User ratings, should they be public or hidden?

I need some input by you guys. We ended up in kind of a pickle in regards to user privacy and thanks to Bal to noticing that.

People might think their votes are anonymous unless they comment but anyone can see them on their userpage and on the log page.

Now the question is how to proceed. I am both a huge proponent of privacy so hiding them alltogether would work for me. But I also think that there should be some way for the community to self-regulate and for that people need to be able to have some insight into the ratings (since people care SO MUCH about some numbers on the internet sadly). Also it feels like a nicer place if you can check out others interacting in the community.

So should the frontpage feed show usernames again? I always liked it as it shows community spirit and interaction. And should usernames on the comment threads link to the profile? I could also add them in the forums I guess. Or should ratings become completely anonymous?

I think transparency is the way to go. If someone is uneasy with having their name put next to the vote they gave, then perhaps they should not vote, but comment only.

IMO the current system is fine. Only a user’s 10 most recent ratings are visible, so most of their data is still hidden. If ratings became 100% private, they would be more vulnerable to being gamed.

I like that term: to game something. Sounds like money.

I like to see usernames. Like you said, it gives more of a sense of community, and I think that’s a big part of what’s make Quaddicted so successful. That said, I’ve never been abused for my reviews or ratings, so if that’s really happening to people then I can see the other side of this argument.

I would expect controversy to arise in relevant comment sections, if anything, rather than on the forum.

I think the community is too small for public ratings. There have been numerous cases recently where people have gotten personal over ratings on this site, whether it be in the form of DMs or rating “counter-attacks”.

I’ve personally felt uncomfortable rating certain listings with my honest thoughts because I feel like weird politics would get involved that I have no interest in. At the same time, I really prefer rating items over writing a full on review to justify my feelings because I also use the rating system as an “I’ve already played this” checkbox. Once again, it comes back to the community being a little too small and a little too personal.

I think I’d have to agree with Markie here. Ratings don’t really matter, nor should they, but with a community this small it’s really easy for authors to take them personally when they know who gave what rating. It’s nice to have a simple way to impart your honest opinion of a package without having to justify it through a review, but that honesty is a lot harder to accomplish when there’s a tendency for people to take offense to anything below a 4. If people want to go into detail about their thoughts on a release they have that option already, meanwhile there’s nothing for those who just want to record their initial rating on playing something, contribute their opinion to the user score and not make a public commitment to it.

I can understand concerns about people using anonymity to unfairly influence ratings (which still shouldn’t matter), but the only difference currently is that any fake accounts created for that purpose would need original names, which hardly makes it more difficult, and I really don’t think it would be a problem in the first place, again because of the size of the community. If names are to be attached to ratings, they should at least be more visible to everyone instead of existing in this weird semi-hidden state, though I’d once again prefer not having them visible at all for the reasons I’ve discussed.

Also, Not to seem biased but people who are simply players have nothing really to gain or lose from rating anonymity. Mappers do, in the form of weird social politics and therefore have more of a dog in the race. Did Mapper A rate my maps low? I will be more harsh to their maps ratings. Did Mapper B rate my maps high? I will be more lenient.

A release like sm180 publicly paints a different image (although of course comment authors will always be named and anonymous ratings would not have protected the user that harassed there) and I have seen a marvelous amount of abuse from mappers towards players so that is just not true.

Someone elsewhere asked about letting each user choose if there ratings should be anonymous or not. That would require an big amount of thinking and work to implement (just start thinking about how to do aggregate ratings then without allowing for someone to guess someone’s rating) so that’s not an option.

I wonder if even having ratings was a mistake in the first place. It created an environment of competition where there shouldn’t be one. Created perverted incentives and comparisons on an artificial level. Maybe we also need to make them less fine grained at least, like round them to the nearest integer and drop the order by anything more detailed.

Such as ‘Spirit’ pointed out earlier, there is still way to check on the details, which makes the entire situation a bit confusing; like with a pain medication, which soothes the superficial symptoms without addressing the real issue or even less so, the root cause.

