Forums Kongregate

Manipulating rating via bribes.

23 posts

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So, just recently I’ve been playing Galaxy Online 2 a bit (Just-another-city-sim).

Popping up in game chat on occasional intervals is a little message saying that people who rate the game 5 stars will be awarded some in-game currency and items. I really have to wonder if this is crossing some sort of line.

Now, I know that Kongregate is doing everything in its power to lose its uniqueness and morph into a Facebook clone; but isn’t allowing this sort of action rather counter-productive to the rating system in its entirety? Talking it over with people in game chat; the general opinion is clear: It’s not at all a 5 star game (Probably closer to 2-3), but everyone is rating it 5 for the free stuff (Many intending to drop the rating as soon as the loot is acquired). In just the past couple days, the rating has shot up considerably; at least in part, and probably entirely, due to this promotion.

Going a bit further; I also think it’s a bad thing for devs to be able to see who gave what rating, as that can easily result in very one-sided in-game moderating and hostility; especially among the shady Facebook devs who have a tendency to become extremely hostile with any sort of criticism.

Admin-types really need to step up and tighten the reigns a little bit; especially as these Facebook MMOs continue to be a multiplying problem.

 
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I don’t think its possible to check how a person rated a game unless Kong devs made a secret API. Nothing exists currently in the public that could do such a think.

They can check if you rated it (by content scraping html pages) but not what you rated it.

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

They can check if you rated it (by content scraping html pages) but not what you rated it.

If I remember right, this is why a previous bribery incident required players to submit screenshots to the devs of that game as proof that they 5 starred it.

 
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Many MMOs already have the advantage of having a crappy energy system (more plays), pay-to-win (inherently wanting to succeed leads to pumping money into the game), long waiting times (more plays and paying to shorten them), and generally just making sure your game is so crappy you can only make it a normal game by paying or giving it more gameplays. But these kind of practices are even more of a disgrace to the rating system. Might as well remove it for MMOs and just put them in the spolights/advertisement section.

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

I don’t think its possible to check how a person rated a game unless Kong devs made a secret API. Nothing exists currently in the public that could do such a think.

They can check if you rated it (by content scraping html pages) but not what you rated it.

http://www.kongregate.com/accounts/UnknownGuardian/highly-rated

I’m not sure what the criteria for “highly rated” is exactly, but it’s obvious now that this is all some conspiracy between Kongbook and these horrible games to milk us for money:
1. Update the profiles so that MMO devs can check whether the players rated their games highly; thus enabling them to bribe the players into giving their shitty product 5 stars.
2. Front page is swamped with these grindfests, and badges get added, giving more exposure to the games, which increases the # of plays, the # of ratings, and (inevitably) the # of undeserved 5 star ratings which creates a vicious circle
3. ???
4. Profit

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

They can check if you rated it (by content scraping html pages) but not what you rated it.

Of course, that’s all they need to know. If they tell players they’ll get the prize only by rating 5 stars, most players will assume it’s true and rate 5 stars.

Originally posted by Captain_Catface:

I really have to wonder if this is crossing some sort of line.

I don’t know if it’s against Kongregate’s ToS (yet), but it certainly ought to be. It hurts the rating system an a whole, and of course Kongregate wants its rating system to be as accurate as possible.

It is legal, it isn’t particularly ethical, but more importantly, it’s bad for Kongregate.

 
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Yeah, I don’t think that’s something that Kongregate finds acceptable.
I’m sure an admin will handle this.

 
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This has actually come up before. They’re not supposed to do this.

Originally posted by Zshadow:
Originally posted by Dever:

Star Supremacy is also encouraging this. They’re giving a gift when the game reaches a higher rating.

There’s a difference between rewarding individual users with a reward for rating 5, and giving everyone a reward when a game reaches a certain rating. It’s sort of like a company that has a goal of selling 1,000,000 products, and awarding everyone in the company with a pizza party.

As for Shadowland Online, their reward process has been removed. Should something like this come up again, let us know! :)

 
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They shouldn’t just remove the reward policy, they should remove the game entirely.

