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Business all right, seriously, it's time we rethought how buildr works

scully

Avatar: 12797 2011-08-15 04:41:50 -0400
77

[Good Omens]

Level 69 Camwhore

I'd build a road in gold just to have some dreaming...

Jalapeno Bootyhole Posted:

To tell you the truth, I’m still bewildered about the point of this exercise and what the outcome was supposed to be. At this point, I’m bumuming it’s some kind of vague frustration over…something. At the risk of sounding naive, would anyone on the inside care to explain it to me?

For a year now people have talked about the voting system, how it is completely open to abuse and manipulation. The general response is “we look and rarely see it.” That is awesome, but just means that people are being sneakier than you think. Abuse has been widespread.

More recently players tried to initiate a serious discussion about focused spamming – decent Forumbuildr players using all their subs in one area resulting in a natural advantage. I said it before, no one is doing anything wrong, however the system itself has created something that is fairly easy to manipulate. If people don’t think it is an advantage to be able to submit 20 – 40 forums on Sunday night they are seriously mistaken.

When it is not a direct “Hey, this is my forum and logo, go vote for it.”, the manipulation advantage seems to come from the power to flood. I think the logo spam was a lot of “why not?” I don’t think Johnny Mac had anything specific in mind when he started it. Some of those who jumped in were purely interested in earning scoops. Some wanted to show what could be done with no sort of limits on submissions and a little bit of forum/idc chatter.

Really, meeeeeeeeee is right, Inertia is right. People are bored and most of those people have a very troll based nature.

As long as there is a voting system, it is going to be subject to manipulation. I don’t think there is anything that will ever be able to be done about it, but hey, **** happens.

The bigger concern right now seems to be the ability to flood virtually bumuring a higher success rate. I’m not sure if it has been proposed before, but have you considered limiting submissions to x per day?

Day one x is total allowed submissions divided by 7, or 7 submissions, whichever was greater. 
Day two x is total remaining submissions divided by 4, or 7 submissions, whichever is greater.
Day three x is total remaining submissions divided by 2, or 7 submissions, whichever is greater.
Day four all remaining submissions may be used.

What this would mean would be someone with a large buildr score would still have a number advantage, but not an overwhelming one. That advantage would increase with each day, which is fine, people who have busted their bums deserve to gain an advantage, however it would spread things out enough so that it would be harder to “game the system.”

An even easier solution would be to simply create Forumbuildr seasons as has been done for Domination. Retain the overall count like the overall medal count so there is a show of progressive and continued dedication, but reset seasonal buildr score totals 3 or 4 times a year.

I don’t understand why “seasons” haven’t been created for every competitive aspect of the game. How on earth can new players be encouraged to try, to have a game goal, if the only answer is for them to wait for the people already playing to get bored and quit? Outlast is the least interesting method of achievement in any game environment.

It is frustrating to see the same problem in Forumbuildr that existed a year ago and rather than a trend toward a solution, a new problem has emerged due to to steady march of buildr score. It is frustrating to see Itembuildr introduced without thought as to how the items will impact the existing game. It is frustrating to see the the klan vanilla problem taken to the other extreme making it completely worthless and to hear from BB2 that while a dom committee was recruited it is likely that nothing will really be done before Episode 3. Even if everything was hunky dory, people would want to act out from time to time. The site is marketed to trolls, what on earth do you all expect?

Dunatis

Avatar: 78885 2011-11-01 01:20:41 -0400
100

[Cabal Gamez]

Level 69 Hacker

Richard Whittington

Lester Burnham Posted:

I don’t understand why “seasons” haven’t been created for every competitive aspect of the game. How on earth can new players be encouraged to try, to have a game goal, if the only answer is for them to wait for the people already playing to get bored and quit? Outlast is the least interesting method of achievement in any game environment.

Also, WHEEEEEEE!!!

Truth

Fortunato

Avatar: 72902 2010-02-03 18:45:17 -0500
32

[Grey Goose Mafiosi]

Level 51 Troll

ZOMBIE CANNONBALL OF GORE

The skewed voting algorithm also essentially ensures that only early subs have a chance of success, also.

