What we discuss on the forum: an analysis of new Threads - June 2022

Background

I’ve felt some of my forum interest waining recently some of which I attribute to repetitive discussions. I’ve started unfollowing some threads to streamline my experience, but I still check out every new thread. Right after the May balance update, I felt new threads were getting repetitive too.
So I decided to track new threads for a month to see what we talk about.

The data

Category Count Distribution
New Topic that should have gone to an old thread 139 29.7%
Roster advice/help 102 21.8%
Buff/Nerf Hero 37 7.9%
Not a bug 35 7.5%
Give me ___ 29 6.2%
Miscellaneous Idea/Question/Discussion 27 5.8%
Actual bug 25 5.3%
Content Topics from PlayforFun 24 5.1%
SG sucks/___ is broken 22 4.7%
Cake Day/Community Content/Youtube Vid 15 3.2%
Discussion of Official Announcement/New Content 10 2.1%
Player Guide 3 0.6%

Methodology

Generally when I visit the forum, I often go to new discussions first. For the month of June 2022 I logged what I felt the general category of each new topic was. As time went on I started condensing categories.
These categories are my opinion of the topic and I expect disagreement about the categorization; however, this isn’t a post about what category a specific post fell into.
You’re welcome to go through recent new topics to see if you would arrive at a different answer. Note that topics that did get merged or hidden may no longer appear.
I did exclude foreign language posts as well as any alliance recruitment posts. They certainly pop up, but I felt they didn’t meet the goal of what I was looking for. I also excluded beta lounge posts (that is a discussion for another time).

Reaction

Well it’s not surprising why I felt topics were getting repetitve as I felt the plurality of topics should have been merged. I’m sure a certain merge dragon may wonder why I didn’t flag all of these posts for merging. I think I’ve given up on merging. The process is a bit clunky. SG hasn’t empowered me to do it myself. And clearly many don’t like the idea of merged topics.
I’m sure those most likely to post a duplicate thread are least likely to be reading this post.

The second biggest topic was players asking for help and/or roster advice. I noticed this has less interesting for me as it can be about heroes I have never played with and have limited experience playing against. It makes it harder to weigh in. I am happy we don’t see discussions of whether Thorn or Azlar are worth leveling up nowadays though.

The buff/nerf category comes and goes in waves. Balance updates normally increase the frequency here and SG asking for more buff/nerf topics definitely increased new posts in this category towards the end of June.

Not a bug is one of my favorite categories. Some are super subtle things that aren’t actually a bug. Some are a misunderstanding of gameplay. Minions spawning for all due to HOTM family bonus is quite common. As is costume bonuses. I find some to be unnecessary confusion. It does make me wonder what else folks are missing.

Many requests fall into “Give me”. While some I fully support (e.g. QoL updates) others I don’t. To each their own. The “Give me” threads I find most engaging are win wins.

Actual bugs are harder to truly track. I didn’t wait for SG confirmation, but more if enough time went by without other players refuting the bug, or other players agreeing with OP.

Summary

I feel the data matched my internal inkling. I appreciate those of you who do keep the forums entertaining.

Questions

How do you approach the forum? Where do you go first?
How has your forum interest changed over time?
What category of posts give you the most/least engagement?
Do you support merging?

Click for notes

This is a meta discussion about the forums. If you have opinions on an individual topic, they should go to that topic.

24 Likes

I don’t visit categories separately, when I log in I always check “Latest” page and I keep refreshing it and checking new posts. I muted one category I’m not interested in → Alliance Recruitment.

I think that I write and read more posts/threads than last year. But it strongly depends on current “trends”. When SG releases an update that is considered controversial and there are gazillion of new threads talking about it, I usually try to not get involved in discussions that are aggresive/complaining/analyzing thoroughly every single number that was changed. It’s not fun for me. I must say that interaction with specific people here and funny off-topic threads made me more engaged.

I read regularly beta-beat and summon threads. Those two I like the most. I like reading about things that are in beta and I like seeing other people summons, especially when they get new heroes. And HA10 reporting (and some off-topic threads too).
I mostly ignore threads with complaints - accusing SG of cheating, unfair summon odds, losing raids/wars and so on. (they are all the same, I read 3-4 of them and don’t need read more).

