ThePinkOtter: Explaining 'negative opinions' about hats


#1

this is a post by @ThePinkOtter from reddit but he was too lazy to reformat it for the forums. i think it is a good talking point because it talks about more than just hats and will put the link to the reddit post

here

https://www.reddit.com/r/vainglorygame/comments/9c9kro/explaining_negative_opinions_about_hats/

Now, since this is the first time I’m posting on reddit, most of you won’t know who I am. I’m ThePinkOtter, I’m an SEA player and I’m a semi-frequent user of the Vainglory Forums. I was also a frequent user of the old forums (Good night, sweet prince). I main bot lane and I play mostly melee characters. Currently that means Kensei, Idris and Baron. I’ve been playing since Vox was released, so I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt.

This post is primarily going to be me rambling somewhat angrily about vague points that I personally think have ruined VG, then I’ll be presenting to a conclusion to try and explain why people (myself included) consistently react negatively to VG, particularly to the announcement of hats.

Remember that this post is primarily the opinion of an annoyed veteran. Thereby, I am biased. The point of this perspective is to give a POV of someone who is consistently critical of SEMC’s decisions. It’s not meant to be 100% precise, but it’s meant to show off a fraction of the reasons VG players dislike the game now.

Note: This is the 3rd time writing this post. I’ve typed it up to close to completion twice and I’ve deleted it because I felt like the hats conversation was already over/lost all my progress because the power went out.

Then I noticed there were people actually defending hats, and they’re confused on why people are so negative. I’m here to give a perspective.

I apologise in advance for how large this post is. You are welcome to skip parts and go straight to the conclusion, but personally I think the thread is better fully read.

Meta

The meta in VG is currently the worst its ever been (IMO), and is particularly bad since it hasn’t changed since last patch, which has really dragged out how bad it is.

Muffling Melee Carries

Let me first start off by talking about why I find melee characters more enjoyable than ranged characters.

Melee characters have an inherit weakness of being melee. This by itself increases the ‘power budget’ that a character can have. To put it in layman’s terms, melee characters can have more powerful abilities while also being in the line of fire. More powerful abilities leads to more interesting characters.

Ranged characters generally have more passive/reactive play styles, while melee characters have more active playstyles. Being able to be the active player is more enjoyable to a filthy Kensei one trick such as myself.

Melee characters have different playstyles, even with similar kits. The difference between Rona and Glaive (Mobility, Damage + AA Reset, AOE Damage + sustain) is much wider than the difference between Celeste and Skaarf (Damage, AOE CC, Big Damage).

Plus, Melee characters are naturally stronger in soloQ as many thrive into uncoordinated teams.

Unfortunately for me, the balancing in Vainglory consistently refuses to have melee damage carries be meta. There have been multiple patches where the only melee characters that were chosen in high level play were peelbots (Shoutout to everyone who remembers CP Glaive meta), but ranged carries have always had a place in the meta. It’s understandable that ranged carries would be more consistently in meta, but the consistent nerfs that they would force down a melee characters throat when they became meta as a damage dealer was a bit sad. RIP Blackfeather.

If you want me to give an example, look how slowly Vox was nerfed, and look at how consistent his place in the meta has been. Now compare this to Rona, who gets nerfed into the ground as soon as she becomes relevant and has to slowly crawl her way back up from there. Even if you say that Rona had a wonky kit, there are other points of comparison too. I remember when a fed Glaive used to actually be scary. If he was ahead enough he could 1v3. Nowadays, a fed Glaive is just a little more damage to deal with, nothing major. A large number of melee damage dealers have been neutered over time to become more peel based characters.

