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Old 01-15-2004, 05:35 PM   #1
WarHound
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Recently I spent 9+ hours on a game, busting my ass to level up and make a few friends. I played this game back in the day, and it was far more enjoyable then. When I commented over globals on my dislike for a few recent changes, I apparently woke the wrath of a couple immortals, who discussed it and decided that my name was not appropriate.

Well whoopty ****ing doo! After 9 hours of gameplay, 10+ other immortals being on while I chatted it up over globals, these two decide I'm inappropriate.

Now, I for one will NEVER return to this hole of a game, and I would very much like to submit a review. While I'm sure it wouldn't be flowery and full of praise, there are alot of great points of the Mud I would like to share with everyone, and of course a few detractors.

BUT, they've removed the review option. Why?

We've all heard the 'Angry FlamersVSNormal Players' review argument, but it still doesn't float with me. Sure, alot of the reviews we read are filled with nonsensical flaming chaff, but there are always the few objective people that will throw in a quality review. I know I have learned to distinguish between these fairly easily.

My question is, why do they get a choice? This is a community for Mudders to come together and find new games, no?

I know that from here on out I refuse to play or even deign to notice ANY game that denies me the right to review them, regardless of the content of my review.

If anyone who remembers Toke from today on their mud, thank your Immortals for me. THey've opened my eyes about a few things.
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Old 01-15-2004, 07:15 PM   #2
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You know, I totally agree with you on this.

Every time I see a Mud not accepting reviews, it makes me deeply suspicious about the Admin and fun potential of that mud.

Disgruntled players? We all get them. So why can most Muds handle the odd bad review from a disgruntled player, while others dodge them by not accepting reviews at all? It kinda makes me ask myself what they've got to hide.

Maybe some Muds get more disgruntled players than the average? And maybe there's a reason for that too?
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:52 PM   #3
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WarHound's post is a strong argument against accepting reviews in that it provides a perfect example of most of the reviews that do get posted. This is not because it is a negative review, but because it is a completely useless review. I have almost absolutely no idea as to why he didn't like the mud in question other than that he had some tiff with the admin over his name. For example, I don't know (1) if his comments over globals were civil, (2) if the admin based their decision about the appropriateness of his name on those comments or if there were other reasons, such as it being in violation of their naming guidelines, (3) whether they were requiring him to reroll because of an inappropriate name or just requiring him to change the name.

Now, maybe the review he was going to write would have addressed all the above concerns or maybe it wasn't going to touch on his particular spat with the admin at all, but a random perusal through the reviews posted to this site make it pretty clear that his rant is largely typical of the quality one can expect from such reviews.

Generously speaking, I'd say maybe 5% of the reviews posted at Topmudsites are useful, and almost all of those are positive reviews. At the time of this writing, the six most recent reviews listed on the home page are all complete rubbish. The best of these are so vague as to be useless, and the rest are poorly written, completely un-thought-out wastes of disk space. One isn't even for the game that it is supposed to be a review of.

Given that, I don't fault admins at all for not accepting reviews and I think it is ridiculous to assume that this would be seen as something that should cast said admins in a suspicious light. Personally, if I were to use most of the reviews on this site (even the positive ones) as a basis for my opinions about the muds reviewed, I probably wouldn't give any of the muds reviewed a second glance. Admins aren't so much at the mercy of negative reviewers as they are of just plain bad reviewers who really should learn to take a bit more time to develop a coherent line of thought and come up with something more substantive than "I've only ever played one mud, but this is clearly the best mud around." Taking time to use a spell checker probably wouldn't hurt either.

And that's taking positive reviews into account. If you just look at the negative reviews, the preponderance of obvious griefer reviews makes the whole review section seem largely worthless.
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:18 PM   #4
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My post here wasn't really about my own review, but denying us the right to review their mud at all. So, I don't think my post was 'a completely useless review'. If I had been given the oppurtunity, I would have given a fine review, showing both the good and the bad.

Alot of different things went into my ultimate decision to leave this mud for good, the name thing was just what set it off. I understand the need for believable, setting-appropriate names and don't blame them for enforcing their rules. What I do object to is playing there for a few days, logging numerous hours on my character in full view of many many immortals, and then getting deleted {no renames} because I voiced dislike about a small number of their latest changes. I was polite and didn't flame in the least.

