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Subject: Rating games you haven't played? rss

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Joe D
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It's a bit disappointing seeing people rating a game with comments like "1 star, we'll see if it lives up to the hype" or "7 star, place holder rating", or "1 star, terrible checkout experience"? This really points out the inconsistency in the BGG rating system, and how unscrupulous some board gamers tend to be.

When sifting through ratings, is there a way to sort ratings based upon people who have marked x number of plays? Or maybe there is a way to blacklist people from showing up in ratings who consistently and intentionally post misinformation for a game they have never played (a thumbs down mechanism)?
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Brent Brown
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It's always been a problem. BGG handles it by mixing in a large number of "dummy" filler votes until a game gets a certain number of ratings. This dampens the effect of those kind of votes. Once the game hits wide release those filler votes taper out and we get a more meaningful score. So try not to worry about it too much, it all works out in the end.
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Mike Waleke
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Jpod00 wrote:
It's a bit disappointing seeing people rating a game with comments like "1 star, we'll see if it lives up to the hype" or "7 star, place holder rating", or "1 star, terrible checkout experience"? This really points out the inconsistency in the BGG rating system, and how unscrupulous some board gamers tend to be.

When sifting through ratings, is there a way to sort ratings based upon people who have marked x number of plays? Or maybe there is a way to blacklist people from showing up in ratings who consistently and intentionally post misinformation for a game they have never played (a thumbs down mechanism)?


Well a thumbs down mechanism would be subject to the same sort of shenanigans. (people who rate it a one could thumbs down all the 10s)

The bgg algorithm is supposed to ignore these sort of ratings when composing the geek rating number, but as far as I now it hasn't been revealed how they do it.
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I agree it's petty and unreasonable for people to do this, however I don't know what BGG can do about it.

They presumably figure all games will get this to some extent, and as the game gets more reviews the ones that are not valid will become just a small percentage overall.

And I think on the whole they are right. But I feel for the smaller games who don't ever get enough ratings to place where they deserve to be, whether there are spurious ratings or not.

The BGG ranking system is flawed but so are all ranking systems. That's why there are reviews and such as well; consider it 1 tool among many for finding new games you might like. Not some sole arbiter of how good a game really is.
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Kring Sai
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It's tricky, because not everyone marks plays on their games so can't really make that the criteria. Especially if someone has an agenda to give a game a 0 to be spiteful they're more likely to just add some plays to be able to.

Maybe could limit reviews before release, but then that cuts off people who play them early at cons and reviewers. Tricksy.
 
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David desJardins
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Jpod00 wrote:
It's a bit disappointing seeing people rating a game with comments like "1 star, we'll see if it lives up to the hype" or "7 star, place holder rating", or "1 star, terrible checkout experience"?


Look at it this way. Ratings are inherently noisy and unreliable. This is among the least of the problems.

Quote:
When sifting through ratings, is there a way to sort ratings based upon people who have marked x number of plays? Or maybe there is a way to blacklist people from showing up in ratings who consistently and intentionally post misinformation for a game they have never played (a thumbs down mechanism)?


Maybe 1% of players actively mark the games they play on BGG, so if you limited yourself to looking at those ratings I think you would lose a lot more than you gain. And if you're worried about people posting noise, what would prevent them from claiming a bunch of plays that they didn't?

BGG does seem to have some system for excluding ratings that are obviously bogus. But they don't publish how that works because it would make it easier to game. And, really, who cares? It just doesn't matter that much. Are you really worried that you're going to make some life-altering decision based on whether a game ends up with a 7.1 or a 7.2 rating?
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First, to answer your question I don't believe there is a way to sort ratings that way but if there is I would love to hear about it.

I agree for the most part with what you're saying. However, the BGG rating system actually pretty much asks for this in the description of what each number means. They describe them as your desire to play the game as opposed to what you actually think of the game.

