How to decide which add-ons to try?

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lokiju
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How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by lokiju » February 24th, 2011, 1:05 am

Is there a way to either place a star rating system in the add-on search in the game itself, or a rating for them on this forum so that we can decide which to try first and so forth? The short in-game descriptions are a small help, but they don't help with content quality checks.

Edit: For example I downloaded the Martian Invasion 1594 (cause I love sci-fi themes) but it doesn't really describe the campaign well before DLing it, and a search on this forum came up with zilch for me. A rating system would better inform me as to whether I should DL or skip the add-on.

Edit 2: I suppose I can just go by most downloaded, and trust that it's DLed so much for a reason. :hmm:

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Alarantalara
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Alarantalara » February 24th, 2011, 1:20 am

Unfortunately for you, you have run into Frequently Posted Idea #32

A few suggestions if you are looking for campaigns specifically:
Any add-on that has a thread in the Add-on Feedback forum is certain to be completely playable and probably has someone interested in keeping it working well.
Any add-on the the first three to four pages of the Scenario and Campaign Development forum is likely to be both on the add-on server and may have a good description there.
Finally, browsing the User's forum, you should be able to find a few discussions asking for suggestions for campaigns to try and I have no doubt that someone will come along and recommend their favourites here too.

Edit: One other thing: All of the campaigns on the server by Mark Metson were written as part of a multi-game game. They represent episodes in a FreeCiv game that he seems to be playing slowly somewhere. Because of this, you won't find anything about any one of them specifically on the forums as far as I know. Look for posts by him if you want to know more about them. You can find them here: http://forums.wesnoth.org/memberlist.ph ... e&u=110014

lokiju
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by lokiju » February 24th, 2011, 1:32 am

Looks like not all great ideas (because these rating systems work amazingly well for other games) will be implemented. :P

Thank you kindly for the info!

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SkyOne
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by SkyOne » February 24th, 2011, 5:55 am

If developers have plenty of extra times, of course, it is better to put the ratings on each UMC. But those UMC keep being updated, and some of them are updated twice in a day. To put the ratings correctly, they (or some trustable users) have to play each UMC at almost each time when something comes up. We probably need a robot to do that.:)

a Joke: (sounds like) Gambot[bot] may be able to do it. :P

But yes, I understand what you say as well. When I was just a player, I was really in a maze what UMC I would play next. There are many UMC on the add-on server recently. (It is actually a good thing to make the mainline campaigns better quality, and to make the community reassured/poppular.)


EDIT: It seems that this has been discussed in many times on Ideas Forum.
I roughly picked up a couple of them, but you can research it by using "search for" at the bottom of the each forum-page when you log-in:
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... it=ratings
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... it=ratings
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StDrake
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by StDrake » February 24th, 2011, 9:34 am

trusting the number of downloads is not the best way to judge actually, some add-ons will get a ton of downloads just because they've been there for a long time, but end up being unused after that, though for campaigns it might be a way and usually long uptime might mean much time to make it better
checking the version is another, assuming the creator followed numbering guidelines - those above 1.0 might be considered worthwhile as at least finished

Probably best for now would be to differentiate by type
-campaigns might be worth checking when they're finished (1.0+) and have an interesting description
-eras and multiplayer scenarios - mostly just go to multiplayer lobby and see what's used most often, in case of eras it's basically ageless at the top and everything else is get-when-needed..funnily unfinished eras might be worth seeing if you notice they update often, then you can see what's comming up, will it be worth playing with and you might even have some influence on its development
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Gambit » February 24th, 2011, 11:47 am

SkyOne wrote: a Joke: (sounds like) Gambot[bot] may be able to do it. :P
That's an IRC bot that reads the forums and lets individuals subscribe to be notified of new posts. I don't think it will work for this. :)
And if you want to see it for yourself you can come to ##Gambot @ irc.freenode.net [/advertisement] I'm going to get in so much trouble for this. :P


To the OP: If you're still looking for fun add-ons, I suggest any by Bob_The_Mighty (except his RPG era thing, because I think that's actually just a toolbox for other add-on creators).
As for the idea, it's a duplicate. You can join the most recent discussion here, but won't lock this because some great points have been made on how to find good add-ons without the rating system.

lokiju
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by lokiju » February 24th, 2011, 5:51 pm

So what I understand Campaign and MP, but what is Era for? Is it like sandbox? And I have to say, in a game that relies heavily on add-ons, the present system is sorely lacking.

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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Gambit » February 24th, 2011, 6:15 pm

Have you played default multiplayer? It has I think six factions. Loyalists, Rebels, Northerners, and so on.

An era is a group of factions like that one. So for example there might be a WWII era with Nazis, Canadians, French (with high movement points ;) ), and so on. Or a Wild West era with Cowboys and Indians. Or a monster era with Vampires, werewolves, and man-eating plants.

