A bunch of team members are all over social media answering questions about Dynamic Queues and new Champ Select, but going to gather everyone here to help answer questions too because it's hard to keep track of Reddit threads, and Twitter/Ask.fm is hard to have conversations on.
Here's my initial posts about Dynamic Queues, so let's start here!
We knew Dynamic Queue was going to be a controversial topic. If you check my accounts over the seasons, I've played over 5000 Ranked Solo/Duo Queue games, and about 4800 of those are pure solo. Other team members like RiotLobster, RiotSocrates, RiotChomey, ryedan, and RiotTantram... we're all Platinum, Diamond or higher and pure soloists. Because we *are* the advocates for solo players, this is also why we're the best team to build the new Champ Select and Dynamic Queues.
When we first started building the new Champ Select, we knew this would be a big debate. In every research survey, the majority of players wanted to try Ranked, but also wanted to play with friends and did not have enough friends always online to play Ranked Teams. In every analytics report, the more friends you play with on average, the better your experiences and the less toxicity there is. We looked to other popular games and it was very hit-or-miss. Non-MOBAs have historically rewarded group play with more opportunities and better rewards (such as WoW, where the entire end-game is based on group play and you are forced to group up to get the best loot). Competitive PvP games, however, were split. HOTS and LoL were most recently Solo/Duo Queue, but CS:GO has Dynamic Queue, and DOTA2 has a hybrid Dynamic Queue. When we looked into this, the *reason* every game chose their approach was for different reasons. For some, it was size of their playerbase, some were forced to because of how their matchmakers were designed. For Riot, League is a competitive team sport. Playing with friends allows you to try more strategies, and the more organized play there is, the more competitive the entire ecosystem becomes. By playing with friends, it becomes much easier to organize a rotation strategy, a knock-up comp, or double jungler invade strategy.
So, we had to make a super risky, super difficult choice. We--a team with a bunch of solo purists--had to try to make Dynamic Queue a great experience. We started by adding a bunch of features and looking at premade data:
1) We upgraded the matchmaking system to pair similar group comps together. It is possible that it might be *harder* to rank up in a premade group than as a solo because you'll be consistently exposed to crazier, and more competitive strategies.
2) We changed the Ban System to something we call "Distributed Bans." By giving Players 3, 4, and 5 one ban each, and giving Players 1 and 2 first and second pick, we've given every player a meaningful choice in Champ Select and this "leverage" reduces a lot of toxicity in our research labs. Basically, the premade of 4 doesn't want to lose LP either, and in every game, the random solo has a lot of power in Champ Select.
3) As you may have noticed, we've beefed up the Report System, and added new features to the Instant Feedback System. More than ever before, Premade 4s won't be able to "affect" your account if they simply gang up and try to bully you with reports. In fact, if they do this often and they file false reports, they can be banned for this behavior. Secondly, in a Premade 4 situation, your reports are just as powerful as the group, so if they are showing toxic behaviors at all, your single report can have a meaningful impact and trigger a punishment. We believe measures like this will help balance out this specific scenario to be less negative.
4) There's actually a pretty big perception issue with premades in League. When I talk to players, they always remember the premade that bullied them or made the game more toxic; however, when I point out behind the scenes and show them the data that almost every single Ranked game has a Duo Queue in it... they are shocked. The perception problem is that you only remember the games where a premade did have an issue, but you never remember the games where they were quiet and just didn't give away they were a premade. We've been measuring toxicity in premade combinations for awhile now and believe that most most combinations of premade 2s and 3s are fine, and premade 4s have a little bit more toxicity than we'd like. Premade 5s are obviously awesome experiences. So what are we doing about premade 4s?
Like any big change, we're going to have to monitor this one carefully. We ask you guys to be patient and give it a chance. We'll ultimately make the right decision, but a LOT of players have voiced their opinions that they do want a more social Ranked experience and want to play in a Dynamic Ranked queue.
Contrary to what some players may believe, we've made hundreds of changes to Champ Select and Ranked Improvements already during development due to feedback and nothing is set in stone--it's possible that Dynamic Queues aren't a great experience. If that's the case, we'll pivot. But, right now the data suggests **A LOT** more players want Dynamic Queues than not and Premade 4s are nowhere near as toxic as players are making it out to be with our tier restriction and matchmaking systems in place. We just have to figure out how to make this a great experience for groups *and* reduce some of the frustration solo purists are feeling. We're going to try everything we can to make Dynamic Queue a great experience. Give it a chance, and we're listening if it doesn't work.