I think this is my first post but I really feel this topic needs to be addressed in detail.
I tried to be as concise as possible without missing crucial elements and opportunity to provide solutions.
It is immediately apparent to anyone playing ranked that the autofill feature does reduce the queue timers. For a lot of people who aren't as competitive or have less time(if you only have time for a single game then you aren't really committed to the game in the first place but this still effects your experience either directly or indirectly) this may save them a minute or 3 even. There are two major hidden costs that has been hurting the ranked experience and actually making it more frustrating and time consuming than before autofill was introduced.
Before anyone jumps in to say this is rare, I experience this trolling in champ select EVERY day. I don't remember the last day I didn't dodge at least two games from absolute trolls. I used to not dodge but then I analysed the lost games where someone would ragequit and the examples mentioned later on come from these experiences.
All of this only applies to ranked. Please go to normals to try those new champs and roles, it's ok!
1. I don't want to dodge but it's just not worth the time in game where you're not playing the role/champ you want to/are good at in a competitive mode or have several teammates who have been autofilled.
2. Similarly, winning games with multiple autofilled opponents is far less satisfying.
Here I think it takes away some of the integrity of the ranked ladder setting as a competitive environment.
Note: Prior to autofill I would only dodge on the VERY rare occasion that someone straight up stole my position so I never had any issues with the queue times, whether it was 2minutes or 7minutes, once the accept button came up I knew we should be ready to play some LoL!
eg last pick played decides they will going the same role with another player and suddenly we have no jungler or they even said they're going to run it down or something(int)
There are two hidden costs
1. The ACTUAL time it takes to get into a RANKED game which isn't an instaloss. Due to being autofilled or multiple teammates being autofilled which is very, very common(or they are literally trolling and decided to first time a champ in ranked) there are many champ selects which are dodged either by myself or teammates because we don't want to play a competitive game where 2-4 members have no idea what they are doing and we're locked in for 15minutes minimum and odds strongly against (who can carry if 2-4 players don't know their role or abilities AT ALL?).
The higher rank you go the more often you will enter a lobby where you have a good idea who the enemy players are from the previous game, so knowing you have 2 autofills and 2 first timers and the enemy team has duo smurfs/solid-main-role players from previous game/lobby is an obvious dodge.
2 Reduction of INTEGRITY in RANKED games which occurs when rng is inconsistently applied. Which role is going pull players today? Is it top lane? Support? Some players get autofilled more simply because of their chosen roles and they are not aware of it while others are more fortunate to get autofilled into roles they actually play/want to play.
If the idea is to reduce queue times to reduce time spent not playing the game, I think it should not taken away from MEANINGFUL game time, that is a professional mid laner should be able to practice mid consistently when he wants to practice mid lane. So should the player in silver who is really enjoying mid lane/practicing a synergy with their duo friend who is a jungler.
If the game tells you your roles are high in demand at least you can decide whether or not you want to wait the x minutes or perhaps just change role/mode for a shorter queue if necessary/load up some youtube.
The better you want to get/play well it is more likely you will want to specialise more like becoming more of a mid laner or adc so getting autofilled effectively denies you your specialised practice.
- I read that autofill reduces the time per INVIDIVUAL QUEUE by 2/3rds, however if you take into account the dodges resulting from garbage autofilled teams you end up with a much longer time queueing up.
- Results of dodges lead to a cycle of mutiple champion select lobbies and reset queue, back and forth sometimes for over 15-20minutes. (experience across bronze, silver, gold, plat and diamond games)
Champion Select "trolls" (technically terrorist would be the formal word lol)
Fellow players value their time to either play their chosen role, force someone else to dodge or suffer a loss. Some players even derive satisfaction from trolling the game so that other players will "learn to dodge" when they troll the champ select or suffer a wasted 15+minutes of a trolled game.
"enjoy your loss" is literally the anthem of champ select since autofill was introduced.
Eg 3 junglers because 2 jungle mains got autofilled and the jungler is actually not a jungler but refuses to swap because they don't play the roles the jungle mains were given).
