Leavers and AFKs

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Lyte

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Lead Social Systems Designer

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07-07-2014
1 of 3 Riot Posts

There's been a lot of discussion recently about Leavers/AFKs, and I wanted to jump in and just dump some thoughts. We absolutely agree with players, games shouldn't start when a player fails to connect. We also agree that 4v5s in general are pretty terrible experiences, but there's starting to be a lot of misquoting and misunderstandings going around the forums.

Some players are saying that we wouldn't do any of the proposed "obvious" solutions like restarting a match or some type of heavy penalty queue because of potential abuse. This is false. When we talk about "Prisoner's Island" and separating playerbases or forcing players to play alternative queues with long queue times, we are specifically talking about Prisoner's Island not working well with nuanced, subjective behaviors like whether a player was toxic; this is completely different than a binary behavior like whether a player left a game or not. We're completely fine with some sort of solution that restarts the match or allows an early restart/surrender if there's a player that fails to connect to the game, or DCs in the first few minutes. However, we're not OK with allowing players to leave very late in games and still allow players to all abandon the match with no penalties. These are two very different scenarios. Most games (even DOTA2) still record stats/hand out harsh penalties if you leave after 5 minutes.

For awhile, there was a team (not Player Behavior) at Riot was working on this feature, but they were taken off to work on some other important issues.

To give you some more insight behind the scenes, the Player Behavior team has been working on Team Builder for awhile, and we still have a few things lined up; for example, we have finished designs that we need to implement for Honor to make the system feature complete, and we were also responsible for revamping the Tribunal to make it globally available while also improving some of the known flaws of the system. It's a lot of stuff, and they aren't trivial features so it takes awhile to implement systems that function at the scale League operates at.

However, we've known about Leavers/AFK issues in League for awhile, and have wanted to address it as soon as we can, in-between the larger projects above. Most teams have a big project they are focused on, but also work on "small scope" improvements to the game whenever they can; for example, the Player Behavior team recently worked on an improvement to matchmaking that will drop queue times for high MMR players to ~5 minutes instead of ~30-45 minutes or more--this feature is currently running in Team Builder so if you're high MMR, test it out and give us feedback. If it works well, we'd love to bring it to other queues. We also took some time off Team Builder to look into map issues between Blue/Purple and did a few fixes there to get it into a better state. We worked on these problems ahead of Leavers/AFKs because at the end of the day, they affected a lot more players.

When we look at Leavers/AFKs, we have to look at a few things. As a baseline, how often do Leavers/AFKs happen in games? What about in different queues? What you see is that even with a 5% rate of Leavers/AFKs in games globally across the world, you'll still have players who see up to 50, 60, 70, even 80% of their games have Leavers/AFKs. That's simply statistics and unlucky streaks--with millions of players playing the game, you actually have thousands (even tens of thousands) of players with streaks of games with Leavers/AFKs in all of them. But, globally, the Leaver/AFK rates in League is acceptable (but could be better). In fact, if you look at other MOBAs, you generally find similar Leaver/AFK rates and their forums also have a large number of players complaining about Leavers/AFKs. Feel free to do a poll, or run statistics on the last 10 matches of every player on the forums or game and see what the leave rates are--they will probably surprise most players even though they probably could be better still.

What's interesting is that if you look at Leaver/AFK data, you can see that a % of the Leaves/AFKs are due to hardware issues, ISP issues, or other issues outside of the game's control. There's nothing Riot (or designers in general at any studio) can do to solve those issues. For these types of "external" issues, we'd like to allow players to reconnect or restart matches if a player fails to connect at the start of a game. But, we won't be allowing full resets or restarts if a player "fails to connect" 45 minutes into a match for example.

There's also always room for improvement for Leavers/AFKs that are intentional (the rage quitter). We'd like to improve the LeaverBuster system to be a lot more harsh to these players; there's a few ideas on the table (including forcing them to play with other leavers, reduced IP per game, and other strong penalties like that). Hopefully, this gives you more info on what's going on at Riot regarding Leavers/AFKs, and why it's work that we do want to do. At some point, I'd love to go over the Leaver/AFK data in-depth for League of Legends and talk about how each feature of LeaverBuster affected the numbers, but that'll have to be when I'm not at home typing away.

(Apologies on the brain dump)


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Baron Bodacious

Senior Member

07-07-2014

Hey, alright.

Just remember, if it's a not a circlejerk of negativity on GD, you're likely to get the downvotes.


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Hero of Ideals

Senior Member

07-07-2014

At least you've finally taken notice


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JedditeFTW

Senior Member

07-07-2014

Reserved


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Easyaeta

Senior Member

07-07-2014

I'm trying to think of something to say, but I'm just ecstatic really


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Maid of Fire

Senior Member

07-07-2014

I still think in-game pausing should be implemented for disconnections mid-game.

As for the game not starting if all players aren't connected, what do you do with all of the players that did connect? Do they just go back to the client as though nothing happened? Does it count as a dodge for the player that doesn't connect?


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whosyourdadiGG

Junior Member

07-07-2014

my eyes ! my eyes it hurts and my mouth is dried. i cannot read all that ....


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Mugenman88

Senior Member

07-07-2014

Really retribution for intentional AFK/Quits is what I'm looking for, unintentional isn't good, but definitely deserves a less severe penalty.
The middle ground is terrible though. Y'know those guys that basically have extremely unreliable internet 24/7. I mean I can understand wanting to have fun, but having terrible internet inconveniences others when you are constantly DCing, especially when it happens at key points such as dragon or baron fights.


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Skullchaos

Senior Member

07-07-2014

At least we know it's being worked on and discussed at Riot. This puts me at ease a bit.


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Vicvictorw

Senior Member

07-07-2014

The easiest solution I would think would be to cancel the match if someone just never connected from the start. Those are the d/c's that do the most damage, and would be the easiest to prevent without negative side effects.

If just that change were to be implemented, I would be completely fine with how leavers and AFKs are covered.


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