Once again, most of us who read the reviews looking for a new mud to play can distinguish fairly easily between a disgruntled player, a n00b with nothing but praise for their pile o' mud, and the seriously objective reviewer.

As I said in my initial post, there is alot about hte mud in question that was fantastic. The theme is one of my favorites, and they've done a fine job with it. Zones and room descriptions are some of the best I've seen and the combat code is almost flawless. On the otherhand, RP is seriously lacking, the pbase is kinda rude and the imms seem to hold alot of double standards...

Even though I was tiffed, I would not have flamed this mud into oblivon, because once again there are alot of fine qualities that others might enjoy. RP isn't in the cards for some people, others might not care to interact alot with the players and Immortals can be lived with, no?

But, instead of accepting and addressing reviews, both positive and negative, they hide from any amount of controversy or criticism.

Once again, this is a community for Mudders to come together and discuss our muds, their virtues and vices, and wether or not we should go to that mud over there. Right?

I'll agree that most of the reviews here are chaff, but there is no reason to allow them to stay in the review list. By removing our right to comment on the listed muds, we're only hurting the community.

Rock and Roll.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:25 PM   #5
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You don't have a 'right' to review. Where do you get off assuming you do?

The forum and review section, and in fact the entire website is set up with very specific things in mind, for very specific reasons, by a specific person (Synozeer). Synozeer made the decision based on what I assumed was sound reasoning. It's been this way as long as I've been here in this forum, and probably a lot longer than that. And you show up saying you think Synozeer shouldn't remove your 'right' to review?

Sour grapes, dood. Get over it.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Once again, most of us who read the reviews looking for a new mud to play can distinguish fairly easily between a disgruntled player, a n00b with nothing but praise for their pile o' mud, and the seriously objective reviewer.
It's certainly easy enough, but the problem isn't being able to distinguish the good from the bad -- it's having to wade through so much bad just to find a decent, helpful review to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
But, instead of accepting and addressing reviews, both positive and negative, they hide from any amount of controversy or criticism.
We shouldn't just leap to the conclusion that admin refuse to accept reviews simply to hide from controversy or criticism.  I suppose there could very well be admin who for whatever bizarre reason just don't want their players to have a free forum to speak about whatever gripes they might have about the mud in question.  But some may just feel that giving voice to the griefers isn't worth whatever benefits allowing reviews might offer, and others may (like myself) just feel that the review section is largely worthless and unlikely to benefit the mud even were the reviews to be largely positive.

If the review section were moderated, or if it allowed for responses to reviews or requests for clarifications of opinions or statements made in reviews, I might feel differently about them.  As it stands though, I don't see that it would benefit 'the community' to require muds to accept reviews, because I don't really see the reviews offering any real benefit in their current format.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Jan. 15 2004,18:15)
Every time I see a Mud not accepting reviews, it makes me deeply suspicious about the Admin and fun potential of that mud.
What is to be suspcious of? Do you watch the active thread list on the front page? There is almost always at least one thread with a title like "To the reviewer of <insert mudname> who is full of crap."

A very large reason there are less quality discussions is because such a huge percentage of the traffic is people complaining about bogus troll reviews.

99% (if not closer to 100%) of all reviews fall into one of two equally self-serving categories:

1) Worthless fanboi drivel (written either by mud staff themselves or by players trying to curry favor). Staff write these thinking it will drive traffic to their game. Fanbois write either them thinking it will get them in-game benefits from the staff or hoping to lure more folks to the game they blindly and zealously support. Both of them are wrong. These reviews accomplish neither.

or

2) Trolls trying to hurt a mud either to benefit their own mud or because they are angry that the mud admins in question had the nerve to enforce the rules of their game. Trolls get a kick out of these because they think they are "sticking it to the man" when they write them. They are wrong. Their immature vitriol is generally obvious to any potential player worth having.


Personally, I think TMS shouldn't have reviews at all unless Synozeer wants to find a couple of talented, objective people to write them all. Randomly submitted reviews are garbage. I can understand why Syn has them because they generate traffic. Traffic = advertising revenue = web site not shutting down.

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Originally Posted by
Disgruntled players? We all get them. So why can most Muds handle the odd bad review from a disgruntled player, while others dodge them by not accepting reviews at all? It kinda makes me ask myself what they've got to hide.
Perhaps you don't see dealing with outright libel as a waste of your time. Folks running large, successful games do.

