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News & Features Discussion  » General: Forget the Scores

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78 posts found

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2731

Ignorance is Bliss.

1/14/12 6:13:14 PM#61

Originally posted by sanman7890

We already have a criteria for reviews, and if we took all our time explaining our score there would be a dearth of writing about the actual game.

There are two sides to the coin unfortunately.


Few lines are required to justify the score. For example, many of the scores/reviews on Skyrim can be summed up to this "While many bugs, horrible UI and sometime game breaking bugs were found, the whole experience is so captivating that I simply can't stop playing it. For that I give it an 9/10, fix the bugs and it's a 10/10. I''m having so much fun!".  On the other hand, the PS3 review for this would be "While the game has been very fun to play, the countless issues on the PS3 have made this game practically unplayable. For that I give it a 5/10. Fix the game ASAP".

It's simply intended to make the bridge between the review (which can either have many very positive critique, or negative, or both) and the score so that readers can understand the discrepancy between them without  some players thinking like "they are giving high scores because they get paid", or low scores because "they're just a bunch of haters who know nothing about games". It's simply a bridge that gives a short insight that may or may not have been noticeable throughout the review.

Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!


Novice Member

Joined: 6/25/11
Posts: 97

1/14/12 6:37:48 PM#62

Originally posted by MadnessRealm

Originally posted by sanman7890

We already have a criteria for reviews, and if we took all our time explaining our score there would be a dearth of writing about the actual game.

There are two sides to the coin unfortunately.


Few lines are required to justify the score. For example, many of the scores/reviews on Skyrim can be summed up to this "While many bugs, horrible UI and sometime game breaking bugs were found, the whole experience is so captivating that I simply can't stop playing it. For that I give it an 9/10, fix the bugs and it's a 10/10. I''m having so much fun!".  On the other hand, the PS3 review for this would be "While the game has been very fun to play, the countless issues on the PS3 have made this game practically unplayable. For that I give it a 5/10. Fix the game ASAP".

It's simply intended to make the bridge between the review (which can either have many very positive critique, or negative, or both) and the score so that readers can understand the discrepancy between them without  some players thinking like "they are giving high scores because they get paid", or low scores because "they're just a bunch of haters who know nothing about games". It's simply a bridge that gives a short insight that may or may not have been noticeable throughout the review.


So basically you want a summary statement ending with a score then?

I suppose that is easy enough.

I was assuming you meant more of an analysis of why each category earned a specific score, and me being quite a wordy fellow would take quite a bit of room to exhaustively explain each score.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2731

Ignorance is Bliss.

1/14/12 7:02:51 PM#63

Originally posted by sanman7890

So basically you want a summary statement ending with a score then?

I suppose that is easy enough.

I was assuming you meant more of an analysis of why each category earned a specific score, and me being quite a wordy fellow would take quite a bit of room to exhaustively explain each score.


Summary statement would be accurate I suppose. Some reviews tend to come off more as negative than positive yet ends with a relatively positive score, sometimes it's the opposite . Just leaving it at that is begging for the kind of reactions we often see, especially on this site. Justifying, or explaining the score briefly usually reduce such reaction or at least tone it down while members find something else to complain about :P

Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!


Novice Member

Joined: 3/25/10
Posts: 72

1/15/12 12:44:50 AM#64

Originally posted by Teala

I think the 10 point system is fine, it is how it is being used that is not fine.   You shoud remove a point if the game is missing basic MMO features or mechanics.  You shoud remove a point if it has bad features.  You should remove a point if the  game is buggy.  That right there means that a game like SWTOR would have gotten a 7/10 from the start.

Unfortunately, I do not think anyone will do that except some of us.  I do not have anything to lose by scoring a game a 5/10, a website like this that is run on advertising dollars - it can have an impact.

Who is going to advertise with a website if their game is not given a decent review?  Not many.

So places like are between a rock and a hard place.   So who can  blame them?

The only way a website like could hand out reviews that give games proper scores would be for them to go as a paid service.  That isn't going to work because nobody is going to pay to see reviews or use a website like this.  Where does that leave us gamers who read reviews?

