Tag Archives: polygon

Michael B. Jordan’s Just Mercy made free to stream to raise awareness of systematic racism

Moviegoers generally missed out on the race-themed legal drama Just Mercy, which slipped unheralded into four theaters on Christmas Day in 2019 before opening wide in early January. The film, starring Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan and Django Unchained’s Jamie Foxx, was designed as a prestige picture, a serious awards contender meant to qualify for Oscar consideration, but while the film spent more than five months quietly simmering along in theatrical release worldwide, it only brought in about $50 million at the worldwide box office. Now, Warner Bros. is offering viewers in the United States the chance to watch it at home for free on a variety of streaming platforms.

The film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), is based on the nonfiction memoir by law professor and Equal Justice Initiative executive director Bryan Stevenson. Jordan plays Stevenson as he graduates Harvard Law in the 1980s and moves to Alabama, inspired to help death-row inmates appeal their sentences. He ends up defending Walter (Jamie Foxx), a man accused of murdering a white woman, and placed on death row even though the evidence proves his innocence. It’s expressly a film about systemic racism and the failures of the American justice system, and about the importance of standing up against prejudiced policing.

As protests have spread in major American cities over the police killing of unarmed black civilian George Floyd, activists on social media platforms proclaimed Tuesday, June 2 “Blackout Tuesday,” a day intended for pausing and reflection by users of sites like Instagram and Twitter. Major companies and brands have scrambled to show support, with declarations of respect and solidarity for the protestors and for victims of systemic racial oppression and violence. Warner Bros. is offering Just Mercy for free as part of that support movement.

In a statement made to social media channels, Warner Bros. offered the film as a resource for viewers interested in educating themselves about prejudice in the American legal system.

Just Mercy is available as a free rental throughout June on Amazon, Vudu, and other streaming services.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

Pokémon Go June 2020 Field Research tasks and rewards

Hatch an egg Palpitoad encounter Evolve a Pokémon Eevee or Sandslash encounter Power up Pokémon 5 times Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle encounter Send 3 gifts to friends Barboach encounter Take a snapshot of a ground-type Pokémon Diglett encounter Trade a Pokémon Swinub encounter Transfer 3 Pokémon Numel encounter Catch 10 Pokémon Magikarp encounter User 5 berries to help catch Pokémon Drillbur encounter Catch 5 Pokémon with weather boost Poliwag or Vulpix encounter Catch 3 grass-, fire-, or ground-type Pokémon Cubone encounter Catch 3 ground-type Pokémon Hippopotas encounter Make 3 great throws Gastly, Anorith, or Lileep encounter Make 5 great curveball throws in a row Spinda encounter Make 5 nice throws Voltorb encounter Make 3 great throws in a row Onix encounter Make 3 excellent throws in a row Larvitar encounter Earn 3 candies walking with your buddy Stunfisk encounter Give your buddy 3 treats Wooper encounter Win a raid Marshtomp encounter Win in the Go Battle League Rhyhorn encounter Win 5 raids Aerodactyl encounter Win a level 3 or higher raid Kabuto or Omanyte encounter Spin 10 Pokéstops or gyms 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, a Pinap Berry, 5 Silver Pinap Berries, or 5 Pokéballs Catch 10 Pokémon 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Pokéballs Catch 5 Pokémon with weather boost 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Pokéballs Catch a dragon-type Pokémon 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candy, 2 Golden Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls Use 5 berries to help catch Pokémon 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls Catch 10 Pokémon with weather boost 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls Catch 5 different species of ground-type Pokémon 2 Rare Candy Catch 10 normal-type Pokémon 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls Catch a Ditto 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candy, 2 Golden Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls Make 3 great throws 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Pokéballs Make 5 nice throws 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Pokéballs Make 2 nice curveball throws in a row 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Pokéballs Make 5 curveball throws in a row 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls Make 3 nice throws in a row 500 Stardust, 2 Pinap Berries, 5 Great Balls, or 2 Ultra Balls Make an excellent throw 500 Stardust, 2 Pinap Berries, 5 Great Balls, or 2 Ultra Balls Make 3 great curveball throws 1,000 Stardust, 1 Rare Candy, 9 Razz Berries, 3 Pinap Berries, 10 Pokéballs, or 5 Ultra Balls Make 3 great curveball throws in a row 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candy, 2 Golden Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls Sponsored: Send 3 gifts to friends 1,000 Stardust or a Rare Candy Sponsored: Catch 8 Pokémon 1,000 Stardust or a Rare Candy

Source: Polygon.com

Path of Exile: Harvest adds city building to the action RPG

On Tuesday, Grinding Gear Games revealed Path of Exile’s summer expansion: Harvest. Harvest offers players a chance to create their own gardens, and build a complex network of irrigation machines inside the Sacred Grove. But being an action RPG, the plant seeds come alive when players go to harvest.

Path of Exile: Harvest will launch on PC June 19, and the week of June 22 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Once Harvest begins, players will randomly encounter Seed Caches in the world — magical roots will lead the way, with a Seed Cache hidden in each area. When players interact with the Seed Cache, it will drop a bounty of different seeds. Oshabi, a new NPC, then offers players travel to the Sacred Grove.

Each seed has a monster associated with it — there are wolf seeds, ape seeds, scorpion seeds, and more — and players can plant them in the Sacred Grove. Some simple seeds only take time to grow but more advanced seeds require complex resources produced by growing simpler seeds. Opening a Seed Cache somewhere in the world advances time in your garden by one unit. This is where Path of Exile transforms from action RPG to miniature city builder.

In the middle of every pack of seeds, players should build a Collector. When players go to harvest their plants and fight monsters within them, the Collector will harness the seed’s Lifeforce. Players can use Lifeforce in a few ways, mostly to craft powerful new effects on their gear.

