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What MOBAFire's voting system needs - Vote Decay!

Creator: JunSupport August 25, 2011 9:11pm
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JunSupport
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Mobafire has always had a serious problem with guides that have an IMMENSE amount of votes. They naturally have a high rating and I'm sure it is also frustrating for a lot of users to vote on a guide they feel is dumb, but have no impact whatsoever because the guide has 500 upvotes and doesn't care about one measly downvote.

Today, it hit me that older votes should in-theory be less reliable then newer votes! Thus, votes should decay in value over time!



Here is the basic premise:

-After a certain period of time, a vote's value will be reduced by a flat amount. (i.e.: 10% every week)



Obviously, there needs to be parameters in which this occurs so it can go the way we want it to.

Here are a few basic safeguards I came up with. I initially based this idea off of ELO decay, but I made it have a conjoined functionality between both writers and voters. Bear with me, it can seem a little complicated.


1. A champion guide must be in the top 10 of it's respective competition to be subjected to vote decay.
---One of the two most important safeguards. If the guide isn't even in the top 10, I don't really think we need to worry about it. Guides that stay idle in the lower ranks should be left alone. If they deserve to shine, they'll eventually get the votes they need.
---General guides are unique and have a monopoly on the type of information they provide, so I feel they do not require such protection.

2. A guide must have up to 50 votes to be subjected to vote decay.
---One of the two most important safeguards. We cannot have fresh new guides being subjected to decay, or they'll be crippled in no time.
---Aforementioned guides that stay idle for long periods of time before getting votes, deserve to get a solid amount of votes before being hit by decay.
---Decay is meant to be a mechanic that erodes heavily-voted guides and reveal their true value in mobafire's rankings. Not damage guides indiscriminately.

3. A guide will become eligible for decay after 1 patch (2 weeks) of fullfilling #1 and 2.
---After receiving 50 votes, and only if they're in the top 10.

4. If 3 or more positive votes are added to the guide, the time for vote-decay will be refreshed until the next patch.
---The demand for multiple votes is to guard against fakes and ensure that the guide is consistently getting viewed and deserving to stay highly-rated.
---Only positive votes will earn a refresh the guide, because downvotes are obviously given with the belief that the guide is bad and that previous voters are wrong. Those opinions matter and shouldn't contribute to the health of the guide.
---Basically, if you can get 3 upvotes before the end of the 3rd week (1 patch + 1 week), you'll be fine for the remainder of the current patch cycle and technically 1 week following that. I believe that is pretty generous and easily achievable if your guide is worth looking at.
---Contrastingly, if you have an extreme amount of votes on your guide, it will be difficult to find new voters and the votes will naturally decay as it should.

5. If a guide sits for over 4 weeks (2 patch cycles) without being updated, further positive votes will not renew the decay timer.
---This is to prevent out-of-date guides from staying on top.
---If a guide is not being regularly updated at least once every 2 patches, even further votes will not assist in preventing it's inevitable decay.

6. A vote can only decay to 20% value.
---Obviously, we can't go to the point of removing a vote. Any vote still matters.

7. A user with a decayed vote may renew their vote if they go to the guide again.
---If a user with a decayed vote looks at an old guide, a message will be displayed where it normally says "Already voted" as "Your Vote has decayed 10~90%." The user may then press thumbs up or down again, to renew their vote on the guide.
---There will be no other way to renew votes, as it is the individual voter who has chosen not to re-visit the site or guide, and therefore may no longer support the guide.

8. Both positive and negative votes are subjected to vote decay.
---Negative votes also need to decay to counteract the inevitable drop in rating. If new positive votes are added, the rating will naturally rise up again.

9. Decay will cease if the total value of the votes becomes less then 51.
---A simple writer-friendly measure. We can't have voter-value decaying below 50, because the point is they had more then 50 to begin with.
---If a guide had 51 votes and began to decay suddenly by chance, it would be very unfair imo.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I do not feel this system I've laid out is perfect. There are probably kinks to be worked out that I'm not aware of, but I believe it definitely works well for it's intended purpose.

The more votes you have, the harder the decay will hit.
Even the oldest votes will remain significant.
If a guide receives regular votes, it should do fairly well.

If a guide becomes severely decayed, then a single upvote or downvote can have a powerful change on a guide.
Example: Guide A has 500 votes, would be reduced to only having the equivalent value of 100 votes. So, following votes would have a much more satisfying impact on its rating, although still not too impacting because those 500 votes still have a foothold on where the guide stands.


