I've written a couple of these before, and I'm sure everyone else has written some of these before too. Since this is going to be one of those types of blogs, feel free to skip it as "more of the same" if you wish, this is just mainly for those who actually know what I'm speaking of or have experienced similar things.
This site really is broken to all hell. The bubble system is completely pathetic. I know what you're saying "he only has two bubbles so of course he'd complain" right? Wrong. I'd be saying the same thing if I was a mod with 10 bubbles because it's not only about what has happened to my bubbles, but about those others I've seen. Obvious trolls with 7 or more bubbles making blatantly flame filled posts and not getting a "Trolling" or "Immature" vote with a bubble taken. Others saying even the most vague things that someone doesn't like and labels as a personal attack instantly taking bubbles away.
If the goal of the bubble system is to control commenting content, it's outdated and doesn't work. For one thing it's far too easy to take someone's bubbles. Especially when there are people with multiple accounts giving one person a down vote or when the fanboys get together and decide someone they are calling a fanboy needs to be shut up and then give them a down vote. The mods seem to be quite inconsistent or arbitrary in their moderations of comments, but do a decent job most of the time when it comes to story submissions. I guess they spend too much time in the forum and decide to "wing it" with the main page.
The bubble system either needs to be abolished, or completely overhauled and streamlined. A suggestion is that absolutely EVERYONE (excluding mods and admin of course) get 4 bubbles and only 4 bubbles. They can't have any bubbles taken, and they can't have any added. Otherwise you'll have people who feel they can say whatever the hell they want that is an obvious troll statement or piece of FUD or whatever; going around de-bubbling anyone who calls them out for it and completely getting away with it thanks to how completely bat-sh*t broken this site is.
Another thing that's stupid is the Report option. It contains only "Offensive" or "Spam. In conjunction with the bubble system, it makes the entirety of reporting/de-bubbling redundant. Trolling is inherently immature, spamming is inherently off-topic, personal attacks are inherently offensive. However, these aren't always de-bubble offenses and again contributes to the inconsistency and arbitrary nature of the ridiculous commenting system that exists on this site.
Then there's the submission approval/disapproval system. Why is it that one individual can approve a submission more than once? You see blog submissions that are allegedly against contributor rules passing through thanks to one guy and his 4 buddies approving it 1 to 3 times each. You should only get 1 vote no matter who the hell you are. You either approve or disapprove ONCE. Isn't anyone listening to the hundreds of "how is this getting approved" comments in obvious flamebait trash articles with sensationalist titles and 10 pages to show 10 pictures? The answer is the broken approval system.
And what's with allowing someone to disapprove a submission by saying "Lame" and leaving it at that? Do 10 "Lame" votes speak for the entire community here? Of course not. A group of people (let's not forget those with multiple accounts) come in and disapprove an article they don't like with "Lame" and that's it, the article is buried regardless of if maybe another group of people did like it. If you're going to disapprove of an article, you should be obligated to give a legitimate reason or else your vote won't count. You have the "professional" submitters here in complete control of the contributions, not all members get to have a vote on submissions because they haven't been able to get 3 articles approved, and Lame is enough to have your submission disapproved.
So to summarize. The bubble system before was apparently a problem because, and this is according to an official source, it was apparently too easy to get a bubble. To fix that, they went to the other extreme and made it too easy to lose one and damn near impossible to gain one without "friends" to boost you. The reporting system is redundant, the agree/disagree system (which I didn't touch on) is completely pointless and irritating, and the approval/disapproval of submissions is broken as hell.
I expect a mod or admin to come and say "you should post this in the suggestions forum" pretty soon. To that I say that N4G's main traffic is a result of the main page filled with the articles. It should garner the most attention from site mods and admin and that's why this blog is here. If nothing I've said here will even be considered because it's not in the forum topic for suggestions, then you can add that problem to the list of problems this site has.