Forums / Games / Halo Wars 2

Air is not broken, smurfs are

OP Dreiga

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Postums wrote:
The key is to not care about rank, or stats, or anything. Once you truly understand it is just a game - you will reach the enlightened place of finally just having fun.
Um... then what is the point of having a ranked playlist/ranking system?
l Hagen l wrote:
"omg I lost my precious points"

scrub mentality is strong in here.

You shouldn't worry about your stupid rank. Worry about how to beat those smurfs. You don't learn anything from complaining.

"the match making system should find a equally strong opponent, otherwise I will never play this DEAD game again"

If I had to choose between facing a stronger opponent, that I might be able to learn from or waiting 10 hours in a lobby to find a match vs somebody equal, I'd choose the first.
That's nice and all, but beating smurfs is usually never the issue. In fact, it reveals just another issue: you beat a smurf who is of champion caliber and only get 1 point for it. Had this individual just played on his or her main account, you would have gotten what you deserved - recognition for beating one of the better players. Instead, the game thinks you beat someone new and you get nothing in return.

Smurfing is a problem. It should not be ignored like it is. I understand if it is too late in the game to make adjustments to the system to prevent it, but it has been going on since season 1.

For those of us who do play competitively and thoroughly enjoy the competitive aspect of the game, smurfing only serves to degrade the integrity of the leaderboards and inflates the CSR to levels it shouldn't be.

Smurfing is a win-win for the person exploiting the ranking system and a lose-lose for the person playing the game how it should be played.
x6767 wrote:
l Hagen l wrote:
"omg I lost my precious points"

scrub mentality is strong in here.

You shouldn't worry about your stupid rank. Worry about how to beat those smurfs. You don't learn anything from complaining.

"the match making system should find a equally strong opponent, otherwise I will never play this DEAD game again"

If I had to choose between facing a stronger opponent, that I might be able to learn from or waiting 10 hours in a lobby to find a match vs somebody equal, I'd choose the first.
Toxic posts like yours are the reason why discussions happen to be quite inefficient in this forum.
You played 10 x 3v3 and 10 x 2v2 team games, none of which have been ranked.
So you obviously never tried to climb the ladder in the team playlists (i.e. you never faced these smurfs) and still open your post with an insult?
If you read the thread carefully, you'll notice that we neither talk about a loss in general nor about playing against better opponents.
The whole point of the ranked playlists is to play against equally strong (and better) teams.

What the OP only pointed out is, that the rank progression itself suffers from teams that deliberately lower their own ranking to hinder the progression from others.
That simply makes playing the ranked playlists a little bit more frustrating.

Thanks for your constructive feedback.
Your rank is just a number. Nobody cares about your rank and you should neither. Especially not 3v3 because the game is not balanced around that.

My point still stands. You wanna complain about something that is a "problem" in literally every single competitive game or do you wanna play?

There is nothing 343 can do about it. It's just something you gotta accept.

Just a side note:
I have never seen anyone complain about being match maked with a noob.
I am kind of confused. I think I understand what you all are calling surfs, but how are smurfs cheating? What are they doing?
Postums wrote:
The key is to not care about rank, or stats, or anything. Once you truly understand it is just a game - you will reach the enlightened place of finally just having fun.
BOOO
l Hagen l wrote:
x6767 wrote:
l Hagen l wrote:
"omg I lost my precious points"

scrub mentality is strong in here.

You shouldn't worry about your stupid rank. Worry about how to beat those smurfs. You don't learn anything from complaining.

"the match making system should find a equally strong opponent, otherwise I will never play this DEAD game again"

If I had to choose between facing a stronger opponent, that I might be able to learn from or waiting 10 hours in a lobby to find a match vs somebody equal, I'd choose the first.
Toxic posts like yours are the reason why discussions happen to be quite inefficient in this forum.
You played 10 x 3v3 and 10 x 2v2 team games, none of which have been ranked.
So you obviously never tried to climb the ladder in the team playlists (i.e. you never faced these smurfs) and still open your post with an insult?
If you read the thread carefully, you'll notice that we neither talk about a loss in general nor about playing against better opponents.
The whole point of the ranked playlists is to play against equally strong (and better) teams.

