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What People Look For in a Guide

Creator: th3BlackAngel July 5, 2011 11:11am
th3BlackAngel
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 6, 2011 1:08pm | Report
Oh, ok I get it now. Thanks Lugi :D

Edit: Updated
Nidalee - Olympic Gold Medalist Guide <-- Recently Updated
Thanks to AlexanPT for this amazing sig

What People Look For In a Guide
Jebus McAzn
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 7, 2011 9:13pm | Report
Responding to your PM, I'm not gonna sticky this yet because I feel like it needs some more development first.



http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/forum/build-and-guide-discussion/tips-on-guide-writing-5172

As Lugignaf said, I did suggest this a while back - I don't blame you for not finding the link though, it was on the second page.

Anyway, here's a short list of what I think a guide should have and should not have, IN ADDITION to what you have up on the OP already.


What a Guide Should Have
-Tips, tricks that are not immediately obvious.
People generally know how the skills of a champion work. If they don't, they can just roll over it. If they still don't, that's why you include a brief section in your guide explaining the mechanics of each skill. But what's REALLY valuable are tricks and nuances to playing a champion a certain way that people may not know immediately. For example, Flash+Powerball on Rammus is extremely strong, and not many people pick up on it. For Amumu, maybe mention that ulting before you throw your Q when you gank someone is usually much more reliable, since it's easier to stun a rooted target. These tips aren't immediately obvious to newer players and need to be pointed out, and are what many people consider valuable information in a guide.

-Application
This falls into the sub-category of "videos", but a simple video showing a game where you dominate as a champion isn't a good illustration of that champion's performance. If you have a trick you describe, try to have a video showing the trick and how it's useful in a game. If my Amumu guide says what "bandage juking" is, I should link to Stonewall008's video showing an excellent bandage juke. If my guide stresses hitting as many people at once with your ultimate, I should link to CLG vs. SK during the WCG finals in 2009 where Kobe hits a great ult.

-Variety
Try to have some change of character during your guide. Add some humor, to make it fun to read, not just an essay. The most dedicated players will be fascinated to learn more about a champion but many readers are simply reading to get a good foothold on their playstyle. With perhaps some humor or color/images/videos, as you said, the reader stays interested.

-Relevance
Simply put, keep your guide updated. Keep it as relevant as possible to the CURRENT metagame. If you have a big paragraph about how to counter roamers, and then the metagame shifts to AD carry+support bottom, put in a new chapter emphasizing the dominance of AD+Support instead of roaming.


What a Guide Should NOT Have

-Inconsistency
Keep the parts of your guide looking similar, in a format that's simple to read. Don't just shake things up halfway through - it makes the work look shoddy and patched-up, and can confuse the reader. If you stress a certain point in the guide, do NOT contradict yourself later.

-Complication
Unless it's necessary (like if you're explaining a difficult mechanic or trick), you need to keep the guide as simple as possible so as many people will understand it as possible. This applies to SO MANY THINGS, including items, runes, skill order, masteries, et cetera.

On 95% of the champions in the game (barring jungle champions), you generally cannot go wrong with the following:

-Some kind of 21/9 mastery setup, with 21 points in one tree and 9 in another.
-Standard 9/9/9/3 runes meant to optimize certain areas.
-Standard 12131R (to level 6) skilling order with R>1>2>3 for the rest of the skills. In short, max one skill first, then another, then another, getting ult when possible.


Too often I see guides with some ridiculous skill order where they get everything equally. No. I see guides with 4 armor pen, 3 attack speed, 2 crit chance marks. No. I see guides running 10/11/9 masteries. Again, no. I'll repeat this - on 95% of all non-jungling champions, you cannot go wrong with the above format.

Junglers are obviously more complicated. You might want exactly 12 armor pen, or to grab these certain skills before level 6, or masteries to optimize your jungle path while still getting improved Flash and minion buff duration. But on regular laners, again, follow the template.

Ok, I'm done with my rant.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 7, 2011 9:45pm | Report
Here's how I'd set it out (also fixed some typos):


In order to help newcomers (or old forum users who have yet to make a guide) here is a guide about writing guides. I will also add information that seems pertinent to good guides from other people's suggestions.


