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Unfortunately, in any online game (especially a free one) you're going to get many forms of abusive behaviour. One such problem in Dota 2 is 'smurf' accounts and Valve are attempting to deal with it.

A smurf account is where an experienced player will make another account, to then stomp all over less experienced players and ruin their fun. It is a nuisance, it can completely ruin games and no doubt turns away plenty of potential fans. Valve are aware and they've blogged a few times recently about their plans to improve Dota 2's matchmaking and detection systems a lot of which is already live.

During this, they announced on Twitter yesterday that they have "banned over 40,000 accounts for players who were found abusing matchmaking" which will show "as game bans in Steam as well as being matchmaking bans in Dota 2". Additionally, on the official Dota 2 blog they announced that their 'smurf detection system' was being made more sensitive to go after more accounts. With all this, we could be seeing more regular ban waves coming in.

Policing online games as popular as Dota 2 is always going to be an uphill battle, at least it seems Valve are steadily trying to improve it for the majority of players.

You can play Dota 2 free on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Free Game, MOBA, Steam, Valve | Apps: Dota 2
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Ardje 12 Feb
Would be nice if they can apply some ip matching to match the original Steam account with the Smurf Steam account, and address warnings there too. But then again, that might be a privacy issue.
Maybe they should ask the right to process your IP against fraud cases like this.
Liam Dawe 12 Feb
Quoting: ArdjeWould be nice if they can apply some ip matching to match the original Steam account with the Smurf Steam account, and address warnings there too. But then again, that might be a privacy issue.
Maybe they should ask the right to process your IP against fraud cases like this.
Yup, fully agree. Perhaps this is part of what they're doing and how they're matching up already.
Maath 12 Feb
I think it is a trust issue. New players to a game should start with a low trust value on their ability score. Longer time players who suck (I would be one of them if I ever played multiplayer games), shouldn't necessarily match often with new players whose trust is low and therefore the assessment of their ability is unlikely to be accurate.

Of course one could always game the system and play several games pretending to be bad. But on the other hand I think it would be useful for the players themselves to give a rating or trustworthiness value to others with whom they play. As you play more and more, I'm sure you get familiar with the other players, and so you can say, "yea, I like playing with that guy, he seems to match my abilities." And then this player-made trust network can emerge.
Geppeto35 12 Feb
Nice, now, move to CSGO Valve to do a deep cleaning
fagnerln 12 Feb
I really hate smurfs, it's more inconvenient than hackers. The problem is that they receive views, just do a little search on twitch, you will see a lot of smurfs playing CSGO.

In the case of CSGO they should make more easier to rank up in the early levels, so a Smurf will have some trouble to maintain in low level
14 12 Feb
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It's been a while since I've played Dota. Maybe it's time to try it out again. What pushed me away last time was players expecting me to play better than I am. Dota is not my life, so no I can't play as if it was.
Kimyrielle 12 Feb
Quoting: ArdjeWould be nice if they can apply some ip matching to match the original Steam account with the Smurf Steam account, and address warnings there too. But then again, that might be a privacy issue.
Maybe they should ask the right to process your IP against fraud cases like this.

There are legit cases of two people using two accounts on the same IP. Such as e.g. two siblings sharing a PC. IP matching is almost guaranteed to identify one of them as a smurf, when they're not.
Ketil 12 Feb
I have played this kind of game occasionally because some of my friends like them, but they tend to get annoyed if I play with them because I am so terrible that I feed the other team too much.
M@GOid 12 Feb
This kind of thing is why I completely avoid competitive multiplayer and play cooperative ones only with friends. Too much frustration for the fun you get.

Recently a old friend confessed to us in a reunion that he is a red handed cheater. His excuse is not even that he sucks (I know for sure he isn't bad), but because other people blatantly do it. So if he want to have the least amount of fun in a match, he has to do it too...

I abandoned CS a long time ago on the Source days, because of too many people cheating. And there are servers that didn't even allow voting to kick a player. So **ck that ***t, my time is better spent on single player games, where if I die, I know is because of me, not some low life cheater.


Last edited by M@GOid on 12 February 2020 at 5:12 pm UTC
thedukesd 12 Feb
Let's see what the problem actually is.
If Valve anti-smurf system was actually working properly (I tested and it's not working at all else I can't explain why my main is Legend 3 and one of my smurfs is Guardian 3, the MMR difference is high enough to clearly show that something is not right with how MMR works in Dota 2 and no matter what I do on the Guardian 3 smurf I don't see a MMR boost to try to catch up with the main account, 10 wins strike didn't show any MMR increase compared to the normal MMR you gain if you win a game...) then the smurf account will get close to the real player MMR in a couple of games.

Banning players for making new accounts and playing on them it's plain wrong. In fact you can end up with false positives (to be read not smurf accounts wrongly banned) because for example that particular player was lucky enough to get a couple of series of wins strikes in a row (it's not impossible to be a real guardian 1 player and be lucky enough to win 80 games from 100 games played something that will increase your MMR by a lot placing you at a considerable higher MMR than you actualy are (pos 4 or 5 can easily end up in such situation if the other 4 compensate it like: pos 3 deciding to make support items mek/greaves/pipe/lotus; pos 1 or/and 2 or/and 3 decide to get and place the free wards cause it has no real impact on them (at low mmr they can happy afford to lose the creep farm to place the wards cause they don't last hit properly anyway) and buy the sentries and deward cause they actually get profit if they deward properly)).

