Original Post — Direct link

Are you sick of the “there’s so many smurfs!” posts?

Are you tired of people saying they “top-frag every game but always lose?”

Are you possibly one of the two types of people above and you want a way out of your rank?

Here’s a possible solution:

I know everyone is sick of the smurfing/bad teammate posts, but in fairness, nobody is really talking about a solution. Everyone just asks Riot to “fix the problem.” The issue with this is that Riot cannot, and will not, ban smurfs on the account of simply being a smurf. You can make reports all you want of video evidence of these players literally admitting to smurfing or boosting, and Riot will simply not even respond to the report. I’ve tried several times.

Clearly, Riot has no intention of banning boosters, even if it’s explicitly against their ToS. So how do we fix smurfs and improve the low-rank experience? How do we get some of the hard-stuck silvers/golds/plats into their correct ranks?

Introducing: the Personal Performance Coefficient, or PP for short.

Before I explain PP, let’s talk about the performance bonus system:

What is the already-implemented Performance Bonus system?

Riot already implemented a system that acts like a performance indicator, but it is unfortunately not enough. Even in games that I get 30+ kills, while all of my teammates are sitting at less than 20, I will rarely get a performance bonus, and instead just get flamed for being a smurf. When I do get the performance bonus, it’s ridiculously small - around +3 or +5 for the majority of games.

Performance Bonus is inherently a bad system

The performance bonus only activates on games in which you get more kills than usual. This is really all we know about how to get it. But this is awful for two reasons:

  1. Players will simply have good games sometimes. Should we give players an increase in rating just because they’re “having a good game?” Where is the negative performance bonus for our bad games?

  2. This gives players a reason to potentially throw rounds to get more kills. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had teammates say “hey let me get the last kill,” or “let me top frag, this is my rank up game!” Even if some of these requests are benign, this means the player is not actually playing Valorant in the intended way (to win), and instead is playing Valorant for an amount of points that is ultimately separated from simply “winning” or “losing.”

What is the Personal Performance Coefficient?

The PP is simple: a coefficient that decreases for every rank and determines the amount of RR you receive based on your personal performance.

The coefficient would be a number between 0 and 1, or a percentage if that makes it easier to imagine.

At Iron 1, the PP is in full throttle at 1.0, or 100%. This means that all of the RR you receive will be based on your personal performance. Did you outfrag everyone on the enemy team and your team, but you still lost? Doesn’t matter - you rank up. Especially for lower ranks, it is essential to understand that some players are naturally more mechanically fitted for higher ranks, even if their game sense or team play doesn’t allow for it.

Coefficients

There are currently 22 ranks (including Immortal 1-3) in Valorant. The coefficients would be as follows:

Radiant - 0

Immortal 3 - 0.0476

Immortal 2 - 0.0952

Immortal 1 - 0.1429

Diamond 3 - 0.1905

Diamond 2 - 0.2381

Diamond 1 - 0.2857

Platinum 3 - 0.3333

Platinum 2 - 0.3810

Platinum 1 - 0.4286

Gold 3 - 0.4762

Gold 2 - 0.5238

Gold 1 - 0.5714

Silver 3 - 0.6190

Silver 2 - 0.6666

Silver 1 - 0.7143

Bronze 3 - 0.7619

Bronze 2 - 0.8095

Bronze 1 - 0.8571

Iron 3 - 0.9048

Iron 2 - 0.9524

Iron 1 - 1.0

What does this mean?

In Bronze 2, about 80% of your RR increase is due to your personal performance: how many kills you received, your Econ rating, etc.

In Gold 2/3, we split the rating about 50/50. Half of your rating is from winning or losing, while the other half is from your performance.

In Diamond 3, only 20% of your rating is from your personal performance, while the other 80% is from your team winning or losing.

In general, your personal performance matters less as you climb each rank, and team play becomes more important.

What this means for lower ranks

Hard-stuck silvers/golds/plats who truly find themselves top fragging every game will actually rank up now! In lower ranks, those who cannot find any kills or don’t understand how mouse movement works will never see the light of day.