Bashy

Avatar: 97127 Tue Jan 06 09:47:16 -0500 2009
37

[The Scrotal Safety-
Commission
]

Level 69 Troll

platypus.

The only problem I see with the overly-elaborate (and mathematic, mmk) suggestions to “fix” forumbuildr in this thread, after a quick skim, is this.

If, after “fix” after “fix,” the same people tend to win most of the time, how are you going to want to “fix” it then?

Some of the arguments I see are justified, but more than a few seem to be coming atop a mission-horse not interested in making the game more fair, fun, accessible or rewarding, but instead to simply try to change a system under which they were losing.

If it were up to me, I’d halve everyone’s buildr score and make the maximum gain +1 instead of +2 per week. Then I’d implement Bootyhole’s idea of more and more incremental gains as one’s buildr score gets frighteningly high. Buildr scores at that point would become like whole character levels, not digits: to get to 100 submissions I’d have to work from 99.00 to 100 in tiny decimals.

As for the people whining about too many submissions, that’d help, but man, don’t whine about there being too many on the very first or second day of submitting when everyone has entries in but few are weeded yet. That’s like whining about there being too many teams in the college basketball finals. Give it a while. They do get nuked to a much smaller number.

And, uhm, also… you really aren’t forced at gunpoint to vote for every single entry, you know.

plk

Avatar: 9972 2010-01-24 16:28:42 -0500
65

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

Lester Burnham Posted:

More recently players tried to initiate a serious discussion about focused spamming – decent Forumbuildr players using all their subs in one area resulting in a natural advantage. I said it before, no one is doing anything wrong, however the system itself has created something that is fairly easy to manipulate. If people don’t think it is an advantage to be able to submit 20 – 40 forums on Sunday night they are seriously mistaken.

When it is not a direct “Hey, this is my forum and logo, go vote for it.”, the manipulation advantage seems to come from the power to flood.

If you want to win a category for the week, the way to do this is to put all of your submissions into it. I’m not sure why people only seem to care about forum ideas when this is the way it works for any category and it’s the way it’s always been. All categories usually have over 100 submissions to vote on, but I never hear anyone complaining that they’re being forced to vote on too many Angry Replies or Typical Posts. And I certainly never hear people getting accused of flooding those categories, even though it’s usually the same person who gets the most overall submissions into the forum week after week.

Samildanach

Avatar: 143751 Tue May 19 21:18:21 -0400 2009
11

Level 34 Hacker

“43 4f 44 45 20 4d 41 53 54 45 52”

plk Posted:

If you want to win a category for the week, the way to do this is to put all of your submissions into it. I’m not sure why people only seem to care about forum ideas when this is the way it works for any category and it’s the way it’s always been. All categories usually have over 100 submissions to vote on, but I never hear anyone complaining that they’re being forced to vote on too many Angry Replies or Typical Posts. And I certainly never hear people getting accused of flooding those categories, even though it’s usually the same person who gets the most overall submissions into the forum week after week.

Based on what I’ve seen in the posts, the complaint is that you at least have to make some effort to tailor other submissions to this week’s forum, whereas with forum suggestions, you can just slowly stockpile the ones that get good votes, and they’re just as applicable every week you submit them.

In other words, the Typical Post that got 40 upvotes on SPAM probably won’t work if you just resubmit for Childhood Trauma Forgettance… but if your Forum Idea gets 40 upvotes, you can resubmit, unchanged, next round, and probably get something in the same neighborhood. This allows you to build an increasing arsenal of forum suggestions to resubmit, tweaking them every week and weeding out losers, which you can’t really do (as successfully) with Angry Replies or Typical posts. Those you generally have to make up new every week, you can’t let a few months of “natural selection” to find your hundred best ideas and present those.

scullyangel

Avatar: 44656 Mon Aug 17 23:47:33 -0400 2009
35

[Good Omens]

Level 39 Camwhore

If I was a gila monster you could be my devil ray.

Agree with everything plk said.

Problem with Bashy’s cut the score in half and increase things by one idea is that it still creates a radically skewed advantage for long term players. I will always think that it is nice for longevity to be rewarded, but the reward should not be never ending. You used the idea of the college basketball finals. Well, if teams retained their win/loss record from the previous season it would make for a different game.

