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To Craigr910, mrfool, DStBone, Thrower, TimidT (AKA Ziggy), and whoever else it may concern- We, and several others, would like to propose a refresh of the DOTA 2 Guild and the correlated Steam Group. There is one reason for this: lack of commitment. “Represent [AJSA]” is point 4 on the AJSA Code of Conduct that all forum members agreed to. Part of that rule stated that members should have an AJSA tag in their name in games that the AJSA is active in. This is a fairly common sense rule, and at least for DOTA 2 players, it is very easy to implement; there isn't much of a reason not to follow it. However, this rule is blatantly disregarded by a startlingly large amount of Guild and Group members. In the in-game Guild, there are 443 members at the time of this writing. However, only 69 members have the '=AJSA=' tag, 7 members have the '[AJSA]' tag, and 5 members have the 'AJSA.' tag. That is 362 members (18 pages in the in-game member viewer) that do not have any kind of AJSA tag. In addition, the DOTA 2 Steam Group has 664 members in it. Only 59 members out of that group have AJSA in their name. That leaves 605 Steam Group Members without any AJSA tag. We see little reason for this discrepancy between AJSA tag holders and AJSA members. If people are playing other games and do not want to wear the tags there, that is fine, but it is simple to change your Steam name when playing DOTA 2; the DOTA 2 client even lets you change it in-game. However, we know not everyone is doing this, because from the Steam Group (where only 59 members have a tag) we have seen 100+ members in DOTA 2. This exemplifies a lack of commitment perfectly: if you forget, are too lazy, or simply don't care enough to add all of 6 characters to your name, you are likely not committed to the AJSA and are not representing it in-game. “Stay Active & Participate” is point 5 on the AJSA Code of Conduct. This rule is extremely self-explanatory. However, we have witnessed multiple times where an announcement about an inhouse game will be made to the Steam Group, and too few people will show up. Many of the people that do show up will not have forum accounts and will not have ever connected to TeamSpeak before. Tournaments come and go with comparatively few people participating. It is usually the same small group of people that are active on the forums. We understand that this is very subjective to criticize people on. However, given the fact that this kind of thing keeps recurring, we think it is something to take into account. We believe many active members would not disagree with us stating that the community generally feels stale, uninspired, and dull. In other words, for such a large community, nothing ever seems to be happening. In addition, not only are people not participating, but several dozen members of the Steam Group have not been online in the past 60 days, the limit of absence stated on the Code of Conduct. Several users have not been online in more than 100 days. Our proposed solution is as follows. In order to remedy the problem, we need to increase commitment of AJSA members to the in-game Guild and related Steam Group. What we suggest is to post announcements to the online forums, Group, and Guild instructing members to post into a forum thread with their Steam name they can be contacted at. To eliminate the problem of people changing steam names, members could be asked to include their Steam ID (the unique, unchangeable identifying number in the format of STEAM_X:X:XXXXXXXX) or their Vanity URL (the unique, changeable identifying web address your Steam Profile can be reached at, in the format of steamcommunity.com/id/XXXXXX, which can be changed in your Edit Profile page on your Steam Account). After a certain period of time, perhaps 30 days, a new AJSA DOTA 2 Guild would be created, along with a correlating Steam Group, and all users who posted their Steam name to the forum thread would then be invited to those two new organizations. After all the users were added, the old Guild and Group could be deleted. This functions as a form of spring-cleaning; users that don't bother reading the notifications they receive from the Steam Group, checking up on the online forums, or keeping tabs on the Guild would essentially be removed. Those members who might not have added their name to the thread before the old Guild/Group deletion could always go onto the forums and request to be added. This provides a fairly painless, thought-out, and respectful way to insure that those who are in the Guild and Group are committed to the AJSA. After that step, the next action would need to be ongoing: keeping people engaged. There are a myriad of ways to do this. Something that was briefly experimented with was the idea of having weekly inhouses. We believe a lot of players would enjoy taking a break from the toxic community of DOTA 2 pubs to play against other AJSA members. During the International 4, there was almost an informal viewing party on the TeamSpeak as members would join to collectively watch the games. If those were more publicized, they would be a great way for members to interact with each others. Natural Delema has volunteered to help run an AJSA DOTA 2 YouTube Channel, which could post highlights of AJSA players or inhouse games, stream tournaments in addition to Twitch, or release comedy pieces (if you don't know what we are talking about, check out here, here, and here). Tutorials could be posted there, and the videos could be promoted through the forums, Guild, and Group. Additional officers could be initiated, perhaps from US time zones, to help more regularly organize events. The idea is simply to keep people engaged, which will keep them committed. The system will begin to sustain itself, as over time people will step up to be leaders as other leaders move on. Together, we believe we can make the DOTA 2 experience at AJSA more enjoyable for all of us. Thanks for your time. If you have any thoughts, questions, or support our idea, let us know below. -- The Shnook, Natural Delema, The Winter Soldier, Sundaecat, The Dude, facd, digitalblade, Cthulhu Approves, and marve The Shnook’s Comment: “I’ve been with a lot of different communities and clans, but the AJSA certainly has the friendliest member-base of any group I have seen. I want the best for all of you, and I'm willing to do whatever I can to help.” Natural Delema’s Comment: “I have been with this community for a long time, and I really enjoy playing with all you guys. I really want our community to be the example that other communities look up to. I want to be going full steam ahead, 100 percent, the best we can be. I think our Dota community can be a really big draw for the AJSA, and we just need to take it to the next level. Thanks guys!” The Winter Soldier’s Comment: “I am loving these ideas and I really think this is a great asset towards a better and brighter AJSA to really thrive and bring out the best in the guild.” Sundaecat’s Comment: “There is much that could be improved with the current guild and I feel that this letter states some of the right steps that we could take to have a more active and communicating group that represents the AJSA.” The Dude’s Comment: "The AJSA Dota community really seems to be getting boring to me, especially in the recent months. I was here when the guild literally started and when it did it was a blast, with events going on every week, members looking to play with other members, and constant chatter in the teamspeak and guild chat. After a few months of the guild, it seemed like there were no events and really no communication within the community. Now there is almost complete silence in the guild chat, and there are rarely any guild parties. I think we can do better. Let's all bring this back guys! :D" digitalblade’s Comment: "I was only a grunt in the military a long time ago. I see that the AJSA Dota 2 Steam Group has 5 officers, 0 sergeants, and about 663 members (including the inactive ones), but that is not how a chain of command works guys. Other AJSA communities have plenty of sergeants below officers to do activities and such in-game, so the officers can focus on larger tasks and community improvements. The PlanetSide 2 community is run this way, and they have a fairly active group of more than a thousand players who regularly show up for events. We have a much smaller amount of members, but we only get 100+ people in-game, and even then we only get 5 to 10 people on TeamSpeak. I personally don't care who is officer or who is in command. This isn’t the military, but I think everyone likes some level of order. A little bit of order makes way for a lot of fun, and people will join events and participate in the community if it is fun."