Since reviews generate virtually ZERO benefit to the muds involved (see above regarding the self serving nature of reviews), correcting outright lies is a tremendous waste of time. Unfortunately, if you allow reviews and do *NOT* correct the libelous ones, there are a lot of people who take that as an admission. While it could be argued that the admins just shouldn't care about their reputations being dragged through the mud, some folks care about their reputation and just cannot turn a blind eye to the abuse. Thus, they waste enormous time trying to correct the lies.

This is not time well spent. It is time the admins could spend working on their game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Maybe some Muds get more disgruntled players than the average? And maybe there's a reason for that too?
Yes. The more successful and the higher quality your game is the more troll reviews you will get. Why? Jealousy mainly. The better you are the harder such jealous cretins will work to try and bring you down.

Further, the more successful you are, the more players you have, and by the odds alone the more trolls you'll have to deal with.

Are you still suspicious?

Perhaps these rational and well reasoned explanations for why a lot of mud admins prefer not to deal with the headache of reviews will eliminate that suspicion.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 15 2004,20:18)
My post here wasn't really about my own review, but denying us the right to review their mud at all.
Who gave you the "right" to review their mud?

Honestly, your arrogance is outstanding.

How about instead of wasting your time ripping on someone else's creative efforts, go out and beat them at their own game. Make a better game than they did, and show them how to do things right.
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:05 AM   #9
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Wait, were you the one that was trying to review Materia Magica? Even posting two reviews on Aardwolf's review section to make sure it's "SEEN"?

I can understand you wanting to review, and yes it might seem suspicious to some, but no, a MUD is required to let anyone review. And -if- you were the said person above, dude, that was extremely lame. Especially to do that to Aardwolf.

I personally don't see reviews to be helpful at all. They're for the most part biased (not all, but most), either someone is ****ed off, or someone is trying to attract more players. Your best judgement is trying it out for yourself. If you find out the MUD sucks, then move on. I have no doubt that you'll find another crappy MUD
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Crystal @ Jan. 16 2004,00:05)
Wait, were you the one that was trying to review Materia Magica? Even posting two reviews on Aardwolf's review section to make sure it's "SEEN"?
Crystal, who are you responding to?

Your post came after two of my own, but I do not believe anything you wrote was addressed towards me or my posts.

Could you clarify? Quoting whoever you are addressing is often a wise course.
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:19 AM   #11
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Ah, sorry I was responding to the original post made by Warhound.
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:11 AM   #12
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I'm most definately not the materia magic reviewer, as they were out to flame while I simply wanted to review and anyone with an ounce of sense can see that

Arrogance, Aristotle? For attempting to submit an unbiased review about a game that I would probably reccomend to someone? For assuming I have the right to bitch about things I don't like, and to praise things that I do? I had no plans to 'rip' on them, and while in my first post I'll admit I was a little angry, I purposely left the Mud's name out because I didn't want to be seen as a random flamer.

I don't understand how you can bash me like this. I could have posted my review in the forums like I've seen a score of other people do. I could have bashed them into nothingness or created a phantom mud with the same name like someone recently did to review them and slammed them more.

I didn't, though. What I did is come and ask you all what you thought of this and to discuss it maturely. Instead, I get told 'GET OVER IT!' and ' SOUR GRAPES D00D', along with 'YOUR ARROGANCE IS ASTOUNDING! Your [scorn]RIGHT[/scorn] to review muds? Laughable!'.

*shrugs* I'm sure Synozeer has good reason for allowing the removal of the review option, but as yet I've not heard it.

I know of alot of people in the Mudding World who would see my efforts to review this game *properly* as commendable and as an attempt to enrich our community. Instead, one of the most visible admins from one of the most played RPI's around slams me for trying.

Hah. I wrote a good review of Threshold awhile ago, a year or two, but now I'm kinda regretful. I liked your mud's atmosphere, quests and but I could see most of your players as the flamers who lurk around here, writing these hordes of **** reviews and generally making the mudding community poorer. Except for you, of course, who they make richer...[/cheapshot] Enjoy it.

Does my arrogance have no end? *snicker* Forget it people, I don't care anymore.

