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Old 05-31-2003, 03:22 AM   #1
Amnon
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Ok, I dunno whether it's just me or if other people feel the same way, but I just feel that people are using the Reviews section in the same way they use the Mud Promotions forum.

Personally, when I read a review, I look for both the good, AND the bad in a game. If I see a review saying "This MUD is perfect", I ignore it and move on to the next. So my problem here is, why do everybody keep posting reviews saying that their game is 100% perfect, without listing ONE bad thing? Isn't that what the promotions board is for?

I might be crazy, but I just had to write it after seeing the last two Sharune reviews.
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Old 05-31-2003, 08:42 AM   #2
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I have to agree in some ways (being owner of the mentioned Sharune btw).

However, when opening up reviews to the public, they will become biased in both directions.

Do you not see lots of people spewing **** on muds because it has made them ****ed off (deleted and whatnot)? There has been some of those for Sharune too, unfortunately.

As i see it though, a review in itself is a promotional thing. Go and read the reviews for everquest, daoc or wow. I don't think they'l mention any bad things
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Old 05-31-2003, 10:52 AM   #3
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As i see it though, a review in itself is a promotional thing.
Yes, but its promotional value lies in its honesty.  If I want to see how good a movie or computer game is, I will try to find places which give reviews of the good AND the bad.  If a place constantly says "this is great, buy it!" and I find that it's rubbish, I won't trust those reviews any more.

Unfortunately there are very few people who review muds properly (alas, poor Game Commandos, I knew them well...)
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Old 05-31-2003, 11:45 AM   #4
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For the most part, this is how I see reviews:

There are either reviews from excited mudders who are just getting into this new mud they found and post a paragraph about how great it is...

Or it's a giant flame.

Otherwise, yes...reviews are promotion from veterans of a mud. But what does that say about the mud itself? It says that this player enjoyed the mud so much, that they stuck around and are writing what they like about it. That, though promotional, does say something.

Best bet? Take it all with a grain of salt. Your own experience is all that matters.
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Old 05-31-2003, 11:55 AM   #5
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When I reviewed my mud of choice a long time ago, I mentioned the good AND the bad. I probably went into more detail than a lot of reviews do because I wanted to pique people's interest about certain aspects of the game and give them a chance to find out what they thought about them, providing they were interested enough to try the game out.

In all fairness, I have to say that I've seen at least one other review that mentions both good & bad aspects, although I don't remember what mud it was for. I don't tend to read reviews that often.

I guess mud reviewers are a lot like mud players. Most of them just piddle around uselessly and/or break the rules, but every now and then someone does it the way it's supposed to be done.
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Old 05-31-2003, 01:43 PM   #6
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I agree, for the most part, that reviews should be non-biased as much as possible.

I know that our most recent review made me wonder if it didn't belong in the 'looking for players' section.  The person who posted it, though, really wanted to put in his two cents in that forum for a couple of reasons.

He'd recently submitted a review as a player.  It was a long, glowing review, and he's not a veteran.  That's just the way he felt about the mud.  After he was put on staff about two weeks ago, and wanted to add his impressions from his new perspective as someone who could watch all players at all times and give an overview of what he saw from upstairs.

I don't think a review needs to say negative things.  Some people become zealots for the mud they play, and really can't see beyond the good things.  I think that says alot for the mud.  So long as the review is in-depth and well thought out, I think it's a good effort.  I'm not sure why you would expect people to say something negative about something they really enjoy.

I have considered, actually, writing a review of our own mud.  But looking over the reviews listed, I think I'd have more negative to say than our players.     I may still do it because I do think it's important to be fair, and if I see negative things that no one else is posting, it's kind of my job to call myself on it, eh?

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I guess mud reviewers are a lot like mud players. Most of them just piddle around uselessly and/or break the rules, but every now and then someone does it the way it's supposed to be done.
You're assuming that the people that post good reviews see the bad.  And I don't necessarily think that's the case.  More important to me when I see a review is that it looks like the person took the time to think it out... in other words, a one paragraph or one line review, to me, is laughable.  I don't even bother to read them.  But if they took the time,  and without cutting and pasting from the listed mud information, came up with -lots- to say, it's worth a read.