Path of Exile Harvest irrigation system Path of Exile’s irrigation system, moving Lifeforce between seed patches Image: Grinding Gear Games

But Lifeforce can only go so far when crafting, and players will almost always have some left over. This is where the system gets complex. Some seeds require Lifeforce from lower-level seeds to grow. Harvest offers Wild, Primal, and Vivid seed types, and each creates its own Lifeforce. To grow stronger seeds, players need to connect irrigation lines from their collectors to other seed patches.

Tier 1 monsters can drop Tier 2 seeds, which are pickier about how they grow. They may need to be near other seeds of a like or different color, and require a certain type of Lifeforce. But when they grow, Tier 2 seeds provide a more difficult combat challenge, and can drop Tier 3 seeds, which are even harder to grow and kill. Some of these monsters even come from the in-development Path of Exile 2, and should be more detailed than current Path of Exile monsters.

By fully customizing each set of seeds, players can select which enemies they want to fight and which crafting bonuses they’ll earn from an encounter. Players can harvest 48 seeds at once, some of which contain more than a single monster. But failing a fight means you lose the Lifeforce, so players need to be ready before taking on some harder grow operations.

After Tier 3 seeds, players can occasionally fight one of three boss seeds. The studio is teasing a mysterious, hyper difficult Tier 4 seed, which players will need to discover on their own once Harvest launches.

Path of Exile Harvest Tier 3 seeds Image: Grinding Gear Games

Grinding Gear Games says it wanted to make sure this system could be complex for players that wanted a new type of gameplay from Path of Exile, while also recognizing that others have no interest in this kind of micromanagement. The studio built the system to function for both types of players. Devoted builders can create incredible, sprawling gardens, while others can occasionally ignore their garden without any punishment. But the goal of the Sacred Grove is crafting, which Grinding Gear Games wanted to focus on over just throwing new items at players like it does every League.

Like all of Path of Exile’s Leagues, there are numerous other changes players can expect. There are 12 new, Unique items in the game, and a complete rebalance of two-handed melee weapons. Grinding Gear Games is also revisiting the massive Passive Skill Tree, and changing up some of the older options. Delirium, the previous Path of Exile League, will also enter the core game with Harvest. Players can still come across the hyper-difficult Delirium encounters out in the world.

Finally, Grinding Gear Games is currently testing a new renderer using the Vulkan API. This should help the game stutter less than it has been on DirectX 11, and give the studio more control over assets and resource management.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

How to watch every Marvel movie scene in chronological order

There are plenty of places online that will tell you how to watch all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, chronologically or otherwise. But what if you wanted more? What if you wanted to watch every scene in the MCU in chronological order?

Escape From Vault Disney podcast host Tony Goldmark has the answer for you.

Last week, Goldmark tweeted the results of his ambitious quarantine project, a list of every discrete scene in every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rearranged in chronological order. A little later, after incorporating canny observations from those who saw the tweet, he published a final, even more accurate, version on Comic Book Herald

Chronologically speaking, the first scene in the MCU is the prologue of Thor: The Dark World, which begins “millennia ago” with Asgard and the Dark Elves at war. Then time jumps to the flashback sequence of Thor: Ragnarok in which the Valkyries make their last charge against Hela. And then to 965 A.D., when Asgard battled Frost Giants across Earth.

Then, Goldmark’s list continues for over 100 swaps from movie to movie and back, until, finally, in a cute choice, the final credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, in which Astronaut Stan Lee assures the Watchers that he has many, many more stories to tell.

stan lee and the watchers at the end of Guardians 2 Image: Marvel Studios

Timelines of the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be found on any fan wiki, but Goldmark has assembled the recipe for a video version. Polygon reached out to the theme park Youtuber and Disney podcaster to find out exactly what had motivated the creation of this exhaustively researched list, and he said he never intended for it to catch so much attention.

“I was doing it mostly for my own amusement and nerdy curiosity more than anything else,” Goldmark said over email, “just as a personal project to keep me occupied during the quarantine. Next thing you know, it’s got over nine thousand retweets and 31 thousand likes, and I’ve gained nearly two thousand new Twitter followers in the last three days alone.”

He was also surprised at the number of people clamoring for the list to be in a different format.

“I think the biggest thing I learned from this process is that, as intriguing as this sort of thing is, people online VASTLY prefer watching videos to reading lists,” he said. “I’ve gotten thousands of responses and quote-tweets on that thing, and at least half of them are some variation of ‘You should edit this into one video!’”

But even as the creator of the list in the first place, he doesn’t recommend using it.

“Incidentally, I don’t think watching the MCU chopped up into this chronological order is objectively the best way to do it — if you’re seeing any of these movies for the first time, you should absolutely watch them as the filmmakers intended. This is strictly a nerdy bonus for superfans who are obsessed with the chronology of it in particular, and I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of thing.”

Nerdy superfans who are obsessed with chronology? I, uh … can’t relate.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

This streaming site shows you which Valorant streamers are playing your favorite Agent

Valorant’s only been out for a day and there are already hundreds of streamers and content creators playing it and vying for your attention. With all these options, it can be hard to figure out which streamers to watch. But a new website called Operator.gg makes that process a little easier.

Operator.gg lets you sort streamers based on the map or Agent that they’re currently playing. You can even widen the search field a bit by choosing multiple Agents but keeping it limited to just one or two maps. This way you can find exactly the stream you want, or the one that’s most helpful.

It’s also the easiest way to catch a glimpse of Valorant’s newest content in action. You can search specifically for streamers that are playing Reyna, the game’s newest Agent, or on Ascent, the game’s new map. The site also tracks each streamer’s current round score, in case you wanted to see a game that was just starting, or avoid watching a streamer who’s stuck in a matchmaking queue.

Instead of relying on data from Riot or Valorant itself, Operator.gg reads the information on each streamer’s screen to determine which map they’re playing on and their Agent. The added bonus of this kind of tracking, both for streamers and viewers, is that it won’t rely on Twitch’s algorithm to suggest streamers to you.

Since Operator.gg is tracking hundreds of streams, including those with single-digit viewers, it can point you in the direction of small streamer you may not have found otherwise, just because they happened to be playing Viper on Bind when that was exactly what you were looking for.