Requirements of a Good Guide


  • Relevance: Simply put, keep your guide updated. Keep it as relevant as possible to the CURRENT metagame. If you have a big paragraph about how to counter roamers, and then the metagame shifts to AD carry+support bottom, put in a new chapter emphasizing the dominance of AD+Support instead of roaming.
  • Explanations: Explain every single choice you make, from your items to your masteries. People always want to know why this > that.
  • Organization: An unorganized guide is messy, causing trouble for the reader, therefore making it less likely he/she will understand/like your guide. A general set up explains all the pre-game selections (Runes, Masteries, Summoner Spells), then goes into detail about Skill Sequencing, Jungle Routes/Laning Tips, Item Choices, and Gameplay.
  • Detail: Go into detail about things that seem vague, like tips on how to use a certain skill or what not. This shows the reader that you know the champion really well. Going into detail about the map the guide is written for, is also a good idea.
  • Format: Having a good format to follow, and not having everything lying around is key to a good guide, it makes your guide easier to follow through. Good formatting includes using coding like Columns, Lists, and Font Effects to emphasise or draw attention to importan aspects of your guide.
  • Focus: Don't go off on tangents when writing your guide. Try and keep all of the information in your guide relevant to the main topic or champion you're explaining. Don't go on a huge rant about warding when there are several detailed warding guides for that purpose.



Improving Your Guide



  • Images: A picture is worth more than a thousand words, so why not show instead of tell. Using images (jungle maps, skillshot examples) helps the reader understand things that are hard to explain with words. Screenshots of recent scores acquired with your build will also boost confidence and trust in the reader towards your guide.
  • Videos: Videos are even better than pictures for a guide. A jungle video with the best route, or the best ward placements, or the best way to use a certain skill is excellent and will help your guide a lot. A simple video showing a game where you dominate as a champion isn't a good illustration of that champion's performance. If you have a trick you describe, try to have a video showing the trick and how it's useful in a game. If my Amumu guide says what "bandage juking" is, I should link to Stonewall008's video showing an excellent bandage juke.
  • Using Icons: Icons allow the use of tooltips, which explain a Skill, Champion, Rune or Item, in some detail. Read how to implement icons with tooltips.
  • Divided Sections | Sub-Dividing Sections: Doing this will bring more organization to the guide and break up unnecessary walls of text. Sub-dividing sections is wise when you have multiple sections related to the same topic.


Additional Aspects of a Good Guide


  • Tips & Tricks: People generally know how the skills of a champion work. If they don't, they can just roll over it. If they still don't, that's why you include a brief section in your guide explaining the mechanics of each skill. But what's REALLY valuable are tricks and nuances to playing a champion a certain way that people may not know immediately. For example, Flash + Powerball on Rammus is extremely strong, and not many people pick up on it. For Amumu, maybe mention that ulting before you throw your Q when you gank someone is usually much more reliable, since it's easier to stun a rooted target. These tips aren't immediately obvious to newer players and need to be pointed out, and are what many people consider valuable information in a guide.
  • Variety: Try to have some change of character during your guide. Add some humor, to make it fun to read, not just an essay. The most dedicated players will be fascinated to learn more about a champion but many readers are simply reading to get a good foothold on their playstyle. With some humor or color/images/videos, the reader stays interested.
  • Use Resources: Take advice from others about your guide, and consider any changes they suggest. Take a look at other guides to see where yours is lacking, and feel free to include links to other relevant guides in your own if it will help your reader. If you don't want to go into detail on jungling or warding, include a link to a good guide on that topic. If you want to make a great guide, focus on helping your readers.



Characteristics of Bad Guides



  • Walls of Text: They are unattractive. People will literally not read your guide if it contains even one HUGE Wall of Text. This is why images and videos help the guide. They reduce the need for words. As long as the text is embedded with coding, colour and an interesting style of writing, then the reader should stay interested.
  • Grammar mistakes: I'm not saying there can't be a typo here and there, we are all human. But to make your ideas clear for the reader, you have to present them in the best way possible.
  • Inconsistency: Keep the parts of your guide looking similar, in a format that's simple to read. Don't just shake things up halfway through - it makes the work look shoddy and patched-up, and can confuse the reader. If you stress a certain point in the guide, do NOT contradict yourself later.
  • Complication: Unless it's necessary (like if you're explaining a difficult mechanic or trick), you need to keep the guide as simple as possible so as many people will understand it as possible. This applies to SO MANY THINGS, including items, runes, skill order, masteries, et cetera.

    On 95% of the champions in the game (barring jungle champions), you generally cannot go wrong with the following:

    -Some kind of 21/9 mastery setup, with 21 points in one tree and 9 in another.
    -Standard 9/9/9/3 runes meant to optimize certain areas.
    -Standard QWQEQR (to level 6) skilling order with R>1>2>3 for the rest of the skills. In short, max one skill first, then another, then another, getting ult when possible.
  • Redundancy: It's annoying to read something in a guide that's being repeated over and over in several different sections. There's repeating a point for emphasis, and there's saying the same thing as if it's a brand new idea.


