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A Discussion on Personal Rating Standards

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A conversation taken from The Philadelphia Shipyards

((After a couple thoughts of editing the posts to show the actual author I am taking the easy way out and posting quoting it. Apologies for not making it cleaner.))

--- Quote from: Silveressa ---Too much real world familiarity and players begin to know what to expect, lessening the uncertainty that comes from the unknown. ;) (If you want feel free to add in some decommissioned warship suggestions, there's plenty of room for'em in the shipyard.)Edit: On a side ntoe I welcome any other suggestions you have to enhance the sub and raise it sub above your initial 4.0 rating :)
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--- Quote from: RGTraynor ---Actually, what it is is that I'm not an easy grader. A 5.0, in my book, is "Perfect, cannot be bettered" or a rare "Hammered with so freaking much information that I can forgive a lapse or two." I've given, I believe, only six 5.0s to date.
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--- Quote from: Silveressa ---I must inquire, why set the standard so high? Most here aren't professional writers (nor wish to be) and contribute subs that are designed to be immediately usable by the majority of visitors rather then a mini source book.
(There are some exceptions but those often take a month or more of solid writing and teaming up with others)

With your standards of quality so high, perhaps you would find it more satisfying to provide reviews on drive-thru rpg for products that offer the amount of material you consider worthy of a high vote?

(On a related side note, Am I correct in assuming you expect your own works to be held to the same high standards you holds others?)
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--- Quote from: RGTraynor ---What I expect is for people to apply to my works the same standards they apply to anyone else's. That includes their prejudices, their preferences and, of course, their voting patterns. I don't anticipate that my works are going to be everyone's cup of tea, any more than anyone else's is..

That being said, is there some reason my voting pattern is a problem? I wouldn't have figured that a vote which (according to the drop down menu) equates to a "sweet idea with some artistic flair or increased usefulness which really sets it apart" would prove upsetting, enough to provoke a suggestion that I take my business somewhere else. I'm sure that no one here feels failure or attacked if they don't nab coast-to-coast 5 votes, right?   
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--- Quote from: Silveressa ---It's more when the bar is set so high that the average Strolenite is unable to achieve the mark without spending a month on a sub, it becomes "out of reach" for the majority of participants. This makes the "5" of little value when so few can attain it by the rather unusually high standard you assigned to it.(I think perhaps what you consider a "5" others would rate a "Golden sub?")

As for taking your "business" elsewhere, I wasn't aware anyone here paid you for your feedback. :P

In all seriousness I was merely suggesting if you find the level of content and quality here not up to expectations you may find it more personally fulfilling to provide critiques on RPG material written by those who are in the literal business of getting as close to a "5" on their products as possible.

It's not about anyone feeling they "failed" or are "attacked" by a vote that's not a 4.5+, but more are left wondering "why is this sub not worth a higher vote by people?" Such questions by authors are usually answered by an in depth reply from the commentee about what they liked, didn't like, and want to see more of.

When an voter doesn't provide such feedback, well it's only natural for those seeking to improve their subs occasionally to ask "so how do you think I can improve it?" It's when such a question is asked and the answer is "more content" an author finds it somewhat of an empty response that of little use to them on their future works. (More so if it's on a work an author spent over a week and a half on.)

To put it plainly, if the only way by your standard, for one to earn a "5" is to write a mini source book sub, then perhaps you may wish to consider that your bar is set too high for a site whose main participants contribute as a hobby rather then a means of making a living.
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--- Quote from: RGTraynor ---Well, to put it plainly in return, I never said that I required nothing short of "mini source book subs," nor did I say I find the quality of submissions here lacking, nor have I demanded that Strolenites spend a month preparing subs. Would you mind ceasing to infer that I do?

You asked why I didn't give you a higher vote - beyond the "here's a missing element" I already gave - and if you don't like the answer, I can't help you.

What's the goal here - to share gaming material with one another and the gaming public, to get ideas ourselves, and to improve with feedback ... or to chase after perfect scores, and get bent out of shape when we don't receive them? Honestly, I'm dismayed; this is pretty unseemly.
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--- Quote from: Silveressa ---Actually your comment where you stated: Actually, what it is is that I'm not an easy grader. A 5.0, in my book, is "Perfect, cannot be bettered" or a rare "Hammered with so freaking much information that I can forgive a lapse or two." I've given, I believe, only six 5.0s to date.

