* French Translation in Post 2.
* Spanish Translation in Post 3.
Hello everyone! We’re sure there's a lot of thoughts going on right now after seeing this site for the first time, and potentially a lot of unanswered questions. We’d like to use this thread to first explain why this site was created, and attempt to answer a large majority of questions. This thread will begin with a discussion on the motivation behind this project, followed by some of the changes we’d like to make. Finally, we’ll introduce some of the new stuff on this site.
This message will be mainly directed to those of you who have been around in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe community for the past year or so. To those of you who are completely new, however: first of all, welcome to the community! Make sure to check out the other welcome thread in this section; as well, we hope to see you join our Discord server—it’s one of the best ways for you to get involved. That being said, this thread will mostly focus on those who have been around before this site existed. This will be a long read, but I really do think it's important that everyone takes their time to look through, so we can all be on the same page. Threads like this will not be a common occurrence, so if you're only ever going to read one, highly consider it to be this one.
Mario Kart Central
This project has been in the works for quite a while. It started off as discussions between a few of us, and gradually more staff hopped on board. At first, we were planning to create this site for the next Mario Kart game in the series. But with the success of the Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, this community has seen outstanding growth in the last few months—more than we were ever expecting. While we were initially planning on waiting, the realization hit us that the time for change is now. The Mario Kart 8 community is at an all time high in league activity, and we want to bolster these numbers even further.
With a new site comes a huge opportunity for change. We’re planning on doing many things differently than has historically been the case. Let’s take a look at some of our goals, and the kinds of changes we’re trying to make.
- Focus on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It is no mistake that we only have content on our site for this one game. While we understand that many people play other games, we want to make the most out of the booming MK8 Deluxe community, and this means focusing on this one game and making as much time as we can for tournaments, leagues, and other events. Going forward, we plan to look in to future Mario Kart games, but for now, we want to create as best a community as we can for MK8DX.
- Focus on Discord as a communication medium. While there is value to forums, the fact is that in this day and age, our community mostly interacts on Discord. We want to leverage this by promoting Discord as a communications medium to those who don’t yet have it, running an official MKCentral Discord server, and interacting with new members on Discord to get them more involved. If you don’t already have Discord, we recommend you do everything you can to get it, and make sure to join our Discord server as well. Without it, you’ll have a very hard time participating in site events. Of course, forums are still here as an option, but we want to be progressive as far as communications go.
- Newcomer Friendliness. This is something that we feel is very important for community growth. There are a lot of things that we feel could help with this, including:
- More Solo Events. This isn’t just applicable to newcomers, but sometimes people aren’t in a team, either because they haven’t yet found one, or they don’t have the time or commitment to be in one. We’d like to try to run more solo tournaments and events to complement the team events that have historically composed the majority of competition.
- Focus on Simplicity. Our forums don’t contain all that many sections, and each category has a very clear purpose. We want people to be able to know exactly where to find what they’re looking for. In addition, we’ll be introducing a new method of registering for teams and events, which we hope is at least a bit more self-explanatory than it has been before.
- “MK Tournaments” over “Competitive MK”. We feel that we should be promoting MKCentral as a place to play “Mario Kart Tournaments” rather than being a place for “Competitive Mario Kart”. Simply put, we believe this change in advertising is more inviting to new players who are not as skilled, or perhaps want to play in a more casual manner.
- Saturday Events. A ton more of them. Adding extra incentive to play as well. In the past, we have been a bit limited because we shared a site with the MKW community and didn't want to get in their way. We always had Sunday to ourselves, but we know how popular MKU is and we don't want to mess with the success it has been having lately. Events like Amplify have already proven that there is unused potential for Saturdays. With the move to MKCentral, we want to use Saturdays to our advantage, and offer more new types of tournaments, and experiment with some new things. This will also hopefully give players that aren’t in a team plenty more incentive to log on frequently.
Before getting into the exciting stuff, there is another announcement and it's something we’d like to emphasize. With a new site, there comes new opportunities for everyone. This may come in different forms for different people, but whether or not you've ever thought about helping out more in the community as staff or even just wishing for an opportunity to behave better and clear your name from past mistakes, the time for these changes to be made is now.
