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Quality Of Mocs In Bbc Going Down?


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#1 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 08:54 PM

Okay, so we had the downtime. No members joined for six months. Meanwhile, older members left BZP for good. After the forums came back, many younger members joined. Now that Bionicle has left us setwise, all that the younger members have are Hero Factory parts, without much Bionicle and a combiner/revamp focus. Now, the HF building system is extremely flexible. However, a solid appearance with good aesthetics and proportional limb width are challenging to achieve on a custom build unless mixed with Bionicle. Therefore, the younger members have more MOCing challenges than those of the same age did pre-downtime. Also, the older MOCists have moved up in their life in those six months, leading to an MOCing time shortage among TFOLs, who were the primary MOCists back then, as BZP is where we go and the AFOLs tend to stick to complex System models or not MOC at all. When I refer to age, I am not stereotyping, I am simply observing the MOCs of those in certain age groups. So what do you think? Has the downtime widened the age gap and visibly impacted our creative endeavors?
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#2 Offline Ballom

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 09:16 PM

Admittedly, activity in the creative forums is a lot less than before downtime, but the amount that remains seems about proportional to the overall site activity, as far as I've noticed. And quality itself seems a bit subjective a term for discussing the creative outlets, although it seems you're associating it with age. Anyway, as BZP and its members age, there are certainly going to be people who have increasing demands from school (college, graduate school), work, or other real-life concerns that slowly creep in as people grow out of their teens. Naturally, these reduce the time available, so an older member who might have otherwise drawn or MOCed for a couple of hours may only have a few minutes to log on and post. Seems inevitable enough, but bear in mind how new members still join, so the overall demographics remain comparitively stable....Looking back this is a rather incoherent and rambling post, but ah well.~B~
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#3 Offline Paleo

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 11:37 PM

First, the idea of a "quality" MOC is subject to opinion.However, based on my experiences in the forum, it seems to have been flooded with a large number of MOCs that seem to be slapped together quickly and posted as soon as possible, which crowds outs other MOCs.Also, while age could be a factor, experience would be a better term. There was a long period where my MOCs didn't improve much, but once I began tinkering more frequently, I improved.
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#4 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 12:41 AM

In my observation the vast majority of BBC topics have always been what you would probably consider poorer quality, and it was rare that one of the top MOCers would show something mind-blowing, but since everybody was more active, "rare" was actually pretty common. Since activity has gone down, "rare" has become rarer, but so has "common."So quality probably hasn't gone down at all. :) (And like others are saying, there's some subjectivity to quality anyways. That said, I think the vast majority of people viewing a Cajun or DV MOC for example would say they are high quality.) And I've seen a few like that since the downtime.
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#5 Offline DeeVee

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 01:35 AM

I know several of us who are of a "higher-tier" simply don't have time or like, in my case, I don't have any parts with me in Oregon yet. I'm working on it, and I'll have new stuff to display at BricksCascade as well as Brickfair. I know similar stories abound for those of us who are older and more experienced.That said, nothing wrong with simple or "for fun" MOCs like so many of them in the BBC currently are. You don't get anywhere without trying and doing things over and over. My first MOCs on BZP were nothing more than basic toamods.
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#6 Offline Taipu1

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 10:50 AM

I would attribute the drop in standards to Hero Factory, and while it may seem prejudiced, it's just such a simple medium to use, and at the same time leaves the MOCs looking empty. The parts can be put to great use, like that elephant MOC DV did. That was a quality combination of old and new parts. I think the problem is that some people choose not to mix HF and BIONICLE parts, and this means HF mocs are either very generic, or just a bit rubbish unfortunately. There are still a lot of great MOCs in BBC though, I think the decline in posting means there is less constructive critiscism, and less improvement, so often the best MOCs are those done by people who are regularly active, but are also already very good.I'd like to be in BBC right now posting my own MOCs, but my camera card only plugs into our printer, which only with works with our 10 year old computer, which sucks. :P
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#7 Offline Makaru

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 12:33 PM

I would argue, saying that the "WOW" MOCs are less frequent, but that the beginner level of MOCing has also substantially improved over the years with the better parts available in sets nowadays. The Average, as thus, is mostly unchanged.I remember having to work purely with Roborider, throwbot and Bionicle G1 pieces. You guys today get Hero Factory and CHEESESLOPES APLENTY. You don't know what it was like, man.