What the OP only pointed out is, that the rank progression itself suffers from teams that deliberately lower their own ranking to hinder the progression from others.
That simply makes playing the ranked playlists a little bit more frustrating.

Thanks for your constructive feedback.
Your rank is just a number. Nobody cares about your rank and you should neither. Especially not 3v3 because the game is not balanced around that.

My point still stands. You wanna complain about something that is a "problem" in literally every single competitive game or do you wanna play?

There is nothing 343 can do about it. It's just something you gotta accept.
I'm seriously baffled by the amount of brain gymnastics you use to justify smurfing/boosting.
Dreiga wrote:
Dreiga wrote:
Postums wrote:
The key is to not care about rank, or stats, or anything. Once you truly understand it is just a game - you will reach the enlightened place of finally just having fun.
This is the reason why the game's playerbase is dying. Lol.
Why, because a dev is making a nice little joke? The thing is there can hardly be anything done against smurfs even if you exclude them until a certain lvl. Even if theres lets say a lvl 20 cap most players can reach that in 1 or 2 days.
Boosting with smurfs is a serious and well known issue and the only thing we get from the devs is a "nice little joke".

I get that it's difficult to do something, but letting cheaters destroy ranked playlists for the rest of the community is neither an option.
While I agree with your sentiment,smurfing isn't cheating,it's just an annoying loophole
I'd like to briefly pick up on the strength estimates that I mentioned earlier.
Perhaps a few plots clarify my point here as I'm pretty sure the effect of smurfing could, in theory, be reduced by some minor adjustments to the ranking system.
To simplify things, I'll only talk about 2v2s in this example as it gives us some nice plots.

At the moment, I'm pretty sure we're seeing something (~) like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(x%2By)%2F8,x%3D1..4,y%3D1..4

Where x is the MMR of player 1, y is the MMR of player 2, z is the attributed team strength.
Let's take a look at 3 example teams A = (2.5, 2.5), B = (3.5, 3.5) and C = (4.0, 1.0).
Clearly, even in 2v2, pairing a good player 1 with an (apparently) bad player 2 (as in C) can easily yield the same team strength (z = 0.625) as 2 not so good players (Team A, z = 0.625) while Team B seems to be much stronger (z = 0.875).
Of course, we don't know if the ranking system really works this way, but this would have been my first approach and it explains the current dilemma.

Let's assume we now add some logarithmic weight to the MMR of the dominant player.
We then would see something like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(max(x,+y)+*+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))+%2B+min(x,+y)+*+(1+-+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))))+%2F+8,+x+%3D+1..4,+y+%3D+1..4

With the following values for z: 0.3125 (A), 0.4375 (B) and 0.415 (C)
Team B would still be better than C but the single strong MMR of C would yield a score that is larger than A and closer to B.

This is, by no means, a proposal but rather an explanation why I think this whole problem with smurfs could be solved by more carefully chosen team ranks.
Dreiga wrote:
l Hagen l wrote:
x6767 wrote:
l Hagen l wrote:
"omg I lost my precious points"

scrub mentality is strong in here.

You shouldn't worry about your stupid rank. Worry about how to beat those smurfs. You don't learn anything from complaining.

"the match making system should find a equally strong opponent, otherwise I will never play this DEAD game again"

If I had to choose between facing a stronger opponent, that I might be able to learn from or waiting 10 hours in a lobby to find a match vs somebody equal, I'd choose the first.
Toxic posts like yours are the reason why discussions happen to be quite inefficient in this forum.
You played 10 x 3v3 and 10 x 2v2 team games, none of which have been ranked.
So you obviously never tried to climb the ladder in the team playlists (i.e. you never faced these smurfs) and still open your post with an insult?
If you read the thread carefully, you'll notice that we neither talk about a loss in general nor about playing against better opponents.
The whole point of the ranked playlists is to play against equally strong (and better) teams.

