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Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System


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VCH VCH

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:03 PM #71 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Drakefyre
I disagree. As long as reviewers try to be internally consistent, it should be fine. Wisdom of the crowds, law of large numbers, etc.


Do the majority of BOX scenarios have a sufficient number of reviews for that to work?
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Kelandon Kelandon

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:13 PM #72 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

No, and since initial reviews influence subsequent reviews, it doesn't end up working out that way even when there are enough.
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Schoolin' Salmon Schoolin' Salmon

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:29 PM #73 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Smiley-Faced Duck
Quote:
I just checked, and couldn't find any porn in the current CSR. Could you PM me the link please?
While there is nothing of that nature in either of the CSR forums I really just hate the idea of even having to go to that site when I know it really is in the other forums.


So, should we take it off the porn-laden internets altogether? I'm not saying there should (or shouldn't) be porn on any site, but I know it isn't in the CSR, or any of the BoX fora in Shadowvale. Here is the direct link to the BoA forums, and here is a similar pointer for the BoE forums. No need to ever chance a misclick onto the various topics in other places on the internet which may or may not (not that there is anything wrong with it) contain porn.
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Ephesos Ephesos

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:39 PM #74 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

...keep it civil, folks.

There's a whole lot of satellite-board squabbling going on right now. Some of it is legitimate, some of it isn't. I don't care about it right now, because this isn't about your personal drama. It's about Blades. Act like it for once, k?

Schoolin' Salmon Schoolin' Salmon

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 05:21 PM #75 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

E's message was not intended to stop discussion, folks.
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Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:48 PM #76 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

If all the discussion was rooted in said personal drama, then it should stop.

Acky Acky

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 05:49 AM #77 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Salmon, I believe you are not understanding, or not trying to understand, that porn on the website with the CSR *period* is still a legitimate problem with some people, including me.

Excellent post ADoS. A few little things

Quote:
This category includes graphics, spelling and grammar
Wouldn't Spelling and Grammar be in the Writing category? I mean, its got more to do with plot and atmosphere and such then it has to do with "Aesthetics".

Quote:
I don't think we need a rating scale for short/long/epic, because the length of the scenario isn't subject to opinion. We could just include a Number of Towns and Size of Outdoors field in the database, I think
Sound suggestion.

Quote:
3. Linear<->Open-Ended (Can anyone think of a scenario where this might need an N/A? Not necessarily a BoX "scenario" but scenario in the literal sense.)
I'm not sure. IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO maybe? It's not really meant to be a "real" scenario anyway.

Quote:
Do the majority of BOX scenarios have a sufficient number of reviews for that to work?
Unfortunately not. Some scores for BoE CSR just give numbers, for instance. frown If this takes off, I suppose we'll have to try something, though. That might include a few reviews that just give scores we might have to knock off, and for BoE scenario's like the Little Girl we could just put all the numbers to zero, or as close as can be gauged by whoever is putting them up.

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 06:17 AM #78 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Master Ackrovan
Salmon, I believe you are not understanding, or not trying to understand, that porn on the website with the CSR *period* is still a legitimate problem with some people, including me.


What's the point of a SW satellite forum that has all the same rules as SW?

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:14 AM #79 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Master Ackrovan
Quote:
This category includes graphics, spelling and grammar
Wouldn't Spelling and Grammar be in the Writing category? I mean, its got more to do with plot and atmosphere and such then it has to do with "Aesthetics".
Spelling and grammar doesn't have anything to do with plot and atmosphere. It does have to do with writing, though; and it also has to do with aesthetics. A well-written story with bad spelling is still a well-written story.
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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:26 AM #80 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I think that the reason we don't have enough reviewers, perhaps, is that the current setup is too time consuming. It takes a long time to sit down and write a meaningful review. The people who don't want to just write one line and put a number. We need more meaningful reviews, and if we want them we need a simpler system where you don't have a choice.

That said, I think that ADoS's idea sounded pretty good, so long as (like Acky suggested) spelling and typos are counted under writing. It makes absolutely no sense to keep it where ADoS had it under Aesthetics.

