For all the measures Valve Corporation's “Dota 2” takes to punish players who quit matches, the game can implement something that will not only save players time, but also it will reduce server load: ending games as draws with leavers in the first 15 minutes.
Players tend to linger after an early abandonment. They linger because an enemy player lingers (when all enemy players leave the match, the game ends), and both sides feel there is something important remaining in the match. There isn’t. Both sides waste time, sometimes up to a full game’s length, and they gain nothing from the match because abandonment before the 15-minute mark invalidates the game. Invalid games confer no stats for hero records and no profile wins or losses. “Dota 2” should institute draws for these types of games and forcefully end the match as such. This idea isn’t only about the players.
Ending early-abandon matches would save Valve server load because the batch of players from the abandoned game would either stop playing immediately, which reduces server load; they would linger in the lobby, which reduces server load; or they enter another match immediately, which may consolidate the same players into one match, which would reduce the server load. Having players in an abandon game gradually leave increases server load because each one could enter the queue at different times and possibly be in nine separate games. The cost savings would be minor, but over the course of the game’s life, bringing games to draws would save Valve a bit of bandwidth.
The draw would also eliminate a win or a loss in each player’s match history, which can be an unfair blemish in a winning streak. It is an aesthetic fix for the players, but aesthetics for a game this close to launch should not be overlooked as superfluous. Perfecting a game means fixing the smallest things, and for “Dota 2” to launch well, Valve will focus on fine-tuning.
Smoothing out early abandons, though, is no small thing.