Online games are rife with toxic behavior that can ruin the experience for players who just want to have fun. In an effort to curb verbal abuse in League of Legends, Riot Games has decided to disable /all chats for publicly matchmade games — temporarily, at least. The feature gives players a way to communicate with the opposing team and can be a source of fun banter. Game director Andrei Van Roon and lead game producer Jeremy Lee wrote in their announcement, though, that at the moment, negative interactions outweigh the positives due to the rise of in-game verbal abuse this year.
Teams will still see the other's emotes and CTRL+1-2-3-4 spam, and the change doesn't affect the chat function between allies at all. Riot knows there's still verbal abuse going on within team chats, and that the move won't eliminate the behavior from the game completely. The developer deems team chats too important to disable, however, since that's what people use to strategize and coordinate their actions.
According to Polygon, the reaction to the change has mostly been negative, with people mentioning the fun experiences they've had bonding with players from opposing teams. Some even claim that most toxic behavior happens within team chats instead. van Roon has since clarified on Twitter that the plan is to test the change for a couple of patches, starting with patch 11.21, and then ask players for feedback. Riot could choose to keep or reverse the change based on the feedback it gets, though it could also keep it in some regions where the response to it is largely positive
A few more all chat test details:— Andrei van Roon (@RiotMeddler) October 12, 2021
- Plan is to test for a couple of patches, then survey player opinion
- Potential responses then include keeping the change, reverting it entirely, keeping it in regions positive on it and reverting elsewhere, changing which queues it applies to