So I still play quite a bit of StarCraft online. I am not great at it (low Diamond league) but I am good enough at it to know when I'm playing a Smurf.
A Smurf is someone who is deliberately playing in a league far lower than what they should be in and they really ruin the game experience.
Smurfing isn't specific to StarCraft and there really isn't much that can be done about it that I can think of. But it is one of those things that helps remind me as to why I don't want to develop games that rely heavily on competitive multiplayer.
If I play 10 games of StarCraft the breakdown is something like this:
2 games will involve Smurf accounts outright
1 game will probably be a smurf but can't tell because they immediately quit
1 game will involve some sort of obnoxious cheese strategy (as you go up in rank, this becomes less common ironically).
1 game will involve griefing. This isn't "cheese" per se because they aren't really trying to win as much as make the game unpleasant for you.
1 game will involve a ton of BM that forces me to mute the player.
4 games will be actual, legitimate games.
The only thing that saves StarCraft is that even though only 4 of the 10 games are real games, those games represent the vast majority of actual play time.
But the % of games that involve some sort of social-path spectrum player is sufficient to make me wary of ever wanting to make a game for that genre.
Yeah that sounds about right. Perhaps one day some sort of AI moderator will be trained enough to facilitate matchmaking and really just remove bad actors... which is kind of a scary prospect on it's own lol.
So in the meantime, I'm pretty happy with my single player tactical/strategy games... so thank you for making them!
One of many reasons I am not a fan of public matchmaking. Not all games work out for it though but I prefer those which have a community built around it like custom servers in an FPS.
You shouldn't be playing StarCraft ... you should be focusing all of your time and energy into developing amazing games for us!
That said, I spent many years playing StarCraft 1v1 matchmaking and I completely agree with the above ... my level is similar (Low Diamond) but I do love to cheese and make people rage quit
While I don't generally cheese, I don't see any issue with it. My biggest issue really are the smurfs.
TBH, I'd be happy with a system that age limited people. I'm almost 50 so my APM is capped at this point.
With us gamers getting older, I am sure that will come. Imagine LAN parties in a retirement home...
Funny enough, StarCraft is the only multi-player game I play (upper Gold league). I don't experience that much BM, but this could be a difference between US and EU servers: since not everybody speaks English in EU, there is less communication and, hence, less BM. I once logged into the US BattleNet server and played a 4 vs 4 player custom map, and found the difference in communication striking (both in term of quantity and BM).
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