Download count being an implicit ranking system

Brainstorm ideas of possible additions to the game. Read this before posting!

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Forum rules
Before posting a new idea, you must read the following:
Post Reply
wobbly
Posts: 17
Joined: April 13th, 2013, 5:44 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by wobbly »

In all honesty I think that either option: ranking or reviewing is better then the system in place. I prefer a reviewing system. Why? A ranking system tells me nothing other then that someone else liked it. It tells me very little about whether I'd like it. With a review I can read it & have some gauge of why they like it & if it sounds like what I look for in a game I'll download it & try it. Hey, I even find negative reviews useful. I can read it & say "You know what? All those things they just bitched about? That's what I like in a game. It's not for them but I'd probably quite enjoy that." Still, a ranking is better then nothing though & at least it gives me some impression of whether it's worth my time checking out.

As far as many of the comments on competition, sorry to be a little negative but to me they stink of idealism & seem to have little to do with reality.
"People should not be in competition!!" - I wish you luck trying to enforce that upon the world. A lot of people enjoy competition. I know I do.

Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Insinuator »

Adamant14 wrote:1. What do you think about it.
2. Do you think it can be helpful for the issue we are discuss about?
3. Will you add a review?
First of all, Adamant14, I'd like to say I truly appreciate what you're trying to do here. It's a positive effort and an additional resource. So on to your questions.

1. I decided to ignore your hyperlink and look for it myself. I couldn't find it. That despite the fact that I knew EXACTLY what I was looking for and the most probable places to find it. And that is the number one issue. No one will know it is there, despite your continued forum plugs. Only dedicated, earnest, regular forum goers will ever know about your wiki-reviews.

2. No. It's nice, but since no one knows of it, it won't help new people choose add-ons.

3. No. If I don't believe the system is adequate, I will not support it. Now, you will call this harsh and "not giving it a chance". But reviews are ONLY useful if they are read. Otherwise you're wasting your time writing one.

User avatar
Adamant14
Posts: 904
Joined: April 24th, 2010, 1:14 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Adamant14 »

Insinuator wrote: 1. I decided to ignore your hyperlink and look for it myself. I couldn't find it. That despite the fact that I knew EXACTLY what I was looking for and the most probable places to find it. And that is the number one issue. No one will know it is there, despite your continued forum plugs. Only dedicated, earnest, regular forum goers will ever know about your wiki-reviews.

2. No. It's nice, but since no one knows of it, it won't help new people choose add-ons.

3. No. If I don't believe the system is adequate, I will not support it. Now, you will call this harsh and "not giving it a chance". But reviews are ONLY useful if they are read. Otherwise you're wasting your time writing one.
Yes I know about that fact that the page is 'currently' hidden and hard to find. :augh:
But maybe we can find a way to change that. :)
A line with a notice, displayed on the game main menu, or on the forums main page, or ...
I know also that the site contains right now much too little content, to be worth getting mentioned that way. :P

But this page, (created by Taptap) once started with a just few entry's, but now it contains information for a lot of UMC campaigns.

And it can be very valuable for players who searching for their next campaign (to decide which one is worth to play). :)



Any ideas how to make those sites more popular / easier to find?
Author of Antar, Son of Rheor ( SP Campaign) | Development Thread + Feedback Thread + Replays of ASoR

User avatar
lipk
Developer
Posts: 637
Joined: July 18th, 2011, 1:42 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by lipk »

Any ideas how to make those sites more popular / easier to find?
Actually, I'm keeping my eye on it and if it won't die away in a few weeks I'll give a heads up to the appropriate people. (The UMC Guide is already in the Important Links sticky, in case you haven't noticed :wink: )

User avatar
Adamant14
Posts: 904
Joined: April 24th, 2010, 1:14 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Adamant14 »

lipk wrote:The UMC Guide is already in the Important Links sticky
I am glad that Gambit added it.

But mind, only people who visit the forums may find that link.
Not an ordinary player.

To reach an ordinary player the game main screen seems the only way. :hmm:
Author of Antar, Son of Rheor ( SP Campaign) | Development Thread + Feedback Thread + Replays of ASoR

User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Gambit »

If there has to be some sort of ranking to compete over, I think the top X% of add-ons should be randomly fudged every time you look at the list. That way you can't tell exactly what the "top" add-on is. You can still tell that the top Y add-ons must be really good, and the bottom-most add-ons must be terrible.

User avatar
Coffee
Developer
Posts: 180
Joined: October 12th, 2010, 8:24 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Coffee »

As a UMC author, I find the atmosphere of wesnoth UMC development is pretty nice and similar to other hobbyist "clubs" of sorts. For me it's nice to see that others download my addons, but I really made them for fun and to see that I could accomplish something that I set out to do at the same time.

I am all for putting the reviews and rating system in the hands of players in a way that doesn't encourage UMC developers to go and waste time to "climb the ratings" unless they really have nothing better to do.

