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Leagues of Legends is punishing players for going AFK

Facing an opponent that goes AFK or otherwise doesn’t play properly can ruin any multiplayer game, and the League of Legends devs are working to fix that. New measures to prevent going AFK, or throwing a match somehow, have been rolled out, and they’re already seeing positive results.

In the September blog update, competitive gameplay product manager Cody Germain ran through the punishments that have been put in place in the MOBA game, and the current success rates. First up is the detection and penalties for going away-from-keyboard, which are going well in the regions implemented so far. “In some test regions, players hit our AFK punishment thresholds faster, meaning a steady increase in penalty application,” Germain writes. “In other test regions, we saw a steady decline in both AFK detection and penalties after an initial immediate burst that occurred when we tightened our thresholds. This signals a reduction in repeat offenses, which is a trend we would like to see continued.”

Ramifications for intent to lose, on the other hand, didn’t go so smoothly. A substantial amount of false positives has meant Riot has shelved them for the time-being. As an added measure, players who find themselves in a match with someone who’s clearly just stopped playing properly will be allowed leave earlier, so they can find another proper opponent. “We are going to update the surrender system to account for AFK players on your team,” Germain says. “When an AFK is detected, we will refresh the surrender cooldown and alert your whole team, allowing you to surrender again immediately.” Early surrender will ship in update 10.22.

Another facet of this is preserving your LP if you yourself on the same team as someone who isn’t moving. A new system that detects if you’ve an inert teammate is being crafted, but it won’t be an automatic do-over. “We’re going to be rolling out a new system that reduces the LP you lose from a defeat where an AFK or leaver was detected on your team,” Germain said. “This doesn’t mean that every game with an AFK player is a free mulligan – we’re going to take into account how the game was going before the player AFKed, and how often it’s been happening.”

If you’d like to know exactly what’s going on in League of Legends right this second, we have all the notes for LoL patch 10.18. A datamine revealed all the details on new champion Samira, too, and she very well might end up bothering our list of the best LoL champions.

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