I can’t tell you how many of those players have escaped Iron through sheer luck. I know a girl who got into Bronze (I’m not in bronze) without ever understanding that you can hold the mouse button to continue shooting. Not only was she only tap-firing, but she only tap fired with the Ares of all guns. A quick check of her career page would show that in none of her 10+ games she went positive, and in most of them she netted less than 4 kills. Did she truly deserve to rank up?

What this means for mid-ranks

Team play becomes more important as you rank up, as it should, but you should also focus on playing mechanically better. This also means that those of you who are mechanically gifted are able to rank up about equally with those of you with really good game sense but sh*t aim. These ranks treat those two concepts as equal.

What this means for high-ranks

Team play is now essential and the game becomes more Boolean: you win, or you lose. Everyone hates the one guy who flanks every round and gets three kills after the spike is planted, but can’t clutch up. But nobody can sh*t talk him because he’s 34/12 so he’s got a stick up his ass. Well no more! These guys will not receive nearly as much RR for their lack of game sense, and will derank just as fast with you.

Goodbye smurfs.

No longer can a platinum smurf carry some silvers in their own games. Think about it: if one guy is getting all the kills on a team, he’ll rank up faster than his teammates, especially in low ranks. Eventually the smurf will be a significantly higher rank than his teammates, resulting in one of two things: the smurf cannot play with the low-ranks, or the rank of the enemies will increase. It’s significantly harder for a platinum smurf to carry a group of silvers against a bunch of low golds.

TLDR

I don’t have a conclusion, so here’s a TL;DR

As you rank up, your performance matters less and whether you won or lost matters more. At Iron 1, kills are everything; at Gold 2/3, your RR received is split 50/50 for your performance and whether you won or lost; at Radiant, winning or losing is the only way to gain or lose RR and your personal performance won’t matter at all.

P.S. I agree with phone number 2FA and locking ranked for accounts that don’t have a unique phone number. Riot devs won’t do it though.

External link →
20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

This is a really interesting solution, and I love that you came to this conclusion/idea!

So actuallyyyyyyyyyy we are already doing this! Our MMR system is split between your "Encounter" MMR and your "Win/Loss" MMR. Then, depending on your rank, we combine a % of each one to make your individual MMR! Then your MMR is used to determine your RR gains/losses.

Encounter MMR is essentially performance based MMR. It looks at every duel and how you had an impact on that duel/round. Did you use an ability to help take a site, get the bomb down, help a friend win a duel etc. Encounter MMR rates you directly to your opponents in every single interaction you have in the game.

In lower ranks encounter is weighted extremely heavily, and if you are a smurf the system is pretty good at detecting this(we've seen accounts get detected and moved in less then 5-10 games). Some people may remember TenZ getting into Radiant MMR in 16 games. As you get higher in ranks win/loss MMR matters more; because reaction time/aim start to become closer on average and teamplay/game sense becomes a bigger factor in winning games. You can have an IGL sage drop 10 kills, but be the reason you won for example.

The issue with smurfs is that players will manipulate their matches to stay smurfing. Players will either play their 10 games and the account will get adjusted, or they will start to purposefully tank their games or not play at their skill level to try and stay lower ranks. Our MMR movement is really good at detecting smurfs, and we are looking into ways to shore up our MMR math and improve it even more(we will always be trying to improve our MMR system).

These points I listed above are why I get sent screenshots that have a bronze in like a diamond game. While it sucks to see a bronze in diamond, if that bronze plays some games they will promote skip pretty quickly and get to diamond. We would rather catch a smurf or correct a player that had an insane increase in skill then allow a diamond in sheeps clothing smash their way through the ranks to get to diamond. So it sucks seeing a bronze in your game, at diamond, dumpstering you(or worse doing poorly) - but I would rather have a handful of matches of that bronze getting corrected and playing against players of their skill then 30+ matches of them stomping low level players.

Smurfing is a huge topic right now and we are still working on our smurfing investigation, which is nearing completion! We are currently talking solutions and how to tackle this, and we understand realistically nothing will "solve" smurfing. It will be a constant game of cat and mouse and we will have to adjust our systems all the time to try and reduce the reasons/ability to smurf.

