Rioter RiotKiddington recently posted in a forum thread about the dodge penalties in Season 3. Chime in on the matter here, or check out some quotes I’ve selected below, as well as my opinion on the subject!
Why the penalty?
Queue dodging is a complex problem that involves much deliberation and consideration. We have a queue dodge system with a queue dodge penalty because we need to strike a balance between the need of players who wish to play the game and those who want to dodge the game (of any reason). Why Riot not just have a “free queue dodge” system of some form? The answer to this question is simple because it is too prone to abuse.
There is another segment of our player base that will queue dodge for competitive reasons. Let’s take current ARAM game mode as an example, the ARAM mode supposed to be all random in champion selection, and by logical extension of ARAM design, there should never be any “troll pick” or “mid or feed”. In reality: ARAM games currently have one of the highest queue dodge rate. Based on this information, have you considered why that is the case? Were these queue dodgers indifferent about their games? Or they cared too much about their games, and they will, at any instance of perceived disadvantage dodge the queue? One can’t deny there is a segment of our player base that would utilize the dodge system to enhance their competitive advantage if no strong discouragement exists. We need the queue dodge penalty to keep this group of players in check.
Failing to start a game:
One group of players we also need to take into consideration are those who want to play the game. There are times when I have a perfect team and the other side queue dodged (for whatever reasons), and this really sucks for me. Now if this happens 7 times in a row, it would really make me feel bad. This is not without history, we have seen last year when the Dominion queue dodge system failed to enforce queue penalty for months, the consequences of that bug were devastating. It will take 7-8 tries before a player can successfully launch a game. Once we fixed the dodge penalty bug, the number of tries needed to launch a game dropped dramatically.
I‘d like to discuss Ranked games in particular, because to me ARAM is a chill mode and far from competitive. Obviously Riot wants to eliminate the threat of trolling, so much so that they are willing to reverse changes that many agreed with. It’s a reminder of the loss of Elo system we parted with back in Season 2, where if a player dodged a lobby in ranked, he/she would lose 10 rating. The system’s changed, it’s no longer Elo, it’s League Points, but the idea is basically the same. I myself gladly used, without abusing, the time-penalty system that preceded the current one. It was a safe way to dodge trolls or otherwise unpleasant figures. Two people arguing since last game? Leave! Someone picked ranged carry just because the guy in front stole his role? Leave! It was rather alleviating, it felt… justified. In my mind decent players should never be punished for being stuck with people who are less than eager to commit to the game.
Of course, that’s just one side of the problem. For the good of the community in general, the penalties were reintroduced It’s not fair for everyone but what is? I’ll leave you with a few suggestions that have been wandering on the forums that I, personally, agree with:
Kick/Ban system in lobby: Test it out, introduce it in a careful manner because it’s a system that can easily be abused. Best case scenario, this will be the end for a vast majority of negative experience in Ranked games. Maybe this shouldn’t work for duo premades?
Make the time penalties even more punishing: This is also a dangerous move since many people don’t have the time to play a lot of League of Legends, especially during workdays. But, many will agree that time penalties are the lesser evil. And they don’t even have to increase steadily. First leave could be a 30 minute punishment, but the next would jump to 2 hours and so on, making it less abusable than it currently is.
Add a report function to Champ Select: This is seriously needed as many of the players who troll are often dodged and left unpunished for their actions. To me it is a much cleaner example of terrible sportsmanship than in-game failures. It would help establish a level of mutual respect in lobbies, since the Tribunal threat would be present even there.
Automatic leave for Random Locks: Let’s face it, Random locking in Ranked is a sign of a player either trolling or AFK-ing. The feature itself doesn’t need to go. Why? It’s a great way to identify such actions as punishable! Drop the player from the Champ Select and set a penalty only for him/her. No drawbacks here.
What do you guys think about the dodge penalties? Should Riot once again punish players with loss of rating? Or can we find a middle ground in Season 3? Share in the comments below!