We’ve seen a number of ingenious approaches to banning unruly players from video games over the years, but this latest attempt from Valve may be the funniest yet.
Valve is on the warpath, cracking down on Smurf accounts in Dota 2 in what it calls a “bloodbath.” As part of that and the recently released Frostivus 2023 update, Valve is sending a surprise gift to Dota 2 smurf accounts, even those belonging to professional players of the company’s hugely popular MOBA game.
What unsuspecting recipients of the in-game gift, which was misleadingly described as a “seasonal reward”, failed to realize was that it contained a “highly toxic” block of coal that would lead to a permanent ban. That’s exactly what happened to Dota 2 pro and streamer Mason “mason” Venne, who was surprised to see his account banned after opening a giveaway from Valve in a clip that’s now being shared widely online.
This might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen related to Dota. Well played valve. pic.twitter.com/v37jGXHQK1
– Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) December 15, 2023
“What?!” Mason shouted as realization set in. “I’ve been blocked?! What? What if I never open it? Are they serious?”
In a follow-up post on Dota 2 subredditMason admitted and apologized for hiring a behavior score farmer to boost his in-game behavior score (Valve uses a behavior score system in an attempt to promote positive behavior and communication in Dota 2, which has a reputation for toxicity).
Mason has now appealed to Valve to lift the ban. He said: “I completely understand that what I did was wrong, and I know it is a difficult request, but I am asking for leniency.” “I’ve never done anything like this in my 13 years of playing Dota 2, and when I realized it was wrong and the wrong way to go about things, I stopped it, and unfortunately you can’t undo a mistake you’ve made. I’m asking for a second chance, because I would never do something like that.” Again, I’ve never done that in the past. No excuses, it was just out of frustration but we all get frustrated and disappointed in our situation sometimes, and that doesn’t mean we have to break the rules.
It’s unclear whether or not Valve will lift the ban, but so what He is The company is clearly taking a tough stance on Dota 2 players who break the rules. in Blog post Explaining its position, Valve said it had some “bad news” for Dota 2 players it considers to be on the “naughty list”… “because this year is going to be a bloodbath.”
“You may remember that in September, we came out of the ban hammer and permanently banned 90,000 Smurf accounts,” Valve continued. “Since then, we have continued to invest in monitoring player behavior, both on the manual and automated analysis fronts. Over the past few weeks, we have engaged in a more stringent ban wave, including tens of thousands of Smurf account bans today alone.
“At The International, some professional players have reached out to us to talk about their smurf accounts. These conversations have continued, and there is widespread agreement among professionals that banning professional smurf accounts is a win for Dota as a community: the rules should apply to everyone, and from now on they will.” And Smurfs aren’t the only naughty things players do. Among other questionable options, some bad actors play like idiots, destroy games and lose behavior points because of it, and then hire behavior score farmers to bring them back.
“No matter how naughty you are, we’ve been watching you (not while you’re sleeping, calm down) and we’re cracking down on all of it. Penalties will be imposed for all of the above, including behavior penalties – and in serious cases, main account bans.
“As we’ve said before, tampering (and other negative behavior) makes matches worse, and we want to make sure your matches are as good as possible as we head into the new year. So we’d like to wish everyone a happy Frostivus update! Except for the Smurf accounts, who we assume won’t be enjoying it.” “Update because they’re choking on their rich, charcoal-flavored desserts.”
Image credit: Twitch
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