Yes!

10 Likes

I have been visiting the forum for like forever and a day. And I have to say I open everything and fully read the majority of stuff. However, some of the threads are nowadays just too much …

When I enter the forum I first look at replies directly to me. Then new topics then the rest.

Yes topics are getting repetitive to some degree in particular those that are “complaint” related. And these I find least interesting because it’s all been said before …

And yes it would be helpful if a few more trusted players in the forum had the ability to merge posts. So I fully support your idea of merging… it would probably reduce 30%+ of posts being identified as “new” content.

I still do enjoy the help / advice needed with my roster posts. It’s interesting to see players take on certain heroes and I don’t mind helping individuals if I can.

I used to enjoy the buff, nerf and balance threads but these have become just too frequent and normally involve heroes that have been discussed many times before. SG certainly opened the flood gates on this recently when they asked us which heroes needed a buff or a nerf ….

I still also enjoy reading / contributing to the Beta threads ….

PS: I dislike in the main the majority of YouTube posts where I need to watch a “video” clip for like 15 minutes or more …. I tend to pass on these (sorry)

11 Likes

Thanks for posting this! Quite interesting.

While I’m new to the forum, I’ve been reading it for years. There’s a ton of great information here.

Merging is one of the reasons I haven’t posted any new topics. Since I’m new, I don’t wanna be THAT guy, who posts something that’s been already covered. The biggest issue I see with merging is that the Search function seems to be pretty terrible. Makes it difficult to check if there’s an existing thread. So, either you scroll through thousands of posts, try multiple iterations of the same topic to try different wording, or post a dupe. I don’t particularly want to do any of those, so I mostly just reply.

As for topics I’m drawn to, those tend to be informational or ones where I think I have something meaningful to contribute.

6 Likes

The first thing I do is looking who has liked me, mentioned me or replied to me and where.
Then I switch to the homepage and see what’s new and interests me.
I avoid ‘buff’ and ‘nerf’ and ‘the game is unfair’ etc.
Cause I try to avoid discussions with people who only want their opinions confirmed and will not accept other opinions.
I sadly gave up answering in the ‘help with my roster/costume/limit break’ category as I don’t know most of the heroes. I usually don’t deal with new heroes any more until I have them.
Basic questions about the game principle have already been answered. There were times when I searched for answers, then there were times I answered. Today I mostly ignore them. Sometimes I link to the already existing answer.
Most of the time now I’m in the Community Content.
And yes, I’m an absolute supporter of merging.

6 Likes

I still would like people to flag if a dupe topic as does make it easier for well me to doo…
The last say 6 weeks iv been working different place so my wifi has been a issue … Been back to normal this weeek … But in 2 hours i know im gonna get a call to change haha :joy: I basically do everything on my phone aswell so that dont help as need to play the game aswell … I do need help… Also hang in there on that last bit :wink:

6 Likes

so that is 3 of us (me, @Ruskin505 and @Pike ) who do not feel able to comment much on “who to level up” threads, as we lack experience with the heroes. I still do try and read those threads, because occasionally the choices will be between heroes I have or know very well, but… yeah, it’s tough when all the choices are newer heroes I have to look up.

Re approaching forum, I start with notifications first, then scroll through recent threads.

Re merging, I strongly support as it helps de-clutter the forum. When I see obvious merge candidates I still flag them to help our mods out. of course, my merge candidate may not be someone else’s…

Vent threads, sometimes I still read them just to offer some encouragement and empathy. I am not as emotionally invested in this game as I used to be, so I do not always feel so strongly about these things anymore

like @Sorvina , I also tend to avoid discussions that are too nitpicky -

I also do not find it fun, and often the math goes over my head (or I could follow it, but choose not to as I work with numbers daily, and this game/forum is for my relaxation darn it!

