In LoL Patch 13.7, Riot made some adjustments to the surrender system in League of Legends, making it easier for teams to 'give up' on games they feel are unwinnable. Why did the balance team take this route though?
The LoL balance team decide to take some drastic measure in Patch 13.7, by removing unanimous early surrender from normal, as well as ranked lobbies. This change has been tested out in normal games, and after evaluating data, Riot felt that this would be a change for the better.
Now, Matt "Phroxzon" Leung-Harrison, Lead Designer of the League Balance Team, explained why the team felt that this was the right direction for League of Legends.
LoL Patch 13.7: Unanimous Early Surrender Removed
League of Legends is a team game, but sometimes you're just up against an unbeatable foe and go down 0/4 within the first five minutes of the match. If your name isn't Thebausffs, then you've probably lost the match already and should just give up.
Until Patch 13.7, some players had no way of surrendering, often getting stuck in unwinnable games, but thanks to some changes in this League of Legends patch, Riot will finally let players surrender early without it having to be a unanimous 5-0 vote.
Some additional context on the Surrender changes in 13.7:— Matt Leung-Harrison (@RiotPhroxzon) April 5, 2023
I can give a bit more insight on this data, since I pulled it (I also moonlight as a data analyst in addition to my day job :D)
96.7% of ranked games with a failed 4-1/4-0 early FF vote are lost
This means players cannot be held hostage in bad game environments anymore, something which has been an issue within the game.
- Are you being held hostage in a 50-minute game? Then you'll want to be comfortable, right? Check out some fo the best gaming chairs out there so you can rage in comfort when playing LoL.
Riot Phroxzon explained some of the data and reasoning behind the team's decision to remove unanimous early surrender from every League of Legends game mode, even though it has been shown that average game times will be shorter than before. Any Kayle and Kassadin mains must be crying right now.
In a Twitter thread the League dev wrote that most of the time when a surrender vote failed due to it being 4-1 instead of unanimous, most games ended up being lost anyway. He also explained that when a game ends before 21-minutes, 45% of them end by FF-ing at 20, while 50% of those games end naturally due to an exposed inhibitor or any other in-game situation.
- "He Is The Reason Intentional Feeders Don't Get Banned on EUW" – Tyler1 Blames Thebausffs on EUW SoloQ Environment
Okay, but are you guys also mad about these champion choices?
He also explained that 80% of the games that don't surrender early usually end by 25-minutes anyway and that long 40-minute games rarely happen, but those do have a 45% win-rate.
"Come from behind, win at 45 minutes" are some of the best moments, the vast vast majority are experiences where the majority of the team doesn't want to play and are trapped in a suboptimal experience.
He also explained that most players who do end up in these ultra-long games check out at some point and stop having fun altogether, which isn't what League is all about. Many players also don't have the time to spend on a 40-minute game since they are playing by the hour.
He does acknowledge that there are still more things to look into and that they will continue to monitor player behaviour.
Community Positive About Early Surrender Changes
Looking at Twitter, the community seems to have taken to the changes, some praising these adjustments, since things like getting held captive in an unwinnable game do make for some of the worst experiences in League of Legends.
Riot will also be testing some other changes on the EU North, Russia and OC servers in the coming patch, by removing autofill, something which was also addressed in the Twitter replies under Phroxzon, but we will have to wait for more information and data before these changes could make it to EUW, NA or other servers.
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