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Old 11-26-2010, 05:51 AM   #1
Darren Brimhall
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Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

I often wonder how voting here works.

Would it be possible to 'pad' votes for a site, espcially if that Game site is suffering steady decline due to corruption, to make it look 'better than it really is?

I base this question on the belief that any Game must stand on its merits, and must be constantly maintained to provide enjoyment to their playerbases--which can be exspanded not only through advertisments but more importantly through positive player-word-of-mouth, which attracts even more attention and players.

But any Game that resorts to such vote-padding, is a Game that's not worth spending any amount of time at. If they can't be honest about it, then don't exspect any honesty while playing there.

What do you think?

Darren Brimhall

Last edited by Darren Brimhall : 11-26-2010 at 06:13 AM. Reason: There was no proof to support the original claim. Post was rewritten to reflect this.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

Huh?

Who's doing what to whom?
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:36 AM   #3
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

It really doesn't matter what we think.

The simple and honest truth is that a lot of games "pad" their votes, as you put it. I know of one in particular which was doing this quite blatantly a few months ago in an attempt to save its own sinking ass -- with only an average of 5 to 12 players (single loyal individuals), the game somehow managed to generate nearly 200 votes that put it on the top page alongside games with much heftier player-bases.

I can't speak for the administrative end of this site, but I think the general consensus is that this is bad juju. Unfortunately, politics, time, and the hobbyist nature of this entire genre means that it's not realistic to expect the rules will be enforced all the time. Not to mention that there is no way to really tell if a game is padding its votes or if a vigilante player is doing so, and there's no way to stop it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
It really doesn't matter what we think.

The simple and honest truth is that a lot of games "pad" their votes, as you put it. I know of one in particular which was doing this quite blatantly a few months ago in an attempt to save its own sinking ass -- with only an average of 5 to 12 players (single loyal individuals), the game somehow managed to generate nearly 200 votes that put it on the top page alongside games with much heftier player-bases.

I can't speak for the administrative end of this site, but I think the general consensus is that this is bad juju. Unfortunately, politics, time, and the hobbyist nature of this entire genre means that it's not realistic to expect the rules will be enforced all the time. Not to mention that there is no way to really tell if a game is padding its votes or if a vigilante player is doing so, and there's no way to stop it.

And I believe its happening again with another corrupt game, one that was simply nowhere six months ago and now is in the top 40 on the list.

Oh well, the place is under the control of the Favored Players who hog all the info on all the plots that occur, which are shallow at best, and who cannot properly run the guilds and offices there--plus, staff there helps the favored find out whose spreading rumors there, amongst other things that go towards 'distracting' newbies from how rotten the place really is.

Then again, when the players of other games return from the hollidays, I fully exspect to see this game vanish from the list when they start voting for their game in earenst.

Thank you for the information...

Darren Brimhall
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

How is it, that they are padding their votes? The game itself can't generate votes...and players can only vote twice in 24 hours from the same IP address. If you assume that 12 loyal players on the previous post's tally...each voting twice a day, they'd only need to vote for 16 days before they hit 200. And those are just the loyal ones. Add a few random players who aren't loyal, but have decided to pick that mud as their favorite for a few days. At 16 players voting twice per day, you'd only need them to do so for 12.5 days before they hit 200 votes.

There are some games that have enough players to shove the #1 spot out of the way and take its place, IF every single registered member of the game voted twice daily. Gemstone alone could easily take the coveted first place spot, if they cared.

Really though, the list doesn't really mean a game is good, or bad, or even that it's liked, or disliked. It just means a lot of people are using the vote button to access topmudsites. Some are doing it to vote. Some (like myself) are using it because we're too lazy to type in the URL and don't have it bookmarked and like to read the forums.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

One way of doing it, and yes, it does sound crazy, would be to open another account in a different name.

This can work if the Game offers a free introductory period, as the Game in question does. So, 12 becomes 24--that's if all of them are doing it, which isn't likely. But a majority of those 12, say 6 or 8, could generate 200 votes for the place in a much shorter frame of time.

This is a suspition, and concidering the fact that the place is in serious decline I'm not surprised at all that this is hapening with that partictular Game.

But we must also consider the fact that this is the Holidays, many gamers are finishing up another semenster at school or making plans to be with family that will take them away from the game they play--so those games that would be in the higher rankings are now sinking untill their players return.

Well see what happens after the New Year starts if this holds true or not.

Darren Brimhall
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

Darren, it wouldn't matter how many accounts you have in a mud. It isn't your mud account voting. It's your computer voting. Topmudsites doesn't receive votes from muds. It receives votes from IP addresses. If you have 400 accounts on a mud, you can still only vote twice per day from any given computer/IP address.

Last edited by Jazuela : 11-29-2010 at 05:28 PM. Reason: misspelled Darren's name, fixed it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:44 PM   #8
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Darren, it wouldn't matter how many accounts you have in a mud. It isn't your mud account voting. It's your computer voting. Topmudsites doesn't receive votes from muds. It receives votes from IP addresses. If you have 400 accounts on a mud, you can still only vote twice per day from any given computer/IP address.

Ah, well then I appologize; that place makes me aggravated and gives MUD's a very bad name.

I hope that after the Holidays things change, and that place sinks back downward.

Darren Brimhall
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:35 AM   #9
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
How is it, that they are padding their votes? The game itself can't generate votes...and players can only vote twice in 24 hours from the same IP address. If you assume that 12 loyal players on the previous post's tally...each voting twice a day, they'd only need to vote for 16 days before they hit 200. And those are just the loyal ones. Add a few random players who aren't loyal, but have decided to pick that mud as their favorite for a few days. At 16 players voting twice per day, you'd only need them to do so for 12.5 days before they hit 200 votes.

