In one of its regular developer updates, Valorant’s game director Joe Ziegler has addressed the topic of the shooter’s map pool and appears to suggest that the future roll out of new maps could be accelerated.
During the update, Ziegler explains that Icebox was pushed out months ahead of schedule in order to give players more diversity in both casual and competitive play. While new agents would also bring this, a new map gives every player, regardless of their preferred agent, something new to get to grips with.
However, while it wasn’t stated explicitly, it does sound as if Riot Games is taking a fresh approach to Valorant’s map roll out. A new map was initially billed to release at the start of every Episode, which is approximately every six months. However, Icebox was released far earlier than the start of Episode 2 (expected to begin in January 2021), and this trend could be about to continue.
“I’d say we need at least a couple more [maps] before we can feel confident with our map diversity, relative to the needs of both competitive and casual play,” Ziegler admits. He then closes the video by saying the Valorant team is “committed to getting you a good pool of maps to make that competitive rotation feel right as soon as possible.” This is a stark difference in tone to the originally planned structured release of maps every Episode.
While this accelerated map release approach isn’t confirmed by any means, Ziegler’s wording in the video does appear to hint at this.
We’ve reached out to Riot Games for clarification.
Elsewhere, Ziegler also addresses a much discussed are of Valorant: community-made maps. If you were hoping that one day you’d be able to mod and create your own maps for Valorant, then we’re sorry to say that you shouldn’t get your hopes up. Ziegler pretty much rules out giving the community the tools to mod Valorant.
While he admits many members of the team, including well-known former CS:GO player and map designer Sal ‘Volcano’ Garozzo, have vouched for facilitating a modding community, Ziegler says it would take “years” to build the tools and would take the focus away from creating great competitive maps.