Contributors:

Jebus McAzn
th3BlackAngel
Bryun
PsiGuard
jhoijhoi
guide writing tips 'n tricksashes to ashesfancy a sig?

♡ sig by Jovy ♡
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 7, 2011 10:03pm | Report
The colour really helps, nice job. My favorite part was the end ;)

You also may want to add Redundancy to the list of bad attributes. It's annoying to read something in a guide that's being repeated over and over in several different sections. There's repeating a point for emphasis, and there's saying the same thing as if it's a brand new idea.

Sticky-worthy yet, Jebus?

EDIT: Just thought of another candidate.

Focus: Don't go off on tangents when writing your guide. Try and keep all of the information in your guide relevant to the main topic or champion you're explaining. Don't go on a huge rant about warding when there are several detailed warding guides for that purpose.

If you choose to put that part in, you could also add this (if you want, maybe these are too obvious).

Use Resources (couldn't think of a better way to say this): Take advice from others about your guide, and consider any changes they suggest. Take a look at other guides to see where yours is lacking, and feel free to include links to other relevant guides in your own if it will help your reader. If you don't want to go into detail on jungling or warding, include a link to a good guide on that topic. If you want to make a great guide, focus on helping your readers.
Thanks to Minho for the sig!
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 7, 2011 10:18pm | Report
^Updated :P Good points. Redundancy is hard to get rid of sometimes - some guides want to drill certain things into the reader's head, and it just pisses them off :P

EDIT: I also put it all in my Will Review For Food Thread, so hopefully people will see it there too ^^
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 8, 2011 1:38am | Report
jhoijhoi wrote:

In order to help newcomers (or old forum users who have yet to make a guide) here is a guide about writing guides. I will also add information that seems pertinent to good guides from other people's suggestions.


Requirements of a Good Guide


  • Relevance: Simply put, keep your guide updated. Keep it as relevant as possible to the CURRENT metagame. If you have a big paragraph about how to counter roamers, and then the metagame shifts to AD carry+support bottom, put in a new chapter emphasizing the dominance of AD+Support instead of roaming.
  • Explanations: Explain every single choice you make, from your items to your masteries. People always want to know why this > that.
  • Organization: An unorganized guide is messy, causing trouble for the reader, therefore making it less likely he/she will understand/like your guide. A general set up explains all the pre-game selections (Runes, Masteries, Summoner Spells), then goes into detail about Skill Sequencing, Jungle Routes/Laning Tips, Item Choices, and Gameplay.
  • Detail: Go into detail about things that seem vague, like tips on how to use a certain skill or what not. This shows the reader that you know the champion really well. Going into detail about the map the guide is written for, is also a good idea.
  • Format: Having a good format to follow, and not having everything lying around is key to a good guide, it makes your guide easier to follow through. Good formatting includes using coding like Columns, Lists, and Font Effects to emphasise or draw attention to importan aspects of your guide.
  • Focus: Don't go off on tangents when writing your guide. Try and keep all of the information in your guide relevant to the main topic or champion you're explaining. Don't go on a huge rant about warding when there are several detailed warding guides for that purpose.



Improving Your Guide



  • Images: A picture is worth more than a thousand words, so why not show instead of tell. Using images (jungle maps, skillshot examples) helps the reader understand things that are hard to explain with words. Screenshots of recent scores acquired with your build will also boost confidence and trust in the reader towards your guide.
  • Videos: Videos are even better than pictures for a guide. A jungle video with the best route, or the best ward placements, or the best way to use a certain skill is excellent and will help your guide a lot. A simple video showing a game where you dominate as a champion isn't a good illustration of that champion's performance. If you have a trick you describe, try to have a video showing the trick and how it's useful in a game. If my Amumu guide says what "bandage juking" is, I should link to Stonewall008's video showing an excellent bandage juke.
  • Using Icons: Icons allow the use of tooltips, which explain a Skill, Champion, Rune or Item, in some detail. Read how to implement icons with tooltips.
  • Divided Sections | Sub-Dividing Sections: Doing this will bring more organization to the guide and break up unnecessary walls of text. Sub-dividing sections is wise when you have multiple sections related to the same topic.