For now the site only tracks map and Agent, but once Riot releases Valorant’s ranked mode, the system will track that as well. All of this should add up to making the game much easier to learn, since you can find streamers who are specifically playing the Agent you want to know about or the map you want to improve on. Or you can use it as a really easy way to just check out all of Valorant’s new changes.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

A new Adventure Time special and everything else coming to HBO Max this month

The brand-new streaming service HBO Max launched at the end of May, bringing a wealth of new movies and TV shows to viewers’ fingertips. The beginning of a new month means even more offerings are on their way.

In June, HBO Max will boast even more movies, as well as some original programming, notably a new Adventure Time special (the first of four) as well as the second season of Doom Patrol. The first Magic Mike will also hit streaming via HBO Max, the director’s cut of Doctor Sleep will be available for horror aficionados, and Ad Astra is up there for anyone who wishes they could be launched into outer space right now.


Available June 1

4th & Forever: Muck City, Season One
Adventures In Babysitting, 1987 (HBO)
Amelie, 2001 (HBO)
An American Werewolf in London, 1981 (HBO)
The American, 2010 (HBO)
Another Cinderella Story, 2008
Beautiful Girls, 1996 (HBO)
Black Beauty, 1994
Bridget Jones’s Baby, 2016
The Bucket List, 2007
Cabaret, 1972
The Champ, 1979
Chicago, 2002
A Cinderella Story, 2004
A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, 2011
Clash Of The Titans, 2010
Cradle 2 the Grave, 2003
Crash, 2005 (Director’s Cut) (HBO)
Doubt, 2008 (HBO)
Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, 1999 (HBO)
Drop Dead Gorgeous, 1999
Dune, 1984 (HBO)

Elf, 2003

Sure, we’re only halfway through the year, but Jon Favreau’s Elf is one of the surest pick-me-ups of all time, and is the rare great contemporary Christmas movie.

bob newhart and will ferrell in elf Image: New Line Cinema

Enter The Dragon, 1973
Far and Away, 1992 (HBO)
Final Destination, 2000
Final Destination 2, 2003
Final Destination 3, 2006
The Final Destination, 2009
Firewall, 2006
Flipped, 2010
Forces of Nature, 1999 (HBO)
The Fountain, 2006 (HBO)
Frantic, 1988
From Dusk Til Dawn, 1996
Full Metal Jacket, 1987
Gente De Zona: En Letra De Otro, 2018 (HBO)
The Good Son, 1993 (HBO)
The Goonies, 1985
Hanna, 2011 (HBO)
Havana, 1990 (HBO)
He Got Game, 1998 (HBO)
Heaven Can Wait, 1978
Heidi, 2006
Hello Again, 1987 (HBO)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013
The Hunger, 1983
In Her Shoes, 2005 (HBO)
In Like Flint, 1967 (HBO)
The Iron Giant, 1999
It Takes Two, 1995
Juice, 1992
The Last Mimzy, 2007
License To Wed, 2007
Life, 1999 (HBO)
Lifeforce, 1985 (HBO)
Lights Out, 2016 (HBO)
Like Water For Chocolate, 1993 (HBO)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action, 2003
The Losers, 2010
Love Jones, 1997
Lucy, 2020 (HBO)
Magic Mike, 2012
McCabe and Mrs. Miller, 1971
Misery, 1990

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, 2008 (HBO)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is one of the best romantic comedies of recent years, but it’s generally underappreciated. Luckily for you, HBO Max has come to the rescue. Frances McDormand stars as Miss Pettigrew, a straitlaced woman who, after being fired from her job as a governess, finds employment as the social secretary to singer-actress Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), who is juggling relationships with three men at once. As Miss Pettigrew manages Delysia’s social calendar, she gets swept into high society, and into a tender new romance.

amy adams and lee pace in miss pettigrew lives for a day Photo: Kerry Brown/Focus Features

A Monster Calls, 2016 (HBO)
Mr. Wonderful, 1993 (HBO)
Must Love Dogs, 2005
My Dog Skip, 2000
Mystic River, 2003
The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter, 1991
The Neverending Story, 1984
New York Minute, 2004
Nights In Rodanthe, 2008
No Reservations, 2007
Ordinary People, 1980
Our Man Flint, 1966 (HBO)
The Parallax View, 1974
Patch Adams, 1998 (HBO)
A Perfect World, 1993
Pedro Capo: En Letra Otro, 2017 (HBO)
Personal Best, 1982
Presumed Innocent, 1990
Ray, 2004 (HBO)
Richie Rich (Movie), 1994
Rosewood, 1997
Rugrats Go Wild, 2003
Running on Empty, 1988
Secondhand Lions, 2003
She’s The Man, 2006 (HBO)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2011 (HBO)
Space Cowboys, 2000
Speed Racer, 2008
Splendor in the Grass, 1961
The Stepfather, 1987 (HBO)
Summer Catch, 2001
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, 1991
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, 1993
Tess, 1980 (HBO)
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, 2005
The Time Traveler’s Wife, 2009
Titanic, 1997
TMNT, 2007
Torch Song Trilogy, 1988
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, 1997 (HBO)
Tweety’s High-Flying Adventures, 2000
U-571, 2000 (HBO)
U.S. Marshals, 1998
Unaccompanied Minors, 2006
Uncle Buck, 1989 (HBO)
Veronica Mars, 2014
Walking and Talking, 1996 (HBO)
We Are Marshall, 2006
Weird Science, 1985 (HBO)
When Harry Met Sally, 1989
Wild Wild West, 1999
Wonder, 2019 (HBO)
X-Men: First Class, 2011 (HBO)
You’ve Got Mail, 1998

Available June 2

Inside Carbonaro, Season One (TruTV)

Available June 6

a view of Brad Pitt as an astronaut looking out from a spacecraft window Photo: Walt Disney Studios

Ad Astra, 2019 (HBO)
Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! (HBO)

Available June 7

I May Destroy You, Series Premiere (HBO)