Although I do not avoid these threads per se, I agree with @Pike that I try to avoid people who have shown, repeatedly, that they are not willing to consider new opinions/evidence and maybe change their minds

7 Likes

Great thread Ruskin, I like thread that makes you think. I start out looking at my messages that say someone liked a post or quoted me. I’m pretty much using the forum as I always have: 1. Look for information and updates 2. Trying to help those seeking advice 3. Going to the fun thread litterer with forum dwellers I admire.

I do like giving my opinion even on heroes I don’t have. Playing this game for nearly 4 years, you should have a pretty good grasp on what heroes are best used for. And I love being corrected if I’m wrong, the minute you stop learning, you’re dying.

Merge threads are so important, and 98% of the time it’s appropriate. Plus once merged it’s at the top of “unread” post so it’s a good time to revisit.

Keep on keeping on @Ruskin505

5 Likes

I used to read absolutely everything. I think I was quite high on the most read numbers at end of last year.

Nowadays I check notifications first, then scan the main page to see if any thread titles immediately jump out at me. After that I look for threads I posted in to see if there is anything new being discussed. Then I will check the quirkiness from the mad bunch for a laugh. I’ll then go into Beta beat etc and tournament threads.

I used to enjoy the help threads. But so many of them now are just a poll about equally great heroes, and no discussion about why should go with a particular hero. Whilst it’s useful to see the poll it doesn’t add much for discussion.

I don’t often read the later hero balance discussion threads. In truth I don’t see the need for them, I think a lot of what is in there could still be in the post release thread for each hero. In fact one of my pet peeves is when people tag Playforfun and ask him to create one. Always feel a bit bad with how much he does here, it’s a pretty standard template to copy/paste if people want one. I know this is a me thing though.

I will often read the complaint threads, depending how argumentative I feel at the time I may respond. I generally can’t be bothered arguing back and forth about things though so eventually I’ll just stop. Same goes for hero threads.

There was an explosion of buff threads after the latest balance update. I don’t think we needed all of them. Not all QBs are Dan Marino, not all are Jamarcus Russell. There is room for the Kordell Stewarts to get a game with the right team. By adding a buff thread for every hero it dilutes the validity of those that really need it so the forgotten heroes get pushed further and further down.

8 Likes

I’m barely on here at the moment for the reasons stated. The topics became repetitive and the general direction they tend to go is negatively.

We know the game has good and bad points but the bad started to grow until a lot of threads are just pits of despair now. And I don’t have the energy to keep reading them anymore.

So rather than have my life force leeched by the hardcore negatives I’ve decided I’ll log in once a day and see if there’s anything interesting before I log out again.

So congrats, this was interesting. Now I’m logging out again til tomorrow :joy:

12 Likes

glad you will still be around @Cheds :slight_smile: kudos on you for taking steps to focus on the positives

*note to self: tag @Cheds in more fun stuff :wink:

4 Likes

I forgot indeed to say, awesome thread and analysis @Ruskin505 and thanks for using it to spur discussion,

and a big shout-out to @PlayForFun for creating more than 5% of threads :slight_smile: (and none of them are dupe threads/merge candidates either :wink: )

6 Likes

I agree that the forum has felt a bit stale in the last few weeks. It probably has to do with the lack of new content (well we did get S3 costumes but that isn’t really new content). As much as some people here like to keep yelling “slow down with the new stuff”, you gotta admit that things get much less interesting when there isn’t anything new happening, since the “core” parts of the game are pretty ancient and there honestly isn’t that much left to discuss. Yeah we hit the titan and watch MV and collect things and level things up and press autoplay and log off. Sometimes there’s an event sometimes there isn’t. Same old same old. I think Kalevala was pretty cool. Liked that. But at its core it’s still just another seasonal event so there’s a limit to how fresh something like that can feel.

Looking forward to the next update, since it looks like a ton of new stuff will come our way with that one.

3 Likes

Was thinking the same thing after this level popped up the other day.

And, people think forum comments don’t influence the game. :wink:

6 Likes

Pretty much always the “Latest”. Otherwise, I’m looking for something highly specific like what stage for an avatar quest.

I think my interests have been fairly static. I look at the forum to see what is happening/current discussion topics.

I looked through my activity this year, maybe 140’ish posts. Alliance recruiting (my thread), soul exchange/tc20, number of players, and some different perspective posts.

