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HankVoight

Can we do away with the review system.

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While perusing the downloads section for a new highway fleet I decided I'd read some reviews on different files and see what's hot and noticed the majority of people who post a review on a file just give some lame ass reply like 'great job', 'plz help' or one I even saw was just a smiley face with a 5 star rating.

 

What is the point in having it when it can be so easily manipulated into giving an average attempt at doing something the best possible rating just because people don't get how a review system actually works. 

I honestly don't see a need for a review system anyway as we all know who can model or texture and who, quite frankly can't as it's quite obvious. 

I'd like to hear other peoples opinions into the matter if you managed to read this far.

 

Cheers,

Hank

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14 minutes ago, Kalleboston said:

I agree with you. The only “weapon” we have against those non-telling reviews is to give the review itself a low rating. That’s what I do. 

I have found that it doesn't work anymore, when enough people give files a 5 star rating and only a few people give it a proper review it just doesn't balance itself out unfortunately.

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The review system still playes a very important part with files.  Without reviews, no one is going to know how good or bad a file is.  What are its best qualities?  What are the negatives?  Where is the room to improve?  Is it worth downloading?  On top of this, there are plenty of authors who love getting positive reviews and those reviews are primarily what gets them to keep making mods.  Without reviews, what is the incentive to make a good mod if no one can rate it?  and on that same note, no one can give me a shitty review, so I'll just put minimal effort into this knowing people will still download it.

 

Believe it or not, plenty of people actually decide if they will download a mod based off its rating.  If it has a low rating, they will most likely just move on and ignore it entirely.  Whereas if the mod has a higher review, and the person has never heard of that mod before, they now are curious enough to try it.  If all these people like it, maybe it'll be good for me/my game!

 

Say someone wants to see what people's opinions are on a file.  If there was no review system in place, that person would then have to sift through possibly 20+ pages mixed of file comments and reviews.  To be entirely fair, it's impossible to know if and/or how many people actually download a file based on reviews.

 

Per your screenshot, yes, we are very, very lenient with 5 star reviews, but we come down hard on crappy negative reviews.    I do think it'd be beneficial if we started removing all reviews, low or high rating, that didn't say anything at all about the file and why they left that review.  However, I'm not sure how feasible that would be in the long run. 

 

Playing devil's advocate, I can see the benefit of removing it.  That's less work for us (staff), there won't be any bias reviews (there are plenty of 5 star reviews by friends who didn't even use the mod),  all comments/criticism would be restricted to the comments, and we wouldn't ever have to deal with people making multiple accounts to give themselves higher ratings.

 

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How about a character limit? Make it so reviews can't be shorter than 50 characters, or something like that. It'd stop users from just posting "Good", "Cool", "Nice" and that sorta thing.

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The one thing I don't understand is, why we actually need it. I mean we went along just fine without it during the IV and early V days and now it's like something we can't live without. In my opinion it has very little affect as to whether or not I download a file simply because I know who can model and who can't and if you're unsure you just download it and try it out anyway. No amount of stars is going to change how and what I download and while yes in certain cases a higher rated file may get more downloads/comments/likes and what not it doesn't necessarily mean the file is any good, especially when 95% of reviews are like mentioned above "good" , "neat" and so on.

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We had star ratings in the GTA IV days, which I would agree are pretty useless for the authors as they don't provide any feedback whatsoever. However, I think reviews are an integral part of any community based content system. Otherwise there is no easy way for anyone to see which files the community thinks are good, and which are bad. 

 

19 hours ago, HankVoight said:

I honestly don't see a need for a review system anyway as we all know who can model or texture and who, quite frankly can't as it's quite obvious. 

 

This is, to be completely honest, not true at all. I believe a majority of the activity on our site comes from people who are only here to download files. Many probably don't even have an account. Those people, who don't otherwise participate in the community, probably do not know who can model or texture or script by name. I personally have looked at the files and sorted by reviews simply to find high quality mods without needing to go through every single file. There are a ton of new faces here that are extremely talented, so if I just looked for files by name I probably would have missed out.

 

Also, how exactly are new people supposed to get into the scene if everyone only downloads files from specific people? 

 

I also find it interesting how often people bring up bad reviews here. I wonder if it's a common issue for every site? Pretty much every site with some sort of 'product' has reviews, and every site with reviews has awfully created and pointless ones.


"Work and ideas get stolen, then you keep moving on doing your thing."

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1 hour ago, willpv23 said:

-cut-

This is, to be completely honest, not true at all. I believe a majority of the activity on our site comes from people who are only here to download files. Many probably don't even have an account. Those people, who don't otherwise participate in the community, probably do not know who can model or texture or script by name. I personally have looked at the files and sorted by reviews simply to find high quality mods without needing to go through every single file. There are a ton of new faces here that are extremely talented, so if I just looked for files by name I probably would have missed out.

-cut-

And, just to add on to what you're saying, even reputable mod creators can produce low quality content sometimes. There are a few vehicle developers who are always producing vehicles and typically produce high quality content, but occasionally miss out on a few features (ahem breaking windows) and often times the reviews reflect that. There are also newer users who have only produced a handful of mods but they're just as high quality as the usual developers. It becomes helpful for someone like me who reads the reviews and decides what I'll download not based on who made it but based on the reviews the mod received.

 

Anyway, I have to agree that the review system needs a change. I was looking through a new vehicle pack and could not find a single review that provided me help with whether or not I should download it. Instead, all of the reviews were something along the lines of, "I love you [mod author]!" I like Illusionyary's idea of a minimum character limit. I feel like it would benefit everyone, because the person reading the reviews gets a detailed description of the mod, and the mod author gets either a well-written love letter or tips on how they can improve the mod. The comments section probably shouldn't have the same limits though, because right now it is a place to ask questions or provide small feedback and I think it should stay that way.

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22 hours ago, Illusionyary said:

How about a character limit? Make it so reviews can't be shorter than 50 characters, or something like that. It'd stop users from just posting "Good", "Cool", "Nice" and that sorta thing.

I can confirm we're implementing this and it will arrive in the next update of the downloads system.

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