League of Legends: Developers Will Implement New "Queue Lockouts" for AFKers, Leavers

League of Legends
Master Yi, League of Legends Riot Games

Those experienced playing League of Legends with people who frequently go AFK or leave should be happy to know that Riot Games will implement harsher penalties soon.

In a recent dev blog, Jordan “BarackProbama” Checkman, lead designer on the competitive gameplay team, and TimTamMonster, product lead for League ’s behavior systems team, outlined a new system to help protect the League of Legends community from repeat offenders.

They are going to implement a three-pronged approach to combat AFKers and Leavers. First, they are going to add new tiers where these offenders would incur new punishments. Next, they are adding a new penalty type. And finally, they will improve how they evaluate attempts to reform the game moving forward.

Queue Lockouts

The developers said that they’ve punished AFKers and Leavers with queue delays for quite some time now. The delays force offenders to wait longer to find games after pressing the play button. The punishment aims to change the offenders’ negative behavior by letting them experience how frustrating it is to have their time wasted. This is similar to what other people may feel when some team members are not doing their best.

While this approach works most of the time, there are still some players who would commit to these negative behaviors. That is why they’re adding a new penalty type called “Queue Lockouts.” 

To put it simply, Queue Lockouts are longer delays that last for days instead of just several minutes. In the new tier system, those on Tier 4 and above will be given the lockouts. Those on Tier 7, however, receive the harshest penalty of 14 days.

During the lockout, players are removed from the population so that they cannot affect others. Further, once the punishment expires, they are given the maximum queue delay of 15 minutes for five consecutive games.

So, how exactly do players avoid these stiffer penalties? It is simple, really. Just don’t AFK or leave games abruptly, and everything will be ok.

The developers understand that some players may look as if they’re away from their keyboards, but that just may be a result of poor internet connectivity. That is why before employing queue lockouts globally, the devs will test these changes to select regions first.

In closing, the devs will address some causes of these issues, like connectivity problems and the inability to deal with disruptive behavior in the game.

When in a competitive match, being teamed up with those who have no intentions of playing hard sucks. Hopefully, this new system will heavily discourage such negative behavior.

So, what do you think of the new AFK penalty system?

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