For something like the UMC guide it doesn't seem easy to find or fun for players to fill in. If you've dealt with tech or car companies, they usually give optional surveys out to fill in with minimal questions. I find that kind of thing works well (I actually fill in these surveys some of the time).

User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Gambit »

As a UMC author, I find the atmosphere of wesnoth UMC development is pretty nice and similar to other hobbyist "clubs" of sorts.
This is exactly how I feel as well. I guess I'm just more afraid of this idea jeopardizing that atmosphere than everyone else so far.

User avatar
Midnight_Carnival
Posts: 836
Joined: September 6th, 2008, 11:08 am
Location: On the beach at sunset, gathering coral

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

I enjoy Wesnoth and don't play it competitively - I used to enjoy working on my own secret and nefarious UMCs and mods, and wouldn't do it competitively.

But this game attracts competitive people :roll:

Legitimising the competition amongst developers might discourage those still finding their feet, but then it might also inspire those with some skill to put that little bit extra into what they are making.

I personally don't see the need for any kind of ranking system in the mods, UMCs, etc. To me it is similar to the user made art - if someone is good and can do it in the style and there is a need, the art goes mainline, if not it doesn't mean that they can't draw, only that it is not what people are looking for. I know of serveral highly skilled (imo of course) artists who's work wasn't accepted because it just didn't fit. I don't see why it should be different for other types of contribution.

I think that if the proposed ranking system came into being, many would ignore it anyway and base their ideas of how good the mod was on playing it.
I also don't really agree with this whole "this only applies to forum members" argument - if you like the game and want to find out more, there is nothing stopping you from lurking on the forums to see what things are about, even if you don't want to make the huge commitment of joining :roll:

The fact that the forums are english only and that others are missing out is another kettle of turnips anyway, it is ture, but what does it have to do with proposed rankings? That eg:Armenian players can't read what somebody says is the best campaign - come on, you can do better than that!
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

User avatar
pyrophorus
Posts: 513
Joined: December 1st, 2010, 12:54 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by pyrophorus »

I'm surprised to find out that in English, the same word 'competition' means two different things:
- competitions which aim to eliminate other competitors (or more accurately adversaries) in a more or less soft way.
- competitions which don't (instead of doing better than anyone else, doing otherwise equally well).

The first ones lead to monopolistic or quasi-monopolistic situations and kill originality and variety, that's why, IMO, it should be avoided here. That's why I don't like the "quality" criterion Dugi suggested. No need to repeat what woobly said, I share exactly the same opinion, and I would only add it would start endless discussions on what a good addon should be. Maybe this could satisfy egos of this competition winners, but the goal is player satisfaction, not authors.

At this point, we all agree on the download count being biased. IMO, I think it would be more reliable if players were better informed on what they can get. This information can be given:
- in the add-on screen of the game: certainly the best place, but it needs development and management work. That's why I suggested a limited modification using a simple criterion. We all know that creating a working and interesting add-on is a long project, and it's not very difficult to tell which add-ons are still in early stage of development. This could lead to some kind of approval as Fabi suggested, just looking how old the project is and the last update date. I think projects still evolving nine months or one year after their creation date could be approved on sight. It would be an objective and rather simple criterion to manage.

- in the forums/wiki: less visible but much easier to set up and maintain by a larger team than Wesnoth devs. IMO, these reviews should be written/moderated by a restricted user group, because if not, they shall become a battlefield (they are not yet, because they're confidential). Shadowmaster pointed out the language problem. I would say (as translation maintainer) that wiki reviews could be translated if they are rather stable, not if they are a space open to anyone. The problem here is to ensure visibility. A link in the post for new users is fine. Is it possible to do more ?

Friendly,
Campaign Return to Noelren *** HowTos: WML filtering, WML variables
Please help to to update the Guide to UMC Campaigns

User avatar
Dugi
Posts: 4955
Joined: July 22nd, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Carpathian Mountains
Contact:

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Dugi »

pyrophorus wrote:The first ones lead to monopolistic or quasi-monopolistic situations and kill originality and variety, that's why, IMO, it should be avoided here. That's why I don't like the "quality" criterion Dugi suggested.
Why should score rating kill originality? Mainstream and heavily unoriginal add-ons are rarely considered good (see all the defeating orcs campaigns). Also, numbers don't suffer from language problems.
pyrophorus wrote:No need to repeat what woobly said, I share exactly the same opinion, and I would only add it would start endless discussions on what a good addon should be.
If people enjoy playing an add-on, it is good. That is the principal rule. If somebody is replaying a campaign for the tenth time, you can conclude something about its quality.
pyrophorus wrote:Shadowmaster pointed out the language problem. I would say (as translation maintainer) that wiki reviews could be translated if they are rather stable, not if they are a space open to anyone.
It would be useless to translate the description of an add-on that is only available in english to other languages, I think. And most add-ons are english-only. The ones that are already translated are usually finished and pretty stable, and the review is not very likely to change (except for the case if the conception of a standard add-on changes, when the add-on becomes old-school, cult or obsolete).
A link in the post for new users is fine. Is it possible to do more ?
I think that the add-ons should have the reviews shown in the description GUI.