What the OP only pointed out is, that the rank progression itself suffers from teams that deliberately lower their own ranking to hinder the progression from others.
That simply makes playing the ranked playlists a little bit more frustrating.

Thanks for your constructive feedback.
Your rank is just a number. Nobody cares about your rank and you should neither. Especially not 3v3 because the game is not balanced around that.

My point still stands. You wanna complain about something that is a "problem" in literally every single competitive game or do you wanna play?

There is nothing 343 can do about it. It's just something you gotta accept.
I'm seriously baffled by the amount of brain gymnastics you use to justify smurfing/boosting.
I didn't justify anything.

I just said there is nothing you can do about and your best way to deal with it is to not care about it.

If you wanna get some fame or prestige win a tournament.
I am kind of confused. I think I understand what you all are calling surfs, but how are smurfs cheating? What are they doing?
Smurfs are cheating. They are taking advantage of the way the ranking system is set up so that they have literally nothing to lose as far as rank is concerned, and helping to boost the rank of their teammates. This is exploiting the system, and it is obviously a known way to do it. So technically it is cheating. Now, how to prevent it is a whole other question that I don't really have the answer to. I would just suggest reporting all three for cheating to Xbox Live, its the only recourse you really have if you view it as cheating (which I do). But I have decided a while ago not to care about my rank, because I don't play enough to climb the ladder and I can win 8 out of 10 games and literally make no progress.
MeJordan Postums is it possible to consider changing minimum CSR gained to 5 instead of 1?
MeJordanPostums is it possible to consider changing minimum CSR gained to 5 instead of 1?
We can look into it, but I definitely can't make any promises.

For the record - I dislike smurf accounts, but understand them. A few years back when I wanted to not be a try hard I used an alternate account. IE - placing gold in H5 on a 2nd account so I don't have to put my sweat pants on for every game I play and could play a lot easier with friends who weren't very good at the game.

People who use them with the intention of boosting for rank however, I look at them and just feel sorry for them. They care so much about a number that will do nothing for their life, but still choose to go through extreme lengths to make sure they get that number anyways.
Postums wrote:
MeJordanPostums is it possible to consider changing minimum CSR gained to 5 instead of 1?
We can look into it, but I definitely can't make any promises.

For the record - I dislike smurf accounts, but understand them. A few years back when I wanted to not be a try hard I used an alternate account. IE - placing gold in H5 on a 2nd account so I don't have to put my sweat pants on for every game I play and could play a lot easier with friends who weren't very good at the game.

People who use them with the intention of boosting for rank however, I look at them and just feel sorry for them. They care so much about a number that will do nothing for their life, but still choose to go through extreme lengths to make sure they get that number anyways.
Preach
Postums wrote:
For the record - I dislike smurf accounts, but understand them. A few years back when I wanted to not be a try hard I used an alternate account. IE - placing gold in H5 on a 2nd account so I don't have to put my sweat pants on for every game I play and could play a lot easier with friends who weren't very good at the game.

People who use them with the intention of boosting for rank however, I look at them and just feel sorry for them. They care so much about a number that will do nothing for their life, but still choose to go through extreme lengths to make sure they get that number anyways.
Thank you.

You said it all.
Postums What I have a problem with is playing 15 or more 10-30+ minute games in a day and going up 15-25 points, then we get killed by a great team and they have a smurf so we go down 30 points. It hurts the morale to continue getting 1-2 points per win and imo it promotes just making a smurf yourself. I'm talking about 1500-1700 onyx, not champion level games btw.

"We have to win 300 games and not lose to become champion" -heard that twice now
Postums wrote:
MeJordanPostums is it possible to consider changing minimum CSR gained to 5 instead of 1?
We can look into it, but I definitely can't make any promises.

