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Old 01-28-2003, 03:36 PM   #1
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Administrators: If you had the ability to review your players for the greater mud community, both for praising the excellent ones and decrying the bad ones, with a text box for comments about the player, would you participate? This is under the assumption that there would be some way to keep track of players, which obviously at this time is severely limited.

I'm coming off of a situation with a player in which the player exhibited great rp skills but had a real problem with social skills, and was a real rules lawyer. Eventually, his leeway ran out, and his character ended up dying. I attempted to argue his side more than once in the administration, and he was given a multitude of second chances after extremely @$$holish behavior, because of his drive and RP ability. But after he died, he proceeded to decry the administration in a loud and raucous fashion across the channels.

I admit, I should have tougher skin by now, being an administrator. But every so often, I get the urge to be able to rate some of our players, and it was specifically mentioned by someone else on the administration channel after the person left. Often, it's the tradeoff ones like this one that most inspire this in me, because they might be more wanted/better tolerated elsewhere. It's a shame that his rp talent is put to waste, but maybe there's a place that would be more willing to put up with his shenanigans in return for his rp. And maybe they'd be willing to recruit this guy. Reverse that, and there might be players on other games that might fit better with our administration and needs. It's like finding puppies good homes. Seems like a good idea to me, but I'd like to hear your opinions.
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:34 PM   #2
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I actually love this idea. It might be a helpful antidote to the snarky one-off reviews of MUDs that have gotten so many MUD administrators in a tizzy here at TMS during the past couple of years.

Some of the particularly problematic people who like to post *deserve* to be reviewed in-kind. At least *they* get relative anonymity. The targets of their MUD reviews enjoy no such luxury.

If you're posting a review, you might think twice about how you present it, and whether you go all-out with the negative attack if it might be turned around on you like a feeding frenzy.

How it might work:

Reviews could include links to *Reviewer* reviews, or perhaps a prompt to write your own review of the Reviewer. You would get only ONE bite at the apple, one chance to say your piece - EVER - and the Reviewer wouldn't be allowed to respond in the same forum. You get both sides of the picture, and you limit both parties to their critique or rebuttal: And that's it.

This would allow MUD administrators, if they so choose, to share their side of the story, and allow the reader to decide where they stand.
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:41 AM   #3
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The problem is, there's really no realistic way to keep track of players unless they voluntarily allow you to. Obviously very few players are likely to agree to this simply so that they can retain a bad reputation between muds, which means they're only likely to do it if it benefits them in some way.

The only feasible solution I can think of would be to maintain some sort of "player database", and give players the option of providing their database account information when connecting to a mud. This would be primarily of benefit for roleplaying muds, where (for example) certain classes or races might only be available for those who have already proved themselves experienced and trustworthy - in this case it might work like a reference, allowing the player to start playing a less-standard character on the basis that they've already proved their roleplaying ability elsewhere.

This could be perhaps more useful for staff positions - if an applicant claims experience but has no (or a brand new) account in the database, and you don't know anything about them, it would be wise not to give a position of too much trust until they've proved themselves. On the other hand, if someone has glowing reviews from previous muds s/he has worked on (particularly if those muds are well known) they're going to find it much easier to get work.

The major downside that I can see is that many people would be afraid to provide accurate reviews if those reviews contained anything negative, because such reviews would be likely to get the reviewer rated poorly in return, and they probably wouldn't want to tarnish the "reputation" of their account. This could also give rise to potential blackmail (or bribery) if such a database gather sufficient popularity. As such it would probably require very careful monitoring.

Of course there's also the problem that I don't think it would be used much, except for negative reviews. Not many mud owners are likely to give their coder a glowing review if he quits the mud and leaves them stranded. There are very few situations where a staff member (or even a player for that matter) quits a mud when both they and the mud owner are happy for them to remain there. Leaving a mud almost always implies dissatisfaction on someone's behalf, and that is unlikely to result in positive reviews, unless those reviews are somehow intended to "buy off" the individual in question.

So in short, I voted "I'd like to, but it'd never be feasable".
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Old 01-29-2003, 09:28 AM   #4
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I'll assume that most of the people here are at least somewhat familiar with eBay and their 'feedback' system. Like this idea, it's based on mutuality and allows for rebuttal on negative reviews.

In many ways, eBay feedback can be useful. That being said, however, there are several problems with it.
-People who are afraid to give honest, negative reviews first out of fear of retaliation.
-People who give glowing reviews in order to receive the same, when the transaction was more mundane than amazing.
-People who withhold reviews until the other party reviews them (favorably).
-People who buy/sell things of little value to get a cache of positive reviews, then abuse their newfound trustworthy reputation and run a bunch of harmful, expensive scams, then disappear.
-People who just want to transact business without participating in the review exchange are put at a disadvantage.

Obviously the corollary isn't exact, but it's close enough to make me think twice.
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:51 AM   #5
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Even though this has some potential entertainment value, and even if it would be nice for Mud Administrators to vent at times, I still think this is a bad idea.

Mainly for the reason that KaVir already stated, that it's to easy for a player to change their identity. And naturally the bad eggs would be the most motivated to do that.

Of course it might be possible to, at least partly, keep track of players by their isps, but I think sharing isps publicly would be a really bad idea too. In fact, no real life information should be given out about any player without their consent, except in the cases perhaps where they committed some act that is a crime in RL as well. For instance stealing code, or ddosing a server, might be such a reason.

A much better option IMO, which I still hope that Synozeer will add some day, would be the ability to comment directly to a review in the Reviews section. This would at least give the Admin a chance to give their version of the issue, in case of inflammatory reviews. (To avoid this developing into flame wars, it could be restricted to one comment per review and actor).
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