Red Post Collection: Patcher & Landing Page VR discussion, Lyte on AFK/Leaves, and more!

Posted on at 1:38 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features continued discussion on the recently announced Patcher and Landing Page visual refresh, Lyte discussing Leavers / AFKers and what the team is looking to do about it, and Riot Gharris on the recent problems with the new Match History not loading correctly. 
Continue reading for more information!

[ Continued ] Patcher and Landing Page Visual Refresh to PBE

Following the announcement that the patcher and landing page will be receiving a visual update, several Riots popped up on the forums and reddit to chat more about the upcoming changes.

On the forums, ChocChipCookie commented the general excitement, saying:
"Thank you. This is the first step of a long process, and we definitely want your continued thoughts and feedback. Looking forward to you all letting us know what does (and doesn’t!) work. We’ve seen a few threads of your ideas on how to redesign the pre-game experience, and are constantly impressed by everyone’s creativity and passion. :)"

When asked about the patcher continuing to using Adobe AIR, ventropy noted:
"No it won't. The patcher update that we are releasing to PBE includes a lot of the core tech needed for a new client. The patcher update won’t use Adobe AIR, it is built on our own native code base and HTML5 UI."
ventropy continued:
"Just to be clear, AIR will be in the client for a while longer, but that’s definitely the direction we are moving towards."

When asked about the size of the new patcher, RiotAether commented:
"The patcher definitely got bigger - same dimensions as the client, which'll be staying at its current size. Just prettier :D"

RiotAether also commented on the lack of a Featured matches section, saying:
"If you're talking about the Featured Matches in the upper lefthand corner of the live client, we'll still have the ability to put those matches on the landing page, but the update lets us replace it with news or content depending on what's relevant at the time."

As for why this is going to the PBE first instead of just going to live, killerbeepea noted:
"We generally release to PBE first to get feedback from players and penta-check that things aren’t completely destroying everything."

Leavers and AFKs

Lyte popped on the forums to share this thoughts on Leavers/AFKs and what the team is looking to do to help with the frustrating:

"There's been a lot of discussion recently about Leavers/AFKs, and I wanted to jump in and just dump some thoughts. We absolutely agree with players, games shouldn't start when a player fails to connect. We also agree that 4v5s in general are pretty terrible experiences, but there's starting to be a lot of misquoting and misunderstandings going around the forums. 
Some players are saying that we wouldn't do any of the proposed "obvious" solutions like restarting a match or some type of heavy penalty queue because of potential abuse. This is false. When we talk about "Prisoner's Island" and separating playerbases or forcing players to play alternative queues with long queue times, we are specifically talking about Prisoner's Island not working well with nuanced, subjective behaviors like whether a player was toxic; this is completely different than a binary behavior like whether a player left a game or not. We're completely fine with some sort of solution that restarts the match or allows an early restart/surrender if there's a player that fails to connect to the game, or DCs in the first few minutes. However, we're not OK with allowing players to leave very late in games and still allow players to all abandon the match with no penalties. These are two very different scenarios. Most games (even DOTA2) still record stats/hand out harsh penalties if you leave after 5 minutes.

For awhile, there was a team (not Player Behavior) at Riot was working on this feature, but they were taken off to work on some other important issues. 
To give you some more insight behind the scenes, the Player Behavior team has been working on Team Builder for awhile, and we still have a few things lined up; for example, we have finished designs that we need to implement for Honor to make the system feature complete, and we were also responsible for revamping the Tribunal to make it globally available while also improving some of the known flaws of the system. It's a lot of stuff, and they aren't trivial features so it takes awhile to implement systems that function at the scale League operates at. 
However, we've known about Leavers/AFK issues in League for awhile, and have wanted to address it as soon as we can, in-between the larger projects above. Most teams have a big project they are focused on, but also work on "small scope" improvements to the game whenever they can; for example, the Player Behavior team recently worked on an improvement to matchmaking that will drop queue times for high MMR players to ~5 minutes instead of ~30-45 minutes or more--this feature is currently running in Team Builder so if you're high MMR, test it out and give us feedback. If it works well, we'd love to bring it to other queues. We also took some time off Team Builder to look into map issues between Blue/Purple and did a few fixes there to get it into a better state. We worked on these problems ahead of Leavers/AFKs because at the end of the day, they affected a lot more players. 
When we look at Leavers/AFKs, we have to look at a few things. As a baseline, how often do Leavers/AFKs happen in games? What about in different queues? What you see is that even with a 5% rate of Leavers/AFKs in games globally across the world, you'll still have players who see up to 50, 60, 70, even 80% of their games have Leavers/AFKs. That's simply statistics and unlucky streaks--with millions of players playing the game, you actually have thousands (even tens of thousands) of players with streaks of games with Leavers/AFKs in all of them. But, globally, the Leaver/AFK rates in League is acceptable (but could be better). In fact, if you look at other MOBAs, you generally find similar Leaver/AFK rates and their forums also have a large number of players complaining about Leavers/AFKs. Feel free to do a poll, or run statistics on the last 10 matches of every player on the forums or game and see what the leave rates are--they will probably surprise most players even though they probably could be better still. 
What's interesting is that if you look at Leaver/AFK data, you can see that a % of the Leaves/AFKs are due to hardware issues, ISP issues, or other issues outside of the game's control. There's nothing Riot (or designers in general at any studio) can do to solve those issues. For these types of "external" issues, we'd like to allow players to reconnect or restart matches if a player fails to connect at the start of a game. But, we won't be allowing full resets or restarts if a player "fails to connect" 45 minutes into a match for example. 
There's also always room for improvement for Leavers/AFKs that are intentional (the rage quitter). We'd like to improve the LeaverBuster system to be a lot more harsh to these players; there's a few ideas on the table (including forcing them to play with other leavers, reduced IP per game, and other strong penalties like that). Hopefully, this gives you more info on what's going on at Riot regarding Leavers/AFKs, and why it's work that we do want to do. At some point, I'd love to go over the Leaver/AFK data in-depth for League of Legends and talk about how each feature of LeaverBuster affected the numbers, but that'll have to be when I'm not at home typing away.

(Apologies on the brain dump)"
He continued, explaining why something hasn't been done about it earlier:
"That question is difficult because there's no good answer. For example, players really wanted the Player Behavior team to work on Team Builder, matchmaking, penalty systems, Honor, Tribunal, Team Builder Ranked, Team Builder Co-op vs AI... lots of really cool, awesome features. At the end of the day, we can't do everything at the same time. We have to prioritize, and try to figure out what's the biggest impact feature at any given point in time."

When asked about the Leaverbuster system and how it's improved over the years, Lyte noted:
"This is where we have to figure out that tight line between what's an intentional leave, versus what's that occasional DC due to a hardware or ISP issue (or random hurricane). I think at the end of the day, our data is much better than when LeaverBuster was originally implemented, so we can better identify patterns. Rest assured, I don't think you'll be impacted."

New Match History Not Working

Though out the day, several summoners were reporting that the new match history was not functioning correctly and loading a blank page instead of any sort of stats.

Here's Riot Gharris with an update now that a fix has been deployed:
"*Update* We've deployed a fix, and you should no longer be experiencing this issue on a modern browser after a hard refresh of the page: 
Windows: ctrl + F5
Mac/Apple: Apple + R or command + R
Linux: F5 
If you're running into this issue with a modern browser, please let us know. 

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