Deserter Debuff Hotfix

Community Manager Lore was on the forums yesterday announcing a new hotfix they're implementing aimed at making it harder to tank your MMR in order to quickly cap Conquest Points, or sell wins.

[A] player who leaves an Arena or Rated Battleground before anyone in the match has entered combat will, at first, be given a 5-minute Deserter debuff. If they leave another match prematurely within a 20-minute window, the duration of the Deserter debuff will increase by 5 minutes each time (and the 20-minute window will restart), to a maximum of 20 minutes. The debuff will also apply if a player leaves the queue (or ignores it) once the match is ready and they’re given the prompt to enter. 
The Deserter debuff given for leaving a non-rated Battleground early will also be changed to begin at 5 minutes (and increase by 5 minutes for each subsequent desertion), but otherwise the rules will stay the same. Leaving a Random Battleground in progress at any point before it’s finished will give the Deserter debuff, and leaving or ignoring the prompt to enter a non-rated Battleground will not.
What had been happening, is people would queue for an arena, then not accept the invite when it popped up.  That would give the team that did go in an automatic win, raising their rating and lowering the team's rating who didn't go in.   You could easily do this several time per minute, lowering your rating substantially, which then will tell the computer to match you with other lower rated players, who you can then more easily beat.

Especially when running 2v2 arenas, this is very common.   And I have to admit, its really nice to occasionally just get a free win because no one showed up.   Still, I think we can all agree this is a pretty annoying exploit, because it makes arenas (and RBGs) much more difficult for players just starting to PvP, whom those low brackets are made for.

Blizzard has stated repeatedly that they're goal with arena and RBG rating systems, is that the MMR (matchmaking rating) will move up or down so that every player averages about 50% wins, 50% losses.   In theory, this is great.   It is not fun to lose over and over again, and it's not fun to (too often) get easy wins.   I'll be intrigued to see if this hotfix has any affect on the game, or if people will continue to manipulate the MMR system to their advantage.  

Edit: On twitter Lead PvP Designer Holinka explained that this wasn't actually to prevent MMR Tanking, but instead to prevent people from trading wins:

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