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Old 06-13-2004, 04:22 PM   #41
Yui Unifex
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 13 2004,14:51)
I just fail to see the motivation in changing the site's rules I guess when the impact will be negligible.
Please go back and read Synozeer's post. The rules have not been changed, just clarified. Most of your post is under this misconception.

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Originally Posted by ("the_logos" @ foo)
It just seems like the more rules you have, the more time someone has to spend listening to accusations that mud X is breaking rule Y, and then investigating such. *shrug*
Quote:
Originally Posted by ("the_logos" @ foo)
Why does a rant, particularly one that is based on completely false accusations, carry any weight whatosever?
Because then we don't need to worry about incorrect interpretations of the rules when someone accuses mud X of breaking rule Y.
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:37 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by (Tocamat @ June 13 2004,19:16)
It would appear to me that the day is being ruled by the vocal minority. Ranting in these forums seems to carry more weight than ones advertising dollars.
Apparently you've not thought this issue out very clearly.

First and formost, what is being asked here is for the rules to be clarified. It's entirely up to Adam to decide the voting rules, but as they stand among mud admin there is obviously some disagreement concerning the definition of "incentive". I'm not sure how clarification of this issue can be considered a bad thing, unless you happen to be one of the people exploiting a loophole in the wording.

Now this basically leaves Adam with two choices: He could say "it's okay to spam people until they vote", or he could do as he has done and say "you can't do that". If he had gone for the former option, then any mud that wanted to be near the top of the listing would simply have to spam its players, while those who didn't want to pressure their players would fall a long way down the listings. This would certainly give TMS more hits, but would make the listings as much an indicator of how much they spam their players as how popular they are.

Personally I'm sick enough of web-based adverts as it is, without having to suffer them on muds as well, and so I applaud Adam's decision.

Regarding people leaving because of spam: Of course only an idiot would spam complete newbies with voting requests - but do it to players that have invested a few dozens hours and I doubt any of them would leave.

Note: I believe that TMS crashed after one of the really popular commercial muds asked all its players to vote - so to be honest I'm not entirely sure how well the site would hold up if so many muds started pressuring their players to vote, anyway.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:05 PM   #43
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KaVir,

I think the main issue I'm having with it is that the proposed changes will punish those of us who have been ethical and responsible about this sort of thing as well.

I don't consider, and doubt you would either, a simple two-line reminder to check the helpfile if you're interested in voting that pops up once immediately after you log in, "harassment". The only reason we track votes is that so we can even further minimize the impact of these reminders by not displaying them to people who've voted recently, and therefore don't need to be reminded. That's it, really - there are no forum "VOTE!!!" posts, no game-wide announcements from staff begging for votes, etc. Just a single, discreet, two-line reminder once per session to invite those who haven't voted to obtain information on how to do so.

I'm almost tempted to have the code capture statistics on how many lines of scroll are passed in the average gaming session on our MUD, so I have an exact figure on how insignifcant those two added lines of scroll are - but I imagine we can both agree that they're pretty insignificant even without the figures, heh. So, yes, strictly speaking, you could say that we are somehow "harrassing" those who haven't voted, or providing incentives (the lack of those two extra lines of scroll) to those who do vote... but at this point I'm appealing to common sense, I think, because I feel pretty strongly that we're playing "fair" here and that a change to the rules to broadly preclude ANY vote tracking due to the possibilities of abuse by other MUDs will bar our current system as well.


T.

Edit: Sheesh, I've got some run-on sentences in there that would make the Pope jealous. Sorry, folks -- too lazy to fix them, so I think I'll just hang my head in shame and get back to the housework. <g>
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:21 PM   #44
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Cool

You know, apparently "blatent" is the only word people seem to be using these days...

Now, I wasn't as clear as I should have been in my note. I figured people here would know enough to see what I was saying... silly me.

Companies do want to know all about you, but not for marketing directly at you, but to flush out and have a more complete and accurate set of statistical predictions about their business.

It's less of a "These people did this" scenario and more of a "We're very confident with the information we have here"

As for Logos, a couple things...

