Riot Games are set to fix a major ranked play exploit recently identified by League of Legends players.
For Season 9, Riot have introduced a new system for ranked play which separates out players’ ability in different roles. The idea is that a player who is a high-Diamond Support main, for instance, may only be able to keep up at a Gold rank in the mid-lane, or vice-versa.
By making ranking positional, Riot’s goal is to ensure that players can try to work on an off-role without hurting the ranking of their main position, while also not feeling punished when forced to fill.
Unfortunately, players have identified a means of exploiting this system to gain undeserved rank boosts in their main roles.
Players queueing with a partner can select each other’s position, thus being placed into a game of a lower average rank as both are in an off-role, before swapping in the game itself. With the two players then playing their main positions against lower-ranked opponents, the chances of winning should increase significantly.
Because the game can identify which role you actually played in a game, the points gained at the end of a match will still be applied primarily to your main role.
Riot did actually anticipate this issue and created several systems to help combat it. Playing a role in which you have a significantly higher MMR than the average of the game should result in your rank gains at the end being adjusted accordingly, so that using this trick should result in minimal gains.
In addition, players who frequently switch roles will have the links between their positional MMRs tightened so that even if they continue to be assigned “off roles” the games should get closer in difficulty to their main role.
According to Riot game designer Ed ‘SapMagic’ Altorfer, the main problem is that rewards aren’t always being adjusted correctly, allowing players to climb the ladder quickly in this manner. In addition, Riot have identified that the MMR links aren’t tightening as they should for high-ranked players.
Riot are hoping to roll out a fix for these issues “before the weekend”, so the issues should be addressed fairly soon.