Dikiyoba Dikiyoba

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:30 AM #81 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Dikiyoba thinks everyone is making a far bigger deal out of "porn on SV" than it is. Whether you are for it or against it, it really does not happen that often.

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:54 AM #82 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

On the other hand, R-rated images do occur occasionally on the non Blades boards. I can see having an objection to them, especially if you are a parent with an impressionable child.

But, SV seems to be fairly well, and fairly regularly, moderated. If there was some need to keep the blades areas more entirely blades focused, I don't see any issue with execution.

But, there is still the overarching issue of making the CSR a better tool for increasing the audience for Blades scenarios. None of this chatter is going to make that happen without good examples. Forge had (or has) an example of how it might work, and I provided an example of one idea over on SV. I think it would be helpful, rather than to provide rubrics, to provide samples of how each person envisions the product. From there we can discuss how to make that happen. But, since the desire is to increase audience, and usefulness of the CSR, seeing an actual product will help us analyze effectively.
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Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:50 AM #83 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I agree that we should focus on Blades for now, and put aside the squabbling

Originally Posted By: Master Ackrovan
Quote:
This category includes graphics, spelling and grammar
Wouldn't Spelling and Grammar be in the Writing category? I mean, its got more to do with plot and atmosphere and such then it has to do with "Aesthetics".

My rationale was that while spelling and grammar are techinically considered "Writing", they have literally nothing to do with the creative content of the scenario (which is the unifying characteristic of that rating category), but rather serve only to encourage or distract from immersion in said creative content, much like the rest of the "Aesthetics, Functionality, Etc." rating category. Perhaps the "Writing" title could be changed to "Creative Content". Of course, if the community strongly disagrees with spelling and grammar being where they are, it's not really a problem to switch it.

Quote:
Quote:
3. Linear<->Open-Ended (Can anyone think of a scenario where this might need an N/A? Not necessarily a BoX "scenario" but scenario in the literal sense.)
I'm not sure. IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO maybe? It's not really meant to be a "real" scenario anyway.

Then it should probably have a N/A option as well. I don't know what "IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO" is, but if it's anything like TM's "minimalism" for BoE, then it is indeed neither linear nor openended, but rather more like a single point.

Quote:
Quote:
Do the majority of BOX scenarios have a sufficient number of reviews for that to work?
Unfortunately not. Some scores for BoE CSR just give numbers, for instance. frown If this takes off, I suppose we'll have to try something, though. That might include a few reviews that just give scores we might have to knock off, and for BoE scenario's like the Little Girl we could just put all the numbers to zero, or as close as can be gauged by whoever is putting them up.

As I said, under this system, no reviews or ratings from CSR need to be discarded, even if we only have a score with no review.

But what does everyone think of making the three specific Rating categories and/or the three Genre ratings optional or mandatory? The Overall Rating clearly must be mandatory, but as for the rest, I think discussion is in order.

If we make them mandatory, we could probably figure out a way to port CSR without having to reanalyze each review to determine what the reviewer might have rated each category (I really hope to avoid that), but it might require a bit more thinking.

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:59 AM #84 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
Originally Posted By: Master Ackrovan
Quote:
This category includes graphics, spelling and grammar
Wouldn't Spelling and Grammar be in the Writing category? I mean, its got more to do with plot and atmosphere and such then it has to do with "Aesthetics".

My rationale was that while spelling and grammar are techinically considered "Writing", they have literally nothing to do with the creative content of the scenario (which is the unifying characteristic of that rating category), but rather serve only to encourage or distract from immersion in said creative content, much like the rest of the "Aesthetics, Functionality, Etc." rating category. Perhaps the "Writing" title could be changed to "Creative Content". Of course, if the community strongly disagrees with spelling and grammar being where they are, it's not really a problem to switch it.
I agree with this general principle; spelling and grammar is nothing to do with creativity. If people feel better to have the Writing category renamed to Creativity or whatever, then that's fine with me.
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Posted 26 July 2009 - 01:05 PM #85 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I would support creating subforums for BoX reviews.  I also have no problem with proxy postings in these forums for certain members like TM.  Here is probably the best place for this stuff because it is the centralized hub for the community and will be for the future.  No offense to any satellite communities.

