Smurfing impact on AO2

I know who his suspect is, because I watched the rec. kkeraj's profile - AoE2 Insights
He accused them ingame as well. And because I watched the rec, I can almost certainly guarantee that they aren’t a smurf.


That is the game team’s job. To try to find out who are smurfs from those who are clearly not. Some suspicions may be wrong, others may be right… But if you never complain of uggly like situations, you will never catch them.

I usually posted games of “I though” smurfs people, but then I was told you can’t put games here with smurf complaints, so I stick to make in-game complain when something feels a bit fishy… Yes I would like to try to discuss in forums and record game-post, but since you can’t do this, then this is how it has to be handled, in game.

The new last game I played (an amazon tunnel) I was typing here too so my score was much lower than usual :slight_smile: Have a rest of good day.

So you say it is kkeraj you complain about?

About The 31k alleged “smurf”? It’s another game. An arena one, some Gh… something player… A yellow one. You will see in my late games I think…

It’s an easy yes/no question… is that so hard?

This one?


That was it yes. Here it was the eco difference factor that led me to this conclusion.

Ok, I’m going to watch the rec, see if they really are way above in elo, or just dropped to that level naturally and are now on the way back up or something.

A graph like that does look like they are climbing again, but I’m really not sure. I’ll probably watch some of their losses if I can still download the recs, and see if it’s a smurf style loss, or a genuine one.

I’m going to provide analysis of the gameplay from both you and yellow, so if you want to improve, there might be some takeaways.

Again, can you answer this simple question with a clear yes or no?

Nope, it’s not.

You have to bring evidence to them. If you don’t they will just ignore it.

What if the ugly thing is your complain?

you’re not allowed to denounce and pillery yes. For good reasons to prevent victim blaming and slander.


Ok, here’s what I’ve got watching your rec:

Your play:

  • Started chopping straggler trees with only 5 on sheep (you only want to chop stragglers if you’re waiting for the wood for farms, and you want to start with 6 on sheep)
  • Built a mill before getting your first boar, you want to do this after getting the first boar
  • No lumbercamp at first, and had 4 vils on stragglers, it’s far more effective to build a lumbercamp
  • Decent management of the sheep, not killing too many or anything, you’ll do a lot better with 6 vils instead of 5 on sheep
  • Still using stragglers even after building a lumbercamp, this is super bad for efficiency
  • Boar not being lured until all sheep are finished, this is super bad. Your starting build should usually be:
    • 6 on sheep
    • 4 on wood (build a lumbercamp)
    • Lure first boar with next villager, and transfer shepherds to boar
    • 4 on mill by berries
    • Lure second boar
    • 5 on a new lumbercamp
    • Get loom (if it’s an open map)
    • Advance to Feudal
  • You need to work on keeping the TC running, you had 36 seconds of idle TC by 6 mins, which is a whole vil and a bit you’re sacrificing
  • Going to gold in Dark age. This is a horrible play, and one you should basically never do before you click up to Feudal (there are a few exceptions, but right now, they won’t matter), you’re just wasting villager work time that would be far more helpful elsewhere
  • Badly done boar lures, you want them at the timings I mentioned above, and run the vil past the TC, bringing your shepherds off sheep as you do so, instead of waiting for the sheep to run out
  • You never, ever go on stone in dark age, unless you have a very specific plan for it, and know how to make the timing work, it’s a complete and utter waste of villager work time
  • Don’t send all your vils out to lure boar, you both do it, and it’s really bad. It means each vil has to walk out there, instead of using a proper build order, and timing it right so you don’t get all this wasted time
  • Once in Feudal, you want to pick up Double Bit Axe and Horse Collar as soon as you can, especially before you start heavy duty farming
  • By 15 mins you had 1:48 minutes of idle TC, which is almost 4 villagers behind where you could be
  • By 16 mins, you were floating about 400 wood, and had your buildings to go up to Castle. At this point, you could definitely pull villagers off wood, and drop some farms so you can click up, and boom, which is a good play as Vikings
  • Don’t put your military buildings outside your walls, it lets the enemy see what you’re doing, and leaves them vulnerable
  • I hate the tower play, it doesn’t do anything. It’s outside your walls, so melee units will kill it easily, and it wouldn’t even protect anything, it’s super easy to avoid. It’s a waste of perfectly good stone, and considering you were about 50 seconds away from Castle, and not in any danger, you definitely should have waited to drop a castle instead
  • I’d just like to point out the irony of you complaining a lot about people tower/castle dropping you, and then you plan to do it to Orange. It is a decent idea though
  • Don’t get upgrades for units you don’t have, researching Man-at-Arms was pointless at the point you did it
  • Castle placement was decent, it denied both stone, and a woodline, unfortunately neither were in use, and it couldn’t range either TC nearby
  • I like the 3TC play, but I wish the 3rd TC had gone on the gold + woodline to the right of your base instead of just a woodline
  • I really don’t like the tower plays, a tower can’t deny a Castle, and it’ll just get knocked down, total waste of stone
  • If you’re starting a castle war, you need to get archer upgrades
  • 3TC is only good if you’re going to boom, which you didn’t, you need constant villager production out of all TCs, I recommend playing the Art of War booming tutorial until you can at least get silver. Also, get a hotkey for “Select all TCs” and start using it
  • The lack of commitment to a strat is not good. You want to boom? Then go for at least 3 TCs, and pump out vils constantly, until you have at least 120. You want to castle drop? Place it strategically, and follow up with military. You did a washed out form of both, which isn’t as effective as doing one properly
  • If the enemy castle can suddenly range you, and it couldn’t before, you need to pick up archer attack upgrades ASAP, and start repairing for a bit
  • 4th TC placement is really nice, that’s where I would have put either the 2nd or 3rd, but still, that was good
  • Orange reaches Imp, you know he’s going to treb you, and you don’t do anything to set up military? Didn’t pour out Berserks/Archers. Archers would be a great play, Malay would have trouble against it
  • You’re literally making no military, which seems to be a consistent problem. Pick a unit comp you want to get to (in this case probably Berserks + Arbs), and work to get there, instead of waiting until it’s too late
  • Heavy Scorpions are a bad choice. You didn’t know what orange was training, but you knew the others had various cav, heavy scorp is not a good call. Pikes, maybe you could justify with Chieftains. I would have gone Berserks and Arbs for sure
  • Fortified walls was also a bad call I think, once again, you need military, not all these defenses
  • Although I think heavy scorp was the wrong army comp, it certainly works against Karambits. Of course, they are one of the weakest units in the game, but still
  • Your army got wiped, and you didn’t change, which is a sign there’s a problem. You really needed to change your army comp after all the heavy scorps got shredded, although by that point, I suppose it didn’t matter
  • Don’t trickle treb, you want at least 3 or 4 (ideally 4 +) before you attack, because the enemy gets less time to respond
  • If you’re floating 11k food, you want to use it, either invest in military, or tech, (you don’t need eco at this point), or see if any allies need it (Teal did)

Yellow’s (Ghatak’s) play:

  • Killed several sheep early on, and then couldn’t collect all the food, decreasing efficiency by a fair bit
  • Barely any lumberjacks early on, slightly better because they are Huns, but not good
  • Sent out 6 villagers to lure a boar, terrible play, super inefficient, you only want 1
  • Boar lure done badly, the boar died several tiles away from the TC
  • Also used straggler trees a lot, no lumber camp early on, and poorly handled eco balance in the first 5 mins at least
  • Decent job at keeping the TC running in the early game, 7 seconds idle at 6 mins
  • Pushed deer, this is a pretty decent skill move. No berries though early on, so it kind of cancels out
  • Built the mill 2 tiles away from berries, which is less efficient, you want either 1 tile, or a no tile gap
  • Lured the second boar really badly as well
  • Put 12 vils on a single lumbercamp, this induces a lot of bumping, and makes them really inefficient, you want to split them onto additional camps once you start getting above 6 (in the early game at least)
  • Started farming without finished berries, which could situationally be ok, but this wasn’t one of those situations. They were floating a lot of wood though, which makes it a bit more justified
  • Built a barracks outside the walls, meaning anyone can easily see it, making it more likely their tactics can be predicted
  • Going on stone in Feudal, which is not a good play, unless you plan to build a Castle (and as Huns, this would not be my go to Arena strat, although I guess Tarkans could work)
  • Added extra TCs, which is good, but the placement was horrible. You want your second TC on a woodline, and your 3rd to be on a resource you need for your strat, such as gold if you’re doing a gold intensive strategy, or stone if you want UUs
  • Horrible castle placement, basically in the middle of no-where, built by 2 vils, and does basically nothing strategically
  • Really good job keeping the TC running, almost constant villager production
  • Lumbercamps should be refreshed once villagers start walking too far
  • By playing their eco well, they were then able to reach Imp, and start knight production
  • The really nice eco handling makes a huge difference, it’s what lets them do Paladin production
  • The raiding was a super smart play, why bother fighting the army on the frontlines if you can destroy the eco, and stop the player replacing their army?

And now for the final analysis and verdict:
Yellow’s early game eco was horrible. Really bad. The thing they had going for them was knowing how to boom with 3TCs. Basically just by keeping them running the whole time, they were able to out-eco everyone. And when it comes to the gold, you’re not considering all the facts. Red was defeated early on, having mined only 2.6k gold. Once the gold in yellow’s base started running out, he then started taking it from the neutral territory, and the ashes of red’s base. Because no-one pressured them at any point however, they were able to easily amass all the gold, which was then converted to paladin production. So no, they weren’t a smurf, and considering they have 900 elo, I would say they are at the right elo, you just had the misfortune of being matched in this way. Also, ask yourself this, before you go round pointing the finger and reporting people “If they were in my team, would I still accuse them of smurfing?” Pressuring yellow early on would have made a big difference. Another game changer would be if you picked a better army comp, that could have shifted things a lot. Green aging up faster, and getting paladins out sooner would have helped. The biggest thing might have been if literally anyone decided to make Halbs at a point where it would have made a difference. By the time blue started making Halbs, he had lost his base anyway. So overall, no, they weren’t a smurf, they were just slightly higher elo than you, and really good at keeping their TCs running, and their lategame. Their early game was not good at all in terms of eco balance.

That took me over an hour and a half to write, so if you actually read it, took some of it in, and improved at the game, that would be great.


My problem with these types of threads is they detract from the fact there is actual elo manipulation on the ladder

We know there’s people that resign within 5 min over multiple matches, to keep their elo lower

We know there’s people that open new accounts for whatever reason

Both of these contribute to lower elo players fighting higher elo players. Which in layman’s terms is smurfing

Combined with the generally large skill difference depending on maps played, Eg I’m much better on open maps than arena types, and conversely others are better on closed maps

This again leads to a people thinking they’re facing smurfs

And this is all before we even get to the snowball nature of RTS games. But the first part about elo manipulation definitely affects the game, even though we have other contributing factors and false flags like OP.


I dont think anyone denies smurfs are a proble . They just are not the ops problem


Actually if you think about it the OP has admitted:

Which means he intentionally and consciously reduced his in-game performance by typing a lot.
If he then admittedly losses because of his lower performance than usual, that’s basically the definition of a smurf.
So actually the one he is complaining about in this thread is himself cause of all the players which are object of this thread he is actually the one which can, with his own admitted behaviour, be accused of smurfing.


You’re literally being like “People blame me, therefore I blame them”, which is exactly what you’re complaining about. You’re just turning this into baseless attacks. Also, put the @ symbol in front of someone’s name to mention them. Can you please refrain from getting worked up all the time and spouting random attacks on other people because they disagree with you?