I do prefer the idea of a seasonal score to a continuing score system. The x subs per day thing I proposed is ok, but having a fresh starting point several times a year just makes so much more sense in an active online environment.

I don’t happen to think that the people winning are going to change a lot regardless of changes. I always look to see how a build went, the names are a lot of the same names. It is obvious that those players enjoy Forumbuildr more than the average player. I have no doubt that we would see a lot of the same names rise to the top on a seasonal basis.

plk

Avatar: 9972 2010-01-24 16:28:42 -0500
65

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

Samildanach Posted:

Based on what I’ve seen in the posts, the complaint is that you at least have to make some effort to tailor other submissions to this week’s forum, whereas with forum suggestions, you can just slowly stockpile the ones that get good votes, and they’re just as applicable every week you submit them.

In other words, the Typical Post that got 40 upvotes on SPAM probably won’t work if you just resubmit for Childhood Trauma Forgettance… but if your Forum Idea gets 40 upvotes, you can resubmit, unchanged, next round, and probably get something in the same neighborhood. This allows you to build an increasing arsenal of forum suggestions to resubmit, tweaking them every week and weeding out losers, which you can’t really do (as successfully) with Angry Replies or Typical posts. Those you generally have to make up new every week, you can’t let a few months of “natural selection” to find your hundred best ideas and present those.

I guess those people don’t understand that you can stockpile submissions in any category and can resubmit them when a similar build comes up. I’ve had people tell me they do it, so it must happen some. In any case, I still don’t see why it matters if things are resubmitted. I mean, “build[ing] an increasing arsenal of forum suggestions to resubmit, tweaking them every week and weeding out losers” is a good way to improve your forum ideas and chances of winning. It’s better not to learn from past weeks’ mistakes, not improve your entries, and make yourself come up with new and increasingly obscure ideas every week so that you run out of topics and ideas? If you’re submitting topics or icons or whatever, the forum idea is there, provided for your inspiration. Forum ideas have to be thought of from scratch.

Samildanach

Avatar: 143751 Tue May 19 21:18:21 -0400 2009
11

Level 34 Hacker

“43 4f 44 45 20 4d 41 53 54 45 52”

plk Posted:

I guess those people don’t understand that you can stockpile submissions in any category and can resubmit them when a similar build comes up. I’ve had people tell me they do it, so it must happen some. In any case, I still don’t see why it matters if things are resubmitted. I mean, “build[ing] an increasing arsenal of forum suggestions to resubmit, tweaking them every week and weeding out losers” is a good way to improve your forum ideas and chances of winning. It’s better not to learn from past weeks’ mistakes, not improve your entries, and make yourself come up with new and increasingly obscure ideas every week so that you run out of topics and ideas? If you’re submitting topics or icons or whatever, the forum idea is there, provided for your inspiration. Forum ideas have to be thought of from scratch.

Well, as I said in what you quoted, a good post/reply/enemy takes account of the forum you’re submitting. A typical post for SPAM is not a typical post for Childhood Trauma. Logically, copying your idea from last week’s forum to this week is not an optimal strategy. It may happen some, but check the forum ideas list next week and see how many are familiar, if not exactly the same… then check thread titles and see how many are the same.

You can reuse other ideas, with some alterations – but you can’t count on their performing equally well if you just cut’n’paste them. I may be overwhelmingly new to buildr, but I’ve already waded through a flood of terrible avatars and posts and titles, and they were very definitely aimed at the current forum, not copied from last week’s.

Further, reusing the exact same idea isn’t really “learning”, particularly at the stage where you’re just changing a phrase. You’re not coming up with better ideas, you’re just selling the current idea better, and waiting for the week when the competition lags.

Me, I’m personally in favor of re-submitting a good forum idea – there are submissions I’ve seen that I like a lot better than the ones that win, and I’d like to see them implemented some day. All the same, I can see how people don’t want to reach a stage where the high-score builders are all flooding the same 40 forum ideas every week, because it’s their optimal chocolate strategy, and eventually they might win, and, hey, they’ve got a hundred submissions to use up anyway and who wants to come up with a hundred new ideas this week?