Available June 10

Infinity Train, Season 2 Premiere

Available June 12

El asesino de los caprichos (AKA The Goya Murders), 2020 (HBO)

Available June 13

The Good Liar, 2019 (HBO)

Available June 16

#GeorgeWashington, 2017
Age of Big Cats, Season One
Ancient Earth, Season One
Apocalypse: WWI, Season One
Big World in A Small Garden, 2016
The Celts: Blood, Iron & Sacrifice, Season One
Cornfield Shipwreck, 2019
The Daunting Fortress of Richard the Lionheart, 2019
David Attenborough’s Ant Mountain, 2016
David Attenborough’s Light on Earth, 2016
DeBugged, 2018
Digits, Season One
Dragons & Damsels, 2019
Ebony: The Last Years of The Atlantic Slave Trade, 2016
Expedition: Black Sea Wrecks, Season One
First Man, 2017
Going Nuts: Tales from Squirrel World, 2019
Hack the Moon: Unsung Heroes of Apollo, 2019
The History of Food, Season One
Hurricane the Anatomy, Season One, 2018
Into the Lost Crystal Caves, 2016
Jason Silva: Transhumanism, 2016
King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (Part 1 & Part 2), Season One
Knuckleball!, 2019
Leonardo: The Mystery of The Lost Portrait, 2018
Looney Tunes (Batch 2) (6/22), Season One
Man’s First Friend, 2018
Penguin Central, 2019
Pompeii: Disaster Street, 2020
Popeye (Batch 2) (6/22), Season One
Pyramids Builders: New Clues, 2019
Realm of the Volga, Season One
Sacred Spaces, Season One

Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer, Documentary Premiere (CNN)

From HBO Max: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer is the sensational true story of the most infamous tabloid in US history, a wild, probing look at how one newspaper’s prescient grasp of its readers’ darkest curiosities led it to massive profits and influence.

Scanning the Pyramids, 2018
Science vs. Terrorism, Season One
The Secret Lives of Big Cats, Season One
Secret Life of Lakes, Season One
Secret Life Underground, Season One
Secrets of the Solar System, Season One
Space Probes!, Season One
Speed, Season One
Spies of War, Season One
Tales of Nature, Season One
Tsunamis: Facing a Global Threat, 2020
Versailles Rediscovered: The Sun King’s Vanished Palace, 2019
Viking Women, Season One
Vitamania, 2018
Whale Wisdom, 2019
The Woodstock Bus, 2019

Available June 18

Summer Camp Island, Season 2 Premiere

Karma, Series Premiere

From HBO Max: Karma takes 16 contestants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, completely off the grid, away from parents and the normal comforts of home, to solve puzzles and overcome physical challenges, with the laws of karma setting the rules. This adventure competition series, led by YouTube host Michelle Khare, will test the mental and physical stamina of its young contestants as they unravel how their social actions impact their success in the game.

Available June 19

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
Entre Nos: The Winners (HBO)
Bajo el mismo techo (AKA Under the Same Roof), 2020 (HBO)

Available June 20

Ford V. Ferrari, 2020 (HBO)

Available June 21

matthew rhys as perry mason Photo: HBO

Perry Mason, Drama Series Premiere (HBO)

From HBO Max: This drama series follows the origins of American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.

Available June 24

South Park, Seasons 1-23
Transhood, Documentary Premiere (HBO)

Available June 25

Adventure Time Distant Lands: BMO, Special Premiere

From HBO Max: Based on the animated series Adventure Time created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto, these four breakout specials explore the unseen corners of the world with characters both familiar and brand new. The first of these specials is BMO, which follows the lovable little robot on a new adventure. When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!

Doom Patrol, Season 2 Premiere
Esme & Roy, Season 2A Premiere
Search Party, Season 3 Premiere

Available June 26

Hormigas (AKA The Awakening of the Ants), 2020

Available June 27

Doctor Sleep (Director’s Cut), 2020 (HBO)

Available June 28

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Docuseries Premiere (HBO)

From HBO Max: A six-part documentary series based on the book of the same name and explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of a violent predator she dubbed the Golden State Killer.

Available June 30

Welcome to Chechnya, Documentary Premiere (HBO)

From HBO Max: This searing documentary shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

How to support Black Lives Matter and the protests against police brutality

Over the past week, people have come together all over the world to protest the deaths of George Floyd, who was killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck until and after Floyd became unresponsive; Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in her own home; and Ahmaud Arbery, who was gunned down by two white men while out jogging. These aren’t the first protests against police violence against black people — 2014 saw protests after Eric Garner and Michael Brown were killed by police officers — but violence against protestors has escalated as President Donald Trump has reacted to the protests by encouraging the use of force and promising to designate anti-fascists, who are not actually a formal organization and stand against dictatorial power, as a terrorist group.

As protests continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here is a list of ways you can support, participate in, and boost the struggle against police brutality and systemic racism.

Where you can donate

If you have the means, there are many resources — from bail funds to GoFundMe fundraisers for victims — that would benefit from your donation.

For those who may not have the means to donate time or money, YouTuber Zoe Amira put together a video spotlighting music, poetry, and art from Black artists, with all proceeds from the ad revenue going directly to charity (the full list of organizations is at the beginning of the video). People across Tumblr and stan Twitter — pockets of internet communities full of teenagers who don’t have as much financial freedom — are sharing the link to help as much as they can. Simply disable your adblocker, play the video without skipping the ads, and click repeat when it’s over to add further ad revenue.

Other YouTubers have joined in to create videos with ad revenue going directly to organizations — ranging from simple makeup tutorials to conversations about race. A full playlist is available here:

How and where to protest

The easiest thing to do is to call your local representatives and demand that police spending is cut and reallocated to other areas such as education or public health. Initiatives in cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia have already set up websites with information on who to call as well as scripts to read from. Reclaim the Block has also begun a petition you can sign to ask the Minneapolis City Council to defund the police.

