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Popularity Voting


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Additional feedback and ideas (cross-post from https://miscellaneum.wordpress.com/2023/03/19/popular-≠-interesting/😞



A little over a year ago, a fairly unpopular feature was added, that many players have referred to as some variation of “the popularity contest”:




New way of rating
On every 3rd day, after the 3rd hour, people with more than 3 consecutive active days, will get to vote who they sympathize and who they dislike from the recently active people. This is a dynamic rating, and will count long term but also short term. With this thing i will be able to draw involvement trends, see who is more appreciated by the community and who not. Your entire activity will be rated by the community in this way. Obviously your votes will remain secret, so you can be totally honest with your choice and not fear upsetting someone you downvoted.

It might be a controversial feature, because very interesting characters can very well be less popular, or even hated, but the thing is, there is always someone more dull, that you can downvote, than someone interesting but less known, or villain kind.

Depending on how this goes, my plans are to use these ratings, combined with active days, and wp points total, to decide who gets access to A25 tools, or other key roles.

Only very interesting people should get hold of god-like power tools in md, to shape the realm, and a part of this difficult decision is now in your power.



Some were upset with the notion of ranking (or being ranked by) other players. Others simply found the interstitial screen on log in disruptive and annoying. Personally, I’m not upset with the notion of a reputational system nor the interstitial screen on log in (especially now that the frequency seems to have been reduced), but I’m confused by the feature launch announcement. Are we voting on how much we like/dislike someone or how interesting they are?

I struggle to see how one can be used as a proxy for the other, and I also am concerned that if I dislike someone too frequently, that it’s an implied vote for their interestingness and that they may receive some of these “god-like power tools” alluded to in the announcement. Often my dislike for a player stems from their lack of responsibility or common sense behavior, rather than a in-character grudge.

In the spirit of constructive criticism, here’s a few other ways to get a sense of a player’s interestingness:

  • Nominations – An ongoing quest where any player can nominate another player, with a short writeup of why they think they’re interesting. Keep the accepted nominations secret and let them accumulate over time until there’s enough cause for a reward to the nominated player. Perhaps a gold coin to the person nominating, for every accepted nomination, or keep whether a nomination has been accepted/rejected secret as well, and have a more substantial “finder’s fee” for each nominator once the nominee is selected for a reward.
  • Called shots – It could be interesting to track what a player sets out to accomplish (ambition) and what they achieve (follow through). A good way to do this is to have a place for a player to record “called shots”, goals that are recorded in advance of tackling them. Two possible ways to implement this are:
    • Called shots are obscured/encrypted in a new log and (at a later date) marked as completed by the player. This way we could measure the duration from idea to implementation (longer time indicates long term planning / forethought).
    • Alternatively the player selects an unveil time when entering the goal, e.g., “I will achieve this within X days/months”, and “I was successful/unsuccessful” upon reveal (with less time indicating ability to follow through on plans quickly, assuming goal was sufficiently ambitious).
  • Personal Change Log – Similar to called shots, but simpler. Players don’t have to pre-commit to a path of action, but are simply encouraged to write up their accomplishments every quarter or year or so.

Returning, for a moment, to reputation systems, I think that could be done better than forced voting on an interval as well. Here are some ideas there:

  • Karmic spell system – Each active player gets 3 blessings and 3 hexes a week that they can cast on other players. Maybe they also need to specify a category and write a short reason as to why they’re casting each blessing/hex. These blessings/hexes need not do anything at the time they are cast, besides entering the reason for the use of this cantrip in a log for later perusal in the Log Review Room. Main differences between this and current system, is that each karmic cantrip is a reaction to a particular action and that caster shares a note on why they’re blessing/cursing the other player.


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