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Riot defends League of Legends’ AFK timer amid backlash

Riot producer Chris “Auberaun” Roberts has responded to criticism against the away-from-keyboard (AFK) timer that was added to League of Legends at the start of the preseason.

Riot Games has taken a more active role in dealing with toxic behavior in the game. Their latest attempt is to discourage AFK by implementing a timer. However, many players feel that the timer is too short and doesn’t consider different playstyles.

Reddit user Jhomas-Tefferson created a thread on November 21 where he discussed his complaints about the new system. He said he was playing as Teemo and hiding in a bush to wait for the minions to appear.

“In that time period of a minute, I get the popup for afk warning. That’s a little too quick that it’s going off,” Jhomas-Tefferson said.

He urged other players to test his claim, saying it was easy to set off the timer.

“I don’t stream and the replay function won’t show this otherwise i would provide video evidence of it,” the Reddit user added.

The thread has become popular in the LoL subreddit, earning around 5,900 upvotes. Many shared their difficulties with the new system. One player said he received a warning while reading item descriptions in the ARAM mode.

The thread caught the attention of Auberaun, who said that the pop-up should appear around 60 seconds after the last input. It will take 90 seconds of AFK before triggering a remake option.

“We think it’s a reasonable ask for folks to click something in a 60/90 second window. Could potentially move back the popup. 30 seconds for water should be fine (but also the game does start at 0:00!),” Auberaun said.

Players also dissatisfied with LoL’s overzealous auto-mute system

Besides the AFK timer, Riot has added an auto-mute system to fight toxic behaviors. Players who use inappropriate and harsh language in chat are automatically muted.

“Zero-tolerance language will now be detected live and in-game. When detected, these messages will not be sent to other players, the offending player will be system muted, and all players will be notified,” Riot said.

Players have reported that the auto-mute system has muted them without a reasonable cause. One player, who goes by the username ca7grl on Twitter, said she had been muted for asking her friends to look at her when she was emoting.

The player then contacted LoL’s customer support, who said she should try to speak more nicely in chat and stop using the words “u dont get it” and “looka t me.”

“We are in fact trying to fix the system and provide a great experience in the game for all players,” the customer support said.

Ca7grl tried contacting the support again, but her tickets were closed, saying they had addressed her concern. Other players also shared their bad experiences with the auto-muting system.

“I got suspended for telling someone my pronouns lmfao,” Twitter user imuViolet said.

Many players believe they would have to wait for a big streamer to talk about the issue before Riot fixes the problem. Others said they must stop playing and spending their money on the game to force the developer to notice.

“Outside of individual cases this issue will persist until mass marketing the game and cutting corners is deemed more harmful,” a player said.