If you want anonymity, make it a legit anonymity, not a half-assed anonymity.

Besides, the only thing I would be afraid to see with names attached to the votes given, is how few people are actually responsible for all the traffic going on.

In my opinion, there is nothing that ‘Quaddicted’ does, which would particularly fuel competition.

If there’s no consensus on anonymity, maybe de-buffing the ratings on map profile pages can help a little bit in the meantime. Rounding sounds like an OK bandage / compromise.

You could even go further: replace the displayed number with the word “Not for Everyone” (< 3.0) or “Good” (3.0+) and “Excellent” (4.5+) and that’s it. That way, it’s more of a basic quality control metric, and individual ratings don’t skew the publicly displayed rating so much. (And then hide the exact number rating behind a tooltip hover for those who can’t shake old habits)

I think my point still stands in that I meant that players having nothing to gain or lose over mappers with anonymity. Anyone, mapper or player alike can be subjected to abuse. Players just can’t be review bombed in addition to that.

I understand your point; enmity could arise between mappers if one mapper downvotes a creation of some other; artistic ego and stuff, immature behaviors. Relevant point, but if so was the case, active mappers could embrace the honorary habit of not voting altogether - wonder though how much of voting would be left going on at all.

On the other hand, if you think that expressing your opinion from the standpoint of a respected mapper, may hurt the feelings of someone else or handicap further public reception of their work, maybe just set up another account on ‘Quaddicted’ - more anonymous account - and vote through that, for the sake of peace.

Still, some kind of private checkbox, counting the map as played, would be handy. If one has rated the map, the checkbox value, should be automatically updated, although unnecessarily the same for having put a comment.

On private votes: I don’t think anonymous ratings would be gamed very much in such a small community. Instances would likely be rare, and it’s probably easier to notice and flag unexpectedly high-rated maps than it is to defuse and repair instances of nasty chat or sniping.

Nailgun to my head I’d go with anonymous ratings. But honestly, I’m happy with either option. Numbers mean very little and as a newish mapper the comments are what’s valuable anyway. It’s there where the sense of community comes from, I think, rather then from seeing “Big_Lad97 rated The Colonnade of Chaos 3 out of 5”.

(Oh but just to dispel any regret about introducing ratings in the first place, ratings probably do help users sort their thoughts and keep track, so short of a replacement system with some sort of “I’ve played this” tracker and “I liked this” tracker, the ratings system works!)

I have made the following changes so far:

And I plan to replace the exact aggregate ratings with values rounded with no decimal places.

And I forgot:

This is the only one of these that I disagree with personally. Ratings add some context to the review, and I don’t know that there are many people who want to have a rating, leave a review and keep their rating private. That said, this version isn’t terrible, just not my preference. Everything else is a positive change in my opinion.

Excellent! Now the zealots can review-bomb with impunity :slight_smile:

I mean look at the new map “Hard Driven” - how do you think the author of that map feels to have it pooped on by two people? Encouraged to make more maps? Maybe the people who review-bombed it don’t want them to make more maps? It’s pretty pathetic, how people do that - I think it should be transparent, personally, then at least we know who is in the clique.

And another thing that I think is completely rotten is how people are going on maps that were made in 1997 that were considered good and saying stuff like “This was a 5/5 in 1997 but by modern standards its not even a 1, so I gave it a 1/5”. If this is you, then seriously - get in the sea.

Yo, no need for being so angry and personal around here, Ricky. How did public ratings actually prevent users rating out of spite in the past? Was there any meaningful discussion of specific incidents somewhere?

There isn’t really anything wrong with people not being into 1997ish maps and marking them as they like. Or is there? Why shouldn’t they be free to rate as they like? There are two kinds of ratings I think, those one does for oneself (“I played this and found it to be …”) and the ones that people do for others (“This should be rated as … in a global setting”). To each their own.

You are making a strong case about what I said about needless competitiveness.