Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > MUD Players and General Discussion > Tavern of the Blue Hand
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-06-2007, 12:22 PM   #1
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Auto Voting

I'm wondering how popular auto voting is using a mud client, as well as its legality.

Are most votes still cast by hand nowadays?

As a side note, I've been working on an autovote script for tintin++, hence my interest.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #2
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

Autovoting completely? Not legal. Reminding someone to vote and prompt them to click, fine. Detectable either way? No, although "curl" won't be an accepted user agent shortly. About 5% of all hits to TMS use 'curl'.

Each piece of TMS is slowly being upgraded. Reviews are next. I'd recommend anyone building auto-vote scripts build in a Captcha bot, sooner or later will get to the actual voting code.
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
shadowfyr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 310
shadowfyr will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

Speaking of automation... A while back I tried to write a script for my client to open an http connection, find my muds name in the list and then read the vote status from it. Three problems - first, since I am on dialup, a page load of that size is like 50-60 seconds. Second, the client doesn't multithread its scripting, so that freezes the client while waiting on the html. Third, the mud may not always be listed on the *same* page each time, so that can double, triple, quadruple, etc. the wait time.

Any chance you might adjust the information pages for each mud to also include the current vote status for it? Loading one smaller page might not be nearly as bad, especially for us low bandwidth people.

As for the voting stuff... Only gripe I have is a) who cares and b) I am just glad its not one of those, "Lets muck with how downloads work so you need cookies, valid client IDs and other stuff." Those **** me off, since first, dialup + the managers in browsers = about a 10% failure rate downloading large files, so you *must* use a more reliable manager, even if they don't want you doing so. Second, it gets bloody complicated/impossible to *fix* that problem if you have one installed, since often the method used to disable it involves something like a ctrl-click or something, which won't work if the link you click isn't the "file" by a http request, which redirects you to some page that auto-starts, with no other way to initiate it. Frankly, some sites are really starting to **** me off with this BS. Especially the ones where I **pay** for the fracking product, then they hand me a damn non-resumable FTP server and some convoluted idiocy for preventing people illegally downloading, which fracks with the managers and download enhancements I have installed in my browser(s). Sony pulled that on me with EQ, back before I realized that it was going to take a week to *update* the client to current, even "after" downloading the full version from *someone else*, so I could have downloaded just the updater and let it install everything. I mean, who in their right mind dumps 3GB of files for download on a server that doesn't allow resuming? Even with broadband a failure in the middle of that could ruin your day.

Anyway, sorry about the bit of rant there. I am just increasingly less and less impressed with the lengths places go to "protect" themselves from illegitimate traffic, at the expense of, I suspect, just about everyone still using dialup or that doesn't trust the managers in their browser(s) to work properly.
shadowfyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 06:51 AM   #4
Baram
Member
 
Baram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Seoul
Home MUD: Tears of Polaris
Posts: 218
Baram is on a distinguished road
Re: Auto Voting

I'm sure quite a few muds use 'curl' to get their muds current stats to include in the vote reminders. If you're going to block curl, maybe add that information(rank and votes in/votes needed to next rank) to each muds individual pages and allow curl to be used there?

Also... not a big fan of captcha personally... I think it would turn a lot of people off from voting(and thereby lower traffic to TMS).
Baram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baram View Post
I'm sure quite a few muds use 'curl' to get their muds current stats to include in the vote reminders. If you're going to block curl, maybe add that information(rank and votes in/votes needed to next rank) to each muds individual pages and allow curl to be used there?

Also... not a big fan of captcha personally... I think it would turn a lot of people off from voting(and thereby lower traffic to TMS).
My bad, I should have been more clear on curl, I meant the voting page only.
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
Rathik
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 35
Rathik is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to Rathik
Re: Auto Voting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baram View Post
Also... not a big fan of captcha personally... I think it would turn a lot of people off from voting(and thereby lower traffic to TMS).
As I understand it, there are a significant number of visually impaired/blind players amongst the mud community. Would captchas be an issue for these players?
Rathik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 12:47 PM   #7
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

Yes it would, at least the traditional graphical capture. But the type of captcha that poses a simple (but varying) question in text would not be.
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 02:13 PM   #8
Threshold
Legend
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: Threshold RPG
Posts: 1,240
Threshold will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
Yes it would, at least the traditional graphical capture. But the type of captcha that poses a simple (but varying) question in text would not be.
Why would you add something (like captcha) that would reduce traffic and have virtually no effect on the actual vote results?
Threshold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 02:22 PM   #9
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

I'm not convinced a simple captcha (not the annoying graphical kind) would reduce traffic that much. It might reduce the traffic from people who are spending about a millisecond on the site in a background window - but that isn't the traffic that is viewing your banners or clicking your 'out' link.