Maybe I can find a pay to play... Or a non-RP mud... Or maybe I'll go play EQ, because the Mudding world is fast becoming Everquest without the pictures but with the assholes... Or maybe I could slam my head in the door.
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:53 AM   #13
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I personally dont mind reviews good or bad! I believe we all have are right to are ideas, though many do abuse the system when they are mad or wanting to gain from it, but over all I think it is a ok tool. Personally I would like a player to email me if they have a problem and let me try to deal with it and try to fix what is going on, but would not go after someone if they did get mad and posted a bad review, I might if I waist the energy to remember it? to go and ask them what is up, but most of the time I just continue on and help the players were and when I can

just my 2 cents on this
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Old 01-16-2004, 05:20 AM   #14
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Doh, accidently double submitted. Continue downwards!
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Old 01-16-2004, 05:20 AM   #15
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My MUD does not want reviews of it.  You know why?  It is an Embassy!  We have areas that are under contruction, not meant for leveling or are not open to players.  I would hate for some mook to come on, try to play and then leave a bad review.  No matter how much you say you are not a leveling MUD, people still try.

Sure, those in the know would consider the reviewer a mook for not reading we are not open to players.  The others out there who are uninformed would assume that MudWorld as a whole is like ResortMUD is and that would be just wrong. ResortMUD is incomplete and no fun when trying to level.

Sometimes not accepting reviews is warranted!
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:55 PM   #16
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I see your point Ntanel, but is that really a valid reason to let muds refuse all reviews? Instead of refusing reviews that would be negative due to, by your own admission, InGame problems, you could read these reveiws and take steps to fix the problems. {I uinderstand that MudWorld isn't a true Mu*, but in general.}

Unfinished? Why are you open?
Unfinished Zones cluttering up the open areas? Close the zones. Quarantine them, so to speak.
Nazi admins? Fire them or set up some behavioral guidelines.

Once again, I could have sworn this is a place for Mudders to come together, discuss our favorite Muds and their aspects.

Maybe I was mistaken...
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Old 01-16-2004, 04:38 PM   #17
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Forgive me WarHound, I was not arguing your point. I was defending why some types of MUDs should not allow reviews. Not why you should not.

I am in the frame of mind that if you do not want a review, then do not accept reviews. Sometimes they are just more trouble then they are worth.

There are good and bad people and those who are bad use reviews in a less than fair way that only looks badly on the game in which it is about.

Last I checked, the MudWorld staff and hopefully the people here are democratic minded enough to ultimately feel it is a person's right to choose.

In the end, WarHound, it is your choice. You do what you want, with or without reason and hope that those who are loyal understand and those who are not go elsewhere.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 16 2004,01:11)
Arrogance, Aristotle? For attempting to submit an unbiased review about a game that I would probably reccomend to someone?
No. Arrogant for claiming you had a "right" to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 16 2004,01:11)
I'm sure Synozeer has good reason for allowing the removal of the review option, but as yet I've not heard it.
Then pay attention. Go back and read my post on page 1 where I explained in great detail why many people turn off the review option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 16 2004,01:11)
Hah. I wrote a good review of Threshold awhile ago, a year or two, but now I'm kinda regretful. I liked your mud's atmosphere, quests and but I could see most of your players as the flamers who lurk around here, writing these hordes of **** reviews and generally making the mudding community poorer.
Now you are just lying. I have had reviews turned off since the first day I added Threshold to this database. That was 3+ years ago. Furthermore, I know of no Threshold players who regularly read or post here. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but if they are as pervasive as you claim I would know of at least one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 16 2004,01:11)
Or maybe I'll go play EQ, because the Mudding world is fast becoming Everquest without the pictures but with the assholes...
Funny you mention that since *you* are one of the (bleeps).

Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Jan. 16 2004,01:11)
Or maybe I could slam my head in the door.
One less (bleep). Go with that.

Far too often people forget that the charter purpose behind the founding of TMS was to help MUDs get publicity.

If a MUD admin thinks reviews waste too much of their time and energy, that isn't helping.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:47 PM   #19
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Quote Threshold Jan. 15 2004,237
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Are you still suspicious?

