Please review missions based on their merits, spelling, story, flow, etc and not on systemic things the creator cannot control.
I recently received three reviews for my missions which were 2 stars. One literally said that the two star review wasn't for my mission but because of the pathing bug. And the other listed about 5 flaws, 4 of which were system related and the other due to difficulty of a particular mob. One of these was a complaint that they had to get too close in space to loot something...
These types of reviews tend to hurt people's chances of really getting their missions out there. This, were it on Holodeck, would have permanently tainted my overall scores for these missions due to things that were totally out of my control.
Please when reviewing missions do not take stars off for things creators have no control over.
The above are all things the creator CAN control
Your difficulty with a certain mob (number of mobs in a tight area or too many tough mobs IS a valid complaint)
Loot collection distances
Scanning items in space while moving isn't allowed, etc.
The above are all things out of the creators control and not things to downgrade them for.
Especially when the Foundry goes live keep this in mind because early on a bad score for something that wasn't their fault could be the difference between them getting some attention and their hardwork sinking to the bottom of a huge list never to be seen again.
Unfortunately I can't control the invincibility of NPC contacts. In certain circumstances, the NPC they need to talk to in order to complete the mission might be killed by the player themselves.
I've had some negative reviews for people who couldn't find the NPC they needed, probably because it was dead. In one case, I noticed that when they were under a confused state and could shoot friendly characters, it is possible to expose and one shot kill NPC contacts...
Another case is probably when an enemy ship warp core breaches next to an NPC contact ship.
I can also imagine someone throwing a plasma grenade at an enemy standing next to an NPC contact and burning them to death.
These things I can't control other than to move NPCs away - but sometimes even that doesn't work because you could pull enemies to them on your own.
Another thing was about crates and things in hallways on maps - I didn't make the pre-made maps and they don't let you remove things from the maps - I didn't put crates all over the place - Cryptic did!
I also got a negative review about enemy placement - you could go around the enemies and not have to kill them. But the mission objective was "avoid enemies"! It was on purpose!
This one wasn't in one of my reviews, but I saw it in someone else's mission reviews: Someone left a reivew saying that they should only have the player character beam down instead of the full away team. Except that you can't control that yet
we will all have to get used to some 'dodgy reviews' shall we say.
it would be nice if people think outside themselves and review a misison on its merits and not their personal taste but dont be shocked if people are down grading you because of things out of your control. the only thing you can hope is you get enough reviews so that the true score of the mission eventually comes through.
I spent a lot of time with City of Heroes' Mission Architect. Both reviewing others' missions and reading other peoples' reviews of my missions.
First, a lot of people who review your missions will say things that are just stupid. They will criticize you for things that you have no control over. They will criticize you for a certain thing in your mission that they hate when the other 99 people who played your mission loved that same thing.
That's just how it is.
I've had people play my missions and then criticize me and rate my mission low because they didn't like the enemy faction that was in the mission. Well... if you hate Malta then why did you play the mission? It says right in the intro screen that you get to read before you ever accept the mission that Malta are in it.
That's just how it is.
Also, a lot of writers are very touchy and get offended at the slightest criticism. I've had people literally lose their marbles and send me a dozen tells because I mentioned a misspelling in their mission text. I've had people say "Oh yeah? Well I'm going to play your mission and give it a 1 star! How do you like that you [Warning Explicit Lyrics]!!!" simply because I gave their mission a well deserved low rating and even took the time to explain why and make suggestions on how they could improve their mission.
As both a mission author (at least one time over, though not sure if it's still available to play) and a reviewer, I've been more or less ignoring the number of stars. I really wish they weren't even a part of the current review process.
The way I look at it, given that the Foundry isn't live yet, everything I do and play in it is a rough draft. Who knows how many of the missions currently up will even make it to the live server (either because people don't want to put the work into replicating them or because they get bored) and when they do, they're likely to be substantially different. Specific feedback is important so that the author can make improvements. But assigning some sort of grade seems artificial and a little ridiculous at this point.
I understand the politics of star ratings. Higher ratings may (or may not) single out good missions. But they will certainly get people noticed and increase the odds that their subsequent missions will be played. I'm sure once the Foundry goes live, there will be a hierarchy of stars, so to speak, with some people at the top and some people at the bottom. One quick side note: I think while UGC itself may be a means of building a more robust STO community (or at least one centered around the Foundry), star ratings are going to be a pretty potent means of dividing it.
I suppose there may be some value in rehearsing all that now, before the Foundry goes live, but I tend to doubt it. It seems rather early to begin the process of division and hierarchy--everyone should be playing all sorts of missions, good, bad, and indifferent, not just gravitating to the "good" ones, both to give feedback and to share ideas.
I suppose that my main point is all that matters now, IMO, is the feedback people give. Everything else strikes me as totally irrelevant.
There are two sides to the story. First of all, your right that mission authors arent responsible for pathing errors. But that said, you should test your mission before you publish it, and not just once. If you discern that pathing errors are causing too much of a problem on your mission, then you either have to figure out how to "fix" the issue or not publish your mission. If you decide to go ahead and publish anyway knowing there is a significant(key word) problem, then its partly your fault if you get bad reviews.