I beg, yet again, for Blizzard to -please- address smurfing

The problem is that I could make a new account, play exactly as I do now, and get placed thousands of SR below where I belong. It would take several seasons for a regular player’s SR to correct itself, and until then I would be playing outside of my rightful skill level.

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How can you get an app to truly work. Apps are great to prove any given identity, but I don’t see how they work to sort out multiple identities from one to another.

Competitive rewards are not likely to be increased.

Source: Old Overwatch Forum Archives

Blizzard already is addressing “Bronze to GM” challenges and those should be reported if you see them. From what I understand you can report that as a form of cheating to hacks@blizzard.com. However, the act of “unranked to GM challenges” are a little more of a gray area. This is because, technically if that player is playing to the best of their capability, they should reach their true skill level very quickly. Now there are things like deliberately one-tricking a hero or playing in a matter that incapacitates you (i.e. playing drunk) that I feel is not appropriate, but I don’t have a specific answer to that.

How could they easily punish this? I have seen evidence to know that Blizzard already does have technical safeguards to realize when an account is being accessed from multiple locations if that matters. However, there can be things like a household sharing an account (which to some extent is allowed in the case of parents to minors).

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SMS

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If you buy a new account the MMR gets automatically linked to your main account. So you basically just create a copy of your main, but you arent “new”.

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I am REALLY against splitting the playerbase more. Queue times are getting worse even for tank and support. The only mode that I actually get reasonable queues for, including PvE, is QP classic.

The other ideas are not terrible.

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I am not necessarily going to say this is true for all players for all games. I myself recently got into playing Hearthstone seriously. Now I have been playing it on and off sparingly over the last few years, but this year I started to build up my collection for one purpose, to play Ranked. Sure the game has a lot of fun ways to be enjoyed through Solo Adventures, Tavern Brawl, etc. but I get my thrill through Ranked and it took a lot of effort to prepare myself to be ready, but I might have been discouraged if there was even bigger barriers.

I like playing Heroes of the Storm on occasion, but I am still not qualified to play its ranked mode but I don’t have enough heroes leveled up. I think they have a far more serious curve to reach the ranked ladder in that game, and it leaves me somewhat discouraged to try.

I agree there are problems to be fixed, but I think it is important to challenge does a solution to make another problem worse. One could argue that Role Queue is such an example, it’s a great way to guarantee a stable 2-2-2 team comp, but now queue times for the preferred role of damage is through the roof.

Don’t get me wrong, they see deliberate tanking a problem and they work to stop that behavior. They just don’t see an issue if someone starts a new account and tries their best to play at their true skill.

I maintain an archive of all developer statements. This is done to help guide conversations here on the forums and work to deliver a stronger discussion that can generate the best ideas that can improve the game.

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Jesus :joy:

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Perhaps that is true, but lets be clear “smurfing” is not a very clear term. So lets break down key terms that matter:

  • Alternate Account - A second Blizzard BattleNet account owned by an individual who has a previous one. Doing so is not a violation of the Blizzard End User License Agreement (see section 1-D-i-2-a)
  • Boosting - This is the practice of using an alternate account to manually boost another account by grouping up (violation of EULA 1-C-iii) or by accessing an another players account to boost it (violation of EULA 1-A-ii-2).
  • Tanking - This is the practice of deliberately losing matches to lower your internal matchmaking rating. (violation of EULA 1-C-xi-2, see Blizzard Code of Conduct Behavior rules)

To further clarify, I pulled up the post for Jeff Kaplan clarifying his definitions of Smurfing here:

I apologize for the screenshot as I do not have this post archived yet in my archive website since the old forums closed.

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There is no way to link accounts. The development team claims (see my image in the post above) they can quickly identify the MMR of an experienced player.

I truly wish alternate accounts were against the rules, but I suppose we’re past the point of no return on that one.

As for Jeff’s statements on MMR, I have complete faith they’re true. Yet SR is not MMR, and we’re being matched by the former. SR adjusts much slower and has a strong tendency to start lower than it should.

Obviously they dont. “Quickly” in my book would mean they know hes a GM player before he gets to lvl 25 to start comp matches. But you see many GM players placing in gold/plat.
Also i dont see how its impossible to link accounts. They have the means to detect banned players buying new accounts and black list them.

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The problem with this is, what is playing “normally”? I had someone in a game yesterday who was on a smurf to only play DPS Moira, he would heal sometimes but mostly when there were no enemies around, if not he would go to their spawn. He was very clear about it and when asked he said that he won 5 games previously doing the same thing so it couldn’t be a problem. Would this person have done the same on their main? Unlikely, so it’s hard to define what normal is.

This, No comp until silver level.

Never say never, we do know that Jeff Kaplan doesn’t like the idea of “smurfs” for consoles (players can create infinite accounts for free on those platforms).

Actually, according to the devs, matchmaking is matched based on your internal hidden MMR, not your simplified skill rating value.

Source: Old Overwatch Forum Archives

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Competitive and Quick Play MMRs are separately tracked and separately used in each mode’s matchmaking.

It takes around 15 competitive games for MMR to be aligned and then more for the skill rating to catch up.

There is some matter of detection to identify another account on the same hardware or IP address of an account that has been banned. But that is not as effective because there is the assumption multiple accounts from multiple players exist in the same household.

In this example, that player I would personally judge to be committing to gameplay sabotage if he refused to use all available assets to the hero to help his team win. It doesn’t matter what his win record was or not. However, if the case was simply choosing to play only/mostly Moira. That is not so much a problem because one-tricking is not against the rules (but highly discouraged).

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You adressed things how they are, but thats the fundamental issue with it which allows smurfing. Its “just” 10-15 games of smurfing, regardless its still smurfing. Devs cant tell you it doesnt matter and tell you its not an issue when people actually encounter smurfs enough to actually experience it as an issue.

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You mean silver portrait border? That is well over 400 hours of gameplay in most cases.

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First understand, my goal here is to present the facts and the developer statements as is, whether you agree with me (or them for that matter) or not is up to you.

From my own personal experience (as a hard-stuck gold/plat damage main), I don’t see smurfing in my games. I see good players who can outplay me at times, and on occasion see them in a later match and I beat them back. I also see myself, yesterday I played a series of competitive matches mostly focused on my best heroes of Tracer and Pharah. There were many matches where I seriously popped off and there were many matches where I could not figure out where I was going wrong and was feeding my brains out.

The reality is that Competitive matchmaking rating (and skill rating for that matter) is number, and forgive me if I sound cruel, but there is a lot of times that we (including myself) get really hungover what our skill rating is. I get the idea of competition, to try to be the very best. I have been playing competitive games of all sorts for years and I have had my ups and downs in many games ranging from the Pokemon Trading Card Game to DanceDanceRevolution. I never really was god-tier at anything, but I have fun playing these games. Overwatch is no different.

I am not asking any of you to have the same mindset that I have, but I seriously challenge every player’s actual perceptions of what a smurf is. More often than not, players in my games are simply not acknowledging their own mistakes that their opponents exploit against.

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Interesting, if that’s the case then I’m sure the smurfing problem isn’t quite as bad as I initially thought. Thank you for informing me.