Riot Games has announced some major updates coming to AFK penalties in Valorant, but some players worry these changes will give trolls more power.
On February 15, Riot revealed its plans going forward to deal with players who go AFK in matches along with a revamped penalty system for repeat offenders.
The changes, which are planned to come to the game in patch 2.04, include improved AFK detection and will be expanded to include “disruptive behavior and non-participatory play” in future versions.
That said, patch 2.03 will be introducing those controversial penalties which will be applied on an “as needed” basis. Penalties start off small with just warnings and XP denial, but will ramp up in severity to include deductions from your ranked rating for pre-game dodges, deductions from your ranked rating for in-game AFKing and even full-game bans.
“Simply put, we’ve leveled up our detection and management of AFKs. And we’re eager to bring these to your game,” Riot said.
Additionally, targeted for patch 2.04, chat-based offenses are also being looked at to include communication bans, ranked queue bans and full-game bans too
“Let us be crystal clear: there is no room for violence, threats, or targeted harassment in Valorant – those behaviors will not be tolerated,” Riot explained.
i don't understand why dodges should ever be punished, even if the player in question has issues going afk
what is the benefit of incentivizing players to stay in lobbies with trolls and harassers? can we just not? https://t.co/D6od8uDhPq
— Dream (@Dream_val) February 15, 2021
Furthermore, Riot plans to expand these deductions for voice chat as well, but wants to find ways to incentivize “pro-social” gameplay and detect positive behavior.
While all this may seem good, Cloud9 coach Chris ‘Dream’ Myrick is taking issue with the ranked penalties that some players may endure when dealing with trolls who throw games.
“I don’t understand why dodges should ever be punished, even if the player in question has issues going AFK,” he wrote on Twitter. “What is the benefit of incentivizing players to stay in lobbies with trolls and harassers? Can we just not?”
The problem seems to be that these new penalties make it so that players who want to avoid playing with a troll who throws matches and costs them ELO can’t do so without suffering consequences.
We’ll have to see what Riot can do to fix these exploitable elements associated with AFK penalties, as they seem to have some players concerned.