Edited by Philophobia, Mar 09 2012 - 12:34 PM.

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#8 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 09:41 PM

What I'm trying to say is that the vast majority is inexperienced and the experienced have little time, because the downtime stopped members from joining and becoming an in-between.
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#9 Offline christo1096

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Posted Mar 10 2012 - 06:07 AM

I think there are some potential MOCers in this forum, as MOCer, we still learn and learn and need more experience.
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#10 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 11:40 AM

I would attribute the drop in standards to Hero Factory, and while it may seem prejudiced, it's just such a simple medium to use, and at the same time leaves the MOCs looking empty. The parts can be put to great use, like that elephant MOC DV did. That was a quality combination of old and new parts. I think the problem is that some people choose not to mix HF and BIONICLE parts, and this means HF mocs are either very generic, or just a bit rubbish unfortunately.There are still a lot of great MOCs in BBC though, I think the decline in posting means there is less constructive critiscism, and less improvement, so often the best MOCs are those done by people who are regularly active, but are also already very good.I'd like to be in BBC right now posting my own MOCs, but my camera card only plugs into our printer, which only with works with our 10 year old computer, which sucks. :P

I fail to see how a generic Hero Factory MOC is any worse than a generic Toamod. Also something people seem to ignore is that since the Hero Factory building system is simpler and more versatile in many ways than BIONICLE's more Technic-based building system, this makes both good and bad MOCs easier to create.Truth be told, I think one contributor to the possible decline in average MOC quality in the BBC subforum is that during the downtime, many MOCists learned to look for constructive criticisms in other communities like general LEGO forums or Flickr. At the same time, other BIONICLE fans capable of offering that criticism also moved to other communities, so a more informed BIONICLE community began to emerge on non-BIONICLE fansites. Thus, BZPower is no longer as exclusive a source of BIONICLE MOCs and MOC feedback as it used to be.Some people criticize BZPower for spreading its coverage to non-constraction themes but fail to recognize that this is in part a response to other LEGO fan communities becoming more open to the constraction themes in a lot of ways, and thus those no longer being as separate a focus from System and Technic as they once were.I'm not an expert on whether the actual quality in the BBC forum has gone down, because I never spent too much time there in the first place, and left BZPower well before the Great Downtime. But I'm speaking from my own personal experience. It's a lot easier for me to post my Hero Factory MOCs on Flickr and other LEGO forums than to post them here on BZPower and watch them struggle to stay alive. Perhaps I should post some of them here to do my part in rejuvenating this place.

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#11 Offline DeeVee

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 01:51 PM

many MOCists learned to look for constructive criticisms in other communities like general LEGO forums or Flickr

To be honest, I've never found a community that embraces actual criticism like the BBC does. Flickr is mostly a bunch of "wow, that's great" comments, and when you do try and offer real criticism, a bunch of AFOLs will immediately jump in with "ignore that person, they're just a #####" or "wow, who gave you the right to tell someone what to do?" The AFOL community of MOCists, while severely talented, is very self-entitled. For actual criticism, the BBC is better.

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#12 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 04:14 PM

many MOCists learned to look for constructive criticisms in other communities like general LEGO forums or Flickr

To be honest, I've never found a community that embraces actual criticism like the BBC does. Flickr is mostly a bunch of "wow, that's great" comments, and when you do try and offer real criticism, a bunch of AFOLs will immediately jump in with "ignore that person, they're just a #####" or "wow, who gave you the right to tell someone what to do?" The AFOL community of MOCists, while severely talented, is very self-entitled. For actual criticism, the BBC is better.

Perhaps with "sculptural" MOCs like many of your own you don't face a lot of real criticism on other sites. But for the average MOCist creating Heromods or other MOCs that don't involve a completely custom body structure, there are plenty of people qualified enough to offer real criticism on Flickr or elsewhere, and they don't hesitate to tell you what they think should be changed. At least from my personal experience. I know I obviously don't represent the sort of talent the original poster was looking for (I've never made any BIONICLE or Hero Factory MOCs of award-winning quality whatsoever), but I'm just sharing what I've witnessed, that being that a lot of BIONICLE builders including myself have taken to posting MOCs on sites other than BZPower and some of them chose not to come back here after the downtime.

