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Grand Poll Results, Part 2: Game Ratings


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The Grand Spiderweb Poll Results

 

PART TWO: GAME RATINGS RESULTS

 

Please see all the info and disclaimers in the first results post.

 

This thread presents only the base results, with correlations made only to closely related questions, and only for the game ratings half of the poll. Further correlations will take place in upcoming results threads.

 

If the graphs are too small, right-click and open the image in its own tab. It should be larger and easier to read there. Here we go!

 

b01deathmatch.gif

 

Here are the results of the "battle to the death" question. I was not surprised to see Redbeard get a bunch of votes. I was not surprised to see Erika get a bunch of votes. I was surprised to see Erika win by such a landslide. I guess the original is still the best.

 

b02blades.gif

 

It seems Blades of Avernum has pretty high community penetration when it comes to playing custom scenarios.

 

b03series.gif

 

When I took the survey myself, I realized this was a very difficult question. To me, at least, the central story of all four series are very compelling. I may take exception to the direction it goes or its presentation, at certain points, but the huge underground prison colony, the situation of the village of Nethergate, the bell-ringing of the Geneforge, and the repressive fairy-tale castle all make for great stories.

 

For many of these questions, I'm color-coding the series. Yellow for the sun symbol of Exile/Avernum, blue for the woad of the Celts, red for Redbeard, and green for the major accent color of Geneforge 1.

 

b04avernum.gif

 

Another landslide -- both in terms of the preference for Crystal Souls, and the preference for the First Trilogy.

 

b05geneforge.gif

 

And another landslide.

 

b06ownedtotal.gif

 

How many respondents own how many games. As you can see, the population is haphazardly but evenly distributed from one, to all of them. The dotted line shows the average number of members we would expect with a totally even distribution.

 

The average member owns 10 Spiderweb games.

 

b07ownedseries.gif

 

Not surprisingly, people were far more likely to own the more recent series.

 

b08ownedgame.gif

 

My suspicion is that the recent appearance of the Geneforge Saga on GOG and other platforms is responsible for their consistent high scores.

 

b09fave.gif

 

Finally, the moment you've been waiting for: here are the votes for favourite game!

 

As in the previous poll, Geneforge 1 came out on top -- and by a susbstantial margin over most other games. However, in a surprising upset, Exile 2 had nearly as many votes and likewise has a substantial margin over the other games.

 

This is especially surprising since Exile 2 had some of the lowest numbers for how many members own it, and were willing to rate it. These numbers overlay the voting results in the form of the dotted lines. Be careful not to misinterpret those -- they use the scale shown on the right. They are just here to give some perspective.

 

b10favegroup.gif

 

Another version of the same chart, with games grouped by series for easy comparison.

 

b11mean.gif

 

Here are the average scores each game received in the rating portion of the survey. I converted the five answers to whole numbers between 1 and 5 just to do math. The dotted lines show the areas corresponding each rating: 3.5 to 4.5 is "Excellent", 2.5 to 3.5 is "Good", and so on. As you can see, most games had an average rating of "Excellent", a number had an average rating of "Good", and only one was low enough to reach "Fair".

 

These ratings are fairly similar to the votes for favourite game -- the main difference being that, since it is only an average of the people who chose to rate the game, games with larger player bases lost that advantage. This gives Exile 2 the highest average rating, and it pushes older favourites like Blades of Exile and Nethergate ahead of more popular, newer games.

 

b12meangroup.gif

 

Another version of the same chart, with games grouped by series for easy comparison.

 

b13dist.gif

 

This chart shows the distribution of scores among those who rated each game. It seems every game is a masterpiece for at least one player -- huzzah!

 

b14players.gif

 

This chart shows the average rating across all games, for each individual respondent. The circle size and x-axis both show how many games they rated. Once again, 3.5 to 4.5 is closest to "Excellent", 2.5 to 3.5 for "Good", etc.

 

I also looked to see if there were notable differences depending on the answer given for the best story question. There weren't -- except the very predictable one, that people who liked older games are likely to rate more games.

 

b15relatedgames.png

 

Here is the most interesting chart, and certainly the one that took the longest to make. I compared the ratings given by all 60 respondents for all 20 games to see which games tended to be rated in similar ways, or different ways.

 

A lot of the resulting data was not interesting, but a number of game pairs had strong correlations (meaning that members were very likely to give them similar ratings), and a few had strong negative correlations (members were very likely to give them very different ratings).

 

The blue lines indicate strong correlations: the thicker the line, the stronger the correlation. The sharp, red lines indicate strong negative correlations.

 

I've color-coded the games according to the groups that emerged very quickly when looking at the strongest positive and negative correlations. These are the groups of games that people tend to feel similarly about. They are:

 

1) ALL incarnations of the First Trilogy of Exile/Avernum, plus all incarnations of Nethergate, plus Blades of Avernum.

2) Geneforge 3-5 and Avernum 4-6, which had positive correlations among themselves plus a large number of negative correlations even with other games in the same series!

3) Avadon. Avadon was not closely tied to any other game, but correlated with a few older games.

4) Geneforge 1-2. Distinct from the Avernum pack, but also looking quite different from the later Geneforge games.

5) Blades of Exile. People who rated BoE, tended to rate it very differently from how they rated other games!

 

There are a few other interesting patterns. For example, notice the correlation among G2, G5, E3 and A3 -- the most rollicky games of their respective series.

 

I plan to check these groups in particular as I look for correlations among other questions, and with the demographic data. Stay tuned!

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Here are the results of the "battle to the death" question. I was not surprised to see Redbeard get a bunch of votes. I was not surprised to see Erika get a bunch of votes. I was surprised to see Erika win by such a landslide. I guess the original is still the best.


