An empty rank, a broken line — one warrior chose to resign …
—The Leaver’s Lament, DJ 3LO
Perhaps the most important event of the intermission between the end of Hextech Revolution and the start of the next arc will be a public run-through and revision of Factions rules.
I’d like to get some preliminary discussion going even before the arc ends, concerning the d/c rule.
This is an issue that’s vexed us for a while. What do you do when someone disconnects? A lot of d/cs are due to hardware problems, but it’s probably true that some people blow off the match because it’s “just a custom”, ruining it for 9 other people and often generating a lot of understandable anger.
Things to keep in mind
Here are some initial thoughts:
- No incentive to d/c. Whatever rule we adopt, we should make sure that it doesn’t indirectly encourage d/cs.
- For example, a “remake whenever someone d/cs” rule is a terrible idea, IMO, because it allows a losing team to avoid defeat by having a player d/c.
- We could punish leavers harshly to counteract this perverse incentive, but then we risk unfairly penalizing someone who genuinely has a random tech issue. “Well, don’t penalize people who d/c for technical reasons” is one reply, but then we get into the very messy business of internet detective work about who had a router go down or whose hamster ate the ethernet cable. We don’t have enough yordles on staff to interview all those hamsters.
- Strong disincentive to d/c on purpose. I don’t know what the ratio is between tech problem d/cs and deliberate d/cs. I’d like to think it’s mostly the former. But if the rule is too light, there’s a good chance of people going “oh yeah, gotta go, pizza’s here” and wrecking an hour-long match for 9 other people. I think we should keep a list of people who d/c in matches. If necessary, action should be taken.
- 4v5s are bad. We have the current placeholder rule (auto-forfeit) because some people complained that they never wanted to play Factions again due to 4v5s. They didn’t feel they could just surrender, so they played on, but had a miserable time fighting an unfair 4v5. The advantage of an auto-forfeit rule is that it takes the decision out of their hands and lets them get back into a new game immediately, without bitterly slogging through a slow 4v5 defeat.
- The old rule. The old rule was that, after 5 minutes of pause time, you play on, with the d/c’d player counting for zero or negative points when we do the skill adjust calculation. One problem here is that it requires us to compare d/cs. Let’s say a team accrues a massive lead, then someone d/cs as the base towers are going down. It doesn’t seem right to give them a huge point boost for that. You could even imagine teams having a member d/c on purpose, then messaging them to come back if the tide starts to turn.
- Chivalry. Back in Mirrorwater, the valiant Demacian custom was that if an opponent d/c’d, someone comparable on the Demacian team would afk at fountain to make it fair. I don’t think this should be mandatory, but I kind of like the idea, especially in that it allows the game to continue in a roughly even way. I think maybe this should remain a voluntary option: if someone on your team agrees to afk to compensate for the opponent’s d/c, the match should proceed and be scored normally.
- Rule change: Chivalry is back in effect for the last day of matches. If someone on your team d/cs for more than 5 minutes, the enemy team may choose to either take the forfeit victory (gaining only half points) or play on as a 4v4, by sending one of their teammates to the fountain. (If so, the match will be scored normally, as a 5v5 or whatever the game started as. If the chivalrous faction loses, they lose only half points.) To incentivize this option, we won’t be particularly strict about enforcing the comparability requirement: although you’re encouraged to pick someone of similar power level to the opposing d/c, it’s a matter of honor.
- And no, you don’t have to be Demacian to invoke Chivalry. It just helps.
So what should we do?
I’d like to hear some proposals. Remember to ask yourself when making your proposal:
- How could players exploit this rule to gain an unfair advantage?
- Will this rule lead to people playing 4v5s?
- If the rule allows 4v5s to continue, how will it make this not an awful experience?
- How does this rule discourage people from casually disconnecting?
- How much of a burden will it be to administer this rule? Will staff have to interview players from the game and perform a full inquiry? Will staff have to make judgment calls (e.g. “how serious was the d/c?”) which will in turn invite complaints about bias?
I look forward to reading your suggestions.
Please post them on the League Factions subreddit thread created for this purpose. If you don’t already have a Reddit account, making one takes seriously about 10 seconds.