like when introducing new maps and Agents? Well, I get why it shouldn’t be like that, anyway, but it never hurts to try.
  6. Map rotation priority pick in Ranked mode. I’ve taken this concept from Battle Royale shooters, where players can pick the maps they want to play both in Ranked and Unranked modes. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive also has this kind of queue. Even the older Counter-Strike 1.6 can be coaxed to queue maps through the map rotation file in the game’s system folder. For VALORANT, I think this could be a good way for players to practice the maps rather than having nine straight Icebox matches. True story. Of course, if you like Icebox, that wouldn’t be a problem, right? 
  7. More exciting team comps across all skill levels, including professional players. With the recent nerfs to Chamber and Fade, top picks in the entire campaign of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT), we are already seeing the meta being shaken to its foundation. This change is astronomical, given that the nerfs to Astra in March also shook the community, and having some tweaks to the other Sentinels (Cypher and Killjoy, specifically) and Initiators, the meta heading to the 2023  VCT will be a sight to watch. Killjoy and Yoru are seeing some picks in professional tournaments, and even for an informal event, they are being picked more than Chamber and Jett. I wonder what will happen to Harbor when Patch 6.0 goes online.
  8. More skin collaborations. The Spectrum collaboration was something I did not expect. But that showed me that VALORANT might have more collaborations in the future. How about a team-based skin to support the partnered teams? I want the Zeta Division logo. Please?
  9. Bold Prediction: Watch out for Asian teams to dominate the scene in 2 years. We saw how Asian teams have slowly crept into regional dominance in VALORANT. This is remarkable and historic, given that throughout the history of Tac-FPS games, there are only two regions that dominate the scene: North America and Europe. East Asian teams like DRX (former Vision Strikers) and Zeta Division have consistently participated in international LAN events with stellar results. Southeast Asian teams like Team Secret, Paper Rex, and Boom Esports have been showing up; despite the region being well-known in other games. Chinese powerhouse Edward Gaming is also a team to watch out for. They breezed through the Last Chance Qualifiers for East Asia by beating some top teams in Japan (especially their number 2 team, Northeption) and Korea (On Sla2ers) without losing a single map. I am very excited about how Asian teams will perform in the upcoming VCT campaign after the partner teams were announced last September.
  10.  A replay and spectate system. Taken from other shooter games, I would like to see VALORANT being played without playing it or accessing another website (Twitch or Youtube). Having these features in-game will also help players determine which part of their game needs improvement (replay) or what they can implement on their own (spectate).
  11.  Open up a map design program. Taken from older Tac-FPS games is this rather popular choice back in the day. I remember playing more custom maps designed by the community than the maps the developers made. This may give VALORANT a platform for a new breed of map designers.

I think this covers much of what I want from VALORANT in the coming years. But I think some of them can be implemented in 2023. Replay/spectate mode, Team Deathmatch modes… Those can be easily incorporated into the game. VALORANT is stellar as it is and is continuing to grow; I hope the developers may think about expanding the player base even more. What is your wishlist for VALORANT this 2023 (and possibly beyond)? Do you have bold predictions for the professional scene? Or do you want to see new game modes outside of what I mentioned here? Tell us what you think.

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