I tend not to read the “I just got this hero, this hero needs a buff” or the “I don’t have this hero, this hero needs a nerf” threads.

If I had to give one answer it would be “no”. There are some that should be merged and some that should not be merged (imo). I think merging generally lessens the value or impact of a thread that is important to someone.

Thanks for the thread :), my 141’ish post this year.

3 Likes

I look to see if there’s a little number in the corner of my avatar! :laughing:

Typically will look at General, Ideas, Alliance Recruitment and Community boards. Most of my contribution is in the recruitment thread for our alliance, as it’s why I joined the forum in the first place. In reality it might as well just be my own musings thread. I do manage the odd recruit though! :grin:

My interest in war also shows as it’s where a fair bit of my posts are. But it’s also illustrative of why I’m less active in posting now than I was: repetition of information. There are only so many times one can repeat the same (usually unchanging) information, especially if the information is only a couple of posts above. Actual discussion is also few and far apart, but great when it actually occurs.

This is also what makes merging a bit of an oddity. I don’t recall merging happening in past forum experiences elsewhere, and generally there’s a ‘no necro’ rule for old threads back then. Merging makes sense if the information remains unchanged, but if it has? I think it makes sense to allow it to stand on its own as the information has changed, because it’s unrealistic for someone to go through hundreds of old posts in a topic to find the relevant information (even though I did read all posts in the war topics to see where we were before contributing). Of course, such things are context sensitive… :laughing:

If there’s room for a silly joke or something I’ll try and contribute to it. Those are mostly in the Community board’s various ‘Ridiculous’ threads like ideas and complaints, but coming up with something different or new is difficult.

The Ideas board was interesting, but has been flooded with even more buff threads after the last announcement. Genuine idea threads can be interesting, and when in the mood I’d critique the proposal to find clarity. Some are unrealistic (possibly even my own idea proposal), though I read and don’t comment.

As a general rule of thumb, depending on the sort of thread, if a point I want to make has already been made then I won’t post unless I can add to it. Just repeating the same thing seems a bit pointless to me.

4 Likes

I admire your efforts in compiling, analysing and presenting your results… Makes for very interesting reading. Thanks @Ruskin505.

Now to answer your questions…

Always read through notifications first and then jump to community content threads, depending on time I may then scroll through the cake day notifications, then latest entries in alliance recruitment - my friends and I are touring the E&P globe :innocent:. Then I’ll scroll through the latest thread titles, and join in on threads I find interesting.

Like you…it has waned. I used to read through the unread threads, but not so much anymore. I’m no longer a regular, so I can’t recategorize threads - which I only did to help the mods. But I’m ok with member… Last year I think I would have been more concerned.

Most engagement - definitely the community content threads
Least engagement - general discussion venting threads, there are many from players who only seem to come to the forum to vent… The mute thread / user is handy for such instances.

Absolutely! At times the thread title is unrelated to the OP :disappointed_relieved:, but searching the forum before creating a thread on the same topic like reactionary posts to hero card tweaks… I still remember the mayhem over the initial release of the GTV trio… :exploding_head:. If you missed it…

Merging such threads was needed.

5 Likes

Omg, the ultimate pet peeve of mine. :sob: Or the uber cryptic thread titles (except the private message one which wasn’t supposed to be a thread, it was the best :joy:).

Title: Strawberries in the wind

OP: Xnolphod is completely broken! He needs a nerf, but the boards are clearly rigged because I haven’t summoned any 5* for 2 days!

Huuuh?! Seriously guys. What are we even doing here?

5 Likes

Well despite my “complaint” about the quality of posts here, I just went to Reddit to look at the latests posts and it was a great reminder why I don’t bother there.

5 Likes

I checked out of morbid curiosity after reading this, and I expected worse tbh. I only read titles though, so I can’t judge the posts’ quality.

Mostly request for advice on ascension, emblems and LB.

These titles caught my attention however.

What is a commander notification and how did I miss a bug that’s gone on for way too long?

What is a George? Is it Reddit vernacular for hero?

I love the artful simplicity. No specifics, no question, just “Wukong.”

4 Likes