Dear Gamers, (TL;DR? Skip to the last paragraph) I was just hanging out in a chatroom in Chatango and one person who somewhat assumed I was a (offensive word removed) was “advertising” his blog about ragers, trashtalkers, and for some reason, game developers too.Here is the link that he was "advertising" http://thatdudewhoplaysgames.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/an-open-letter-to-ragers-and-trashtalkers-as-well-as-game-developers/ I can forgive that person for assuming I was a (offensive word removed) because of my usual antics and what not in the chatroom, as well as that person was just new to the group. But I would like to get back on-topic about the blog he or she made. As I was reading his/her post, he or she was very polite. Instead of adding swears, insults, and slurs, he or she just explained politely what he or she hears and sees through the chatbox and voice chat. Which begs the question: What are games? Are they meant to be fun? Are they meant to be taken seriously, regardless of how little is at stake? I’ve been playing games competitively and casually for a fairly long time. I have also wondered if I really want to become a professional gamer as well. Well, I’ll be honest, I still want to be a professional gamer to this day, but I know that no matter how much I keep playing to improve my skills, I will never be fit or skilled to become one. Then, I asked myself if I play it for fun or not. I just realized that what brought me to that path was because I had fun, and what is fun is normally what people want to keep doing. Which is why I pursued to become a professional gamer, but then failed. I just play games for the experience that each game offers, if and/or because I find them fun. But really, my biggest concern are those toxic players. For those who really want to make their respective game communities peaceful, you guys should do your part in making the game’s experience more enjoyable or more endurable. Don’t whip them newbies with things like “F*ck you man, uninstall the game” or something similar. Help them to get things right. However, if you have been doing your part to make the game more enjoyable or more endurable, but you see or feel as there is no improvement, don’t stop. Your community needs the likes of you, even if they think they don’t. They will regret not having you around, whether they know it or not. For those who choose to rage, blame, spew out insults, slurs, and offensive language/s, please… if you have nothing better to say, then keep your hands/fingers off the voice chat or the chatbox. You are just filling up a screen that makes it harder to see what is really going on. Just because your team and/or your opponents have been doing things that frustrate you, using the chatbox is just something that makes the overall experience of the game more stressful. If using insults, slurs, and offensive language is your technique to winning… it just proves that you can’t play the game. If you choose to blame your teammates for your/their incompetence, or fail to accept that the other team just outplayed you and your team to getting the win, then please stop queuing up alone. And for those who do end up losing their patience, I can’t blame you for giving a f*ck. But please, if you do so, you’ll just end up inspiring him to do more. HOWEVER, if that person refuses to stop, regardless of how much you ignore him, then that is beyond your control already. Which would then lead me to my other concern. Game Devs… Just get this one thing right. If you guys are going to make an online multiplayer game, let alone having PVP multiplayer feature in it, please make a chatblock feature. If you guys have implied that, be sure that it is as easy as 1, 2, 3, and not having to leave the lobby or room just to do that. Maybe a simple “rightclick + ignore” would be easier. And it would be much appreciated if it blocks voice chat and chat through the chatbox effective immediately after activating them. Why do so? This may introduce a cold-shoulder effect or something, but it is a good idea to further lessen the victim’s intake of the toxicity of players who rage, blame, talk trash, use offensive language, and so on. Plus, sometimes it is not the game that drives the players to stop playing your game… it is the players in it, or more specifically the ones who just make the game’s experience worse. Come on guys, you are still gamers. Guess what? Other game developers have applied and simplified it. I mean, look at League of Legends which allegedly has the most toxic gaming community. Riot has added a chatblock feature just by pressing no more than 2 buttons. To make things short: 1.) Gamers, please make the game more enjoyable or more endurable. 2.) Ragers, blamers, trashtalkers, basically toxic players, please don’t make the game’s experience a headache. You are making us looks bad. 3.) Game devs, please add and/or simplify the chatblock feature in your online multiplayer games. There are lots of people out there that would rather piss off others for their incompetence or for the sake of one’s own pleasure at another’s expense. 4.) This letter is barely scratching the surface. There are other issues other than this. Yours truly, a reformed toxic player named Deso (This is copied and pasted from my Tumblr http://desokun.tumblr.com/post/77778956386/an-open-letter-to-gamers just incase someone is going to ask)