1) It did happen. You want to say it didn't and call me a liar, I could care less. If you want to check I believe it was around the Jan - Feb timeframe when there was the thread about Achaea offering rewards to people (I think it was after christmas, definitly winter time)

2) If it's not going to do anything, what's the problem? Let the Admin descide what is worth his time or not.

3) Bonus cards are so you spend money in their stores. The information is only a side benefit. This is also why stores have their own credit cards. They don't pay usage fees and get interest on the sales amount, when they are only minus the wholesale price.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:23 PM   #45
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I was thinking very clearly on the matter. I think back to when the rule was changed regarding giving out incentives as reward for voting. I'd like to know how many of the Top Ten muds here, that pay for advertising, were doing the complaining about incentives. The number is likely zero. Sites as good as this one are possible due to the advertising dollars of games like Aardwolf and Achaea. I think you all need to give a little more credit where credit it due and be more appreciative of just what they can do for your games indirectly.

Why should Synozeer care what goes on in someone elses mud. This need for a rule clarification is just another attempt to hinder the efforts of the big muds. Each muds players are their players to win or lose, **** off and/or make happy. There is only 1 rule needed here...no one person may vote more than once during any given 12 hour period. Plain and simple and leaves no room for arguement. How that vote gets here isn't really anyones concerns other than the individual mud admins.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:24 PM   #46
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I really don't see why there's so much of a fuss about a rule clarification. If you're punishing or harassing someone for not voting, it's the just the other side of the coin from giving them gifts for voting. Frankly, it really scares me to know that there's even the possibility of reprecussions in-mud for not voting.

This is where the letter of the law interpretations fall apart. Sure, an admin might not punish your character for not voting. But the fact that he knows that it's you, specifically, who aren't voting, can possibly affect the way he treats you. He may not even mean to. I think that's incentive enough to vote.

Pure and simple: I wish that mud owners didn't have access to this information. But as Jazuela talked about earlier, I also despise having to swipe a card before I can buy groceries. Why wouldn't you want one less big brother to watch you, if you could?
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:45 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Traithe wrote:
I think the main issue I'm having with it is that the proposed changes will punish those of us who have been ethical and responsible about this sort of thing as well.
Then why not propose an alternative solution to Adam? He seems to be trying to do his best to create a fair compromise, but you need to make your suggestions known.

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Originally Posted by
I don't consider, and doubt you would either, a simple two-line reminder to check the helpfile if you're interested in voting that pops up once immediately after you log in, "harassment".
No, that seems fair enough.

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Originally Posted by
The only reason we track votes is that so we can even further minimize the impact of these reminders by not displaying them to people who've voted recently, and therefore don't need to be reminded.
If it's just a two-line reminder then I don't really see how your mud would be "punished" by the proposed clarifications.

The problem is that as they stand, the rules are highly abusable. It wouldn't take much effort for a mud to gather votes from the vast majority of its players through trickery and coercion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Tocamat wrote:
Why should Synozeer care what goes on in someone elses mud.
It's not about what goes on in someone else's mud - it's about where the votes come from. If mud X gives players double exp for voting and half exp if they don't, while mud Y makes no changes, then a far higher percentage of mud X's players are going to vote. That result is a very skewed set of listings.

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Originally Posted by
This need for a rule clarification is just another attempt to hinder the efforts of the big muds.
That is obviously false - the rule clarification puts all muds on equal footing. If anything, the big muds come out better off, as they can't be pushed down the list by smaller muds that are willing to irritate their players in order to push up their ranking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Each muds players are their players to win or lose, **** off and/or make happy. There is only 1 rule needed here...no one person may vote more than once during any given 12 hour period. Plain and simple and leaves no room for arguement. How that vote gets here isn't really anyones concerns other than the individual mud admins.
Your argument is much akin to that of some mudders who argue that they should be able to do whatever they wish on the mud - that if the system allows it, they should be able to get away with it. Unfortunately such an approach does not lend itself well to a successful mud, nor would it lend itself here to a successful mud ranking system.
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:01 PM   #48
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Hey,

I didn't mean to sound overly dramatic or worked up about it, so in hindsight the word "punished" was probably a poor choice. I simply wished to convey the fact that I worked quite hard at creating a system to track and enhance our voting rates that would be simultaneously ethical and within the boundaries of the current set of rules at TMS - and so I'd hate to see all that work go to waste due to an overly-broad new rule designed to combat the possibility of abuse, when I think that anyone who looks at our system in all fairness could not classify it as an example of such.

