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Old 05-17-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
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As some of you already know, once vBulletin is in as the forum, next project is to rewrite the review system.

I have been thinking about metrics that reviewers could grade each MUD on and figured it would be interesting to start a discussion on this. Some categories could be "Community" "Game Features" "Quality of Areas" etc.

I also considered others like "Depth of Roleplay" or "PvP" but then it doesn't seem fair to have a roleplay/pvp ranking roll up into an overall ranking for a MUD that doesn't target those areas.

Perhaps we could go a level of detail more complex so that a MUD owner can select which categories their mud can be graded on, but then that's open to abuse for us to only select those categories we know our MUDs are particularly strong in.

For the rest, each review will allow for comments to be added, similar to a blogroll and the ability to post reviews at all will be tied into the forum user database - ie - you have to be a registered user.

Hopefully this is enough to get the discussion started...
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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I don't think it is wrong to rank a MUD on pvp even if the MUD is a roleplay game. A way to solve the issue with overall ranking is not to have one rank but one rank for each category.

Something I would like to see also is quality reviews made by TMS staff. Including interviews with players and MUD staff members would make it more interesting to read as well(screenshots are welcome too).

The problem with player reviews is that they are often very biased. 30 reviews on SomeMUD doesn't say much. Popular MUD or a list of flames?

Also it would be nice to integrate the reviews with the MUD list. If you click on a MUD you should probably see some quotes from positive/negative reviews like on Amazon.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:29 PM   #3
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I don't think TMS staff can claim impartiality on performing MUD reviews, but allowing people to rate reviews then see who filters to the top as the "best reviewers" could be interesting. Of course, then we get right back into players of a mud modding a review up/down en masse depending how much they liked the most recent set of changes.

Another interesting discussion point is how much the reviews should be moderated. Not censored, moderated. Review like "L33tmud is the best mud ever, try it!!" or "L33tmud is the worst mud ever, don't try it!!" add zero value to the site or the MUDs in question.

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Old 05-17-2007, 05:40 PM   #4
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Actually, I don't know that a ranking system is worth it. I've found that most end up being a war that rarely end up being honest grades.

I'd instead focus on tools to enhance the written reviews. For example, I could rate the reviewer, and be able to follow reviews of those I like, and ignore those I don't. With a system like that, I might not mind grading MUDs simply with a single number, and weight them by my ratings of the reviewer.

But whatever... NO game should be allowed to opt out of the review system. You want to be listed, you accept reviews.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:13 PM   #5
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The vast majority of reviewers will either choose the best rating for everything, or the worst rating for everything. If you want categories, then I would personally suggest allowing each player to pick a preset number instead of giving ratings - for example, perhaps they have to pick what they feel are the best/strongest three attributes of the mud. You could also make them choose a worst/weakest attribute. Thus each review would consist of three positive points, one negative point, and a written review in which they can explain their impressions in greater detail. You could even let people choose between 'positive review' (3 good categories, 1 bad), 'negative review' (1 good and 3 bad) and 'balanced review' (2 good and 2 bad). The important thing is that people are forced to pick strengths and weaknesses of the mud, they can't just list the good or just list the bad.

Allowing comments to be made about reviews is also an excellent idea, in my opinion, as long as you realise that this may well give rise to some very heated arguments. Still, reading such discussions can sometimes give insight into the attitude of the players and staff.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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I agree totally with KaVir and Zhiroc that rating systems normally only leads to people using the both extremes - very good or very bad.

KaVir's suggestion is an excellent one. Demanding that a review contains the strongest and weakest points of a Mud will at least ensure some sot of balance. They could pick from the categories suggested by Lasher, "Community", "Game Features", "Quality of Areas" etc.

I also agree with Zhiroc that no listed game should be allowed to shirk reviews. There is really no excuse left for allowing that, if this improved system for reviews, (inluding the possibility for the staff to post comments to a review), is implemented. And the mud owners should not be allowed to pick and choose what categories they want to be reviewed in either. If the system is going to be any good, it must be equal for all.

An addition like this could give the site a much bigger general interest, if implemented with integrity and equality.
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