Far Seer

News May 2004

Is there something the Warcraft 3 community should know? Mail it to MacMark and let's all read it here!

The noob says noob

2004 May 31

How often does somebody call you "noob"? Too often, yes, I know. That's what we all experiences online ;-) Everyone seems to like this word. What they don't know is how this backfires on them:

You play a ladder game of WC3. The matchmaking system searched for an opponent of comparable skill and found one. You play. That guy calls you "noob". Well, considering your comparable skills, what is he himself? A noob too? Yes, of course. So, next time think twice about what you say resp. laugh at the one who called you noob. He's looking into a mirror.

What about "nice game, pal"? Just my two cents on this topic.

End of the smurfs

2004 May 30

In case you don't know the term "smurf" I explained it in my FAQ section this way:

Some players are accused on Battle.net to be a "smurf" or to do "smurfing". A smurf is an (usually) experienced gamer posing as a newbie under an alternate name. "I think i'm going to smurf and rape some n00bs."

The term "smurf" is used in online gaming to signify a famous person playing games under a fake name. They say the term was coined by Warcraft legend "Shlonglor." "We lost to those smurfs: They were better than we thought they would be."

Those players (smurfs) are pretty annoying since they're newbie killers and avoiding real competition on their real playing level. Let's say a player has a level of 9 in Warcraft, makes a new name and starts from level 1 again. He will be matched against other level 1 players (usually newbies) by the ladder system and kill them easily. The ladder is trying to give you an equal match and those smurfs ruin the ladder's matching algorithm by starting from scratch.

The problem was that previously you were matched against players within 6 levels of your own level. Now with patch 1.15 Blizzard also updated the automatic matchmaking system: You're matched against players with the same real skill called the "expected level". A new account (like a smurf) is considered having average skill. Average skill means the expected level of this player is around level 30. Even though a new account (like a smurf) still starts with level 1 he will be matched against players of equal skill i.e. "expected level". Expected level (also known as "skill") is the new value of the matchmaking system, that determines your matches.

To state it clear once again: A smurf with a new account is now matched against level 30 players and no longer versus low level players. So the reason to be a smurf is gone. This is the end of the smurfs.

Another interesting point is that even the least experienced players are expected to be level 10 ;-) For all details you should read Blizzard's page about the changes.

Patch 1.15 coming this week

2004 May 04

The Warcraft patch 1.15 is coming this week. The beta test is over and we will see improved match making, better clan ladder support and a new hero during the next few days. According to Blizzard:

Warcraft III Beta Patch Testing Concludes!
The beta testing of the upcoming Warcraft III 1.15 patch concluded this evening, Monday, May 03, 2004 at 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Thanks to everyone for participating in the beta and in providing feedback on the balance changes, the new Goblin Tinker, and especially the new clan ladder and matchmaking functionality. Winners of the Beta Competition will be notified via email within the next few weeks. We expect the public version of the patch to be available within the next few days.

Blizzard published the upcoming changes for the 1.15 patch here.