What Voting Criteria do you use?

edited September 2007 in General Discussion


  • Jennifer
    Posts: 78
    I've noticed that very few campaigns etc. have votes on them (I've voted for a few, myself). So, I wonder what voting criteria the very few voters use. Mine are pretty simple:

    1. Sections of the campaign filled out. Is there stuff in the Party Wiki? Is it useful? What about NPC's? Maps?

    2. Pictures. Everyone likes pictures.

    3. Is it well-organized?

    4. Is it actually interesting?
  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    My criteria are similar. I tend to emphasize creative use of Textile, good character bios, as well as exciting adventure logs. I guess I put the adventure logs above all else.

    Speaking of which, yours are quite good. I only wish they were hosted here ;)
  • Charsen
    Posts: 85
    1. Well organized links to wiki entries, items and characters.
    2. Good use of textile to make things look readable.
    3. Using mostly Obsidian Portal entries and not just a bunch of links to external sites.
    4. Interesting plots, characters.
    5. Pictures that relate to the storyline.

    My campaigns are lacking in some of my own criteria, but those happen to be goals as well. :)
  • outrider
    Posts: 46
    I think the other main reason that there are so few with votes is that many of the settings have nothing in them but title and little else. I would rather vote on those who are inputting things which seems to be a small percentage of the accounts.
  • Jennifer
    Posts: 78
    I'd host my logs here, but after the nightmare I had getting Blogger to take the formatting on one post I didn't want to mess with it. Besides, I've been posting this sort of thing to my blog for over a year now.
  • photoneater
    Posts: 182
    I've not noticed any sort of etiquette regarding old topics on here, so I will revive this topic with all the shame of a CE necromancer played by a 14 year old all hopped up on Red Bull.

    My own criteria are a bit different. In order of priority, I look for-

    1. Originality or involvement of the game. Games that really go in new directions or games that have really in-depth stories going on really earn points with me. I don't expect a campaign to be an avant-garde experience, nor do I expect every game to be a Shakespearean expansion upon the traditional Friday night game. However, ingenuity and attention to detail really show that the DM and/or players care about their game, and that's really cool with me- and I don't care HOW geeky that makes me sound.

    2. Use of the system- obviously, the more someone uses the system, the higher I rate it. We're talking NPCs in the NPC tracker, party wikis with interesting data, adventure logs that at least look like someone is putting forth an effort... Also, the more bells and whistles that a GM or player adds, the better- character dialogue scenes, backstories, character development exercises, world data, terminology, house rules, campaign specific monsters and goodies... all of that goes a LONG way towards bumping a campaign up for me. Little blue links all over the page just make me happy, I guess.

    3. Characters- the more interesting or unique the characters, the higher I rate. By unique, I don't necessarily mean "CG one legged half-vampire, half-dragon, half-yuan ti halfing barbarian/wizard", but rather unique in the sense that the character seems to have the qualities of a real person- that is to say, a personality, quirks and mannerisms, and a history all their own.

    4. Storyline. I'll admit, I am total fussbudget when it comes to fantasy storylines. I'm spoiled, picky, and a bit of a snob. However, even if it isn't my cup of tea, if a campaign can keeps itself moving and I can read through the adventure logs and find myself at least partially interested in how things will pan out, I give it kudos for plot.

    5. Organization. Proper and creative use of textile is nice, but basically I look for legibility. I won't drop the one-bomb for a few spelling mistakes here and there, but I do expect to be able to read the thing and figure out what is what.

    Things I am not particularly impressed by (and this is just me, personally)-

    1. Lots of images. Sure, they look nice and add some color to the page, but it doesn't really make the campaign any more compelling to me as a reader. I'll take my thousand words any day.

    2. Maps. It could just be that I'm notoriously bad with directions, but I rarely find myself longing for a map when I go over a campaign- or even play in one. I'm perfectly happy just knowing that the castle is east and the mountains are north. I'm a bit weird, though.

    3. Excessive formatting. Sure, it looks nice and I can appreciate the work and the use of the system. However, sometimes a ton of packaging can still hold a poor product. I haven't really seen much of this yet, but I have to admit, I expect to see it in the future.

    Anyway, that's just me weighing in on this old subject, and hoping a few others might pop in and do the same.

    bq. I’d host my logs here, but after the nightmare I had getting Blogger to take the formatting on one post I didn’t want to mess with it. Besides, I’ve been posting this sort of thing to my blog for over a year now.

    I can understand not wanting to be redundantly posting a lot of material. Besides, your campaign makes a lot of use of the system in other regards, so all in all I would say it's all fair.
  • geekevolved
    Posts: 75
    I'm one of those guilty users that doesn't go looking at other people's campaigns and votes on them. Its' just not how I roll. Now that I got op in my RSS reader, things might improved ;) Typically, though, I will look at the featured campaign or item or npc and vote at that point.