Personally I am more likely to take a players review, that isn't paid to write reviews, over someone that is paid.   ::shrugs::

Again that leaves between a rock and a hard place.

You know, I am rambling here, and I am not sure there is a clean solution to this whrere everyone can win.   This sorta sucks now doesn't it?   :(

I just wish for once we'd see a paid review write a proper review and score a game accordingly.   I wonder what  the game industry would do if reviews started actually scoring games appropriately.  Imagine if all the "official" game websites scored SWTOR a 6/10 or a 7/10.   I bet Bioware would be scrambling to fix their game like no tomorrow.


Websites like these make enough money, they don't need to get paid by the big companies. They can make enough money only from making an banner and not to mention the advertisements that take over the whole website or are in the background. You can make 2000€ for only a 3 day advertising, at least that's the price some of the companies are paying in my country for banners, being on the website background or something else.

The banner is not that expensive to make, but other things are and they can make more than 6000-7000+€ for just a day. They're not and they need to get paid to give X game a score of 9/10, more or less.

That is subjective, but the reviewers should mention everything not to give it a 9/10 just for the first few levels of the game they played. Issues and other basic thing should take away points, not to give points for having something unfinished.


I don't get it, you make a post for the scores, and if you're so against those score, why don't you just remove them? If not, then give out accurate scores or just fix your grading system; you have a system that 0/10, yet you mention the system USA uses for the school grading system, then why the heck did you even made a grading system that 0/10 grades if you're not willing to give games a 2, 3, 6, 4 and other numbers that are realistic for that game.

I find many of the reviewers to be sometimes biased about some game that they are really anticipating, like with the SWTOR articles have/had and other games, when certainly SWTOR is not a 8.7/10 game. And make sure you're not biased or the hype to blind you.

Often the hype cause negative effects and making people blind about the reality. Overhyping games often leads into disappointments and not being able to think rationally, thus calling some people haters because they're talking realistically or calling them fanboys for the pure reason of hating that game. (Went a bit off topic.)


However, I think this grading system should be removed, or, if not, at least make it 0/5 instead 0/10 because you're not even using the lower numbers.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 2240

1/15/12 2:25:08 AM#65

screw the 10 point system just go with letter grades, i think people can understand that easier.

kinda wish there weren't scores for games, just give a review and let people decide on their own from the review.  i dunno if a site could though, since i'm assuming game companies want to see nice little scores on sites..

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
- Lewis Thomas


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/07
Posts: 372

1/15/12 3:36:39 AM#66

"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and MMORPGs reviews are just that - their opinion".

True. Yet there is a difference. You expect more from professionals. There is a line between "my own private opionion" and "my professional opinion". When MMORPG staff score a game high because its "fun despite the obvious faults" they have become lazy and unprofessional. Its simply that persons private score. The trouble is it is labed the official review of MMORPG.COM.

Instead they should ask themselves why they are so afraid to utilize more of the scoring scale. Can games with a score of 6 or 7 be fun despite its faults? Does it really need to be near 9 to convey that this game is fun and you should try it?

Does SWTOR really deserve a 9? (it got 8,7). Not a chance if you ask me. Its so obvious that there is reason to question the motives of this site. Or maybe method?

Do they actually talk together when reviewing, or is it all left in the hands of one person? Are they all so in tune with what is expected of them when reviewing (what to subtracts points for, what is the ideal game for 9, what to look for etc)? The way Bill have talked about how reviewing is done at it doesnt seem so.

In that case maybe they have too many loose cannons on deck, and they need to come together more and talk things through so they end up with a somewhat similar understanding of their own score system and what constitutes a good practice.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/11
Posts: 340

1/15/12 4:23:17 AM#67

Dear Bill Murphey,

Thank you for addressing probably the biggest problem of review websites... that in the end they are too much about a numeric score and people are no longer reading why a game is scored.  A review is an advisement on whether or not to play this game.  As an author of a review you should be able to give a game an 8 and still tell them what you hate about it.

