Season four of Rocket League kicked off on Wednesday and will see tougher action against players who regularly leave Casual Matches. They can be temporarily banned from the matchmaking process. There will also be an option to abort rounds.
Developer Psyonix writes about “improvements for Casual Matches” in his talk about the fourth season’s updates. In it, the company says it can be frustrating if teammates leave these matches early. To improve this situation, there will be an option to end the match early, as is already possible with Competitive Matches. All remaining players must agree to this.
In addition, Psyonix is targeting players who are constantly leaving Casual Matches. Those players may face a temporary suspension from the matchmaking process, meaning they will not be able to enter a match for a certain period of time. These bans get longer as a player leaves more Casual Matches early. Players who only occasionally leave such rounds before there is a winner will not be affected by these measures. Incidentally, bots are used to immediately replace players when they leave a round. Those bots can in turn be replaced by other, new players as they arise.
This innovation leads to division among players. There is a post on Reddit with nearly 14,000 upvotes expressing the author’s displeasure with the change. He says that the rounds are referred to as ‘informal’ for a reason. Another player joins him and says that he interrupts Casual rounds with some regularity if he suddenly has to intervene as a parent to take care of his children. He points out that these rounds can sometimes last longer than thirty minutes, although that is usually a lot shorter. The overarching objection is primarily that this stricter policy blurs the distinction between Casual and Competitive too much.
However, there are also players who appreciate the fact that Psyonix will take stricter action against players who leave rounds. For example, there is a player who joins the discussion and points out how negative the situation has become in Casual mode. According to him, it has now become so bad that you can just play four rounds in a row, without actually finishing one. He says it’s rare for an entire lobby to continue playing for the entire round. In his view, the new policy is reasonable, because punishments are not immediately handed out for one or a few times.