League of Legends players, particularly those who regularly leave their keyboards or an in-progress game, are about to get a harsh sentencing, as specified by an update headed to the popular MOBA.
Developer Riot Games outlined the issue with AFK players (colloquially called “leavers”), a segment of the gaming population that regularly leave or outright surrender a game. The studio said that while new tools have helped alleviate the frequency with which most go AFK, some nine percent of League of Legends players worldwide still unabashedly “engage in consistent AFK behavior.”
In an effort to target these players and reduce the amount of leaving that occurs, Riot Games is implementing a new disciplinary system in the MOBA.
On top of the queue delays, which were added tk when tk and throw up a short-timer whenever an AFK-penalized player attempts to start a match, League of Legends will see a new feature called queue lockouts. As the name suggests, those who participate go idle for long sessionswill get a pop-up message preventing them from joining a game for an extended period. This could last as long as 14 days, with Riot “removing the player from the population for a while.” There’s also a “maximum-level queue delay” of up to 15 minutes.
Riot outlined tiers that folks will fall into after repeated AKF behavior:
- Tier 0: no queue lockout, no queue delay
- Tier 1: no queue lockout, queue delay for five minutes for five games
- Tier 2: no queue lockout, queue delay for 10 minutes for five games
- Tier 3: no queue lockout, queue delay for 15 minutes for five games
- Tier 4: queue lockout for one day, queue delay for 15 minutes for five games
- Tier 5: queue lockout for three days, queue delay for 15 minutes for five games
- Tier 6: queue lockout for seven days, queue delay for 15 minutes for five games
- Tier 7: queue lockout for 14 days, queue delay for 15 minutes for five games
According to Riot Games, this isn’t a time-based system. It sounds like the timer resets only after repeat offenders play matches with good player behavior, such as finishing a game no matter the outcome. However, it’s unclear how many matches players are supposed to complete before lowering their tier level, and Riot didn’t specify this.
Riot said this new penalty system will roll out “in a few regions” before it makes its global debut. The studio also said involuntary AFK behavior, such as connectivity issues and other gameplay problems, will be addressed.
Meanwhile, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued a notice in August alleging that Riot Games continues to delay its investigation into harassment and sexual discrimination at the studio. Though Riot has been quicker to address League of Legends activity rather than its workplace issues.