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Location: Home  Community Forums  Announcements  MX Dev Update | Awards 
MX Dev Update | Awards
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MX Dev Update | Awards 31 March 2017 14:08:45  
Hello ManiaExchange! It's the new mod in the hood providing you with an MX development update. ;)

We at the MX crew are hard at work preparing for a lot of changes to modernize and improve the Mania Exchange experience. We've got plans to revamp the front page to remove unnecessary clutter. We are reviewing the track pages to rearrange and highlight essential information. We are very excited about these changes and can't wait to share our vision with you guys. For now we need a bit more time and work with the plans and we'll make sure to give you guys a proper rundown of all the changes when the time is right.

However one of the things we are ready to talk about is the planned changes to the award system. Awards are a site-defining feature with a lot of history and value attached to it, so we are extra careful with any proposed changes. We are pretty happy with the role awards serve at the moment, in terms of generating attention and providing feedback. What we are looking to update instead is how players can award a track to encourage more activity in track pages. So let's cut to the chase.

Proposing commentless awards
  • You can award a track without a comment with a single click ("quick" award)
  • You are asked if you'd like to leave an optional comment ("classic" award)
  • Your award is equally valuable even it doesn't include a comment
  • Awards without comments are displayed in a single clump "X, Y, and 6 other people awarded this track..."
  • Awards with a comment are displayed like they are currently

    With this change we hope to combat the inactivity the site has been facing. The award system works very nicely with a large player base, so to compensate the decreased activity we want to ease awarding for everyone. This feels like a natural change considering we already see lots of awards with only a single emote or a quick positive adjective attached to them. With the proposed system players who like to give a quick token of appreciation can do so easily while passionate members of the community will likely find the commented awards more interactive as their awards are given more attention.

    Let me remind you that this is just a proposal at this point, and we want to have an open discussion with you and hear your thoughts. We certainly don't want to push any major overhauls that would upset the community. So are you down with this system? Do you think we should keep it as it is? Or perhaps go for something completely different? Share your thoughts and ideas on this thread. (y)

    Best regards,
    SapphiroN and the MX crew :cool:
  • Old Age Caravanner
    Location: FI
    31 March 2017 14:50:37  
    Why make an already semi-complicated system, even more complicated?

    I would suggest making awarding more like a 1-click thing (like facebook & discord reactions). Then maybe remove comment-awards all together and simply put more focus on the existing comment section, which would then become a place to praise the track (like awards is now) but also to give feedback and everything the 'old' comment section is atm.

    This way you could more easily award a track, which i think would get alot more people to do it and if you have anything to say about the track, theres the comment section. Maybe even make it possible to award tracks from the lists, instead of going to the actual track page? People, in general, are lazy and want the easiest way to like/award/share a track.

    To be honest theres alot of UX/UI problems on MX atm imo.
    yes
    Designer
    Location: DK
    31 March 2017 15:33:30  
    bcs'keissla says:
    Why make an already semi-complicated system, even more complicated?

    I would suggest making awarding more like a 1-click thing (like facebook & discord reactions). [...]

    This way you could more easily award a track, which i think would get alot more people to do it and if you have anything to say about the track, theres the comment section. [...] People, in general, are lazy and want the easiest way to like/award/share a track.


    SapphiroN says:
    Proposing commentless awards

    • You can award a track without a comment with a single click ("quick" award)


    I think that's exactly what you meant. That is the easiest way to do it at the moment. Replacing the awards altogether with multiple "ratings" will be a mess altogether (not to mention sorting algorithms), so the idea is to make the current system easier by adding the option to do this in one click.

    So basically, to avoid any misunderstanding, the only thing that would change in the current system is, that additionally to writing an award, you can simply click and award the map without needing to leave a comment.

    Also, in case that's about what you meant with "facebook and discord reactions", we've had something similar in SM-MX: You could rate a map with 1-5 stars. Needless to say, this concept was doomed later on, due to a bad sorting algorithm and in general very unredeeming system. A single negative rating could smash a perfect 5* rating and it would leave users unhappy.

    An award on the other hand is either there or not. A tool to give someone a bad rating whenever anyone else feels like that does send out a bad vibe, I believe. What do you think?

    bcs'keissla says:
    Then maybe remove comment-awards all together and simply put more focus on the existing comment section, which would then become a place to praise the track (like awards is now) but also to give feedback and everything the 'old' comment section is atm.


