Solution for Smurf Accounts

It would definitely create a more ‘trial by fire’ environment for legitimately new players, because yes they will be dealing with a lot of smurfs; but my counterargument to that would be, but isn’t it worth it for the health of the overall community?

At the point it is right now I literally don’t play Comp because smurfs are so constant and so frustrating. I’m not a bad player, but there are people who are untouchable for me, and they always will be. I want to play with people who are roughly at my level, and right now every time I see a level 2 account queue up with me I groan because I KNOW it’s going to be some Genji smurf who’s t*abagging my entire team while we can’t even get out of spawn.

That’s just not fun.

I’m sick of smurfs, and there are not a lot of good options to solve them. This is literally the BEST idea I’ve seen because it doesn’t require you to register a phone number to make an account, doesn’t cost the players or the game company anything, and probably actually would cut down on the problem because I think smurfs would get tired of stomping actual, real honest to god newbs.

Smurfs enjoy smurfing on players who are below them, but I think there’s a difference between ganking a bunch of infants and ganking a bunch of middle schoolers. Smurf people are terrible, but they want the players they’re playing against to understand that they’re being dominated. Real newbs usually have no clue what’s going on.

Edit:

Also, if you were a regular player, you could just avoid comp till your account hit 100 if the smurfs really got to you. A smurf would have to level their account up to 100 in order to ‘smurf’ with ‘regular players’, which would create 88 hours between someone making a smurf account and smurfing normal people. Most real newbs probably wouldn’t complain about just dicking around in QP or Arcade modes for the first 88 hours they played Overwatch; I don’t think I even played my first comp game on my Xbox account until I was well past two stars.

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/overwatch/t/alternative-to-multiple-accounts-dev-team-please-consider/135683?u=skidoodle-11524

I don’t think offloading the worst possible experience onto the newest players is ever healthy for the overall community. You want to do the complete opposite of that.

As for options against smurfing, they really don’t exist without being hopelessly unfair or totally unenforceable. I do think Blizzard should take measures to make smurfing unecessary, though. A major cause of smurfs is people that want to play heroes they don’t normally play, but can’t because of either pressure to play their main (if their profiles are public) or the knowledge that they’d basically be throwing. I want to see “profiles” that a player can create to their account that start at their current SR but have independent SRs and player stats. Then there’d be much less of a reason to smurf.

I think you’re exaggerating a bit here, and also failing to see the bigger picture.

You act like new players will be so beleaguered by having to play with smurfs when there are 1. many options to play noncompetitive modes where smurfing is less of a problem, and 2. those normal players will be ALSO benefit from having a ‘smurf free experience’ once they hit level 100. Heck it doesn’t even have to be level 100, it could be 50 for all I care, but SOMETHING is better than literally nothing.

Also, if you think the only reason people are smurfing is because of a number on a profile then I’ve got some news for you…

If it’s so bad that you don’t want to deal with it, how is it exaggerating to say it’s worse for someone just starting out? You always want the new player experience to be the best the game has to offer.

You have to buy the game to make a smurf. I can tell by your tone that you think smurfs just want to troll, but do you really think someone is going to spend $40 to get another account, level it to 25 in quickplay, then play maybe 30 games to catch back up to their original rank just to troll people? And more importantly, that they’re going to do it repeatedly? Smurfs of high-SR players rank up very quickly, and deranking is actually bannable.

No, a vast majority of smurfs are people attempting to make legitimate alt accounts, and a major reason for that is to play different heroes.

And as for the “avoid comp until 100” argument… why not just take the simpler approach of asking for the minimum comp level to be 100? Not that I agree with it, but this “soft block” thing helps nobody.

just have smurf accounts only play against other smurf accounts

You’re assuming that the new players will be playing with literally nothing but smurfs, but that is not the case.

New players will be playing largely with other new players, and the people who want to smurf will also be in that tank with them. That does not mean that it will be 80% smurfs. Please stop exagerating how ‘hard’ it will be for new players - particularly since most new players are not playing comp right out of the gate. And particularly when your own second point is that there ‘can’t be that many smurfs!’

Second, YES there are that many smurfs, and YES they do buy the game. it just went on sale on Humble Bundle for $12, it goes on sale CONSTANTLY, there are also lots of free weekends that happen. Smurfs are a big problem in the game, currently I’d say they happen in QP pretty regularly - probably 1 out of every 10 games has a smurf in it for me right now, and that’s just in quick play!

Third, people are ranking up and down using the LFG system. You can find groups that are deranking all the time, people play and lose together to derank and go smurf all over again,and no one reports them for throwing because they’re all throwing together. I’ve seen plenty of groups in the LFG titled ‘Throwing!’ or ‘Deranking group’ or some variation thereof.