This is also a community problem for all MOBAs however. When people see a melee character destroying and assume they’re OP, but they never consider that melee characters generally are weaker in team environments. (Funny observation, I find that some of the whiniest players in VG are Vox mains. Not saying that all of you are, but some) Although this doesn’t apply to soloQers, it’s a shame these characters often have their identity forcefully changed. Sometimes they really are OP and do deserve to be nerfed, but sometimes they’re not. I just wish those characters had more time in the spotlight so that they can properly be played against. 5v5 Krul is the best example for this; people didn’t learn how to avoid his ganks, he got nerfed, and he hasn’t been seen for about three months.

Mechanics Creep

The new characters being released have overloaded kits that are unfun to play against. If you compare someone like Kinetic to Ringo, it’s clear as day which character has more in their kit.

Back in the old days, you were LUCKY to get three useful abilities. Glaive ult, Ringo ult, even Vox B is essentially a glorified way to make his dash do damage. But nowadays, characters like Kinetic and Kensei exist. Mechanic creep isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this is still Vainglory.

The last three ranged characters (Malene, Kinetic and Silvernail) have all shown a disturbing pattern of complex characters with numerous abilities that are best at countering engage. What this means is that if you have less engage than they have self peel, there is no real way you’ll ever get onto them as a melee. Malene is probably the best designed out of all of them, as she has the big weakness of a very low range, and Silvernail isn’t impossible to fight, he’s just frustrating because you’re forced to wait for up to 16 seconds. Kinetic has no weaknesses and should be removed from the game. I remember when a sniper with a short CD dash was enough to cause me headaches, but now we have tripwires ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

There are many characters that need reworks because either their mechanics don’t work (Sorry Petal) or their mechanics are too simple and are toxic to play against (Hi CP Taka). This is the good part of mechanics creep. But all SEMC seems to instead want to make new characters that leave their older characters behind, alongside making the only somewhat consistent Melee carry Kensei, who’s overloaded to the brim due to all of the peel the enemy team can have on one side.

So, to those who say that Kensei is overpowered and that they need to nerf him, remember that he’s just a sign of what’s to come (if SEMC wants to release more melee damage dealers, of course. Maybe they’ll release 5 different versions of Tony).

CC+Husk Meta

WHO HERE HATES GETTING CC CHAINED! That should be all of you. Now that 5v5 has come out, like a few people predicted, CC ramp has become somewhat of a problem. With 3-4 sources of hard CC being somewhat of a norm (Capt, Top, Mid and Jungler), it’s not unusual to get stunned by someone and to immediately just give up on the teamfight. Put your hands on head and surrender to the destruction you’re about to take.

Celeste can ult you for 75% of your health. Baron double shot pops you through husk. Anka combo instantly kills both you and your neighbours grandparents.

Now, they should pop just as easily, but CC fun times means that these ranged characters are relatively safe, unless they get CCed themselves or mess up. Melee characters on the other hand are more vulnerable to CC, and the increased amount of it is not appreciated.

Let’s have a look at every captain in the game to back up my point. I’ll be categorising their playstyle based on my personal beliefs, so maybe this doesn’t line up perfectly with you, but my point should still be valid

Adagio - Aggressive

Ardan - Balanced

Churn - Aggressive

Cath - Defensive

Flicker - Aggressive

Fortress - Aggressive

Grace - Balanced

Lance - Balanced

Lorelai - Defensive

Lyra - Balanced

Phinn - Defensive

Overall, the captain cast is pretty balanced for representation, but there’s a big problem here. Very rarely do you play aggressive captains. They’re generally too risky to pick in a draft mode unless you have a perfect draft, and even then you might still pick Ardan. These characters lack hard CC to make them versatile, so they get pushed to the niche pick. What this means is that in most games, there will be more support that involves peeling compared to diving.

Even if you manage to get through the mass amount of CC the enemy team has, the enemy team has this little item called Slumbering Husk. It used to be useless, but now that they’ve given it the actual useful stats (Armour and Shield), it’s the most toxic defence item in the game, and it’s the defence item of choice for many ranged carries. Slumbering husk is much more effective on ranged characters since they generally have lower health (and what Husk does is essentially temporarily double your health), it’s easier to preemptively pop and it negates burst, AKA the main way to counter ranged damage dealers. This item needs to be nerfed, either by reducing the defence stats, lowering the time the FH is available or both.

