Standard Hero Builds Project 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 However, the criticisms on the project being outdated or poor continued non-stop.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 reach 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

Not everything I had written there was interpreted as I thought or even read. When I tried to wipe the guides (to indicate, to users who do not read my twitter or forums, that this project was no longer in their best interest). However, an unfortunate bug still displayed my guides even though they were set to private (or public or whatever had occurred). This has been corrected thanks to Valve.

To wipe the guides, I set them to private and wipe all their information so users who were still using them, would move on. Sadly, I did not know that if you set a guide to private, wipe them, then publish that wipe: it would set all the guides back to public viewing.

After a misleading accusation that I was being a spiteful attention-seeker, Valve thankfully noticed the bug and fixed it on March 5, 2019. Should the guides ever end, I can now simply just set them to private.

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. Additionally, you can gauge how many games a day or how many players use your guides, but their geo-location is not listed which is important for 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 topic of negativity. Though it is always occurring, I naively believed that talking about it in my departure, along with all the other reasons, would give a larger picture of my decision. 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. I learned that 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 then no longer control/influence you, they will try to control how others see you with misinformation. The only course of [in]action is JADE: Don’t Justify, Don’t Argue, Don’t Defend, Don’t Engage. I should have learned this lesson earlier on when I made comments about nay-sayers in the past. I haven’t been doing this all the time but I am making active efforts.

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 end to ensure he would be able to take the most advantage of it (whether he did or not was his choice).

Years ago (2013-2017), there wasn’t much competition because of the previous system’s bugs and flaws. This lead to an over-reliance on my guides over the years. With the new system released (2017), new creators have flourished in popularity. I have always been vocal for there to be more competition, going so far as to cooperate with Valve to implement this idea.

Most guide-creators don’t care whose guides you use so long as you are seeking help and enjoying Dota. Both myself and my friends actively refer to and use other guides. My closest buddies have even switched from using my guides to ImmortalFaith’s and pay for his coaching (I’ve also received great advice from ImmortalFaith when we played AutoChess together). One day, I would like to collaborate with him on an idea 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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