So, considering that A. Most new players won’t even understand they’re playing with Smurfs if they do play Comp, B. Most new players won’t even be playing comp, C. Smurfs ARE a problem, D. This is a viable, free solution, and E. It would actually significantly fix the problem since smurfing would require an additional investment of TIME rather than just money, yes, I think it’s a good solution.

If you have a better idea I’m sure we’d all love to hear it.

The new player issue could be partly solved by offering this “potential smurf block” to people with Silver Borders +.

I know a lot of people who does not play that much could feel robbed, but there really isn’t much more solutions than accounting for your playtime.

@Devs
If you read this, could you tell us what percentage of ACTIVE accounts is Silver Border and above? No need to disclose exact numbers. Just the %.

This could actually be interesting. Since for me as well - playing against smurfs (which majority of is picking heroes that either one shot or are assassins) is really bad experience. Even toxic people are less of an Uninstal Juice than these kinds of smurfs.

It’s not “80%”, but it is “higher than you experience right now.”

Let me explain why:

Say you have 100 players all within the same playable range of eachother. 80 of them are over level 100. 20 of them are under level 100. 10 players are smurfs, 10 players are new players.

Ignoring your team entirely, What are the odds of you running into a smurf on the enemy team?

1-(0.89*0.88*0.87*0.86*0.85*0.84)=58%

Pretty high, but not surprising because these are comically exaggerated proportions. Now, let’s say 30 of the 80 higher level players turn on the “anti-smurf” feature. Now what are the odds a new player will run into a smurf?

1-(0.59*0.58*0.57*0.56*0.55*0.54)=97%

It’s actually worse than that, because the 30 people with anti-smurf will remove other people from the not-anti-smurf pool.

If we take more realistic numbers and say there’s 10000 people in this pool and 500 of those 10000 are lower level, in which 400 are not smurfs, the numbers look like this:

Base chance to not run into a smurf:

1-(0.9599*0.9598*0.9597*0.9596*0.9595*0.9594)=22%

With 1000 anti-smurfs, base chance for a low level to not run into a smurf):

1-(0.8599*0.8598*0.8597*0.8596*0.8595*0.8594)=60%

And again I want to reiterate that it’s actually worse than this in practice because high level players take other high level players out of the pool. Do you see the problem here?

So if you feel it’s a problem seeing a smurf in 1 out of every ten games in QP, how on earth do you think low-level play is going to be manageable in comp?

So, again, none of your points counter literally anything else I’ve said, you’re just driving home that it’ll be worse for players while they’re stuck with the smurfs.

Yep, we agree.

Maybe it’s almost annoying enough to do something about, like creating a time investment requirement for players so that smurfing is even more difficult. I mean why do you think they make you wait till you’re at least level 25 to play comp? It’s to prevent people from just buying an account and going there straight away. Well the ‘cost’ is clearly not high enough, something’s got to change or the game will never be fun for anyone, no matter if they’re new or not!!!

much worse. The point of the math was to show that it isn’t “exaggerating” at all. Statistics is a cruel mistress.

I’m pretty sure the level requirement is actually to prevent people who don’t know how to play the game from immediately going into comp, like every other game with a comp barrier. Blizzard has repeatedly stated that they don’t consider smurfing to be a problem because of the MMR adjustments in place. Whether you agree with them or not, that doesn’t really fit the narrative that the level minimum is meant to deter smurfs.

It is important to remember that we as players should not worry about players who have alternate accounts. This from Game Director Jeff Kaplan earlier this evening:

Ya know, pretty much everybody in plate and below will play with this option on, since lvl 25 newbie with no idea how to play will get few first games at plate level anyway and pretty much ruin them for everybody else anyway.

Not reading BECCCCCCCAAAAAAAAAUSSSSSEEEEEEE…
It isn’t against the rules.

  1. Bob downloads game

  2. Bob starts game

  3. Bob joins Quickplay Queue. Wait time: 15 minutes

  4. Bob uninstalls game

  5. Bob mourns loss of $40

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It already heavily weights level. A year ago it took 5+ minutes to queue with a low level account as an average player, and it can only have gotten worse as a lower and lower percentage of accounts remain at low levels. You’re basically asking for queue times to be unbearable for new accounts, which will mean no new permanent players. Nobody wants to wait 10+ minutes for a game, so they’d just find another game.

Smurfs aren’t a problem and you should work on improving your game instead of finding excuses.

Good luck with that. Blizz have free weekends for the smurfs fairly often!

Please god, anything to eliminate smurfs from existence for literally ever. I despise them with every fiber of my being. And anyone who says you just have to get better - you will. It just becomes a more smooth progression when you don’t run into Undercover Diamond in silver.

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How about an option to play with only Digital Game owner and Main XBox live account?

I still think people make a big deal out of that. To me, it trickles down to:
I am playing poorly and getting destroyed.
I’m going to blame smurfing so I don’t have to improve.