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The sanctions for ‘bad actors’ began yesterday and will roll out in waves. These apply to anyone who has ‘exceptionally low behavior scores’, those who are selling Steam accounts to buy a higher Dota 2 rank, players ‘using exploits to gain an advantage over other players’, and smurf accounts. The update post includes information on how role symmetry will be improved with a role report feature, and working on matchmaking quality by adding pop-ups for incompatible role selections and increasing the number of commendations once the match is over.
However, Valve did not disclose just how long these bans would be, and players who discovered their account has been blocked for almost two decades are a little disgruntled. The Dota 2 Steam page and subreddit are also filled with players celebrating the comeuppance of these scoundrels. But, there’s bad news and good news about the ban duration, depending on which camp players fall into.
The bans extend until January 19, 2038. Weirdly specific, right? It turns out that players won’t be banned for 19 years, they’re actually banned for life. A technical issue with 32-bit time representation means that January 19, 2038 is the latest date that can be set using that format. So, in reality, the ban lasts ad infinitum.
In addition, weekly bans will take effect in the next few weeks, and these will occur without warning. Banned accounts will also have its associated phone number blacklisted, preventing them from inclusion in ranked matchmaking. Regarding smurf accounts, Valve will be cracking down on offenders by fixing a loophole that meant players didn’t need a phone number verification for their account. ‘Any user that does not have their account set up correctly will be prevented from queuing until it is resolved,’ Valve said, and that applies to existing and new accounts that attempt to cheat the system.