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Old 09-23-2002, 10:52 PM   #1
Tavish
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Not exactly sure which forum to go with, hopefully this is close enough.

As many know this is not the first time this topic has popped up, but I figured due to the recent influx of complaints now would be as good of a time as any to start it up again. Of course it is impossible to come up with a "best mud list" so it could well be that the current system is the best solution. No harm throwing a few more out there.

Now on the suggestions that have popped up recently (sorry if I missed any).

1) Seperate the pay-to-play sites from those not either through a seperate listing or a visible marking such as $$.
Downside would be it doesnt solve the problem of "buying" votes.

2) Account system where the voting is tied to a player account.
Downside being people can create vote-only accounts and spam away at the system, perhaps moreso than they can now.

3) Hiding the vote totals from the public and showing the top 10 muds in a random order.
Downside is it would probably result in few hits to the website being that the competition basically stops once you are in the top 10. Also creates the problem that there is no "top mud" on Top Mud Sites.

4) Put my mud at the top and the rest of you can bugger off.

:shrug: not a complete list I'm sure but should be good enough to start with. Take one and run with it, come up with something new or tell me to shut the hell up because what is there now is fine.
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:06 PM   #2
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And 5) Seperate the P2P and free MUDs into seperate listings.

I personally support this one. Obviously, it has all the advantages of the other systems, and definite advantages of its own.

-D
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:34 PM   #3
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If it's not broken, why fix it? The "list" itself is not the only way to generate publicity for your game. The #100 game on the list, if its owner so chose, could be on the front page, either on a rotating basis or on a regular fixed basis by getting an ad from Top MUD Sites.

My game used to regularly be in the top 10. These days, we're lucky to stay in the top 20. But I haven't seen a big decrease in traffic, because I also invest in banner ads. It doesn't cost all that much, it's worthwhile, and it shows some support for Top MUD Sites that goes beyond demanding that the guy who runs it find a way to change it so it makes everybody happy, which is impossible.
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tavish @ Sep. 23 2002,6:52 pm)
1) Seperate the pay-to-play sites from those not either through a seperate listing or a visible marking such as $$.
Downside would be it doesnt solve the problem of "buying" votes.

2) Account system where the voting is tied to a player account.
Downside being people can create vote-only accounts and spam away at the system, perhaps moreso than they can now.

3) Hiding the vote totals from the public and showing the top 10 muds in a random order.
Downside is it would probably result in few hits to the website being that the competition basically stops once you are in the top 10. Also creates the problem that there is no "top mud" on Top Mud Sites.

4) Put my mud at the top and the rest of you can bugger off.
1) I think that is a good idea to put a money sign of some kind to symbolize it is a pay-to-play MUD. Seperating them would not be fair for those MUDs though. It's "Top Mud Sites", not Top MUD Sites (Free) and Top Mud Sites (Costs Moolah).

What's buying votes?

2)Not a good idea in my opinion. Possibly make it so they have to show there are a dedicated member before they can vote? I don't really know.

3) Don't like it. Top Mud Sites again... Not top 10 random muds...

4) But.. But... But...
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:27 PM   #5
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I agree that pay-to-play MUDs should at the very least have a $ next to their name just so that it is visible to those looking at a glance who the top PTP and top free MUDs are.
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:33 PM   #6
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No seperation, no little money signs. It's Top Mud Sites. It's immediately obvious when you join a MUD if you are going to have to pay for it. If you don't like paying, well, you just wasted a whole 15 seconds. I think the world can live with that.
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Old 09-25-2002, 12:21 AM   #7
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I like the idea of money signs. If this place is to give information about muds, isn't the fact that it costs money to play a particular mud a valuable piece of information? Furthermore, it lets someone looking at the list know immediately what muds they may want to check out if, for instance, they don't have the money, or the inclination, to pay for a mud.

Since not all muds have the same pay scheme, maybe something like the following could be implemented.

$$$ = must pay to play
$$ = free to play, extras costs money
$ = donations accepted

or

$$ = pay to play
$ = extras cost money
(cent sign) = donations accepted

Thoughts?
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
$$ = pay to play
$ = extras cost money
(cent sign) = donations accepted
The above sounds good to me. It offers a bit of extra information. The companies that charge do have greater resources which impacts the quality of the game and some players only want to try games that are absolutely free.

I do think that the management of this site should make a call on whether or not it is acceptable to offer incentives to players to vote.

From the perspective of getting as much traffic to this site as possible I think allowing incentives would probably generate the most traffic. I think it does skew the voting so it is a call management should make. If it is clearly acceptable then all games can go ahead and offer some sort of incentive to players. If not then those games who are found to do so can be condemned for doing so.