Also, every time so far you have encountered a “smurf”, I’ve looked at the rec, shown this isn’t the case, and given advice on how to improve. Try taking it next time, instead of framing people as smurfs when they aren’t, false reporting all the time makes it a lot less likely anything will be done about real smurfs.


I found it very interesting what @PrimusCives here revealed about himself.

i mean not that it would be some new wisdom. I first detected this when I read about certain athletes which obviously were ##### accused all others of ####### Thinking like “If I accuse a lot of others of ###### nobody would even consider looking at my house.”

But it’s really interesting that the TO seemingly doesn’t sees his own narrative failures here.

I haven’t said you would be cheating. I only told that from your own statements in this thread there could actually be derived an accusation for smurfing.

If you accuse others of lying you - again - have to bring evidence. Otherwise it’s actually you who lies.

But it’s again also very interesting that you - on your own - brought up the cheating topic which wasn’t object of this thread before

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I’ve seen a lot of early quitting, smurfing cases with early steamroll… I don’t like what it’s doing to the game philosphy and I think it’s anti-game and deliberate online harassment. The “it’s just a game” is just an excuse to downplay ilegal, malicious or behaviours not compatible with good conduct and fairness.

I think any residual place in society - including online gaming - where this kind of trashy and cynical behaviour is allowed a free pass becomes a dangerous breeding ground for scumbaggery, cyberbullying with consequences for society.

An honest player that leaves angry and frustrated from the game, might bring a lot of hilarious fun for the steamrolling smurf who cheats and finds amusement in stomping amateur. But a player leaving is always a bad news for any game and I don’t see any amusement in one person leaving a game because of online harassment or facing constant unplayable adversaries who artifically lower their elo…

This is precisely why smurfing must be fought, we need to maintain playbility of a game, balance and fairness because it is the expectation that the game is “within reach” that brings the vast community of modest players online. But it’s not just because it’s a player’s confidence game-issue that I am against smurfing, it just is outright dishonest.

You should be able know if you are playing a strong, hyper-competitive, a normal, a modest or a simpler player before the game starts. It’s also why I don’t like to use different profiles. People should know the player they are playing against. To hide under multi profiles is just hypocrisy. You want to match with lower elo and you make a new profile for that because “the waiting time is too long in my upper elo profile”? Hypocrisy. And how do you think honest 700 elo players will actually respond to a much stronger 1600 elo tactic opponent? They won’t in shock or they will bend very quickly.

It’s fine if you state your real elo or if you stick to the motto “1 profile per person”, but if you need to have multiple lower grade elos to trick your lower skilled opponents into thinking they’re signing up for a “fair game”, that’s pure cheating and it should be game bannable, not just banned from ranked.

I’m not sure you really understand the difference between smurfing and cheating. Smurfing is bad, yes. The biggest problem is the inability to judge smurfs accurately, the assumption that anyone who beats you is a smurf, and the fact that you aren’t trying to improve at the game. Cheating is actually hacking the game, it’s a bigger problem, and there’s currently a problem going around with it. Cheaters do things like instantly resigning you when the game starts, or giving themselves infinite resources. You also need to drop the whole thing about

Just stop with the drama. If you put more effort into improving at the game, instead of being a narcissist and complaining about smurfs, you might find that it’s not actually a problem.


Once there was a king and through his kingdom there flew a River. “This River devides my Kingdom” he said. “It must be defeated”. So he sent all his people to fight the River. They all drowned.
End of Story.

Some “fights” can just not be won. At lesast not at this level.


That is false. But if something feels strange or plain wrong to me (i.e. verbal abbuse), I will report it.

But none of your accused smurfs in the recs I’ve watched have used the chat at all. You’re the one who’s always like “xxxx is a smurf. Reported” with no evidence. If you have an example of actual verbal abuse, feel free to share a screenshot as evidence.