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StDrake
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by StDrake » February 24th, 2011, 6:33 pm

Hmm the system lacking? Do you mean anything else than reviews? Please share, maybe we can fill the gap :)

As for reviews there are two main problems
1)how, who, where? (there are discussions on solving that)
2)as any open-source project it's kindof 'extreme engineering' software development process..which means proper documentation is hard to achieve
Like cats? I've made a whole faction of them to kick ass with!
Don't like cats? I've made a whole faction of them to kick their asses! So everyone's happy :)
Felinian faction is part of the Beyond Southern Hells era
kitties need sprites! art topic here

lokiju
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by lokiju » February 24th, 2011, 7:01 pm

StDrake wrote:Hmm the system lacking? Do you mean anything else than reviews? Please share, maybe we can fill the gap
Well honestly, as many have pointed out, having tons of UMCs with nothing to judge them by (besides number of times DLed) is not efficient for the large number of people with limited time. This is why so many great games with user-made content have rating systems...and I don't recall one where the system seemed...broken.
StDrake wrote:As for reviews there are two main problems
1)how, who, where? (there are discussions on solving that)
2)as any open-source project it's kindof 'extreme engineering' software development process..which means proper documentation is hard to achieve
It seems there's an argument against having a rating system based on reliability, but can anyone provide any examples of where ratings systems don't work for UMCs? I've been gaming for 3 decades now, and have always appreciated an efficient way to determine what content I will play. Instead of having to spend hours scouring these boards for useful info, I could simply see a 5 star rated add-on (with multiple reviews, like a 5 rating with 100 reviewers seems reliable) and have a good chance to play a fun UMC within minutes. ^_^

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StDrake
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by StDrake » February 24th, 2011, 7:09 pm

lokiju wrote:so many great games with user-made content have rating systems...and I don't recall one where the system seemed...broken.
That's something that might be useful, could you provide any links for reference perhaps? Some methodology could perhaps be of use here
Like cats? I've made a whole faction of them to kick ass with!
Don't like cats? I've made a whole faction of them to kick their asses! So everyone's happy :)
Felinian faction is part of the Beyond Southern Hells era
kitties need sprites! art topic here

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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Pentarctagon » February 24th, 2011, 8:53 pm

if your looking for a campaign, i'd recommend Invasion from the Unknown.
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lokiju
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by lokiju » February 24th, 2011, 9:03 pm

StDrake wrote:That's something that might be useful, could you provide any links for reference perhaps? Some methodology could perhaps be of use here
Well, some well known ones:

Neverwinter Nights series:
http://nwvault.ign.com/

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion:
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/V ... nmods.list

Fallout 3:
http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/

Also, the Half life series:
http://www.hl2mods.co.uk/

There are far more, but these were the first to pop into my head. They all have user ratings, and from my experience, the ratings are extremely accurate. Of course, these are huge game companies...but I don't think a review system would be costly?

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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Velensk » February 24th, 2011, 9:25 pm

The fundimental problem here is that different add-ons are for different people looking for different things. Not even generic catagories help much in this respect.

For example, I like to work on eras. As a matter of habbit I experiment with the other eras people create (or at least those who I see threads for on the forum that don't look utterly horrible). On the other hand, I have little use for the most popular/most likely to be highested rated era, the Ageless era. For the purpose I experiment I also have little use for say Bob's RPG era as it is not intended for standard MP matches. There are also eras for if you want to do empire builders which I'm not really into. Now if someone who was looking for an Ageless era style era and experiemented with either of mine, he probably would not have a very high rating for it (as they have two different agendas even if they look like they should be remarkably similar) just like I would not be inclined to give the Ageless era all that high a rating even though it is very popular and many people appreciate it for what it does. Ratings can not really tell you what you want to play.

Now, what a rating system could do is help you be aware of which add-ons were sloppily put together as judged by a the collective community but there are problems with this too. Many projects change radically over the course of their development. After getting a lot of testing an era might patch the holes in its balancing, get the interest of an artist to provide custom art/animations, add more interesting factions ect, however if it is burdened by the low ratings it got when it was first released, it would never get the play it warents. Now in theory, this would encurage people to only put things up online when they are ready however, with things like eras or other compeditive multiplayer scenarios, it is very hard to get them right/good on first go or even to know if they are right/good without getting lots of testing with several other players. In essense, in order to achieve the quality they need to get good ratings, they need to submit themselves to poor ratings before they are ready.

I suspect that for co-operative/solo type add-ons a rating system would be more purely beneficial.

My approach is to just try things but not be too hesitant to put it down if it seems poorly done.
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Re: How to decide which add-ons to try?

Post by Hulavuta » February 24th, 2011, 10:00 pm

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?t=29569

Everybody forgot norbert already? (The site could use a little more activity, but it's an option.)
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