That's just my opinion.
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Old 05-31-2003, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ May 31 2003,10:52)
Unfortunately there are very few people who review muds properly (alas, poor Game Commandos, I knew them well...)
Ilya from Game Commandos now works for us actually. He had to quit running the Game Commandos site precisely because it just takes too much effort and time to run a proper mud review site. Unlike a movie which you really only have to see twice (maybe once if you're sloppy) to review properly (4 hours of your time or so?), some muds you can't really review in any sort of depth without hundreds of hours of play.

--matt
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Old 05-31-2003, 01:58 PM   #8
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What if the review area was broken down a bit more, rather then having Name, Email, Review it was more of a series of rankings + reviews, like this:

Rate these from 1 to 10, 1 being worst 10 being best

Use of Color
Descriptions
Items
Helpful Players
Helpful Administration

What do you like most about <mud>?

What don't you like about <mud>?

What advice would you give to new players?


Off topic:

What I'd like to see is a combination of Reviews and Brody's Underdog Mud of the Day.

Take the idea where Brody posts a mud, maybe not daily, but weekly. Something like 'Mud of the Week'

In this MOTW section players can rate the mud and post a review of the mud. Then you can have a Mud of the Month, the best out of the four muds. And possibly a Mud of the Year... and so on.
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Old 05-31-2003, 02:03 PM   #9
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Question

The problem with that is that not all mud concepts for muds are the same.

For example, an intense RPI mud, you might just spend the first week looking for a job, a place to live, learning your way around, etc. There might not be a whole lot of excitement that first week, but TONS of character development could be done. How do you measure that against a mud where you log in, kill fifty things and advance to your first level to a chorus of brightly colored 'CONGRATS!'. And how do you expect people to rate soemthing like 'color' with any amount of consistancy across the board. I hate all but the very light smattering of color in muds I play, but some people love every spectrum of the rainbow to be represented.

I just dont' think putting alot of restrictions on reviews is necessary.

Helpful guidlines might be nice though.
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Old 05-31-2003, 03:41 PM   #10
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Reviews are, of course, biased. I encounter a problem with the wonderful lil' muds that seem to offer rewards for spamming the reviews full of 3 line statements about how great their mud is... Or, even worse, have admins make 10 names and spam 10 reviews. They make it very hard to wade through it all.
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:44 AM   #11
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Come on... You can't possibly believe that even the most fanatic player can't find even ONE thing wrong about the MUD? I don't know... an imm who cheats, unbalanced skills, badly built areas...

And I'm not even talking about those reviews that consist of nothing more than: "tHis Muds !!GREAT!! you must come and check this 1337 Mud!"...
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:47 AM   #12
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I'd actually be willing to pay for a professional review I think. Once I get the place cleaned up a bit..
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:14 AM   #13
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Well, when I played at the last mud I played for years I didn't see anything at all wrong with it. I think the worst I could have said was that I wished there were more people on. That obviously changed at some point because I left, but for at least two and a half, almost three years, I would have said the mud was great and that there was nothing wrong with it.

If you need someone to post something negative to consider it a review, perhaps it's your version of objectivity that should be considered. You must be one of those 'glass half empty' kind of people.

I don't think every person that posts a review posts every thought about every single game feature. If you want that, put up a list and ask people to check off numbers one through ten, but to me that review would be ten times as useless. I want to see someone speak with passion about the game they play, or the reason why they don't play a game that they used to. People who play a game for five minutes should not be writing reviews, and people who have time only for one liners or one paragraph shouldn't bother either.

This is just my opinion, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. But if there is a negative aspect to a game, asking a player writing a review to really look for it seems kind of... backwards, since it isn't something that affected their playing experience enough to hinder it. Seems kind of nitpicky.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:36 AM   #14
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I dunno, I'm just saying that there isn't a "Perfect MUD", and most of the reviews out there are written by people who only WANT to describe the good parts of the game, and even if they had a few bad sides, wouldn't want to list them because it would attract less players...