There are some games that have enough players to shove the #1 spot out of the way and take its place, IF every single registered member of the game voted twice daily. Gemstone alone could easily take the coveted first place spot, if they cared.

Really though, the list doesn't really mean a game is good, or bad, or even that it's liked, or disliked. It just means a lot of people are using the vote button to access topmudsites. Some are doing it to vote. Some (like myself) are using it because we're too lazy to type in the URL and don't have it bookmarked and like to read the forums.
I mistyped.

It was not '200' votes total. It was nearly 200 votes per day. This number was reported second-hand from an individual who spoke with Lasher on the exact topic. Note that the game had almost 200 votes directly after several resets. (( To my knowledge, the padding has since died down and stopped. ))

The key is "from the same IP address." When I used to work on a MUD, we had problems with numerous players using proxies to pretend to be multiple individuals, or log in from behind banned IPs.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:38 AM   #10
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by Darren Brimhall View Post
Ah, well then I appologize; that place makes me aggravated and gives MUD's a very bad name.

I hope that after the Holidays things change, and that place sinks back downward.

Darren Brimhall
They've aggravated you by getting more votes than you feel they deserve, apparently without cheating?

How aggravating. The dastards!

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Old 12-01-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

Yea....

The place doesn't even deserve mentioning, let alone being played...




And now to deal with the Flu.


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Old 12-03-2010, 01:20 AM   #12
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

Ranks and ratings based on votes are utterly useless, and I ignore them. Knowing how many are on a game at what hours is more useful to me; for that, I use Mudstats.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:06 AM   #13
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Ranks and ratings based on votes are utterly useless, and I ignore them. Knowing how many are on a game at what hours is more useful to me; for that, I use Mudstats.
I went to this mudstats site and found that every stat is wrong about the MUD that I'm currently on. The ranking on TMC and TMS were completely wrong and the amount of players it said was off by 100. Where do they get this lame info and why do you use it? Just curious..

Last edited by Anjanas : 12-08-2010 at 01:07 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:04 AM   #14
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by Anjanas View Post
I went to this mudstats site and found that every stat is wrong about the MUD that I'm currently on. The ranking on TMC and TMS were completely wrong and the amount of players it said was off by 100. Where do they get this lame info and why do you use it? Just curious..
They use various methods, I believe. I've found the stats to be pretty accurate for my mud, but that may be because I support MSSP, which allows MudStats to directly request whatever data it wants. They appear to use some sort of bot for connecting to most muds though, and I don't know how frequently it checks. If it's only doing it once per day, it may catch the mud when the playerbase is particularly low (or high), and even then it'll only be able to see what a new player would see by typing 'who'.

MudStats can only use whatever data the muds are willing to offer, so if you don't think it's fairly representing your mud, the solution is pretty simple: offer it better data.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:27 AM   #15
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
They use various methods, I believe. I've found the stats to be pretty accurate for my mud, but that may be because I support MSSP, which allows MudStats to directly request whatever data it wants. They appear to use some sort of bot for connecting to most muds though, and I don't know how frequently it checks. If it's only doing it once per day, it may catch the mud when the playerbase is particularly low (or high), and even then it'll only be able to see what a new player would see by typing 'who'.

MudStats can only use whatever data the muds are willing to offer, so if you don't think it's fairly representing your mud, the solution is pretty simple: offer it better data.


very interesting.


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Old 12-08-2010, 10:08 PM   #16
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

I checked out this site awhile ago and went back yesterday. While I agree somewhat with Kavir, the bulk of their information looks outdated or inaccurate. They post daily updates but the updates are wrong in many instances. One of many examples, Batmud was listed as 8th on TMS yesterday and they have been 2nd for over a week. Other examples are nearly every single game I checked had 1/4th less the player base than was listed except for the games that listed numbers with a tilde like ~50 players. In these cases every game had playerbase listing of at least 1/4th less than the actual. In some cases the listing was 1/2 the actual.

In any case, it is an interesting site for viewing purposes, but nothing more in my oppinion.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:43 AM   #17
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

As near as I can tell, the userload numbers starting with a ~ are constants, probably where someone logged in manually and took a snapshot. In short, they're extremely outdated, and less likely to be correct.

Like KaVir has found with his games, I've found the stats for Alter Aeon to be pretty accurate. It looks from my logs that the bot checks every hour or two. I don't use MSSP like he does, rather we export XML with the connect data in it. I believe they wrote a special handler for that; before the addition of the XML interfaces, they were parsing our html who list directly.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:11 PM   #18
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

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Originally Posted by dentin View Post
As near as I can tell, the userload numbers starting with a ~ are constants, probably where someone logged in manually and took a snapshot. In short, they're extremely outdated, and less likely to be correct.

Like KaVir has found with his games, I've found the stats for Alter Aeon to be pretty accurate. It looks from my logs that the bot checks every hour or two. I don't use MSSP like he does, rather we export XML with the connect data in it. I believe they wrote a special handler for that; before the addition of the XML interfaces, they were parsing our html who list directly.

-dentin
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This is turning into quite a learning experience for me in such matters.


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Old 01-06-2011, 11:14 AM   #19
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Re: Would you consider this to be Voting Fraud

On Star Conquest we've found MudStats to be pretty accurate (at least for player data). From our logs, we can tell that they poll us on a more or less hourly basis, barring hiccups on our end or their end, using MSSP.

We still get the ~ for our player count though, oddly enough.
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