I don’t think the solution is to be found focusing on forum suggestions, but I totally see where folks complaining about forum submissions in particular are coming from.

Speaking as an inexperienced newb, I think the solution is probably more holistic. If the system doesn’t reward behaviour as much, that behaviour will decrease. For my part, I think the best first step is the suggestion to change how buildr score accrues and affects submission totals. My opinion on how to do that probably isn’t worth much, but I’d tend to do it by setting a maximum number of submissions we’d want a player to achieve, and then curving submission counts based on that. Make it asymptotically harder to get another submission as you approach the limit, and demand higher performance just to keep the score you’ve already got – and not just in terms of votes, but also of how many of your ideas are actually used, and your comparative performance with regard to the rest of the community. Keep the highest number of submissions for those who have the best performance rate percentage-wise.

If it’s hard to keep a high buildr score with forum suggestions, only one of which can possibly win in a given week, than with other suggestions, it de-incentivizes submitting more than a few of your best forum ideas every week. If the number of submissions a player can make drops significantly if they don’t stay competitive, the amount of re-submits and lulzfloods will drop too.

But I’m a newb. For all I know, that’s what’s already being done. I just haven’t heard enough to indicate so.

plk

Avatar: 9972 2010-01-24 16:28:42 -0500
65

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

Samildanach Posted:

Well, as I said in what you quoted, a good post/reply/enemy takes account of the forum you’re submitting. A typical post for SPAM is not a typical post for Childhood Trauma. Logically, copying your idea from last week’s forum to this week is not an optimal strategy. It may happen some, but check the forum ideas list next week and see how many are familiar, if not exactly the same… then check thread titles and see how many are the same.

You can reuse other ideas, with some alterations – but you can’t count on their performing equally well if you just cut’n’paste them. I may be overwhelmingly new to buildr, but I’ve already waded through a flood of terrible avatars and posts and titles, and they were very definitely aimed at the current forum, not copied from last week’s.

I said, “when a similar build comes up.” All topics and replies aren’t equally applicable for every possible forum, unless you’re writing generically, which would be one strategy.

Further, reusing the exact same idea isn’t really “learning”, particularly at the stage where you’re just changing a phrase. You’re not coming up with better ideas, you’re just selling the current idea better, and waiting for the week when the competition lags.

Just changing a phrase, changing a title, or changing the topics can make all the difference in the world about how your forum is received. So yes, it is learning. Figuring out how to make a decent idea a really good idea that wins is interesting. I come up with new ideas, tweak some old ones, and leave others alone because I like them the way they are regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Submissions that nobody likes aren’t ever going to get close to winning, so if people resubmit things that do poorly, they just hurt themselves. And if somebody wins a few weeks down the road with a submission that came in 2nd, 3rd, or maybe even in the middle of the pack previously, well, good for them. Sometimes it’s the case that there are a few really neat ideas that would all make good forums, so that’s great if they get a chance later. I don’t see that as a cheaper win. Voters are fickle and it’s hard to know what people will really like from week to week.

Fortunato

Avatar: 72902 2010-02-03 18:45:17 -0500
32

[Grey Goose Mafiosi]

Level 51 Troll

ZOMBIE CANNONBALL OF GORE

I like this thread a lot and I see a lot of good dialogue going on here.

I’ve never mentioned it but I get a bit defensive at times when you bring up winning ideas and categories, Bashy. I’m not as crazy about it right now but I would point out that I have every buildr peen but design, and that’s more laziness than anything else. I have slowed down significantly in buildr, but that’s just because I find it tiring. My chief goal with these various threads is not to change strategy so that other people win. That simply won’t happen; people who care about buildr and are good at it will remain so no matter how you skew the rules and I like it that way. What I want most is to see a buildr where it’s a bit easier to vote and regular, high quality submissions can realistically put you in line for, say, the buildr score leaderboard peen.

I should emphasize that I think downvoting and removal is a GOOD thing, that dramatically helps to prune the field back from waves of garbage. However what I’d most like to see is an evening of the buildr score algorithm, partly to help with dom, partly to ensure that just because someone can spend 2 hours entering 90 entries, they don’t feel compelled to, or those of us who don’t use all our points every week don’t necessarily suffer for not using them all.