Note: Not all votes are receiving decay at the same time. Only those that have aged to a certain extent.

This period, I feel, requires discussion among the users to be established.
3 patches (6 weeks) would suffice in my opinion, but that's just my opinion.

Though, we could have tiers. Like - A vote must be 3 patches old below 80% value. 5 patches for 50% and finally, 7 patches to go below 30%. Though, I'm not sure how good this would be.


The Safeguards are very strong
Also take note that safeguard #3 prevents a guide from entering decay until 2 weeks after there have been 50 votes. A guide will also defend itself against decay via safeguard #4, so a guide can go for a very long duration without entering a state of decay.

If a guide does start becoming out of date, all votes exceeding 3 patches ago, would begin to decay.
This may seem immense, but remember that the decay would only be worth 10% of each vote's value and only after an entire week has passed.

Example: Guide B has 200 votes. 10~30 of those votes are over 2 patches old. This guide will lose the value of 1~3 votes every week IF AND ONLY IF it stops receiving positive up votes for an entire 3 weeks, 1 patch + 1 week.


Note: I understand that what I've suggested here would take an immense amount of time to create.

I just wanted the idea out and floating in everyone's heads. When it gets here is not a concern because once it arrives, things will inevitable change for the better.


I also feel This sort of system could also add a new flavour to the website, as users could have an extra tab on their profile to alert them of votes that have decayed.
"Your vote on [ Insert guide name here ] has decayed. Click here to read the guide and renew your vote."

This would give another thing for users to do that would keep everyone actively participating in maintain the integrity of the top guides on the site.


Thank you for taking the time to read my post. This is open to any and all well thought out critiques.
I will be adding new safeguards as they become apparently necessary to me.

I hope everyone else finds this to be a good idea and that it does not turn out to be one of my sleep-deprived ramblings. ^__^
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wRAthoFVuLK
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I dunno, I can't read thru all of this right now but it seems goot. As long as it doesn't decay the SCORE of the guide but just the effectiveness of the votes.

Actually, a decay on the score of guides that haven't been updated in a few patches should be implemented...hm.

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Hmm...
I see a small-ish flaw. Let's say, I get into the top 10 but I'm 10th. Now, lots of people just look at the top guide and only the top guide. If all 50 of my votes decay to ~20% and some new person upvotes my guide, it will rocket up because of how little impact the other 50 have. Ofc, I don't know the voting formula so, I'm not sure if this is entirely correct. Please correct me on anything you feel the need to.
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wRAthoFVuLK
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o I thought what this meant is all FURTHER votes will be less effective

Thanks to TRUeLM, Plastictree, Scrax, Xiaowiriamu, foggy12, JahGFX, jhoijhoi, msrobinson, JEFFY40HANDS, Nyoike, MissMaw, and me :) for the sigs!
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@wRAthoFVuLK:

Votes are effectively what solidify a ranking. Technically, with lots of decay, a guide's rating WOULD suffer. But if more upvotes arrive, the rating would normalize.

Also, see safeguard point #5 - If a guide hasn't been updated in over 2 patches, nothing can stop it from decaying.
Writers will probably not be allowed to know if their guide is decaying or not, as to prevent knee-jerk updates that don't really change anything, just to get back in the clear.


@Lugignaf:

See safeguard point #9 - If a guide's value is only at 50 votes, it'll be left alone.

It would also take at least 3 monthes for ALL your votes to decay to 20%, as not all the votes decay at once. It would be quite insane for a well-written guide to go that long without any votes.
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I see...
I'm sure I'll find another problem in the morning but right now, I'm too tired.
It's a great system as it stands.
EDIT: Just for clarification, if it would decay to/under the value of 50 votes, it just stops there, right?
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JunSupport
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Yes, it would stop at 50 votes.

It could be higher, but having it compliment point #2 will do for now.
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Jun, I loved this idea when I saw it, but I think it'd be too convoluted to formulate. The scoring system already works off of the Bayesian average and I don't know how this would work with it. The math required for this idea - it boggles my mind.

Bayesian Average:

Calculating the Bayesian average uses the prior mean m and a constant C. C is assigned a value that is proportional to the typical data set size. The value is larger when the expected variation between data sets (within the larger population) is small. It is smaller, when the data sets are expected to vary substantially from one another.
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^Realized the same, yet you again beat me too it!
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