If you are able and feel safe to attend a protest in person, be sure to wear a mask, check the ACLU’s guidelines on protestors’ rights, and be aware of the curfews that have begun being imposed in various cities.

Vice has more advice on how to protest safely during the pandemic, and Teen Vogue has a guide on how to film police misconduct.

This website has begun keeping track of undercover police arm bands in order to help protestors identify them.

This Instagram account provides updates on protests happening in the New York area.

You can also help protestors by offering them resources like water, food, hand sanitizer, masks, and household supplies, and by sheltering protestors when curfews are enforced.

If you’re white, confront the ways you benefit from white supremacy

Many white people have responded to the most recent examples of police officers murdering Black Americans with some form of shock, saying things like “I can’t believe this is happening in 2020,” or “This isn’t America.” But police violence (and many other forms of injustice) is and has always been the reality for Black communities in this country. White supremacy pervades every corner of our society, and it’s up to white people to actively work to dismantle it.

The first step is for white people to educate ourselves on white privilege, on the experience of being Black in America, and on how to be anti-racist. But that doesn’t mean calling up Black friends and asking them to share their experiences. Instead, seek out resources on your own, especially from Black educators who are voluntarily doing that kind of work. And, most importantly, pay them for their labor. Here are a few places to get started:

  • Peggy McIntosh’s essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is a good primer on the often unnoticed privileges that white people are afforded simply by virtue of being white.
  • Activist and writer Rachel Cargle is creating resources “to both provide education and inspire meaningful action.” Her platform is called The Great Unlearn, and you can support her on Patreon.
  • The book Me and White Supremacy by writer and speaker Layla Saad invites readers to examine the ways in which they personally benefit from white supremacy “so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.”
  • Mental health activist Myisha T. offers courses and workshops, as well as one-on-one coaching, through her Check Your Privilege program, “a guided journey that deepens your awareness to how your actions affect the mental health of Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color.”
  • Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist, put together a reading list of books to seek out that “force us to confront our self-serving beliefs and make us aware that ‘I’m not racist’ is a slogan of denial.”

Source: Polygon.com

YouTubers are creating monetized videos for those who can’t donate to Black Lives Matter

For those who want to support the Black Lives Matter movement but are unable to donate time or money, YouTubers are creating monetized videos specifically for the cause.

YouTuber Zoe Amira uploaded the first of these, an hour-long video highlighting music, poetry, and art from black artists, with 100% of the ad revenue going directly to organizations offering bail funds, financial support for victims’ families, and advocacy (all listed at the beginning of the video). The video was uploaded on May 30 and has been shared across internet communities primarily made up of teens and young adults who aren’t financially independent, such as stan Twitter and Tumblr.

Watching the video with ad-blockers disabled and the volume on — and making sure not to skip the ads — generates revenue. Don’t mute the video itself, but you can mute the tab if necessary.

Stan Twitter regularly comes together to help boost the music-video rankings and streams of their favorite artists, and many individuals have offered tips on how best to take advantage of YouTube’s system so repeat views aren’t counted as spam. Dubbed the “5/+/r/3/a/m” method by one YouTube user, the process involves watching between three to five random videos after the first stream. Others have also advised taking breaks and searching manually for the video.

Other YouTubers, like Stephanie Soo and touchdalight, have followed suit with videos monetized specifically for Black Lives Matters causes, with a wide gamut of topics ranging from mukbangs to conversations about racism. They can all be found in this playlist.

Source: Polygon.com

Animal Crossing’s escapist fantasy is getting a reality check

Even before it was released, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was widely positioned as a welcome reprieve from the stressors of real life, especially given alienating social distancing measures in 2020. But midway through the year, as police violently disrupt protests across the nation in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, it’s becoming harder for moderators to justify keeping their communities in a total bubble.

Over the weekend, the leading Animal Crossing marketplace, Nookazon, came under fire for disallowing mention of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on its Discord, which currently has over 430,000 members. Members reported having posts with keywords such as ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) deleted from the server, causing more conscientious members to leave the site. As damage control, Nookazon proprietors released an official statement clarifying that the organization does indeed support Black Lives Matter, adding that “our intention was not to remain complicit or silence views during this political climate — our team was unprepared for a response to current events of this magnitude, which led to excessive moderation.”

As an apology, Nookazon created a dedicated Discord channel to discuss current events. The Nookazon staff also pledged to donate $500 to Black Lives Matter organizations.

But for some, the damage is done — many are urging fans to move onto different websites, such as Nook.Market, which have been more explicit in their support of BLM from the get-go. When you load the website, the top Nook.Market banner encourages people supporting various BLM organizations, in addition to being vocal about their stance on Discord.

The question of what people can discuss in this moment, and whether or not politics belongs in an idyllic game, seems to be weighing on Animal Crossing communities online right now. Groups now must decide what political content to allow, if not reconsider previous stances about banning political content altogether. Comments within these groups often devolve into bickering.

While some fans argue that politics have no place in video games period, much less one like Animal Crossing, folks in charge of these communities sometimes see platforms as a responsibility.

“We are always happy to use the platform we have to amplify causes and voices we care about, no matter how uncomfortable the people who want to ignore them become,” a Nook.Market representative told Polygon over Twitter messages. Other Animal Crossing communities have been following suit, despite controversy.

One Animal Crossing meme group on Facebook with over 500,000 members recently made an announcement post, for example, where it clarified that the group supports the BLM movement.

“All lives do not matter until [Black] ones do too,” the announcement post — which has comments turned off — reads.

“Animal Crossing is a lovely, kind, inclusive game,” it continues. “Our group is also inclusive. If you don’t want to be part of an inclusive group, or you object to the ‘politics’ (aka basic human rights) being discussed here, then this isn’t the group for you.”

At the moment, many brands are voicing similar sentiments about supporting Black voices, and there’s increasing pressure for influencers to speak to their communities about what’s going on. As the nation mobilizes its military and curfews are erected, we have arguably reached a tipping point in the struggle. Where before it was easier to compartmentalize our lives online through things like by private Instagrams or dedicated topic accounts, some people consider the current moment important enough that it’s all hands on deck, regardless of your lane. K-pop accounts are reportedly using their homemade “fancam” videos powers to bring down police apps. Silly social media timelines are “breaking character” to speak up about what’s going on right now. Anything is fair game, because lives are at stake.

