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Master Yi General Guide by Laggermeister

Ten Commandments of Writing a Guide

Ten Commandments of Writing a Guide

Updated on April 8, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Laggermeister Build Guide By Laggermeister 162 91 66,798 Views 166 Comments
162 91 66,798 Views 166 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Laggermeister Master Yi Build Guide By Laggermeister Updated on April 8, 2013
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Ten Commandments

Of Writing A Guide

Greetings, summoners!

Never mind the SUPER PRO Master Yi build. This isn't a Master Yi guide. This guide is focused on how you can obtain awesome ratings for your guide (and is actually a warm up for me before I embark on my massive remake of my support compendium).

Ask yourself: are your guide ratings as high as they should be? For the vast majority of summoners, the answer is no. Why is this so?

Many times, guide authors are stymied by mistakes or bad decisions in writing their guides, especially if they are new to MOBAFire. This guide takes a look at the ten most common and important do's and don't's of writing a guide.
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I. Thou Shalt Be Super Pro Before Considering Writing Thy Guide

Don't write a guide if you're not yet level 30.

If you are not yet level 30, then I'm sorry, you are not qualified to write a guide. There's no such thing as a decent guide written by a level 15 summoner. Come back when you reach puberty. Hawhawhaw.

Lagger, why so mean and disparaging? There is a good reason for this - before you hit 30, the meta is markedly different from when you hit 30. In other words, the game as you experience it is not a true indicator of your experience, as it will change when you hit 30. In fact, it will change even more as you climb in Elo.

Some examples of common pre-30 meta are:
  • The absence of junglers. Top lane is 2v2, which is not the case in level 30 games. When you describe top lane in a guide, it has to be understood that it is a solo lane.
  • Running all sorts of different combinations on a 2v2 bot lane instead of a standard AD carry and support pairing (and thinking they work).
  • At lower levels, the tank is a clearly defined role. At higher levels, it is a champion characteristic. There are tank junglers, tank supports and tank top laners, but you can get away without a strict need for one on the team.

How do I tell you're a noob? Also known as 'How do you tell a pre-30 guide author when you see one?' Pre-30 authors give themselves away by making super pro statements such as (all these are true examples by the way!):
  • ' Leona is a tank, not a support.'
  • 'As a tank, you want to be laning with an AD carry, preferably ranged. You don't want to lane with a bruiser or another tank.'
  • ' Rammus works well as a support on either top or bottom lane.'

There are no exceptions to this commandment. EVERY guide written by a pre-30 summoner is a noob guide. Not even if you're writing a guide aimed at beginners - because if so, you should be significantly more experienced than them (aka level 30!) anyway.

Make sure you really know your stuff.

Yes, anyone can write a guide on MOBAFire, but the noob ones get downvoted and flamed to hell. Think of what kind of person would write a textbook teaching others to play the game. Yes sirree. You will probably get downvoted and flamed to hell if it shows that you don't know your stuff. So, embark on your guide only if you ARE super pro.

If you are high ELO (platinum and above), make sure to get your ELO verified (link here) - you will, generally speaking, be taken more seriously (sad but true).
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II. Thou Shalt Use Coding

Coding is mandatory, not optional.

Always remember that people are not obligated to read your guide. It is your responsibility as the author to grab their attention and keep it. If your guide has no coding at all and looks ugly, and people downvote it, you cannot say it is their fault for not reading it. That responsibility is yours.

The usage of coding is beyond the scope of this guide (and will make it far longer than it should be), so I'm not touching on it at all. The must-read for every aspiring guide author is, of course,

Make sure you read through everything in the guide, and for additional protips, check out these other resources:
Oh, also important: Don't overuse colors, and stuff like fonts and sizes. Because ow my eyes.

Avoid walls of text.

For those who don't know what the term refers to, a sample of a wall of text is shown below.