Valve has other game breaking problems in Dota 2 that other moba games have fixed:
1) except captain mode (that is viable with a full stack only!) there is no decent way to ban (even in ranked!) (50% from the suggested bans is not proper way) (I have reasons to ban more than 10 heroes in Dota 2 and it's not cause I don't like them)
2) in a team game if u don't spend money u can't add friends... (if you don't spend money on Steam you can't add friends...) (people call Blizzard greed yet in HotS I can happy add friends and I spent 0 cents...)
3) after so many years there is still no proper way to queue for a particular role (there was for ranked but they decided to change it so u are forced to play core even if u know u are not a core player; let's say I know I'm a bad core player and a bad pos 5 player, now to play my pos 4 where I'm good at I'm forced play to ranked cause it's the only place where I can queue for a role, to play ranked I have to give them a valid phone number (something that is not needed for most if not all the other MOBA games!!!) and to play the not role ranked knowing I will end up runing other players game because I will end up core where I'm just not good, pos 5 is acceptable but core is a no go for me, because else I will not be allowed to play role ranked...) (this is a good example of how to finally something right and destroy it a bit later)
4) no love for supports (Dota 2 is one of the worst games to be a support, HotS is supports Heaven, even LoL is way way better for supports) (after 15 minutes mark pos 5 is basicaly free kill (notable exception is Turbo where there is no real role to be honest, you can carry as pos 5 CM easily))
5) language issues (how can I communicate with the other 4 if they speak only russian and well I don't know russian; better said why I'm matched with russian only speakers when I don't have russian selected as language?!?; euw + eune = matched with russian only speaking players; us east = matched with spanish/portuguese only speaking players; impossible to communicate with them, chat whell is not enough to setup some sort of gank)
6) if someone gets dc during hero select he will be randomed and game will start, if he comes back in the 5 min window he will be forced to play that random hero from behind(don't make much hopes about pause for him, there will be always someone that will unpause and unpause and unpause; and if karma hits that unpause dude he will complain that the enemy team refuse to wait a second for him (because he deserve such treatment)), other moba games will just send the other 9 players back to queue something is normal to do; here Valve basicaly punish the player that dc maybe cause of things out of his control and the other 4 in his team (they talk about a troll ruining the fun of the other 4 in their team, maybe just maybe Valve should look at what they are doing because Valve is sometimes the troll in Dota 2)
7) joke mmr system. no moba has done it properly. current system works only if you constantly play in a 5 players party else it's a pure epic fail (taking into consideration that mmr is based on the elo system used in chess, chess being a 1 vs 1 game, ofc it doesn't work properly when you try to apply it to 5 random players...) (mmr at best evaluates your ability to carry a team, even that fails, put rank 1 in a team with 4 troll premade that are in the mod to troll in that game, that pos 1 will be matched with an enemy team with most players in top 100 and he will lose mmr despite the fact that he can happy be the best player in that game... yes when you make an mmr system you need to make it in a way that will eliminate such cases; and you can do it if you code an AI to evaluate player decisions during a game, yet nobody wants to do it (yes you can calculate and evaluate with numbers each decision and action a player has done in a game and get his/her MMR like that; and if someone will use AI to evaluate a player will not see static +- xy MMR each game, you will see a variable amount of MMR increase or decrease in that game, you will see game that you lose that will actualy increase your MMR (because there was nothing you could do to change the result), games that you win that will decrease your MMR (because you were a problem for your team)))
8) Valve should actually look at both their OpenGL and DirectX 9 engine because it doesn't play well with some particular hardware + drivers (while I do admire the work done by Mesa devs I also hate the fact that they don't really try to fix some particular bugs and have a passion to close them with NOT OUR BUG, in some cases they basicaly expect the game devs to fix the problems with the game OPENGL implementation when that particular game doesn't have an OPENGL engine mantainer for 7+ years something that is totaly retarded from Mesa devs part, sorry to say but when an OPENGL engine was developed 10 years ago it was basicaly no way you could take Mesa into consideration because 10 years ago Mesa was a joke and you couldn't really use it for games).

https://steamcharts.com/app/570 clearly say Dota 2 is in a constant decline. There is no sign it will recover for the current decline. Banning smurfs is not gonna change the current decline, in fact it will make those players leave the game. Ban my smurf accounts (that I use after my long breaks from Dota 2 to get back in the game without affecting my main) it's a sure way to make me not play Dota 2 and even more to no longer buy anything from Steam.
Maybe just maybe Valve should actually make some proper tutorials for new players because what is now it's totaly useless for new players. 3 days ago I had a player that was in his first week of play. Only thing he managed to do was to feed. Main question is why a player, with less than 40 games, will be matched with someone that has 500+ games?!?

