The Valorant map selection system
Several months ago, the developers of Valorant published an article on the fight against AFKs, as well as an article on the fight against in-game toxicity. After addressing these relatively important topics, they return today to talk about the map selection system and their diversity.
According to Brian Chang, working in the Valorant competition team, more than a third of players have complained about running into the same map several times in a row when starting a game. In order to fix this, changes and improvements have been made to the random map allocation system.
We talk aboutrandom assignment, but it's not really. Well, it was at the beginning of the game, but it's not since patch 1.08. Why did they change this? Because there were only 4 maps when Valorant was released and players had 26% chance of falling three or more times on the same map in only five games.
This was frankly not ideal and the developers decided to remove this random system, replacing it with a "pseudo-random" system. Its purpose was to identify maps that had not been played recently by players in the same game. Thus, these were more likely to be selected by the system, but this did not prevent the others from being chosen.
The problem was therefore less frequent, but was still there despite theweighted random set up. If a player had just played Haven, they could still fall on it on the next game, although this percentage was lower.
It is clear here that the possibility of making a series of 3 or more from 26% to only 10% with the new system. Moreover, these probabilities have fallen further with the addition of new maps, which in itself is not surprising.
With thearrival of Fracture in September 2021, the chances of making a series of 3 or more have fallen further and are now from 10% to 3%. A clear and significant decrease, but one that seemed to satisfy the developers but still not the players.
No more randomness, but rather deterministic choice!
A survey conducted in March 2022 by Valorant teams revealed that 67% of players were still not satisfied, despite all the improvements that were put in place between June 2020 and February 2022. Indeed, they still had the impression that they often, or even very often, came across the same map.
It was impossible to do nothing when faced with such a high percentage of dissatisfaction. So the developers made a radical decision: remove the randomness of the allocation system. Since the patch 4.04, in order to limit the chances of generating a series, it removes from the selection those maps that appear too often in the player's history.
Since these changes were made, the results are much better than before. During the test phase in Latin America in April 2022, no player fell on the same card five times in a row. In addition, the percentage of chances to fall on the same card 3 times in a row fell to 0.06%; this is 1 in 1,700 players.
Although the results are now much better and player satisfaction has increased, Brian Chang says that the teams are still looking for any problems that could lead to further changes. However, they feel that for the time being the system of allocating maps should remain as it is for a long time to come.