User avatar
pyrophorus
Posts: 513
Joined: December 1st, 2010, 12:54 pm

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by pyrophorus »

Dugi wrote:Why should score rating kill originality? Mainstream and heavily unoriginal add-ons are rarely considered good (see all the defeating orcs campaigns). Also, numbers don't suffer from language problems.
Because numbers are one dimension only and quality is not. Projecting a volume on a line result in information loss. And numbers come with an implicit order relationship you can't define in multi dimensionnal spaces. More of that, I know people who enjoy mainstream and heavily unoriginal addons.
Dugi wrote:If people enjoy playing an add-on, it is good. That is the principal rule. If somebody is replaying a campaign for the tenth time, you can conclude something about its quality.
You can only conclude this guy (or some people) do loves this add-on, no more. You noticed or not, but there are different players kinds on Wesnoth, and there is no consensus on what they find boring or interesting (just what woobly said). Hardcore players are not interested in RPG games and reciprocally. That's why a single unidimensionnal quality scale would be meaningless or even abusive.

Friendly,
Campaign Return to Noelren *** HowTos: WML filtering, WML variables
Please help to to update the Guide to UMC Campaigns

User avatar
Dugi
Posts: 4955
Joined: July 22nd, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Carpathian Mountains
Contact:

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Dugi »

You're telling absolutely the same thing as the developers in justification about FPI #32. It is indeed true, but you must understand that the people will order the add-ons somehow first, because there is a lot of them. They will order it either by the downloads count (no need to tell again how bad is it), or by the size (that isn't the best either, a whole faction with animations takes less space than one music track), and possibly never get to the good stuff (many interesting MP scenarios had no specific graphics, and 1 MiB of code takes like 100 kiB of archive size, while 1 MiB of code is really a lot). If it was ordered by some subjective ranking scores, they would see the popular add-on on the top, and then read the descriptions (and/or reviews, or tags, see the post bellow) and choose which one suits their taste.

In other words, in the title of this topic I wrote that the download count plays the role of a ranking system, and the download count as a quality-describing number is not only unidimensional, but also terrible. They should be some numbers to sort it, because otherwise people would sort it by size (which simply must be displayed).
Last edited by Dugi on June 5th, 2013, 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
GunChleoc
Translator
Posts: 487
Joined: September 28th, 2012, 7:35 am
Contact:

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by GunChleoc »

A tagging system as was already proposed in this thread would help here. People could filter for the type of add-on they're interested in over multiple dimensions, and then the list becomes easier to browse, no matter what ranking system if any. Once we have accumulated a pool of common tags, they might even be translated, if someone finds the time to program this.

Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Download count being an implicit ranking system

Post by Insinuator »

GunChleoc wrote:A tagging system as was already proposed in this thread would help here. People could filter for the type of add-on they're interested in over multiple dimensions, and then the list becomes easier to browse, no matter what ranking system if any.
A tagging system would be nice, but it doesn't address what is really at issue here: determining quality. It's merely a sorter. We already have sortable lists, the proposal would just add more options. I'm not saying that is a bad thing; I think it's great. But just because we have a sorted list of MP campaigns (for example), doesn't mean we know which contain incredible prose, original map design, meaningful characters, etc., and which are hastily compiled map grinds.

This thread is rehashing the same things over and over now, so I took the liberty of compiling a common theme highlighted by several people. I want to show the solidarity behind the idea of a Review system as opposed to a Ranking system:
pyrophorus wrote:numbers are one dimension only and quality is not. Projecting a volume on a line result in information loss. And numbers come with an implicit order relationship you can't define in multi dimensionnal spaces.
Dugi wrote:I think that the add-ons should have the reviews shown in the description GUI.
Coffee wrote:I am all for putting the reviews and rating system in the hands of players in a way that doesn't encourage UMC developers to go and waste time to "climb the ratings" unless they really have nothing better to do.

For something like the UMC guide it doesn't seem easy to find or fun for players to fill in. If you've dealt with tech or car companies, they usually give optional surveys out to fill in with minimal questions. I find that kind of thing works well (I actually fill in these surveys some of the time).
Adamant14 wrote:To reach an ordinary player the game main screen seems the only way. :hmm:
wobbly wrote:I prefer a reviewing system. Why? A ranking system tells me nothing other then that someone else liked it. It tells me very little about whether I'd like it. With a review I can read it & have some gauge of why they like it & if it sounds like what I look for in a game I'll download it & try it. Hey, I even find negative reviews useful. I can read it & say "You know what? All those things they just bitched about? That's what I like in a game. It's not for them but I'd probably quite enjoy that."
Look, we're agreeing on something! I truly believe having open, character-limited reviews accessible from the add-on download screen will be nothing but positive. The points in favor have been made again and again, so I won't rehash them here. But please consider it.

EDIT: Edited for clarity and honesty.

Post Reply