Being a law student myself, though, I am aware of the competing issues that crop up when you're trying to word a rule to prohibit certain forms of behavior. In essence you can either word it broadly, to capture as many instances of possible abuse as you can, and then sort them out individually if necessary - or you can word it narrowly, to capture only the most egregious instances of rule violation and allow the others to continue relatively unmolested.

That said, I think Synozeer's proposed clarification:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
You also cannot require a player to vote to continue playing the game or to prevent requests to vote by the mud or its staff.
...would fall under the former "broad" category. In this case a MUD that, for example, spammed voting reminders every five minutes and auto-tagged non-voters so they could be harassed by fellow players would fall under the same rule violation that our own system would - even though it's obvious that the two are really nothing alike in terms of intrusiveness.

In my opinion, the rule as it stands currently is adequate. It would be up to Synozeer to decide what exactly constitutes a "reward". Consider the case above: in the case of the first MUD, freedom from the continual spam would quite obviously be a reward and/or incentive to vote. In our case, however, I don't believe (at least, I hope not, heh) that any reasonable person would argue that freedom from the dreaded two added lines of scroll equates to the same incentive. <g>

Of course, the rule as it stands currently obviously will invite quite a bit of debate as to what "incentives" are, as we see on a fairly regular basis on these forums... it may also involve a bit more work for Synozeer as well, to ensure that things are being monitored to ensure fairness.

So again, in the end my suggestion is really to go with what he prefers, heh. On the one hand, I think that leaving the rule as-is and allowing his discretion to kick in when he decides who's violating the rule and who isn't would be a bit more fair to systems like ours. On the other, I recognize the added work involved, and everybody knows that he's done enough already - so I'm not volunteering him for anything. <g>


T.

Edited to add: After re-reading your post I noticed that I missed a fairly significant issue - trickery and coercion, as you put it. I've addressed the coercion element above; as for trickery, I'm not sure how the proposed addition would do much to prohibit it. If it doesn't already go without saying that such behavior is definitely not kosher, an amendment such as: "MUDs cannot facilitate a player's vote without their knowledge" would likely go much further toward curbing that particular trend.
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Old 06-13-2004, 07:41 PM   #49
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Quote:
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1) It did happen. You want to say it didn't and call me a liar, I could care less. If you want to check I believe it was around the Jan - Feb timeframe when there was the thread about Achaea offering rewards to people (I think it was after christmas, definitly winter time)
Ok. Who was your character? I'll do a search again this time looking for any and all communication directed at you by Romeo and Juliet. I'm perfectly confident of the same result, of course.

And the last time Achaea offered rewards was when it was perfectly legal to do so: around January of 2003, almost a year and a half ago.

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Originally Posted by
3) Bonus cards are so you spend money in their stores. The information is only a side benefit. This is also why stores have their own credit cards. They don't pay usage fees and get interest on the sales amount, when they are only minus the wholesale price.
Bonus cards/loyalty programs are offered for two main reasons: One is customer retention, the other is to gather information on the customer. Here's a recent article in the NY Times about hotels doing exactly what I wrote. In case you don't want to read the entire article, here's a quote:
----
"Why are hotels putting the squeeze on business travelers? It is not just to load them up with incentives to come back. A new dynamic is at work: a rush to accumulate as much information as possible about as many guests as possible, as quickly as possible. The big chains, realizing that such information is crucial in a booming economy to keeping the customers they have and enticing new ones, are discovering that their databases are woefully inadequate.

''They're desperate for data,'' said Robert Mandelbaum, a hotel analyst with PKF Consulting in Atlanta. ''Hotels need information about their guests and especially about business travelers and getting them to sign up for their loyalty programs is the easiest way to get that information.''

