Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

Dota 2 Update Requires Phone Number For Ranked Matchmaking

Dota 2 Update Requires Phone Number For Ranked Matchmaking

Valve has announced a number of major changes to Dota 2's matchmaking, most notably an all-new feature that would require players to link their phone number to their Steam account in order to play ranked matchmaking. This requires players to reach a certain rank in-game and register a unique phone number, at which point they'll be more likely to be matched with other Prime accounts.

The company says it's doing this as a way of combating the trend of players using multiple accounts, as this creates "a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets".

A phone number can be removed from an account, but cannot be linked again for three months to prevent abuse. Valve adds that "online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed". At the same time, this is expected to cut down on a term that DotA players call "Smurfing" or essentially high skilled DotA 2 Players going to low ranked games via lower MMR (Matchmaking Rating) accounts to essentially help boost their friends, try new combinations or simply win otherwise easy games. "For the time being, players in these regions will need to join Ranked Matchmaking queues in one of the other nearby supported servers". According to Valve, having more players use their primary accounts for ranked with "have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked matchmaking". From now on when the player's Solo MMR is higher than their Party MMR upon queuing in a party, the former will be increased to a higher MMR. This punishment will be added in addition to the penalty games players now receive.

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Dota 2 also now has better detection for clear cases of intentional feeding, with stricter punishments coming to those who break the rules. Valve has also issued a wide-reaching permanent ban to accounts that are detected botting in DotA 2 and this is expected to make a large improvement on less-played game modes which are normally riddled with a variety of bots being used by various players.

Lastly, Valve has cited low server population which results in abuse on the South Africa, India and Dubai servers.

Dota 2 has a smurf problem. "We will update these servers as the unranked populations in these regions grow to the critical mass needed to be able to support splitting the user base into Ranked and Unranked queues".

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