And if you think the MvM ratings are disappointed, then just think about this...back when Pandemic Legacy was nearing the #1 spot on the charts a fairly large group of people started submitting 1 ratings in a concerted effort to prevent it from toppling Twilight Struggle from the top spot. Many of the comments that went with the ratings confirm as much.

All this being said, I do actually give a game an 8 rating as a "place holder" of sorts until I manage to form a more solid opinion of the game which I suppose makes me part of the problem. cry
 
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George Morgan
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Considering that the rating went from a 8.2 yesterday to a 7.7 today seems to point (unfairly) at the issues encountered yesterday with ordering the game. shake
 
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Seth Pinter
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woot, that 7 is me

The rating will be updated as soon as I get my copy of the game. I don't think it is that big of a deal. Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?

Also, if it took Mechs vs Minions to figure this out (that people rate games they haven't played), then I don't know what to say. Go look at any number of games and you'll see ratings from people who never played the game. It is an inherent problem with any anonymous online poll.
 
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Michael S
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nordlead wrote:

Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?



Yes.
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Seth Pinter
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reckoner wrote:
nordlead wrote:

Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?



Yes.


Then you probably don't understand the ratings here at BGG or its significance. It isn't particularly significant, because it is a poorly controlled random sampling (and always will be unless we move to a system where we curate votes that we can verify). So, my pre-rating or even a collection of post play ratings shouldn't be used to make significant decisions or comparisons.

That, and the rating is based on what you think of the game and how much you want to play it. I can form an opinion of the quality of the game without actually playing it, and I can tell you that I really want to play the game. Based on that, it should be rated at least an 8 by me. In fact, I'll go bump my rating right now.

Its one thing to troll and put 1's because of stupid reasons, it is another to give a best estimate based on your own research. Either way, if you are getting bent out of shape over this you need to figure out how to resolve that yourself.
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Jpod00 wrote:
It's a bit disappointing seeing people rating a game with comments like "1 star, we'll see if it lives up to the hype" or "7 star, place holder rating", or "1 star, terrible checkout experience"? This really points out the inconsistency in the BGG rating system, and how unscrupulous some board gamers tend to be.

When sifting through ratings, is there a way to sort ratings based upon people who have marked x number of plays? Or maybe there is a way to blacklist people from showing up in ratings who consistently and intentionally post misinformation for a game they have never played (a thumbs down mechanism)?


yea, it sucks, but I don't think there's much that can be done, other than admins deleting ratings with those types of comments.

I know that I personally rarely if ever post my plays, so that would render all my perfectly legitimate ratings useless
 
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Joe D
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nordlead wrote:
reckoner wrote:
nordlead wrote:

Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?



Yes.


That, and the rating is based on what you think of the game and how much you want to play it. I can form an opinion of the quality of the game without actually playing it, and I can tell you that I really want to play the game. Based on that, it should be rated at least an 8 by me. In fact, I'll go bump my rating right now.

Its one thing to troll and put 1's because of stupid reasons, it is another to give a best estimate based on your own research. Either way, if you are getting bent out of shape over this you need to figure out how to resolve that yourself.


I suppose I had a misunderstanding for my original post. I actually didn't realize people use the ratings to reflect how good a game might appear on YouTube, or a desire to play such a game, but that point was made up above. I'm a relative newcomer to BGG and hobby board games. When I started my collection, I must admit I used these ratings, along with reviews, to try to judge which games would be best for my collection. It was not as obvious at the time that these ratings are sort of bogus. Participating in the pre-release hype train of MvM made it clear that's how it works though.

It's not a big deal, and I don't think anyone is getting bent out of shape about it. I'm not suggesting BGG change anything. I was simply wondering if I could refine my search on my end to only include the subset of ratings that meet my criteria, and the way I rate games on BGG (e.g. include only votes for people that have actually played the game). I agree this is a rather difficult filter to apply accurately.

Btw, I don't really think the "neutral placeholder that will be updated" rating feeds inaccuracy like the blatant 1 star "I don't like people and games they like" ratings, but since these ratings don't reflect actual plays they still don't fit my desire for a refined search criteria.
 