For the record - I dislike smurf accounts, but understand them. A few years back when I wanted to not be a try hard I used an alternate account. IE - placing gold in H5 on a 2nd account so I don't have to put my sweat pants on for every game I play and could play a lot easier with friends who weren't very good at the game.

People who use them with the intention of boosting for rank however, I look at them and just feel sorry for them. They care so much about a number that will do nothing for their life, but still choose to go through extreme lengths to make sure they get that number anyways.
I highly appreciate that we've got the attention of a dev here but raising the minimum number of points earned would definitely not be the right thing to do.
You would just make games against inferior teams more attractive.

This is definitely no rocket science.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure you just compute the simple average of the MMR ranks at the moment.
Referring to my last post this can probably be fixed easily by adjusting this single value computation.
Add more weight to the MMR of the dominant players and the effects of smurf accounts and experienced-but-inactive teams will vanish.
(Choose logarithmic weights and they will converge with higher ranks)

There are not many downsides to such an adjustment.
Pairing an unexperienced player with a high MMR player would get slightly less attractive in ranked games but I would claim that you'd choose unranked paylists in that case anyway.
Or just play 1v1, where you will instead be thrown against Champion level players the moment you hit Diamond and will fight to the death for 40 minutes until you eventually succumb to their superior macro skills. The only time I ever see Bronze, Silver, or Gold players is when I've been matchmaking for 5 minutes and the game is basically like "lol here's a gimme." This is still far superior than when I was Onyx during the Atriox meta.
Postums wrote:
The key is to not care about rank, or stats, or anything. Once you truly understand it is just a game - you will reach the enlightened place of finally just having fun.
https://me.me/i/do-you-know-the-way-none-20182053
x6767 wrote:
I'd like to briefly pick up on the strength estimates that I mentioned earlier.
Perhaps a few plots clarify my point here as I'm pretty sure the effect of smurfing could, in theory, be reduced by some minor adjustments to the ranking system.
To simplify things, I'll only talk about 2v2s in this example as it gives us some nice plots.

At the moment, I'm pretty sure we're seeing something (~) like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(x%2By)%2F8,x%3D1..4,y%3D1..4Where x is the MMR of player 1, y is the MMR of player 2, z is the attributed team strength.
Let's take a look at 3 example teams A = (2.5, 2.5), B = (3.5, 3.5) and C = (4.0, 1.0).
Clearly, even in 2v2, pairing a good player 1 with an (apparently) bad player 2 (as in C) can easily yield the same team strength (z = 0.625) as 2 not so good players (Team A, z = 0.625) while Team B seems to be much stronger (z = 0.875).
Of course, we don't know if the ranking system really works this way, but this would have been my first approach and it explains the current dilemma.

Let's assume we now add some logarithmic weight to the MMR of the dominant player.
We then would see something like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(max(x,+y)+*+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))+%2B+min(x,+y)+*+(1+-+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))))+%2F+8,+x+%3D+1..4,+y+%3D+1..4With the following values for z: 0.3125 (A), 0.4375 (B) and 0.415 (C)
Team B would still be better than C but the single strong MMR of C would yield a score that is larger than A and closer to B.

This is, by no means, a proposal but rather an explanation why I think this whole problem with smurfs could be solved by more carefully chosen team ranks.
First, 343i is likely using Microsoft's TrueSkill algorithm. Paper linked here if you're interested: Microsoft's Research TrueSkill Study. It is really similar to the Glicker system, which is actually a good ranking system, but Glicker is currently on 2.0 now so maybe Microsoft could update their own TrueSkill someday: Glicker 2.0.Also, in your proposal you recommended using order statistics to solve the matching problem, but you might be confusing matching and rank. Order statistics are used for determining rank over time. Matchmaking is completely independent of that. What you want is for smurfs to not get paired with officially good players at all or reduce the consequences to the good players (where adjusting TrueSkill comes to play). That can be done in several ways, but here are two: reduce variance tolerance in matchmaking to cut-out smurfs entirely from high-level team games (Gold or higher) or favor quantity of wins over the probability of a win when adjusting MMR. That way one smurf game wouldn't matter if you were consistently winning otherwise.
x6767 wrote:
I'd like to briefly pick up on the strength estimates that I mentioned earlier.
Perhaps a few plots clarify my point here as I'm pretty sure the effect of smurfing could, in theory, be reduced by some minor adjustments to the ranking system.
To simplify things, I'll only talk about 2v2s in this example as it gives us some nice plots.