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#13 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 05:40 PM

I've noticed a lot more Hero Factory MOCs in the BBC, but the quality remains solid for what they're trying to construct. There's less activity all across the board, but I don't think quality has suffered in the process.-Ced
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#14 Offline Makaru

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 01:42 PM

Flickr is mostly a bunch of "wow, that's great" comments, and when you do try and offer real criticism, a bunch of AFOLs will immediately jump in with "ignore that person, they're just a #####" or "wow, who gave you the right to tell someone what to do?"

I have several choice words for how things get handled on Flickr.Most of them I'm not allowed to post here.So I'll post the one that I can."Stagnant"

Edited by Humanity, Mar 12 2012 - 01:42 PM.

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#15 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 06:03 PM

Flickr is mostly a bunch of "wow, that's great" comments, and when you do try and offer real criticism, a bunch of AFOLs will immediately jump in with "ignore that person, they're just a #####" or "wow, who gave you the right to tell someone what to do?"

I have several choice words for how things get handled on Flickr.Most of them I'm not allowed to post here.So I'll post the one that I can."Stagnant"

You are failing to recognize that the only reason I mentioned Flickr by name is that it's the only site other than BZPower that I get and observe MOC feedback on and yet can mention on BZPower. No mentioning sites with forums, after all. Whether or not you like Flickr, it's just one of many places other than BZPower where I see brilliant BIONICLE and Hero Factory MOCists posting their work all the time. If I could mention art-site-with-commenting-system, or international-AFOL-discussion-forum here, then I would. But I can't.The point of mentioning these sites isn't that I think they're a better place to get feedback than BZPower. But they're places that some people have for whatever reason chosen. Who knows? Maybe some of these brilliant MOCists are conceited enough that they don't think they need constructive criticism, and thus prefer blind praise. Maybe they only remember BZPower's stigma as a BIONICLE site and want feedback from a wider variety of LEGO fans than they could have encountered in the old days of BZPower. Maybe these MOCists left BZPower for reasons entirely unrelated to MOC feedback, and simply don't consider the BBC subforums' quality of feedback a good enough reason to come back.My main point is that it isn't just that BIONICLE or Hero Factory MOCists either died off or stopped building. Some of them have taken to posting their MOCs elsewhere, and the downtime probably played a role in convincing them to make this transition to other outlets.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Mar 12 2012 - 06:04 PM.

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#16 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 06:18 PM

I think we're looking at it backwards, though, Aanchir. It isn't so much that people left BZP (that happens all the time due to turnover), but that since we've changed to a more in-general focus, we are just now building up our new member base. Most newer LEGO-in-general MOCers are where Bionicle based MOCers used to be, they just haven't yet gained experience, and many more have yet to hear of our new focus and come here, etc.So IMO our goal now should primarily to build up this new member base. Part of that could possible (maybe :P) involve a name-change as that part is probably the biggest confusion. We'll see, yeah? Basically it's too early to judge.The one thing I think we can all agree on is that BZP has the best rules and standards to encourage constructive criticism. The only problem is lack of activity, but if you want useful responses, this is the place to post. :) The more MOCers post stuff, the more there will be who are experienced and qualified to give better responses to others' stuff.Also, at this point I think we have to stop blaming the downtime. By now anybody who wanted to continue on BZP has checked on it and saw that it's back up. And anybody who hasn't almost certainly would have been lost due to normal turnover anyways.

Edited by bonesiii, Mar 12 2012 - 06:21 PM.

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#17 Offline Akuna Toa of Sonics

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Posted Mar 16 2012 - 09:39 PM

It seems to be comprised of simpler HF MOCs, in my opinion. But that's probably because the pieces are so versatile.
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#18 Offline Makaru

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Posted Mar 17 2012 - 02:59 AM

I would argue, saying that the "WOW" MOCs are less frequent, but that the beginner level of MOCing has also substantially improved over the years with the better parts available in sets nowadays. The Average, as thus, is mostly unchanged.I remember having to work purely with Roborider, throwbot and Bionicle G1 pieces. You guys today get Hero Factory and CHEESESLOPES APLENTY. You don't know what it was like, man.