Additional Aspects of a Good Guide


  • Tips & Tricks: People generally know how the skills of a champion work. If they don't, they can just roll over it. If they still don't, that's why you include a brief section in your guide explaining the mechanics of each skill. But what's REALLY valuable are tricks and nuances to playing a champion a certain way that people may not know immediately. For example, Flash + Powerball on Rammus is extremely strong, and not many people pick up on it. For Amumu, maybe mention that ulting before you throw your Q when you gank someone is usually much more reliable, since it's easier to stun a rooted target. These tips aren't immediately obvious to newer players and need to be pointed out, and are what many people consider valuable information in a guide.
  • Variety: Try to have some change of character during your guide. Add some humor, to make it fun to read, not just an essay. The most dedicated players will be fascinated to learn more about a champion but many readers are simply reading to get a good foothold on their playstyle. With some humor or color/images/videos, the reader stays interested.
  • Use Resources: Take advice from others about your guide, and consider any changes they suggest. Take a look at other guides to see where yours is lacking, and feel free to include links to other relevant guides in your own if it will help your reader. If you don't want to go into detail on jungling or warding, include a link to a good guide on that topic. If you want to make a great guide, focus on helping your readers.



Characteristics of Bad Guides



  • Walls of Text: They are unattractive. People will literally not read your guide if it contains even one HUGE Wall of Text. This is why images and videos help the guide. They reduce the need for words. As long as the text is embedded with coding, colour and an interesting style of writing, then the reader should stay interested.
  • Grammar mistakes: I'm not saying there can't be a typo here and there, we are all human. But to make your ideas clear for the reader, you have to present them in the best way possible.
  • Inconsistency: Keep the parts of your guide looking similar, in a format that's simple to read. Don't just shake things up halfway through - it makes the work look shoddy and patched-up, and can confuse the reader. If you stress a certain point in the guide, do NOT contradict yourself later.
  • Complication: Unless it's necessary (like if you're explaining a difficult mechanic or trick), you need to keep the guide as simple as possible so as many people will understand it as possible. This applies to SO MANY THINGS, including items, runes, skill order, masteries, et cetera.

    On 95% of the champions in the game (barring jungle champions), you generally cannot go wrong with the following:

    -Some kind of 21/9 mastery setup, with 21 points in one tree and 9 in another.
    -Standard 9/9/9/3 runes meant to optimize certain areas.
    -Standard QWQEQR (to level 6) skilling order with R>1>2>3 for the rest of the skills. In short, max one skill first, then another, then another, getting ult when possible.
  • Redundancy: It's annoying to read something in a guide that's being repeated over and over in several different sections. There's repeating a point for emphasis, and there's saying the same thing as if it's a brand new idea.


Contributors:

Jebus McAzn
th3BlackAngel
Bryun
PsiGuard
jhoijhoi

I'm all for stickying this.

I would actually like it if Jebus' rant was included tho :3
It might help people realize it better.
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." - Henry Ford

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F Roberts
jhoijhoi
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 8, 2011 2:19am | Report
Look closer ^^

All of Jebus' stuff is in there, just altered to fit the format I wanted.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 8, 2011 2:23am | Report
Not his rant :(

Too often I see guides with some ridiculous skill order where they get everything equally. No. I see guides with 4 armor pen, 3 attack speed, 2 crit chance marks. No. I see guides running 10/11/9 masteries. Again, no. I'll repeat this - on 95% of all non-jungling champions, you cannot go wrong with the above format.

Junglers are obviously more complicated. You might want exactly 12 armor pen, or to grab these certain skills before level 6, or masteries to optimize your jungle path while still getting improved Flash and minion buff duration. But on regular laners, again, follow the template.
"Blizzard spoke thus; Thou shalt not BM. And the players replied Nay, I shall Play my hand with Lethal already on the board. And so Blizzard sent unto them this Brawl of Yogg, As a lesson for their sins of Pride and Greed, for he is the Prophet of Madness and RNG. On that day, the tavern descended into an era of chaos and darkness, until the weekend passed and everyone forgot all about it. Amen. Book of SMOrc, Verse 20, Chapter 4." - Feam T
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 8, 2011 2:39am | Report
Oh that part. Yeah, I took that out, as I didn't want to be "ranting" at new guide makers, but trying to, well, guide them.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep July 8, 2011 4:44am | Report
Ok, I updated the first post with the new format and new ideas. Thanks guys.
Nidalee - Olympic Gold Medalist Guide <-- Recently Updated
Thanks to jhoijhoi for this amazing sig

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