As for review criteria and stuff, this was an issue back in the early community when all this came into being.  There is no right answer here.  Any scoring system inherently creates inconsistencies.  Any rubric inherently favors certain types of scenarios over others.  The best we could do was to simply create a basic score with comments that are public.  The biggest complaint about the SW tables was that they were a black box with no accountability.

My suggestion is to leave the score with the review just like the CSR does.  Everyone is going to have divergent opinions, but the averages are broadly meaningful.  Just create a post requirement of 100 words per review or something like that so people cannot just treat it as a black box.

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:42 PM #86 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

The system I proposed doesn't really have a "rubric", per se. It splits up the quality ratings into three sections, but doesn't say on what you should base the number you put in each section. Also, for those scenarios that don't fit into those three sections, remember that the Overall Quality rating is independent.

Ephesos Ephesos

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:18 PM #87 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

(volunteers to moderate the proposed subforum for BoA)

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:47 AM #88 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I'm a bit late here, and don't have any time to read or participate in the discussion (I am gone till September or so).  However, I noticed that ADoS linked to my initial post on SV lampooning the CSR -- while omitting a link to the follow-up post in which I provided a statistical analysis of CSR and disproved several of the points I had been asserting in my lampoon.  Therefore, if you read that first link, please consider also reading:

http://forum.nethergate.net/index.php?showtopic=1501
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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:37 PM #89 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Thank you Slarty.  This is pretty good evidence the current system is working to a large degree.  Could it be improved?  Yes.  Is it broken?  I don't see any firm evidence for that.

No offense to anyone, but we've been through this before.  Just about all of you were not around for it, but these same arguments came up.  We were not able to reach a consensus then, but we pretty much agreed on a solution that, by and large, worked.  As someone else said, the key is getting people to write cogent reviews that are helpful.  The individual score is worthless, but the composites do provide some insight.

So here's my proposal and I can make it happen:

1) Blades of Avernum and Blades of Exile will have subforums for reviews.
2) Posts must be a review with a requirement of 100 words that make a good faith effort to provide how the reviewer feels about the scenario.  A score from 1-10 must be provided with 1 being lowest and 10 being highest.  Reviews must be legible and respectful and should not refer to any other reviews currently on the page.  They should stand alone.
3) A scenario author may respond in a single post to a review to rebut any assertions made.  Responses must be legible and respectful.
4) Posting is restricted and must be approved by a local moderator.  Whether or not something gets posted is at the discretion of the moderator.
5) If a post is denied, the moderator must inform the person who posted with a statement of reasons.  The poster may revise the comments and resubmit or appeal the decision to the board administrator.  The administrator's decision is final.

More restrictive, but this is a good thing because it keeps things more structured.  What do people think?

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:29 PM #90 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I think splitting the score and not requiring people to write long reviews would produce more useful results in greater number than having a single score and requiring a long review for every review. Also, I like the idea of people being able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a scenario while reviewing it.

EDIT: Also, I still like the idea of the Blades Forge being a centralized resource for Blades. If it can get fixed up, then I think it would do that well.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:52 PM #91 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: *i
3) A scenario author may respond in a single post to a review to rebut any assertions made.  Responses must be legible and respectful.


To clarify, is this a single post per review?

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:59 PM #92 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
I think splitting the score and not requiring people to write long reviews would produce more useful results in greater number than having a single score and requiring a long review for every review.

One hundred words is not long at all. In fact, to show you just how short one hundred words is, I pieced together this little paragraph. I am certain that once you stop to think about how paltry a one hundred word review is, you will realize that it is not a significant barrier to people writing reviews. In fact, if you go and examine most of the existing reviews over at Shadow Vale, you will find that most of them already exceed this bare limitation. In my opinion, one hundred words, like this paragraph, is not difficult to write.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:25 PM #93 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Writing reviews shouldn't be difficult, though. Others may just want to post a short review, and not spend the better half of an hour typing something up. Also, short reviews are not bad; notice how much information you got in with your hundred words. It's things like four word 'This scenario really sucks' or one word 'Awesome' reviews that we're trying to avoid, and making people write entire dissertations on scenarios probably won't bring in any more reviews. Besides, it'd be a minimum. Nothing stops you from adding more.

