VALORANT Systems Health Series - AFK and Queue Dodge Update
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a part of a series of deep dives on topics in Gameplay Systems, specifically the Competitive/Social & Player Dynamics space of VALORANT. Learn more about the series in our intro.
Hi everyone, I’m Seth S. Smith, Sr. Player Dynamics Systems Designer on the Social & Player Dynamics team for VALORANT. Today I’m going to go over the improvements to our intervention systems for AFKing and Queue Dodging behavior shipping with Patch 6.07 with the helpful insights of Parsa Spandar, our competitive area analyst.
- We’re increasing the amount of Ranked Rating loss for repeated queue dodging.
- We’re introducing a 1 day ranked restriction for excessive AFK behavior sooner than previously introduced ranked restrictions.
- These changes will be implemented in Patch 6.07.
WHAT IS PLAYER DYNAMICS?
Player dynamics is the craft of helping people play well together in games and social systems. This includes identifying behavioral patterns and making adjustments to social behavioral systems in order to incentivize “pro-social” behaviors such as consistent participation, fair play, and safe and healthy player-to-player communication while mitigating disruptive behavioral patterns such as:
- Participation violations
- AFK (Away From Keyboard)
- Queue Dodging
- Bot Activity
- Fair Play violations
- Ability Misuse
- Body Blocking
- Cheating (Aimbots, Triggerbots, Wallhacks)
- Abusing Glitches
- Comms violations
- Text Abuse
- Voice Abuse
- Inappropriate Name
- Hate Speech
- Sexual Content
- Disrespectful Behavior
In this article, we will focus on the adjustments we are making to our Participation (i.e. Queue Dodging and AFK systems) in order to ensure we are promoting ideal player participation in VALORANT.
QUEUE DODGING BEHAVIOR
Queue dodging is the act of entering a queue and then abruptly leaving the queue e.g. timing out in agent select. This action can be really disruptive to players as it increases the time it takes to get in game and is extremely frustrating to players who want to compete.
During the past year, queue dodging has been the most common offense that affects the gameplay participation. Ranked queue dodging and normal queue dodging account for 21.72% and 15.34% of all participation incidents respectively, totaling 37.07% of all participation incidents since the beginning of the year. The high frequency of this incident type is common across players.
In order to mitigate the amount of queue dodging, we will now increase the amount of Ranked Rating loss for repeated queue dodging behavior.
We believe that this increase in Ranked Rating loss for consecutive queue dodges reflects our firm stance against serial queue dodging in VALORANT and it will impact the queue dodge behavior in the way that benefits players over time.
AFK (Away From Keyboard) is the act of leaving a match or not participating in a match. E.g. disconnecting from rounds, being present but not participating in a match, or being detected as a bot. This action significantly lowers your team’s chances of winning and tarnishes the gameplay experience for all players in the match.
We will be introducing a 1 day ranked restriction for players who frequently engage in excessive AFK behavior sooner than previously introduced ranked restrictions. Players who routinely engage in AFK behavior will now be restricted from playing in ranked much more quickly.
We believe that this firmer stance on AFKing is aligned with our behavioral expectations of players, and will ultimately lead to better quality of matches in VALORANT.
Bot Usage is the act of using bots to perform actions during a game. This behavior sets a player’s team up for failure by creating a one-sided team vs team balance and is detrimental to gameplay integrity.
In today’s world, VALORANT employs a series of bot usage intervention systems to provide player value by tracking, intervening and ultimately mitigating the frequency of bots in VALORANT.
In the future, the Social & Player Dynamics team will continue to explore and develop more nuanced systems to impact bot usage by creating features that incentivize pro-social behaviors such as participation, teamwork, and healthy communication.
After careful data analysis of non-participation behavior i.e. AFK and Queue Dodging, we have gained insights into how to better mitigate disruptive behavior and increase the frequency of high quality matches in VALORANT. We look forward to implementing these changes in Patch 6.07 as a major step towards our goal of creating a safe and belonging experience for our amazing players.