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Feature: 'Soapbox: Designing an MMORPG Feedback Rating System'

MMORPGs are afflicted by a host of social problems, including dishonesty, theft, malice, and petty disregard. In this Soapbox, MIT's David Edery suggests a solution, a fe...
MMORPGs are afflicted by a host of social problems, including dishonesty, theft, malice, and petty disregard. In this Soapbox, MIT's David Edery suggests a solution, a feedback system to make reputation a more important factor in MMO player behavior. In this section, Edery suggests some practical ways to make this concept seem less artificial: "There's something less-than-romantic about giving someone a rating at the end of a joint quest. One way to combat that sentiment is to employ a little bit of storytelling in the rating system. In a fantasy-themed game, you wouldn't be “giving someone a rating,” you'd be “carrying word of their deeds back to court (or the tavern)” – or something like that. In fact, if you really wanted to be cute, you could design the system so that reputation stats aren't propagated until a player reaches an inn or speaks with a bard. And ratings should be displayed in as subtle a manner as possible, except when players actively choose to drill down into them. Perhaps a small tool-tip-like window (summarizing the ratings given and received by a player) could appear when your mouse hovers over that player's name, or the crest on their armor." You can read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including more concepts on feedback systems in online gaming (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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