Quality of the add-on campaigns

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Quality of the add-on campaigns

Post by shevegen » August 3rd, 2018, 6:14 pm

Not sure if this is the right part of the forum but feel free to move it if you deem another area fits better.

The add-ons vary in quality, which is to be expected. Some add-ons are awesome,
like the arabian nights; many others are good. Others are, however had, not so good
quality-wise. Some add-ons seem to be ... music packs? I used to think the add-ons are
playable campaigns - perhaps a category TYPE may help here, and a filter to select or
search for these.

Then there is like one addon that has 20... sub add-ons listed I, II, II or something like that.
Some have a useful description, others have a useless or mostly empty description.

Many campaigns list how many scenarios are there, but many others also do not.

Additionally, as a user or player of the game, I can not really do that much to
select/filter on all interesting parts. I give you an example for this:

- I rarely want to play any campaign with fewer than 5 scenarios, because I feel
it is not the worth to go through if it already ends very quickly. I prefer a healthy
amount of scenarios, say ... starting at 8 and ending at about 60 or so (for
epic storylines). But I do not see any trivial way to search for n scenarios

This is one example. There are more.

I think with the many differences in quality, it would be useful if the wesnoth core
team defines a minimum set of standard for campaigns. You don't have to
be too overly strict, e. g. you can rank below-quality add-ons in a separate link
as "not recommended add-ons" or "addons for testing" or such. That way people
can still download these add-ons if they want to. But in the main add-on line,
recommend that you set some minimum standards, with the overall goal
to improve the quality (and uniformity) that people may see when they try any

- Amount of scenarios should be a mandatory entry. In the rare even that
some add-on does not make use of a scenario, the string '0' can also be added.

The reason for mandating a number here is so that we can display this and
filter for in the user interface menu (for add-ons).

- I also recommend to get rid of the separate add-on button, and integrate it
into the campaign interface. And after downloading an add-on, offer to go
to the campaign menu rather than automatically to the main menu interface.
These are minor user interface issues though; the more important part
is to improve the quality of add-ons.

- I also recommend a mandatory last update entry. This could be skipped
in the sense that code could check for any last update, and automatically use
this entry (or let the campaign author manually set this entry). I don't know which
way would be better, but I think this would also allow us to search for TIME of
last update. Some add-ons are actively tested and expanded, and it is often
more fun to test these than add-ons that have not been updated in years.

- I would also suggest to offer a simple in-game way to provide feedback.
Something like to provide a scoring system which is optional. At the end of
a campaign, or perhaps via a separate entry in the user interface, people
could provide ratings to a campaign. (If you want to, you can attach this
to e. g. the forum account... again, this is purely optional. Perhaps allow
some way to also sign in in-game to an account).

The idea here is that users can also list through existing ratings and then
pick an add-on. I suggest a simple rating scheme, 1 for very good, 3
for average, 5 for not so good (you can use other words and fewer or
more numbers; the important part is that users can help other users
find out which campaigns are useful).

I have some more minor suggestions, such as the user interface and such,
but I think by and large, the main point of this note here is that the user-interface
and usability of of add-ons + downloading them is to be improved.

There are a few cases where loading a campaign fails with a lua-error,
sometimes lateron in a few scenarios. All these could be automatically
logged, by the way, and then also be supplied upstream. I for one would
not mind to report errors like that, if it is made simple. (The moment I
am about to write a note here, I already forgot half of what I wanted to write ...
problem of growing age here ... :( )

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Re: Quality of the add-on campaigns

Post by Ravana » August 3rd, 2018, 6:31 pm

Note that most addons are not campaigns.

You can already filter by type.

First and last update time are available.

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Re: Quality of the add-on campaigns

Post by Pentarctagon » August 3rd, 2018, 6:58 pm

I don't think the proposal to enforce quality standards on the add-ons server is going to go anywhere, for a variety of practical reasons - settling on what those standards actually are, the effort needed to enforce those standards, etc. I'd imagine that there are quite a few people (myself included) who would be opposed to the entire premise that that idea as well.

There was a proposal a few years ago that would have allowed users to rate add-ons, and while it ultimately wasn't added, I do definitely think that having a formal rating system would be preferable to the way it is now where most people use the download count as effectively the same thing.
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take one down, patch it around
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Re: Quality of the add-on campaigns

Post by octalot » August 3rd, 2018, 11:28 pm

Can I ask which version, platform and screen resolution you're playing on? At least for the desktop platforms with large screen sizes, filtering by type and sorting by date are at the top of the screen in the add-ons screen.

Also in the same add-ons screen (again possibly depending on version, platform and screen resolution), at the bottom-right there's a link to "Website", which leads to their discussion thread in the forums. That discussion does at least give an overview of the add-on's quality (and you could skip campaigns that don't have a discussion thread).

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Re: Quality of the add-on campaigns

Post by Spixi » September 6th, 2018, 5:03 am

I really would appreciate, if there is a rating system, where you can give 1 to 5 stars for an add-on. The prerequisites are that you must have installed the plugin an you have not already voted for it. In the add-on list the average rating and the number of ratings should be displayed. To avoid moderator afford, ratings should not have a comment field.

This requires a table on the add-on server with add-on ID, user name and rating as well as user interface changes.

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