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Valve hands out lumps of coal to naughty Dota 2 players

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In possibly one of the funniest moves I've seen from Valve recently, they're handing out lumps of coal when banning Dota 2 players. Valve have been fighting off toxic Dota 2 players for a whole mixture of reasons from smurf accounts to general in-game toxic behaviour and they've continued banning a lot of people.

To explain: smurf accounts are made by experienced players to play against lower-ranked players, often just stomping all over them and it's just not very fun for competitive games.

Back in September Valve banned 90,000 accounts of smurfs and in the latest update for the Frostivus 2023 event for the holidays they mentioned that if you're on the "Naughty List" that it's "gonna be a bloodbath" and mentioned multiple tens of thousands of accounts were banned again on December 14th. In the update post Valve teased what they had in store for naughty people mentioning "Except smurf accounts, who we assume will not enjoy the update as they choke on their richly-deserved coal-flavored just desserts."

One pro player, Mason “mason” Venne, ended up getting this special gift live which was captured on Twitch, screenshot:

Hilarious. And fully deserved for anyone making online games miserable for others. Mason did a Reddit post to try and explain themselves, which was deleted, but the internet never forgets.

Great to see Valve put in such active effort to continue to make Dota 2 a better game for everyone. Maybe I will jump in again soon…

Check out the special Dota 2 Frostivus update page here. Dota 2 is free to play on Steam.

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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. Find me on Mastodon.
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gradyvuckovic Dec 18, 2023
officernice Dec 18, 2023
Absolutely loved that video. For someone who plays Dota on a more or less regular basis, they've really done a good job revamping the reporting system.
ElectricPrism Dec 19, 2023
I got put in low priority when doing a "fun" 10v10 and mistakenly playing Axe -- obviously axe has a really hands on play style, and the enemy team whooped my ass, my team got mad and accused me of feeding when in reality I just didn't snowball like I was used to doing. Wrongly reported, stuck in DOTA jail.

I think I'm still in it too because I refuse to play Jail "People" Games to get out when my only crime was "sucking".

I'm sure their new ban and punishment system are great and all but after buying gift and in-game content I've gone a bit sour -- sure I occasionally play my bot games for low-stress fun

All my other peeps have bailed after the new map, which I was willing to give a chance and I thought their tweaks with the warp towers coming back were a decent improvement along with minor terrain edits.

But if Valve is reading this -- I dunno man, I don't really think it's right to be a hardass on "all" people games, the 10v10 was in the arcade, and it's not exactly clear what you'll be punished for when you don't play people games daily. And maybe you accidentally are in a game and need to go to the hospital -- sure your problems are bigger that that point -- but it makes the whole experience pretty sour.

Centralized Gaming Servers are fine for ranked and stuff, but there's a part of me that misses the 1990s when RTS like StarCraft didn't have companies acting like Helicopter Parents and the 4th reich ready to pounce on you for every thought crime.

It's not fun. And I suspect there will be resurgences in gaming spaces where the rules are not so overbearing. It will be interesting to see who fills those gaps and claims that territory.
Scattershot Dec 20, 2023
Now I just need Rocket League/Psyonix/Epic to take note
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