===== Topic 1: ELO vs Ladder/ELO presentation ======
ELO and ladder are two different things. I thought that this was pretty clear.
The only relation the two have is that ELO ratings are computed by the same games that count for ladder.
Also that we currently present the ELO at the ladder page.
Well, I believe that the ELO should be presented in many different locations like:
and ingame /stats command.
How doable is that is a second question.
======= Topic 2: ELO & Smurfs ==========
About smurfs and ELO and the scenario described.
Yes the system is not bullet proof and malicious usage can abuse it a bit; but the target is for people to get an idea of the players strength compared with their own strength instead of actually making a ranking.
ELO gives you statistical information. If player A has a score of 1700 and player B has a score of 1500 that means that player A has ~75% chance to win player B.
When a smurf starts winning the ELO will increase rapidly so; the smurf wont be so smurfish anymore ;-)
Of course I should add 2 more information in the site: how much games a player has played and their tier!
If you see a player with ELO 1300 and 0 games and a player with ELO 1300 and 100 games you realize that you have a high error on your estimation for the first player.
After the system stabilizes I would consider to use the opponent Game # information in order to protect from smurfs.
Example: Player A: ELO 1700; Games 300; Player S: ELO 1300; Games 0. Player S wins!
S earns their ELO points normally.
A would normally lose quite some ELO in this case but instead as Player S has 0 Games I reduce the amount of lost ELO. I haven't thought the formula and the math yet. But that is an easy Smurf protection we can do.
Thus ELO can become an anti Smurf protection tool after a while!
=========== Topic 3: Team ladder and Team ELO ==========
That should go to the TODO list...
If teams are balanced (equal number of players) we could avg the ELO ratings.
Take the ELO of the strongest team player as the basis.
Reduce all other ELO's by 1000 and sum them. (Yes players with less than 1000 ELO penalize the team)
This works also for non balanced teams
Try to match player vs player
Best of Team A vs Best of Team B etc..
Handle it as multiple 1v1 games if balanced; otherwise devise something weird. lol
Finally we can use the math from: http://sradack.blogspot.pt/2008/06/elo-rating-system-multiple-players.html
This is similar with my summing approach.
Conclusion: It is possible but maybe not desirable.
Still this is no team score. This is just a way to award ELO points to each player for games with teams.
About team ladder, I haven't been involved on that but perhaps in the future I will...