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MOBAFire, we need to talk

Creator: Meiyjhe February 29, 2016 9:12am
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Meiyjhe
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There are some problems I have with MOBAFire, so I thought it was a good idea to discuss them via a thread. In this post I will mostly talk about the community of MOBAFire and my own experiences with it. I am sure you will have your own experiences and I would love to read more about those to see if I am not the only one thinking this, which is why I made it a thread post instead of a PM to the admins.

Anyhow, thanks to the badge system I am aware that I have been three years now on MOBAFire, for some of you that is a lot, for some that is very little. During those years I have noticed several things that were bothering me as we went on. Often I have expressed those concerns and so have others, but with the recent commendation system and the prime system added to MOBAFire, something else caught my attention as well. Before you tell me that there is no issue with the prime and commendation system or that it is too soon to comment on it, I want to explain a few things why I think these two systems are a problem and sum up perfectly how MOBAFire sadly, went downhill in my honest opinion.


To start off, the moment I joined MOBAFire, I saw it as a playground to create my own guides and do whatever I wanted to do with it. Obviously it wasn't very nice of me, very selfish even, to use this website as my own playground while I am actually dealing with other people. Luckily Mowen reminded me quickly after the act that voting on my own guides was against the rules and I shouldn't be doing that again. Nevertheless, when I started posting elsewhere like on other guides, threads and blogposts, somehow I caught Mowen's attention again and she acted positively about what I said in the moment without holding grudge or distrust about my past actions. This was amazing to me.

The admins, the moderators and veterans were all sharing their opinions, thoughts and ideas with everyone on the website. When there would be a new plan for future content, the admins would share this idea and everyone could tell their thoughts about this new idea and how they think it would affect the website. The admins and moderators were ACTUAL parts of the community, helping each other out, showing a little love here and there and telling when things go too far in a diplomatic manner.

Back then I still naively believed that MOBAFire was just a website for guides, whereas in reality it was a website with community where people had the freedom to create what they want and comment on each other's creation as long as they don't break one of the very few and simple rules. People don't go to MOBAFire if they want the best guides, people go here because the guides are fun and people can do whatever they want. It is why this post is focussed on community and not guides.


However, as time went on, a few things have changed. Our favorite dog admin (who was a key part of the community) became much less active, there came more admins spread out over more and more sister sites and increasing amount of changes were put to MOBAFire. Most notably there was a new layout given for the front page.

There was a dilution of attention give from the admins, a dilution of the amount of times admins communicated ideas with the community due to the amount there are at this point and the problems pointed out by the community were most of the time put on the "to do list" or were never touched upon at all. This is where the problem with MOBAFire prime and commendations kick in.

With all the things that could improve with the front page (blogs still not there whereas the space where it used to be is still empty, new guides not on the front page either), the scout system, the increase of troubles within inhouses and most importantly the reduction of community bonding, all these things that were mentioned time and time again were ignored and instead MOBAFire created a donation system with rewards. The problems that the site was ACTUALLY facing for a long time were ignored for vanity, the ability to hide comments and a way to donate for the website and then released, while being behind a paywall even though it wasn't finished yet.

The amount of community interactions possible with new guides has decreased, the interest in inhouses has decreased (including myself), the admins are less active in the community which all result into a decrease of what is MOBAFire's strength. The amount of fun and interesting discussions are in a heavy decline, the amount of regulars that remain on MOBAFire decline and the ones that stay are losing interest in coming back to MOBAFire as well.


MOBAFire has gone into a very different direction than what it needed to go into for a while now. With the decrease of interaction with the community, the decrease of interaction with feedback and instead of addressing the core issue the website has, a focus on creating profit by allowing the hiding of comments and a commendation system that is rediculously overpriced which rewards the website rather than the commended, makes it seem that staff sees the average MOBAFire user more and more as a paycheck rather than as a part of the community.

From a personal standpoint, this really hits me. MOBAFire is a place that helped me grow as a person, a place where I was able to find the best boyfriend in the world, a place which I could feel home. To just see myself feel less interested in staying active, to see others feel less interested in staying active hurts because I know that there was a time that everyone was enjoying themselves and was able to have fun with each other.