Wp Items

I’m gonna be honest, the WP Item tree is absolutely trash. Due to the nature of WP characters where ranged and melee both have 100% scaling on their AAs (except when they don’t), a ranged carry is generally going to get more traction out of WP items unless their abilities are weaker. But hey, it seems that SEMC isn’t interested in giving ranged snipers weaker abilities. What would be more interesting is if more WP items had unique passives, and ones that benefited melee characters more. It’s either that or the next melee damage dealer we get is another Kensei.

Plus, WP builds have been almost identical for years now. It’s always something like SB/SM/Shiv BP on basically every character. What SEMC should probably do is reduce the WP Trees dependency on BP, by either nerfing it (especially for ranged carries) or reworking it entirely.

The CP Tree isn’t as bad because mages literally have % CP Ratios on their AAs so it’s easier to make Celeste AAs be less effective than Reim AAs.

I still think it’s pretty boring though.

Ranged Bruisers

Bruisers are my favourite class, alongside assassins. They’re the characters who are best at dueling, splitpushing, diving and making a really cool looking plays. The main weakness of bruisers, however, is their range and lack of specialising as a tank or an assassin. In teamfights, you’re often forced to dive. However, you don’t have the tank stats to survive the ass-blasting from 5 enemy players, and you don’t have enough damage to one shot someone. They usually have a mix of high base damage/scaling, mobility and CC in their kit to create the perfect blend of Breaking Point BS.

But what if you were a ranged bruiser?

You would still be a great duelist due to the nature of buying both offence and defence, your splitpush would be good, and you could still make really cool looking BP plays. And you wouldn’t have any of those pesky weaknesses that normal bruisers do.

Oh hi Kinetic.

Playing against a ranged bruiser isn’t fun. Especially Kinetic. High base damage, buys SM BP so she’s impossible to duel for most characters, long range stun + slow, 140% WP scaling AAs. Plus incredibly high range, so she doesn’t have the weakness Vox does. Stop this. She’s permabanned for a reason. Why did nobody nerf her. God (Nivmett) is dead.

Conclusion (meta)

Low viable melee carry count (Kensei, Anka and Idris(?))

Terrible WP Items

Mechanics creep (Overloaded meta)

CC + Husk meta

Ranged Bruisers

Overall, the VG meta has devolved into being almost exclusively about ranged damage dealers and CC spam due to the state of items, mechanics and how powerful peel is. The game has become REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE. The easiest way to be able to tell is to take a look at top lane; although in the beginning people played bruisers who could duel bot laners and snowball (Proactive), but now people would rather just play a captain, build stormcrown and peel for their team (Reactive). It’s honestly boring. 3v3 used to be about fast gameplay and making opportunities for your team to come out ahead, but now in 5v5 the game mostly comes down to waiting for late game. It’s boring.

I know I jumped from 3v3 to 5v5, but I’m following on what the focus of the game is. Let’s be honest here, SEMC has been pushing VG towards 5v5 ever since it was released.

Monetisation

Note: This part used to be a lot better. I had a detailed timeline of all monetisation that took hours to research and type, but I don’t want to go back through and look at the update notes collection (especially since updates are missing, are sometimes out of order and aren’t formatted correctly). These are vaguely in chronological order but this is from my memory after my research.

Heroes

Fortress was the first hero to have the 7 day ICE early access. Silvernail was the first hero with a 14 day ICE early access.

A handful of heroes at one point had their prices increased due to ‘adding them to bundles’.

Until Anka, every hero added at least one part of lore to the Vainglory canon, usually in the form of 2-3 pieces of writing.

Skins

Skins used to be compromised of cards, which you needed to collect a large amount of to craft skins. They also needed to be unlocked in order, from tier 1 to tier 3. Only tier 1 was purchasable with ICE.