A vast majority of formerly banned players will be given new opportunities to be productive here. But our expectations for everyone—whether they had a bad past or not—will be high to start, and we think that the community can handle this. Our goal is to be a fun community that people want to be a part of. We will be blunt on something, however: we need to be stricter on our bans than in the past. Not in the sense that we want to ban people, but because bans have historically not been much of a deterrent if you could appeal bad behavior. This should not be a problem for the vast majority of members. What needs to be said though is that we won't hesitate to punish those who are intentionally trying to sabotage our community, whether it be via harassment, hacking, or trolling community activities.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of saying, "the community is bad, so why should I care?" Part of the reason this is ever a problem is because multiple people take this approach. People openly say the community is bad, yet still return for more the next day. We believe that a reason why is because people still love the game and even have made great friends here to play the game with them. If a community was truly only negative, nobody would be here anymore. What this tells us is that there is indeed plenty of redeeming qualities in our community. We have a new start ahead of us now. I want to challenge everyone to make it a personal goal to make the most of this new start, whether this is trying to get more involved, or simply being a more positive community presence. Realistically, in any online gaming community it is impossible to flush out toxicity completely. But even becoming 10% better could turn an okay experience into a great one. Of course, getting involved can be difficult, and will become even more difficult because our expectations for staff work will be going up a little. Keep this in mind though: make the most of the opportunities you do get, and stay committed. People will notice great work being done, and excellence on staff is a huge part of our goal here in the first place.
This subject alone could warrant the community reset all together, because it is that much of an issue. Real talk here: this is important. Cheating in competitions or alting as different players is probably the best way to ruin the integrity of our matches in the community. True competition is what we play for, and we will emphasize here that from here on out, we will not be handing out second chances to anyone who cheats in a match or attempts to create an alternate persona to play. If you are caught, you will be permabanned without the chance to appeal. Giving players multiple chances feels like the human approach, and trust us, we don't want to be the bad guys who permanently ban someone. But there is one truth here, and it's that the willingness to let people off the hook for extremely undesirable actions is what leads to causing the actions in the first place. Without strict guidelines, the punishment is not really feared. Like mentioned above, we are giving a fresh start to mostly everyone here. But this will be your one and only chance. So we encourage you all to be productive members of the community. Though the punishments do sound scary, there is nothing at all to hide if you're doing nothing suspicious to begin with.
We would like to take everyday rules pretty loosely. You can find official site rules in the Site Info category. The golden rule once again is just "don't be a dick," and this is pretty self explanatory. If you are a chill person, everything will be fine. If you're doing stuff that is directly going to hurt our site or its members, then the site staff (all the groups, admins, mods, the league staff, event organizers, and more) will sit down and talk about it. If we deem that someone is hurting the site, especially intentionally, we will have to act on it. Remember that stuff like harassment of members will not be tolerated in anyway whatsoever, so please, be respectful to everyone, especially the new players and people you don't know well enough to joke around with yet. Note that we aren't saying you can't smack talk or anything—that would be ridiculous—but please use good judgment. Having good behavior is a life skill, and if we all do, the community can and will be a great place for everyone.
Now onto the website itself. With regards to the MKCentral forums, we want every section and every board to have a significant use, so we've cut down on quite a lot of the old sections you may have been used to seeing.
- Aligning with our belief that Discord should be the main medium of communication in our community, we are combining most general/game discussion topics into a single category, “Game Discussion”. This is a place to post basically anything about Mario Kart, other games, or off topic stuff you want to share.
- Player Hubs are a place to post personal content: stuff about you. Everyone will get one thread in this section, and this thread is your personal space to share your stuff. Instead of multiple sections where you might put many different types of info, we'd like it to go here. Want to share a friend list? Got some nice Time Trials? You got some cool GFX, streams, or videos? Even stuff like a favorite games list? All of that belongs here, so go wild with that here. These threads are for you and practically whatever you want to have.
- The Tournaments section has undergone quite a few changes, and we’ll have a group of Event Organizers running all the events. We don't want members to ever have to wonder if a tournament they signed up for will be cancelled or even happen, and we believe that our team of event organizers will aim to make every tournament you see on this site not only a guarantee, but a successful event. Of course, we don't want this to discourage people from coming up with tournament ideas, so we'll gladly take recommendations in our Discord server and consider everything. If we think you have an idea that will attract a solid amount of people, we'll work with you to set that plan into motion.
- The Teams section is being removed completely. This is probably something that people weren't seeing coming and may be questioning. We believe the teams section has become inefficient, and just a waste/spam filled section. We understand that team information is important, and that is why our registration system will double up and act as team threads to begin with—albeit kept to important and relevant info. We plan to eventually give team leaders a solid amount of customization on their team pages to fully show off the members and personality of the team, but at the same time use a system that will give everyone a nice looking template with auto updating results, easy registration, and a roster that is kept identical to your members list.