Perhaps these rational and well reasoned explanations for why a lot of mud admins prefer not to deal with the headache of reviews will eliminate that suspicion.
Yes I am still suspicious. YOU may find your explanations ‘rational and well reasoned’  - I think that you dodge the real issue; Why do certain Muds get bashed more than others?

You offer two explanations for this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The more successful and the higher quality your game is the more troll reviews you will get. Why? Jealousy mainly. The better you are the harder such jealous cretins will work to try and bring you down.

Further, the more successful you are, the more players you have, and by the odds alone the more trolls you'll have to deal with.
The second statement I can agree with. Naturally the larger the playerbase, the more Twinks you get. You might even get more than the usual percentage, because Twinks are attracted to high numbers.

But the first one; Oh, please...

You are actually asserting that other Admins – (or jealous cretins, as you so politely label them) - would post bad reviews about your game, because it has ‘high quality’, and they are jealous of that? You obviously must be referring to Admins, because no ‘disgruntled player’ would bash you for your game having ‘high quality’, players have other reasons for being disgruntled (some of them valid, but others not).

You even specify ‘high quality’, when I mostly see ‘successful’ defined as ‘large playerbase’ – (which can be debated, but let’s leave that out for the moment). With ‘high quality’ I assume you mean a highly developed codebase, good, challenging and well-written zones and several attractive ‘features’ that not every Mud on the net has?

So what are you saying here? That other Admins would play your game, find out that it has higher quality and better features than their own, and then post a bad review out of sheer spite and jealousy? That is not only generally insulting and extremely arrogant, it strikes me as positively paranoid.

There may have been a few cases where one Admin bashed a competitor’s Mud, but so far most that I have seen have been related to ‘Mud cloning’ – (where one of the Staff takes off with the code, or part of it, and starts a new Mud on the same theme, while stealing a number of players in the process). In the large bulk of reviews - (which I incidentally agree are mostly worthless) - these cases are next to negligible, and also easily spotted and mainly reflects bad on the person that writes the flame. So I think we can safely leave the Mud Admins out of this discussion and stick to the disgruntled players.

Now there are of course several reasons why players may be upset, and most of those cases are perfectly rational and good from the Admin’s point of view. For instance, most players get upset by extensive changes to the game engine, especially the following, which are all done for balancing purposes or to improve the game:

- Downgrading of equipment, in particular unbalanced equip
- General upgrading of Mob strength and/or downgrading of player strength to make ‘leveling’ slower
- Changing the stats of Races, Classes and/or Clans, to make them more equal in strength
- Getting rid of bugs in the code that are used by players to ‘powerlevel’ or cheat
- Massive code changes, which mean that the players suddenly have to learn a lot of new things
- Pwipes (usually done as a last resort to get an unbalanced mud back in shape)

All these changes may be totally valid to the Admin, and are done for the general benefit of the Mud. In the long run they are probably all positive. But the players don’t see it that way. They just see that they lose ‘features’ they like, and that killing mobs and levelling, which is usually their main goal, suddenly gets a lot harder. So naturally they whine, bitch and moan, and some may even leave the Mud in protest.

But do they generally run off to post bad reviews of the Mud? No. Most of them don’t. If there is a way to vent within the mud – on channels or boards – that’s what they do. They sit at the fountain for a week or two, protesting and complaining. Then they adjust and go back to playing. Even the ones that ran off mostly return in a couple of months, because most players are amazingly loyal to their home Mud.

However; if free speech is generally suppressed within the Mud, if all ‘negative’ posts are immediately removed from the boards, if all criticism on open channels is immediately suppressed by silencing the player, if the ones that persist in their critique even get sitebanned – THEN they run off and post bad reviews. Why? Because they have been deprived of any other way to express their feelings.

And you know what? I think this reflects badly NOT on the player who writes the bad review, but on the Admin. Because the Admin should have had some understanding about how these changes would affect the players. They should have had the patience and tolerance to wait out the storm, knowing that it would subside after a while. They should have tried to explain the motives why the changes were necessary. And in the cases where there actually might have been some valid basis for the complaints – and yes, mistakes do occur, however good your intentions – then they should have had the good sense to weed out the valid complaints from the common whining and to rectify whatever went wrong.

Other things that upsets players and might generate some bad reviews are extensive changes of policy, mainly these:
- When a formerly free Mud decides to become commercial
- When a former mainly Hack’n’Slash Mud decides to become RP enforced.