    My critiera is content, content, content. I like seeing a lot of things in there, formatted well and full of content ;) (did I get that across yet). Images don't make me excited, but if its a good wiki/npc/item and it has an image, they get brownie points. Sometimes there are images there that distract you from the lack of content.
  • MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    If I had to make up a basic rubric...

    5 STARS: I'd pay $ to play in this campaign. i.e. Ptolus run by Monte Cook himself
    1 STAR: You couldn't pay me $ to play in this campaign. i.e. 1st time DM who obviously doesn't prepare
    2-4 STARS: Most of the campaigns I've been in. Some nights are great & memorable, others are slow & unfun.

    So if everyone is using different criteria with which to rank, doesn't that make the rankings even more arbitrary?

    Steve G.
  • photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. So if everyone is using different criteria with which to rank, doesn’t that make the rankings even more arbitrary?

    Indeed, good sir!

    Well, maybe not so much arbitrary, but it definitely makes any given rating a bit questionable. After all, what someone may deem worthy of a 3 someone else may deem worthy of a 5, and then you have to consider what those numbers even mean to the voter in the first place. Some will only 5 what they consider to a paragon of games, whereas some people giving out a 5 is tantamount to a casual compliment.
  • MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    {tips hat} Thanks.

    When the rankings were private, seemed some people were excessively strict/harsh/unfair.
    So I'd guess many campaigns were lower-ranked than they should have been.

    Now that the rankings are public, people are seemingly excessively polite/nice/fair.
    So I'd guess many campaigns are higher than they should really be.

    But the whole thing is artificial anyways. :P
  • Jennifer
    Posts: 78
    Everything in the entire world that you use is artificial, so why grouse about it? Just because it's man-made, that doesn't make it arbitrary.

    This is called the fallacy of context-dropping. It's also characteristic of Platonic idealism. There is no one right "perfect" rating. Ratings are a *comparative* measure, not an *absolute* measure against some ideal which may or may not even exist in reality. How do I rate? I look at a *wide selection* of different games to develop an idea of a benchmark. Most of the campaigns on this site have only 1 or at most 2 posts in the log, the party wiki doesn't contain anything, and they have 2 NPC's and no map.

    Anything more than that "site dabbler" average rates a 3 in my book, *especially* if they've updated recently. Games that are obviously ongoing and being continuously developed are in the top 10% of games around here. Seriously. They get a 4. If they are *well*-developed, they get a 5. It's kind of funny that you equate excessive *fairness* with a rating that is *too high*. I've never met anyone that was *fair* and simultaneously gave someone more than they deserved. So cut your grinching and get out there and vote.

    P.S. Would anyone have any major objections if I started a thread to list the names of people that systematically down-vote campaigns? (i.e. people that NEVER hand out votes in the 3+ category).
  • DarthKrzysztof
    Posts: 132
    bq. P.S. Would anyone have any major objections if I started a thread to list the names of people that systematically down-vote campaigns? (i.e. people that NEVER hand out votes in the 3+ category).

    Not at all, because I see that it's already starting again. As long as my players and I are happy, I know I shouldn't care what anyone else thinks of my game, but it _really_ bothers me some that people have nothing better to do than sling mud at the campaigns of others - whether to prop up their own games or not.
  • photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. P.S. Would anyone have any major objections if I started a thread to list the names of people that systematically down-vote campaigns? (i.e. people that NEVER hand out votes in the 3+ category).

    I believe I would find that to be _highly_ entertaining.
  • viz
    Posts: 19
    _P.S. Would anyone have any major objections if I started a thread to list the names of people that systematically down-vote campaigns? (i.e. people that NEVER hand out votes in the 3+ category)._

    I'll add a third affirmative vote.
  • kresnik_alchemist
    Posts: 13
    I don't know about entertaining, Photon, but it certainly would be place for those to go to explain why they gave a low rating, but I'm sure those that always give a low vote would be too scared of everyone coming down on them to even think about clicking on reply.

    Also I was curious as to what everyone thinks about giving a 1 to a campaign that has obviously just started, i.e having absolutely nothing but a name and a brief description. Would it be considered poor etiquette, or deserving for not being truly prepared?
  • photoneater
    Posts: 182
    bq. Also I was curious as to what everyone thinks about giving a 1 to a campaign that has obviously just started, i.e having absolutely nothing but a name and a brief description. Would it be considered poor etiquette, or deserving for not being truly prepared?

    If it is legitimately a new campaign, then yeah, that's highly unfair.

