The MOP Up: Valorant fights against the smurf invasion

    
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What is Valorant doing to fix its matchmaking? The studio explains its system in a community Q&A session, in particular addressing the problem of “smurfs” in the game.

“Combating smurfing is not only about punishment, it’s also about making Valorant more accessible so those without bad intentions no longer feel the need to smurf. Once we are at a point where we feel comfortable with the solution we have in place and feel like we have mitigated these reasons, that’s when we will be able to put a foot down on the remaining folks—potentially booting them from our game.”

And this is just the beginning of the rest of the news! Read on for a roundup of other smaller MMO news stories and videos from this past week in this edition of The MOP Up (and if you don’t see a news story that we should have covered, drop us a tip)!

Sailing, sailing,

Lots of card changes were made to Hearthstone, so check out the list and make sure you stay up on the meta!

MU Archangel launched on Android and iOS in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines this past May 13th. This is a mobile spin-off of MU Online.

Phantasy Star Online 2’s May 12th patch activated a couple of events, brought a handful of campaigns to bear, and challenged players to the Twisted with Hatred urgent quest.

PlanetSide 2 followed up its huge Containment update with a smaller patch to fix the broken parts.

Netease signed a partnership with 11 Bit Studios to publish Frostpunk on mobile devices.

Valorant brought back its Replication mode for a limited time.

The upcoming Starbase is working on first-person animations. Cool!

MMO Culture is reporting that NCsoft is launching Trickster M in South Korea on May 20th. Check out the trailer:

The MMO industry pumps out more and more news every year – no site could possibly cover everything. That’s why we gather together all the extras every week in The MOP Up, our a weekly compilation of MMO info we don’t want lost in the cracks of time. Send us your news bits through our tips line!
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kgptzac

Hmm Trickster… I remember this has been a long lived PC mmorpg, but what I didn’t remember is how similar it feels to RO. The trailer is showing a very social mmorpg, and I’m wondering if there’s still a market for “RO clones” on mobile.

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IronSalamander8 .

I haven’t heard anything about Valorant after the insane skin prices for that animated gun and such thanks to you guys and Angry Joe’s coverage on that lunacy. I had thought it crashed and burned by now due that lack of news. A lot of competitive shooters have this ‘smurf’ issue, I know Siege certainly has this.

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ashiru_1978

I haven’t played Valorant since the end of 2020. I was really excited about it – it was supposed to bring back the term “CLASSIC” into the shooter genre and a year later they still don’t have a Team Death Match game mode (the most basic one of every Online shooter).

All they do is add ugly skins, new, even more ridiculous looking characters and new boring maps. Sometimes they add some timed game mode that’s nothing more than a stupid gimmick and I have just stopped caring about it or keeping up with the updates.

Right now aside from CS:GO and Valorant, the only other “Classic Online Shooters” that look remotely modern are Black Squad and Ironsight on Steam and both are in dire condition with Black Squad almost killed by its third developer/publisher, don’t know if it will last another year or so and Ironsight is just a worse version of CoD Modern Warfare 2.

Alliance of Valiant Arms was supposed to release on April 1st, got delayed for the 3rd time with no specific date anymore. Probably Neowiz wanted to focus on Bless Unleashed thinking it will bring them big money, but that game turned out a huge piece of trash so maybe they will remember they still haven’t tried to see if they can milk A.V.A.

All in all, I have given up on shooter games and mostly focused on RPGs, MMORPGs, Racing and Strategy games instead. Shooter games started making me stressed out and all of them are disappointing and dying with the garbage that is Battle Royale completely ruining the shooter genre with its shallowness and stupidity.

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IronSalamander8 .

Ouch. I was going to say, that even though team deathmatch (Team vanquish in the 3 PvZ shooters(, is the most basic and common mode, it’s not my favorite, but imagining a multiplayer shooter that lacks it completely is just weird.

We don’t play as many online shooters as we used to, We used to play a lot of TF2, some OW, and the PvZ games together, but not so much anymore. I stopped playing Paladins too over the changes to the monthly challenges so just the PvZ shooters now. I’ve always loved the combination of decent shooting/movement mechanics and silliness.

