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Author Topic: Evaluating Merit  (Read 103 times)
B4RF
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January 30, 2018, 08:09:24 AM
Merited by TheNewAnon135246 (1)
 #1

I collected some of my thoughts of the merit system and would like to ask you about your opinion.

Is the initial merit distribution fair?

RankRequired activityRequired merit
Brand new00
Newbie10
Jr Member300
Member6010
Full Member120100
Sr. Member240250
Hero Member480500
LegendaryRandom in the range 775-10301000

Every user got the amount of merit which would be required to obtain his current rank.
The only exception is hero members which could already have been legendary.
I decided that the previous allocation was too unfair in this area, so everyone with activity >= 775 got 500 more merit if they didn't already have 1000 merit (and also Lutpin). No extra sMerit, though.

Since the required merit is pretty close to the needed activity for a rank we can assume that an average user with good post quality should obtain 1 merit per day (if the average user gets that many merit for good posts is a different question). By this assumption there would be many users which would get "deranked".

As example there is a Full Member with 200 activity. This user would only get 100 merit which would result in a deficit of 100 days activity for his/her account in merits.
But lets take a look at the lucky users of this distribution. A Hero Member with an activity of 775 would get 1000 merit since his/her account could potentially be a Legendary one. Therefore this user would get 225 more merit then his current rank which would be equal to more then 7 months of activity which would he/she would have been awarded for free.

I already posted an idea which wouldnt benefit anyone and shouldnt be hard to distribute:
Maybe it would have been best not to create a new value for the merit but simply use the activity the same as it is used for time and activity right now.

So instead of this
The activity number is determined in this way:
time = number of two-week periods in which you've posted since your registration
activity = min(time * 14, posts)
We would have used:
activity = min(time * 14, posts, merit)

and everyone would have gotten the same initial merit as his activity at the time of the change.
This way nobody would have been affected in his current rank by a positiv or negative direction and we would still only use activity instead of an additional counter on all accounts.

But all these considerations are based on the thought that the current rank is as valueable as the same amount of merit.

Is activity worth as much as merit?

I'm hoping that this system will increase post quality by:
 - Forcing people to post high-quality stuff in order to rank up. If you just post garbage, you will never get even 1 merit point, and you will therefore never be able to put links in your signature, etc.
 - Highlighting good posts with the "Merited by" line.

Until this point anyone could have become legendary simply by having an old enough account and posting one post per day on average.
So there is no guarantee that users with their current rank would have deserved any merit whatsoever.

So maybe the correct aproach would have been to give no one merit but only sMerit.
This way nobody can claim merit without doing any quality posts in his accounts lifetime.
Of course this would deficit the current users ranking. To prevent this I would suggest to reward accounts differently depending on their current activity status.

Rankmerit reward per +Merit
Brand new1
Newbie1
Jr Member1
Member2
Full Member3
Sr. Member4
Hero Member5
Legendary5

So when a user spends 1 sMerit to reward a post from eg. a Full Member, this Full Member would actually get 3 merits.
Important is that he/she would still only get 0.5 sMerit so merits are not inflated and generated out of thin air.
These numbers are obviously debateble and just an example for the different factors by rank.

But the most important question:

Does merit serve its purpose?

Account farming should no longer be viable which would be a great succes.
But the merit might as well force unorganic posts which are only made for the purpose of calculating merit. And since good posts are not guarenteed to be rewarded by merit, users might make more posts then usual hoping for more merit to obtain the next rank.
And all this upranking is highly dependent on all the other users. Some might never use their sMerit to reward other posts and some others might not even know about this feature for a long time.


Those are just my thoughts on this system and some suggestions on different approachs.
Obviously no normal user can force this system to change but at least we can show our ideas to improve it.


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TheNewAnon135246
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January 30, 2018, 08:27:53 AM
Merited by TMAN (1)
 #2

I think it will take some time before the whole merit system becomes effective. As you said, account farming will become useless (which is a huge improvement for this forum imo). To quote Theymos:


If you want to be a merit source:

 1. Be a somewhat established member.
 2. Collect TEN posts written in the last couple of months by other people that have not received nearly enough merit for how good they are, and post quotes for them all in a new Meta thread. The point of this is to demonstrate your ability to give out merit usefully.
 3. We will take a look at your history and maybe make you a source.