One swerving account is the Animal Crossing Struggles Twitter account, which catalogues amusing Animal Crossing woes — like accidentally time traveling and spoiling all your turnips — to its audience of over 80,000 fans. At the moment, the account seems entirely dedicated to speaking about Black Lives Matter, rather than its usual lighthearted fare. “Good gimmick accounts use their platform in order to spread important information regarding systemic racism and police brutality,” the account said on Twitter.

While some people see these progressive shifts as a threat to their escapism, the Animal Crossing community had long ago established the game as a political vehicle. Hong Kong protests have unfolded across international islands, causing New Horizons to be pulled from Chinese retailers. U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used the game to make house calls for constituents. And now, the tropical paradise is home to Black Lives Matter rallies. It’s a natural progression that doesn’t betray the spirit of the game, because this is what it’s been all along.

“We 100% support the fight for Black lives, protests against the police, donations to these causes and bail funds, and demands for systemic change,” a Nook.Market representative said.

Source: Polygon.com

Valorant launch patch adds new agent, new map, and a new game mode

Riot Games officially released Valorant on Tuesday and revealed what’s changing from the game’s beta on launch day.

Along with the usual balance updates, including buffs and nerfs to a few Agents, Riot also introduced Reyna, the game’s newest character, a new map called Ascent, a new game mode called Spike Rush, and several quality-of-life updates that should make the game better for everyone.

This patch is also the beginning of what Riot is calling Episode 1: Ignition. Episodes in Valorant are a little bit like seasons in other games like Fortnite. Each episode will include new features and new content that Riot hopes will feel like a big update to the game.

The biggest changes in this patch come with the addition of Reyna and Ascent. These are the first new character and map to be added to Valorant since the public has had the chance to see and play the game. Reyna is an Agent designed for constant fighting, but if she’s not getting kills she won’t have much utility to help her team. Meanwhile, Ascent is a map set in a Venice-like city with certain areas of the map that can be opened and closed during rounds.

The patch also adds a new game mode called Spike Rush. Spike Rush keeps many of the same mechanics from the standard Valorant mode including the shooting, abilities, and Agents, but the objective is a little different. The intention of the mode, according to Riot, is give players a faster more casual mode that doesn’t take nearly an hour per match, like Valorant’s main game mode.

This patch also brought major changes to several characters. Sage got several more nerfs, continuing a trend for Riot. Sage’s Healing Orb now has a longer cooldown and her Barrier Orb is weaker than it was before. Meanwhile Jett got a few buffs including a longer lasting smoke duration for her Cloud Burst ability. Riot also update Split, Valorant’s least liked map during the beta, to have a more open middle area to make attacking a little easier.

One thing that isn’t in the game at launch is Valorant’s ranked mode. Players who participated in the closed beta had several weeks to test out ranked play, but Riot is holding off on the full release. The ranked mode will be out sometime shortly after launch to give Riot time to make sure the servers are holding up well and that there are no glaring bugs.

Valorant will go live in North America at 7 a.m. PT and 10 a.m. ET. For a full list of all the changes that arrived with Valorant’s launch you can find the full patch notes below.


Valorant patch 1.0 notes

Gameplay and Balance

Agent Updates

Sage

  • Healing Orb cooldown increased 35 >>> 45 seconds

We like how much Sage is able to heal in a single heal, but felt she was able to use it too frequently during a round.

  • Barrier Orb segment health reduced 1000 >>> 800
  • Barrier Orb duration reduced 40 >>> 30 seconds
  • Friendly Barrier Orb walls now show on the minimap

Previous changes to Sage’s Barrier Orb helped give it more counterplay options in pistol/early round but it’s still having too much impact in any given round. Our hope is that the wall stays a powerful stalling tool, but asks you to think more about when in the round you want to use it.

Raze

  • Blast Pack maximum damage radius reduced 2 >>> 1 meters

The Blast Pack has proven to be quite strong, especially when chained back-to-back. By reducing the inner maximum damage radius, we hope to reduce the average damage output of this ability while still keeping it powerful.

Jett

  • Cloud Burst smoke duration increased 4 >>> 7 seconds

We feel like Jett has a strong, irreplaceable value in terms of her ability to deny trades. But we think her team-oriented output is a little too low. This should give her and her team a little more time to work off of her smokes.

  • Tailwind automatically breaks Cypher’s Trapwires after being briefly revealed

Tailwind force is powerful enough that Jett should easily be able to break free of any leash. This should allow her a little more freedom to make that aggressive, but risky play that creates space for her team.

Phoenix

  • Blaze duration increased 6 >>> 8 seconds

We felt like the short wall duration, combined with the long cast time and short range, was forcing Phoenix to play a little too predictably around his wall. We’re bumping this up slightly to give him some more time to work with.

  • Blaze damage: 15 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.033 seconds
  • Blaze healing: 3 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.16 seconds

These Damage over Time/Healing over Time models are updated to match the recent changes to our other DoT abilities. Additionally, we’ve matched the damage/healing values to be half as effective as Hot Hands, primarily so that the total healing output of these two abilities is at parity (50 health each). We’re also doing this so that Blaze doesn’t become the de-facto “healing” ability compared to Hot Hands.

  • Hot Hands healing: 3 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.08s.

Updated the HoT model to match recent changes to the DoT abilities.

  • Curveball max flash duration increased 0.8 >>> 1.1 second

The flash duration is short given how quickly he can get his curveball out on an enemy caught out of position. Even still, it was a hair too short, especially to justify the new 200 credit price point.

  • Run it Back automatically reloads all weapons on respawn

This is closer to a quality of life improvement. Phoenix’s ult often puts him in a position to empty his clips right before getting sent back. It was very jarring for a Phoenix player to wait several seconds to respawn, only to then have to spend another second reloading—potentially under pressure. We think the several second respawn time is enough time to justify an automatic reload.

