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‘Dawngate’ community: Breath of fresh air or toxic slum?

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“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” It’s not possible that Charles Darwin was referring to MOBAs or gaming at all, but it certainly applies. Those MOBA players who have been playing longer than a week think they are experts, infallible in all actions, and everyone else is a sad sack of noobs costing them the game. Unless they’re winning, in which case they’re carrying all the sad sacks of noobs.

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Multiplayer online battle arenas are highly competitive and, as Plootoe, the assistant community manager for “Dawngate” said, “competition brings out the best and worst in people.”

Though “Dawngate” is new, the beta only having been launched in May 2013 and the game advertised at E3 2014, that competitive nature has obviously made its way into the game. Knowing how toxic MOBA communities can be, but having heard the community was much more tolerant, one gamer ventured into the world of MOBAs for the first time.

Two minutes into the very first match, while being talked through the job duties by a friendly player, a call for help was missed. This caused a spiral of negativity that overwhelmed the round.

Upon being told: “Amarynth has never played before.”

Sensualism responded: “I’m sure she’s a nice person.

This is a team game not bfgf time.

You’re ruining the match for three other people.

You’re intentionally throwing the game.”

The teacher player got fed up with the behavior and, though not doing anything to intentionally throw the game, stated in chat he hadn’t been, but was now.

Sensualism responded: “Good, that’s all I needed to hear.”

In the shared channel he said: “Everyone report him for intentionally throwing. He even said he’s doing it in team chat.”

The match concluded in the lobby with another player, gpapaRS telling the new-to-MOBA player to “go play wow. is easier”

There was a bright spot though, when enemy team member Drahurok stepped in and said, “Sorry about your teammates” and proceeded to encourage the new player and teacher to let it roll off their backs and keep learning.

Following this experience, the “Dawngate” forum-goers were asked what they felt about the community. The responses were largely positive in comparison to other games, but with a bleak future outlook, or even accusatory that new people have no business playing a game they don’t learn everything about beforehand. These were some of the “Dawngate” community responses:

Hawxxeye: “I believe this game originally attracted many of the guys who got sick of the negativity of other MOBAs so this is the reason that it seems to have a better community. However as days pass I feel that I encounter more and more of the players who get really upset for being on the worst of the two teams, …do not accept anything other than victory.”

HxPrototype: “I’ve been a competitive MOBA player for a long time and the thing that attracted me to this game is the fact that it’s new and still untainted by egotism. …as long as people like myself strive to make this a friendlier place then we will eventually achieve [a great community].”

xSallex: “Most of [the] people are friendly and helpful. I think that ‘Dawngate’ has the best community from all MOBA games.”

KillKingConCarne: “When I first came to ‘Dawngate’, yes, the community was the most pleasant I have been fortunate enough to enjoy in a long time. But, there are bandwagon hoppers, and they take their toxic-community attitude with them. …If you had started before February, or even March, I guarantee your experience would’ve been much better.”

HeroicTechnology: “People play to win, there are custom games, there are websites with all the information you need, why jump into a game without knowing… or being willing to experiment solo before you jump in with friends?”

Other forum threads see similar responses to players who have never played a MOBA but wanted to try something with a new community:

Flopjack: “Why would you enter the beta of a game type you don’t understand?”

xSallex: “Flopjack +1”

But it's not all bleak. When previously asked ‘Will a MOBA ever have a positive community?’ someone stated: “In my first game we had a troll on each team, and the teammates did their best to neutralize them (by defending trolled teammates). This is the kind of attitude I think contributes to a good community. Shun the trolls. Do not merely ignore them.”

Whatever your current experience with “Dawngate”, hold Zwill and the other community managers and developers to their promise, “We will always treat you with respect and compassion. We will never speak with condescension in our voices, we will never knowingly tell you any untruth and we will always keep the lines of communication open.” It’s the only way “Dawngate” is going to avoid becoming the toxic mire other MOBAs have become famous for creating.

Now that you know what the forum-goers have to say, what's your opinion? How has your experience with "Dawngate" been? How has it stacked up against other MOBAs if you've ever played any?

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