If valve decides to listen the that particulat part of the community that writes "learn to play core", "learn to play support" then Valve deserve the decline is happening with Dota 2. Remind me in the last years what game made by Valve (like original game) was a success? The particular part of the community that writes "learn to play core", "learn to play support" is made entirely of players that are unable to understand that they are actually better at a particular role and that if they will be force to constantly play their weakest role their MMR will tank and tank and tank.
In how many pro games a team decides that their usual pos 5 to be pos 1, their pos 1 to be pos 5, their pos 2 to be pos 4, their pos 4 to be pos 2 and such change to actualy work it out in a game that actually matter for them (like in the 5th game when the score is 2-2)? You don't really see such changes... Maybe just maybe you will see a reserve replacing one of the main players, but roles swaps...

Why I really hate regarding some part of Open Source community is that some of the devs just refuse to admit they did some mistakes. Just because they can't replicate a bug in their particular enviroment doesn't mean that bug does not exist. If we go into the wireless drivers we are talking about particular enviroments. I for example have a problem with ANI implementation in ath9k driver in a crowded enviroment in 2.4 Ghz band (we are talking about 40 APs running on random channels (they just couldn't stay on 1/6/11 or 1/5/9/13)). ANI supposed to help me based on what the implementation say, yet it does harm, sure I can force disable it (wish there would be a way to do it with modset config files but well why would they implement that, after all the ath9k mainterner believe the implementation is working without a problem when in fact it's not), result is that after ~3 days all clients that are a bit far away from the AP start to no longer be capable to authentificate with the AP (so with ANI enable every couple of hours I see 200-1000 ms ping on the AP ip from all clients, including clients that are 10 cm away from the ap obvious ANI doing stupid things, 10 cm away from AP should be low ping, and with ANI disabled after ~3 days the clients that are 5-6m away from the ap fail to authentificate, AP basicaly show timeout from clients 5-6m away, clients 5-6m show timeout from AP; it's not a single router we are talking about 3 that don't even use the same chipset, that exclude hardware issue, it's something messed up with ANI in the ath9k driver and something that depends on ANI after a particular amount of time for a bit higher range, apparently the longer the AP is running with ANI disable the less range the AP will have, after close to 1 month even 0,5m away from AP clients start to have issues). Impossible to talk with the maintainer of ath9k, they put the blame on my enviroment and that's it. Sure you can say move to 5Ghz, well the range is not enough, sure buy 5ghz repeaters, yep but the costs are still way too high for decent ac equipment, especialy if we are talking about Linux friendly equipment (ath10k is pure junk, realtek drivers don't really make it into kernel and if it just happens that you dual boot and use proprietary realtek driver you gonna end up with really weird issues caused by the linux drivers, add that the shops in the country I live don't say what version that particulat wireless card/dongle is, that the manufacturer used chips from atheros, realtek, qualcom and mediatek for the same particular devide and only knowing the version will help you figure out what chip maker is (not from producer page, from wikidevi alternative page cause the original wikidevi is closed for good)). Sure figure out yourself from the source code. What if the problems goes back 6+ years ago and you still haven't figure out what on earth is broke after reading commits after commits.

Now after being treated like this. Let's assume I figure out what is broken with ath9k driver. What reasons do I have to submit the patch to fix it? What are the chances for my patch to get upstream? In the end the question is why would I bother to even try and not just keep the patch for myself avoiding me getting more annoyed cause maybe someone will not like the way I coded it, not like how my code looks like (let's say not like cause I didn't put a single comment there and I didn't used TAB), refuse to upstream it because in his particular enviroment he can't replicate the issue it happen in my particular enviroment despite the fact that my patch doesn't affect at all what happens in his particular enviroment (radio waves are affected by many things and vary even based on your location on globe!), his/her ego just make him refuse to admit something was broke in his implementation and he/she say no to the patch.
Linus Torvalds with his crap attitude has made a lot of people not even bother to submit patches. Sorry to say but saying that xyz code is pure garbage doesn't help anyone because such comment is not constructive at all. If you add the reasons why you think it's garbage with examples you are construtive even if you say it in a rude way, but without reasons and at least one example your affirmation that the coding in that patch is garbage is actually garbage (the affirmation is garbage).
Don't get me wrong but Linus will have to admit at some point that his monolithic kernel will become impossible to mantain. At this very moment there are various parts of the kernel in a pure garbage state to say it in a Linus Torvalds way, maybe just maybe the situation is even now like this because it's no longer possible to mantain it all in a proper way...

You gonna say I'm offtopic. NO! I gave examples to show that the not admiting that you f***ed it up it's all levels.

And please don't say about why I dual boot. It's simple. While the gaming situation has improved in Linux in the last years, it's still bad. I don't have a native MMO I like that is running native in Linux, with the weird things Valve is doing in Dota 2 I will take another long break of Dota 2, come back for events only and well in this case I will not have native MOBA to play in Linux. And it just happens that I play only MMO and MOBA games.


Last edited by thedukesd on 12 February 2020 at 8:14 pm UTC
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