Erika is the only one of those characters that the party isn't really supposed to be able to defeat in combat, so...
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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Cairo Jim
That charts were cool to start off with, until they started giving me a wee headache. All those coloured dots and stuff all of the place.


is that like an ice cream headache except much less tasty


You could say that. I probably shouldn't try and come up with a spam joke about that.
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Originally Posted By: Lilith
i'm surprised that people who liked BoE tended to dislike Exile 2 and vice versa. like that is probably the #1 most surprising result from all of that data
This might be a lot more work, Slarty, but I'm wondering if you could put in directed edges for the last graph. At the very least, I'm looking at the case of BoE and BoA and wondering if it's a mutual dislike, or if one side is dominating in the 'hatred'.

(And my apologies if this was answered elsewhere.)
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Erika was theoretically undefeatable in 2 out of 3 games; Rentar-Ihrno in only 1 out of 3 games. Lilith rightly points out that Erika was winning before the spoiler alert, too. I don't think the others were ever undefeatable, although I'm not sure about Ghaldring on that one.

 

Dinti: That's more complicated than it sounds mainly because the disjunction isn't between the games themselves, but the ratings of the games. I do plan to look at various groups of people, including people who liked/didn't like certain games, and see what characterizes those groups. For now, though, I'll just eyeball the data for you:

 

Interestingly, for people who loved BoA, there is not a big discrepancy. The discrepancy in scores comes in among people who did not love BoA as much, but did love BoE. Among people who rated BoA "Excellent" or "MASTERPIECE", the average rating for BoE was 4.33, a very high "Excellent" rating, and an average difference of 0.22 ratings points, not much. Among people who rated BoA "Good" or "Fair", however, almost all of them rated BoE higher: BoE still gets an average of "Excellent" in that group, with an average difference of 1.25 ratings points, which is quite high when you consider that two-thirds of ALL survey ratings were "Good" or "Excellent".

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The differences for BoA and the Second Trilogy are the most striking of all:

 

People who rated BoA "MASTERPIECE" mostly rated A4-A6, "Fair" and "Bad".

People who rated BoA "Excellent" rated A4-A6, on average, between "Fair" and "Good".

People who rated BoA "Good" rated A4-A6, on average, "Good".

People who rated BoA "Fair" mostly rated A4-A6 "Good" and "Excellent".

 

For E2 and BoE, both games had very high ratings overall. However, the lower ratings that were handed out, were handed out to one or the other and not to both at once:

 

People who rated E2 "Good" or "Fair" all rated BoE "Excellent" or "MASTERPIECE".

People who rated BoE "Good" or "Fair" all rated E2 "Excellent" or "MASTERPIECE".

 

For G2 and BoE, it is more one-sided: among players who rated both, the lower ratings on G2 ("Good" and "Fair") all came from players who rated BoE "Excellent" or "MASTERPIECE".

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Possibly, but my first leap is to engine preferences. If you like the way the original engine works, it's easy to loathe Averforge, especially for the brief disappearance of terrain height and the permanent disappearance of the outdoors.

 

—Alorael, who likes the games and acknowledges the benefits of the newer engine but still thinks the loss of an outdoors scale hurts the sense of size of the games.

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Yeah, I think engine preference is the biggest thing.

 

Actually, if you look at the groups, you'll notice they all have engine elements in common. The large group consists of all the games with a traditional overworld walkabout mode, except for BoE. G1 and G2 are split off from the other Geneforge and Second Trilogy games, and they also had the most visibly different engine of the Geneforge games, with the paper doll always on screen, etc. And then Avadon, with its limited number of zones and constant revisiting of old zones, is in its own group as well.

 

EDIT: Micawber: I already did. Read the explanation of the chart and the chart legend.

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Quote:
For many of these questions, I'm color-coding the series. Yellow for the sun symbol of Exile/Avernum, blue for the woad of the Celts, red for Redbeard, and green for the major accent color of Geneforge 1.
Easy to miss, as it's early on in the post, but the chart legend/key also has the colour labels.

(For those of you having trouble reading the small images: instead of right-click-viewing each one, just visit this page. Having an add-on that lets you open all links in selected text at once is an added bonus.)
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"I also looked to see if there were notable differences depending on the answer given for the best story question." The chart itself gives a legend for the colors, that includes 4 options: Exile/Avernum, Nethergate, Geneforge, and Avadon. Which were the 4 possible answers for the best story question.

 

I'm not sure how to make it any clearer, really.

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Seeing the great scores of Exile/Avernum 2 and how the rating for Avernum: Escape From the Pit rewrite increased from the earlier Exile/Avernum games, I'm really looking forward to start playing that series.

 

If one just follows the numbers blindly, it may look like the rewrite of Avernum 2 can turn into a superb game.

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While Avernum 2 was in development, Spiderweb had a statement on their website that read:

 

"We are really looking forward to releasing this rewritten Exile 2. Exile 2 was, for many people, the high point of all of the Exile games, and we really want this game to shine. Hope you like it!"

 

I don't know if there's still room for such a sentiment at SW, but I hope so.

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I've never cared too much about Avernum I and II in particular and I can't really explain why. It was probably a wild mixture of enigine, esthetics and Exile being still fesh in my memory. What I do recall though is that when playing A:EFTP, from the first night I thought: this is great, I'm really excited about the very thought of playing A:CS with this rendering. This time round I'm hoping for said sentiments and I have an inkling it's gonna happen.

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My favorite game and series is avadon. Its casual and the only game series of jeff's I can play, enjoy and make it to the end. Ive played numerous other games of jeff's and what happens is I usually reach a dead end with all of jeff's other games. I like avadon because its simplistic, has a great story, and reminds me of d and d.

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