In these cases I think the players are justified in their frustration. They feel that they joined the Mud under false pretences. P2P and RPI may be what lots of players like, but that’s not what attracted them to this particular Mud in the first place, and both are vast upheavals for a player. They may have spent a lot of time and effort in developing a char, made a lot of friends there, and in one stroke of policy change the Mud has turned into something they dislike. Maybe there would have been better ways to handle their frustration than to write a flame review, but I actually feel for them.

But all the above things have nothing really to do with ‘quality’, or even with size of playerbase. They have to do with changes. They might happen in any mud, big or small, good or bad, stock or custom, at a given time. They happen more often in developing muds than in stagnant Muds, but this does in no way mean that a stagnant mud is better. Personally I’d much rather cope with some changes and bugs along the way as the price for development. A stagnant Mud slowly dies, because nobody really cares any more. So why don’t all developing Muds disable reviews then? Obviously they don't. Disabling all reviews is actually fairly rare.

The above things do however relate to HOW the Admin handles certain situations. And this brings me back to the reasons why I think some Muds would attract more bad reviews than the average, and consequently why they might choose to disallow them completely. (Note that I said SOME, not all. There may actually be some valid reasons for not accepting reviews. So far I haven’t seen any, with the exception of Ntanel’s ; that the Mud isn’t actually playable.)

You offered two explanations for bad reviews, I’ll offer some more. My theory is that the following categories of Muds attract a larger percentage of negative reviews

- Muds where the Admin are hard-handed, inflexible or even arrogant in dealing with player problems
- Muds where free speech is widely suppressed
- Muds with an abundance of rules that a majority of the players find unnecessary or even stupid

And of course the obvious cases:

- Muds that operate with a stolen codebase, or where serious questions about the legitimacy have been raised
- Muds with cheating Admin
- Muds with widespread bias and favouritism among the imms
- Muds with a nasty playerbase; newbiekillers, bullies, pkillers that run amok
- Muds that actually DO have something to hide

So, yes, I am still suspicious.

With the current rules it is of course every Admin’s right to decide whether they want to accept reviews or not. It also the right of everybody else to draw their own conclusions from that. I’ve stated some of my own conclusions above. Others may draw different ones.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:54 PM   #20
Estarra
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I'm sure MUDs choose not to accept reviews for a variety of reasons, of which I wouldn't presume to second-guess. However, for myself, and granted I presently don't have a MUD listed on TMS (though gods willing I will before the end of the year!), I have to ask myself who is likely to submit reviews. Of the 99% of the reviews I've read (or skimmed) here, they fall into two categories:

1) Reviews that bash a MUD. As Molly outlined, there certainly can be many well deserved reasons to be disgruntled; however, the fact remains that the tone and tenor of those reviews are clearly one-sided, being at best thinly veiled attempts to present a "balanced" review (i.e., Acme MUD has some excellent features, but . . .) or at worst downright mean-spirited attacks.

2) Reviews that rave for a MUD. These reviewers seem to present no criticism of the MUD and suspiciously sound as though they have been prompted by admins to review the MUD (some announce post asking, "hey, if you like us, write a review"--in which case the reviews are simply players brown-nosing in the expectation that the admins will take notice). Sometimes it appears the reviews were written by admins themselves. Whatever the reason, its obvious the reviewers simply think their MUD is the best and want to convince everyone else of the same.

How helpful are either of these types of reviews? Not bloody much. The perfect reviewer would be by someone who has little or no preconceived expectations, biases, or motivation other than to objectively as possible rate a MUD. Take a look at the MudConnector's "official" reviews. Now, those are insightful! But note only 1 review was written in 2003 and 3 in 2002, so obviously finding such reviewers is problematic at best. Perhaps TMS may consider looking for exceptional volunteer reviewers who can meet the criteria of writing a balanced review (or as balanced as possible).

Hmm, when my MUD is ready to list on TMS, would I want to open up to public reviews? The basher reviews would just make me angry and feel bad, and the rave reviews would just make my ego swell. Rather than losing sleep over a disgruntled newbie's review or slobbering over a review from a player who wants to pat me on the back (for whatever reason), I'm leaning towards not accepting public reviews. Would I like a constructive, balanced and objective review? You bet! But I don't think I'll find it here.
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