I am especially eager to have merit sources in sub-communities such as the local sections.


He will be adding a lot more Merit sources (which are established and active members) and he wants to add sources to sub-sections etc. This will increase the odds for newbies to receive merit for good behaviour (being polite etc.). I have quite some merit to give away and I intend to use it how it was meant to be used (and not just reward friends and established users). I am pretty sure plenty of other users feel the same way.

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hilariousetc
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January 30, 2018, 08:48:32 AM
 #3

I think it will take some time before the whole merit system becomes effective. As you said, account farming will become useless (which is a huge improvement for this forum imo).


It will take a bit to see how effective it has been and tweaks and changes will likely need to be made to make it more so, but farming isn't really useless and will still be done; they just need to adapt to the new system and they will. Accounts will still have value in potential rank/activity and people will start to farm or sell merit as they already have been, but it's still another hoop they have to jump through and a spanner in the works of anyone who thought they could easily farm as many accounts as they wanted just by shitposting over x amount of time.    

TheNewAnon135246
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January 30, 2018, 08:56:10 AM
 #4

I think it will take some time before the whole merit system becomes effective. As you said, account farming will become useless (which is a huge improvement for this forum imo).


It will take a bit to see how effective it has been and tweaks and changes will likely need to be made to make it more so, but farming isn't really useless and will still be done; they just need to adapt to the new system and they will. Accounts will still have value in potential rank/activity and people will start to farm or sell merit as they already have been, but it's still another hoop they have to jump through and a spanner in the works of anyone who thought they could easily farm as many accounts as they wanted just by shitposting over x amount of time.    

Luckily their accounts will not have a lot of sMerit to give away and I doubt Merit-sources will take part in boosting their accounts. But I agree that the system will likely need a few tweaks in the near future.

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TMAN
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January 30, 2018, 08:58:33 AM
 #5

I think it will take some time before the whole merit system becomes effective. As you said, account farming will become useless (which is a huge improvement for this forum imo).


It will take a bit to see how effective it has been and tweaks and changes will likely need to be made to make it more so, but farming isn't really useless and will still be done; they just need to adapt to the new system and they will. Accounts will still have value in potential rank/activity and people will start to farm or sell merit as they already have been, but it's still another hoop they have to jump through and a spanner in the works of anyone who thought they could easily farm as many accounts as they wanted just by shitposting over x amount of time.    

Luckily their accounts will not have a lot of sMerit to give away and I doubt Merit-sources will take part in boosting their accounts. But I agree that the system will likely need a few tweaks in the near future.

More merit sources and more paying it forward is all it will take. Just need to ensure people are staying away from the farmers.

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hilariousetc
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January 30, 2018, 09:39:55 AM
 #6

I think it will take some time before the whole merit system becomes effective. As you said, account farming will become useless (which is a huge improvement for this forum imo).


It will take a bit to see how effective it has been and tweaks and changes will likely need to be made to make it more so, but farming isn't really useless and will still be done; they just need to adapt to the new system and they will. Accounts will still have value in potential rank/activity and people will start to farm or sell merit as they already have been, but it's still another hoop they have to jump through and a spanner in the works of anyone who thought they could easily farm as many accounts as they wanted just by shitposting over x amount of time.    

Luckily their accounts will not have a lot of sMerit to give away and I doubt Merit-sources will take part in boosting their accounts. But I agree that the system will likely need a few tweaks in the near future.

It depends how easily it becomes to get promoted as a merit source. I can guarantee you there will be nefarious individuals who will get themselves into such a position and I'm sure there are many already trying. People will also just be trading it and giving 'like for likes' etc. You can easily fake it just by writing a half-decent post then getting someone else to give you points for it and this sort of practice will become more widespread and difficult to spot as time goes on.

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