As for 2FA, it's not that we don't like it or think it's a good solution. We need to figure out how it will solve smurfing, what impact it will have both good and bad, and the actual amount of players it will effect. For example; If we turn on 2FA how many players will not play ranked anymore, how many smurfs will not smurf anymore, how many non-smurfs will have a good/bad experience because of this system? We have to figure out that data, as well as what is an acceptable number to those questions. If we enabled 2FA and 20% of players stop playing ranked, and it only reduces smurfing by 5%, we probably missed the mark(and we can probably find a better solution). I'm not saying those are the actual numbers, or that's what we would see, but we have to be aware that there are downsides to 2FA and we have to approach it very carefully. I personally like the 2FA idea, but even when we find data, survey players, and lastly start working on a solution that can take an extremely long time. 2FA is also complicated because it requires a lot more technical work that requires working with teams outside of just our team(competitive). So not saying 2FA is off the table, we just won't do it blindly without knowing if it's actually going to solve the problem. While 2FA might look really good from the player perspective, it might just hid the fact that smurfing is still an issue. Remember smurfs are often our highest rank players, which are also are highest engaged players, which are also people willing to spend more money in Valorant on what they want. If there is a money solution to smurfing, like buying side accounts that are SMS verified, we won't stop smurfing by putting up barriers we will only make it so the players willing to spend money to smurf have to spend a few more bucks to do so.(which unfortunately high ranking smurfs have the worst impact and are also willing to spend the most money)

TL;DR You have a great idea! So great we already are doing it in our MMR system.

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by EvrMoar

This is a really interesting solution, and I love that you came to this conclusion/idea!

So actuallyyyyyyyyyy we are already doing this! Our MMR system is split between your "Encounter" MMR and your "Win/Loss" MMR. Then, depending on your rank, we combine a % of each one to make your individual MMR! Then your MMR is used to determine your RR gains/losses.

Encounter MMR is essentially performance based MMR. It looks at every duel and how you had an impact on that duel/round. Did you use an ability to help take a site, get the bomb down, help a friend win a duel etc. Encounter MMR rates you directly to your opponents in every single interaction you have in the game.

In lower ranks encounter is weighted extremely heavily, and if you are a smurf the system is pretty good at detecting this(we've seen accounts get detected and moved in less then 5-10 games). Some people may remember TenZ getting into Radiant MMR in 16 games. As you get higher in ranks win/loss MMR matters more; because reaction time/aim start to become closer on average and teamplay/game sense becomes a bigger factor in winning games. You can have an IGL sage drop 10 kills, but be the reason you won for example.

The issue with smurfs is that players will manipulate their matches to stay smurfing. Players will either play their 10 games and the account will get adjusted, or they will start to purposefully tank their games or not play at their skill level to try and stay lower ranks. Our MMR movement is really good at detecting smurfs, and we are looking into ways to shore up our MMR math and improve it even more(we will always be trying to improve our MMR system).

These points I listed above are why I get sent screenshots that have a bronze in like a diamond game. While it sucks to see a bronze in diamond, if that bronze plays some games they will promote skip pretty quickly and get to diamond. We would rather catch a smurf or correct a player that had an insane increase in skill then allow a diamond in sheeps clothing smash their way through the ranks to get to diamond. So it sucks seeing a bronze in your game, at diamond, dumpstering you(or worse doing poorly) - but I would rather have a handful of matches of that bronze getting corrected and playing against players of their skill then 30+ matches of them stomping low level players.

Smurfing is a huge topic right now and we are still working on our smurfing investigation, which is nearing completion! We are currently talking solutions and how to tackle this, and we understand realistically nothing will "solve" smurfing. It will be a constant game of cat and mouse and we will have to adjust our systems all the time to try and reduce the reasons/ability to smurf.