Themed card boxes could be pulled from with both ICE and Glory (separate boxes) that were semi-random (You can empty the box for a guaranteed payout). One patch after their release, the glory price for pulling was greatly reduced.

Skins eventually became available to just straight up purchase with ICE.

LE skins were released, which were only obtainable for one patch.

Phinn t1 ~ t3 was the first time where all three skins for a character were released at once, and it resulted in three same-y skins.

SE skins were released, essentially being non limited LE skins. LE skin recolours were also released and added as SE skins too.

Netherknight Lance t2 and Dear Diary Lyra t3 were released out of order. SEMC promised to release the other tiers of the skin at a later date.

Skins following a single card system were released.

Skin lockouts happen (Can’t directly purchase with ICE.)

Recoloured skins happen outside of SE skins.

Netherknight Lance t3, despite having a skin of a different tier with the same name, was released in the single card system.

Card boxes became entirely RNG. Overall, the drop rates of rarer cards seemed much lower.

Skin lockouts became whole patches long.

The card system was converted into a blueprint system.

Charms, emotes and other stuff

Name changed didn’t use to cost anything other than the time spent sending an email.

Charms were originally only usable through a pass that required players to pump glory into it each week. This was considered a testing version of charms.

Custom pings were added into the game one patch before charms came out of testing.

Charms were in testing for over a year.

Conclusion (monetisation)

The point is, SEMC has been constantly ramping up the monetisation in the game over time. That is pretty simple to see. Some of the things I’ve listed I actually support. I don’t mind having a week of hero ICE exclusivity. Skins are great, and moving away from the tier system was a smart decision considering that it constricted skin design. Hell, even locking the skin behind RNG boxes for a week or so is fine.

There is a lot I can’t agree with though.

2 week hero lockouts are honestly disappointing. By that time, my hype for the new hero has pretty much died down already, not to mention that SEMC loves using those new heroes for events. When they made the glory card box completely RNG they pitched it as a positive even when it really wasn’t. They didn’t even mention it when converting cards to blueprints, and blueprints still can’t be purchased using glory. Patch long skin lockouts are just dumb. The fact that I can’t use the opals I’ve earned and payed for to buy a summer party skin the patch it comes out is incredibly frustrating for no reason other than $$$.

What concerns me and many others most of all is that in the last two patches (and the one coming up next) SEMC has introduced a new vapid type of cosmetic (pings, charms and soon, hats). Money and manpower went into these things, and although you could justify pings and charms, I have trouble fathoming how you can justify hats. It’s pretty blatant that SEMC is using this as a money grab. I’ll get into this further later.

I remember when SEMC used to strive to be a competitive mobile game, and money seemed to be just a side thought. That’s when the game was the most friendly. I’d still play it, even with constant disconnects and lag, because it was just that good. The community was friendly and I looked forward to each set of patch notes. I remember not being able to sleep because Blackfeather looked like so much fun, and I remember checking the game constantly a week after the update hoping I could I buy him glory already. Now what I see is a mediocre game trying to appeal to a casual audience to the point where they leave behind their competitive ones. Their most loyal players.

Attitude

If you want to skip this section because you find it irrelevant, go ahead. I just want to put this out there because I feel like it’s a pretty telling sign of how SEMC has changed.

What keeps us up at night (Update 1.7)

Update 1.7, the ‘Player Love’ patch, had a very interesting section in the patchnotes. It was titled ‘What keeps us up at night’ and it addresses problems SEMC and the community has identified with the game, alongside SEMC’s personal plans going forward. It speaks about how they are looking to improve the matchmaker, and how they are trying to remove the confusion around how their MMR system works (Unfortunately, those are still relevant today). But what stood out to me was this:

WHERE’S SKYE???