Omen

  • Paranoia is now equipped instead of quickcast, and hit detection improved, especially at close range

Changed the cast paradigm to reward more proactive use of Paranoia over its previous reactive use case. Enemies will receive a warning when the projectile is fired rather than being in the direct path of it. This should make it hit enemies more reliably.’

  • Dark Cover, Omen now enters a “phaser” world where he can see through walls to place his smokes and pressing RELOAD toggles between phased and normal targeting.

We wanted to provide Omen with a more precise way to place his smokes, especially when verticality is at play. We’ve provided a toggle back to the old view mode as well to make sure we still support the quick, close range smoke playstyle many Omen players have honed.

  • Dark Cover controls have been updated where Omen can now increase smoke distance with PRIMARY FIRE, decrease it with SECONDARY FIRE, and throw smoke with the ABILITY KEY.

Yeah, this might be a difficult control shift for players who main Omen, but in the long run—and for new players—we think it’s more intuitive for the distance to be controlled by one hand on the mouse by default.

  • Shrouded Step, Omen can now see his teleport location on the map and receives an in-world indicator of where he’s targeting when his vision of the point is obstructed.

We want to help Omen understand where he is targeting his teleport, especially when he’s teleporting from out of his smoke.

  • From the Shadow, Omen can now cancel his teleport while in Shade form by pressing the ABILITY KEY again—Omen still loses all of his ult points if he cancels.

We want Omen to attempt plays and create fear for his opponents with his ultimate. Previously, the punishment for using the ult was almost certain death if caught by an enemy, and it pushed the ability into more niche use. Allowing Omen to cancel his ult if he’s in danger at the cost of his ult points will hopefully open more possibilities and value, while still pushing him to try and pick the best teleport spots possible.

Sound Visualization (Audio Attenuation)

  • We’ve brought in more sounds made by Agents under the category of sounds that display their audio distance on the mini-map via the white circle. This includes ability sounds, reloads, spike interactions and more.

Why? We wanted to provide players with the ability to understand when their noise can be heard by enemies and give them an idea of how far the sounds can be heard.

Map Updates

Introducing Ascent

  • Ascent is a map set in Italy that features a large, open middle area that both teams can skirmish over. Mid is a playground for diverse ability use and successfully controlling the area opens additional routes for Attackers to both Spike sites.
  • As our new map for launch, Ascent will be slightly more common in our Matchmaking rotation for the first few days so that you can get more opportunities to play on the map.

Split

  • Restructured mid chokepoint

We felt like Defenders were able to effectively plug up the main choke point in mid for a large percentage of the round. The new layout hopes to alleviate this issue. These changes open up the space quite a bit and provides an additional path to get around stalling abilities on the stairs. It also gives Attackers a few different angles to help siege B Tower and Vents.

  • The train station maintenance crew was able to replace the burned out speaker system
  • A certain frog’s head is now a little warmer

Haven/Bind/Split/Ascent

  • Expanded our new system that combats map exploits to all other maps—this will eradicate anyone trying to escape the playspace
  • Continued to fix level collision in order to enhance the smoothness of the gameplay space
  • Completed draw call optimizations
  • Also continued to block spots for Cypher’s Spycam that prevented counter-play; as always, huge thanks to everyone who helps us find these!

Competitive Mode Update

  • Competitive mode will not be on at launch
  • Similar to our closed beta launch, our initial focus is making sure our service is stable before activating competitive matchmaking. This is also a way to give new players the same courtesy that closed beta players had to learn the game ahead of turning on Competitive. We’ll also make some adjustments to Competitive based on remaining closed beta player feedback. Our plan is to turn on Competitive a few patches into our launch.

Performance Updates

Combat Performance: Addressed multiple causes of framerate dips in combat. These improvements should help the game feel smoother, especially in combat situations on higher-end PCs.

  • Effect pooling added for impacts, gunshots and footsteps. This should reduce frame drops when these events occur.
  • Disabled bullet casings from calculating physics + audio bounces. We’re looking to bring a more optimized version of this feature back in a future patch.
  • Reduce cost of z-pings and death pings by 10x
  • Fixed bug causing 90 raycasts per second when pinging
  • Fixed a bug where NOT opening the options menu every game would cause framerate to drop on a regular cadence

+FPS for mid to high specs: Sped up calculations on the CPU for game and render threads. These improvements will be felt the most on machines with powerful GPUs bottlenecked by their CPU speeds.

  • Optimized minimap for visible elements
  • Fixed bug where minimap would calculate twice per frame
  • Fixed bounding boxes on a variety of VFX, reducing the number of VFX updating at any given time
  • Reduce cost of updating transform on render thread
  • Reworked a variety of HUD elements that were previously built on a particularly slow component

+FPS for low to mid specs: Content improvements that will primarily help low to mid tier specs when rendering the world.

  • Reduced draw calls on all maps
  • Removed non-gameplay impacting map particles on Low and Medium Detail Quality
  • Optimized First Person Shadows to no longer consider lights that do not impact final shadows
  • Removed unintentionally large textures across gun buddies, scopes, silencers
  • Optimized VFX for Characters
  • Omen : ALL ABILITIES
  • Sage : ALL ABILITIES
  • Viper: ALL ABILITIES
  • Closed exploit where Nvidia Inspector could be used to see through Viper and Phoenix wall abilities
  • Added a setting for speaker configuration
  • Additional tooltip clarity around what graphics quality settings actually do
  • GPU Time stat now correctly excludes idle time

Quality of Life

  • Dying to a non-enemy player will no longer grant ultimate points. This includes dying to the spike, fall damage, a teammate’s ability, or your own ability.

Context: This should eliminate some of the weird optimization around farming ultimate points when a death doesn’t have enough economic impact (e.g., self-killing at the end of the pistol round, or team kill at the start of a save round. We’ll continue to monitor to see if we need to further dissuade these “save round self-kills.”