Registering for Wyndham's frequent-stayer program, for instance, means telling the hotel chain your preferred bed type, whether you like to relax with a Coke or a Chardonnay after you check in and which airline loyalty program you belong to. Guests also submit their addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses -- and the online sign-up form automatically registers them to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter called ''Wyndham News ByRequest,'' which features ''member-only offers, program updates and information.''
--------

--matt
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Old 06-13-2004, 07:49 PM   #50
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This would certainly give TMS more hits, but would make the listings as much an indicator of how much they spam their players as how popular they are.
No, nothing would change. The list would measure exactly what it measures now: A measurement of how much traffic the mud sends to Topmudsites.

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Personally I'm sick enough of web-based adverts as it is, without having to suffer them on muds as well, and so I applaud Adam's decision.
So then why would you applaud Adam's decision? In many of the muds in the top 20, this "rule clarification" will result in MORE reminders to vote, not less.

The assertion that a mud would get to the top spots and stay there by annoying its players with constant spam until they vote is a little absurd. I know exactly what would happen to our playerbase were we to, for instance, spam someone with a vote reminder every 30 seconds until he voted. We'd lose a crapload of players, established or otherwise, and we're a commercial mud where players often have both an immense amount of time and an immense amount of money invested. It'd be even worse for a noncommercial mud where time is the only investment.

--matt
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Old 06-13-2004, 09:45 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tocamat @ June 13 2004,17:23)
Why should Synozeer care what goes on in someone elses mud.
I believe that at least some of TMS's traffic is derived from people looking for a new MUD to play. A high quality list helps maintain this traffic. Therefore it is in Synozeer's interests to prevent games from unfairly skewing the results.
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:15 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traithe @ June 13 2004,18:01)
In this case a MUD that, for example, spammed voting reminders every five minutes and auto-tagged non-voters so they could be harassed by fellow players would fall under the same rule violation that our own system would - even though it's obvious that the two are really nothing alike in terms of intrusiveness.

In my opinion, the rule as it stands currently is adequate. It would be up to Synozeer to decide what exactly constitutes a "reward". Consider the case above: in the case of the first MUD, freedom from the continual spam would quite obviously be a reward and/or incentive to vote. In our case, however, I don't believe (at least, I hope not, heh) that any reasonable person would argue that freedom from the dreaded two added lines of scroll equates to the same incentive. <g>
The rule was put in place to stop people from being individually rewarded to garner votes. It wasn't put in place to big rewards for those who voted and allow small rewards for those who voted, but to stop all rewards that are only given to those who vote. Your post shows that people who vote are rewarded (however small the reward is) and those who don't vote aren't rewarded.

Should the rule have been put in place in the first place? People argued that rewarding people who voted gave an unfair advantage to those who didn't have an environment that lent itself to allowing people to be given rewards (apparently the most successful rewards were those that had an in-game benefit. Most roleplaying-intensive muds don't have an environment where it is easy for people to be given such a benefit), I don't know if I agreed with that, but it was Synozeer's choice. I'm pretty certain ArmageddonMUD's position hasn't changed in the ranks as a result of the rule so I in hind-sight (for the mud I play) the rule hasn't changed anything.

However I personally think Synozeer should be consistent in his enforcing of the rules he makes. This clarification helps the consistency.
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:30 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 14 2004,01:49)
No, nothing would change. The list would measure exactly what it measures now: A measurement of how much traffic the mud sends to Topmudsites.
If you honestly believe that nothing will change, why are you so against being able to give incentives for voting?
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:47 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 14 2004,02:30)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 14 2004,01:49)
No, nothing would change. The list would measure exactly what it measures now: A measurement of how much traffic the mud sends to Topmudsites.
If you honestly believe that nothing will change, why are you so against being able to give incentives for voting?
I'm not against being able to give incentives for voting. Putting myself in Synozeer's shoes, I don't see any reason not to allow a mud to do whatever it wants to send traffic here (scripts that manage to vote for a player without the player visiting the site would be a different matter, obviously).

--matt
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Old 06-14-2004, 04:37 AM   #55
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I'm not against being able to give incentives for voting.
I typo'd, sorry - I meant why are you so against not being able to give incentives for voting? I.e., if you believe that nothing will change, why complain about the rules being clarified?

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Putting myself in Synozeer's shoes, I don't see any reason not to allow a mud to do whatever it wants to send traffic here
Because muds which reward/punish their players based on voting would receive a far higher percentage of hits than those who don't, thoroughly unbalancing the results and making a mockery of the list.

