Suggestions forum discussion: Layout

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Jenova-, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Jenova-

    Jenova- Moderator

    We invite you to share your thoughts on the current layout and organization, as well as your ideas for improving them. If you believe we need more or less sub-forums, a new criteria for dividing suggestions or a new way of grouping the existing ones, feel free to bring it up here.

    I will ask you to please stay on topic. If there are other aspects of the suggestions forum that you believe should be discussed as well, feel free to PM me and I will share the idea.

    Also, let us try to focus on a single rail of discussion, so the thread doesn't get unnecessarily long and daunting for new users wanting to join the discussion.

    Just as a reminder, the saying "the more the merrier" DOES NOT apply here: We strive for efficiency, therefore we should aim to have as few sub-forums as possible. Not only it makes browsing through the forum as a whole easier, but also helps to keep the discussion centered and condensed on a single place.

    It goes without saying that said efficiency should never come at the price of organization or space. New sub-forums CAN be created, but only when necessary.

    Let the discussion begin!
     
  2. Captain Planet

    Captain Planet Moderator

    I'm not sure how to put this in a really cohesive way so imma just go "blurgh" and hope you guys can make some sense of this:

    I sorta feel that maybe gameplay OR mechanics changing suggestions might get their own subforum, since they can be rather complex (like changing calculation mechanisms such as kill gold, gold loss, respawn times, etc) and thus need closer attention than they might otherwise get when mixed up in with minor fixes, new game modes, etc.

    But I'm getting the feeling as I type this that it might not be necessary, but I do think that mechanics change suggestions in particular tend not to be reviewed (mostly because people are too lazy to actually think about the ramifications of the suggestion and calculate for themselves whether or not it's worth implementing).

    Finally, one thing in particular I'd like to see would be officially held hero contests (I don't know about how they'd be run, I'd need to give it a lot of though, taking up time I don't have right now) where the winner (or top X number of heroes) are sent to IceFrog for his personal opinions on them, since the hero suggestion forum is the most neglected of all the suggestions forums by staff. Foede admits he steers clear (mostly because he's a lazy mod =D), I don't think I can remember the last time a mod took an active part in discussions within the forum, and I'd like to see that change. I think an official contest with actual "rewards" (as mentioned above) might be one solution.

    So that might mean a special section of the forum that's only accessible/exists when an official contest is being held.

    EDIT: Oh and I'd REALLY REALLY like to see the suggestion in the "Suggestions" thread about putting item icons in the list view when browsing the item suggestions forum. It would be a great visual addition to the forum and provides a little more upfront info about an item suggestion.
     
  3. Unan1mous

    Unan1mous Well-Known Member

    Imo merge Requests with Others. Just sticky the threads that are still active, and sticky any thread Icefrog makes until he decides to close it.
     
  4. Fate Trap

    Fate Trap Well-Known Member

    @ShadowRo

    We've already tried that in DA and it failed...

    And also

    Just as everyone's been telling Total Remakes and Simple Buff/Nerfs should be seperated.
     
  5. kitchen

    kitchen Well-Known Member

    It failed because it assumed, and I think axidos said it best, that it matters whether any person on the forum likes or dislikes an idea. A thread's amount of t-ups or t-downs is useless information. The discussion is what we're after.

    Anyway, back on topic, maybe abilities and heroes should be mixed into one forum. Even as it is, there are a bunch of partial heroes posted and a bunch of multiple-ability threads. And after all abilities and heroes are pretty intertwined.

    There's a difference between a thread with 4 abilities and a thread with a hero, though. So if the forums were merged, perhaps tags should be used. I think it'd be good to mix them because ability ideas can inspire heroes and hero ideas can inspire abilities so the discussion of both would be pretty cohesive.
     
  6. Captain Planet

    Captain Planet Moderator

    ^I disagree. The least used forum right now is Abilities. The least mod-visited is Heroes (followed by Abilities :p:). So combining two mod-ignored forums solves nothing in the end :p:
     
  7. Fire525

    Fire525 Well-Known Member

    The idea for filtering remakes by hero/item is always a good idea in my opinion. It would be best to keep the current layout, but also allow the option to sort suggestions by item/hero, in much the same way the guide section works.
     
  8. LysanderXonora

    LysanderXonora Well-Known Member

    I disagree with him as well. But for different reasons to yours.

