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Sheep Votes, worse then Troll Votes: Downvotes...

Creator: JunSupport March 22, 2011 12:35pm
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JunSupport
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EDIT: An idea has been implemented.


C2V is now limited to the first 20 votes on every guide.

Not sure it's the perfect number, but we'll just have to see how this plays out.
Idea's Origin -http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/forum/mobafire-support/regarding-comment-2-vote-3697

So happy about the progress that's been made. ^_^

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



I think Veteran recommendations and the Mandatory-Comments in combination, are causing a problem in the voting system. (And maybe a lack of willingness to down vote)
(Scroll down if too long to read, and for a list of possible site-friendly solutions)

A massive influx in Sheep Votes.



1.
No offense to all the vets and mods, but veterans don't necessarily guarantee expert judgment.

At present, I'm having a feeling that veteran recommends are having too much of an influence on votes.

A good example of sheep votes occured in the recent Nocturne guides.
Jebus McAzn recommended a guide on THE FIRST DAY that voting was allowed (Really, the first day? Is that really how long a veteran takes to evaluate a guide? But, that's another story, I'll leave it alone), and now it's up to 64 votes while the other followers are all below 10 votes, with only two exceptions (although there may be some voting bugs)

I personally think this is a case of "Sheep" votes. Sheep that vote guides up mindlessly, because it happened to be at the top of the list, and "oh" it also has a verteran recommend.

However, vet badges don't necessarily mean inflation on it's own, because there used to be a counter measure to this.
Troll votes. (and negative votes in general)

Although when in their own isolated occurrence, are annoying for us all, they helped curbed the ratings.
Someone one some where, didn't like the guide. That's why troll votes can't be requested for removal right?

Which leads me to my next point in my argument, the mandatory-comments feature.

2.
Let me be perfectly clear in saying, as a personal thing, I LIKE there being less troll-votes and hearing people's comments when they are positive.
It makes me happy. However, I'm sad to say the mandatory comments aren't helping.

Troll votes helped curb ratings, and being anonymous let people be most honest in acting on their feelings and saying "I dislike this"
EDIT: My mistake, I meant Downvotes in general.

Troll-votes are just vicious attempts to attack people. Downvotes are not all troll votes. However, Troll-votes were more common in terms of downvotes, then earnest down votes.

There are some people who don't want to down-vote. But, they don't want to take the time to explain their opinion either.
Maybe they know something, but are shy. Maybe they're ignorant. Maybe it's just their play style. It doesn't matter.

So, in response, they just don't vote. This is a case of "pluralistic ignorance."
This occurs when people misperceive a group's beliefs, and act in conflict with their own beliefs because the prospect of social judgment or pressures.

To demonstrate this further, I'll use myself as a medium.
When the Nocturne guides were finally votable, I went to try them out (and up vote if I liked) and down vote the ones that either clearly wouldn't work, or didn't have good results when I thought they did.

I found that whenever I downvoted a guide. I felt bad.
I felt bad even when it deserved it. EVEN, it's helping the rankings. EVEN, when my opinion was clear as day.
And it only got worse when I saw my recent activity covered in red bars. I caught myself looking to find good guides to up vote just to try to balance it out, despite the fact that I didn't find much of the guides any good.
Maybe I'm overemotional, but this does hint at the feeling people have when downvoting guides.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I remember reading a thread, with many vet's saying something similar to "I don't downvote, I just leave criticisms."
To that I respond: WHY?!

Most guides demonstrate how a person plays a champion. Not voting, and only critiquing means you're trying to change how they play the champion.
Some people may take the advice, but some may not. That won't change the fact that you didn't choose to downvote it. It didn't get dropped, so there's potential for that guide to end up with an inflated rating.

Matt (the admin) informed me in a thread a few weeks back that you can change your vote. Meaning, you can always go back and up/down vote a guide if you have a change of heart or think the guide has changed enough to fit your preferences

But, the fact of the matter is, you disliked the guide at that particular time, so it deserved a downvote that wasn't given.

Downvotes are important.
Without them, the system would break. (I have suspicions that it's already broken atm)

Conclusions:

The veteran recommendations are a counterproductive function that can cause masses of sheep votes to guides that may or may not deserve it; drawing away attention from other rival guides.

The mandatory comments features acts as a deterrent to prospective downvoters via the effect of pluralistic ignorance. This perpetuates a serious lack of downvotes on guides in general (when there's a comment-mandatory function).

