The dashboard is awfully cluttered already. Listing every ladder in the format they're currently in isn't viable long-term as more and more ladders get added. Three is already stretching it imo, four seems like it would be too much.
There's probably a more compact way of presenting it. I considered getting rid of recent games, but I like that they show activity, so new players can see that games are actively being played. I considered getting rid of the top lists, but I like that it gives the "ego award" to the high ranking players. Perhaps there's a more compact way of presenting them without removing info, but I'm not coming up with any at the moment. Ideas?
You could move the "notable forum posts" to under the forum tab, doesn't technically remove any info and frees up some space. I'm thinking you could do something similar with the blog posts (updates), maybe make a new forum section (called "Blog posts" maybe) where only Fizzer would be able to posts. and then integrate the blog post into it. Would free up even more space.
also that being said, for us payers with big screens only about half of the screen is actually used- so we'd have plenty of space on the right side, though I understand that would create issues for people with smaller screens.
Assuming I understood it correctly, I really like Heyheuhei's idea. You can't keep adding ladders on the page indefinitely, so they have to be collapsed in some sort of format. But if you just show the 1 vs 1 ladder at the top and have players click on tabs to switch between the others, it'll make the 1 vs 1 ladder more prestigious than the others and decrease the value of making top 10 on any other ladder. The best solution then is to put it in tab format but switch between tabs every few seconds (5?) with a sliding animation.
I'm unsure if you've ever programmed something like this before, but I've definitely seen similar concepts on other sites so it must be possible. The one example that comes to mind is Kongregate's sliding "Featured Games" panel at the top of their website.
The only problem I foresee with this other than the programming, is the 2 vs 2 ladder recent games list taking up a good deal more space than the other ladders. A couple solutions I could see to that are letting players choose a team name to display (likely a lot of extra work, and you'd have to click to see their identities which would be unfortunate), or capping the display of player names at a certain size in order to ensure every name fits.
maybe i have a other option and that is to let every player choose in his own settings which ladders he wants to see on the dashboard.
For example: I don't like the template on a seasonal ladder so i don't want to see it on the dashboard either, I will just uncheck the option to see it in my settings and it won't annoy me when i open my dashboard.
With this everybody can watch what he/she prefers to see and you shouldn't waste to much space on the dashboard either.