How can validator nodes minimize disruption if they need to leave the network?
Each epoch, validators are selected for inclusion in the validator set by the stake delegated to that validator node. Even if a node disconnects, it may still be selected for the validator set – but would fail to make proposals and would not receive any emissions (for the node-runner or delegators). Therefore it is expected that delegators will quickly choose to unstake and remove that validator from the validator set.
However, if a node-runner plans to leave the network, validator node-runners should consider sending an “unregister command”. This will tell the network that it should not attempt to select the validator for the validator set, regardless of the stake delegated to it. It will also send a clear signal to stakers that it is time for them to unstake.