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(scripts that manage to vote for a player without the player visiting the site would be a different matter, obviously).
Why, out of interest? What makes that different from the rewarded/punished voting system? Indeed, if anything I would consider automated voting fairer - perhaps even fairer (and certainly more useful statistically) than the system as it stands now.
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:31 AM   #56
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I typo'd, sorry - I meant why are you so against not being able to give incentives for voting? I.e., if you believe that nothing will change, why complain about the rules being clarified?
Same reason as Traithe. I'd prefer to be able to identify players who have voted and not send them a vote reminder for that 12 hour period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Because muds which reward/punish their players based on voting would receive a far higher percentage of hits than those who don't, thoroughly unbalancing the results and making a mockery of the list.
But the list would still measure exactly what it measures now: How much traffic your mud can send to the list. How is that any different from now or under the proposed clarification?
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Why, out of interest? What makes that different from the rewarded/punished voting system? Indeed, if anything I would consider automated voting fairer - perhaps even fairer (and certainly more useful statistically) than the system as it stands now.
With a script, there are no eyeballs looking at the site, and thus it's not worth anything to the advertisers or to the listed muds (who, after all, are listed in order to get traffic to their muds). What I'd be looking for as a site operator would be to maximize my targetted traffic here (so voting links from a site on animal husbandry would be much less valuable than from muds). I'm not sure what this "fair" concern is. "Fair" is getting eyeballs on Topmudsites. That's what helps the site. That's what helps the muds listed on the site. Everyone has the option of asking players to vote. Everyone. You can choose to do it, or you can choose not to do it. Your players can choose to tolerate it, or they can choose not to tolerate it. One might even say if you assume being asked to vote is annoying (not an assumption I hold, but some do apparently), then a mud who asks people to vote and keeps lots of players is clearly doing something right and, in the skewed view that TMS is here to actually rank muds in some meaningful manner other than traffic sent here, is worthy of a high ranking.

Someone stated recently that they have a number of ex-Achaea players playing there. Why do you think that is? It's because we pump people at the site like crazy. Some of them find other muds they like better. Likewise, some people from other muds find they like our muds better. That's the whole point: get people here, and try to interest the people coming from other muds in your mud.

--matt
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Old 06-14-2004, 06:12 AM   #57
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But the list would still measure exactly what it measures now: How much traffic your mud can send to the list. How is that any different from now or under the proposed clarification?
The intention of the list is to measure how many players are willing to vote for the mud because they think that mud deserves it (if this wasn't the case, there would be no purpose behind the rules as they stand now). If you give the players incentives, however, it becomes a case of each player voting because they want benefits for themselves. Furthermore, highly popular muds which aren't willing to bribe or blackmail their players would find themselves dropping in position while those who were willing to coerce their players would rise in the rankings. What value do you think that has for potential players?
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:07 AM   #58
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I propose a test:

For the next two vote cycles, all games on the top 10, who send reminders/requests/mentions in-game about voting, stop doing so.

See if people are voting anyway because they love the game, or because it's just a habit for them, or because they're bored and like clicking the vote button, or whatever.

See if anyone moves from the list placement - and if so, what direction and how far.

If nothing changes, then there's really no point in going through the trouble to change the rules. If there's any kind of significant change, then maybe the rules should be revisited.
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:46 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ June 14 2004,07:07)
If nothing changes, then there's really no point in going through the trouble to change the rules. If there's any kind of significant change, then maybe the rules should be revisited.
The rules haven't changed. Not sending a message to players who have voted is a reward. No matter how you slice it, it is a reward. The "change" is merely a clarification of a pre-existing rule.
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Old 06-14-2004, 08:14 AM   #60
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I really hate Achaea. I've tried it a few times, maybe a total of ten hours and I really can't see why anyone would choose it over the many in my opinion better muds out there. But if there is one thing I've learned in life it's that diversity is good, and people like different things.

That being said I did login to Achaea some three days ago while the new mud I'm playing was down. During those two hours I spent online niether was I asked about voting nor did I see anyone else being asked. The fact is that it's only when I'm "mud skipping" that I have on a few occasions been harassed about voting on some smaller muds (Godwards PK ар la stock).
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