Digital distributor and video game developer Valve is known in part for its small array of carefully polished products, many of which remain relevant thanks to a steady stream of updates that improve both content and playability. In an effort to modernize and further improve the experience of its Counter-Strike player base, the company is citing a new advancement in its matchmaking endeavors – a system the development team has dubbed the “Trust Factor.”
As explained by Valve on the Counter-Strike development blog, this enigmatic new system will weigh a variety of hidden variables in an effort consistently group together players in a more appropriate fashion. This system will move beyond grouping players together solely by their skill level, but also in accordance to their playstyle. The significance of this system is that it doesn’t look exclusively at the way the players experiences Counter-Strike, it also acknowledges the way gamers experience and interact with Steam as a whole. As such, a large part of its aim is to weed out the surplus of hackers and trolls that have weeded themselves into the population of players.
While not keen to admit every factor that affects this stat for fear of confusing or misguiding the player, Valve did state that it takes into consideration such factors as the amount of time an individual has spent playing CS:GO relative to how often the same user plays other games on their account. Other factors might seem a bit more expected, and reflect instances like the frequency at which a player has been reported for cheating. Valve has also stated that being registered for Prime Status within Counter-Strike (which requires listing a personal phone number) will help spike a user’s ‘trust factor.’
The stat itself is also hidden. Valve clarifies that a person cannot view the ranking of their own ‘trust’, but might be able to roughly approximate their standing based on the players they are lobbied with. Valve has also provided an email that players can use to contest their trust factor.