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nordlead wrote:
reckoner wrote:
nordlead wrote:

Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?



Yes.


Then you probably don't understand the ratings here at BGG or its significance. It isn't particularly significant, because it is a poorly controlled random sampling (and always will be unless we move to a system where we curate votes that we can verify). So, my pre-rating or even a collection of post play ratings shouldn't be used to make significant decisions or comparisons.

That, and the rating is based on what you think of the game and how much you want to play it. I can form an opinion of the quality of the game without actually playing it, and I can tell you that I really want to play the game. Based on that, it should be rated at least an 8 by me. In fact, I'll go bump my rating right now.

Its one thing to troll and put 1's because of stupid reasons, it is another to give a best estimate based on your own research. Either way, if you are getting bent out of shape over this you need to figure out how to resolve that yourself.


Instead of bumping up your rating why don't you just wait to rate the game until after you play it?
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Jpod00 wrote:
nordlead wrote:
reckoner wrote:
nordlead wrote:

Is it really that much worse than me rating a game that I played 1 time?



Yes.


That, and the rating is based on what you think of the game and how much you want to play it. I can form an opinion of the quality of the game without actually playing it, and I can tell you that I really want to play the game. Based on that, it should be rated at least an 8 by me. In fact, I'll go bump my rating right now.

Its one thing to troll and put 1's because of stupid reasons, it is another to give a best estimate based on your own research. Either way, if you are getting bent out of shape over this you need to figure out how to resolve that yourself.


I suppose I had a misunderstanding for my original post. I actually didn't realize people use the ratings to reflect how good a game might appear on YouTube, or a desire to play such a game, but that point was made up above. I'm a relative newcomer to BGG and hobby board games. When I started my collection, I must admit I used these ratings, along with reviews, to try to judge which games would be best for my collection. It was not as obvious at the time that these ratings are sort of bogus. Participating in the pre-release hype train of MvM made it clear that's how it works though.

It's not a big deal, and I don't think anyone is getting bent out of shape about it. I'm not suggesting BGG change anything. I was simply wondering if I could refine my search on my end to only include the subset of ratings that meet my criteria, and the way I rate games on BGG (e.g. include only votes for people that have actually played the game). I agree this is a rather difficult filter to apply accurately.

Btw, I don't really think the "neutral placeholder that will be updated" rating feeds inaccuracy like the blatant 1 star "I don't like people and games they like" ratings, but since these ratings don't reflect actual plays they still don't fit my desire for a refined search criteria.


your better off finding a reviewer you agree with and use their reviews rather than bgg rating; or, find specific BGG users that you seem to agree with and you can go into their profile and look at their ratings. I still think the bgg ranking provides a good reference, though
 
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Jpod00 wrote:

Btw, I don't really think the "neutral placeholder that will be updated" rating feeds inaccuracy like the blatant 1 star "I don't like people and games they like" ratings, but since these ratings don't reflect actual plays they still don't fit my desire for a refined search criteria.

I rated it a placeholder 8 based on all the gameplay videos and the setup for every mission on Watch it Played. It would take something major that I missed to sway that too far, but I see your point. I just wouldn't put much stock in ratings before the game is released. There are tons of reviewer videos and write ups most of the time anyway.

I do disagree when people rate games 1 because of external reasons like the ordering debacle yesterday. These ratings have nothing to do with the game itself and would be a bit like me going on RottenTomatoes to rate a movie saying "the popcorn was bad and there was a long line."
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I am confused as to why one would rate a game that they haven't played - what is the advantage of putting a "place holder" rating instead of just adding it to your collection without a rating, or waiting to make the rating once you have had your first play and can make a judgement first hand on the quality of the game? Not being critical, just don't understand the reasoning to do so, or the perceived advantage of making the rating beforehand.
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Well, a small improvement that *could* be made would be to tag the rating you give a game with:

* Play-based : Rating based on having actually played the game (1 or more times)
* Review-based : Rating based on personal research of the game (rulebooks, third-party reviews, third-party instructional videos, gut-feeling, etc.)