This is also one hundred words. Would you say it's uninformative?

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:39 PM #94 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

This method seems fine with me. Many of my reviews are a little vague at the current CSR, I'll rewrite them to be in the hundred word mark. I still think that a "10-100" (which is really what we have) is clunky, so I will only award whole number scores on my reviews (and will try not to be obsessed with putting scenarios in 'order'), but I won't complain if everyone uses the decimal system we used before.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:50 PM #95 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: *i
This is pretty good evidence the current system is working to a large degree.  Could it be improved?  Yes.  Is it broken?  I don't see any firm evidence for that.
I feel compelled to repeat myself. In my opinion, it's broken. Why? Because I can't find what I'm looking for when using CSR, primarily as a player.

Originally Posted By: *i
We were not able to reach a consensus then, but we pretty much agreed on a solution that, by and large, worked.
It didn't work for me. As a player, I felt that CSR failed me when I was trying to find things.

Originally Posted By: *i
What do people think?

I don't think it will fix the fundamental problem. However, I'm resigned to a system that I consider broken continuing indefinitely. So while I'd like to express again that I don't think this will help — at all — or even be a change, particularly, I don't expect anyone to do anything based on my opinion.
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Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:57 PM #96 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

The notion that posts must be approved by a moderator seems ... broken. Could you not, instead, put folks that write reviews into a group authorized to post there? Not that my reviews are great, or frequent, but they will be nonexistent if they need to be checked over by a third party prior to posting.

Also, it still doesn't address the issues which started this whole boondoggle.

How can we make the CSR a better tool for players, with the stated goal of EXPANDING THE PLAYERBASE!!!!

Instead of just making random changes for the sake of change, can we address that goal, even if in an infinitesimal way?
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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:03 PM #97 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

What if, in addition to the normal review, they also could specify additional pre-set tags at the beginning/end of the review? Things like Combat Heavy, Linear, No Combat, Dungeon Crawl, and so forth. Nothing indicative of quality (that's what the part of the review and the score is for), just indicative of its attributes. Some of these could also be specified by the designer.

Then, in the first post of the scenario's thread, the number of times a tag appears is counted up, giving you a general idea of what the scenario contains. In scenario lists, tags that get marked off a few times (or once if by the designer) appear next to the scenario to give you an idea of what it contains.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:10 PM #98 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Naughty Salmon
Could you not, instead, put folks that write reviews into a group authorized to post there?
I'm not sure that making it so only an elite few can write reviews is a good idea. Sort of defeats the purpose of trying to get more reviews for the CSR, and it certainly won't expand the player base.

Now, it might be possible to have a group that can immediately post reviews and bypass third-party checking. That seems like it'd work for long-time and short-time reviewers.

Quote:
Also, it still doesn't address the issues which started this whole boondoggle.

How can we make the CSR a better tool for players, with the stated goal of EXPANDING THE PLAYERBASE!!!!

Instead of just making random changes for the sake of change, can we address that goal, even if in an infinitesimal way?
...Have you even read the thread?

EDIT: To clarify, I mean that moving it here is a step in the department of making it a better tool. Most SWers never wander out to SV or CRF, so having it here makes it more accessible. Improving the reviews themselves makes it better. So I don't see how you can say we aren't addressing that goal.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:18 PM #99 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Kel, the problem here is everyone is different and aggregate scores only capture average opinion.  No rating system we could devise is going to be able to please everyone.  Come up with every dimension or criterion you like.  I'm sure somebody else would rather they be different.  Point being, I do feel the current system is not broken any more than any other system we could employ.  In fact, I would argue this is about the best we can do since simplicity is better in my mind.

The Blades Forge is an attractive idea and I want it to succeed.  However, it will never have the sheer following of these forums.  It's a great resource, don't get me wrong, but a vast majority of people will not even go there.  This is not to be mean, this is just to be realistic.  I don't think there is any better place for this stuff than here.

100 words is really not a lot.  This is just meant to make people write something useful.  They can write more if they like.

