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Fantozzi

STEX rating rules?

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There was a time uploads on the STEX were rated simply with 1 -5 stars and without a written comment and nobody did know - why someone only rated something 3 stars.

Now you need to give a comment. And I thought this comment is to explain the rate you give. F.e. if someone uploads a yellow house and you don't like the color yellow - you give 3 stars and and write: this house is yellow and i don't like it yellow, blue it would be much better (as you could before without telling your motivation).

So now other users will see - Ah, that's the reason fantozzi rated this 3 stars, but me, I love the colour yellow, so why should I care about fantozzis rating?

As me, being objective, I can try, but it's almost impossible, as I'm not almighty in my knowledge and capabilities and on judging content I'm not always 'right' in the sense of public opinion or the opinion of everyone and therefore my opinion might be 'strange' to others. That's a result of me being a subject, an individual, I think. I can fail. Even on opinion or judging. So I can't always do right to everybody.

Now I see subjective ratings on uploads will be deleted.

So objective criteria is needed - criteria that can be applied on all ratings the same way and exclude subjective judgements like about which colour is better for a building.

Or I won't rate anymore anything here - as beeing attacked by moderators just for stating my subjective (and maybe wrong - in a public view) opinion, I don't like this.

So please tell me what I am allowed to say and what not when rating.

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I like this question (and it's timely too).

I think that the rules haven't changed. The rules are here:

That said, over the 12 years I have been active here I've seen certain subjective and/or negative comments and ratings deleted by moderators, while others remain.

Moderators are people too (and often content creators) and I guess certain comments on uploads can push all the wrong buttons for them as well.

I know I have often gone into bat when I have seen a rating on other people's work that simply isn't fair (I'm sure that dismays the moderators when they see it, but that behaviour drives me nuts). As for criticism of my stuff, well, I will staunchly defend my own work.

I would like to think that I don't upload visual or useless garbage.

If others wish to dispute that, contrary to what some might believe from my actions it is actually fine by me, but they had best have their facts straight before telling me what's wrong with something as I don't tend to just accept what others 'opine' about my work, especially in the context of X out of 5 stars, which can be a very passive-aggressive way of making a point. Nothing like a low rating for the passive-aggressive to be able to punish a content creator for any number of perceived misgivings.

Granted, such a mindset can make me quite a prickly character on these sorts of forums, but I certainly don't make a habit of criticising others unless they have poked the bear (so to speak). However, if there is a problem with something I have uploaded, tell me and I will fix it. If it is just expressing an opinion, then depending on how one states said opinion, don't be surprised if I retort with some of my own special brand of opinion....

But if you'll allow me to digress for a moment, before the internet age, only 'experts' were invited to give their opinion on any subject in the public sphere. If you were not an expert and you still wanted to give your opinion, then you shared it amongst close friends - usually at the pub. Occasionally there were 'vox populi' or letters to the editor on television/newspapers, but it was still rare to have your opinion in the public domain.

For better or for worse the internet has given anyone a forum on all matter of topics, and allowed them to have a say; a freedom which is a great right and a very recent right...history has not been at all forgiving for those exercising the right to their opinion. But with any right comes responsibility, and nothing says it better than point 10 of the code of conduct itself:

"10. The Golden rule.
Treat others how you would want to be treated."

I personally don't think you or the majority of users have anything to worry about - to my mind your comments are always thoughtful and well conceived and I very much doubt you would simply down-rate something because you didn't like the look of it, but I'm sure a moderator could elaborate.

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I think its fair and good etiquette to use the comment section to express a personal subjective view, or to indicate a problem with the download.  The rating should be objective, but also with a sense of the personal view of the download, how it looks and functions and fits into the  game, but with good reason rather than on a whim or ulterior motive.     I've only ever rated 2 downloads without having actually downloaded, installed and used the product in the game.   

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  • Original Poster
  • 3 hours ago, mattb325 said:

    As for criticism of my stuff, well, I will staunchly defend my own work.

    I think, that's the social way. I make wrong or subjective statements about your work. You pull me on my ears. You'll give me the chance to learn. Depends on me, if I'm open minded and can understand I did wrong on you. Obviously that's the more stressing, exhausting way. To simply delete my statement is much easier. But then I can't learn much from you. The oportunity to see it from a different point of view was missed. So I think, my first mistake should be forgiven if I show will to listen.

     

    3 hours ago, mattb325 said:

    Treat others how you would want to be treated."

    This is true - but I don't want to be treatened by a 10 years old child like a 10 years old child and me I shouldn't tread a ten years old child like an adult, so I would have more patience with the child than with an adult. This isn't a critics of the golden rule - it's only that without empathy and some understanding of 'others' even this true rule can't work. 

    On the internet this isn't always easy - my english writings always sounds childish to me but it's a language problem, not a 'grown up' problem. I think. :lol:

    I, personnaly, would like to add a 10a) on this: ""always start positive and think it was a misunderstanding, not an offense."

     

    3 hours ago, mattb325 said:

    Moderators are people too (and often content creators) and I guess certain comments on uploads can push all the wrong buttons for them as well.

    They are becoming too adult sometimes and forget that SC4 - initially - was a childs game. And on childs you need to give them sometimes a second chance, a third change and even more to learn. And when you defend your work you become a teacher to them - and this is good. 

    But then, and in this case - I'm not shure if moderators should be reminded that the golden rule applies on them too. It does, doesn't it?

    I can't stop thinking how I would feel if my rating was deleted because it didn't meet a 'quality standard' I don't even understand. My objectivity has limits - these are the limits of understanding/knowledge. How I judged uploads 5 years ago and how I judge them today is totally different. Making my first own lots, my first own props gave me a totally different view on what you are doing. So I think, one can't expect much from the rating system. It will always be something like 'oh, nice t-shirt, oh, nice haircut' or 'I hate Mozart' - it never can be an elaborated science. You, personally, are working on a level where only a few people can judge your work 'objective'. Because this judging needs artists and technical knowledge on this level.

    But feedback from an audience - some pass out, some rip their t-shirts off, some throw empty beer cans, some scream inapprehensible words. If you are a boy group. Batters may expect something different. But well, they are some kind of rock stars too. Even if they don't understand your work - still they are your fans.  They show up.

     

    3 hours ago, mattb325 said:

    I personally don't think you or the majority of users have anything to worry about

    So this doesn't really calm the child living inside me. Still it doesn't know - what is right and what is wrong on being a fan. Should I leave my t-shirt on? Can I complain about colours, textures, sizes, distances? Can I make subjective remarks like 'this is beautiful' - things that lies all in the eyes of the beholder? This kind of rules I mean. More straight, not that golden. You know, on some of my uploads I got some really funny remarks, you can't call them 'objective' but they aren't offensive too. Well, they are only 'sympatico' nothing much else. But can I repeat this, what I enjoyed, on others too? Will they enjoy a play of words too or will they be offended. Not everyone is gifted with empathy to know that, so he/she may need some more explanation about how to behave.

    Or maybe I need a better understanding of what is 'offensive'.

    It happens - to me too - I make a silly remark, missing some reflection in adavance. And people are offended by that. They are immediatly and without any warning offended by a gaucheness I did. I try to defend. So I correct that, saying sorry, or maybe it takes a while until I understand. It takes a little bit of exchanging arguments. Maybe I'm to proud to make my sillyness public at all and I stay simply quiet. Don't know.

    But there is a danger 'being offended' becomes some kind of swiss army knife to surpress different opinion. Everything that is different is offending.

    At the end of this process - being always in some kind of 'I'm-offended-by-your-sillyness-mode' - which is an process of exclusion - evolution of learning and gaining insight has stopped. The social group is a closed box - nobody comes in, nobody gets out and it grows old and dies as it has lost the capability to refreshen  - as every newbie seems to be an offense to the knowledge of the older ones. Basically, there is a danger this community becomes what could be called 'reactionary'. Like a little village commune afraid of all those hipsters from the city stepping in and asking for drinks never offered at the saloon before.

    BTW. - that's something A Nonny Moose showed to me - to never be offended by ignorance but face it with a smile.

    But I understand - it is really not easy to judge what is offense and what is ignorance. One could say - ignorance often is unintended offensing. Like the hipster from the city may offend the village commune simply by his strange manners - he didn't want so, but he believes his behavior is quite normal.

    So, again, you do right responding, making your point clear. Its like an offer to get into the process of learning and understanding. Even to give a warning - what you do ain't right here, in this town.

    But also it's a very different thing to surpress unwanted judgements. To kick all the hipsters out of the village. As there is no teaching or learning in surpressing. Lately the talking about the SC4 community - to me it sounds to much like inhabitants of a small gallic village surounded by roman fortresses.

    Maybe it's only this I don't like - or something wrong, I've eaten yesterday. Who knows? 

     

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    This reminds me of an embarrassing review I did for the MP Movies No More. I was totally new to custom content and also (wrongly) assumed everyone played the game as I did at the time. I was still struggling with the budget. (Yes, I know what to do for that now.) I wanted to have a starter town with this landmark, but the cost prevented that. It shows my total ignorance of the larger world of batting and I gave my rating based on my personal preference.

    @mattb325 rightly called me out on what I said there.

    Looking at it now, I believe my review really ought to be deleted. I can do that, but I feel matt's appropriate reply won't make sense if mine is gone. Or, I might be able to get admin help to change mine to a 5 star and then edit in an explanation. I'd leave my original review comments and then preface them with what I've learned about why what I said was not only wrong, but inappropriate.

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  • Original Poster
  • 55 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

    an embarrassing review

    Reminds me of an italian pop song, going roundabout this:

    "What are you talking about failures to me? My life has been a consecutive row of failures. But then ... what else are failures than the steps of the learning."

    So don't be embarrassed by the steps you took to arrive where you are.

     

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    Its been awhile since I've uploaded some work, but if I remember correctly there is an option to turn off reviewing and commenting on your file when you upload? 

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    i recently got a bad review one lot  because my stuff no longer has been SC4 basic lot types. I do stuff for the Mars Project and now my Own Mod. while it did bother me some i took it well because it caused me to go back and try again and this time came out with a much better Model. granted it took me another full week to get it done. 13 years ago i would have reacted badly. 

    another bad review again had me back at the drawing board but when it was compleated i felt it looked much better. it was a farm lot which i mostly do for the regular game. 

     

    what it boils down to is we all have to be ready to be criticized  and take it well. however theres allways one hot head who wont. i know i used to be one in the beginning. 

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    I think @rsc204 summed it up nicely.  I just wanted to add that we have the ability to separate comments and ratings on each file.  I think the comment section is a great place to make suggestions, critiques, etc without having to 'rate' a file on a 1-5 scale.  Suggestions or requests for the author will often be easier to swallow without a 3/5 review attached that drags down their rating.  Comments with critiques/suggestions/requests should still be polite and respectful, but I think most authors will be receptive to them.  That doesn't mean you will get what you want, but it is a way to start a dialog. 

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    Posted (edited)

    First, thanks you all for your responses and honesty, and particularly to Fantozzi for giving us this chance to clear things on a constructive mood.

    I don't want to repeat your points but to ponder on some things that can be going under the visible issue, this is, the desire of moderators to cultivate a site that is friendly to custom creators, and the cultural differences and language barriers that make harder to express and understand what we try to say when we make a review or a comment.

    On the first point, Robin is clear enough in which are the situations that vulnerate the welfare of creators, and we have been witnesses of the outer effects: creative people getting out of the community and desisting of sharing their work.

    What maybe we don't see is what is happening inside the minds of the creators that had enough and pulled out. I will risk an interpretation, mainly based on my own experience (for what it can be really flawed as a description): many creators see the community as a safe haven to express their interests and preferences without being dismissed, and that safety shatters when hostility materialises. I, for example, have an aspie fixation with all things urbanism, but got no instance to develop those interests on my RL relationships; it is comprehensible, an aspie fixation is really exhausting and annoying for everyone else. So I reserve my interests and express them on a place where they are shared, expecting not to face the same impoliteness I've find in the exterior.

    Now, as moderators, we strive to make this place a safe haven for everyone with related interests. And generally we can see positive results: compare both ST and SC4Dev with other game forums or even more public websites, including social networks, it almost looks like people in there were actively trying to harm others with snarky comments and dank memes.

    And as we strive to keep this haven safe, we, as fallible people, often overreact. And believe me, we overreact more than what is visible, but luckily we also take the time to ponder the issues before acting, at least most of the time. The last thing we would want to do is to shy away people, be it for overpolicing them or by letting uncomfortable behaviours to grow and take hold. But the point is double: we need to be more careful of letting ill manners grow (because they become almost impossible to unroot once established as commonplace), and we need to prioritise the most irreplaceable members. It's not everyday when a person arrives at the forum with the disposition to make a gift of their free time, hard work and talent, just to please complete strangers.

     

    Now, another thing must be in place here, and is something we mods have need to be increasingly attentive to: there are cultural differences on the way to express dissent, discomfort or even simple alternative points of view, and those differences become more important as the community becomes more culturally diverse.

    Once again from my own example, we chileans are known for having a deeply ingrained attenuant language and culture: we can be very annoyed with a situation but we contort our words and gestures to make believe it's just our problem. Another cultures consider this as a very hypocritical way of being, and they are much more direct to say what they don't like and what they won't stand.

    Both cultures can use the same words, but they mean different things, and that information-rich exchange is lost on this media: here many of us are using a foreign language, struggling to make our original concepts to survive translation, and we lack almost all gestual information, save for emoticons, that are also very ambiguous.

    While settled forumers dedicate a long time to take care of their words, many others that don't are as habitual just say what they achieve to say, sometimes with unintended consequences. 


      Edited by matias93  

    All the second part is just one paragraph? What is wrong with you, Matías?

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    9 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

    There was a time uploads on the STEX were rated simply with 1 -5 stars and without a written comment and nobody did know - why someone only rated something 3 stars.

     

    Isn't this more or less do to the updates of the website over the years?

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  • Original Poster
  • 4 hours ago, Mary Maurine Mayo said:

    what it boils down to is we all have to be ready to be criticized  and take it well. however theres allways one hot head who wont. i know i used to be one in the beginning. 

     

    I notice that the rating and comments on the STEX continue to cause missunderstandings between us. I notice it happens - and I'm convinced there is no evil purpose - people complain about having to register on another site, links not working or they might be still new to game and complain about mods not work as intended (as to place them in game might be difficult or something else). And I see them giving bad rates which causes the uploader to be either disappointed or angry. Which - imo is a natural and normal reaction.

    So we have two disappointed and angry people - the uploader and the downloader. This makes me sad. I wonder if there is no way to handle this better. The funny thing is - those, who complain aren't wrong. And even if I agree to @rsc204 hints for rating - somewhat they always have been the same and somewhat they remain ideals most of the time but still I see disappointed and frustrated people.

    I'm so happy you go on and don't give up on those disappointments, @Mary Maurine Mayo!

    To me it seems, the reason why they complain (sometimes agressive and ignorant) is - they are confused. Maybe they tried it a hunderd times and it didn't work and now, when they show up - they are like a volcano, ready to explode. Well, to me, that's something human too. 

    So mostly it's a lack of knowledge or understanding. But when they complain and rate - the message gets another direction another meaning, the message isn't 'I am confused', 'I am disapointed', the message is: 'this is not working, 'this is crap"

    It's like we had always to translate this sentence 'this is not working' (user-language) into producer-language 'We have a problem, sir'. And the rating section isn't the right place for this - but if you are stressed and want to communicate you tend to take the nearest possibility, so most of the frustrated STEX user might end up voting instead of doing questions in the forums.

    Maybe it's because there is no question section on the STEX? The rating requires statements only. But sometimes it's better to start with a question: why are there so many dependencies, why doesn't this work? Maybe if there was a question section - some people would do questions first before using the rating/comments to turn their disappointment into accuses?

    I like it, if you can handle critiques or if the producer and the user find a way to talk with each others - if they manage to dissolve the misunderstanding. But maybe we should dig - why this missunderstandings happen quite often. At least it seems to me - as most of the uploaders have negative experiences of this kind. 

    It's a litle bit like on traffic. If there is a crossing and there are happening accidents - you can solve every accident by asking: who is guilty', 'who did wrong' 'who has to pay. But then, when you notice, those accidents occour again and again (and there are rules) - you can't always blame the drivers or ask the drivers to pay more attention to the rules. You may also ask: maybe this crossing should have a more driver-friendly design. 

    I see - people need a place to complain. They will continue to use the rating section to communicate the troubles they have with this or that. So how's about a complaining section - visible only for moderators and uploader but not to the public? A place where to put in the first, impulsive 'this-doesn't-work-and-I-tried-it-a-million-times-already-anger?' Or maybe a big red hint - please use the forums for technical help or complaints. Don't know. Something like this.

     

    2 hours ago, matias93 said:

    Now, another thing must be in place here, and is something we mods have need to be increasingly attentive to: there are cultural differences on the way to express dissent, discomfort or even simple alternative points of view, and those differences become more important as the community becomes more culturally diverse.

    Well, I think - like the SC4 modding itself during the years became sophsticated also the community became sophisticated. You are right -me, I don't know any community acting on this high social level. And there is no doubt - this is a merit. A merit moderators should be proud of. But this is the argument to be patient with people that have difficulties to become digital citizens here. I imagine - this is like moving from a small german town (where they still sell their daughters for 12 cows) to New York (where the daughters eat hamburgers made from12 cows). On the other hand you have us (may I be counted in?), the creative people obviously plagued by some of those roughnecks. So moderators are in between.

    On this I say - I once had a terrible quarrel about a parking lot. This quarrel ended up in a wonderfull one night stand. So from my experience sometimes conflicts can have a very intresting turn-around and avoiding them (or a policeman solving them) sometimes prevent we get known each other better.

    It's almost impossible to judge in advance what will happen - it's impossible for moderators to know in advance what is the best. So don't be afraid, don't worry to much. That's all I can say about that - the courage to admit social interaction. That's the same problem parents have when the children are in quarrel. You must give them a chance to solve their problems on their own but you can't wait untill they harm each other. So this is all about timing.

    The other thing is -

     

    2 hours ago, matias93 said:

    But the point is double: we need to be more careful of letting ill manners grow (because they become almost impossible to unroot once established as commonplace), and we need to prioritise the most irreplaceable members.

     

    On this I highly disagree. This is like closing doors to members development. You nurse the old, experienced members and exclude the young, unexperienced. This must lead to a rest home version of a SC4 community. Just give the young roughnecks a chance to find their track and become an active member.

    How to explain? Quite often - those who are the worst at first, are the best at the end. Yelling around on the STEX - this means, this guy or girl is really interested in this stuff. Not rating, not posting, not talking - that's the sign of desinterest. But what you call 'ill manners' is a shure sign of interest. Where there are complaints there are needs. And I love it when @rsc204 says: well, you could do that yourself, just use PIM-X (or something like this). Complaints is the perfect starting point to become a modder. So I would say - on those 'enfants terrible' the chances are best they will become contributors. Not those guys and girls with the 'do-as-you-like-I-don't-care-attitude' or 'I-like-every-thing-attitude'. At the end we should show love exactly to them - showing up first time and having only big complaints about everything. I think, @rsc204is absolutely right on them, telling: well, if you don't like it, change it. Maybe on nine out of ten we fail. Maybe. On nine out of ten it turns out they are really only bad educated a....les. But number 10 may get interested and become a contributor. Believe me - those never in conflict with the world never can be great iventors. So have an eye exactly on those always and everywhere offending. There is a reason why the are so restless inside. They are like a motor of 500 horsepowers not knowing where to go. Give them a gear box and wheels instead of fighting them - and you might get a racing car in return. But shure - you'll never know.

     

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    While it is better now than when anyone could rate anonymously, I remember when those anonymous ratings were opened up and everyone saw what others had left on your work.

    There were about five or six users who consistently rated everything (not just my work, but everyone else's work) a 1 or 2 out of 5 stars, and the thing was, about half of these were batters themselves...how they keep showing their face here is beyond me...long standing batters will know exactly who I'm talking about without naming names (or crying over spilt milk, as it were) *;)

    Many forums - particularly the Japanese forums - don't have a rating system: I don't know whether that is better, because as @Fantozzi says:

    Quote
    7 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

    Not rating, not posting, not talking - that's the sign of disinterest.

     

    I like the idea of a question section...whether or not it can be implemented easily is another thing entirely.

    On the point of giving the complainers

    Quote
    7 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

    a gear box and wheels instead of fighting them - and you might get a racing car in return

     

    Maybe, maybe not, most of the ones I've got into tussles with (indeed you can take the most recent one as an example) are usually versed in how to use custom tools. If you don't believe me, check their uploaded work in their profile.

    In all probability poor ratings are just people having a bad day, so they decide to take it out on something, and rather than kicking a dog, it is easier to be nasty to an avatar on the net.

    One other thing on the topic is rating system that is used for CJs. City journals are also a vital part of the community, these showcase batters' work and showcase what can be achieved with the modding tools available - I don't comment much on them because the creativity and time spent just blows me away, but I always look with dismay when I see a 3/5 rating on the topic of a creative entry and at the moment it is anonymous as well. Perhaps a CJer can shed some light on the topic?

    Honestly I've always had a love/hate relationship with the rating system and I think that @matias93 is right when he says ill-manners shouldn't be allowed to take hold. It is probably why Simtropolis has been so successful all these years.

     

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    I think, STEX rating system should be changed like Google Play. on Google Play, you can only rate an object once. You can't rate it again. This is effective. Some users are using "downrate" system first then if the BAT is good, they'll rate as they want. I've seen many on Google Play. Also, I think we should add questions like "Is the mod made prop pox?" Google Play was implemented this feature several time ago.

    Thank you.

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    8 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

    On this I highly disagree. This is like closing doors to members development. You nurse the old, experienced members and exclude the young, unexperienced. This must lead to a rest home version of a SC4 community. Just give the young roughnecks a chance to find their track and become an active member.

    It's called the Carrot and Stick approach. Everyone who comes along is usually given a chance to learn how to interact with the community. But some, no matter how many times you politely try to explain how their conduct needs improving, just don't listen or adapt. Those people get the stick, because there inevitably comes a point where their presence here, does more overall harm than good. If, for example, someone complains about dependencies, we will try to inform them why it is so. But sadly, some refuse to accept the situation for what it is. Whilst anyone is entitled to disagree with the need for dependencies, that doesn't go so far as to allow you to be abusive or denigrating others work. Want to open a discussion on the forums to add your opinion, no worries, but I hate to tell you, dependencies are not going away. They are almost intrinsic to how SC4 works and was designed.

    Often where we know we'll have to take action against a member, behind the scenes we're all truly hoping we can find a better way to make them see the light. Honestly, that's our default position, why can't this user simply accept the facts and stop misbehaving? How can we (the staff), present this differently so as to get our point across more successfully? You'd be surprised how much discussion can go on, trying to find a way to prevent people from getting banned or moderated. But try as we might, it can often be a loosing battle.

    Sadly some just fight every action, taking the view that when we intervene, we're somehow the bad guys or just being heavy handed. But if we're talking to you about your behaviour or moderating your comments/actions, there will be a reason for that. Those who are willing to see the other side of the argument, will not find themselves on the receiving end of the stick. Some people just think they can say and do whatever they like, an attitude the internet has sadly fostered, and that we (the site) have no right to bring it up. Well I've news for those people, this is not the free internet, it's something better and rules are part of what makes that so.

    The simple fact is, if you are keen (and polite about it), there is no shortage of people willing to help you. Be it to fix issues with the game, explain concepts or help you with modding endeavours. So if a user can not find a means to get their problem resolved, there is no justification for acting like a jerk. Some people want the moon on a stick, but I'm afraid we're out of stock and may not get any more in.

    2 hours ago, Chief ZDN said:

    Also, I think we should add questions like "Is the mod made prop pox?"

    That would only serve to continue creating paranoia for a problem that has only ever been associated with one file.

    2 hours ago, Chief ZDN said:

    I think, STEX rating system should be changed like Google Play. on Google Play, you can only rate an object once. You can't rate it again.

    Same here, you can't review an item more than once.

    3 hours ago, mattb325 said:

    Many forums - particularly the Japanese forums - don't have a rating system: I don't know whether that is better

    That's a tricky one, ratings are supposed to be a guide to content, what's good and what isn't. But if every one is 5/5, then how is one piece of content distinguished from another?

    Perhaps in some ways, not having a rating system would be better, it would avoid the whole issue of what is and isn't fair. But isn't that chickening out somewhat, I do believe it's possible to have harmony between reviews/ratings and avoiding the presence of misguided or mean-spirited scoring.

    But that is the difficulty here, how do we ensure we don't foster a general view that only the 5/5 top rating is acceptable? Whilst simultaneously ensuring creators have some right to say, hey, come one, that's simply not a fair reflection of my work. On that, the discussion could run and run, as a human, I'm sure we won't always get it right in our journey towards the answer.

    ============================================================================================================

    Without seeking to single out anyone, I think many of us reading this know the incident that led to this thread. When a review is written that relates to an expectation unfulfilled, one that was never within the intended scope of the author of the content, I think it is fair for moderators to step in.

    This can be problematic though, because the act of removing or amending a review, may upset the other side, the user who wrote it. But such an act is not one of punishment or sanctions against anyone, it was purely motivated to promoting fairness. We might explain our actions, but the user won't necessarily agree with us. Would it be better to start by asking such a user for consent to modify the review? Considering the potential reaction, that could arguably lead to an even more heated discussion. Sometimes we have to be bold and do what we think is right.

    Here's the rub, if we sit by and do nothing, we risk creators feeling alienated and leaving the site. If we moderate such reviews, we risk loosing users and upsetting them. That's the problem with moderation, one party will always see us as the villain of the piece. Well I'd rather be the villain sticking up for content creators in such a scenario. Because the alternative, sitting idly by whilst creators were having their work defamed, is not something I am personally comfortable with. We always strive to bring fairness for all, but the sad reality is that you can't always please everybody. In such circumstances, I take the view that "the greater good" is the best outcome you can hope for. That's not to say we should charge recklessly at every review, modifying or removing it. But we should have the power to do so when circumstances warrant.

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    Posted (edited)

    This is disconcerting and quite saddening to read.

    So if I look at the wash-up from what was started by a single action we have:

    • a downloader who has had his post deleted and undoubtedly feels aggrieved;
    • a community member who witnessed it,  fears the loss of certain freedoms and also feels aggrieved;
    • one (or more) moderators who now feel that they have to defend their own actions and probably feel aggrieved;
    • an uploader who wonders whether returning to upload free stuff is worth the effort.

    Fantozzi, I honestly accept your notion of proactive de-escalation on the part of the moderators, but I think they already try to do that - as rsc204 stated

    Quote
    19 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    Often where we know we'll have to take action against a member, behind the scenes we're all truly hoping we can find a better way to make them see the light. Honestly, that's our default position, why can't this user simply accept the facts and stop misbehaving? How can we (the staff), present this differently so as to get our point across more successfully?

     

    If the moderators fail (a very subjective term in this instance) in that endeavour in your estimation of securing common ground between the sparring uploader and downloader, then I have to say, so be it: if they've tried to do their best, I can't see what more you can ask of people who give freely of their time.

    What I can ask, or in fact expect, is that others treat people as they would be treated (which goes back to point 10 of the rules and the first part of my post). The fact that some users might be children diminishes nothing.

    Just like content creators can't be all things to all people when they upload, neither can these folks who moderate internet forums, both do so willingly and freely.

    Just as there is no single course to make content for SC4, there is no moderator school. These people are obviously held to a higher standard by the community, but in any community every member is ultimately responsible for his/her own actions (minors aside, but that really doesn't work on the internet) and - perhaps I am missing something - but try as I might to truly empathise with a divergent view, I cannot get away from the overarching principle of 'treating other people as you would be treated'. 

     

     

     


      Edited by mattb325  

    Have edited the first line, with Fantozzi's comment gone, my comment looks a bit off....

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    @Fantozzi I even get bad reviews solely based on the pictures attached to the download page. How I know this? Because the review comes before the lot is even downloaded and tested by the person/s who left the review.

    As I have made clear in past comments I made on my download pages, the work I upload is created based on what I like mixed with politely made suggestions from players that understand what is involved in making BATs and Lots. These suggestions are posted in my dev pages here and over at SC4D. The whole point of having a dev threads is to be able to post my work as it develops thus giving members the opportunity to make suggestions.

    Keep in mind that any work from Batters, Lotters and Modders (in some cases months of work), is produced and uploaded free of charge for everyone to enjoy.

    *Rant off*

    Simmer2

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    In terms of moderation in general, let me just reaffirm we're all human and try our utmost best to help Simtropolis.

    Sure we make mistakes, and we learn from them. However, that intent is and always will be our sole #1 purpose behind everything we do. It's the overarching principle. We hate situations that escalate, and always try to avoid this from happening. When they do intensify, we're saddened as well. But we also appreciate handling each unique situation is part and parcel of our role as custodians and ambassadors of the community. It is very much a balancing act. We don't get it right 100% of the time -- far from it at that. But we always strive to do better with each and every new step we take. Likewise, we're always open to feedback on how we can do better.

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    Getting back to the subject of file ratings...

    No system is perfect, and there's no doubt the rating system has fundamental flaws. All stars are tallied and divided by the quantity of ratings given. The problem on the STEX is for any new file, the quantity reached will never be significant enough to nullify the effect of any rating less than 5/5. We're not like Amazon or TripAdvisor which amass hundreds if not thousands of reviews per listing. The flaws are exposed more prevalently. As a result, if someone decided to rate a STEX file anything other than a perfect score, for whatever reason, it would significantly affect the overall average. This is displayed on the file, and serves to visibly represent the supposed quality and appreciation of the content item. However, it's hard to clearly differentiate quality between items with such a small sample size. There's not enough data.


    To put this in perspective, let's consider a quick scenario:

    Say a file is uploaded and receives 9 ratings of 5/5.
    The average is 5.00


    Then along comes a user who decides to rate it 1 star.

    As a result, the average is now lowered to:
    4.60 (10 reviews)


    Interestingly from this point, it would take a minimum of 799 consecutive 5 starred reviews for the average to be rounded up and shown as 5.00 again. There are only 2 files on the STEX with 800 or more reviews (most of which were previously set under the old anonymous system). For all intents and purposes, this file would now always be rated lower than 5 stars. Yes this is hypothetical, but it just highlights the power of that lone 1 starred rating. As long as the lower rated review exists, it doesn't matter what the majority thinks -- that one review forever drags down the overall average. It may be an outlier, but it is equally represented in the total.

    Now reviews are public (following the site software upgrade in 2015), there does seem a trend of more 5 stars for any given file. Looking at the new upload list, more often than not files have the maximum average rating. So whenever downrating occurs, it stands out like a sore thumb. Everyone can see this in plain sight, including the person who created the content.


    My thoughts on this matter closely follow the notion to protect the creative rights of authors. Since content is indeed the community's greatest asset, it's important the content authors are treated with respect. This means preventing them from falling victim to unfair and unjustifiable ratings. Not to stop people rating anything other than 5 stars. This isn't and should not be a totalitarian regime, and we should still allow freedom of choice. However along the way, ensuring reviews are impartial towards the quality of the content. What does it offer to the game? Not what may perceivably be lacking from the reviewer's point of view, or conclusions based on false facts. If this is not a realistic goal to achieve, I'd rather support abolishing reviews entirely in favour of comments. Because when it all boils down, what's more important: A star or a download?

    At the end of it all, we don't want authors to feel discouraged and decide to cease creating items. Since if you spend countless hours developing a BAT, Lot or whatever, is it really fair for outlying opinions to degrade what is otherwise flawless work in the eyes of everyone else? Without any drive & motivation, an author can't create content. And similarly without content authors, there is also no new content. It's really a lose-lose situation.

    As a result, I think it's time to introduce a clear policy on STEX ratings. What is and isn't acceptable. To ensure fairness across the board, and bring a renewed sense of equality. An added safeguard for all those who wish to share their creative works.

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    The rating average could also be calculated a bit further by rounding off any rating that exceeds .4 to the next whole number, so that if a rating is 4.5 and above then it rounds up to 5.  That way instead of negatives pulling down, positives pull up.   The rating could also be based on the majority of ratings.  If a file is rated more times as 5 than any rating below, then its rating is 5.   

    Another method could be like as with rating, the rater is required to write something to go with the rating to explain their action.  If a rating less than 5 is clicked the rater could then be re-directed to the comment section to first explain why they intend to rate less than 5.  if they explain something like 'I didn't like the color', then their comment is included but not their rating.  The content creator can then take the comment and decide to offer different colored versions.

    Or we could democratically elect somebody as an official 'editor' who must approve each and every rating, and occasionally offer up an 'editor's pick' that reflects the general values and standards of the community.   

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    5 minutes ago, RandyE said:

    The rating average could also be calculated a bit further by rounding off any rating that exceeds .4 to the next whole number, so that if a rating is 4.5 and above then it rounds up to 5.

    I wonder how much programming Dirk would have to do to implement this. *:???: What if it could just show the median instead of the mean average?

     

    6 minutes ago, RandyE said:

    Or we could democratically elect somebody as an official 'editor' who must approve each and every rating, and occasionally offer up an 'editor's pick' that reflects the general values and standards of the community. 

    It's prolly possible to make all reviews be subject to moderator/admin approval, but I feel that would feel too much like censorship to everyone.

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    1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

    I wonder how much programming Dirk would have to do to implement this. *:???: What if it could just show the median instead of the mean average?

    Yeah, looks like the median average would be better, but we'd have to generate a table to show it at work on a set of numbers limited from 1 to 5.

    1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

    It's prolly possible to make all reviews be subject to moderator/admin approval, but I feel that would feel too much like censorship to everyone.

     To avoid any sense of unfairness, injustice or authoritarianism, we could simply have the option to not have our files rated at all when we upload them.  Then, any file that is outside the boundaries of the site rules could be deleted by the admins, otherwise the file remains simply un-rated by choice of the uploader.   

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    A more subtle problem here is that the rating system has been nuanced for our behaviour as raters, and is not as sensitive as it should be: realistically, just a very small part of the creations on the STEX are trully perfect as to deserve a perfect punctuation, but their ratings hide that, and in counterpart, make all ratings under 5,00 to feel as bad.

    To give an example, my sidewalk mod is unsurprisingly rated as a perfect 5,00, but is far from perfect, in no small motive because I didn't dedicate much work to it: it has ugly moiré patterns on pedmalls, the scaling of the texture botched some of the lines between tiles, the diagonal networks look outrightly weird and unnatural, etc. If I were to rate it, I would as maximum give it a sincere 4 stars, mainly because its compatibility with several tile texture packs, but I wouldn't call it 'perfect'. Nevertheless, four people did it, and I can suppose that they did it for reasons that trascend a strict quality evaluation.

    I have also been on the other side, and rated several files better than they appear to me. In many cases, I've done it prospectively: some work is not so great but its creator shows talent and I don't want to alienate them from creating content, so I overrate their work to embolden them. In other cases the result is not really perfect, but the work implied is so big that it seems almost abusive to give less than five stars. In all cases, the 5 stars ratings are so pervasive than giving less than that is much more transgressive than overrate a work, even if numerically both manoeuvres are equally distorting.

    In consequence, it is really hard to differentiate simply good content from authentically perfect (or nearly perfect) content, and the rating tool becomes a bit redundant. Maybe something we could envison to implementate then would be some quick guide to discern if a work is truly deserving those 5 stars, and to incentivise to give more consistent and honest ratings, in a way that having a 4 starred creation won't be a cause of shame, but a recognisement of a valious work that needs to be polished to become better.

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    The most highest rated file on the STEX is the Academy Awards Theater that is a lot made from Maxis buildings and props.  This is a friendly reminder that this site and its ratings are mostly about 'show business'.  We could have 2 ratings systems, one system would be a rating given by people who have themselves generated the same kind of content, and the other the same as now from the general membership.   I suppose you could give a file an 'Academy Award' if both your audience and your peers gave you 5 stars.

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    @RandyE, I think the trixies comes fairly close to an academy award as ultimately an item (or items) is chosen from many nominations with selections being made by peers.

    @matias93, I do actually agree with you: there is not one single item on the exchange that is perfect in every sense and for everyone, but after almost 15 years of a '4' being a just '4' (and by definition sub-par to a 5), suddenly a '4' is not going to be the new '5'.

    Quote
    1 hour ago, matias93 said:

    work that needs to be polished to become better.

     

    Hmmm....I want to expand on this notion that is trotted out all the time and has become very clichéd in the community: a few uploads ago, another moderator told me that I should look at feedback as a means of making my work 'better'. Now just so you know I let such a comment slide every time it is trotted out because I understand that it is certainly not intended in a nasty way (in fact, quite the opposite), but I don't think I have ever received a single comment or much less a rating out of 5 that has ever made me think "gee-whiz, I'll just pull my socks up and try to do better next time"

    Without wanting to sound haughty, it is one thing to offer advice and unsolicited help to someone starting out with custom content, but I have to be honest, there are only a small handful of members whose opinion of my work would actually make me stop in my tracks and take stock of what I was doing; which means that the notion of becoming 'better' in this sense is the notion that my content simply becomes 'better suited' to the vagary of the downloaders' whims which I can never hope - or much less want - to satisfy. In short it's an impossible task.

    And most importantly, it's a real mistake for the community to think that the end goal for custom content is just about becoming better - it's actually about enjoyment. That custom content is 'better' now than in the past is a by-product of the enjoyment that creators have obtained from creating rather than the modus operandi. And so, we have the rating system which feeds into that notion of being 'better', which unfortunately is fundamentally flawed.

    As I do not receive financial compensation for my work, if I, as a creator, derive enjoyment from creating better content that fills a need in game (which for me happens to be the case), then that's great, but if another creator simply wants to import textured boxes from the 3D warehouse into the game then that's OK too.

    The drivers of enjoyment for the creator are many and varied, from making 'better' (a highly subjective term) content to making new tools such as the reader or Bat4Max, to re-purposing old content, to making lists, to writing tutorials and how-to guides, to getting the most downloads or likes or to just simply derive enjoyment from sharing, which is a fundamental to society. Simtropolis is after all, an open exchange to any member 'in good standing'

    I think that the internet age has meant that all sites feel the need to allow their members the opportunity to have their voice heard: it won't change, so if everyone thinks that the 'x number of stars' system needs to change, then it may be better for users to select a predetermined set of feedback options, along the lines that the SC4D Exchange has.

     

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  • Original Poster
  • Like music charts the rating system can always only reflect the average taste, the interests of majorities. And it might happen that a Beethoven stands next to a Justin Bieber and every one chooses the Bieber which can't be held for a critics of Beethoven. Bieber selling more records than Beethoven doesn't say nothing about the quality of Beethoven.

    I never was worried about this 1 - 5 star system. When I browse through the STEX I don't really look if a file was voted with a score 4,68 or 4,82. For me first of all, the important thing is the pictures, the headline, the discription. This is the first thing. Those stars always work only as a confirmation of my own perception.

    No one should think, they drive perception. Only on the brain dead it may work this way. Not on average people who are in search for content. So if they find something interesting they look on the stars - ah, yes, five stars they see - so again, those confirm the individual perception. Now it happens, you find something interesting but this is only rated two stars. This means: your individual perception (looks interesting) and the rating (poor) doesn't match. Confirmation doesn't work. Now you start browsing and searching - but why is this rated so low, what did they write about it? And as an effect of this - mostly negative statements are read, much less the positive.

    I bet - mostly votes are read on those files, where opinion goes apart. And if you compare votings and the amount of downloads - I bet - you won't find a relationsship the way that 4,5 files are downloaded less than 4,8 files or so. As it doesn't work like this.

    So one shouldn't take the rates as a sign of popularity or popularity as a sign of quality. It really works as intended, as a confirmation tool of your own, individual perception.

    So sometimes it is simply overrated - the rating system.

    But this isn't I started this thread and you are a bit off topic now discussing this.

    I saw some moderator action I didn't really like. And I feel terrbile sorry @mattb325 got in between this - I imagine - it's like you open the door and suddenly you stand in the pouring rain. It's like he suddently got into bad weather.

    Now on this @Cyclone Boom is absolutely right. You can't generalize from this mishap, only thing is, you can see, what is to learn about. There is no need for a tribunal now.

    But what I see - the rating system seems to be a source of misunderstanding, people getting in dispute. Me, I would expect, this kind of communication happens in the development threads,  in the forums - where people discuss what is right, what is wrong, what works better - this discussion about aspects of content. Instead this kind of discussion appears on the rating section. As discussion is limited there - this is the absolutely wrong place in my opinion.

    So I started to wonder why the rating system is so often abused to express things they don't belong there. Frustration and anger, about things not working, broken links, dependencies also people telling their idears (nothing negative) like 'you should this or that bat next'.

    All this stuff - in my opinion - doesn't belong to the STEX and the rating but to the forum. So there are comments and ratings, but I think most people visting the STEX don't really can see or understand - what this menues are for exactly. Maybe

    That's why I thought they need clear rules how to use these things. This is a communication problem - people use the rating section like a support thread and the contributors obviously get the message wrong. How should they understand, that '3 stars' must be translated in this case, it means 'I can't get this work correctly' - so it isn't really a rating but maybe an error report. But I see people voting on errors that can be fixed by the contributor or on errors because of wrong use and so on. So in many cases the rating section is simply used wrongly. And conflicts come from this.

    In my opinion this happend also in this case. A user rated the work low because - as it seems to me - his idears were different, his opinion was, if I am right, sound barrires should be placed different. Well that's an opinion , everything fine,  but that's obviously no reason to downrate. So thinking about this I came to the insight - what could have been an interesting disucssion on the forums 'where is the right place for a sound barrier', was totally wrong as a verdict on mattb325's work.

    And my thesis was - if you prohibit the rating system being used wrongly as a bug report or disucssing opinions thread, many conflict could be avoided. So I demanded for clear rules on this usage. But maybe there are better solutions.

    I never intended to discuss the rating system itself.

     

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    29 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

     .....

    I never was worried about this 1 - 5 star system. When I browse through the STEX I don't really look if a file was voted with a score 4,68 or 4,82. For me first of all, the important thing is the pictures, the headline, the discription. This is the first thing. Those stars always work only as a confirmation of my own perception. .....

     

    I totally agree with that *:thumb:

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    I just reviewed a file so those interested in graduation to arts appreciation can evaluate the difference between art and show business.  Its huge.  Show business is about money and fame, art is about life and truth, and beauty so far beyond imagination no rating system means anything above less than nothing.

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