In an effort to combat player toxicity, Riot Games has announced its decision to remove the all chat function in League of Legends. Released in 2009, League of Legends continues to be one of Riot Games’ most popular titles, and the studio has dedicated 2021 to implementing improvements in order to combat toxicity and bad behavior in its free-to-play MOBA.
Earlier in September, League of Legends developers introduced new changes to the game’s punishment system for AFK players and those who intentionally leave matches. While the game previously had systems in place to punish AFK players by delaying them from finding matches, a review by Riot’s behavior systems team found that 9% of offenders were unaffected by the restrictions. As a result of these findings, harsher penalties were implemented for AFK League of Legends players, which will place offenders at different tiers of punishment that will add queue delays of up to 15 minutes, and game lockouts that can last up to 14 days.
As announced on the official League of Legends website, developer Riot Games will be removing the /all chat function in matchmade queues in the game’s upcoming patch 11.21. In the announcement, LoL’s Game Director Andrei Van Roon and Lead Gameplay Producer Jeremy Lee shared some insight into the studio’s decision, stating that currently, interactions through all chat were more negative than positive. The removal of /all chat does not affect team chat, or end game chat, which will still allow communication between the two teams. Aside from that, it will not affect the enemy team’s ability to see or hear a player’s emotes, CTRL+1/2/3/4 spam, or champ mastery.
This decision to remove the all chat function is a continuation of Riot Games’ current focus on addressing player behavior issues across its titles, and earlier in the year the company decided to begin recording voice chat in Valorant to combat toxic interactions. Van Roon and Lee further added that they were aware that player abuse still occurs in team chat, however they believed that the ability to coordinate with teammates meant it was more necessary in comparison to the soon-to-be defunct cross-team chat.
Considering League of Legends’ overwhelming popularity, it’s understandable that Riot Games would want to create a safe gameplay environment without toxic behavior and harassment for its fans. The removal of cross-team chat is certainly not a one stop solution to combat negative interactions in-game, and it will be interesting to see how the studio will attempt to tackle toxicity in its upcoming League of Legends MMO.