Salmon, I don't see what your beef is by having some quality control.  It is no further effort on your part.  You submit the review as a reply, moderator checks to ensure you aren't spamming and meet the very modest requirements, and approves it.  I think the criteria for rejection should be pretty severe and happen only rarely.  The only difference is your post does not appear immediately.

Believe me, my proposals are not random.  In fact, there is no boondoggle.  The current system worked when we had lots of people contributing and it will work again under those conditions.  Will it work for absolutely everyone?  Of course not and no system will.  I honestly think 90% of the battle is visibility.  SV, Blades Forge, etc. are completely off most people's radar.  That's the problem I'm trying to tackle.

The reason I put the system in place is to keep the reviews clean.  This does help players out.  They can go to a thread, read everyones comments (the 100 word rule helps keep some quality), look at the scores, and make decisions on whether to play it.

That said, I don't think some elaborate CSR is going to expand the player base any more than a simple one.  The key is getting a critical mass going.  If people see activity, they want to be a part of it.  The best way to show activity is to have something here.  Anything else is just added complexity.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:58 PM #100 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I'm iffy on the "only letting certain people post" thing, but I do see the value in approving posts one-by-one.

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:09 PM #101 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Four score and seven years ago <and then some other stuff>

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:43 PM #102 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Nioca, I wasn't implying that some elite should have control over reviews. Instead, just the simple forum-header instructions would read "If you wish to post a review, PM a mod with the review. Once that review has been approved (then cite comprehensive list of reasons for disapproval) you will be able to post freely within this sub-forum, knowing that such permission is contingent on compliance with the rules."

As far as visibility goes, the link to the CSR is at the top of the Blades forum. It can't get more visible than that, can it?

stareye - One of Kel's suggestions seems to have been left to the side, although Nioca did pick up on it a little. What would be helpful, as a player, would be to have the master list of reviewed scenarios be divided into smaller lists depending on scenario type. Now, I don't know what these types should be, but it would be a lot easier for someone only interested in puzzle scenarios to find their match if there was a separate listing of just that type.
As far as the extra trouble goes for separately approving each post, I disagree with the amount of control that policy gives to the moderators. There has to be some level of trust somewhere, someplace. It would be difficult to give an independent and fair review of a scenario created by one of the moderators, just as it would be difficult for a moderator/designer to post a unfavorable review. Besides, that hasn't been a problem with the reviews that exist.
As far as calling it quality control, that strikes of the elitism which some of our younger members are fighting against.

Sorry for being so rambly here, RL called me away several times over the past couple hours.
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Nioca Nioca

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:04 AM #103 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

Originally Posted By: Naughty Salmon
Nioca, I wasn't implying that some elite should have control over reviews. Instead, just the simple forum-header instructions would read "If you wish to post a review, PM a mod with the review. Once that review has been approved (then cite comprehensive list of reasons for disapproval) you will be able to post freely within this sub-forum, knowing that such permission is contingent on compliance with the rules."
Oh. Well in that case, we agree completely, and your idea is better than mine.

Agitproprioception Agitproprioception

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:24 AM #104 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

I would like to reassert an idea from the Shadow Vale discussion.  In addition to whatever style of numbers ranking ends up being used, pick 5 or 10 prolific reviewers, write a 2-3 sentence summary of what they like and dislike in scenarios, and list their top 5 or even top 10 favourite scenarios for each one.  This allows players to look for somebody who has similar taste in scenarios, and see what that person liked.

IMHO, this is the best way to connect new players to scenarios they will enjoy quickly and without hassle.  And IMHO, that's easily the best way for CSR to "expand the player base."
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The Almighty Doer of Stuff The Almighty Doer of Stuff

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:00 AM #105 Housekeeping: Revised Blades of Avernum Ratings System

What exactly is broken about my proposal, aside from it not being possible to host it on this message board? If we want it to be visible, we could put a link in the forum description and a visible, descriptive one in the forum header. Right now, in the BoE forum, the only link to Shadow Vale simply says "Shadow Vale" in the middle of a pile of other links. If it said in big letters, "Go here to read comprehensive scenario reviews and find a scenario you would like, or post your own review!" both in the forum description and in the forum header, that would probably attract plenty of attention.




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