From a business standpoint, I can ask myself the same thing. People are much more likely to buy your product if they can interact with it beforehand. If people just get a teaser of what is about to happen, then you can get free feedback and if it is a good idea, then people are actually hyped to see the changes. This keeps people coming, this makes people stay interested. If you ask people for feedback AFTER the paywall is in place, then people pay full price for an unfinished service if they want to test it out which is even worse. Once the community of MOBAFire is satisfied, then more regulars will stay more often on the website, giving more adrevenue and MOBAFire prime revenue.


So now that is all out of the way, let's go to the actual ideas of commends and prime. To start of with prime, no I don't think that MOBAFire prime itself is an awful idea. Donating to no longer see ads, some vanity cosmetics, streamexposure and hiding of signatures are all fine and dandy ideas that do not take away from the default free MOBAFire experience while still giving something new to the donators. This helps with adblock as well as a "you scratch my back I scratch yours" with the stream exposure. These parts alone are incredibly fair and I wouldn't mind having these things behind a pay wall.

The hiding of comments, however, goes against the concept of freedom that the website has to offer (it is one click away from being made visible, but it is still one click away) and the commend system has no place on the website at all.

The commend system is one of the worst systems MOBAFire has made. It makes guide writers more noticable when other people spend money on MOBAFire. There are so many things wrong with this. First of all, there is already a perfectly fine voting system and +rep system. Why not try and combine having positive votes into becoming a "good guide writer"? Not only that, there is a system that would be perfect for this that is absolutely free and has a whole set of users for it: Scout points. Why create an entire different system for creating visibility for guides which people can only access when spending a ****ton of money? The commend system has no benefits to the website at all other than just trying to get a ****ton of money.


So in conclusion, please communicate ideas more often. Let the community interact easier with each other. Focus on the things that make MOBAFire strong. Bring the blogs back to the front page, bring the new guides tab back to the front page, share what you are working on so the community can tell their thoughts before it releases. These are all so easy to implement to the website and it would already make for a much better community interacting experience. Then later work on more complicated topics such as how to fix inhouses and what other ways you can keep the community interested. That is really what MOBAFire needs.

Also please remove the entire "hide comment" and commend system or at least rework it as such that it doesn't take away freedom from the people that don't pay money. These two systems completely take away the purpose of this website.

Thank you for reading all of this if you did. I really wish that I could be as enthusiastic about MOBAFire as I used to be able to.
~Luuk
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Wayne3100
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Quickly posting to let you know I will be responding to this later tonight / tomorrow at the latest. There's a lot to talk about here (and I'm perfectly fine with having an in-depth discussion about some of the topics that bother you), but I don't have much time to elaborate now.

To be continued :)

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep February 29, 2016 9:51am | Report
Wouldn't a simple solution for hiding comments be that it only hides them for you(similar to hiding signatures)? That way you could also get rid of the restriction that you can only do it on your own guide.
Meiyjhe
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Wouldn't a simple solution for hiding comments be that it only hides them for you(similar to hiding signatures)? That way you could also get rid of the restriction that you can only do it on your own guide.
Yeah it should be similar to signatures. It should be hidden just for you and no one else. If Billy makes a very good point about Bobby's guide, then Tommy has the right to read it without any barriers, even though Bobby disagrees with it and hid it for himself.

Taking someone's voice away or limiting it should only be done when it is a clear violation of the rules, but that was already happening in the first place.
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*grabs popcorn coz I don't have a ****ing idea what's going on in this site now*
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I agree that hiding should work just for you, I didn't realize it wasn't. Other than that, I'm still not concerned with the payed system.

Must underline that it's already been requested over and over for new guides to appear in the front page along with blogs. This has been requested by a decent number of vets many times ever since they were eclipsed.

As for inhouses, the issue has already been clarified. There's two types of inhouse players: those who want to have fun in general, and those who only have fun winning, regardless of what they need to do to achieve this victory. Eventually, the people who wanted a relaxed environment got weeded out and new players always give up after 1-3 weeks based on how harsh they are atm. We can try having some thematic games/trying new maps/trying new modes, but this will probably weed out many of the "I like the win" players - the main regulars - based on the fact that most don't like anything that isn't 5v5 SR draft/blind pick.
Meiyjhe
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FalseoGod wrote:
I agree that hiding should work just for you, I didn't realize it wasn't. Other than that, I'm still not concerned with the payed system.
It is more the direction MOBAFire is taking rather than the actual payment system itself. As long as the payment systems don't take away from the default user experience, as I feel it does with the hiding comments and commendation system, the system should be fine. The fact that we didn't hear anything about it until it was launched isn't very consumer friendly either.