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ashiru_1978

Back around 2010 there was a lot more choice, it was mostly Korean Online FPS games copying mechanics from CS, Battlefield, CoD, but they were fun and people remember some of them:

– Soldier Front
– Combat Arms
– Soldier Front 2
– Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A)
– CrossFire
– Arctic Combat

Around 2013 I discovered Blacklight Retributioin – a real hidden gem from a Western studio that was just an online shooter, but it had decent mechanics and it allowed you to build your own weapon from different parts, like M4 receiver + AK47 barrel or vice versa – AK47 receiver + M4 barrel, it was futuristic so a lot of parts were made up and it allowed for some crazy combinations. I remember making myself a full automatic sniper with a 30 magazine clip and toxic (poison) bullets that DoT-ed my enemies. I could do CqC or long range with the same weapon literally melting my enemies and it was so fun. Then they had to go and ruin it and shut it down.

A.V.A was the same – started amazing – got ruined by bad updates, P2W and cheaters and shut down.

Ghost in the Shell: First Assault launched in 2015 and was a Korean FPS and it was probably the last one I was truly hyped about. It ran for 2 years and again ruined by bad updates and developer incompetence to fix issues that persisted for 2 years straight like bad client performance and horrible netcode. Then they released one fateful update that ruined the game and it shut down a few months later.

Just then in 2017 Black Squad launched and I really hoped it will become amazing like A.V.A and GITS:FA, but it went downhill around the end of 2018 and now it’s a surprise it still even exists – piss poor updates, completely conquered and vandalized by cheaters who don’t get banned for years, updates are just loot boxes and skins and every now and then when a critical bug occurs a fix for it, other than that, no new maps, weapons or game modes for years – the game literally is on life support mode.

I tried getting into Ironsight, but that shallow CoD gameplay where weapons have no recoil and you don’t even have a static HP pool – your HP gradually recovers on its own if you survive a gunfight so it made the whole game feel really shallow and meaningless. I just could not feel the game and get excited about it, let alone put an effort to become good.

And last was Valorant, I really hoped that because it was RIOT and they had the money and talent to create a real classic shooter, they would do it, but they also betrayed my hopes and at this point I just don’t care about shooters, well I play some Star Wars Battlefront 1 Classic (2004), Counter-Strike: Source both with bots and occasionally log into GTA5 Online in a Solo Session to satisfy my occasional urges to shoot up some pixels with my mouse, but other than that, my passion for shooters has completely evaporated.

They were so abundant, so many to choose from, they gave you a quick fix and weren’t as demanding as MMORPGs or Strategy games where you had to play for like 3-4 hours straight just to feel a faint sense of progress. But now all there is is “Battle Royale Flavor of the Day”. And I could never get into crap like Battle Royale – TDM – the game mode I wanted for Valorant literally took 10-15 minutes and you could have your FPS fill for the day, Battle Royale doesn’t even start for the first 15 minutes and once you make a mistake and die the game is over, you can’t respawn or wait for the next round to try avoiding the mistakes…

It’s a sad time to want to be an FPS player.

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IronSalamander8 .

I hear you on battle royale too. I tried Fortnite and Apex Legends, and found I hate the game mode, even though Apex has decent moving/shooting mechanics. I did play some BF:1942 online briefly but we mostly used to play against bots on a LAN back then, along with some Ravenshield, andThe SW Battlefront games like you mention back then.

I’ve been hitting a lot of the classics and retro games over the last several years, albeit in single player modes, I just finished the Plutonia Experiment and am almost done with Blood (On the Cryptic Passage expansion right now), Heretic, Hexen 1 and 2, Ion Fury, Dusk, Project: Warlock, and so on. I love FPS games, so those are great as my only online ones are the PvZ ones, which are also 3rd person shooters, and normally not a big fan of third person in my shooters.

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sirradoria

Oh the “new, old” smurf account issue. So refreshing!

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Schmidt.Capela

As far as I can tell, smurfing is, in large part, due to players having more fun when they win. Sometimes way more fun. So they throw away their progression in order to fight less experienced players and win more. I can’t see a way to reduce, much less solve, this issue unless losing is somehow made as enjoyable as winning.

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Arktouros

I would imagine they would solve it primarily by banning anyone who uses the same hardware/ip addresses (something you imagine they have very relevant access to via their rootkit level anticheat) to ban anyone playing on multiple accounts. Of course that will lead to lots of claims of multiple household accounts sharing the same devices so it depends on how strict they want to be on it.

Playing out of your bracket isn’t always about just getting a good rush out of winning. Sometimes it can simply be to play without pressure or stress that normally comes from upper brackets. Like the higher you get, the more “sweaty” it gets and if you don’t play using full meta loadout comps and meta strategies you just straight up lose. Playing around on a smurf account lets you “fuck around” on off characters, off metas, or just not stress whether or not you win or lose.