Make sure to read the bottom of the chapter if you skip through it!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, Master Yi consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do Master Yi eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea Master Yi commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, Phantom Dancer sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, Phantom Dancer sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut Master Yi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud Master Yi exercitation ullamco laboris Phantom Dancer nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit Phantom Dancer anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, Master Yi consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et Phantom Dancer dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute Master Yi irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint Phantom Dancer occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


The above is known as a wall of text. Clearly this one is gibberish, but I'm just pointing out that even with the proper coding, no one is going to read it. They'll treat it as gibberish. And it will be your fault. So make sure you use paragraphing.
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III. Thou Shalt Not Publish If Incomplete

Seriously, just freaking don't.

I take a very strong stand against this, and I will downvote a guide just because it is incomplete. Publishing an incomplete guide is bad, undesirable, and if I had my way, it would be against site regulations.

There is absolutely no reason to publish first and complete it later. While in its incomplete stage, not only will it attract downvotes and negative comments, it will also drop further down the list of new guides. All this is strictly to your disadvantage. Hence we must can the mindset of 'publish first, complete later'.

Before hitting the publish button, ask yourself: Is my guide ready for viewers to read? If not, hold off on the publish button until it is.

One exception: if the guide is significantly completed. If a guide is, let's say 90% complete, it is okay to publish first and work on the incomplete parts (for some reason this is usually lane matchups). Make sure you complete it soon though.

Make sure your cheat sheet is completely filled in.

This is a rare problem compared to the others, but it can severely damage your rating if you let it happen. The area of particular mention is runes and masteries. If you don't have the best/your desired runes for the build, just fill in the best or desired runes. Nothing's stopping you from filling in what you don't have - it's better than getting downvoted for suboptimal runes.

What if I accidentally hit publish?

True story: this happened to me when I was writing this guide. Fortunately only once.

If you accidentally hit publish, archive your guide and then start a new one, and copy-paste everything from the old one into the new one. You have to redo your cheat sheet manually though. That's why it is probably good to leave the cheat sheet for last.
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IV. Thou Shalt Not Write About New Champions

There is no reason to do it.

This was a major problem in Season 2, where champions came out once every two weeks. And then everyone knows MOBAFire would be flooded with guides on that champion. However there are so many disadvantages to writing on the new champion, I'm surprised so many people still compulsively do it.

Here's why you shouldn't:
  • You are obviously vying for attention with everyone else who writes about the same champion.
  • Racing to be the first guide on MOBAFire inevitably means lack of quality.
  • Your guide drops off the list extremely quickly.
  • Voting is disabled for new champion guides, so what's the freaking point?

Oh and don't you dare write about a new champion BEFORE it is out on MOBAFire. I will report you.
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V. Thou Shalt Avoid Publishing During New Champion Week

It's for your own good.

The Fifth Commandment is relatively minor, but it behooves you not to publish your guide (whatever its content may be) during new champion week - when MOBAFire is having an influx of new champion guides by noobs who don't freaking obey the Fourth Commandment.

This is quite simply because your guide will be buried under the influx of new champion guides and will drop off the first page faster than usual. You can always write as usual, but save it and don't publish until after the wave has died down.
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VI. Thou Shalt Not Write About Teemo (Nor AP Ashe)

Take the road less travelled.

This one is quite straightforward. The more popular a champion/the more common a build is, the stiffer your competition will be and the higher your standards have to be. What distinguishes your guide from the millions of AP/attack speed Teemo guides already out there?

It is good to take the road less travelled - look for topics which everyone hasn't already written to death. For a better chance of staying on the top page, try writing guides other than champion ones - explore the General Strategy or Humor sections.

But make sure the road is viable.

On the other hand, don't be unusual for the sake of being unusual. Make sure your build is reasonable. If you write about something which is very clearly unviable, e.g. AP Ashe or AP Wukong, you will quickly pay for it with your rating.
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VII. Thou Shalt Keep It Streamlined

Make sure it has value.

Important note: By 'keep it streamlined' I don't mean 'keep it short' (and bereft of details). I mean make sure what you include in your guide has value to it. If explanations are lengthy, consider using spoiler tags to keep the guide interface elegant.