    We actually thought about that, but we had reasons to let this idea rest:

    - Most of the time, comment sections are filled with discussion, questions and (negative) feedback only.
    - Having awards among them would look quite weird; a discussion can just slide the awards away from the 1st page, making written awards useless.
    - We believe, that written awards are a very important factor about TMX altogether. It's basically reserved for positive feedback about your work (in case someone wants to write about it) and it is the first impression about player feedback.

    A lot of what I said is either influenced by my own opinion or by the results of our discussions. Main goal is to keep the simplicity and current status and to make MX a better place without taking away features our users have been using. Feel free to debate us on that subject. :cool:

    bcs'keissla says:
    To be honest theres alot of UX/UI problems on MX atm imo.


    Great objection! We're working on it.
    Last edited by Ozon, 31 March 2017 15:34:51
    site development, media
    Lead Developer
    Location: DE
    31 March 2017 15:39:51  
    I think removing the ability to actually write feedback in an award would be the wrong way to go. I fear it'll reduce the amount of feedback given on any track even more. Talking to drivers and builders through the ages of (T)MX I got the feeling that many just feel bad writing stuff they didn't like on a specific track and prefer writing nothing at all if they are not forced to. Having the posibility to coat feedback and criticism with an award is a nice way to "lessen the pain" for both (builder and writer). Separating Awards and Comments would mean that you have to do TWO things to get your feedback across and I guess most will just opt to one-click an award and forget about the feedback.

    Yes, it would increase the award-count, but let's be honest. Awards are nice and all, but a well-meant feedback is so much better, even if it tears your track apart. (as long as it's constructive ofc)

    I'm ok with implementing quick awards, but I'd be very sad to not be able to write detailed feedback/praise in award-form.
    Crew Support
    31 March 2017 16:07:25  
    Alright i see what youre saying about the comment section/comment-awards, wont try to push my opinion further, as it seems to be well-ish thought out :)

    ... says:
    Also, in case that's about what you meant with "facebook and discord reactions", we've had something similar in SM-MX: You could rate a map with 1-5 stars. Needless to say, this concept was doomed later on, due to a bad sorting algorithm and in general very unredeeming system. A single negative rating could smash a perfect 5* rating and it would leave users unhappy.

    An award on the other hand is either there or not. A tool to give someone a bad rating whenever anyone else feels like that does send out a bad vibe, I believe. What do you think?

    I agree multiple ratings never really work out, but i meant more like a simple award system where all awards still count +1 but maybe have 3-5 different icons, like gold, silver, bronze and so on, so people still can vote easy without giving gold every time.

    also
    ... says:
    You are asked if you'd like to leave an optional comment ("classic" award)

    would get super annoying really quick, so maybe just have 2 buttons, one for classic award and one for quick award.
    yes
    Designer
    Location: DK
    31 March 2017 17:49:18  
    tldr.
    is it really a single click?
    if yes, can you revoke it?
    if no, you can award accidentally by miss clicking.
    Old Age Caravanner
    Location: DE
    31 March 2017 18:00:08  
    ben3847 says:
    tldr.
    is it really a single click?
    if yes, can you revoke it?
    if no, you can award accidentally by miss clicking.


    Yes, we plan that you can revoke awards in a given time.
    site development, media
    Lead Developer
    Location: DE
    31 March 2017 18:18:14  
    Honestly, I like this idea. People love having quick access to things, so being able to just quickly award a course you like would certainly help motivate people to give awards. If only there were a way to give an award from within TrackMania itself; I don't know if maniascripts are powerful enough to do that, but being able to drive a course and then award it without having to open up the MX webpage and find the course page would be a great way to streamline the award process.
    MTC Host
    Host
    Location: US
    31 March 2017 18:23:07  
    I like keissla's idea with having two separate buttons. But I would really want to keep the awards with comments and the actual comments separated unlike he suggested.

    And in general, I love the idea you had. The fact that I would expect myself to write a good, lengthy and helpful comment for an award has always held me back from awarding many maps, as there are too many maps I would like to award and if I started awarding all the maps I liked instead of just awarding some special maps and maps which I love, I would spend weeks writing dozens over dozens of awards instead of just enjoying the maps and giving them a award like a big thumbs up (y)
    Buffer Overflow
    Developer
    Location: DE
    02 April 2017 10:05:07  
    I am not a active user of mania exchange really, and I normally only award competition maps. Anyway it sounds very good and needed update to your awarding system, as I see some tracks don't get even nearly as much appreciated as they should be.
    Learner Driver
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