However, you're probably right, I'm not convinced it would achieve that much either. Consider the captcha mention a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase "auto vote"
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 03:54 PM   #10
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

Wouldn't an auto voting player occasionally check the main page to see the standings? I assume the chance of this happening to be higher than a player who doesn't vote at all.

If this is the case the amount of people involved in voting might drop when a captcha is added, and subsequently the amount of main page page views.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 04:08 PM   #11
Aeran
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 208
Aeran is on a distinguished road
Re: Auto Voting

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Wouldn't an auto voting player occasionally check the main page to see the standings? I assume the chance of this happening to be higher than a player who doesn't vote at all.

If this is the case the amount of people involved in voting might drop when a captcha is added, and subsequently the amount of main page page views.
I think the risk with not using captcha is that someone could setup a bot network to vote automatically for them. Cleverly setup it could be hard to detect such cheating.

Autovoting doesn't help the MUD community in any way and makes voting pointless. The reason to vote is to show you support a game you like and enjoy. If the game suddenly becomes bad you should stop voting for that game.

It is same with arguments about captchas lowering the traffic to the website. If players are too lazy to vote then those votes might not have been that important anyway, as the player clearly didn't take the minor extra effort to support the game.

In either case adding captcha isn't that much of effort, and could be done as a test run for a voting period or two to see how it turns out.
Aeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007, 04:30 PM   #12
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

I think we generally have two types of traffic to TMS, those coming to vote and those coming to look for a MUD. We get a lot of traffic from Google and the social networks. Not so much from Yahoo (even accounting for their lower share of the search market), but I've noticed Yahoo "Slurp" is all over the new forums so maybe that will improve over time.

I think most MUDs don't particularly encourage their players to click the "out" links as that doesn't help their ranking so those "out" clicks are coming from somewhere. I've also noticed over time that when a MUD appears on the front page that isn't usually there, it's "out" number will be very high compared to the rest of the MUDs, so a good number of people are paying attention.
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 01:14 AM   #13
Fern
Member
 
Fern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 156
Fern is on a distinguished road
Re: Auto Voting

If you do install captcha, please also provide a 'Speak This' option. Very often the captcha text is very difficult to read and text readers do not pick up on them, for the most part.
Fern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 03:09 AM   #14
Threshold
Legend
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: Threshold RPG
Posts: 1,240
Threshold will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeran View Post

It is same with arguments about captchas lowering the traffic to the website. If players are too lazy to vote then those votes might not have been that important anyway, as the player clearly didn't take the minor extra effort to support the game.
Who cares how important the vote was to that person? In 5+ years there has been virtually no significant change in the way the vote totals have played out. The whole voting thing is just a nifty little way to get people to come to the site.

Eyeballs are eyeballs. And statistically, the more POSSIBILITIES that someone might see your game, your ad, etc. the better.

For people who advertise here (hence, paying for the site) and for people who list their game here, more traffic is always better than less traffic.
Threshold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 03:38 AM   #15
Winddancer
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 9
Winddancer is on a distinguished road
Re: Auto Voting

not sure, but does this "captcha" thing work when you use the "oldie but goldie" http client lynx? I normally mud from text clients and also vote from them, so using lynx is an absolute must for me.
If someone knows, I'd be really interested.
Winddancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 01:01 PM   #16
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

If I read Lasher's response correctly he's not seriously considering to add captcha support, and if he does it'll be text based so lynx users, as well as blind players, can still vote.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 01:05 PM   #17
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

Having considered the responses it would probably be better to settle for 'easy voting' rather than 'auto voting'.

One thing I'm curious about, does it matter if a user goes through the mud's homepage TMS banner first, or is a bookmark directly to the voting page enough?
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 01:12 PM   #18
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

As far as TMS is concerned - a direct link to the voting page is fine. I know that some MUDs prefer their players to use the homepage so that they can put a little announcement in the MUD that someone voted etc, but that's down to the individial MUD.

When we have the ranking database and the "mud info" database all in a single place I'd like to use some 301 redirects to simplify the voting url too. Something along the lines of "www.topmudsites.com/vote-<mudname>".
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 05:38 AM   #19
scandum
Senior Member
 
scandum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 308
scandum will become famous soon enough
Re: Auto Voting

I finished and published the script a few weeks ago. It shows a reminder when you haven't voted in the past 12 hours and provides an alias to cast a vote using Lynx. Confirming the vote requires pressing enter after executing the alias.

I'm not sure if there's been a significant increase of votes cast by Lynx, but if so it might be worth looking into making the post voting redirection page more lynx friendly.
scandum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 04:03 PM   #20
Lasher
Administrator
 
Lasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Name: Derek
Location: Orlando
Posts: 353
Lasher has a spectacular aura aboutLasher has a spectacular aura about
Re: Auto Voting

Appreciate any advice on the best way to do that while not making it trivial (even more trivial?) to bot it via a bank of proxies.
Lasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014