Although it would be ideal if everyone were capable of expressing their opinions, that's just not the case. We may be annoyed and often frustrated by troll votes, but they are what made MobaFire easier to compete in. Many people will sheep vote, and there are no longer enough troll-votes to counter act this phenomenon.

The high inflation of positive-ratings is not a sign of improvement in overall guides, but a sign of an underlying issue of an absence negativity.

I'm not entirely certain if this is truly helpful in any way. However, it is how I feel about what's going on in mobafire.

TL;DR?

A voting system isn't suppose to be the land of milk and honey.

There need to be troll votes to fence in sheep votes. Good guides will get good votes, but veteran badges are making them get too many good votes.

Mandatory-Commenting is disrupting the level of troll votes which actually helped in the nature of things.

The lowering the troll votes was like elimination of wolves that ate rabbits.
Now the bunnies are mating like...well, rabbits!! And, now we've got too many fricking bunny rabbits!!!

Possible Fixes:


1. Anonymous comments.
By giving users an option to comment anonymously, we can allow the troll votes, and true down-votes to freely return. This would curb down the now-existing positive-rating inflation.

2. Veteran Comment-Links over Recommendation Badges.
My own idea: Instead of badges, all guides with veteran comments should have a small ( ! ) icon where the recommendation badge is.
The icon would link/pop-up a list of the veterans that voted+commented on the guide, with their pictures linking to their first comment on the guide.
Now what can this do?
  • Continue to draw attention to Good veteran viewed guides.
  • Allow users to see the reasoning behind veteran votes, for improved judgments.
  • Prevent truly bad guides from being upvoted when downvoted by a veteran.
  • Spread out the ridiculous amount of attention drawn by a single vet-badge count, and lower the "sheep-voting" that happens.

3. No Guide-Publishing for the first 4~5 days of a new champion's release.
Why: New champion releases or remakes are always a magnet for voting inflation.

What: Put the official Spotlight from Riot on the guide list to compensate.

How: This would cause (most) users who vote on [insert any new champion] to actually have experience on him/her/it.
Sheep-Voting would be reduced by the increase in people using their own judgment and experience to drive their vote-choices.
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JunSupport wrote:

A good example of sheep votes occured in the recent Nocturne guides.
Jebus McAzn recommended a guide on THE FIRST DAY that voting was allowed (Really, the first day? Is that really how a veteran takes to evaluate a guide? But, that's another story, I'll leave it alone), and now it's up to 64 votes while the other followers are all below 10 votes, with only two exception (although there may be some voting bugs)

I appreciate the call-out, but I'd like to just put forth that it wasn't under normal circumstances that I gave that recommendation. It was to test the "no-vote" system so to speak, in which the only method of determining the better guides from the trash ones was through veteran recommendations.

However, I seem to have been the only person to do so, which is a small fault of this. I suppose that instead of throwing around recommendations, the voting period during the first few days of champion release should only be limited to vets - that way, they don't get the extra attention of a vet badge unless they really and truly deserve it.
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JunSupport wrote:

The veteran recommendations are a counterproductive function that can cause masses of sheep votes to guides that may or may not deserve it; drawing away attention from other rival guides.

It was made so that guides deserving more publicity would get it. Of course, there will always be a down-side to anything, and here it is "stealing" publicity, so to speak. But this isn't the case everywhere! Take an example of the Evelynn guides; Top rated guide got no recommendations, but it's the one getting all the publicity.

I don't think the situation is that bad.

The thing about the voting system is that it can never be perfected, however it can always be improved. I do hope this thread starts a massive discussion about the subject, though it's been discussed so, so many times. Personally think it's better than before, when you could drop 20% rating in an hour, but of course it has it's flaws.

You'd think this would be easy to resolve, but holy ****, it's a persistent devil!

"Sheep" votes already existed pre-recommendations. It's common that people will visit the top-rated guide (regardless of recommendations), try it and do well once (or not try at all) and up-vote it. I wouldn't blame this on a broken system, it's just how it is.
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@Scrax:

The situation isn't as bad as it could be, but it is deteriorating.
And there are no factors to counter-act this that I can perceive (can you?), so something should be done about this.

Scrax wrote:

It was made so that guides deserving more publicity would get it.


This statement here, I find very misleading.

What is your definition of "deserving more publicity" ?

The only placements where guides get extra publicity are 1st and 2nd place; excluding the attraction of oddity builds like "AP Warwick"

Now, I'm not saying reccommends should be removed, because they don't as high an impact when troll votes are around.

