Standard Hero Builds Projected renewed until March 2020

Thanks to my sponsor, Rivalry.com, the standard hero builds project has been renewed for another six months. All 159 hero builds will remain maintained and updated for free up until the project’s 7th anniversary (end of Feb. 2020). Thank you to Rivalry for their continued support and the community for their continued interest in this project.

Below are some thoughts about the issues in the past. After this blog update, I will have nothing more to say on the subjects touched upon here:

About My Previous Departure

In December, I had written that I will be taking a hiatus from the project. Not too many people realized the hiatus. However, the criticisms on the project being outdated or poor continued non-stop. In February, I announced its end and the opposite happened: it garnered attention, a lot of attention. I had thought there would be a succinct understanding behind my decision which is:

  1. I had already hit the maximum level of success I could hit with this project
  2. The work had become more exhausting and dis-interesting for me versus the focus on my career
  3. Search for sponsorship was not panning out and did not make sense for me to offer to businesses
  4. Once you hit a success-ceiling, the only thing that grows is the negativity and criticisms

Sadly, user understanding was not what I expected. Future issues arose when I tried to wipe the guides but, due to a bug, guides were still visible for most users.

After the misleading accusation that I was being a spiteful attention-seeker, Valve thankfully noticed the bug and fixed it on March 5, 2019.

About Rivalry

When I announced my departure, Rivalry had contacted me about working together. In the past, I had tested some sponsorship deals with companies. The issue is that users who use the guides in-game, do not click on any URLs outside the game, so this is not of interest to most sponsors. I had forewarned Rivalry on the challenges and actual value of the guides but they remained adamant about continuing to support content-creators such as myself. Even when negative community sentiment continued to mount against me and I warned them that this sponsorship would not be as strong PR-wise, given the current recent mood, they pressed on. I respect them for their dedication to an agreement and I am grateful that they continue to support this project and myself.

Mentioning Negativity

In my departure, I mentioned briefly the constant negativity towards me and my passion project. Though it is always occurring, I naively believed that making a brief mention about it, along with all the other reasons, would give a larger picture of my decision to end the project. I did not realize that negativity (both the actions and mention of it) would overshadow all the other (and much larger) reasons for my decision.

Now I know, mentioning negativity has no real value. It paints a negative portrayal of you and it gives an indication to cynics that they can still influence you. When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you with misinformation. In recent years, I have been pressured to feel guilty for doing the project, for wanting to stop and for accepting a monetary value for the work. It is very likely that I’ll be made guilty for talking about these pressured feelings. The lesson here is JADE: Don’t Justify, Don’t Argue, Don’t Defend, Don’t Engage.

Guide Tribalism

There is a strange tribalism revolving around which hero builds are good and which ‘suck’. Among guide-creators, there is no such rivalry but a friendly communication line between us all. Around TI8 (2018), I told both Dota Alchemy and ImmortalFaith about my intent to end the project. Both parties were actively made aware of my decision as the months passed. I kept ImmortalFaith in touch throughout my hiatus and eventual end to ensure he would be able to take the most advantage of it (whether he did or not is his choice).

When I wrote this post, I had already made the unannounced decision to quit the project back in late 2017. I had intended to outline a genuine concern but it appeared as arrogance instead. Though all my social posts & blogs are usually written with the desire to inform, sometimes how it is interpreted is significantly contrasting to my own tone.

Though I don’t do it enough, I try to follow, comment and rate guide-creators who make guides (using Steam’s ‘follow’ feature for workshop artists). I try to promote them on my Twitter whenever possible and I hope more of the community continue to build people up and commend them for their dedication.

As a final point, most guide-creators don’t care whose guides you use so long as you are seeking help and enjoying Dota. Both myself and my colleagues actively refer to ImmortalFaith guides. One my closest friends has even switched from my guides to his and is an active student to ImmortalFaith’s coaching. ImmortalFaith has also given me great advice in AutoChess and would like to collaborate with him once I find the time.

Conclusion

I hope this blog brings both good news to those who enjoy the project but also helped clarify some of the occurrences in the previous months. As always, at the end of October, I will be doing a statistical analysis of the project’s impact in Dota 2.

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