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MMORPG in-depth reviews, design ideas and analysis from a gamer/writer with thirty years experience

Author: Skuldin Reviews Biased and Flawed?

Posted by Skuldin Thursday April 21 2011 at 10:53AM
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What goes into a rating? Is five average or something just not used?  I took some heat from Rift fanbois on this site for my objective 6.2 overall rating for the game.  Five or technically (on a 1-10) 5.5 is average meaning "what you would expect" from the genre. To me it would not be shameful to give a 5.5 if something functioned per the norm.

If something was above average it starts into the 6, 7, or even 8 category.  A 9 would be innovative and pulled off almost flawlessly.  A 10 should not be possible.  That's saying it's truly perfect and could not be improved upon.

Yet here we sit with MMORPG.COM rating Rift 8.7.  I mean that's saying it was innovative, and nearly flawless.  Does anyone truly think this is accurate?  I played the game to end-game and I can tell you it was not nearly flawless.  Or does the rating system just really mean nothing because no one will ever give a 5.5 (average implementation) for something?

I saw a forum post today about "Longevity" as a new rating.  I think what the poster should have said instead is "End-Game" should be a new rating.  It would serve two purposes.  First, it would be a less subjective rating than "Longevity" and second it would force the reviewer to actually play or query actual players about the end-game before tossing out a score.

As it stands we get "first impression" ratings and as we saw in Age of Conan and Tortage ...first impressions can be horribly misleading.


Teala writes:

I do not think it was biased, I do think however he missed the boat on Rift completely.  See people who do reviews are some times limited in the time they can spend in a game --- this can hurt the reviewers objectivity(happens to me as well and I wish it didn't).   So like AoC and Aion, many reviewers were star stunned by the little they did get to see.   This was due to lack of time needed to properly do a review.    When I first got into AoC, Aion and even Rift it is very easy to get caught up in the immediate moment. 

It's a new game.  If it is nice looking.   Those two alone help amplify the initial impact it might have on a reviewer.  Game could be really bad, but if the game is new and the graphics are decent the reviewer tends to miss queues that would tell them otherwise.   If we as reviewers do not step back and think thoroughly about the game we're playing --- we miss things(it happens).  

Reviews are also very subjective in this business as well.   What someone else likes another might hate.  Look at the guy that does the Escapist reviews or the or the guy from G4 Adam Sessler, neither like MMORPG's really and their reviews reflect that.   There are people that like themeparks over sandbox and vice versa.    So this is another problem.

Then we have the review system in general.   If the criteria for which it is measured is flawed this will also lead to inaccurate reviews.  In this case, and previous ratings recently, I think MMORPG could use a new game review system over-all.

Just my opinion.

Thu Apr 21 2011 11:41AM Report
Skuldin writes:

I agree on a new rating system and I think each point in the system should be spelled out kind of how I outlined in my post.  1> Advertised Feature missing or completely broken 2> horribly bugged 3> functions with no features 4> limited or broken features in the functionality 5> works 6> works well with a slightly upgraded feature or better execution 7> works well with a new feature 8> innovative functions that all work seemlessly 9> completely innovative design/concept with near flawless execution 10> absolute perfection in its given area

That way 5.5 or 6 are not "bad" ratings.  They could revamp the whole site's ratings to reflect this instead of having every title that even functions (Age of Conan, Warhammer etc) in the 7+ category

Thu Apr 21 2011 11:51AM Report
Ambre writes:

It's almost impossible to review correctly a MMORPG unless you spend countless hours in it (or it's outstandingly bad), and probably let pass several months after its release. Most of the MMOs reviews come from people who play max 10 hours and get to level 15 or 20. And even if they tried harder and went to 50, it's still far from enough... MMOs are like old wine, you need to let time pass to know what they're really worth. Sometime it takes a year. And even there, who can say the game is really good or bad ? Even low sub numbers don't necessarily indicate a bad game.

I also agree that the rating system is totally flawed and can't mean much. It should be divided in categories. One of those (and an important one) should be "Innovation". For Rift on this case, the other ratings could be high (polish, graphics...) but this one would be pretty low and would indicate to players who are bored with modern themeparks it might not be their cup of tea.

Thu Apr 21 2011 1:49PM Report
Lateris writes:

Thats why I like to go back to a game thats been out after a year or two and give it a second chance.  I think it takes about 60 days to really get an MMO- unless its Eve Online (I am kidding) . But when you have deadlines...I also don't care for the G4 reviews because it is more comedy than anything else. 

Thu Apr 21 2011 3:33PM Report
mmogawd writes:

The USERS here on have rated it an 8.5... How on earth can you possibly claim that an 8.7 is so far out of line as to be biased?

That's simply rediculous.  When will people learn that just because they don't like something, that doesn't mean it sucks.  It's not your style, it's not what you were looking for, fine.  It's time that you grow up and realize that not everything in the world is going to be made specifically for you.  If you don't like the game, don't play it, and get on with your life.  Stop spending your time wallowing in your misery while trying to pull others in to join you.

Thu Apr 21 2011 3:35PM Report
garry writes:

All the posts so far have pretty much 'reviewed the reviewer'. Thought I would chime in too...Reviews are subjective so it would be best to read more than one or two. As an add on when are we going to get a simple FACTS reviewer?


In other words, what are the movement and camera controls? Do we have FPS or Third person views? Is this a PvP or end game centric game? Can it be solo played to end? Is the best gear reserved to the PvP/Raid/Multi-player dungeon gamers? What are the leveling/skills/ and is it gear centric? How many characters can be made in game? What classes exist?


Yes I know all this is available, here, there and everywhere. Dig it out painfully from the game homepage from among the expressive and extensive verbiage. No, I am not lazy but hate to go through a game description only to find it is open world PvP somewhere in the description.


I count on this site, to get me the general info about games and direct me towards the gamesites for more. It would just be nice if MMORPG would have a review that covers those items above (and probably more - just facts not opinions). Just a thought.

Fri Apr 22 2011 9:47AM Report writes:
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