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Apr 25, 2006



The http://www.advogato.org/trust-metric.html>advogato trust metric can't really be gamed.

It's designed to work with a small group of "perfect" people who's ratings are believed without question, which wouldn't work so well in an online game.

For example I play Eve and although I might give members of my corp positive reputation if one of our enemies manages to infiltrate us and steals something I'll give that character negative reputation. From the point of view of their corp though that person has done a great job and deserves some positive reputation.

So for advagato to work in an adversarial game every person playing will have to have their own "flow" of trust, and the system will have to calculate them all seperately. This also sidesteps your choice in friends being a fully collective decision, it's now a decision based on a collective of people you've marked as trustworthy. And you're always free to ignore it :)


Rather than Ebay, I would point to XBox Live! as a parallel. There, you can rate other players, contributing to their overall, marks-out-of-five reputation. It's an easy thing to do, presented from within the same interface as game choice, addding friends etc...

There are quirks and potential odd uses of the ratings, but a good bayesian averaging algorithm can get rid of a lot of the noise.

Re the Eve example, Lacero, then having the targetted corp all mark the individual down is quite acceptable. They are saying "this person (or character) lies and steals: avoid them!" The fact that the person did so well, and was in character, and executed a brilliant and admirable stroke doesn't make me any more likely to want to welcome them to my corp afterwards!


Well, positive guild-based ratings would work for the hard core who refuse to play with "loosers". Of course, that would make the games even more segregated.


Speaking more specifically, the chief problem with this addon, regardless of how you feel about gaming social systems, is that it's an addon. Thus it suffers because you're only sharing reputation with other addon users. It's similar to the problem that "Call to Arms", an excellent LFG addon has - there's a need for a looking-for-group feature in WoW, but without the critical mass of everyone using it, it remains an interesting toy and not terribly useful.


Echoing Scott's sentiment, it's good for those who use it. Would be very cool if Blizzard incorporated it into the core UI so everyone had the option to use it.

I still wonder about gaming it, although it seems somewhat protected from that and balance might simply be achieved through numbers (or, as Endie suggests, a "balancing" algorithm).


Don't underestimate the extent to which people disagree about what's good, not just for adversarial reasons, but because de gustibus et de coloribus non disputandum est.

I sorta suspect this is a blind spot for most people because at least two times in my life an idea along the lines of "almost everyone thinks he is an above-average driver" has circulated in discussions for a couple of weeks, and neither time did I see anyone mention this issue. Instead, it was thought that if people believe this, it follows logically that people must be flattering themselves about their abilities. That would be one explanation, but it is not the only possible explanation. Consider that in a world of 1000 people who think driving very fast is the important thing, 1000 people who think that driving very safely is the important thing, and 1000 people who think that observing the letter of the law is the important thing, almost everyone can see himself as about the 66th percentile not by misleading himself about differences between his performance and others', but just by choosing to perform according what he thinks is the appropriate tradeoff.

Now consider people rating each other in an online world where 1300 people think the most important thing is avoiding noobs, 900 people think the most important thing is avoiding people who seem to be younger than them in real life, 1100 people think the most important thing is twinking and having the smarts to do it on an RP server so that you have the best chance of finding non-twink prey, 1900 people think the most important thing is being willing to donate your high-level character's time to pull others' low-level characters through quests, 1600 people think the most important thing is being responsible in parties and being willing to learn, 800 people think the most important thing is being dutiful and obedient in one's guild, 700 people think the most important thing is respecting their RP fantasy that their guild just happens to be the queen's personal bodyguard corps and that she visits them at the head of a procession of unicorns whenever she needs Something Important done right, and so forth...


Bill Newman> bodyguard corps ... redundant? ;-P

Excellent points you bring up. However, I still feel as though the end result is like-minded people being brought together via the "scores" in this add-on.


Bill Newman: De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum.

For those who were curious (like myself).....

Idiomatic translation: There's no accounting for tastes.

Literal meaning: One shouldn't argue about tastes or colours. (No need to argue about tastes and colours.)

-from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/French_proverbs


I'll echo Bill Newman and say that it's more about finding the company that fits you(r playstyle), rather than filtering out the bad seeds.

But am I missing something here? As I see it, this can be overcome by not using global ratings, and instead using recommendation systems - systems that give personalized ratings based on ratings of other similar-minded people. (Actual examples of these are MovieLens, Amazon.com:s recommendation system, and such.) It would be very interesting to see a MMOG using this kind of a system to actually affect the game. For example the game could use the collected ratings to cluster similar type of players by assigning tasks/quests that bring them automatically in contact with each other.


Endie, although that player may be a liar and a corp theif certain people may trust him. The Guiding Hand Social Club for example makes a career out of this, shouldn't they be allowed to trust each other?

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