    For the most part, I don't see that happening. Now, if that campaign happens to get a high vote and ends up on the front page, then you tend to see the negative votes come pouring down, but generally people don't vote on campaigns that are brand new and haven't had a chance for actual content. Now, if a campaign sits inactive without any content for some time, it's a different case. Then it goes from just being unprepared to being lacking in content, if not just out and out abandoned.

    bq. I don’t know about entertaining, Photon

    C'mon, everyone loves a little schadenfreude every now and again. :P

    Seriously, though, I think the best way for the community to prevent behaviors they find to be unsavory is to display their dissatisfaction. The administrators can't tackle every problem, and not every problem can be solved with an update or new feature- sometimes, it just comes down to us decide on our own standards, as a group. Calling out negative behavior doesn't need to be nasty or mean-spirited. It is okay for people to say "Hey, we don't think that is cool, knock it off".
  • kresnik_alchemist
    Posts: 13
    People tend to say things over the internet that are much more harsh than they would face to face. As long as people were able to keep things civil and discuss things out like the adults that we should be, I think it's a good idea. I just don't want to see the people who visit the forums get mean and nasty.
  • photoneater
    Posts: 182
    Oh, I know they do. I think the effect anonymity has on our inhibitions is pretty clear, already, given the topic of this and other recent conversations. Once again, though- if we all want to be civil and discuss things in a rational and respectful manner, we can make that happen. After all, if someone comes in and behaves childishly, the rest of us don't have to participate in the rudeness just because that person is- to the contrary, I think that by simply refusing to tolerate it, it will send a pretty clear message that this isn't the place for that sort of behavior. I don't want to see any unwarranted aggression or mean spirited behavior, I don't think anyone does.

    However, if someone is going to come onto the site, and make consistent, negative votes against campaigns with no merit, I think that the community should know they are doing it. I know if I were to receive a 1 from someone at random, I would feel much better about knowing if that vote was a genuine vote or if it was just some sort of thoughtless attack from someone who has a reputation for that sort of thing. If someone really has an issue with a campaign, they should be able to say so, even if that means giving out a 1 rating. However, this issue was never about people earnestly giving out 1s, it is about people who consistently give out 1s and 2s to highly visible campaigns with any sort of discretion. That's the sort of problem we're seeing, and that is the sort of problem we want to stop. Sometimes, feedback is going to be bad, and while it sucks to hear it, it can help us make things better. However, when the venues we have for feedback become abused, then it basically makes the venues pointless. However, if you were able to recognize the voters that tend to do this, it would make it easier to differentiate the real feedback from the false feedback.

    I don't think Jennifer is talking about creating some sort of arena for the rest of us to kick and taunt a person that has been singled out for their voting habits, but rather just creating a known list of users who have shown that they have a strong tendency towards handing out negative feedback without contributing any sort of positive feedback, as well.

    And to clarify, I do find that amusing, because it has a sort of poetic quality to it. Almost Scarlet Letter-esque. I'm not amused at the idea of anyone being shamed or singled out, but I do find the idea of clandestine bullies being caught in the act more than a little humorous.
  • IceBob
    Posts: 98
    I tend to rate things for their organization, full use of the site, and much more importantly their creativeness and whether I'd want to play in the game or not.

    One good thing about the new rating system is that you can see who gave you the negative rating, click on their user profile, and check out their voting record for yourself. From that you can see pretty easily whether or not the vote is genuine.

    Still, I do enjoy the occasional public beating. (j/k)
  • Idless
    Posts: 58
    I think the first thing to ask yourself:

    Do you rate the wiki?

    or the game?

    obviously you don' play the game, but do you rate on interesting npcs, good plots and excellent play?

    I rate the wiki... if it good nicely done logs, a cleanly formatted wiki, that looks nice, chok full of stuff, its a 3 or 5. Obvious player involvement pulls it up. If it obvious what the gm, or better, the group *wants* witht the wiki, its a big plus. Also, when they don't it tend to be a mess. Lastly, wikis that inspire me to do something different or more with my wiki really drives up the score I give.

    I don't try to see if, if I think it looks like a great game. I am here for the wiki, and I rate other peoples wikis.

    And different criteria does not lessen the quality - rather it enhances it. If I give it on overall, some give for detail, and some give for the quality of the contents... be it what seems to give for a better game, or just well written. The ratings a just weigthed then. Then a great looks is worth a 50%, good game material 20%, updates 10%, favorite system 5%, Player involement 5%. Why? how? by mandate of the people! and the ratings are always listed with number of votes so it seems all ok. *the figures is just an imaginary example*

  • Wolvyn
    Posts: 26
    Ill probally get 1's across the board as i have noo clue how to work a wiki.. and little to no desire to learn how at the moment. ive got a years worth of backstory to get posted, then convince my players to come here.. then figure out the wiki stuff.
    and in all honesty.. i could care less what a random (no offense) person thinks of my game.

    All i have so far is just a few main npc's and the two main pc's very roughly posted so far. as well as some snippets of last weeks adventure. ive been running my guys thru larossia for a year, weekly or bi-weekly.

    As long as my players are having fun thats all i care about as a DM.
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