Riot Games revealed in today’s dev update that it plans on reducing autofill rates and queue times across all MMRs in League of Legends.
Last year, Riot tested an autofill balance to create more balanced games. And after seeing initial positive results in testing, the developer launched the feature globally during Patch 10.6. The game state has vastly improved since then, with players sitting in lobbies with much fewer autofilled players compared to before. Even if there is an autofill player on a team, it’s highly likely that there’s another autofilled player in the same position on the opposing team as well, making the matchmaking much more balanced.
Riot said in its dev update, though, that the current algorithm isn’t performing to the standard it wants due to position popularity, which fluctuates during the day. As a result, by adjusting the algorithm, Riot is looking to reduce the autofill rate from two to five percent of games to 0.6 percent. This change is expected to reduce queue times across all MMRs by around 10 percent as well.
The biggest concern with this change, however, is making sure that the secondary role rate doesn’t substantially increase for players so that they can still play their primary role in most of their draft matches. Once the data has been validated and there’s no substantial change regarding this, the initial update of reducing autofill rates and queue times will be shipped to the servers.
On top of these changes, Riot also announced that it’s looking at additional filters for “Premade Skill Balance,” which was introduced last year alongside autofill balance. The system looks to create evenly matched teams when there are two premade groups on each team.
Lastly, the blue side of the Rift has maintained a higher win rate compared to the red side in most of the game’s life. The impact of this map advantage that might change from patch to patch is being analyzed by Riot to be implemented into its algorithm to make the matchmaking side selection more dynamic as well.
While it’s unclear when these changes will be shipped to the live servers since a potentially negative result of the secondary role queue times could delay the overall autofill and MMR update, one thing is for certain: The quality of games will improve if fewer autofill players are present in the game. A potential autofill player in a key role can be detrimental to a team’s win condition depending on the meta, so having less of them should lead to overall better games for both sides on the Rift.
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