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Valve goes for the smurfs banning 90,000 people in Dota 2

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After the rather exciting launch of the Summer Update bringing with it new matchmaking and tools to get rid of bad experiences, Valve goes for the smurfs next.

What are smurfs? They're alternate accounts people use to go into a rank of matchmaking they shouldn't be in, to cause problems, to cheat, to grief other players and generally be toxic. They easily ruin games and so Valve pulled out the great bin ban-hammer and got rid of 90,000 of them this month.

Valve said they also traced all the smurf accounts to the main account of each player. Going forward, Valve say, a person's main account found to be matched with a smurf could result in "a wide range of punishments, from temporary adjustments to behavior scores to permanent account bans".

Hopefully this threat will make more people think twice before going into an alternate account to screw up matches for others. Cheating and smurfing is a constant problem in online games, so it's good to see Valve put in serious effort to get rid of it.

Have you been playing Dota 2 since the Summer Update? Let me know how you've been getting on in the comments.

Additionally, an update to Dota 2 released recently should solve these problems for Linux players:

  • Fixed some over-bright rendering in Vulkan when color-correction post-processing was enabled.
  • Fixed a crash in the Vulkan renderer on Linux.
  • Fixed a crash on Linux GPUs with low memory.
  • Fixed fullscreen flickering on multi-monitor Linux systems.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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7 comments

Linux_Rocks Sep 5, 2023
The real reason why the Smurfs are all blue is because of Smurfette. Spread like wildfire. lol
mattaraxia Sep 5, 2023
Quoting: GuestI don't smurf, and I don't like smurfing, but I think smurfs shouldn't be banned, but rather yeeted to their real ranks instead, as soon as possible. Smurfing isn't cheating after all.

I think that's literally the goal here.

They are making a big deal out of focusing in on the main account, presumably it will tell them why they're being penalized, not just quietly adjust their scores, the end goal being to force them to just use one account like more honest players are doing.
Highball Sep 6, 2023
I had no idea what smurfing is until I read this article and decided to go dig up the meaning. The article tried to make it out like, all these well known players wanted to challenge themselves against noobs back in the day and that's how smurfing started. Maybe it was just the language barrier that lead the article author to suggest a bunch of noobs could be a challenge. Given, the smurfer knows probably 100% of the game knowledge, all the best strategies and how to min max their character along with all the built up muscle memory. While the noob barely know what button does what. Imagine playing Quake over the lan for the first time and having zero clue, armor and power ups exist let alone exactly where to go look for them. It's always going to be no contest in favor of the smurfer. I definitely tried playing Dota2 and HON back in the day but I would just get smashed because I had no clue what to do. All the while the other players are just bitching at you for not knowing how to play. Of course I don't know how to play, I just installed it. There wasn't even tutorials. I just went and played other games, no big deal. As it were and as it still is, I barely have time for games anyways. Let alone time to get good at any game. One reason I love the Steam Deck (jump in and out of a game with the press of a button).

People can sugar coat it all they want, "I want to challenge myself", tell themselves whatever lies they need to. I can understand if the match up's are uneven because of limited players during your normal game hour. Hey it happens. If they are really looking for a challenge maybe they should try pressing the devs for 1v3 match ups or other mechanisms for increasing difficulty; instead of rolling a fresh account.
Deleted_User Sep 6, 2023
Quoting: HighballIf they are really looking for a challenge maybe they should try pressing the devs for 1v3 match ups or other mechanisms for increasing difficulty; instead of rolling a fresh account.

As far as i understand the goal of smurfing is quite the opposite - to have an easy round of game play without being punished in your rank.
Something i can totally understand. I used to play Dota back in the days when the ranking/matchmaking also included points just for your playtime. So with many hours you unavoidably were higher matched then your actual skill level. Was the moment I turned my back to the game.
ElamanOpiskelija Sep 6, 2023
Quoting: HighballI had no idea what smurfing is until I read this article and decided to go dig up the meaning.

Yeah and like you, most people, including most of the people asking for this.

In order to understand how we came to the current system, one must have experienced different ranking systems and algorithms for matchmaking, it's been a long way from the beginnings of LoL, Heroes of Newerth, Dota2... the answer is that it is overcomplicated due to appeasing all players complaints constantly, and doesn't really address the smurfing issue.

Smurfing existed, exists, and will continue to exist, till the end of (videogame) times.
Highball Sep 6, 2023
Quoting: Deleted_User
Quoting: HighballIf they are really looking for a challenge maybe they should try pressing the devs for 1v3 match ups or other mechanisms for increasing difficulty; instead of rolling a fresh account.

As far as i understand the goal of smurfing is quite the opposite - to have an easy round of game play without being punished in your rank.
Something i can totally understand. I used to play Dota back in the days when the ranking/matchmaking also included points just for your playtime. So with many hours you unavoidably were higher matched then your actual skill level. Was the moment I turned my back to the game.

Right, they aren't looking for a challenge. That's why I think there was the language barrier by the articles author.
Purple Library Guy Sep 6, 2023
The funny thing is that in games that aren't primarily PvP, like MMORPG kind of stuff, "Smurfing" is just the normal way to play. Nobody expects you to stick to the same character forever and get bored only ever advancing that one build.
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