I realize now that this statement is flawed. The uper echelon of builders is a smaller population than the entry-level mocers. A decrease of quality on the smaller population and and increase of quality on the lower skews the average quite a bit.TL;DRMOCing has gotten better since Bionicle ended.

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#19 Offline hey it's felix

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Posted Mar 19 2012 - 03:13 AM

I'm really not sure, actually. I for one find it less exciting to browse through the BBC forums, but I'm not sure if that's because I've improved over the downtime or if the quality of MOCs has gone down. One thing I do see a lot of is an abundance of LDD MOCs. I've never really been a fan of LDD, but I have seen a number of very simple MOCs (mostly HF based) that look cool just because of unavailable colours.There are still Rainbow Warriors, but I guess we can't avoid that :P I wouldn't argue that the quality of MOCs has gone down in the BBC, but perhaps that they're becoming more and more generic. This might be due to the simplicity of HF parts. I actually went through a phase of creativity blank all because of those cursed HF pieces... they are mighty fine when used appropriately, but the simple building system is addictive.Just my thoughts on the BBC :)-FtC
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#20 Offline Daiker

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Posted Mar 20 2012 - 06:22 PM

I'm going to be honest and say yes, it most certainly has. If I were to take a look at the front page of BBC, I would find that, what, 20% are nicely photographed, solidly built BIONICLE/HF MOCs. The other 80% seems to consist of snapped together HF limbs with a clever use of parts here and there, taken in the living room with a camera phone with the flash on.Okay, that's a bit drastic, but you get the point. If anything, it's become too easy for MOCers now. They can throw some skeleton pieces together and call it an MOC. There's nothing wrong with HF builds, it's just that they've dumbed down building so much its overused, and now poorly executed. The MOCers before the downtime most likely experienced plenty of astonishing BIONICLE MOCs by famous MOCers. They know the characteristics of a great MOC and use it as a guideline. They push themselves, and know it takes a lot of parts, and the clever use of them to make a good MOC.At least, that's what I think.
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#21 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 21 2012 - 05:35 PM

I'm going to be honest and say yes, it most certainly has. If I were to take a look at the front page of BBC, I would find that, what, 20% are nicely photographed, solidly built BIONICLE/HF MOCs. The other 80% seems to consist of snapped together HF limbs with a clever use of parts here and there, taken in the living room with a camera phone with the flash on.Okay, that's a bit drastic, but you get the point. If anything, it's become too easy for MOCers now. They can throw some skeleton pieces together and call it an MOC. There's nothing wrong with HF builds, it's just that they've dumbed down building so much its overused, and now poorly executed. The MOCers before the downtime most likely experienced plenty of astonishing BIONICLE MOCs by famous MOCers. They know the characteristics of a great MOC and use it as a guideline. They push themselves, and know it takes a lot of parts, and the clever use of them to make a good MOC.At least, that's what I think.

