League Of Legends Details New Punishments For AFK Players

League of Legends Pentakill Viego

As League of Legends is built around the idea of teamwork and competition, players that step away or quit mid-match have become huge problems for the massively popular MOBA. However, it looks like the team at Riot Games is formulating a solution to combat AFK (away from keyboard) players in a more substantive way, rolling out a series of new punishments to disruptive offenders.

As detailed on the League of Legends website (H/T Eurogamer), a number of updated AFK penalties are currently in the testing phase, most notably the implementation of Queue Lockouts. Described as “mega-delays,” this punishment is designed to keep an AFK player from entering MOBA queues, “removing the player from the population for a while so they can’t continue to AFK.” After a set expiration period, these offenders will also endure a “maximum-level” queue delay, the game’s usual method of AFK deterrent.

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Queue Delays have been League of Legends’ main means of impeding absent players, forcing AFKers to repeatedly wait behind drawn-out timers before jumping back into the action. While Riot admits this penalty has ‘worked well’ to curb most inactive players, a stubborn 9% of the player base has continued to display “consistent AFK behavior,” even with the addition of ever-longer delays. Considering LoL’s sizeable worldwide popularity, this figure easily amounts to several million players regularly engaging in AFK.

As the saying goes, “modern problems require modern solutions.” Through the arrival of Queue Lockouts, Riot is planning to reformat its punishment system, with four Queue Lockout penalties and three dedicated to Queue Delays. On top of a maximum delay of 15 minutes for 5 games, Lockouts can ultimately span from one day to a total of two weeks at a time for Tier 7 offenders. Riot assures that while these punishments can be, well, punishing, players will always be able to lower their tier by simply enduring their penalty and playing games “without going AFK.”

A rundown of League of Legends’ new AFK punishment tiers can be viewed below.

  • Tier 1
    • Queue Lockout: None
    • Queue Delay: 5 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 2
    • Queue Lockout: None
    • Queue Delay: 10 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 3
    • Queue Lockout: None
    • Queue Delay: 15 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 4
    • Queue Lockout: 1 day
    • Queue Delay: 15 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 5
    • Queue Lockout: 3 days
    • Queue Delay: 15 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 6
    • Queue Lockout: 7 days
    • Queue Delay: 15 minutes for 5 games
  • Tier 7
    • Queue Lockout: 14 days
    • Queue Delay: 15 minutes for 5 games

As more and more AFKs have begun to take place, an overhaul was almost inevitable and it appears Riot may have struck a nice balance with its new tier layout. The old system was notably more laborious to come back from punishment and made AFKers difficult to decern from those with poor network connections. Even with these great strides, Riot doesn’t plan to take any chances with these changes, with the new AFK measures set to undergo regional testing before an eventual global rollout.

“As this is rolled out, we are committed to continue to monitor AFKs, both in regards to the frequency of this behavior and regional specific connectivity issues,” Riot Games assured. “We want to ensure we are being equitable across all regions who may experience different levels of connectivity. To be safe, we’re going to start by testing these changes in a few regions before rolling them out globally; keep an eye on the patch notes for status updates.”

“This is not the final word on AFKs. We’re working across teams on gameplay to address some of the root causes of these issues.”

League of Legends is available now for Mac and PC.

What do you think? Are you glad to see Riot take measures to combat AFK players in League of Legends, or are you unsure if these punishments will actually work? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!

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Eric Hall2501 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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