As things stand it appears to be a grey area that some games would not feel comfortable implementing such a system without a clear indication that it is an acceptable norm.

Idealistically I would prefer that incentives be barred but realistically they do increase the level of traffic. It is neither inherently fair nor unfair but rather a function of making an open decision to accept it or not.
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:12 AM   #9
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I prefer it this way, Mason.
$ = Pay to play, including "Extras cost cash" or however you want to say it.
No $ = Not pay to play.

Far easier to understand _and enforce_ than your system.

-D
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:23 AM   #10
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Keep it the same. If games value their spot on TopMudSites, they should fight for it!
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:28 AM   #11
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Yes, keep it simple.
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ike @ Sep. 25 2002,12:23 am)
Keep it the same. If games value their spot on TopMudSites, they should fight for it!
Adding a $ to indicate that it is a p2p mud does nothing to affect muds fighting for a spot they value. It merely provides more information to those who wish to check out other muds.

Dulan:
Any of the three proposed systems is fine with me. I just thought the others provided a bit more information. But, I also understand the rationale for keeping it simple.
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Brody:
It doesn't cost all that much, it's worthwhile, and it shows some support for Top MUD Sites that goes beyond demanding that the guy who runs it find a way to change it so it makes everybody happy, which is impossible.
I don't think anyone is demanding anything, its why the topic is labeled as a discussion. Since there was such a major outcry about the current system, I figured at the least we could get a decent discussion out of it. In the least it would give people something more tangible to talk about. I dont have any real qualms with the current system, but it can't hurt to throw new ideas out (wether they are truly new or not).

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Dulan:
Far easier to understand _and enforce_ than your system.
That reminded me (hate to cross-post, but hell thats what this entire thread is anyways) a suggestion I read from you on enforcement of a voting policy. Correct me if I screw it up.

Players from mud A can report mud A breaking TMS policy to a panel that will follow up. Should the mud be breaking policy th would be penalties(??), should the claim be false the any further accusations by that player would be ignored. Seems like a decent idea (throws it out to the wolves).
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Old 09-25-2002, 04:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by
Keep it the same. If games value their spot on TopMudSites, they should fight for it!
Yes, but how? Consistency is required for balance. If one game offers incentives to players in the form of experience bonuses, items, or discounts, then to be on an even footing other games would have to do the same in a manner that suits their environment.

It does take time to come here and vote. Not long but to do so daily or every twelve hours is a lot even for a player that adores the game they are voting for. How long is anyone really going to keep that up? Offering an incentive to players definitely makes a difference.

Each gaming environment would have to select a "thanks" they considered managable and appropriate to their particular set up. I can't imagine Dragonrealms giving experience bonuses but I am sure the very creative GMs could come up with something that would not impact game balance yet would reward those who take the time to come here and vote for them.

I am voting because I would like to see Dragonrealms and the many volunteer gamemasters get the recognition for what they have created and continue to expand on. I would also like to encourage more people to swing by Dragonrealms and give it a try.

There is no doubt in my mind that even with a small incentive GemstoneIII would be in first position and Dragonrealms in second, both by a large lead, even though Dragonrealms should be in first position. That would encourage more players to give us a whirl.
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Old 09-25-2002, 05:43 AM   #15
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Allow me to insert a silly pro-European blurb in here (I'm the only mainland European in here methinks ) and try to switch the $ signs systems to a signs system, because slowly but surely the Euro is becoming a more standardized and accepted currency, especially since it's adopted by far more countries then countired who adopted the USD. Lastly, the sign doesn't look as cliche as the $
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Old 09-25-2002, 08:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Seraphina @ Sep. 25 2002,03:25 am)
I am voting because I would like to see Dragonrealms and the many volunteer gamemasters get the recognition for what they have created and continue to expand on. I would also like to encourage more people to swing by Dragonrealms and give it a try.
Now this is exactly what I thought this caper was about all along. Basically its saying, "I'm voting because I like the game and the way it is run."

In the end I believe people will play and vote for a game because they like the game, where the game sits on the TMS list will have nothing to with it. If they didn't like the game they wouldn't stay long enough to worry about incentives to vote. In other words, regardless of what incentive is given, the real reason a particular game is getting a lot of votes is because people like the game enough to stay and play and then in turn vote.
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Old 09-25-2002, 09:41 AM   #17
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A system of dollar signs or what-have-you seems a bit redundant, given that most if not all pay-to-play games list this on their information page. I would assume most potential players at least click the info button and check out the features before running off to join a new game. In this sense, placing dollar signs on the top MUDs listing would serve only to benefit the lazy.