So in that case, the problem with Hero Factory isn't that the building system has dumbed anything down, but rather that a lot of talented MOCists aren't bothering to really explore the new building system much further than using the new pieces in BIONICLE-style MOCs, and so Hero Factory builders don't have that sense of inspiration.Of course, there are brilliant Hero Factory MOCs. Lots of them. And many of them simply aren't being posted here on BZPower, perhaps because when Hero Factory was new BZPower got a bad reputation for how its users reacted to the new theme. Again, there are lots of good MOCs, but a lot of them are just being posted elsewhere.Really I find it insulting that so many people equate "parts no longer tending toward super-specialized designs you have to struggle to incorporate tastefully in a MOC" with "building being dumbed down". The difficulty of MOCing has nothing to do with the attractiveness or uniqueness of the end product. Sure, some people put forth a lot of effort to use super-specialized parts like Belville figures, certain Ben 10 figure pats, and Galidor parts in brilliant MOCs, but that doesn't mean the difficulty of using those parts inherently promotes brilliance. The same applies for BIONICLE. Just because it was harder to build good-looking MOCs with BIONICLE parts doesn't mean more MOCs tended to be good-looking. In fact, it's entirely the opposite. More difficulty building good-looking MOCs led to fewer good-looking MOCs. You could probably find tons of terrible BIONICLE MOCs on Brickshelf without too much digging, especially MOCs that date from the early days of BIONICLE when parts were at their most specialized.It should also be considered that many of the more lackluster Hero Factory MOCs are made by just a few members who post loads and loads of MOCs, each in an individual topic. Skip past a lot of those and you'll find Hero Factory MOCs with a bit more complexity to them without any trouble at all. Perhaps one reason for this trend towards quantity-not-quality is that other members aren't putting forth an effort to give these beginner MOCists actual constructive criticism, so they have no way of realizing they should be putting more time and effort into their MOCs before posting them. With no constructive feedback from other MOCists or inspiration from more talented Hero Factory MOCists, is it any surprise that so many Hero Factory MOCs on BZPower exist in an "echo chamber" of bad ideas?Overall, though, some of us are definitely looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. A poorly-planned Heromod is no worse than a poorly-planned Toamod, and a spindly-legged, badly-proportioned Hero Factory MOC is no worse than a spindly-legged badly proportioned BIONICLE MOC. And both of those classes of bad BIONICLE MOCs existed from 2001-2010. Perhaps because BZPower is now a smaller site we find it harder to move past these MOCs and find the ones that exhibit real ingenuity. One thing's for sure-- simply blaming the Hero Factory building system for the decrease in quality doesn't do anything to improve the quality of these Hero Factory MOCs-- all it does is belittle those who are most comfortable with the building system, whether their creations be brilliant or amateur.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Mar 21 2012 - 05:46 PM.

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#22 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Mar 21 2012 - 08:44 PM

...Looking back this is a rather incoherent and rambling post, but ah well.~B~

:kaukau: Not at all, my friend. It made sense to me. Although your points to operate on assumptions. I for one am not one for Platonic philosophy.Anyway, I haven't checked out the MOCs, although I'm sure there are still good nes around, although if more Hero Factory parts are being used, I can see how some of the magic of old Bionicle style might have been lost. I always was a fan of Technic-inspired designs.Your Honor,Tyrannosaurus Kraggh

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#23 Offline Peach 00

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Posted Mar 21 2012 - 09:51 PM

I have not checked the latest MOCs out recently, however I doubt that all good quality of MOCs has officially died. I'd be interested in the idea of System, Technic, BIONICLE, and Hero Factory parts used in one MOC, it'd be a creative twist on creating MOCs, although it'd be difficult to incorporate a few pieces from each theme into one awesome MOC without having some difficulty. Then again, I'd consider having difficulty because I'm a terrible MOCist. :P
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#24 Offline Chols

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 12:48 AM

I've never frequented the BBC forum that much, so I really can't accurately compare the current quality to the past, but having just looked through the most recent topics, things don't seem much "poorer" than usual. There have always been mocs that don't display a lot of effort, so I don't really see anything out of the ordinary going on now.One thing that does seem to have changed is the introduction of Hero Factory, and it seems a lot of new mocs are based around the new line. That's normal of course, but it does seem a lot of HF mocs are very simple and are basically modifications of the standard set design. That's not necessarily a bad thing; I greatly enjoy experimenting with the new hero designs and trying to take advantage of all their new potential. That's probably the case right now: people are still experimenting with Hero Factory. For the first time since the introduction of Bionicle, the BZPower community been faced with a mostly-new building system, and mocists are trying to see what they can do with it. I only recently got some new Hero Factory sets, and I definitely want to play around with the parts and see how they can be used. The results of experimentation aren't always stellar, but they're an important part of progress. I'm sure the mocists using Hero Factory will begin to adjust to the new system and sooner or later we'll begin to see more impressive mocs published.
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#25 Offline Sir Guurahk The Third

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Posted Mar 29 2012 - 12:48 PM

I think they're just "running out of ideas"
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#26 Offline The Swimming Beard

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Posted Apr 09 2012 - 10:09 AM

It does seem that the quality of MOCs is going down after the downtime.
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