    Hero Sugg is already really crowded with the large amount of trolls that flood the first page with their bumps and volley of heroes (im serious, volley).

    Ability suggestions is also a land where trolls that had bad dota experiences share their 'fixes' with the world. (Lightstrike array with 600aoe etc.) So merge two troll forums, we get a big problem. There will be constant contest between trolls, trolls and proper suggestions. Trolls will win. So we just merged it into a dung ball.

    So no, dont merge em.
     
  9. JJE92

    JJE92 Moderator

    One thing that bothers me is Remakes and Balance:
    We have a Balance Debate forum, where all balance things are discussed in a moderated way. Meanwhile, I'm seeing a lot of threads in Remake section that are purely about balance in their nature and would hardly affect the gameplay of the hero. In my honest opinion, these are not really remakes and discussing them is hardly possible. They are threads that in most cases create some sort of semi-flame mixed with "this hero is fine", "this hero is oped", "nerf ...", "buff this weak shit" and so on.

    Why do we have two different places for the same discussions? Shouldn't we put all the remake suggestions that are purely concerned with balance and don't touch the gameplay into the balance debate subforum?

    It would help to organise the forum a bit better Imo, because currently, I really have a hard time to distinguish between balance threads and real remakes in this sub-forum and this takes away quite some time.


    On Heroes:
    The problem is, in hero suggestions, we mostly post completely worked out hero ideas. While this can be helpful, it's really hard to get a general overview.
    A hero is always to some extent about a certain concept. I once had such a concept in mind that I never really worked out. Imo, there should be a kind of sub-forum, in which you can just post such new and original concepts. If someone decides to work them out or if there's an example of such a worked out concept, then it can be linked ofc.
    The general discussion about concepts and not fully worked out heroes is something that I find very lacking at the moment. And tbh, I beleive that such concepts could be much more helpful to IceFrog than fully worked out hero suggestions, especially if they are linked with ability ideas that support such concepts or hero ideas that have worked out such a concept.

    I'm free to start something like this in the Hero Ideas subforum if you think that is the best solution, but I'm not sure how much people will like this and I expect more useless posts than useful ones if we don't make clear that this is actually also wished for with a special sub-forum or some kind of announcement :;):



    On Abilities:
    I think the most huge problem is organisation. You can't find any ability you're looking for. And looking for some special ability to use in a hero/remake is what this forum is all about. As I said before at heroes with the concept, we're simply lacking of a good organisation of what is suggested.
    In remakes, you can find suggested things easily, but here, it's something different. If this organisation isn't somehow fixed, then the problem will stay the same, no matter if we combine abilities with hero ideas or seperate them.
     
  10. kitchen

    kitchen Well-Known Member


    I like this. However I feel that the OP of a hero idea should outline the concept (talking about gameplay) itself anyway, and then provide the workout thereof as an example. The discussion in the thread can be to either improve that specific idea or brainstorm new ideas related to the concept (or specific parts of the op's example).

    I do think posting unfinished ideas is okay. As long as there's something to work with and discuss in the thread, that's productive to me.
     
  11. ParaDise.-

    ParaDise.- Well-Known Member

    Just rename Visuals sub forum to Cosmetics since Visuals sounds lazy
    Is more than visuals, involve sounds and typpos in the game.
     
  12. ninguem

    ninguem Well-Known Member

    There should be a subforum for icon suggestions. I think this fits the subforum creation criteria because:
    1) There are many suggestions of this kind "cluttering" the main, more general forum.
    2) Icon Suggestions threads are usually very different than other Visual suggestions, that are usually (or should be) about improving the usability of some hero or skill.
     
  13. Sgt Failure

    Sgt Failure Well-Known Member

    As a suggestor :)P) the problem with the current Layout is that it simply is to wide. We got all those subforums, but in heroes for example, we got everything from concepts into collabs, and with all attributes and allignments. I don't know if subforums is the sollution, but I certainly think we need a sandbox, a "highrated" and a subforum for either Scourge/Sentinel or Str/Agi/Int so that we can easily sort out the heroes suggested. Also somehow allow a tagsystem, like testmap, recently updated, popular, uncommented (Many views, no comments) and a way to sort out heroes, allowing easier browsing.

