Ember Spirit, a samurai warrior, wielding swords of fire and a banner as the moon rises over mountains in the distance in Dota 2.
Image via Valve

Dota 2 players beg Valve to change behavior scores after lobby trap discovery

How the tables turn.

Valve’s recent crackdown on smurfing and poor behavior in Dota 2 has been widely celebrated, but the removal of access to certain features for players with a low behavior score has well and truly backfired after reports of griefing using Dota’s pause system.

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Following the changes, players with a behavior score lower than 5,000 can no longer pause and unpause the match. Meanwhile, those above the mark with ill intent are now abusing the feature to hold lobbies hostage.

In one instance, a player reported that, as their ancient was being destroyed, their teammate paused the match—a common occurrence in Dota as a way to annoy the winning team and delay them from finishing. Except, as everyone’s behavior score in the game was below 5,000, only the teammate could unpause.

A screenshot of a player's Dota 2 behavior score, with the individual features disabled if a score is too low.
As you can see, I’m a class act. Screenshot by Dot Esports

They didn’t, however, holding the match up for “over 20 minutes,” according to one of the game’s victims. “[I] really love the new changes but this is an oversight than [sic] needs to be addressed.” The lobby reported the teammate who did have action taken against them but nevertheless, it’s an issue that warrants another pass by Valve.

With players forced to abandon the match, their behavior score fell even further, making for a dangerous loop as the only solution would be to stick it out and hope the “well-behaved” player unpauses the match.

Another incident, detailed in a Reddit post that has since been removed, saw a match held up for over three hours. “The dude just paused and went to eat,” a player said. Chat logs from the match via Dotabuff confirm the pause length, with translated messages revealing the culprit napped during the extended pause, awakening to finish the match after 10 minutes of game time.

A screenshot of a Dota 2 chat log, with messages from various players translated.
Hope the ban was worth the extra sleep. Screenshot by Dot Esports

As part of the Aug. 30 summer client update, Valve revamped the behavior score system and added a separate communication score, with particular features such as ranked access, post-game item drops, and voice chat disabled if a player’s score is too low.

The client will now alert players who issue reports when action is taken, as well as try to queue you with players you have commended in past matches.

Real-time chat processing was also added, muting players who are found to be abusing the system in the middle of games.

Here’s hoping Valve gives the pause restriction another look because while misbehaving Dota players deserve punishment, we think sitting in a paused match for three hours may be too far.


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Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com