Personally, I think a lot of folks are getting a bit too uptight about something that is essentially a gimmick to get people to browse this site. If you're concerned about getting meaningful MUD ratings then (a) organize a MUD review board composed of text-game obsessed couch potatoes who do nothing but play MUDs 24/7 and have them conduct what would amount to an online wine tasting, or (b) organize and conduct a scientific poll of MUDders and their MUDs of preference. Then we can devote entire threads to how these processes were tainted and biased from the start .
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Tavish:
I don't think anyone is demanding anything, its why the topic is labeled as a discussion. Since there was such a major outcry about the current system, I figured at the least we could get a decent discussion out of it. In the least it would give people something more tangible to talk about. I dont have any real qualms with the current system, but it can't hurt to throw new ideas out (wether they are truly new or not).
When one person posts about the possibility of change, it doesn't necessarily need to be read as a "demand," I agree. But when multiple people post about it, and begin tossing about specifics (such as how certain MUDs should be labeled and quantified), it absolutely implies that the demand exists for such change.

I repeat my suggestion: Want to stand out above the other MUDs on the list? Advertise. This isn't a new complaint. It comes up at least once every six months or so. I've even been among those who tried to find ideas to "change" Synozeer's TMS project so it might be more beneficial to "the little guys." But, you know what? It's not my listing. It's Synozeer's. I wouldn't want anyone coming to my game and having debates on public boards about how I should run it - how presumptuous is that? He offers us a place to advertise, and people complain when the free advertising becomes so precious.

If you have legitimate concerns and suggestions, rather than posturing in a public debate, why not just e-mail Synozeer? I've always found him to be quite responsive. If he likes ideas, he'll implement them. If he doesn't, he won't. It's that simple. But, were I him, I'd be getting plenty aggravated right now at the gnashing of teeth going on from game operators who are carrying on about the diminished value of their free advertising when they could boost their visibility by purchasing banner ads.
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by
If you have legitimate concerns and suggestions, rather than posturing in a public debate, why not just e-mail Synozeer? I've always found him to be quite responsive. If he likes ideas, he'll implement them. If he doesn't, he won't. It's that simple. But, were I him, I'd be getting plenty aggravated right now at the gnashing of teeth going on from game operators who are carrying on about the diminished value of their free advertising when they could boost their visibility by purchasing banner ads.
I don't think the ideas being tossed around constitute "carrying on". I hope that Synozeer doesn't feel aggravated but rather sees the discussion as a bit of harmless brainstorming on the part of people who appreciate the site enough to put some thought into it.

Certainly the games that charge even a modest amount can afford to advertise and I hope that this site can generate some income for the work that Synozeer has put into it. It would be great if it generated enough for Synozeer to organize more reviews by players experienced in multiple worlds.

Everyone is free to go out and create other sites on a different model but this seems to be a solid one. I think it is better to try to help Synozeer build on a strong foundation than it is to try to copy what he is doing with different twists.

I would like to see a small indicator letting me know which games charge (be it for extras or for the core game) at first glance rather than having to visit each game to check. The most popular game that is competely free works within more limited resources. It's not fair to judge them against a p2p game and it seems likely that they will attract a different population.

It's significant information for those looking to try out new games. For example, my daughter (13) doesn't play yet and I would like to introduce her to rping. She is very busy with school and other activities and I can't afford to pay for a second account for her to develop a character on. I would want to try some of the free muds myself to see what they are like.

This seems like a really good site to find out about the various options available. Maintaining popularity, continuing to increase traffic over the years, requires innovation. Generalized ranting and flaming is never helpful but constructive criticism and brainstorming ideas can be.
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Seraphina says:
I don't think the ideas being tossed around constitute "carrying on".
Taken out of context, no, they don't. Put in context with the 13+-page thread of flames that spawned this discussion, they do.

Notice, I'm not saying it's a bad idea at all to have some kind of indication on these listings about whether a game costs money to play or not. Frankly, I think it's fine. At the same time, I agree with the poster who indicated that it doesn't take that long to check out a game and learn it costs money to play. If money is an object, you move on.

My primary point is simply this: If you care about the list and how it's presented, just drop Synozeer an e-mail or a private message. Second-guessing him in a public forum, or trying to tell him how to run his site, is, simply put, rude. You wouldn't like him coming to your game and rallying people to say change how you do things, so why is it any better for you to do that to him here? On my game, I often get suggestions via @mail or private pages from people who have ideas for improving or altering how we do things. I also implement some of those ideas, but not all of them. It's much easier to accept and take seriously such suggestions when they aren't challenging the status quo in a public venue.

Your suggestions and concerns are valid, and they even make sense. I reiterate my support of some kind of marker for pay-to-play games. But I also support the low-key approach when it comes to suggesting significant changes to how things are done on someone else's site.
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