Implies rather clearly one would need to write a mini source book to fulfill that criteria. (Rather hard to fit "hammered with so freaking much information" into anything short of a sub of that length, or to reach that level of "perfect cannot be bettered".)

As you said, the goal is to get ideas and improve with feedback, and when the feedback I receive isn't sufficient to help me understand how in that commentors opinion I can improve I continue to inquire. (Most view a subs vote score as a eyeball of its "rpg idea value/usage" and naturally want to present and improve their presented ideas when/where practical.)

As for being dismayed by an author questioning your comments, (and the bar you set for voting) and asking for more feedback to improve their current and future subs, well, that's your prerogative I suppose. *shrugs* 
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--- Quote from: Valadaar ---I think this quite a good sub - it has a lot of potential for a modern RPG.

As for my own voting method, I am also quite stingy with a full '5' rating.  For me, a 5 needs to set off alarm bells in some manner - a holy crap moment :) .  Sometimes it is due to the magnitude and effort, sometimes due to a unique aspect that makes me think.
For the record, there are subs which have the Golden designation that have 4.5 ratings from me.

I don't know _how_ to change this sub to become a 5 - but I need to reserve that score for those subs that do connect with me at that level.   
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Well, since a certain not-too-distant incident, I came to think some people apply different standards to what they expect of others and what others may dare to expect of them.

As for my voting preference, I do give 5s rarely. I do not give them solely to long subs, but to those that make me go "whoa, I wish I had thought of that, I gott a use it!", to those subs that spark a dozen new ideas in my head.

So, I think writing a 5-scoring sub should be like getting an A test score - it does not have to be perfect, but the perfection has to be in the nineties.

For the exceptional subs, there's the HoH, and the Golden Vote. I will HoH a sub which I deem exceptional despite not giving it a 5, but I will vote Gold only on subs which I think should be 5's and beyond.

Way I see it, these aren't legal documents or mathematically-calculated scores, they're opinions. I can name people who practically (maybe literally) never give 5s, and others who give 5s every day. While the Citadel provides suggestions on how to score, it's hard to mandate a standard that will match each individual Citadellian's personal tastes.

For me, I have no problem giving a sub a 5 if I think it's really inspiring and well-written. And I have no problem giving a sub a 3 if it's just okay. I rarely give below a 3, however, because it seems that most of the subs that deserve such a low score are done by first-timers who might need more guidance.

And I think finally, scores shouldn't be taken (nor given) too personally. If I submit a sub, I know it's out there for all to see and judge. Some people will love it. Some won't. If I get a critical score, I just take it on the chin and keep it in mind for future editing and subs.

I agree with Dozus; his words are very wise. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A number (a vote) is, to me, worth much less. I have always preferred a detailed comment, especially one that makes me rethink the possibilities of my own submission, over a good vote with very few words attached. There are parts of each Silv's and RGT's arguments that I agree with. It's nice to get good votes, it sucks to work on something you think is great and get a s**tty vote. I would say, for any vote, please sum up what you like and don't like about the submission. However, sometimes it isn't that easy. Not every idea can be a 5er. For as well-written, fleshed-out, and solid your submission might be, there will always be ones that just don't sit well with someone else. For reasons from prose or style, to content and the actual ideas mentioned.

Anyone have a good moral for this story to end with? I'm sick of the voting arguments. Live and let live, vote and let vote. Maybe?

Indeed, one should always vote how they feel the piece warrants, but when voting lower then 4.5- 5 I've found it helps to provide a bit of extra feedback to a sub, what specifically is liked, and what can be done to make it closer to a 5 in my eyes.

The extra attention helps the author make future subs better, and perhaps improve one that failed to meet expectations with less of a "where do i go from here?" feeling.

It would also be handy if when a sub is updated those who have voted on it before get a prompt to review the sub and possibly re-vote. (I've seen some subs on here that have gone from iffy 2.5ish to outstanding 4+ after the author took some of the comments advice and reworked the sub, only to have so few re-votes on it, the sub still averages a 2.87.


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