  • Added VALORANT Community Code pop-up for new players
  • Added chat and voice restrictions for repeat offenders of our Community Code
  • Chat and Voice restrictions last 72 hours
  • Getting a restriction will require you to log out. Please take a moment to cool down and reflect before logging back in to play VALORANT 🙂
  • Chat restrictions will be enforced for ‘all’ and ‘team’ chat, but your ‘party’ chat will still be available.
  • Voice restrictions will be enforced for ‘team’ chat, but your ‘party’ voice will still be available.
  • Reporting categories updated to cover a wider range of Community Code violations
  • Transition screens added before Character Select and In Game
  • The button to upgrade a gun skin now indicates what type of improvement (variant, animation, etc.) will be granted by the upgrade
  • Visual updates to collection and contract pages
  • Adjusted ping calculation to be more accurate
  • Added a setting to disable the spectator count widget on the HUD
  • Updated the death camera to avoid obscuring the screen immediately after death
  • Added a build version watermark
  • Observer Updates
  • Added team-specific 1st-person fresnel highlighting for observers
  • Adjusted consistent coloring for Attackers/Defenders on the HUD
  • Attackers and Defenders don’t swap in HUD on side swap rounds
  • Keybinds are consistent from round to round for swapping between players
  • Fixed scoreboard not showing the correct score
  • Removed the ‘freeze time’ that would trigger when waiting for a player to reconnect at the start of the buy phase
  • Updated shop icons

HUD and UI

  • Added VFX to abilities, killfeed, and ceremonies (e.g., Ace or Clutch)
  • Updated Spike visuals in the inventory
  • Updated Armor icons in the shop
  • Updated character portraits
  • Added chat message regulation so that only send one chat message is sent when multiples of the same ping or VO command are used in rapid succession

Bug Fixes: In-Game

  • “Fixed a bug with “rewinding” for Hit Registration that could cause the client to slightly disagree with the server on where a target was when you pulled the trigger. This affected all players slightly, but scaled up in severity at lower FPS.
  • Fixed an issue where client-side tracers desynced when yaw switching
  • The server and client would sometimes disagree on where shots were landing when firing extended bursts.
  • Fixed a bug that let you shred the gnar at supersonic speeds using Viper’s Toxic Screen as a projectile boost
  • Fixed the ability to activate Viper’s Poison Cloud mid air if it has been picked up.
  • Removed slow from Viper’s Snakebite tooltip.
  • Cypher’s Spycam now shows the direction it is looking right when it is possessed.
  • Fixed more unintended Cypher Spycam locations
  • Fixed Sova’s arrows sometimes unpredictable bouncing
  • Fixed Sova arrows from revealing through some walls
  • Fixed a bug with Jett’s lower body popping out of place during her glide—thanks physical therapy!
  • Fixed an issue where blood was disabled
  • Fixed an Observer bug where dead players appeared as Phoenix on the HUD when an entire team was dead
  • Fixed a spectator issue where Cypher’s tracers would appear inaccurate if the spectator swapped to him after he had entered/exited his camera
  • Fixed an issue where a team could all disconnect on side swap rounds to surrender, but they would receive a win instead of a loss
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Bucky’s right click to penetrate through world geography
  • Fixed a bug for the comms halo above a player’s head, it should now activate with both Party chat and Team chat
  • Fixed an issue where credits on the HUD appeared to be much higher than the 800 you receive on side swap rounds
  • Fixed an issue with the scoreboard that would show enemy team above the credit cap
  • Fixed a bug where players were fully movement inaccurate after being resurrected or respawning
  • Fixed overruns on interactable objects like orbs or the Spike
  • Fixed an issue where ally loadouts appeared to show damaged allies at full health
  • Fixed issues with HUD prompts that would be cut off if the key to activate the prompt was bound to a key with more than one letter
  • Fixed a bug where the buy phase announcement would always say to press B to buy, even if the key to open the Armory was bound to a different key
  • Fixed an issue where reconnect messages would spam every round start
  • Fixed an observer bug where text would overlap in the buy phase announcement
  • Fixed an observer bug where some abilities were not appearing on the minimap properly
  • Fixed a bug where the ping wheel on the megamap would not grey out when ping limited
  • Fixed a bug in the Armory where weapon details would vanish after purchasing a weapon
  • Fixed a bug where the Equip Last Equipped Weapon hotkey was not functioning properly after using an ability
  • Fixed overlaps with instability indicators (i.e. High Ping) and the Spectator widget
  • Fixed overlaps and overruns in the Combat Report
  • Fixed an issue with dead player models occasionally flickering
  • Fixed an issue with animations when aiming with the Odin for spectators
  • Fixed flickering mouse cursor in a few places
  • The tooltip pointing at Contracts can now be dismissed FOREVER
  • Fixed a bug where half the Arsenal page would fade in when clicking on the Collection tab
  • Fixed a bug where the personalized Store offers would blink before fading in
  • Fixed a bug where various menus could overlap the lobby screen after a queue dodge

Bug Fixes: Game Client

  • Fixed some visual bugs in the settings menus
  • Fixed a bug with windowed mode where the VALORANT window would not save its location properly

Known Issues

  • In very rare cases where a player has a lot of incoming packet loss, an enemy model may appear to be crouching when they’re actually standing (or vice versa). The connection has dropped the packet that says “this player un-crouched”, and there can be a short delay before it’s resent. We have a fix for this coming asap.

We’re also looking into ways to improve the visual clarity of our hit impact effects (especially sparks). In many of the clips that we reviewed, readability issues caused shoulder shots to read like headshots, further contributing to the feeling of hit reg being off.

  • All impact effects (spark and blood) are pinned in world space where the hit was registered on the server. These show up after hearing back from the server, at which point the victim or attacker may have slightly shifted positions. Often, we’ve seen the target crouch into or move their head to where the hit impact renders.
  • It’s difficult to read the exact hit location (center point) from the spark effect when compared to blood.

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Source: Polygon.com