League of Legends artwork for Shyvanna

[Update]: Patch 11.21 has now arrived, and with it All Chat has gone *poof*.

In an effort to combat League of Legend's problem with toxicity, Riot has now opted to go with some rather drastic measures. As such, once update 11.21 arrives the long-standing all chat option will be temporarily going away in order to monitor its impact on the amount of reports and penalties, as well as the changes in negative behavior among the community.

"While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives," reads the developer update. "We'll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all."

"End of Game chat will still be cross-team. Allies will still be able to coordinate with each other in team chat. We're aware that verbal abuse happens in team chat too, so disabling /all chat won't get rid of abuse altogether. But team chat also plays an important team coordination function, so the potential value it brings is much higher, even if it can also host some negative experiences."

In a brief clarification over at Twitter, Riot also revealed that the plan is to keep all chat away for a couple of patches, then survey players in order to see in which direction to take the feature in. These potential changes include removing all chat permanently, reverting it back to where it was, keeping it with a couple of tweaks, or even just enabling it only in certain game modes.

While this is bound to be a controversial decision and one that doesn't earn them any favors among the community, I do at least like Riot's approach to the problem. They're not closing any doors just yet, but rather simply testing things out in order to see if anything can be improved. So whatever the end result may be, I'm definitely eager to read the follow-up update detailing their findings and the true impact of all chat on the behavior of the playerbase.

Once that post arrives I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a little bit more about the whole thing over at the League of Legends website.