We know that AFKs and Leavers present one of the larger perceived issues within Infinite Crisis. We’ve been doing quite a bit of research on this issue throughout beta and have some information that we believe is worth sharing. To start, we can confirm that we’re in a much better place now when compared to earlier phases of beta, however this is still a problem that we’re working hard to improve. We plan to continue exploring ways to combat this issue until the rate at which this occurs is both acceptable to us as the developer and for our community.
To review and chat about our official stance on AFK/Leaver and other negative behavior, be sure to visit our Help Create a Positive Play Environment discussion!
Now for the data!
The vast majority of AFKs are caused by a few simple issues (for over 90% of all instances). To start, there are still some crash bugs in the game. We’re working to resolve as many of these bugs as we can, as quickly as we can. Correction of those crash bugs will go a long way towards reducing AFKs/Leavers. We’re also seeing that most non-crash related AFKs are newer players (playing their first few games of Infinite Crisis). These players may be attempting to run the game on a machine that’s under minimum spec or may be running into a technical problem that prevents them from playing until resolved. Our data indicates that these new AFK players either resolve the problem preventing them from playing or stop playing the game after a few play sessions, meaning that they will not continuously AFK. We’re also aware that at this stage of beta there isn’t a true tutorial. We believe that adding a tutorial will help these newer players test the stability of the game on their machine prior to being in a more competitive match. This will help reduce the number of competitive match AFKs dramatically. Players who consistently AFK after their first few matches are extremely rare.
We understand that the implementation of a /surrender option will help reduce mid-match leaving and that’s an option that we do intend to add in a future release. Ongoing improvement to our match-making will help foster more competitive matches on a consistent basis, which should also help reduce the frequency of intentional mid-match leaving.
The rare players who do exhibit this behavior on a more regular basis are reported and contacted by support. We first check to see if there are any technical issues that we can assist with and provide some information explaining why going AFK is frowned upon. We follow this assistance/education message with a warning if the behavior continues. A further continuation of the behavior results in merit deductions and eventually a temporary or permanent ban.
We’re paying close attention to this issue and understand the impact it can have on the enjoyment of the game. We will continue to collect data around the problem and work on new solutions. The community should continue to report players who AFK and we will review those reports and take the appropriate action.