There's been a lot of complaining about the review system, which from what I understand, has not changed since the beginning of time.
Here's two things that I believe are both simple to implement and deals with our concerns:
Default rating should be blank instead of 3 stars
All ratings should be on the review list
Not all players change the rating before sending in a review for a mission. This is due ignorance, laziness or just forgetfulness. What ends up happening is a whole whack load of three stars, some which have a review stating "best mission evar!!". This especially hurts when a mission is spotlit because hordes of people who don't regularly play foundry missions show up and leave a bunch of 3 stars.
What I'm asking for, is to have the default start as blank, so when the player tries to press the button to leave a review without setting a rating a popup can appear telling the player to set it. To go even further the review drop down box can be on that pop up.
From a development standpoint I don't think this is a big challenge. Either have a null or "sixth" value as default, and when the player clicks the OK button check if that value is still there and pop up the warning if necessary.
Display all ratings
Right now only the reviews that have text in them show up in the review list. The only reason I can think of to hide reviews without text is to reduce clutter. At the same time as an author I would like to be able to see how many reviews and what ratings I got per day without meticulously recording that stuff daily. Also since a time stamp and @tag will be shown it will dissuade the mass 1 star drive-bys that some of us are suspicious about.
Implementing this change shouldn't be too hard in my mind because all the data is already stored in the database. It just needs to not hide ones without text. If the reviews are all gone though (and just increment numbers in the rating bar) then it won't be possible and will require a change in how reviews are stored. I have a feeling this isn't the case
Finally this is in regards to my rant post about the 1 star "no combat" thing, and development-wise is much less trivial. The ability to flag reviews would be nice. Then stupid reviews such as "no combat" when the mission states in capital letters that there is no combat can be removed or ignored by the rating system. How this actually works and who is getting paid to sort through these flagged reviews is a whole different ball game. This is more of a "would like to have" feature where-as the previous two are things that are more important.
Thanks for taking the time in reading this. I really like the Foundry and want to see it continue to improve. The suggestions I put forward are ways to help authors stay motivated, create a more accurate rating system and are easy to implement.
Yes, my spotlight mission is now my lowest rated, simply because of all of the 3 stars. Not sure if a dev will read this thread, but here's hoping that one does. And here is hoping that he or she cares...
Devs don't seem to read this forum much. If they did, they would know that issues with the rating and search system have been brought up about a million times and about a million good ideas (and some not so good, your mileage may vary) have been suggested:
That's just the first six pages of all the ones I knew I'd find if I searched for the term "one-star." How did I know? Because one of those threads was mine.
So, they can put in disappearing NPCs, which they claimed was impossible and would break the Foundry, but they can't make any improvements to the rating and search system, the part of the Foundry that interacts with by far THE MOST players.
I fully support Zorbane's constructive ideas. Are they new, no, but they are worth repeating until something is done.
I'm sure Zeronius has read at least one of those. But that they haven't made a statement, because they haven't made a decision on what, if anything, to do.
This. As soon as they say something, and then need to change due to what's best people, would rage. They ran into this problem before. It was a rough course for Stahl but he's now a master at the developer language and rhetoric.
As for what's presented. I'm all for the first one. Having it so they need to pick a rating is a good one, not just default three. It's not obtrusive, I doubt it's too hard to set up (but I don't have a real clue to be honest), and will lead to a bit more thoughtfulness from some folks IMO.
The second I don't agree with. I'm all for a rework of the system mind you, but, I'll be honest when I say I think the anonymity is a good thing. There are some authors here, good ones, but have the pull of different communities and foundry groups that I'd hate to enrage and get on a black list because I thought something they made was a 3 star and not a 5. If anything they deserve a rating since I played it, I'd rather not shortchange them by leaving it blank.
Last time I left a 2 star with my name next to it I had to deal with a whole storm of trouble that I'd not want to repeat.
I agree that the default should be set to NR (no rating). In fact, NR should be a choice at all times. Sometimes I've played a mission and frankly feel it needs some work, but I don't want to leave a bad rating since I feel there is room for improvement, I just want to leave feedback.
Also, as much as the driveby one stars are annoying, I think that there should be the option to leave an anonymous review. Personally, I don't usually leave reviews less than 3 stars, instead I just don't leave a rating (the only exception would be absolutely terrible missions where it's clear the author didn't even try, or exploit missions like console clickers). However, sometimes people are offended by 3 star reviews too. I think having the option to rate a mission without having to worry about getting an angry in-game mail is fair.