Eg 0 players on main role,noone accepts role swap, noone wants to dodge, someone takes disco nunu and says nothing(opgg them and realise they have never played nunu before oh NONONONO!)
This makes for a terrible champ select experience where you are either forced to dodge or basically held hostage in game and you can't even report the champ select trolling.
Many players would prefer not to dodge for various reasons not limited to the following:
1. They just have time for one game today
2. They are trolling/smurfing/not serious about climbing/think they can carry
3. They just dodged one or more times and just want to play
4. They ceebs opgging every single champ select and are feeling edgy let's play! The amount of times this was me - nek minute realise shoulda dodged
1. You can just swap roles
The issue with the above is firstly that many people eventually give in after the first dodge or two and "just play" first timing some champion or flat out refusing to swap to put you or them onto main roles.
2. Enemy has equal chances of autofill
A terrible team(3 autofills including autofilled adc and no tank) is more likely to be dodged than a good one(all on-role/secondary roles) so if the enemy doesn't dodge, chances are they have 2 or less autofills and a few players on chosen roles. Thus if the enemy isn't dodging and you have 2 or more autofills it is logical that you should dodge = yet another queue or penalty timer for however many minutes wooh~
Solution Part 1
If the timer is below a certain figure(scaling per rank?) minutes per game switch autofill off. There should be barely any dodges.
eg the following are just arbitrary values and would be adjusted as required
- average timer below 8minutes in diamond = autofill off
- average timer below 7minutes in platinum = autofill off
- average timer below 6minutes in gold = autofill off
- average timer below 5minutes in iron/bronze/silver = autofill off
The issue of longer timers?
- Often there is a certain role, which isn't getting enough people queuing up so teams aren't formed quickly
Solution Part 2
Highlight the LEAST CHOSEN and MOST in demand roles and people will be much more motivated to alter their roles and pick it up as a main/secondary
- We saw when people started realising support has the lowest queue timers and suddenly people started maining support and the quality of supports improved drastically from people having no idea what supports do to people loving the role and buying skins for these champions, etc
- I don't want to get too anecdotal
eg Too many mid laners and not enough top laners = Mid lane highed in red, top lane highlighted green
Summary TLDR (Solution provided above)
1. Shorter Queue timers
- Most players have knowledge of more than 2 roles so being able to adjust roles to shorten timers is a plus and provides agency of either being happy to wait for a certain role or being happy to play a secondary role to shorten timer without the unwelcome rng(players not happy to save 4minutes of queue if they have to dodge anyway or have players troll the champ select due to being autofilled and thus ending up with 15+min before playing the game)
2. Players reliably getting chosen roles
- whether they are good or not at these roles they at least have are motivated to play the game and don't feel like riot screwed them with rng roles and experiencing the wrath of autofilled player frustration including champ select trolling.
= Even if they end up first timing a champ/role at least they are keen to actually play the game.
Eg Players shouldn't need to be thinking, oh well I can just run it down/ give up if I die twice because I don't care AT ALL so just force early end. Conversely Players shouldn't be sitting and seeing a disco nunu typing "enjoy your loss" or a first time jungler who has your role, refused to swap and like the individual they are, types "enjoy your loss" or something like that or nothing at all. Rip
I truly think the above solution or something like it is not only good for players serious about just being able to play the compeitive game they signed up for with minimal trolls,streamers, pros, noobs, foreign players and players with communications issues as a way to balance the integrity of the game as a whole but also reduce much of the frustration through creating more agency for the players.
The one additional(I really want to refrain from using the word "alternative" here) solution that could help with the trolls would be to introduce reporting for champ select trolls, but alas we know they will still troll as long as they have the motivation to do so because the frustration of autofill is too GNJDFNGLNGDKJG and sometimes they can still end up playing the game seriously and enjoying a win while still ruining teammates experience(unnecessary frustration can make the game experience bittersweet at best).
Thank you for taking the time to appreciate this post,