Brave dev tackles Smurfs paranoia: “Smurfs aren’t as common as players think”
boom! You are dead. That’s a headshot from a distance with the same gun you used. Don, they are very nice.will even also OK Could they be doing Smurfs?
These are factors players consider in competitive FPS games like CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege or Valorant. When teammates or opponents appear to be doing well based on their rankings, they may actually be higher ranked players using alternate accounts (“Smurfs” accounts).Ethics of the Smurfs (opens in new tab) It’s complicated, but most people agree that playing against the Smurfs sucks. Some see the Smurfs as a problem that developers have no incentive to solve.
That’s the conclusion of one commenter on a post on the Valorant subreddit, who believes Riot is “downplaying the game’s glaring problem”, the Smurfs, in order to increase player totals and sell more skins.The review specifically mentions Valorant Senior Competitive Designer EvrMoar, who himself wrote a 3,400 word response (opens in new tab) Comments – not something that happens every day.
point? EvrMoar says Riot developers aren’t “shady figures” trying to tamper with Valorant’s player count. He said his team sees Smurfs as a serious problem, but wants fans to know that internal research shows that “Smurfs are not as common as players think”.
“Every decision we make for the ranking always has a question at the design stage, ‘this will reduce the blue book’ or ‘how can we change it to reduce the blue book’,” he said.
EvrMoar said the claim that more Smurf accounts means more success for Riot is false.
“Some of the strongest data we have in the entire gaming industry, the reason why matchmakers should have ‘skill-based matchmakers’ is that the more people play, the less they quit depending on how fair the game is .So, by having more Smurfs, we have more unfair play, which increases players quitting our game,” EvrMoar said. “Why are we driving players away?”
It’s not always so neat and tidy. I’ve been wondering before if players with alternate accounts end up buying twice as many cosmetics. After all, in Valorant, you’ll never see someone peeking into a corner with a standard leatherless gun. EvrMoar also dismissed the idea, while admitting he was out of touch with the monetization aspect of Valorant and wasn’t entirely sure.
“We want the Smurfs idea [because] “They spend more money” is not true. In general, there will always be exceptions where alternative accounts/Smurfs are not actually profitable,” he said.
That doesn’t ease my anxiety about the Smurfs, though. It’s one thing to know that Riot (and all other competitive game developers, for that matter) are aware of the problem, but it’s another to feel the solution in action.
What did Valorant do to fight the Smurfs?
According to Riot, Valorant has a solid (but imperfect) system for dealing with Smurfs. As early as October 2021, EvrMoar wrote (opens in new tab) Valorant’s automated system is “very good at detecting Smurfs” and quickly correcting their MMR after dialing in.
So why do some players still Feel Full of Smurfs like Valorant? Maybe it’s because Riot employs automatic solutions that are invisible to the player, and deliberately doesn’t do visible things that other games do. For example, both PUBG and Rainbow Six Siege require two-factor authentication to play ranked.
“I think a lot of the reasons are also that we don’t want to deal with the Smurfs completely transparently. We don’t want the Smurfs to know how we’ve changed the MMR detections, how we can better track them, and how they can get around our systems,” EvrMoar said.
what brave Do Do:
- Automatically detect when a player might be playing Smurfs
- Quickly adjust their MMR after a few games
what brave certainly not Do:
- Require two-factor authentication to play qualifying
- Requires a phone number to play qualifying
Riot had considered using two-factor and SMS verification to combat the Smurfs, but EvrMoar argued that these tactics didn’t address the essence of the problem, but instead created a “secondary solution that stops people from playing the game because we can’t fix the problem directly. ”
To illustrate this, EvrMoar describes a hypothetical situation where implementing SMS/two-factor authentication might cut the number of smurf accounts in half, but might simultaneously prevent multiple times as much as playing Valorant in a game cafe or without a phone (even if only 3 % of players, if less than 1% are Smurfs, that’s still a lot).
EvrMoar argues that these mitigations may not be worth the trouble when players committed to creating a Smurf account can simply create a new email address or sign up for another phone number to bypass it. He didn’t completely close the door on two factors, though: “We just don’t think we’ve exhausted all attempts at solutions and need to fall back to mitigation.”
Whether or not these invisible solutions will “solve” the Smurfs problem outright, it’s nice to see Riot addressing this issue more openly and proactively than other developers. last month, Patch 5.01 (opens in new tab) Started testing the “New Smurf Detection Feature” in North America. The patch notes don’t get more specific than that, but EvrMoar mentions that the results “look very promising.”