Dodging a game of League of Legends is incredibly frustrating. It takes nine other players out of the queue, forcing them to wait for another game, causing players to waste time and incentivize them to hop onto smurf accounts that have lower MMR and lower wait times.
Today, Riot Gameplay Design Director Mark Yetter released a new blog post detailing how Riot will be problem of dodging. Unfortunately, the result is not satisfactory to most high-elo League of Legends players.
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The only real change is adding a third tier of punishment for dodging within a 24-hour period that will lock the offending account for the next 12 hours. Many players already voiced their displeasure with the change, pointing out that players will simply play on an alternate account to circumvent this penalty. Some are also calling for fundamental changes to the dodging system, since dodging games only costs a player LP but preserves their MMR.
However, before Riot begins making changes at the requests of the high-elo players (who, remember, are the smallest portion of the playerbase), it might be prudent to consider some other alternatives that will both alleviate this concern around dodging but also not cause issues to the majority of players. Dodging is, in some sense, a necessary evil for players in lower elos because they are more likely to run into random players who are toxic or simply not giving their best effort. But they are also not as harshly penalized by taking the five-minute wait and -3 LP because the other players can get into another game very quickly.
As a result, here are three ways that Riot could help make dodging less viable for high-elo players, while also not forcing you to deal with a raging, first-time Anivia jungle in a Silver game. These won’t include some of the more obvious solutions like an MMR penalty or just removing the ability to dodge, because even for high-elo players dodging should still be a last resort to get out of a bad situation. This also won’t discuss removing smurf accounts or linking them to get around the dodge penalty (even though that would be an easy solution, most high-elo players would oppose it).
1. Harsher Penalties Based on When You Dodge
One constant complaint from high-elo players is that dodges will often occur right before players load into game. This means that the maximum amount of time possible is wasted before sending a player back into queue.
Here are some ways to fix dodging in League of Legends.
A solution to this might be to have the LP and/or time dodge penalty scale with what stage of the game it is when a player dodges. For instance, an instantaneous dodge before bans have completed (due to, say seeing a toxic or off-role player on your team) would give the regular -3 LP/5 minute penalty, but as the champion select goes on, those penalties become larger and larger.
2. Guaranteed Autofill After Dodging
High queue times are already a pain point for high-elo players. One way to kill two birds with one stone is that any time a player dodges, they will be autofilled in their next ranked game to whatever position is needed. This would cause dodging players to actually help make queue timers a bit shorter, as there would be more players available to fill.
Now, the counter to this is that many high-elo players believe games are decided by the team that has more autofills in impactful positions. However, I believe this is a great incentive to prevent players from abusing their dodges, now knowing that they will have to pay a price next game. And, yes, this would count even if a player is in their promotion series.
3. Lock Dodging Vote
Think of this as the inverse to a surrender vote. If a player attempts to dodge during champion select, a notification will appear for the other four players, informing them of the dodge and asking them if they would like to play the game anyway. If all four of the other players vote to play, the game will continue as normal, but if another player votes for the dodge, the game’s lobby ends.
One important note would be that, while the player who initiated the dodge is fully penalized once the dodge goes through (LP loss and time lockout), players who agree with the dodge should also suffer some penalty as well (just the loss of LP). They don’t get the dodge applied to their account, though. Also, this vote could be unanimous, meaning that multiple people might agree with the dodge and take that LP loss, not knowing if their vote is needed to make the game a dodge.