We know you were hoping for a new hero in 1.7, and it hurts our souls to not give you one. That said, the depth and complexity of the issues resolved in 1.7 ate up a huge amount of dev cycles, and some of our team simply needed a vacation after a relentless push to the big July launch and related events. We’re a small team of humans, and inevitably people have to actually sleep and eat and do human-type things, as much as we try to prevent that. We’re players of Vainglory just like you, and we can’t wait to get Skye and more heroes into the Fold. That said, the improvements in 1.7 should open up new hero comps and item builds to keep you plenty busy until 1.8.

  • Playoffbeard, August 4th, 2015

This genuinely speaks to me. When I read this three years ago, I actually felt a little bad for SEMC. I didn’t even expect a hero for the patch, but seeing POB write about how they were disappointed in themselves despite pushing themselves to their limits actually touched my cold, negative heart.

Roadmap (2017)

Still no brawl map.

Still no double ban draft (for 3v3)

This hasn’t been addressed in 2018. I’m not trying to complain about not having these things in VG. I’m going to be honest I couldn’t care less about brawl maps. I would prefer to have more bans for 3v3 but I only play 3v3 ranked like, ten times a patch so it isn’t particularly important to me. But I would actually like it addressed officially.

I have seen this addressed through less official means, such as on the forums, although it was mostly reassurance that it was coming. I can’t be bothered to go get evidence, you’re just going to have to trust me.

Layoffs

SEMC fired two of what one could consider the ‘face of SEMC’. POB is personally what I considered the face of the company, but they gave him the boot. Nivmett is pretty universally loved among the community since he feels less like a dev and more like a member of the community (which, in reality, he is). Sugarvenom, who is also universally liked for her well crafted lore that brings the character for life had her story cut off. I have trouble believing that those three in particular needed to all lose their jobs (or partially lose their jobs) consecutively.

It also helps that they were my favourite three.

Kissy face (3.6)

As update 3.6 rolled over, if you had an active charms pass at the time, you kept your kissy face for free.

Nobody was warned about this in a timely matter. Many people didn’t get the kissy face, even though they may have spent tens of thousands of glory on passes.

From what I’ve seen, SEMC has not addressed this.

Maybe I’m just not in the social loop (Which I certainly am not), but I do know that there were quite a few people who were annoyed about losing something that they used to have. However, SEMC has had seemingly radio silence.

Again, maybe I just haven’t heard it. But remember, although I am outside the social loop for a lot of things, I am active on forums, numerous VG discord servers and I do actually read what is on my twitter account.

Conclusion (attitude)

SEMC has progressed towards a corporation instead of the small indie company that they used to be. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for many people it has lead to VG losing a large amount of the charm they once had. When someone isn’t charming or likeable, let’s just say you’re less likely to forgive them. This doesn’t help when you used to know that person as a genuinely nice person. I really looked up to this company at one point. Now, it’s pretty clear to see that I don’t. This one comes down to your own personal judgement though.

Conclusion (final)

There are a LOT of reasons to have VG and SEMC. There are a lot of more specific ones I haven’t touched on, but I would actually prefer for this post to be less of an essay and more of something that you can actually be bothered to read.

I also think there’s a lot of reasons to love VG. The controls are still spectacular. I can still have fun playing Kensei, as long as it’s not in large doses. The Kraken pings are adorable and I’ll admit to spending money on them. Events FINALLY HAPPENED!!! However, that is actually a reason to be negative, and give your feedback on the game.

There seem to be quite a few people who think that the forums are an absolute cancer fest of negativity. I would disagree. Yes, I’m a user of the forums, so I am biased, but I think that instead of trolls, the forums are actually a place for the most passionate of fans (sometimes a little too passionate). Think about it; instead of going to reddit, they went out of their way to post on a small community run forum where their voice is quieter. Their reasons can differ, but ultimately it likely comes from a place of passion. This passion is fuelled by a game that used to be great, but is nowadays a lot LESS great.

