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.