If I, as a MUD owner, would write a review for my MUD, I would definately list some of the worse aspects of it, because even though it's my game and in my eyes, it's all great, I know that it just doesn't fit every player out there.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:32 AM   #15
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Actually I was just commenting on how useless a lot of reviews are because they tell you nothing you can't find out from looking at the mud's listing here, or if you happen to be a bit less lazy, the mud's website. It doesn't really matter whether they think the mud is good or bad, if all they do is spout the same crap that's already been said before.

As for me, if a mud has negative aspects (and just TRY to find one that DOESN'T have negative aspects), I'm sure as #### gonna mention them in my review. Not because I want to flame the mud and hurt its player base, but because some things that are only slightly annoying to me might be annoying enough to someone else that once they find out what they are they'd get ****ed and stop playing. Players don't want to waste weeks or months or years on a mud they don't enjoy, and the mud admins don't really want players who don't enjoy their mud playing it, so I think it helps everyone all the way around to just be honest.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:59 AM   #16
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Again, I think you're all being awfully cynical.

I doubt most people that post a good review that lacks flaws are being dishonest. They're commenting on what most made their game experience either good or bad.

I agree that seeing a practical cut and paste from the MUD's website sucks.
Of course every mud has negative aspects, OnyxFlame, the problem is that someone who's really into a mud might not see those and comes here to tell everyone what a great time they're having. I wouldn't dis on those reviews. Everyone -knows- that every mud has flaws and that not every mud is for every person. Forcing someone who comes here to tell everyone what they really like about the mud they're playing to come up with some horrible flaw is just as backwards as if you asked people who hated a mud to come up with something good. What if they hated everything about the damned thing?

It basically comes down to trusting those who read the reviews to understand that a good review that lacks negative aspects is coming from someone who's having a great time and is really into the MUD's vision. It's not from some dishonest leper who purposefully omits the horrors of said MUD.
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Old 06-01-2003, 01:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Davairus @ June 01 2003,07:47)
I'd actually be willing to pay for a professional review I think. Once I get the place cleaned up a bit..
The difficulty is: There aren't any professional mud reviewers. Even the professional game reviewers at IGN or Gamespot or whatnot are not very good, and that's at reviewing largely single player or limited-multiplayer games. Their reviews of graphical muds like Everquest are generally shallow and crap.

Unlike the literary or film worlds, games haven't yet developed a critical theory, which makes reviewing them tend to boil down to "Uh, I liked this feature" or "I didn't like this feature."

--matt
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:58 AM   #18
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I'm not saying that people should be forced to wrack their brains trying to find something negative about a mud for purposes of reviewing it. However, if they're aware of negative aspects, I think they should at least mention them in passing so a potential player knows what to expect if they decide to play it. Although personally I don't see how anyone can think any mud has no negative aspects, unless they're some 1337 d00d who has no clue anyway.

And I think the main reason there are no professional mud reviewers is that generally it's hard to be objective if you're trying out a mud that's totally out of the category of what you usually like. Mudders tend to be either rabid supporters of RPI's, or H&S's, or unrestricted PK muds, or DIKU's, or whatever, and totally hate anything that doesn't have whatever feature they're most fond of. So for instance if I tried to review some H&S mud, I really wouldn't do it justice because of my low opinion of the whole entire category.

And this is totally apart from how long it can take to learn the ins and outs of some muds. Not to mention that some people just aren't interested in every aspect even of a single mud. For instance I've played one mud for over 3 years and still don't know details about half the quests, because I have very little interest in doing them. And with RPI's especially, your experience of the game largely depends on which political faction(s) you have experience with, or whether you've had experience with organized groups at all. Someone who's played a char in a group on the losing side of a war, or in a group with very few members and thus less RP interaction, will have a very different outlook on the game from someone who's been on the winning side of a war, or played in a group of healers, or refused to join any organizations at all. And considering how long it takes for some political organizations to trust an outsider enough to let them join, if you decided you wanted to see the mud from several angles before expressing your opinions of it, you could be waiting a VERY long time. (After 3 YEARS I still have no idea what it's like to be a member of half the factions of the mud I play, heh.)
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