Smurfs + OP civs? No. Just get good

Yes, there are smurfs. I’m not saying they don’t exist. And ok, Mayans are a bit OP etc. But what I came to realise after very gradually improving and rewatching my games is: The vast majority of my opponents were not smurfs, more than 9 times out of 10 - I was just playing badly. Idle TC / floating wood during fights, idle villagers after raids, not scouting enemies buildings or preparing counter units, not expanding my economy after initial 3x TCs, forgetting economy + blacksmith upgrades, not making any siege, forgetting to queue military, messing up build orders, not getting relics, not preparing for late game / not building enough military buildings, not spending resources (e.g. keeping 1,000s of wood), not getting map control / too late to stone, not deciding on an army composition, constantly getting housed, idle scout / scout waypoints or auto scout instead of manual scouting, being too defensive / passive, never building more than 3 TCs, not playing fast enough etc. These are all still things I’m trying to improve and it’s a constant struggle but since changing my perspective from “So many smurfs and OP strategies! :rage:” to “Man, i suck at this game :sob:” - This attitude shift alone has helped me improve a lot. I still suck in many ways, but i suck a lot less than I did before.

So stop complaining about smurfs if you never review your recorded games and never work on improving your own skills offline. Instead of just rage quitting and jumping straight into another game, just stop. Take some time to study the game. Copy the build orders and strategies of those “smurfs” from watching how they played on the recorded games. Most of the players you think are smurfs are just normal players who also make a lot of mistakes but they just did something which threw you off your game plan. So it’s not that the “smurfs hacked the game” or were playing at pro level, it’s just that their playing style made you play badly and forced you to make errors. If you keep losing team games consistently, the problem is probably you and your salty attitude, just as often as it’s your team mates’ fault. Perhaps it’s you refusing to help your team mates or not communicating your game plan with them effectively so you can plan to 2v1. And if you want to get good at team games, play 1v1 open maps non-stop for a few months. Your weaknesses will quickly be exposed and you won’t be able to shift the blame so easily. Unlearn what you’re doing wrong.

Also if Mayans are so OP, why don’t you pick them every game and prove the point? Show us your ELO win/loss chart before and after picking Mayans every game. Prove that they’re OP by climbing the ladder with them yourself. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Read this guide and also watch Hera’s YouTube tutorials if you want to get better:


Amazing TED talk, would recommend. 10/10.


Cool, ads - can we have this nonsense post removed?

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It’s not an ad, I didn’t write it. Neither me nor the guy who wrote it are trying to sell anything. It’s just a guide which i found helpful. Not sure why you have such an issue with this, it was just a very small part of a long post. But I’m guessing you’ve just had a bad day, so peace!


What elo are you? Smurfs tend to appear primarily at lower elos, because that is where they get to crush players they can almost guarantee to be weaker then themselves.

Yes I’m low ELO, 1100
And to be clear, I’m not complaining about smurfs, I was just posting because the forum seems to be full of complaints about smurfs lately and it’s becoming very tiresome, especially when a lot of what people are complaining about is not actually smurfing.

That isn’t particularly low in terms of smurfing. Sure, it’s not the highest in the world, but I think smurfs tend to prefer dropping to sub-1000 elo. Hence you encountering them less.

I often drop down to 1000 and never been higher than 1126. I was 900 - 1000 most of last year and I still didn’t notice that many smurfs. Mostly just mistakes by me when I watched the replays. I’d say less than 5% were actual smurfs doing high level micro and lightning fast APM etc.

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This pretty much depends. There are different kind of smurfs. Some pro players make smurfs and the play with the smurfs on pretty high level. But there are also smurfs who just like beating 500 elo player. And then you have team games, which is a complete mess and gets exploited by smurfing. I think smurfing is mostly a team game issue, It seem to happen a lot less in 1v1s. That is my experience.

Nope, we just want to play with acounts with games and % win rate real, please devs stop the family sharing acounts.

Family sharing is a fine feature.
The only improvement I can see is if family shared accounts start out(may still lose) at the highest elo account under the family share household.

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The better solution is to lock them from ranked. Otherwise, if you block a smurf, or their elo gets too high, they just use family share to create a new account and keep on causing problems for the community.

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Every mode and lobby be it ranked or unranked should retain a ranking system of sorts. Pushing smurfs into unranked lobbies is certainly not the way to go. It’s much harder now to simply ‘lose elo’ without getting punished for attempting to speedrun it. That system can be improved further and fam sharing should remain. No, the true ‘smurf’ problem is due to players not having a ranking at all visible to hosts of lobbies.

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This is a good point. I guess one possible solution would be to take their highest ELO into the equation as well as their current rating. To stop players from deliberately losing to lower their ELO. So the difference between 2 players’ highest ELO can’t be more than 250+ or something. Team games will be trickier but highest ELO needs to be considered if they want to actually solve the smurfing issue. Can’t see any other way to solve it.

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Yeah, but for players at say, 600 elo, the system then thinks that their highest elo is more like 1000, because that’s the starting elo.

Unranked elo is a problem. Reason being, I would have like no elo. Because, when developing one of my multi-player scenarios, I had to do a lot of testing with a friend. And for quite some time, there was no way to win, meaning that we would both have to resign. Therefore, we would both lose a lot of elo, so unranked elo is weird, because there are a heap of settings and maps used in lobbies that would mess it up.

Easily solved by just ignoring the ELO from the first 30 games or whatever

A decent idea. What about players who reach a level significantly above 1000 elo, for example, 1600, then leave for several years, come back, and have had their skill degraded. They might now be playing at a 1400 elo level, but they will be matched against better people.

I’d say anyone who can reach 1600 now is skilled enough to reach that level again. Jordan was away for years, now he’s arguably in the Top 5, definitely Top 10. But a possible solution to fix that problem would be for their highest ELO to either reset to 1000 or gradually decrease if they don’t play for more than 1 year or so.

How about this - new accounts under family share automatically are set as the.highest elo (all elos) you’ve reached but may still lose elo and be matched normally, if they lose 800 elo then they’ll be matched as if they’ve lost 800 elo normally and treated as a separate family member that way.

This way with the improvement of the anti speed run onto lower elos new accounts would possibly take days if not weeks to attempt smurfing - it wouldn’t be worth it in my eyes.

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I feel that user generated content maps or the like should not add or subtract from the unranked elo and should be treated as if cheats were used ‘no progress was made due to cheats’ etc. Or ‘due to user generated content’