At the moment, I'm pretty sure we're seeing something (~) like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(x%2By)%2F8,x%3D1..4,y%3D1..4Where x is the MMR of player 1, y is the MMR of player 2, z is the attributed team strength.
Let's take a look at 3 example teams A = (2.5, 2.5), B = (3.5, 3.5) and C = (4.0, 1.0).
Clearly, even in 2v2, pairing a good player 1 with an (apparently) bad player 2 (as in C) can easily yield the same team strength (z = 0.625) as 2 not so good players (Team A, z = 0.625) while Team B seems to be much stronger (z = 0.875).
Of course, we don't know if the ranking system really works this way, but this would have been my first approach and it explains the current dilemma.

Let's assume we now add some logarithmic weight to the MMR of the dominant player.
We then would see something like this:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+(max(x,+y)+*+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))+%2B+min(x,+y)+*+(1+-+(log(max(x,+y))+%2F+log(6))))+%2F+8,+x+%3D+1..4,+y+%3D+1..4With the following values for z: 0.3125 (A), 0.4375 (B) and 0.415 (C)
Team B would still be better than C but the single strong MMR of C would yield a score that is larger than A and closer to B.

This is, by no means, a proposal but rather an explanation why I think this whole problem with smurfs could be solved by more carefully chosen team ranks.
First, 343i is likely using Microsoft's TrueSkill algorithm. Paper linked here if you're interested: Microsoft's Research TrueSkill Study. It is really similar to the Glicker system, which is actually a good ranking system, but Glicker is currently on 2.0 now so maybe Microsoft could update their own TrueSkill someday: Glicker 2.0.Also, in your proposal you recommended using order statistics to solve the matching problem, but you might be confusing matching and rank. Order statistics are used for determining rank over time. Matchmaking is completely independent of that. What you want is for smurfs to not get paired with officially good players at all or reduce the consequences to the good players (where adjusting TrueSkill comes to play). That can be done in several ways, but here are two: reduce variance tolerance in matchmaking to cut-out smurfs entirely from high-level team games (Gold or higher) or favor quantity of wins over the probability of a win when adjusting MMR. That way one smurf game wouldn't matter if you were consistently winning otherwise.
That's a very good read, thank you.

I actually never thought much about the matchmaking internals but TrueSkill seems to be a neat idea.
Perhaps my assumptions have been slightly too naive but there are 2 points that come to my mind after reading the TrueSkill study.
1) In the factor graph, each player exhibits a performance p_i centered around their skill s_i. The team performance t_j is then modelled as the sum of the performances of its members. I wonder whether this assumption of the teams strength estimation isn't quite similar to the one that I talked about earlier.
2) The paper does not answer how you derive the KFR adjustments from the match predictions.

You said I confused matchmaking with the KFR adjustments but did I, really?
I would claim that the adjustments to the KFR are (almost) orthogonal to the MMR adjustments, aren't they?

Regarding your two proposals:
A) I would guess that reducing the variance tolerance in matchmaking is probably not feasible as the player base is not large enough.
B) We probably shouldn't favour quantity of wins over the probability of a win when adjusting MMR.
And except for the peak times, the matchmaking system shouldn't even have too much of a choice in Halo Wars 2 anyway.

But if we now come to the question how we update a KFR rank based on a game prediction, I'd still claim that there is the option to focus on dominant team members.
Considering a strong Team X and a smurfing or inactive-but-experienced team Y, you might want to take the team strength distribution into account when updating the KFR even though X might have a higher probability to win according to TrueSkill.
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