    This may be dangerous for me to talk about, but some members here are aware of HoN's hero suggesting system, and it have flaws that widely overcome its benefits. That's why I still think this is the superior DotA genre forum for suggestions. But what they have is a system that first of all gives you a template to work from, aswell as a more sophisticated viewer to heroes, and a way to simply pick a random hero.

    Right now, we can only browse by the user created tags and comments, there is no "hardcoded" way to sort out heroes, and I think that we needs tags on our suggestions, remakes heroes and abilities alike.
     
  14. kitchen

    kitchen Well-Known Member

    The thing is that attributes and affiliations aren't very important things to sort by. For remakes I think a sorting system would be great, though. For heroes, any divisions we make would be pretty arbitrary.
     
  15. Jenova-

    Jenova- Moderator

    First off, I'm afraid that many posts have gone out of the immediate topic at hand: The layout.

    I do know most of the issues you brought up are in a way or another related to the layout, but please let leave those discussions for later. Let us try to focus on the rearranged we believe are needed in terms of organization and location.

    I will delete off-topic posts (after answering them, of course), so as to keep the thread within a manageable length.

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    Since you answered to yourself, I'll simply agree with you. The inactivity of long, well-thought threads comes from users in general favoring easier to analyze/shorter suggestions, and that's not something we can change by creating a new sub-forum. There would be no point in separating complex suggestions from the simpler ones, if the are going to get a low activity either way. We can't force users to review a certain type of suggestions.

    Your ideas and interest are appreciated. However, contests is not the topic at hand. Worry not, though; we can surely discuss them after we have solved these "more urgent" issues, so make sure to bring your ideas when the time comes.

    Which item icon do you mean? The icon of the suggested item (not really saying much about the suggestion), or of the components? (Might get troublesome and cluttered if the suggestion is composed of several items).

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    DA didn't have such a feature. Only stickied heroes were the "community projects". Votes only allowed a suggestion to get reviewed by a special team of judges, and then potentialed if they deemed it fit of such a position. However, this method turned to be obsolete and unnefective to really tell the value of a suggestion, not to mention incredibly time consuming (That, and a lot of other reasons, led us to discard it in this site).

    All clarifications made, please remember that the purpose of this thread is to discuss the layout. All ideas about filtering or pin-pointing suggestions should go Here.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One solution would be to simply tell users suggesting simple buffs/nerfs to re-post their thread in balance (after getting the respective authorization).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree, and as I've said above, this could be solved by redirecting simple buffs/nerfs to either Balance (if they are concrete) or Dota chat (if they are general or incomplete, or just after a few opinions regarding the current balance of the hero/item/skill).


    The thing again revolves around the mindset of the users, which is something that we can only hope to change through guiding, because is something that can't be forced for good.

    Hero suggestions forum IS supposed to be its own sandbox: Just as Icefrog stated on the Suggestions Forum thread, we are after the discussion, the innovative ideas, the come and go of opinions and points of view. We have little use for a "completed" hero, specially when the user is not willing to adapt to what other people like/dislike about it: No hero is ever finished, not even the ones in-game (they get constantly changed).

    The forum has derailed from that objetive, much to my regret. However, I believe creating such a sub-forum would be accepting defeat. We would end up having a forum that reflects exactly what we look after in a hero (the sandbox), and a cemetery-like forum with little use beyond showcasing useless relics (the "completed" forum).

    We want all forums to become a sand-box. There are no "in-progress" or "finished" ideas here, we loathe such dichotomy. Its the users' opinions and points of view what we are after, and the best moment to express them is when a suggestion is nothing more than an idea.

    It will not be easy, but I do believe the mindset can be changed. And users play a pivotal role on this: We moderators can guide and suggest, but this is not going to change until users make this mindset their own: Teaching through example is one of the best ways to accomplish this.



    I agree, there is a lack of organization that avoids any progress. However, until we come up with a concrete solution to it, we can't do much (that's the objetive of this thread, after all).

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  16. JJE92

    JJE92 Moderator

    Remakes/Balance/Balance Debates:
    That would sort of solve the problem.
    But actually, I would move Balance Debates to Suggestion forum in first place. Most people who want to suggest something about balance just look at the suggestions forum and see where it fits best. Few new players will even realise that there's a special forum for Balance suggestions. It would make more sense Imo to move it to the other suggestions as a sub-forum.

