On July 13th, Valorant’s free first-person shooter (FPS) creator Riot Games will begin listening in on player voice communications (via PCGamer). The game developer claims that this is to aid in the training of the language models that it will eventually employ for assessing player feedback across all of its games.
Riot is utilising the data it gathers to help create the beta of the system it hopes to roll out later this year, rather than beginning to evaluate player reports based on these recordings just yet. Only English-speaking Valorant players in North America will currently have their discussions evaluated by Riot. Use of another communication medium, such as Discord, or complete voice chat disablement are the only ways to reject this system.
In its announcement, Riot states, “We know that before we can even think of expanding this tool, we’ll have to be confident it’s effective, and if mistakes happen, we have systems in place to make sure we can correct any false positives (or negatives for that matter),”
Riot says that when the system is implemented, it won’t “actively monitor your live game communications” and will only “potentially listen to and review voice logs” if you are reported for acting disruptively. Additionally, it states that, like it does for reports sent through its text-based chat platforms, it will destroy this information once the issue has been resolved. Similar to the always-on Vanguard anti-cheat system that keeps an eye on your behaviour both inside and outside of Valorant, it will obviously cause privacy concerns in some players.
In addition to the proposed reporting system, Valorant is working to eliminate toxic gamers in other ways. This year, Riot began allowing Valorant players to add particular terms or phrases to a “muted words list” that is intended to help filter out offensive chatter.