Justin Fitzgerald
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Note: I left this post as originally posted but these aren't shill accounts. It's just that a high number of the ratings are from the designers, friends, and family.

I noticed this game had an abnormally high rating. I actually bought it based on the rating... but check out all of these shill accounts. Are these all guys that work with the designer or what? In any case, just be aware the ratings are really inflated right now because of such accounts.

Tom Rubino
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Jason Cote
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Re: Shill accounts
KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
I noticed this game had an abnormally high rating. I actually bought it based on the rating... but check out all of these shill accounts.

You say you purchased based on the ratings, but it doesn't appear that you looked very closely at those ratings until afterwards. Raw ratings are always suspect; when there are only 8 total and you don't know the people who gave them, I'd say they're utterly useless. I recommend that you investigate the GeekBuddy feature, which can save you a lot of money by providing you with far more reliable info.

[edit] responding to your question about whether those are shill accounts, the first user you list, Tom Rubino, is credited as one of the designers for the game (so two of the eight ratings given to the game are 10s given by its designers).

The other two gave 10s, and have rated no other games, which renders their ratings worthless (there is no context to know what sort of games they like). But they registered four months apart and have both logged in within the past week, so not the typical pattern for shills.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Re: Shill accounts
Lesson learned for sure.
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Andy N
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Re: Shill accounts
Concerning the three accounts, two of these are other individuals on the development team who created these accounts to help answer forum questions in a timely manner when I can't get on and answer them myself. As someone else mentioned, Tom Rubino is one of the accounts in question and his name is listed as one of the developers of the game, and JWCote is another member of the business team who usually answers questions about shipping or rules minutia. We weren't trying to be deceptive, we were trying to answer questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible The third account in question is my wife who is sporadically active with her account and has a handful of games in her collection, but only gave a rating to Conquest Tactics, which she has since corrected by rating all her other games. None of these accounts were created with the intention of simply pumping up the game's score, each account was created by a different individual with a sincere desire to use BoardGameGeek for honest purposes.

Its very important for us to make this point that we have never tried to decieve any of our customers, and have always held integrity and clear customer communication to be two of our foundational company values. As you mentioned in your review, I've been very straightforward, open and communicative with you in particular and the BGG community as a whole, and we as a company would never betray your trust with cheap tricks like shill accounts.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Re: Shill accounts
I apologize if I've jumped to conclusions Andy. I've corrected the title of the post here to reflect the new information.
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I appreciate your honesty, Andy, but I have to tell you that I think those ratings can do you more harm than good. Many gamers are put off by seeing a raw rating that is badly skewed by the designer's friends and family, and the 10s from you, your wife and the other developers comprise half of the game's ratings at this point. I think it's possible that may kill more sales than it generates.
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Hugh G. Rection
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It would look at lot less shill-like if those 10 ratings were accompanied my something in the comments section disclosing their relationship to the game/company/designer like it does for Andy's rating.
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I have never met the dev team and I have no financial intrest in the game.
That being said I stand behind my rating of a 9 because I really enjoy it. I will say that the game is feeling a little stale because I'm use to seeing the same cards over and over again but when new cards comes out I think that will be resolved.
I respect your opinion if you do not find the game as enjoyable as I do. Also from one who originally had concerens regarding the game ( read my post " oh boy another CCG ", I can tell you that I am one who honestly enjoys the game.
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Anthony Gambatese
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Sphere wrote:
I appreciate your honesty, Andy, but I have to tell you that I think those ratings can do you more harm than good. Many gamers are put off by seeing a raw rating that is badly skewed by the designer's friends and family, and the 10s from you, your wife and the other developers comprise half of the game's ratings at this point. I think it's possible that may kill more sales than it generates.


I dissagree!! Its honestly the responsibility of the person looking at ratings to not just take an overall 9 at face value. I personally investigate anything over a 6.5 if for no other reason to see why the rating was attainted. And as far as "shilling" goes if I put my heart and soul into making a game I can tell you right now its getting a perfect 10! And from a buyers stand point, if I see someone giving their own designed game anything less then a 9.5 I would start to have doubts about the purchase.

Just my two cents!!cool
 
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Anthony Gambatese
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
Note: I left this post as originally posted but these aren't shill accounts. It's just that a high number of the ratings are from the designers, friends, and family.

I noticed this game had an abnormally high rating. I actually bought it based on the rating... but check out all of these shill accounts. Are these all guys that work with the designer or what? In any case, just be aware the ratings are really inflated right now because of such accounts.

Tom Rubino
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WOW the highest rated game on all of board game geek and you purchased it based on the rating without even looking at how many votes that high rating consisted of ??
Hey I got a bridge I would like to sell you (its very GOLDEN) interested???whistle or how about some beautiful swamp land!!devil
 
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OP: You have supporter badges going back to '04 and you are just figuring out what a rating is?
 
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