The people who are opposed to hats in VG don’t hate goofy fun. If that were the case, I’m sure there would be people angry about Tea Party Grace and Petal. Those people are opposed to the precedent it sets. This will be the third patch where SEMC will add entirely new form of cosmetic that can be used in game. Although that in itself is not a crime (I think that custom pings are fantastic), what becomes a problem is when it actually affects gameplay. If a rose trail can affect the framerate of a game, I don’t see why 10 flame halos can’t. Skins are already eviscerating my frame rate (The kitty skaarf skins usually shave off a couple of my frames from using their abilities), and it’s not like they’ve removed effects from skins before, which likely were due to framerate issues (School days Vox comes to mind).

You might argue that it doesn’t matter. Those more passionate towards the old VG would say it does. It’s all about perspective. If you’re having fun with the game, that’s fine. However, everyone wants VG to become the game perfect for them. I don’t see what’s so bad about voicing their personal opinions and thoughts, just like you do. There’s no reason to call people with negative opinions cancer, and there’s no reason to call those with positive opinions brainless fanboys. Sure, go ahead and call me AIDS in your discord groups, but keep it civil where everyone can see you, alright?

Let me just end this with one final analogy. I promise I’ll shut up after this.

I feel like I’ve witnessed VG grow up. Back in 2015, it was a young child, bright eyed and with dreams of the future. In 2016, it grew into a teen, who although had good intentions, made a lot of things without finishing them properly. In 2017, it became a fully fledged adult, who cleaned up the mistakes that it once had and went on to make a massive project that it dreamed of.

In 2018, that project has failed. VG is going through what seems like a midlife crisis, trying to appeal to a more childish audience. The best way to help VG is instead of encouraging it, slapping it in the face and telling it to get its shit together.

Okay, you can call me a nerd now.


Hey I posted something on reddit come call me a nerd
#2

Regarding the meta you missed the most crucial point which is the gold funneling strategies, the "everyone is a jungler in vainglory, the absence of a lanning phase in a 5v5 moba. Those are a good points you’ve made but they’re pretty easy to fix it all comes down to tweaking some stats so either buffing or nerfing certain heroes and items but “the race to the jungle meta” is not that easy to fix it requires major changes to the core identity of the game which is not gonna happen.

Regarding monetization it all would have been just fine if it wasn’t for 2 major fuck ups, talents and the all the events that we’ve had recently. Adding more ways to generate revenue is perfectly fine after all semc is a company and their end goal is to make profit so they can add as many skins as they want, they can add emotes, hats whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect gameplay. And with the introduction of talents came the first form of monetization that affects gameplay, the community was outraged and everyone was begging to cancel out the plan but nope semc didn’t care and talents became a thing and with them the death of brawl modes. And now all the events which are p2w, you either have to pay some ridiculous entry fees to participate or/and the event is based around brawl modes so obviously only players with p2w talents get a fair shot at them. The community was also outraged by those events, people want events that will get the community together, get them to play the game not to use them as another form of revenue. But that’s semc now for you, they couldn’t care less whether the community is happy or not (everyone who believes so is just delusional), all they do is milk the shit of the player base to maximize revenue, their policy used to be generating profit trough player satisfaction but now it’s screw the world as long as we’re getting revenue makes you wonder why all the people that were involved in making this game great no longer work for semc right ? That is why everyone is so negative about the introduction of hats, we’re not dumb we know the team that works on art and cosmetics can’t work on technical stuff but the community is just fed up at this point we’ve been waiting for 7 months for major issues in the game to be fixed but instead we keep getting useless that no one asked for that are only there to generate revenue. At this point vainglory is just a joke of a game, the sort of game you would expect supercell to be developing.


#3

That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the CEO’s background: co-founder of Glu Mobile & Playfish, former EVP at EA, on the board of Supercell since 2013 …


#4

Yep not surprising at all considering that all the people that worked with passion on making vainglory a great game have left for another company. I guess passion and hypocrisies don’t get along.