Johnny Mac

Avatar: 37704 2011-07-31 00:49:39 -0400
35

[Full of SbumSS]

Level 35 Troll

hot horse great times lover

I didn’t read the last few posts cause it got really tl;dr, but my “stunt” had nothing to do with improving buildr, all that really needs to be changed is, like Inertia said, change the way unvoted submissions pop up so they aren’t on the top. Also I think his idea of having submissions for an account and not alts makes so much sense it’s insane.

Imo Bashy gets the forum a lot because they are actually decent ideas and people agree with them. If you are all whining just because nobody else gets to play: get more creative people to submit. I don’t know what kind of crap would be chosen if Bashy wasn’t here.

What I did was out of boredom and buildr is mostly fine, I figured that they’d all -5 really quick like other times I submitted joke ones, but everyone jumped on the b& wagon, so I’m sorry for that, though it turned out to be a lot of fun and community togetherness that you don’t see too often.

Bashy

Avatar: 97127 Tue Jan 06 09:47:16 -0500 2009
37

[The Scrotal Safety-
Commission
]

Level 69 Troll

platypus.

scullyangel Posted:

Agree with everything plk said.

Problem with Bashy’s cut the score in half and increase things by one idea is that it still creates a radically skewed advantage for long term players. I will always think that it is nice for longevity to be rewarded, but the reward should not be never ending. You used the idea of the college basketball finals. Well, if teams retained their win/loss record from the previous season it would make for a different game.

I don’t get how this is true. You’re forgetting that in addition to that, I support the whole decreasing buildr score-addition thingy. +1 would be what the newbies would be earning. Maybe by now plk would be able to earn +0.1.

I didn’t post any exact formula for the way I think scaling should work because I am sort of occupied with other things. But using the tool the scaling idea provides, it by no means is a guarantee that it’d be a horrible advantage long-term.

Maybe, for example, plk has been active for two years on buildr doing well, and has a score of 45. A newer six-month player might have 32 and fter a year, 40. Plk would still have incentive to improve, but long-term dedicated players could catch up to where the percentage differences wouldn’t be unfair for time spent without having to set aside a few years.

Maybe after two years, plk’s 50 score would take her a quarter of an entire year to raise to 51, or something. You get the idea. Scaling is a powerful tool.

I don’t like the idea of seasonalizing everything because, relatively, newbies start out with quite a few, most likely too many, entries, and it takes time for the system to weed out the terrible submitters and reward the good ones. If every so often we had to start from scratch, we’d be making the “holy **** too many to look through” problem worse with people newly trying to improve their zeroed scores and the ****ty people having submit power again.

Seasonalizing would also make the scaling gains/losses almost impossible to do meaningfully, since in the scale newbies have the most relative power during the early periods. It’d be chaos with the uninterested or malicious throwing their submissions into whatever. And it’d keep happening, with seasons, and looking long-term as the playerbase grows, NOT having a huge difference between a talented veteran and a dumb newbie, you see, becomes horrifying.

I sort-of like the idea of breaking things down into category submissions but since scoops are involved, I feel it’s already rather self-correcting. If we want to make things more even, the system itself isn’t the only aspect, it’s the layout of the Fbuildr page. It heavily pushes forum ideas but not very in-depth voting. Forum ideas are probably the most important, but perhaps the layout needs a rethink because of what it leads to.

Anyway, I’ve wasted far too much time here. I’m on vacation, yet this typing just took ten minutes, which is pathetic. I’m sure whatever changes are eventually made will eventually end up bearable and not too stupid. I feel bad for the admins trying to find the right solution for the game and its players.

—Bashy

Auser

Avatar: 89481 Thu Feb 26 14:58:28 -0500 2009
19

[Grey Goose Mafiosi]

Level 35 Troll

Just south of sanity

Fortunato Posted:

The skewed voting algorithm also essentially ensures that only early subs have a chance of success, also.

I totally agree with this. People try and make out that submitting on Monday morning works just as well but i constantly log on even fairly early on Monday to see 3 forums at 15+ upvotes already, which is tough to compete with, I have come second and third a few times to these early subs.

scullyangel

Avatar: 44656 Mon Aug 17 23:47:33 -0400 2009
35

[Good Omens]

Level 39 Camwhore

If I was a gila monster you could be my devil ray.

Bashy Posted:

Stuff two posts up.

I agree that in the short term your solution is fine. Half a year ago we really weren’t having howling matches about buildrscore advantage and it’s impact on the game. Simply dividing things in half will only make the problem rekindle down the line. I’d prefer a solution that prevented the problem or perceived problem.

Why create a “solution” that will expire in 6 months and need to be readdressed? That seems pointless.

plk

Avatar: 9972 2010-01-24 16:28:42 -0500
65

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

scullyangel Posted:

I agree that in the short term your solution is fine. Half a year ago we really weren’t having howling matches about buildrscore advantage and it’s impact on the game. Simply dividing things in half will only make the problem rekindle down the line. I’d prefer a solution that prevented the problem or perceived problem.

Why create a “solution” that will expire in 6 months and need to be readdressed? That seems pointless.

Bashy’s not talking about just halving people’s buildr scores. He’s saying the higher your score, the more difficult it could be to increase. People with lower scores will increase faster, and what you will end up with is a lot of people with a similar score with pretty much the same number of potential scoops. Isn’t that what you guys want, everybody can make the same amount of scoops?

Fortunato

Avatar: 72902 2010-02-03 18:45:17 -0500
32

[Grey Goose Mafiosi]

Level 51 Troll

ZOMBIE CANNONBALL OF GORE

plk Posted:

Bashy’s not talking about just halving people’s buildr scores. He’s saying the higher your score, the more difficult it could be to increase. People with lower scores will increase faster, and what you will end up with is a lot of people with a similar score with pretty much the same number of potential scoops. Isn’t that what you guys want, everybody can make the same amount of scoops?

that’s part of it. I would also like to see a more accessible leaderboard, personally. But the scoops would never be perfectly even anyway; scoops are intended as a reward for playing well and ergo would reward better entries. Part of the reason you get such huge piles of choco is that your entries are also good.

plk

Avatar: 9972 2010-01-24 16:28:42 -0500
65

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

Fortunato Posted:

that’s part of it. I would also like to see a more accessible leaderboard, personally. But the scoops would never be perfectly even anyway; scoops are intended as a reward for playing well and ergo would reward better entries. Part of the reason you get such huge piles of choco is that your entries are also good.

Maybe I need to put up a graph to explain this better, but if a logarithmic function were used instead of the simple +2 to compute increases in buildr score, I don’t see how the leaderboard would stay out of reach. In the graph below, if we say the vertical axis is builr score and the horizontal axis is time, the orange curve is what we have now. What I’ve proposed, and what I think Bashy is talking about, is something closer to the blue curve. The red curve is there because I didn’t want to bother making my own graph. And the blue curve would have to be shifted to the left a bit.

Log in to see images! plk edited this message on 04/11/2009 7:05PM

Bashy

Avatar: 97127 Tue Jan 06 09:47:16 -0500 2009
37

[The Scrotal Safety-
Commission
]

Level 69 Troll

platypus.

Holy ****. I just got out of bed and saw plk’s graph, there.

She makes graphs, too? I think I just came in my sleep pants, which have penguins on them. Maybe I’m engaged to the wrong person.

If you can get the graph to look like a male reproductive organ and balls, I’ll explode.

Anyway, yeah, scaling. Please pay attention to my posts, as just halving the buildr score would indeed be a wet bandaid. The scaling is the second half of the adjustment. Plk’s thing: that’s what I’m talking about with the scaling. I think the arguments would be in the shape of the curve, not in whether scaling should occur.

It’ll probably end up being like the arguments between Liberals and Conservatives over the shape of the Laffer curve.

OH EM GEE MORE NERD SPOOGE. Okay, that’s enough for today.

Inertia

Avatar: 60995 Fri Apr 03 12:59:05 -0400 2009
34

[Shii is gay]

Level 35 Troll

also wow i have no male reproductive organ

Inertia Posted:

-fix the rigged algorithm for displaying submissions

is there any reason why this hasn’t happened yet?

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