Today we got another patch, this one full of bug fixes and small tweaks to existing characters. It also brought some painful reminders that Riot is still a very young company and growing to fast to handle its exploding community.
I’ve written a lot, both here and on the official forums, about the queue dodge penalty system. It sucks. It doesn’t work. People still dodge and troll and do whatever they can to avoid playing with certain players or champions or whatever. This most recent patch actually increased increased the queue dodge penalty. Instead of rewording things, I’ll copy my thoughts from a forum thread I created today.
No one likes to get queue dodged. It sucks. Adding a penalty doesn’t encourage players not to queue dodge, though. It encourages people to attempt to force a teammate to queue dodge. Increasing the time penalty will only make this problem worse.
The whole point of the penalty was to encourage players to make an informed decision about whether or not to drop queue. An informed decision shouldn’t force you to always make a bad decision. I don’t want to join a game with an AFK player or a player who chooses revive/smite Eve and threatens to feed if he doesn’t get mid solo. I also don’t want to wait six or a ridiculous fifteen minutes for another game while that player gets dumped right back into queue.
And let’s say I actually start the game and our friend leaves or goes AFK or feeds or any number of things trolls do just to get to the next game – what’s the penalty for that player? He has effectively ruined the game for 9 other people and in most cases wasted at least 25 minutes of time for 9 players. Even if he leaves it doesn’t count against him in any fashion whatsoever. He gets a leaver mark that can’t be seen until he has likely already ruined a game? That’s like covering up the scarlet letter until Hester Prynne has nailed every married man in town and then telling their wives they should have seen it coming.
Get rid of the queue dodge penalty. It didn’t fix anything when the penalty was two and ten minutes. It made the game creation process much, much worse. I realize the queue dodge system sucks but this little band-aid won’t stop the bleeding. Figure out something new (new lobby system, perhaps?) that will actually address the problem.
In short, the dodge penalty is not doing its job – improving the game experience by reducing dodged games. It’s actually making things worse by incentivizing players to troll, which is terrible for a community.
The reason I think this all points to Riot’s immaturity as a company is that they’ve remained quiet about it, responding to few if any of the posts regarding the dodge problem, and there are a lot of them (posts). Riot is trying to force this system, which is a crap solution, to work when it just doesn’t, instead of implementing a new lobby system or some other player management system that accounts for things like dodging and leaving.
Granted, they might be working on something, but the dodging has been an issue for months. I wrote about my first experience with the queue dodge penalty back in February. The development cycle for these kinds of fixes is way too long, most likely because Riot is understaffed, so the company comes up with these bandages when what they really need is surgery.
Thankfully the community has started to turn around. When the queue dodge system first came out, anyone willing to speak out against it was downvoted into oblivion. Players are starting to realize, though, that the current system sucks and it really needs to be fixed. There’s a lot of support in the forums for reverting the change. Even if the old system wasn’t any better, it certainly wasn’t this bad.
Get on the forums and show some support.