Smurfy Fortress smurfy-tf2
Smurfy Fortress smurfy-tf2
October 19, 2012
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How does the Smurfy auto-assignment robot work?

The goal of auto-assignment is to create teams that will result in challenging and hopefully fun games for both sides. To achieve this gsan implemented SmurfPowder.

What is SmurfPowder?

Apart from not being blue cocaine it is a system that ranks players based on team contribution. This is different to gameME which ranks players based on individual metrics such as total kills, K:D ratios etc.

At the end of every round the SmurfPowder system records who was on each team and which team won, and uses that information to update a ranking system that is based on TrueSkill[].

Our auto-assignment system uses that ranking to decide how to assign players to teams so that the teams are as even as possible.

Math smurfs may enjoy this blog post[] which goes into much of the maths behind TrueSkill.

What is this !mannup business?

Despite the Smurfy robot's best efforts sometimes the teams will end up unbalanced. When the Smurfy robot detects a steamroll (i.e. where a team is winning really easily) it will ask a couple of players from the winning side if they would like to switch to the losing side to balance the teams.

Players can opt to switch (!mannup) or decline (!wimp). This gives players the flexibility to decide if switching is a) necessary (perhaps the Smurfy robot got it wrong and there is no steamroll), and b) helpful (players may decide that switching would just mean a steamroll in the other direction; additionally since multiple players are consulted, some may decide not to switch because the teams are now balanced)

How does the Smurfy robot detect a steamroll?

This is an inexact science but based on the work published here[].

Essentially we observe the round durations and kill differences from past Smurfy games and use that to decide what's "normal" and what could be a steamroll. The Smurfy robot also considers domination differences as a possible steamroll indicator.

Will Smurfy run a nocrits server?

Short answer: probably not.

Longer answer: we tried, twice, in 2014 to run a nocrits server, without success.

The basic problem that every community server has is that no one wants to play on a server with 0/24 players. Therefore every day we need a group of dedicated players to start each server - a thankless task but one that many of our community minded players do because they know it will result in a better game for all than simply joining a Valve server.

The trouble with nocrits servers is that they don't attract the same type of community minded player. In fact, we found that the nocrits server attracted the complete opposite -- players who simply want to join an already full server, pubstomp, then leave when other players rage quit. In many cases these players were competitive players.

If there is a group of friendly and dedicated nocrits fans who are willing to commit to building a friendly community around a nocrits server we'd be happy to hear from them. But based on past experience it's unlikely that such a group will emerge.
Last edited by Yarr! goosmurf; Jan 14, 2015 @ 4:35pm