As a personal opinion, I feel the mandatory-comment feature should be removed. (I should probably edit and add that right now)
Although it'd be ideal if everyone were more open to downvoting, troll votes are easier to bring in. Government voting systems are anonymous for a reason!

OR, there should be a feature added to allow anonymity. (Oh wow, I think I just had one of those "that's it!" moments)
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"Deserving More Publicity", as in; Great guides that are either; 1) Ignored. 2) Instantly down-voted when the Champion is free-to-play/released.

The anonymity feature would be a great replacement for the mandatory feature, it would give those who want to give feedback on the guide the option to do so without having to make an account. Hm.. It was once a feature called "public voting", I guess this kind of is alike, however if you're anonymous a comment would be mandatory. It's kind of "best of both worlds", don't you think?
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I appreciate the call-out, but I'd like to just put forth that it wasn't under normal circumstances that I gave that recommendation. It was to test the "no-vote" system so to speak, in which the only method of determining the better guides from the trash ones was through veteran recommendations.

Scrax wrote:

2) Instantly down-voted when the Champion is free-to-play/released.


These two statements here. This is why I'm being so rough with the Veteran recommends thing.

@Jebus:
Shouldn't recommends be towards chmapions you're familiar with? Not just guides that look well-written?

@Everyone in general.

1. Veteran recommends are often good, but not absolute.

2. If a guide is truly better then the "trash," it WILL get the upvotes it deserves.

My Heimerdinger guide is a good example. It sat around floating at a low score at first, due to initial downvotes and only a small amount of upvotes.
However, it eventually went up, and a recommend appeared after it was more noticeable! ^^

3. As a pondering of #2, veterans aren't any more aware then other players when it comes to looking at guides.
There may be a gold nugget in the Nocturne guides, and no one's noticed it.


However, I seem to have been the only person to do so, which is a small fault of this. I suppose that instead of throwing around recommendations, the voting period during the first few days of champion release should only be limited to vets - that way, they don't get the extra attention of a vet badge unless they really and truly deserve it.


Personally, I think that only the restrict to recommends should apply, and have vets unable to vote as well.

Veterans, from a personal non-veteran stand point, has a vastly heavy impact on the directions vote fly around.
Although it's a nice intent to want to herd players towards good guides, it's not good when it means you're starving other guides from all those votes.

Perhaps instead of a badge, there should be an Alert.

Something with a counter that says: "These Veteran users have recommended and commented in this build. Click here for a list of links to their comments"
In the list would be a display of vet icons + user names that AND a plus or minus (or thumbs up/down) for their vote-choice, when clicked, lead to their first comment on the guide.

This could apply to both good and bad guides, so people can see the insight and make their own judgments with the added second-opinion.
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No one says they are absolute :) They're just there to help, give it to those who deserves it, oh, and no hinting towards your guide please ;)

If it is better, there's still no guarantee it will get votes. This is where recommendations help a lot.

Veteran's tend to keep better tracks on guides. We're not just forum whoring :) Sure, they can slip through the cracks here as well, but Veteran's tend to be more active than most users.

Wouldn't the alert do exactly the same as a badge? I mean.. It's just a different version of it.
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Off-Topic: It's sad to realize you have the same rating, but the other guide is on top due to alphabetical order.

Scrax wrote:
No one says they are absolute :)

But, sheep votes will treat it as such. This should be taken into account.

Scrax wrote:

Wouldn't the alert do exactly the same as a badge? I mean.. It's just a different version of it.


Go read what I put on the original post for "possible fixes"

It would affect bad guides too, and veterans would no longer have control over which guides get it because all the guides they look at get it; including bad ones, so the alert would be 10x more neutral as a way to signal how much attention a guide has received rather then how good it is.

My personal opinion is, I think a veteran's attention to a guide should be what's important, not whether or not they think it's good.
A badge says: "Hey, a veteran likes me! Vote me up!"
The alert would be saying: "Hey, veterans have looked at this. Check what they think!"
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It could be a possible fix, indeed. Would making recommendations less "flashy" also be an idea? Instead of the big green, "LOOK AT ME! I HAVE A GREEN BADGE OF AWESOMENESS!" thing on the list of guides, it would only be visible when looking at the guide, somewhere on the guide?
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@Scrax:

(I added another point about vets being "absolute" in my previous post)

Making the badge "less flashy" wouldn't achieve anything beyond the superficial.
People would still see the badges.

It's like if a school has uniforms, but the administration (for some god-awful reason) decided the girls would wear pants like the boys.

Everyone's still going to know who the girls are! (Well, mostly... lol)
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