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Old 11-12-2003, 02:33 AM   #1
Amnon
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Ok, as you've all noticed, over the past few days people have been responding to every bad review about their MUD on the boards...

I ask myself, why oh why is this allowed, when the only thing it brings is flame wars, causing the writer of the bad review to win. Instead, can't reviews have a comments section so only people interested in that particular MUD/review can see the flame war and/or respond to the review?

I'm sure people might not see it my way, and want their comments about their reviews seen by people (which is why they post it on the board, so it'll appear on the new posts list), but by responding and starting a flame war, you people are doing nothing but playing right into that guy's hands.
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:59 AM   #2
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I think you're exaggerating.

There's a relatively small number of posts like this, and the discussion within is neither heated nor irrelevant to the broader community.  If you're referring to the recent thread where I posted about a review regarding Carrion Fields, the majority of that thread is about different definitions of how to introduce new players to a game.

Personally, I learn a lot more reading these threads than I do while reading things like coding questions.  (And I'm a coder.)

As for:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
but by responding and starting a flame war, you people are doing nothing but playing right into that guy's hands.
Actually, there have been more than a couple responses from people who (as far as I know) are not affiliated with Carrion Fields.  That tells me the topic has broader appeal.  Also, since all but one of the posters on that thread has been supportive of the stance we've taken, I don't think it makes us look bad in any fashion.
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Old 11-12-2003, 07:50 AM   #3
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I think if there was a comment section off of reviews, people would post their replies there. But I don't think it's a major concern having responses to reviews posted in the general forums either, since the subjects are clearly marked and you can ignore the post (any post for that matter).

I think administrators need a place to respond to reviews (positive and negative). There's no reason that disgruntled players (and we all have them on our MUDs) should have such an easy venue to voice their opinion without the opportunity for a response.

Growing a MUD population is not easy, and while I can't say for certain if bad reviews have a negative impact (since most reasonable people probably think, "Ok that's just a disgruntled player.") given the amount of time and effort that goes into a MUD I think it's absolutely fair for people to respond.

From my experience it is the disgruntled, unhappy people who yell the loudest, so they're the ones often posting on forums, boards, etc. to discredit a particular game. The happy people are happy and they're playing. Happy people often recruit, but they do it amongst friends and so it's a less obvious approach. Meanwhile the disgruntled people feel the need to post at web sites like this one, most likely in a broad sweeping effort to ruin a game.

No MUD is perfect. And so in any review there's a potential for a player to mention the "less-than-perfect" aspects. That's fine. More often than not, those things are being worked on. But when a review is wrong, full of lies or nasty then I don't see much of a reason for it. If a review highlights things that aren't great or perfect, that's fine, I wouldn't ever reply in an accusatory tone to that, but some reviews just beg for a reply to clear the air.

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Old 11-12-2003, 08:13 AM   #4
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Well, yeah, there haven't been a swarm of responses and replies... yet, but the whole thing started booming just now and I'm guessing that soon enough, every bad review will get its fair share of comments on the board.
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Old 11-12-2003, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: Hordes of responses to bad reviews, I think it'll be like bad reviews themselves. They'll come in waves. We'll see bursts of them, and some people will think the floodgates have been opened. But after a while, the bad reviewers will get tired, the need for responding to the bad reviews will die down, and writers on Top MUD Sites can go back to the important business of posting their favorite OOC quotes .

These threads actually can - and have, in Carrion Fields' case - serve a useful purpose, and not merely to bash a bad reviewer or rehash bad reviews. It's a chance for members of the TMS community to offer their feedback on how a situation was handled, how the system works on a given MUD, and through helping other people, we can often help ourselves.

I'd recommend tolerance of review responses for this reason alone.
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Old 11-12-2003, 11:33 AM   #6
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On the flip side, the responses to a bad review often try to indicate the reviewer's opinion is invalid, which quite simply cannot be true as it is an opinion.

I don't see the use in muds responding to bad reviews at all unless it is factually incorrect. Usually when I read those threads I get the feeling that the administrator is defensive and over justifying what has happened on their game and I don't find that they need to justify it. It is their game. They can run it however they choose.

People are going to perceive their experiences in very different ways and that really has much more to do with the person than with the game (although the game does have some effect ofcourse).

I think a comment section off of reviews would be a nice addition to the review section but please stop the responses to reviews on the general boards....my curious nature forces me to keep reading them.

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Old 11-12-2003, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ytrewtsu @ Nov. 12 2003,11:33)
I think a comment section off of reviews would be a nice addition to the review section but please stop the responses to reviews on the general boards....my curious nature forces me to keep reading them.

Ytrewtsu
And I think it'd be far easier to *ignore* bad review responses if they're buried beyond the reviews themselves. The only other alternative, it seems to me, is to spam the front page of TMS with links to both reviews AND review responses, just to be fair. And that's not much of an alternative.

Yes, some responses will sound defensive. They're *defenses*, and by their nature they sound defensive. At least by posting in the forums, the MUD operators take the chance that whoever posted the review will actually get involved in a dialogue, rather than a diatribe.

Let's quit trying to find ways to instill more chilling effects on the forums here, and encourage the free flow of ideas - even if we don't always agree with them.
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Old 11-12-2003, 11:45 AM   #8
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The responses don't have to be buried beyond the reviews... If the comments are placed in a frame next to the review, or by making sure the reader knows there -are- responses, I think everyone will get the full picture.
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:04 PM   #9
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They get the full picture here too. And, as a bonus, they get other people chiming in - sometimes saying they're right to defend themselves, other times offering constructive criticism when maybe the defense needs work .

What's ironic here is that all the effort being invested in shutting down discussions like this will probably lead to people griping about a lack of forum activity when the chilling effect kicks in and people don't bother to post anything at all for fear of being called on the mat for it.

If you don't want to read review defenses, ignore them. If you can't help yourself, deal with your own issues . But let people post what they want to the Tavern of the Blue Hand - that's why it's here, as I recall.
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
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While we're complaining, there should be a limit on signature size. I have to scroll more to accomodate people's enormous signatures right now.
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:54 PM   #11
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*writes a paragraph about his game and sets it as a signiture*
Heh, that'll teach ya 'bout complaining
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Old 11-12-2003, 01:23 PM   #12
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If flamewars or back-and-forth accusations are what bother people, I have no problem with forum moderators removing or editing posts of that kind. Otherwise, take a look at the top seven posts at the time of this writing:

- There's too many threads about reviews.
- A commercial game needs builders.
- A new game needs builders.
- How to handle players who want to roleplay sexually explicit material, including rape.
- A new game needs "real" coders.
- A guy without much experience wants to code somewhere.
- A new game needs builders.

Now, I'm on the staff of a MUD and I enjoy my current responsibilities. I spend time being a "real" coder and a "real" builder, etc. So that leaves me with 1.5 out of 7 threads that I would want to read. (#4, and I'm interested in #1 but I don't think it's a very important concern. Excuse the self-referential post.)

I don't think this position would be uncommon- most of the people here are staff and players who want to talk about MUDs. A smaller number are "job hunting", and those who are know that they can go directly to a board dedicated to it. Casual browsers, however, would probably rather read a discussion about what makes a MUD newbie-friendly or not, even if the discussion began with a discussion of a specific MUD (Carrion Fields, etc.), rather than a vague, general case.

In short, if you're looking to improve the flow of ideas here, Amnon, I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
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