Riot Reverts Intentions To Punish League Of Legends Match Dodgers More Severely After Community Backlash

Riot Reverts Intentions To Punish League Of Legends Match Dodgers More Severely After Community Backlash
Credit: League of Legends via YouTube

Sometimes, gaming developers decide they need to take harsh measures to deal with a troublesome mechanic or section of a player base. Sometimes, though, gaming developers grossly overestimate the severity of an issue and plan harsher measures than needed.

The second situation is what Riot has found themselves dealing with lately. There’s been an issue for a while of people dodging queues – leaving the match at champion select, forcing the other 9 players to have to go through matchmaking and champion select again. This issue is especially prevalent in Ranked queues, where players will often leave if they’re worried that a match might not end up in their favor, whether it be from an already-toxic teammate or a not getting the desired role/champion.

To deal with this, Riot was considering putting in more severe punishment for players that dodge queues. Currently, the punishments in place include automatically losing some LP (the point system used to climb the Ranked ladder) and forcing players to wait to queue back up again, with the wait time increasing with each dodge.

But with the problems consisting, all Riot could consider was harsher punishment. Rather than consider new mechanics of punishment, Riot was considering ramping up the current punishments, making it so players lost more LP for leaving and waited longer to queue up again.

“Champ select dodges are something that hurts the overall player experience by putting 9 players back into a longer queue after they’ve already spent a lot of time and effort getting their first game started,” Riot wrote. “Today, we think players are dodging too frequently, and without significant enough penalties when they do.”

Instead of being celebrated, though, this proposed increase in punishment drew the anger of the player base. Players were quick to point out that Ranked is already a stressful, issue-filled experience as it is. Sometimes, dodging a queue to avoid a toxic teammate or other bad situation can be the best choice, losing 3-ish LP and a few minutes instead of wasting 45 minutes in a game doomed from the start. In response, Riot conceded.

“We’re backing away from dodge penalty increases,” lead gameplay designer Mark Yetter said on Twitter. “Hearing your feedback about the reasons that make you want to dodge convinced us that we can get more value hitting those issues first. The team is refocusing on reducing game ruining behavior and matchmaking improvements.”

It’s fantastic to see how swiftly Riot decided to listen to their audience, as not even a full week passed between their initial announcement and their rescinding of the plans.