As for 2FA, it's not that we don't like it or think it's a good solution. We need to figure out how it will solve smurfing, what impact it will have both good and bad, and the actual amount of players it will effect. For example; If we turn on 2FA how many players will not play ranked anymore, how many smurfs will not smurf anymore, how many non-smurfs will have a good/bad experience because of this system? We have to figure out that data, as well as what is an acceptable number to those questions. If we enabled 2FA and 20% of players stop playing ranked, and it only reduces smurfing by 5%, we probably missed the mark(and we can probably find a better solution). I'm not saying those are the actual numbers, or that's what we would see, but we have to be aware that there are downsides to 2FA and we have to approach it very carefully. I personally like the 2FA idea, but even when we find data, survey players, and lastly start working on a solution that can take an extremely long time. 2FA is also complicated because it requires a lot more technical work that requires working with teams outside of just our team(competitive). So not saying 2FA is off the table, we just won't do it blindly without knowing if it's actually going to solve the problem. While 2FA might look really good from the player perspective, it might just hid the fact that smurfing is still an issue. Remember smurfs are often our highest rank players, which are also are highest engaged players, which are also people willing to spend more money in Valorant on what they want. If there is a money solution to smurfing, like buying side accounts that are SMS verified, we won't stop smurfing by putting up barriers we will only make it so the players willing to spend money to smurf have to spend a few more bucks to do so.(which unfortunately high ranking smurfs have the worst impact and are also willing to spend the most money)

TL;DR You have a great idea! So great we already are doing it in our MMR system.

!pin

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by TimeJustHappens

Hi EvrMoar! Thanks for dropping in and explaining things in way more depth than I could initially.

On a side note, is Riot only looking at 2FA from a perspective of combatting Smurfing, or are they considering adding it just for security?

I know Riot accounts have email 2FA via browser, but the client does not have login SMS or software based 2FA. Most other gaming companies have this, and it is odd that Riot doesn't have login 2FA for their client.

Unfortunately that's a team that I have no connection with or talk to on the regular. I don't have any clue about account 2FA :(

Sorry :(

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by rpkarma

Would the biggest difference be that in OPs proposed system, one can still gain RR despite losing while in Iron, compared to now where the positive or negative multiplier is based on win/loss?

TECHNICALLY you can gain MMR on a loss but not RR.

The is actually a good reason for this, and it's because we always want players to play to win. If we pushed a system that gave RR solely based on performance it would lead to players trying to slay, instead of win.

You could always argue that fragging is a strong indicator of winning, but there are definitely people who get high kills but aren't helping win rounds. So while I love the idea of performance based RR, we still want winning to be the way to climb. So we get the best of both worlds in our system. You can increase your MMR on a loss, if you perform well enough, but you have to win in order to get that increased RR multiplier you would get from the increased MMR.

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by caelan03

I wonder, how closely correlated are ACS and "Encounter MMR"?

Not correlated at all unfortunately :(

They are calculated using different rules/weights/algorithms.

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by Spacechicken27

I’m wondering how does the communication structure work within the company? For example, if you had a question to ask those that worked in 2FA, or a suggestion, would you be able to give your input, or are are teams separated more, like an “each an expert in their own field so don’t disturb” type deal? Thank you for your in depth response earlier and the work you do to make this my favorite game currently!

oh we can talk to whoever we want, you just have to track the group down or message them on slack.

I just haven't had a huge reason to go over the fence or talk about these things, plus I am superrrrr busy (My google insights has me in almost 5 hours of meetings everyday ahhhhhhhhh).

I think the big thing, when it comes to sharing this information, is that I'm not sure what that team is comfortable with sharing and it's not my job to be a speaker for them. So even if I did do the research and found out about something, I would want them or one of our community mangers to talk on topics that I don't work on directly. I often do let other teams know when topics come up and share links to see if they want to comment on these things! I just don't know that team at all or anyone on it.

20 days ago - /u/EvrMoar - Direct link

Originally posted by Eleven918

I saw that too but I don't remember clutching being on the list. I might be wrong though. That's why I asked.

I don't think there is anything that calls out "clutching" specifically, but the way the math works you win a round, don't die, and kill multiple people so it's a good increase in MMR anyways.