In terms of implementation, it could be just be a checkbox or radio-button next to the rating.

Of course, it wouldn't stop people from being jackbutts, but it may also encourage people that wouldn't normally rate games to offer their perspective based on their own experience as gamers.
 
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Can always change the rating system to not unlock until the game's official launch, much like Metacritic does. You can't put up ratings until the official launch of a film/etc.
 
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brian10386 wrote:
I am confused as to why one would rate a game that they haven't played - what is the advantage of putting a "place holder" rating instead of just adding it to your collection without a rating, or waiting to make the rating once you have had your first play and can make a judgement first hand on the quality of the game? Not being critical, just don't understand the reasoning to do so, or the perceived advantage of making the rating beforehand.


Where is the disadvantage? I personally put mine in there because I was mildly interested in what a top 100 would look like (thanks to some dice tower thread). I'm too lazy to list it out, but I can sort based on personal rating. I need to re-rate most of my games as tastes have changed and many of my 9's and higher haven't been played in years (I love them, but they are hard to get on the table, are they still really 9's?)

Anyways, as for refining searches, go to the advanced search tab and just filter by 500, or even 1000 ratings. Once you get high enough, the unplayed and shill votes become less significant and the actual value is ever so slightly more relevant. Or, you could just use the "geek rating" which essentially does the same thing.
 
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gmorgan1217 wrote:
Considering that the rating went from a 8.2 yesterday to a 7.7 today seems to point (unfairly) at the issues encountered yesterday with ordering the game. shake


Yeah, but on the flip side of that, I don't have a lot of confidence we've earned that 8.2, either. I'm far more interested in what people think of the game than I am in a rating on BGG. Joss Whedon said something once about Buffy that always stuck with me, even though I'll probably butcher the quote: "I'd rather have a handful of people LOVE my work than a lot of people LIKE my work." I guess what I'm getting at is I don't think MvM will be for everyone; I'm really ok with that. I just hope that the people who do like it, really, really like it.

We'll just focus on making the best game we can and the ratings I'm sure will take care of themselves. That's not a big driver for us, here.
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To anyone concerned about those ratings it too soon... this game has 34 ratings so far. It just sold 12K copies. Don't worry about the statistically meaningless ratings it has now.
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nordlead wrote:
brian10386 wrote:
I am confused as to why one would rate a game that they haven't played - what is the advantage of putting a "place holder" rating instead of just adding it to your collection without a rating, or waiting to make the rating once you have had your first play and can make a judgement first hand on the quality of the game? Not being critical, just don't understand the reasoning to do so, or the perceived advantage of making the rating beforehand.


Where is the disadvantage?


It necessarily takes more time to rate a game that to not rate a game.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Jpod00 wrote:
It's a bit disappointing seeing people rating a game with comments like "1 star, we'll see if it lives up to the hype" or "7 star, place holder rating", or "1 star, terrible checkout experience"?


Look at it this way. Ratings are inherently noisy and unreliable. This is among the least of the problems.

To play devil's advocate: bad ratings have a disproportionate effect on smaller games, and on newer games. If I decided to try to screw over a relatively small, niche game that was recently released, a bunch of early 1 ratings will undoubtedly have a negative snowballing impact, either because of the well-documented phenomenon of people allowing their taste to be shaped by public opinion, or more likely just that it turns off potential buyers.

Neither of those are problems here, but it could be a problem for other games. I would prefer if BGG just hid the ratings until after a game received X 'quality' ratings. As everyone seems to agree, a game's rating after 10, 20, or even 50 ratings is fairly statistically meaningless information.
 
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theory wrote:
If I decided to try to screw over a relatively small, niche game that was recently released ....


I see why you call yourself "theory".

This theorizing thing can go anywhere. Why not suppose you're paid by the publishers of game X to torch the ratings of competing game Y with a boatload of negative ratings?
 
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