5v5 is THE TIME to reignite the forum's potential

_Posted in the original forums By: @SetbackssPosted January 2018, Archived by @OneEyeOpen _
Note: This is still viable! With the new forums in the making…lets not waste this opportunity. Let’s get active and produce a top notch, high quality, and respectful forum!


Hey guys this will be a long one so get ready to mash pg dn for that tasty TL;DR: :wink:

I’ve been pretty inactive with VG lately because life has crushed all my time these last couple months. I still check the forums somewhat regularly and it always makes me happy to see some old faces and some new players (even when its full of shitposts >.>) because I feel like I’m still part of the community and get to have an idea of how the meta is shifting as time goes on.

I know it’s been a bit of a rough time for the VG community with the wait for 5v5 feeling being killer, the meta being kinda stale and some recent overhaul changes people aren’t a fan of. I just wanted to remind everyone that while having problems with these changes and discussing them isn’t particularly bad - we’re all still here supporting SEMC (well most of us) because VG is king of the hill for mobile MOBAs and is unrivaled in gameplay, ingame feel, and depth of community. I’ve tried everything under the sun and that’s my conclusion by far and as long as you agree we gotta trust SEMC has our backs and on the things that matter and that we have theirs in return. I’m not saying don’t get upset or discuss changes - just remember the reason you’re angry is because you love the game enough to be that invested and to spend time thinking about it and discussing it and wanting to see it improve. And you love it because at the end of the day it is a very solid game. SEMC can’t always make changes that benefit all players, not if they’re competing with giants that use more profitable strategies and I think we’re just gonna have to get better at rolling with the punches that will happen either way.

Why have the forums kept people for years?
But enough of that preaching - I’m a little sorry to expose you to it. Recently as I’ve been shifting back into VG a bit more (ramping up for that hype 5v5 launch) I’ve been thinking about what separates the channels of media that VG is discussed over, why I’m usually drawn to the forums and how we can welcome the huge number of new players we’re likely to pick up as VG transitions into 5v5. Right now I think if we want to offer something good for the game we really need to focus on creating places where new players can learn deeply about the game and ask questions… basically leveraging the strength of a forum and building its userbase over the next few months as the game rapidly changes and expands.

When I think of why I post so much on the forums in the first place, why people are motivated to spend so much time making posts, and why the type of content (when it’s good) that gets posted here is very engaging it’s because there’s a heavy level of thought and structure that go into the best topics and replies. That concepts, theories, build strategy, game suggestions and even social issues all find a place where it doesn’t seem completely ridiculous to sit down and really think and write a 20 minute post about a game you love. And where people will actually read it, think about it and respond. Where you might learn something new or have a totally different perspective on something coming out of a topic. Or where you might learn why the mechanics of an item/skill or a particular strategy work beyond hearing someone tell you ‘do this it’s meta’ and so can apply that thinking to future strategies or tweaks on your own ideas. As toxic as the forum can get, generally when you ask a question in the forum about how to play a hero or counter a strategy you’re likely to get hit with a 5 paragraph post and then have someone else elaborate on a section of that they have a different experience with. I love that and I think it means the world for engaging new players.

When I joined here way back in the late 19th century, for a while every time I spent ages on a post to try and really speak about something cohesively I’d be very nervous of the reception. And I don’t mean just a few cobbled together paragraphs like this, I mean when I really spent some time thinking and dissecting a topic and how to communicate it. I would worry "people will just say ‘who cares?’ or ‘tl:dr;’ (which I’m sure I’ll now get a couple of for just mentioning this - you trolls :p) but time after time I saw those posts get read/rated/commented on and then get replies that often taught me something or prompted me to drill down into something I hadn’t thought of before and it was worth it to know someone enjoyed what I produced and could build on it. I saw the same thing every time good content was posted and got to also put my admiration towards those who made large efforts to show the game and gave them suggestions to refine it. I saw pieces of work that dwarfed anything I’d ever produced like God’s Skye guide… or virtually anything xhaos has ever looked at. And both still got value and sourced ideas from the community to create those pieces. That’s where the iterative style of a forum is nice and something that’s lost in 1 to many forms of communication like most social media.

How are the forums different from other indepth sources
Forums attract people who like to read and participate in this kind of discussion. It’s not just memes and links to articles. The only other channels that get into the depth I’ve seen some forum topics reach (more on that later) is for the most part things like BrokenMyth or particular Youtubers. But there’s two main disadvantages to that approach:

  1. these channels have high barriers to entry. You have to put yourself out there as a writer which lots of people with perfectly good useful and helpful things to write would never do. In the case of Youtube its way worse. To make a decent video you have to spend 5x as long as a post if not more, be able to record video on your device, have a device and software to edit it on, and then hope that it somehow translates to like a few hundred views at best usually. If you don’t become one of very few big you-tubers you won’t gain any traction. And in the end often you are giving info that’s just as well given in text with a few images or gifs.

  2. these channels lacks the type of back and forth discussion that allows information to grow. Even if you do gain traction Youtube comment sections are notoriously empty of real discussion. Don’t expect deep meaningful commentary on your posts there or a ton of feedback you can really put use into later content especially if you’re starting back. Even if you’re huge (as far as VG content creators go) you don’t typically get a lot of that. BM articles are lucky to get a few small posts of appreciation. Ultimately these forms of content are 1-many and don’t leave much community interaction available to them and so they don’t inspire an iterative process in learning (if you want to see what I’m talking about look at the guides I post in the second post). This is particularly problematic when what people teach ends up being wrong sometimes and there’s no one to point it out - it can even be detrimental to player understanding.

Moving forwards
If you read all that I appreciate it. As corny as it sounds I really love and know most you guys and think having a forum where people consistently make long thoughtful posts is something we have over all the other mobile mobas out there. I probably sound like I’m idealizing the forums here a lot. But I think it’s hard to argue that any other channel of communication handles long drawn out discussions or fosters personality as much as the forums has shown itself capable of. And I think as Vainglory moves into its next huge step we all benefit in moving the forums closer to the kind of content that is so entertaining to discuss and read. 5v5 is going to be entirely unexplored territory for VG. The strats, drafts, metas, rotations, even some builds will radically change overnight in ways that we can’t even guess. What is meta one day or in one tier might completely shift by the next day. There will be new killer comps every day. There will be so many things to try.

As a side note to any mods that might read this I think some good steps before 5v5 launches publically would be to think about gating General to registered members and having a separate questions/build/gameplay section. There’s nothing wrong with being able to talk about social or system topics but having the landing page for them to be content that is purely helpful for a new player is probably a good strategy… as well as just good politics. It’s pretty common in game forums.

TL;DR: Pretty much overnight we’re soon gonna have so much to learn and share with each other it’ll be nuts and we’ll have a ton of new players to show the ropes to so I want to foster the type of forum everyone benefits and enjoys participating in. I’m gonna do my best to do that and I hope this post speaks to some people and motivates them too. Sorry for the rambling