Dota 2 Will Officially Introduce Mechanism To Address Smurf Issue

  • Linux
  • OS X
  • Windows
  • Action
  • Combat
  • Survival
Smurf accounts watch out.
Smurf accounts watch out. Valve

Dota 2 continues to make changes to help improve the gameplay experience. One of the issues that Valve is trying to address is in relation to smurf accounts. In particular, Valve is putting this issue on high priority.

So what are smurf accounts, you ask? The term refers to an alternate account created by an experienced player in order to present themselves as a less experienced player. The term had its beginnings with Geoff Fraizer and Greg Boyko, who played the online game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. They used the names Shlonglor and Warp. The two had become so good at the game that it resulted in few people playing against them. To be able to go against more players, they created alternate accounts names PapaSmurf and Smurfette.

For Dota 2, smurf accounts have become a problem. Valve admitted that there is no single solution, but they are going to implement various changes over time in order to lower any negative impacts or the frequency of such accounts. One change implemented was to require a phone number verification for accounts. The mechanism to get Ranked access has been changed as well from a fixed number of games to a certain number of hours of playtime. You can read more about that here.

Valve recently provided an update on this matter. According to the company, they started with simply measuring and tagging players, but not doing any action. Overall, what Valve did during this period was to observe the detection mechanisms.

Valve is going to implement an update that is going to activate the rank adjustment portion. What this system does is to look for players that frequently perform well above their current skill bracket. Once the system does this, an MMR increase is applied to these players until they reach a point when they are in a skill bracket that they are no longer over performing. As not to surprise players, the amount of adjustments is going to start conservatively per game. The values are then going to be tweaked as Valve gains confidence in the results.

Before the final version comes out, Valve revealed that for players who believe they are playing against someone with a smurf account, all they need to do is send the Match ID and state which hero they think is breaking the rules. Valve is then going to cross refence it with the system and, if found to be true, make the needed adjustments.

There is no question that Valve does intend to make the gameplay experience of playing Dota 2 better. Hopefully the system eventually works and can serve as a model for other games.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories