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Author Topic: Merit & new rank requirements  (Read 157103 times)
KingZee
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October 17, 2018, 02:11:15 PM
 #5341


Look man, I've been reporting rule-breakers since the time I got involved with this forum. I'm not so experienced as other users or the mods, but after almost 2000 successful reports here is my observation >

In this sea of newbies registered every day you can find probably 2-3 users that have real interest in cryptocurrency, and are here to stay the rest are accounts used for >
20% - bumping thread (quite a business here) they are controlled by a few people.
30% - alt accounts for abusing the bounties
30%- legit people heard that they can make money online
15%- banned people, just ban evading.
3% - people having different issues, looking for help.
2% -  announcing new projects, services etc.
Note > this is just based only on my observation.

Big part of those above get banned.
I'm talking only for the newbies here, how you can see them in a different way as the majority are here only to harm/pollute the forum? I know that there are good people out there with good intentions and sooner or later they gonna pass trough this shitposting border and come out as legit users but it takes time.


Regardless if your observation is true or not, merit isn't even a problem for those newbie accounts. It BECOMES a problem for legit newbies who WANT to commit to the forums to make money later, because it's now HARDER for them to breach the line to become relevant.

The fact that they're newbies already fucks them over because no one is going to merit them, and that's it, stuck in a deadlock, not just as newbies, but again and again until they reach Hero level.

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TryNinja
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October 17, 2018, 02:19:33 PM
 #5342

The fact that they're newbies already fucks them over because no one is going to merit them, and that's it, stuck in a deadlock, not just as newbies, but again and again until they reach Hero level.
No one cares if they are a Newbie or not. I will merit anyone regardless of their rank if their post is good enough. Actually, I prefer to rank up low-rank because it "helps" them.

The problem is that finding a Newbie that deserves even a single merit is a hard task.

A quick read for you: MYTHBUSTERS: Only high ranked users are rewarded with merits

KingZee
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October 17, 2018, 02:26:41 PM
 #5343


From that post :

Quote
For sure, if we changed absolute numbers to the relatives – compare the number of all users in each group to number of users who have ever received any merit this analysis would probably look little bit different – higher ranks would show bigger percent users who has been merited… I wrote about a bit about it earlier here:
Quote from: cryptovigi on October 04, 2018, 12:17:36 AM
...

Rank                          number of users         number of users      
received at least
1 merit

   number of users      
with who didn’t
earn any merit
Member   27 918   4 744 (17%)   23 174  (83%)
Full Member   18 181   3 173 (17,45%)   15 008  (82,55%)
Sr. Member   9 016   1 818 (20,16%)   7 198  (79,84%)
Hero Member   4 143   1 105 (26,67%)   3 038  (73,33%)
Legendary   2 145   1 133 (52,82%)   1 012  (47,18%)
...
But the difference is not as much so let’s leave it - it’s not a point of my consideration today.


To sum it up for you, If 100 newbies out of 10000 newbies got a 100 merit, and 80 legendaries out of a 100 got 100 merit... I hope you can complete the sentence.

Those stats are also missing vital information about distribution. I should include mine that I posted a few posts ago :


...

Numbers! I love numbers! You count 22925 users who received at least 1 merit, nice. I count :

- 4% who received more or equal to 50 merit.
- 25% who received more or equal to 10 merit.
- 33% who received more or equal to 5 merit.
- 48% who received more or equal to 3 merit.
(all percentages are inclusive of ranks above them).

So basically, half the accounts that ever got merit, never got merited again. And the top 5% of people who got merited, are AT LEAST 50 times more likely than your average user to get merited. Smiley

Quick Edit : Also not to forget that these are 22k users who got merited at all. I wonder if we could get stats of Posts by Seniors Merited / Total Posts by Seniors, Full, Hero, Legendary. That oughtta be a fun sight.

.....

It's not because it has MYTHBUSTERS written in caps, and shiny pics that it makes any sort of statistical sense.

Beep boop beep boop
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October 17, 2018, 02:37:49 PM
 #5344

~
So, just because more Legendary users get more merit than most Newbies, you can safely assume that no one likes Newbies and they won't merit them by any means? Have you thought that maybe it's because there are a lot more Newbies (created in bulk by spammers), which inflames these numbers?

Meanwhile, others only care about their beloved 1 merit to rank up to Jr. Member and keep spamming their bounty entries, which may be the reason why a lot of them only try until they get merited a few times, and when they can go back to their spam, they do it without thinking twice.

KingZee
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October 17, 2018, 02:43:48 PM
 #5345


So, just because more Legendary users get more merit than most Newbies, you can safely assume that no one likes Newbies and they won't merit them by no means? Have you thought that maybe it's because there are a lot more Newbies (created in bulk by spammers), that those numbers are inflated?

While others only care about their beloved 1 merit to rank up to Jr. Member and keep spamming their bounty entries, which may be the reason why a lot of them only try until they get merited a few times, and when they can go back to their spam, they do it without thinking twice.

Sure, that makes sense. How about we do this :

Out of all the newbies/jrs/fulls/srs who DID get merit -which I'm going to assume means they're not spamming, if you can agree to that- what's the average merit they received per post, and what's the average of unique members that merited those newbies/jrs/fulls per post.

Just these two for each member rank, then do it for legendaries and heroes too. If the stats are evenly distributed i'll never mention this topic again.

EDIT : I doubt anyone has the fucking time or effort to do this, but if we want to also include post quality here, instead of average merit per post, make it average merit per WORD. A lot of words mean a quality post right? I'd eat my shorts if newbies make even a twentieth of what a hero makes.

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RivAngE
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October 17, 2018, 03:05:29 PM
 #5346

~
So, just because more Legendary users get more merit than most Newbies, you can safely assume that no one likes Newbies and they won't merit them by any means? Have you thought that maybe it's because there are a lot more Newbies (created in bulk by spammers), which inflames these numbers?

Meanwhile, others only care about their beloved 1 merit to rank up to Jr. Member and keep spamming their bounty entries, which may be the reason why a lot of them only try until they get merited a few times, and when they can go back to their spam, they do it without thinking twice.

I'd say they don't even think once, because you must be really stupid to waste so much time spamming in order to be rewarded 0$ or at best 10$ per month.
No project will pay handfully Jr. Member unless they're just a scam project which doesn't care for the value of their coin/token.
TheBeardedBaby
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October 17, 2018, 03:11:58 PM
 #5347

Check this analysis from today >
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5052019.0

You can see how many newbies have received their first merit by those high ranked members. Just look for the nFirstTime parameter. Based on the table I've given merit to 12 newbies for their first time.
I ran a service to help those who needed 1 point to rank up as I had not so many sMerit but I gave them all. I still try to give away all the sMerit I have to keep the wheel rolling

Buy & HODL Bitcoin.
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October 17, 2018, 03:56:41 PM
Merited by JayJuanGee (1)
 #5348

So explain to me how does the merit system prevent heroes and legendaries from posting equally low effort posts
Merit doesn't stop high-ranking spammers.
But there's this:
Code:
6704 permanent bans (including nukes):
     4228 Newbie
     1244 Brand new (nukes I'm assuming)
      460 Member
      328 Jr. Member
      276 Full Member
       99 Sr. Member
       40 Hero Member
       22 Copper Member
        7 Legendary

87222 merits destroyed:
       13 merits per ban on average
      251 single-merit users banned

High ranking spammers will never earn back their rank thanks to the Merit system. And although the Merit system can't stop the existing spam problem, it stopped it from getting worse.

You (KingZee) seem to be on a tirade against the Merit system. You've been gone from the forum for a while, so you've probably missed that many others did that before you. It's not going to change the Merit system.
In an ideal situation we wouldn't need the Merit system, or even better: all posts would deserve Merit. But we're far from that, and Merit is the best we've got for now.

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October 17, 2018, 04:04:36 PM
 #5349

High ranking spammers will never earn back their rank thanks to the Merit system. And although the Merit system can't stop the existing spam problem, it stopped it from getting worse.

You (KingZee) seem to be on a tirade against the Merit system. You've been gone from the forum for a while, so you've probably missed that many others did that before you. It's not going to change the Merit system.
In an ideal situation we wouldn't need the Merit system, or even better: all posts would deserve Merit. But we're far from that, and Merit is the best we've got for now.

The absolute best thing that's happened to this forum in recent months is implementation of merit required to be a Jr Member. I really liked Hilariousetc's opinion of requiring 10 merits, not just one (as I think it's a little too easy to beg for 1 merit), but at least it's a step in the right direction. Making it harder for spambots and bounty account farmers will radically improve the quality of posting on the forums.

And while I do agree that it can be challenging at time to get merit, if you are sincerely interested in Bitcoin and this forum for the long run, the merits will come, whether you're a newbie who just got on the forum or a oldie who's been inactive for awhile.
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October 17, 2018, 05:28:55 PM
Last edit: October 17, 2018, 07:21:07 PM by DdmrDdmr
Merited by JayJuanGee (1), KingZee (1)
 #5350

<…>Out of all the newbies/jrs/fulls/srs who DID get merit -which I'm going to assume means they're not spamming, if you can agree to that- what's the average merit they received per post, and what's the average of unique members that merited those newbies/jrs/fulls per post.
Just these two for each member rank, then do it for legendaries and heroes too. If the stats are evenly distributed i'll never mention this topic again.<…>
I just modified the Merit Dashboard to get an approximation to what you are looking for, by adding Rank Filters to a Tab I has already running.
If we go to the Tab called “Post Summary”, we can easily see some of the averages you’re on about. I guess that when you say average merit per post, the context is not of all the created post, but rather all the merited posts. This latter approach is what this tab verses about.

Applying the filters, it turns out that (summary of what can be seen on the Dashboard):

Newbies:
71,69% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
12,99% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
85,88% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
9,79% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Jr. Member:
76,66% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
13,16% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
89,36% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
7,92% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Member:
62,25% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
18,11% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
79,90% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
11,82% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Full Member:
67,85% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
14,62% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
79,84% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
12,04% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Sr. Member:
67,40% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
14,35% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
78,56% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
11,84% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Hero Member:
70,05% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
14,06% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
81,15% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
11,89% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

Legendary Member:
74,29% of the received sMerit TXs are of 1 sMerit each.
12,50% of the received sMerit TXs are of 2 sMerits each.
79,62% of merited posts are merited by 1 single person (1Tx).
13,00% of merited posts are merited by 2 people (2Txs)

There are obviously some differences between ranks in terms of received merit distribution, but nothing too extreme that would indicate that the higher ranks have an easy life getting merit. Forget the outlier cases you see around. The norm is another one, when you take into consideration forum wide data.

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October 17, 2018, 08:03:46 PM
 #5351


There are obviously some differences between ranks in terms of received merit distribution, but nothing too extreme that would indicate that the higher ranks have an easy life getting merit. Forget the outlier cases you see around. The norm is another one, when you take into consideration forum wide data.

I love your website, I'm sending you my last sMerit because I spent my other 3 ironically.

One thing about the data you're presenting : It's a local comparison. In other words,

"71,69% newbie TXs out of all newbie TXs are of 1 sMerit each." and so on.. It's only natural that for each specific rank, the number of 1 Merit TXs are the majority out of all the transactions towards that specific rank. What I would like to know is :

Total number of 1 Merit Tx to Newbie merited posts / Total Number of 1 Merit Tx to all merited posts.
Total number of 1 Merit Tx to Member merited posts / Total Number of 1 Merit Tx to all merited posts.
...
and so on varying by Merit and by Ranks.

That way we would be able to see the distribution of all Merit by post, taking into consideration the ranks of the users posting them.



On the other hand, it's funny how people feel so patriotic about spending their merit points.. 50% of Full member outgoing transactions were towards members and full members. Same 40% of all Legendary outgoing transactions were towards Legendary and Hero members.

This would be okay if the flat value of merits being exchanged here was the same, but it's clearly not as the flat value of sMerits of Legendary and Hero members is obviously much higher than that of lower ranks..

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October 17, 2018, 09:46:38 PM
Last edit: October 17, 2018, 11:25:27 PM by cryptovigi
 #5352

...


On the other hand, it's funny how people feel so patriotic about spending their merit points.. 50% of Full member outgoing transactions were towards members and full members. Same 40% of all Legendary outgoing transactions were towards Legendary and Hero members.

This would be okay if the flat value of merits being exchanged here was the same, but it's clearly not as the flat value of sMerits of Legendary and Hero members is obviously much higher than that of lower ranks..

I love statistics, because depending on the assumption, you can prove almost everything

You say: "40% of all Legendary outgoing transactions were towards Legendary and Hero members"

I say: Legendary gives almost equal merit amount to Members, Full Members, Senior Members and Hero Members, and they also give almost the same amount of for low ranked users (Newbies, Juniors and Members) - 23,45% as for other Legendary 26,10%

You say: "50% of Full member outgoing transactions were towards members and full members"
I say: Full Members gives the same amount of merits to lower ranked members - Juniors and Members 41,13% as to semi ranked - Full Members and Seniors 41,96%

I can also say that:
Hero Members gives almost equal amount of merits to Legendary, Senior Members, Full Members and Members... What's interesting here: each lower rank gets more merits than higher one...

Junior Members give just the same amount to Newbies - 4,54% as to Legendary - 4,54%....


and so on....

So you showed how only injustice of Merit system I see in the same data that it is not so bad...

Of course as it was said may times it's not perfect... probably it's also not very good... For sure there some abuses, there are guys who give more merits to their friends than to others especially newbies (just like in real life), native English speakers are favored (although this is global forum)...  but for sure it can't be said that merits are held by few guys who don't let anyone into their table...


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October 18, 2018, 03:37:19 AM
Merited by Pan Troglodytes (1)
 #5353

~

Are we really going to argue on outliers? I'm not backing any hard truth or absolute claim when I say that 40% of legendary outgoing is towards hero/legendary, etc..

But are you seriously going to deny that the distribution isn't biased? The picture clearly shows that almost for every rank, they're more likely to merit their same rank, rather than a much higher or a much lower rank. That goes for EVERYONE, NOT JUST HEROES AND LEGENDARIES.

But I mentioned in my last post that I still needed to see flat merit value. It makes more sense to see how MANY merit points are being transactionned here. It was there on the table, I just never noticed it:



These are the total number of merits in outgoing transactions from X rank to Y rank. I'm not going to say anything to interpret this table.

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October 18, 2018, 09:46:13 AM
Last edit: October 18, 2018, 10:30:29 AM by cryptovigi
Merited by JayJuanGee (1)
 #5354

..
Are we really going to argue on outliers? I'm not backing any hard truth or absolute claim when I say that 40% of legendary outgoing is towards hero/legendary, etc..
...

I don't argue I was showing that the same data may be interpreated in different ways and both possitive and negative ways can be correct at the same time.....

...
But are you seriously going to deny that the distribution isn't biased? The picture clearly shows that almost for every rank, they're more likely to merit their same rank, rather than a much higher or a much lower rank. That goes for EVERYONE, NOT JUST HEROES AND LEGENDARIES.
....

Looking at this data one very important thing is missed. They are not showing the whole truth (unless @DdmrDdmr correct me). I've checked it on my own example and saw that data about rank aren't stored each time merit is given - they are current.

That means if you see that hero gave 101 merits to Full Member - it's also possible that he gave 1 merit to newbie, 9 merits to Jr. Member and 90 merits to Member and only one merit to Full Member (data doesn't remember about promotions).
For example - I was given 4 merits being Newbie another 6 being Jr. Member but on this table all merit I was given fell into Members group...

If I'm right we see only merits for Newbies who haven't ranked yet (i.e. to less activity) as well as Jr. Members or Members what means that there was much more merits given to the low ranked members than you see on that table...

I don't have all current data but according to my "old set":


you see that more than 104k merits 43% came to users who at january 2018 was Newbie/Jr Member/Member or didn't existed at all... I think it's not so bad...


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..I  D  E  N  A..
   
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    .REQUEST INVITATION.
DdmrDdmr
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October 18, 2018, 10:15:07 AM
Merited by JayJuanGee (1)
 #5355

<...>Looking at this data one very important thing is missed. They are not showing the whole truth (unless @DdmrDdmr correct me). I've checked it on my own example and saw that data about rank aren't stored each time merit is given - they are current. <...>
Yes you are right, I stated so on the OP of the Merit Dashboard thread (on a note). Ranks shown are current ranks, not the actual rank at the time of the awarding of every single sMerit (which would be the ideal tracking, but is not feasible from the outside). It is also interesting to play around with the Date Range filter and see how the proportions shift in some segments over time.

<…>One thing about the data you're presenting : It's a local comparison.<…>
Yes,  it is as you say a rank-base view, but it does show a point I wanted to make, and that is that most merit TXs are of either one or two merits, and most posts get merited by either one or two people at most, regardless of the rank. This patterns barely shows differently on the higher ranks than on the lower ranks.

That does have a collateral reading in my opinion: if you look at it from the point of view of what is required for an account to reach the next level, if the majority of posts are merited in a similar quantity regardless of the rank, then the marginal contribution of each merited posts is very low for higher ranks (i.e. 1 sMerit is 10% of that needed for a Jr. Member to get to Member, but 0,2% of what a Hero needs to get to Legendary). Of course, this also depends on the number of posts one gets merited on.

<…> What I would like to know is :
Total number of 1 Merit Tx to Newbie merited posts / Total Number of 1 Merit Tx to all merited posts.
Total number of 1 Merit Tx to Member merited posts / Total Number of 1 Merit Tx to all merited posts.
and so on varying by Merit and by Ranks.
Something like this:
Code:
TXMer. toRank       nTXs nUsers %1MerTXs%Users AvgTX/User
1 Founder         98 1 0,12% 0,01% 98
1 Administrator 640 2 0,81% 0,01% 320
1 Global Mod. 192 3 0,24% 0,02% 64
1 Staff         1079 25 1,36% 0,13% 43,16
1 VIP          56 4 0,07% 0,02% 14
1 Donator         351 21 0,44% 0,11% 16,72
1 Legendary 15499 1060 19,59% 5,72% 14,62
1 Hero Member 8304 948 10,50% 5,11% 8,76
1 Sr. Member 11545 1517 14,60% 8,18% 7,61
1 Full Member 13191 2645 16,68% 14,26% 4,99
1 Member         15523 3873 19,63% 20,88% 4,01
1 Jr. Member 9894 6507 12,51% 35,08% 1,52
1 Newbie         2588 1862 3,27% 10,04% 1,39
1 Brand new 138 79 0,17% 0,43% 1,75
I’ve only done it here for 1 sMerit TXs, since anything more is too long here and is better suited in any case on a thread of its own. We could go into the details, but I wouldn't like to extend myself further here.

<…> On the other hand, it's funny how people feel so patriotic about spending their merit points <…>
It’s not that easy to interpret. Legendries do give more sMerit to Legendries on the whole, but are ones who enable more lower ranks into the game. Heroes award more evenly amongst ranks down to Members, and even award less to their own rank. Sr. Members are rather even amongst three rank levels, but on aggregate have awarded similar amounts to Legendries, Heroes and Jr. Members. Members seem more self-centred on their rank, and then favour the nearest ranks on equal parts. Jr. Members favor preferently their own rank, and the one above, way above higher ranks.

There are likely many factors involved, amongst which are psychological featured ones, that influence certain ranks being more prone to merit someone from the neighbouring ranks on a similar roadmap, or whatnot.

What I do find is that there is normally a large difference in the posting style of higher ranks versus lower ranks. This is obviously not an absolute truth, and there are plenty of exceptions on either end, but as personal perception, it makes it clear for me to a large extent why higher ranks get more merited than lower ranks.


MagicSmoker
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October 18, 2018, 12:29:59 PM
 #5356

...
But are you seriously going to deny that the distribution isn't biased? The picture clearly shows that almost for every rank, they're more likely to merit their same rank, rather than a much higher or a much lower rank. That goes for EVERYONE, NOT JUST HEROES AND LEGENDARIES.
to interpret this table.
...

You've been droning on about how unfair the merit system is for quite awhile now. Why do you care so much, anyway if legendaries mainly give out merit to other legendaries, etc.? In fact, why do you care about a system that has absolutely no relevance in the real world. It's not like the barista at Starbucks is going to give you a discount on your double soy-boy latte for saying you've earned x number of merits on BCT, after all.

Speculatoross
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October 18, 2018, 02:01:53 PM
 #5357

It's not like the barista at Starbucks is going to give you a discount on your double soy-boy latte for saying you've earned x number of merits on BCT, after all.

WHAAAT?

Man, i don't do bounties or sig campaign, you think i've been sitting here just trying to help the community?
Why the hell i spent that much time to earn 170+ useless merit?
I want pretend my double soy latte!

Bad bad Theymos, you lied!


KingZee
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October 18, 2018, 02:27:18 PM
 #5358


You've been droning on about how unfair the merit system is for quite awhile now. Why do you care so much, anyway if legendaries mainly give out merit to other legendaries, etc.? In fact, why do you care about a system that has absolutely no relevance in the real world.

Merit has relevance in the real world when it's an extra number you have to grind to qualify for making more money from sig campaigns.

But you're right, I'm done, I expressed my frustration for long enough and I think the arguments and data that everyone came up with, while it isn't complete or conclusive, definitely gives us a general idea that this system benefits the higher ranked users because they just have a large supply to begin with. Also the fact that it's laid out here for everyone to see and further analyze is really good enough for me.

But hey, I have no power to change any of it, but I always try to let others know my opinion if I can stand for it.

It's not like the barista at Starbucks is going to give you a discount on your double soy-boy latte for saying you've earned x number of merits on BCT, after all.

WHAAAT?

Man, i don't do bounties or sig campaign, you think i've been sitting here just trying to help the community?
Why the hell i spent that much time to earn 170+ useless merit?
I want pretend my double soy latte!

Bad bad Theymos, you lied!



Funny.


Beep boop beep boop
guybrushthreepwood
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October 19, 2018, 09:10:43 AM
Merited by Foxpup (3)
 #5359

I think the admins should consider making everyone start on an equal playing field with zero merits and then everybody has to earn them from scratch. It's true that many people probably haven't earned their rank and got lucky just by signing up at the right time but then should Newbies be on the same starting point as someone who has been here for years and made a big contribution? Should theymos -- for example -- have to earn his merits the same way a Newbie will and we discount all his past contributions that he's made previously? I think the "free" merit that was given out was some sort of compromise to take past posts into account even if that means some spammers got through the system. I think it's likely a catch 22 situation and a case of you're damned if you do and damned if you don't because if everyone started on zero merits then all the old timers would complain, but if you give certain ranks merits for free then all the Newbies would complaining that it's not fair. Life isn't fair, but we have to play with the hands -- and merit -- we are dealt.

~

Are we really going to argue on outliers? I'm not backing any hard truth or absolute claim when I say that 40% of legendary outgoing is towards hero/legendary, etc..

But are you seriously going to deny that the distribution isn't biased? The picture clearly shows that almost for every rank, they're more likely to merit their same rank, rather than a much higher or a much lower rank. That goes for EVERYONE, NOT JUST HEROES AND LEGENDARIES.


But you can look at this two ways. On a whole higher ranks are more likely to make better posts, so therefor are more likely to get merited. The quality of posts that come from new users are -- generally speaking -- very low and there's plenty of them so it's obvious higher ranks are going to get more merit, but that doesn't mean new users don't get any. There have been some new users who signed up and got a lot of merit very quickly because they made excellent posts that stood out. The problem is that most new users don't and that's why they're not going to get any -- or much -- merit. I can see why users are annoyed or feel hard done by the merit system but there's probably not much anyone can do other than play with the hand they have been dealt.
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October 19, 2018, 07:04:49 PM
Last edit: October 19, 2018, 07:34:23 PM by d5000
Merited by JayJuanGee (1)
 #5360

@KingZee, I share some of your criticism, but the problem is that we haven't found a system better than the current Merit points. The problem is that the forum rank must be determined by an indicator no user can obtain in an automated way. Activity is too easy to obtain by spamming and alt-account-farming.

If you find the Philosopher's Stone - a real alternative that shares the positive "anti-spam" effect of the "scarce" Merit points and avoids the negative ones - crippled forum functionality for newbies and a long way to obtain better ranks - I think the community or the mods would consider discussing it.

I have also posted some ideas to make the system a bit less "discriminating" for "legit" newbies (those really interested in cryptocurrency), mainly the idea of a probation period for Newbies (to give them a signature from the start but removing it if a post from them was reported and legitimately deleted), and also to allow fractions of merits to be awarded (so lower ranked members can also say "thanks" more often). Unfortunatenly, they weren't really well received.

As a side note: I am more convinced every day that we don't really need the "Legendary" category of users. First, because 1000 merits are very difficult to obtain, and the distance between "Hero" and "Legendary" is extreme (500 merit points - most likely 2-3 years of good posting). But also because it's a title given with influence of a random number (activity between 750 and 1250 or so 775 and 1030).

We can keep it as a "honourific" title. But it shouldn't be necessary to be a Legendary to get full forum functionality (full signature, for example) - a Hero should already get everything.

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