FalseoGod wrote:
Must underline that it's already been requested over and over for new guides to appear in the front page along with blogs. This has been requested by a decent number of vets many times ever since they were eclipsed.
Yeah and the response given was that they wanted the front page to be space efficient. Meanwhile the space where the blogs used to be is still not in use and the new guides could just be a tab like they used to be, attached to popular guides this week.

FalseoGod wrote:
As for inhouses, the issue has already been clarified. There's two types of inhouse players: those who want to have fun in general, and those who only have fun winning, regardless of what they need to do to achieve this victory. Eventually, the people who wanted a relaxed environment got weeded out and new players always give up after 1-3 weeks based on how harsh they are atm. We can try having some thematic games/trying new maps/trying new modes, but this will probably weed out many of the "I like the win" players - the main regulars - based on the fact that most don't like anything that isn't 5v5 SR draft/blind pick.
The issue has been clarified but it has not been handled yet. There should be a way that all parties can enjoy the games. The thematic and new modes type of inhouses were a good idea in my honest opinion, but they were tried once or twice and then never done again. What I think would also be nice is if there would be two seperate rooms. One with people that need to win in order to have fun and another where just fun things happen, but that would require 20 people.

Some more experimentation on this department is definitely necessary. Inhouses are a good way of having the community bond when executed well after all.
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There's pretty much nothing prime has given me that I would be willing to pay for and I feel pretty much the same as you do. I'm gonna be someone's wife and it's at least partially MOBAFire's fault, but this **** makes me feel like they really can't be bothered to listen to what the users actually want anymore.
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Quoted:
What I think would also be nice is if there would be two seperate rooms. One with people that need to win in order to have fun and another where just fun things happen, but that would require 20 people.


I've been thinking... what if inhouses were hosted once every other weekend?
People would feel less burnt out by inhouses, and also the increased volume of players would enable one to play in separate groups of 10.

I don't know how much of an issue this is in EU, but in NA, what we primarily suffer from are lack of players.

We could also do more EU + NA matches. Those were really fun the last time i did them
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utopus wrote:


I've been thinking... what if inhouses were hosted once every other weekend?
People would feel less burnt out by inhouses, and also the increased volume of players would enable one to play in separate groups of 10.

I don't know how much of an issue this is in EU, but in NA, what we primarily suffer from are lack of players.

We could also do more EU + NA matches. Those were really fun the last time i did them


Personally I haven't played inhouses actively in months but I'm burnt out from it after one single game. Back when I played actively about 80% of the players would actually use TS and communicate actively, now I feel like I'm lucky when I have 2 others in my teamspeak.

Right now, the only way I'd join and enjoy inhouses would be:
1) if actually EVERYONE used teamspeak actively
2) if there were some cool people involved I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to play with (EU vs NA or some special events) - not just a bunch of randoms/non-active members I wouldn't give a damn about
3) if there would be some way of dealing with huge skill differentials (i.e. so it doesn't become a "what high-elo player can carry noobs the hardest") and with differences in attitude towards the game (I'm very competitive).


On a different note, I do agree with the sentiment that there are so many things on Mobafire I'd like to see changed, added, fixed etc which would perhaps be the biggest disappointment for me in Prime: the focus on this over other features. The servers still appear to be **** for me, scout and veteran ranks don't really seem to have a purpose, mobafire on mobile is still unusable. Only reason I browse Mobafire right now is to answer questions on my support thread and guides, whereas I used to do and enjoy much more. There have been incentives from some other vets but I feel like they bled to death because there was no official support - I personally didn't stay invested because there wasn't anything happening.

Also, I still QQ about new guides tab being removed from front. Every new guide that qualified as "full" got at least 2-3 votes simply from being on the front page and receiving feedback that way. From what I remember, multiple new guides were posted back then every day. Now look at the new guide browser:


IMO that certainly is NOT an incentive to write more guides. I think Moba's reasoning at some point was "yeah it's only 2 clicks more away now" but it completely takes away the chance of "randomly stumbling across a guide and having a look", which constituted of about 75% of my votes back then.
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