Two examples of what you should leave out from your guide:
  • Lore. IceCreamy, in his guide reviewing shop, stated that lore is bad. I fully agree. It adds nothing to a guide, and your MOBAFire guide is not the place a reader would go if he or she wanted to find lore.
  • Verbatim descriptions of anything from champion skills to items. What a reader wants is your take on them.
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VIII. Thou Shalt Accept Comments Graciously

Thou shalt learn from the masters, and improve thyself.

In general, readers love an author who can respond humbly to negative comments, even if they are sometimes humiliating. Always say you will take the suggestions into account. You can gain considerable insight by inviting the commenter to elaborate more.

Also, one well known fact is that enabling comment to vote will generally give you a higher rating, because it discourages random scrubs from clicking the downvote button willy-nilly.

Don't defend a flawed build.

One mistake I frequently see from bad writers is that they get defensive and try to explain their obviously flawed build (especially if the mistakes are on runes and masteries). Don't do that. Writing a guide should make you a better player because it opens up suggestions for improvement. And if you really are super pro (First Commandment), you would not have many suggestions for improvement anyway.

Champion builds are a lot more pigeonholed than people think they are. A rune, mastery and item build is standard on a certain champion because it works. It has been tested and proven by professional players to be viable at a high level of play. Pros do something because it works, and they don't do something because it doesn't work. It would be extremely presumptious to think that you've discovered something they haven't.
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IX. Thou Shalt Set High Standards For Thyself

Why? Because you can.

Strive for quality (over quantity). The number of new guides appearing every day is huge, you need to put your best foot forward in order to be noticed and commended. The first week or so of your guide appearing is extremely crucial, as your guide will receive considerably fewer views the further down it drops.

See also: The Second Commandment - Thou Shalt Use Coding

Besides nice graphics, things which really catapult a guide's rating include ingame images and videos.

It's my first guide and I am noob!

My first guide is a hefty general tome on support (now outdated and earmarked for a S3 remake), which stayed comfortably on top of the first page until MOBAFire overhauled its site layout, and was at 89% at its very highest rating. First guide isn't an excuse, bro.
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X. Thou Shalt Reference Thy Guide In Thy Signature

You know, just because.

The Tenth and last Commandment is the simplest of them all. Put a hyperlink to your guide in your signature so that others are aware of it, and they will click it if they are interested.

Of course, this will only work if you...

Be part of the community.

You'll need people to see and click your signature, so go ahead and engage with the community. The more active you are, the more views, useful feedback, and votes you will possibly get. Getting +rep while exchanging ideas and bettering your gameplay is always nice, no?


Don't be an idiot and ask for views.

Be wary of doing this. It is natural to feel proud of your newly-completed masterpiece and have an overpowering desire to share your wisdom with the world. As an active commenter, I sometimes gets requests via PMs to take a look at guides. I personally am okay with it as long as the requester is polite, but I don't recommend you do this because you never know who isn't okay with it and might get annoyed and downvote you. Furthermore, active commenters will most likely see your guide anyway.


Take note that trying to solicit views and votes, especially in the comments section of people's guides, is against site regulations. Yes, I didn't make this up. Quoted from the site rules:

'Mentioning your work in relevant conversation is one thing, dropping links and otherwise advertising around the site in an attempt to get more visits is another.'

So really, the best way to get noticed is simply to continue exchanging views with others on a normal, day-to-day basis.
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That's all for this guide. Not short, but not that long either. Before we end, I hereby reveal to you the super-secret Eleventh Commandment.

The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Upvote This Guide
also, a +rep would be nice if you feel your skills improved!

To sum it up, these Ten Commandments are for any guide author, especially (but not limited to) new authors, in order to write the best possible guide and get the best possible rating.



Special Thanks
  • jhoijhoi for Making A Guide and because you can't have a guide without special thanks to her. Everyone knows that.
  • IceCreamy for the coding guide How to Use Columms
  • astrolia for the coding guide Astrolia's Column Guide
  • sirell for spellchecking one mistake I missed.
  • GrandmasterD. For Elo.
  • I am Lord and Master for his suggestion on being part of the community (expanded the Tenth Commandment to include it).
  • You, the reader, for your time and attention.

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