I agree with @HipsterSkaarf.
Even in threads not specifically discussing “Vainglory is dying” topic, there’s a very strong air of negativity and comments that just exudes it.
I can’t blame people for being negative, and there are good reasons why they are, but goodness gracious people are echoing like their bats in a cave.
I have somethings I want to say about VG’s overall toxicity. When I say VG - I meant both the game and the community, just saying.
Start + Note: 100% opinionated and bias opinions ahead.
- Opinion 1: VG is toxic because MOBA’s, in general, are toxic environments.
Self-explanatory, and also applies to PvP games.
It’s most common online because the anonymity that the internet offers.
People want to win, be it in the smallest and insignificant matters in life.
Leaving their chances of winning with a team offers two things: a great experience that leads to victory, or defeats that are rage inducing.
PvP games to me have bred the idea in online players that they can blame their teammates for their loss, rather than reflect on their actions and consider where they can improve.
Vainglory has an additional matter that I think brought about more toxicity - VGPro (surprised?).
We all know that matchmaking has always been iffy, especially when taking into consideration how many queues there are in-game. Before VGPro, there was no real way to determine the rank of one’s teammates and enemies aside from adding them in-game as a ‘friend’ and checking their rank from there.
With VGPro, one’s account identity is no longer a secret. A player can find out the relevant stats for any player as long as they have the name correctly identified. This, in turn, is sufficient evidence for them to rage about matchmaking like never before.
In my opinion, VGPro is a double-edged sword. It helps one learn from seeing other people of higher ranking, what they build, what’s the best hero in a patch etc. But it also leads to what I’ve just said.
To be honest, I can be a bit toxic at times, but mainly when someone AFK’s. I just ping the person’s character and offer my other teammate the surrender option.
Break 1 a.k.a. I love using block quotes for not quoting.
- Opinion 2: VG is toxic because of the cosmetic & monetization model they have - past and present.
Because I love to go off tangent too much, I’ll try to keep this one somewhat short.
Vainglory’s monetization in my opinion from the get-go was flawed. The skins they’ve made should have never been made grindable. I think this ham-stringed their income quite early on when there was so little cosmetics for a growing player base.
When they tried to make better skins that was ‘not’ grindable, they also blew it because they decided to make it a “Limited Edition.” To me, this was a complete waste of good assets. Like… why? When they saw their mistake, the tried to bring the LE skins back, but “because they promised it was a one-time thing”, it backfired hard. This introduced instead another form of grinding, albeit ‘slightly limited’ one.
Few years down the line, I think they realized they couldn’t keep up with making ‘3 skins in a set’ kind of design and went for the single card and no tier restrictions design. This in turn actually kills their previous mode of income - card boxes (anyone remembers these?).
The culmination of mistakes in design and poor planning, in my opinion, forced them to overhaul the skin system to be more streamlined, manageable as a source of income and avenue for creative expressions.
But… the damage was done. The community was pampered with the first system, then grew to distrust SEMC with the LE skin debacle. The hate increased when skins with one card crafting only were introduced (as they can’t get the cards other than using Essence I believe) and then tipped over the edge of rage when the Blueprint overhaul was set into motion (for many reasons, such as losing cards they collect for fun).
Now, I think the rage would have simmered there for a while. Mainly centered around the RNG chances that chests had. But… then other things arrived…
Hate for new things, in my opinion, started with the Metal Keys and Chests (Bronze, Silver, Gold). They were received in a mixed manner, considering the RNG behind them is iffy. It was ok as they offered decent items overall in accordance with their rarity.
Then came along Social Pings and the change to Emotes. Social Pings I think was received indifferently, as they are kind of expensive to buy outright. Though I think players are fine with it now cause they got a bunch in Chests. Emotes was the adding the fuel to the fire.
To be honest, I didn’t even realize these were getting changed before the salt started pouring in. It was poorly communicated and the feature people have invested tons of Glory into was simply gone in two to three days. Now they have to buy the Emote icon before they can use Emotes again. SEMC also didn’t communicate that you can get Emote Charms from Metal Chests.
I think the one to bring the hate for cosmetics and monetization to its current state is the introduction to Hats. It would have been fine I think if they made these things straight up purchasable by ICE and grindable by Glory. Instead, players have to spend Opals (an already rare currency for some) and a lot was required. The fact that the Hats required crafting not dissimilar from the card-based crafting system that was phased out earlier the same year… was just tops.
Needless to say, the rage for this will take some time to go down.
Now, you might be wandering where’s Talents. They are not cosmetics, but they are part of the monetization scheme. So, that’ll be in the next section.
Break 2 a.k.a. You can’t stop me using this! (Unless you have admin or moderator rights, please no!).
- Opinion 3: VG is toxic because they introduced Talents which ruined fast-paced and fun game modes.
It was an interesting idea, but obviously became too much of a chore - for both the devs and the players.
I find some Talents too be well thought out for some heroes, as if they were part of the design stage (which some obviously are), while most are hardcore stat boosts/modifications.
The grinding nature of Talents and the skewed advantages they give ultimately defined a meta for Blitz, and skewing Battle Royales, even more, when a hero with a particular Talent shows up in a match.
I think this scared away potential newcomers that just wanted to play VG but not dedicate lost of time into it.
Veterans just dislike Talents for what these did to the game modes and the P2W nature they have that was never seen before in VG.
Break 3 a.k.a. I’m almost done here.
- Opinion 4: VG is toxic because the devs started, or gave the impression of, distancing themselves from the community.
Simple reasons - the gradual decline in frequency and quality of dev streams, and the shift in communication platforms.
Reddit, Twitter, and Discord, in my opinion, are terrible means of communication. They move too fast and don’t stay long at all.
The good forms of feedback became drowned in a sea of toxicity until there was none left. People who wanted to genuinely give feedback gave up as their voices were drowned out by the droning echo chambers of either praise, rage or memes the platforms of communication are known to be.
Less good and saturated toxicity = Pure toxicity with a sprinkle of easily drowned good, no?
Break 4 a.k.a. Stay with me, it’s the last part.
- Opinion 5: VG is toxic because SEMC butchered their e-sports scene.
I need not go into detail, as I’m sure people that follow the scene (previously and currently) know what has and is happening with the scene.
In my opinion, the key latching point for the community for starting their toxicity related to VG’s e-sport was the mistreatment of Humanist and the mismanagement of funds in the e-sport scene explained by the beloved Excoundrel.
This part of VG isn’t too toxic in my opinion due to its rather vague nature and lacking in concrete evidence, but is an add-on to the already present toxicity.
Final Break a.k.a. You can stop reading after this, lol.
In conclusion, I think VG is uniquely toxic for circumstances that were not foreseen and the poor damage control that was applied later on.
Toxicity will always be present, and such concentrations does brood poorly for the game’s life (hence, the VG is dying echo).
I think we can make a difference, even if it’s just with ourselves.
Enjoy the game for what makes you enjoy it. If nothing brings you joy from VG, then either find some other aspect to get joy out of VG or take a long break or even leave altogether.
The choice is yours.
~ Fancy Fin cause I always wanted to do one. ~