Stop the smurfs! Ranked matchmaking should be based on your highest ELO, not current

People who smurf typically buy a game key for 1.5 usd.

Since you get like 7 points per win, the smurf account will last for 150 games or more.

I think these 1 us cents per game per smurf is Microsoft’s way to monetize the game currently.

You don’t have to change the elo formula to counter smurfing, that is ridiculous.

All you have to do is disable the feature which allows smurfs to freely create accounts in the first place - disable steam family sharing, this can be done by developers on a per-game basis and I think it would make sense for DE to not allow this for multiplayer.

This is not true, accounts with fewer games have higher K-factors applied to their elo, meaning they win/lose far more points at the beginning until it eventually settles into that 7-15 point range. When I first started played DE wins and losses were worth 40+ points during the first 10 games or so, this allows you to quickly get to the right elo.

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Are you kidding? Do you know how long it takes to reach 2800 tg with a new account?

TG Elo has been broken since release so that’s not a great example, I’m just talking about how elo is actually supposed to work in general, and how it already works in 1v1.

The K-factor is supposed to get you out of the “new players” bracket and into your actual bracket quickly, it’s not going to work very well for people at the extreme ends of the bell curve (brand-new to the game players and top experts), but it works well for the vast majority.

For 1v1, from what I see from various streamers at 1000, 1300, I think they mostly have a fair game. TG smurfs are a problem we already known, but does your solution solve that at all?

Or put it this way, do you encounter someone who face more than 10% obvious smurf in ladder? Any ELO profile for that?

ELO was created for chess and it measures 1x1 matches, for team games such measure doesn’t work cause of several factors affecting the win ratio.

Also you are late, they removed few months ago the initial boost that would give hundreds of points in few matches according the win ratio, cause people abused such system to occupy top spots on different ladders.

Just give the exact equation, how the points are determined. It makes no sense to mention the K-factor.

I assumed you were familiar with the math involved since you are so opinionated on the subject.

The elo formula used by AoE2 is likely proprietary to some degree so I doubt we’ll ever get a true answer to that, but you can familiarize yourself with the mathematical concepts (including what a K-factor is) by reading on wikipedia: Elo rating system - Wikipedia


I hope people arent dumb and realise this is horible idea.

** I hope people arent* dumb and realise this is a* horrible* idea.


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Just picking your highest elo instead of your current elo doesnt fix smurfing at all. It will pretty much make match making much worse.

This alraedy has the solution against limiting smurfs on the TG ladder. I dont feel the need to express myself any further about the fix for the rating. Just read that thread about all the ideas to tackle all the issues on the TG Rating (where smurfing is a real issue).

Next to a better rating system i suggest better moderation, with an auto flagging system based on some rules. It also looks like you can report smurfs, but looks like there is no moderation on this at all by the devs currently. They probably agree that the system is pretty much exploitable, which promote smurfing. There are too much smurfs to handle for them. First priority should be a better rating system (see above) and then add some better moderation system.

Just some ideas of possible rules:

  • more then x losses in a row
  • more then x wins in a row
  • more then x games within a certain time frame

These will already flag a lot of smurf accounts. There will be some false positives, but since the list isnt auto banned, but looked at by the dev teams, this should be no issue at all. The dev teams should see it is a false positive and just do nothing with such account.

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The more I see people here complaining about “smurfs”, the less I see it as a problem

>Get rekt in online game
>Seething, look up his username in ELO database
>“Aha! He has lost five games in a row. Clearly this is a cheater noob smurf!”
>Everything adds up. He clearly had something against me
>Still salty
>Annoy endlessly the community forums as a way to cope


Doesn’t happen every game. And I’ll happily admit I lose a lot of games to equal players who outplayed me. Or just games when my macro / eco management was a shambles, not following a game plan, TC and vils idle etc. No problem with losing games like that.

But with the smurfs there are more clues than just their highest ELO rating. Like rewatching the games and seeing their perfect deer lures, TC arrow fire boar lures, ridiculous crossbow micro splits vs. mangonels, amazingly fast up times, no TC idle time, laming boar with scout, huge mangonel shots using target fire, crazy fast quick walls or walling in villagers and militia etc. There’s no way they can do all that at low ELO. It’s obvious when you’re being smurfed.

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your reply and that you took the time to provide some suggestions. However, I do agree with other posters, such as @Rissen6157, that a series of wins and losses isn’t actually indicative of a smurf. For example, I am no smurf, but I seem to have bad days where I just can’t catch a break and I’ll lose five or six games in a row. After that, I might win three or four in a row.

Oscillating around one’s true ELO is quite natural. Sometimes it will occur as a series of wins and losses in row. I don’t think smurfs can be detected in this manner.

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I go up and down -5 games or so in the same fashion, but that’s not what this is. I’m talking pure uninterrupted losing streaks of more than 15+ losses with no wins followed by an equally consistent consecutive run of wins and then the cycle repeating again and again. Not just a bit of a losing streak followed by a bit of a win streak. I mean a graph which goes violently up and down like a seismic needle during an earthquake. Yes, maybe the win/loss rate on its own is not too suspicious but when you add the highest ELO clue to my previous post about ridiculously high technical skill level shown in noob low ELO games in replays and it’s very clear when you’ve been smurfed. Like I said, doesn’t happen every game, but it’s significant enough to be worth complaining about. So if you are one of those players and you’re reading this, will you please stop. Or at least explain what it is about thrashing noobs way below your level that you think is improving your skills and the AOE community, because I’d love to hear your defensive reasoning.

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Tbh: I would say this smurfing-s*** is mainly TG.
In 1v1 games (1200-1300 elo) i nearly have zero games against smurfs I guess.
Friends of me in that range say the same.
So 1v1 isn’t the issue I’d say.

In TG it’s different. Just hate all those guys creating smurfs and ruining the fun of other people.
That’s just bad behavior and stupid and I don’t understand the reasons too.
What makes one feel good about stomping people much lower your elo…

I was thinking about x=10 and something like that. And then you only get flagged, so your profile is viewed by the devs. So it wont be an instant ban at all. At least it will result in a bit more moderation and less smurfing.