    A problem caused by this however would be that it definitely will become harder to moderate, because the activity will increase. More people will create threads (okay, it's limited to every hero and every item in-game).
    I'd actually suggest something like the new hero idea forum for this: Limit the threads to 1 for each hero/item.
    However, to keep an overview, the suggested ideas that are discussed would have to be updated more or less constantly in the op with reasoning.


    Hero Ideas / Abilities:
    I see it slightly different: It has not derailed from that objective, it never had this objective.
    Yes, IceFrog announced some more discussion, but to be honest, that announcement was pretty vague for what it actually meant and almost everyone kept doing the same things they did at dota-allstars. It has never been clearly said that the hero ideas sub-forum shouldn't be the complete heroes, but the idea behind the heroes. There wasn't really a motivation to change this behaviour.

    Ok, I will start with this sooner and later. I've had one concept in my mind for quite some time and I'm trying to start such an example :;):
    I mean, I've also been one of the first ones adding a hero introduction with a short summary of the unique gameplay aspects of a hero in the suggestions and now nearly everyone is doing so ^^
    Okay, Imo the problems of Hero Ideas and Abilities in contrast to Visuals or Remakes are very similar actually.
    The problem is pretty simple: at Visuals/Remakes you're only changing something that is known already to people. By simply putting the name of the changed things into the thread title, everybody more or less knows what you want to achieve with your suggestion.
    At Hero Ideas/Abilities this is completely different. If you look at the thread titles, the only information you might get at hero ideas is which model is used and the race of the hero, if anything. At abilities, you won't get any useful information at all, the names are usually way too vague. If we want to achieve some simple organisation or a better overview, we should first start at the thread titles of these two subforums.
    It has become a habit, but it's obviously pointless to put the affiliation or the name of a hero or the name of an ability in the title.

    So, what could we put there:
    Hero Ideas:
    • Main Stat
    • Role
    • A specific uniqueness that attracts attention (e.g.: Admiral - melee with long-ranged skills; Earthshaker - best stunner; Zeus - nuker, whose skills have late-game potential; Meepo - a hero with clones; ...)
    • Title or maximally 3 words describing what the hero is thematically

    Abilities:
    • Active/Passive/Auto-cast/...
    • Short words describing what the skill is about specifically (Torrent - delayed AoE knock-up with huge range; Relocate - Teleporting to an area and returning a few seconds later)

    Furthermore, the Thread Description could be expanded. Currently, it only allows for a short sentence, which really isn't helpful. It could potentially contain a short description of the hero/ability.

    This would be a first step towards a better layout and more organisation. It would probably not be enough, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  17. Lotus V Eater

    Lotus V Eater Well-Known Member

    hurmmm i seconded the idea of changing the VISUALS to COSMETICS...

    So, how about combining the Ability, Heroes and Items Ideas into one forum since it is mainly based on suggesting thingys...In the forum later on, we can create three diff sub-forums which consist on that three things though. That would be a lot simpler I guess...
     
  18. JJE92

    JJE92 Moderator

    That would be like combining Remakes and Visuals into one forum and creating two subforus there, because both are about changing something that is in-game.

    Anyway, I doubt something like this would really help, except perhaps if we decide to add some drastic layout differences between these types of suggestion.
     
  19. Mazil

    Mazil Well-Known Member

    I really like this. I'm not sure if the idea I'm thinking about is entirely codeable for this forum. Still, It might actually be nice to gather a lot of information about a hero or item idea from the thread listing.

    Like, maybe for item suggestions, when you mouse-over the name of a suggested item, you could get a little window appearing, with its components, cost, and stats/bonuses? We already have something like this on the website, on the heroes and items pages. I know its not in the forums themselves, but still.

    In terms of layout, I think that's really good. You can get lots of information about a ton of suggestions in a very short time. This could really help Mods/Icefrog who are scouting for ideas. Removing the need to go into the thread, and providing some general information at a glance would IMO work wonders.

    Furthermore, for that idea to even work, threads would have large formatting changes, meaning threads must conform to a uniform layout, which would help everyone greatly.
     
  20. Fire525

    Fire525 Well-Known Member

    ^It is quite a good idea actually, and could work very well if implemented correctly. To help suggestions be properly formatted however, perhaps the site should also implement a browser based version of Sanguine's Hero Creator (Which can also make item/visual suggestions), in order to help suggesters to follow the template guidelines.