In an act that is as hilarious as it is justified, Valve just unleashed a wave of more-or-less-permanent bans to toxic Dota 2 players. The news came in the form of a Matchmaking Update post yesterday, with the bans coming into effect instantly. Players with “exceptionally low behavior scores” will be unable to use their Dota 2 accounts until 2038. Which means they can return to the game in roughly 20 years.
The length of the sentence may feel arbitrary at first glance, almost as if Valve is trolling the trolls. But the reality is that this is the maximum the company can ban users from its programming system. These bans are essentially permanent. The message is clear: If you received one of these bans, you can go and stay gone. In Valve’s own words, “users that reach this low level of behavior in the game are too big of a tax on the rest of the community and are not wanted.”
Players subjected to this very fair and balanced punishment have hit back with anything from pleading to threats. Responses on Dota 2‘s Steam and Reddit message boards are very entertaining. In many cases they demonstrate exactly the mentality that earned the ban in the first place. Some ban-havers are promising they will return to the game with new accounts so they may continue to be terrible. Perhaps the next wave of bans would target players IPs.
The rest of the game’s community are almost uniformly praising Valve for doing the right thing. Earlier this year a poll determined that Dota 2 has the most toxic player base in online gaming. This purge is certainly a step in the right direction.
The post describes this as “the first ban wave.” It also notes that the issue of smurfing in Dota 2 is receiving additional attention. It’s clear there are more positive developments on the horizon.
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