Valve has introduced harsher penalties for bad actors in its hit MOBA Dota 2.
In a blog update on the games website, the company revealed it would be knuckling down on bans.
The first new ban wave is for players with low behaviour scores - this shows how toxic or friendly a player is based on number of reports and commends. However, the number of commends - positive feedback - each player has is increased, allowing good behaviour to be recognised.
“Users that reach this low level of behaviour in the game are too big of a tax on the rest of the community and are not wanted,” the Dota team wrote.
Further bannings will occur for violation of Steam’s Service Agreement - purchasing and selling accounts is forbidden. If players are seen to be using exploits to gain an advantage, they will also be banned.
Over the next few weeks, Valve will be working on algorithms to improve detection of players with poor behaviour further. On top of this, bans will be issued weekly. Users that receive a ban will have their mobile number red flagged; meaning they can’t compete in ranked matches.
Dota 2 is far from the only online game to suffer from toxic users. Overwatch maker Blizzard has begun halting matches should cheating be detected, and the company is determined to rid its game of vile users with unwanted behaviour.
Further changes have been made with the update. Role symmetry has been altered to make matches fair. Meanwhile, a role report function has been added to help ensure players get the role they want. Valve will be “aggressive in punishing players who abuse the system.”
Various improvements are being implemented to better tackle smurf accounts. The phone verification number bug has been fixed and to get access to ranked matches players must have clocked 100 hours of game time.
The update continues: “In terms of our development focus moving forward, we are spending more of our time than usual focusing on matchmaking quality.”
“We believe that is the right call given how much opportunity there is to make the day-to-day experience better for all players. We look forward to seeing your feedback on this update, and to continue to hear feedback in the following weeks for how to improve matchmaking."
Earlier this year Dota 2 broke the record for total prize money for any pro-gaming tournament. Dota 2 The International prize pool surpassed $30 million, putting it ahead of the Fortnite World Cup’s $30 million cash pot.