- We understand that posting war tables is still a decently popular activity on threads. But that is quite literally about all we see for these team threads outside of spam. More and more teams are starting to post results via Twitter or just in their public Discord servers, and we highly encourage this to become a growing trend to share what's going on with your teams result wise.
It's been a lot of reading so far, so we commend you if you’re still following. This section will focus on some more new changes we are promoting with MKCentral.
- We’re introducing a universal registration system. This system will allow players to quickly sign up for teams on our site. Teams can then easily sign up for events, and solo players can also sign up for solo events, whether they are in a team or not. One important thing to note is that players can only be in one team at a given time, even for different competitions. A big goal is to eliminate multiclanning. Although players will need to re-register for MKU, we feel this extra hurdle is worth the benefits our new system provides.
- Return of the Streams Tab. This was popular near the launch of the original MK8, and we’re bringing it back to show off community streamers.
- Future Developments. Over time, we’ll be working on some more site features, including:
- Event results linked to registry profiles. Players will have a profile page with their event participation history, showing which events they played in and their placings. The same will come for team pages.
- “What’s New” page. This page, as we envision it, would contain recent scores, tournament results, and upcoming matches. It would also be the place to see recent transfers and new players. News articles written up by staff may be a potential feature as well.
- Team Power Rankings. This feature, when it’s ready, will rank the top 25 (or so) teams based on event results. These rankings won't be an all defining list, but it is something that we want to use as motivation for a many teams to improve to try to make the list! Along with bragging rights, you may get a little add-on ranking to your team's page and be potentially featured on the “What’s New” page as well.
Our ultimate goal is to grow this community and make it a great place, and we believe that this can be achieved. But we do have to work together for what we do want, and we think the best change to make is simply how we treat those who are new to the scene. While a lot of new people may not understand how everything functions at first, we have to remember that it is not their fault, and often, just taking a minute to help explain something will go a long way. Maybe your team is full, and you don't feel that taking new members would be beneficial to your team. At the very least though, responding to these players and being polite about it can go a long way.
We want to make a great attempt to not repeat many of the same mistakes that have been made in the past. Like has been said many times now, we have an opportunity ahead of us, and while many of us were pessimistic about how things were ran in the past, perhaps we can change that now. So please give the staff feedback whenever possible, preferably in a kind manner. I'm sure we'll make some mistakes—but we are on your side, and perhaps we can turn our community not into a pretty good one, but one that people can be proud about being a part of.
Also, we once again want to encourage those who have an interest in helping to step up. To be blunt, we will choose who we think will be the best for each job, so we don’t want anyone to take it too personally if they don't get the roles. We want to look for excellence in our staff members. Finding excellence can be rare, but it is the driving force that allows us to put out competitions to begin with. If you are genuinely interested, please do apply for roles, and please take every opportunity you can to prove that you are the person for the job. We'll be on the lookout.
Winding down, a minor note, we’re trying to move on from overuse of the term 'competitive'. While this term does describe precisely what we are, we feel that it's not the best word for building our brand at MKCentral. Most outsiders don’t know anything about what we do or how we play, and many can't even envision “competitive Mario Kart” given the randomness involved in the game. Although not a huge deal, we believe we should be advertising this site as the "Home of Mario Kart Tournaments” instead, as it sounds like a more attractive option to people on the outside looking in. The word “competitive” can be intimidating to those who are on the fence on whether or not they'll try something out here, so it's something we’d like to emphasize, and for you to keep in mind.
Lastly, a shameless advertisement. We are offering the Supporter role for a one time $10 payment. We think it's important that we don't limit what our normal users can do, so being supporter will admittedly only offer a few things, such as more frequent name changes, more text and images in your signature, no ads, and of course the glorious green user color that even I'm jealous to not have right now. Although we are providing these as bonuses, we want people to see the supporter option as a way to help out the site. Obviously, this project cost us a decent amount of money to get off the ground, so if you like or appreciate what we're doing and want to help us out, a donation for supporter status would be highly appreciated. You can find more information at the Support MKC tab at the top of this page if you're interested.
This was definitely a long read, but we sincerely appreciate those of you who took the time to read it all. We’re genuinely looking forward to creating new memories with all of you, and we think our potential is great and that we have plenty of new opportunities. We look forward to the events to come!
All the Best,
- The Mario Kart Central Staff