I have recently adopted the policy that any MMO game that appears in the “hot new games” category automatically gets a 1 rating. If nothing else, I am trying to do my part in stopping more of the facebook type games from getting badges. (I did not capitalize facebook on purpose.)

 
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I agree with the eloquent Captain Catface. This occurrence reminds me of Achievement Unlocked by Armor Games. They initially intended to have one of their ‘achievements’ be clicking the Armor Games logo to their websites. However, in order to be allowed to be put badges on, Kongregate suggested they instead change it to merely hovering over their logo.

Such an event ought to reoccur in order to comply with basic guidelines. Galaxy Online 2’s developers are despicable for essentially forcing players to rate it 5 stars, albeit the game being of not such high quality as a full 5/5.

 
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o aww you see so many devs. trying to force ppl to plz rate us a 5, jeash I hate that but o well what you gonna do.

 
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It’s a good point that Kong probably shouldn’t condone such behavior (and I’m fairly sure that that is their current stance). Back when I tried to get metrics.json moved over to the api.kongregate.com subdomain so games could access it, an admin commented with the following: (bottom of this page, first comment)

This seems like a very rare case for a game to need to know its own rating and gameplays. I suppose it could be used for bribing players to rate highly, but I don’t know that we want to really condone that. […]

Eitherway, its being brought to admin attention.


Nice LouWeed. Wasn’t aware of such a page.

 
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Originally posted by jim_vierling:

They shouldn’t just remove the reward policy, they should remove the game entirely.

I have recently adopted the policy that any MMO game that appears in the “hot new games” category automatically gets a 1 rating. If nothing else, I am trying to do my part in stopping more of the facebook type games from getting badges. (I did not capitalize facebook on purpose.)

welcome to the club – these games get 1/5s from me for the most part. these games don’t even qualify as gameplay. and even worse, 90% of games that show up in beta testing are these same types of games.

also, i can’t remember the last time i’ve seen a post by a kong admin.

 
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also, i can’t remember the last time i’ve seen a post by a kong admin.

~two hours ago :-P

 
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that doesn’t count – he’s playing games!!!

 
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I always thought many people would instantly rate it 1/5 if they do those promotions in chat. Apparently I’m wrong and it gives the game a higher rating.

 
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Eh.
Kongregate’s been changing their stance on various policies for the last couple of years.
They’ll say they’re against it now, but I’d be interested in seeing if they’ll uphold that standard in one or two year’s time.

 
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Well I agree with the first paragraph. you shouldn’t be rewarded for rating a certain way. Kong should be like “remove that feature, or we won’t host your game”.

I do however have no problem with everyones rating being public knowledge. This should be encouraged IMO. It would encourage people to take the rating system more seriously.

Of course I don’t agree with MMO’s being a problem, but considering it’s , I had to expect I’d disagree with your post in some way.

 
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Originally posted by bobby71983:

I do however have no problem with everyones rating being public knowledge. This should be encouraged IMO. It would encourage people to take the rating system more seriously.

As seriously as people take the “Like” button on Facebook?

 
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A bunch of multiplayer games here are terrible, and the people who make them know that. As a result, they stick half-naked female characters in the games and bribe people to rate the games 5/5. It’s truly pathetic.

 
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I do however have no problem with everyones rating being public knowledge. This should be encouraged IMO. It would encourage people to take the rating system more seriously.

This might actually encourage some developers to punish or ban players for giving their game a low rating. Then again, such developers would probably use the tactics as described in the OP and their games should be removed or the developers pressed into removing the feature (including reducing their unfair rating).

I’d also like to add that I’m opposed to practices that gives everyone a “reward” or adding features when the game reaches a higher rating. It is supposed to be the other way around. I don’t rate 5/5 for a blank screen just because they promised me an epic RPG. I rate it 1/5 and change it to 5/5 if they make it an epic RPG instead.

 
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It wouldn’t be as bad if the developer could send a mass message to everyone that’s voted 1-star, 2-stars or 3-stars.

 
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