My only other concern might be that MMORPG has fallen into "The IGN ideal."  There is a tendency at IGN (and other gaming websites) to give games scores that they obviously do not deserve.  This pressure comes from popularity of games.  Modern Warfare 3 for example received an almost perfect score.

MW3 has dated graphics (the same engine as MW1).  The game has the same gameplay as every other MW3 game.  The game has no gamepad support for PC (ITS A SHOOTER).  The game has a lackluster, boring, campaign... and yet it gets hyper recommendation because MW has so many people playing it.

What this is is, intellectual dishonesty.  It is knowing full well that a game isn't very good and yet recommending everyone get it.  The people at Gamespot always make fun of how awful they are at rating things on their Podcast.  They are at least aware that they have a problem.  They are unfortuantely unlike you just unwilling to fix it.

Website: / YouTube:


Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/05
Posts: 795

1/15/12 8:18:02 AM#68

Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam


Beautifully stated.  This is the crux of the problem.  By saying an 8 is a B-, they're effectively saying anything below, what, a 5? is all the same.  They say they're scoring on a scale of 0-10 but only rating on a scale of 6-10 which means by default they are inflating all scores and confusing their readers.

Almost all reviewers use the scoring system like that.

They rarely use 1-6.

a 6 game is crap.

7 is still crap but might appeal to fans

8 is average

9 is good


Basically any game lower then an 8 is not worth money or time.

And the difference between a 96 and 98 score game can be huge. They have to cram all good games between 9 and 10.

For instance GTA4 got a 96 average I believe. What if GTA4 was released with two times as much cars, a better story, better car handling (and camera) better social system and more mini games?

They can't go higher then 99 but all these extra features are worth a lot more then only 3 points.



  User Deleted
1/15/12 8:39:48 AM#69

i used to write reviews. not for mmos, but for movies. it was a bit of a hobby and a bit of a chore. at first, it was quite cool. you'd get free movies in your chosen genre and that's cool, right?

but then you want to spend friday night doing something else, but you have to do this darned review.


in the end, i burned out on movies and moved to books. a few years later and i've slowed down on those, too.

the thing is, it's not as easy as it seems. you want to do a good job and you want to be fair, and you want to be balanced. you don't want to go "awe-sum!" to everything, yet a part of you doesn't want to offend the really nice guy who gave you something for free. it's a tough walk, and anyone who says it isn't hasn't really done enough reviews to fully immerse themselves in the review-making process on a professional basis. i'm not saying it can't be fun, but it can sometimes feel a bit thankless. especially when those who disagree with your "score" seem to have the loudest voices in the room.

imagine you do a job because you genuinely love it. imagine having a peanut gallery at your throat all the time, pouncing on your every word. accusing you of selling out, being a noob, or whatever the latest meme is. imagine getting shot in the knee every two seconds.

the thing is, when you write a review, you don't sit there consciously thinking about every other game (or, in my case, book or movie)  you've played (watched/read). not unless the game itself is so derivitive that you can't help it. you judge it by its own merits. its own standards. and so the final score you give it independent of the scores given for other games. plus, i may not have given the score for that other game, because that other game wasn't my review. all i'm saying is what i think of this game right here and right now to the best of my ability.

when i give something a "7", i am giving it a "7" because that's what i think it is. i'm not giving it a "7" on the condition that it's not quite as good as diablo (the first), which gave me chills when i first played it. i mean, i'd have to give a lot of modern games a 459 out of 10 in comparison to games i may have reviewed 20 years ago int he graphics department. sure, we loved quake when it first came out. it took our breath away. but have you tried playing it today on your uber-sexy rig with that massive monitor you've got these days? it'll make you wince. sure, it'll keep the nostalgia going, but be honest - your benchmark has risen by about a thousand per cent.

when you see a "7", i'd like you to all think about the way you rate the attractiveness of a member of the sex of your choosing. do you honestly sit there and say, "aww, she/he's pretty hot, but nothing at all like that (insert sexist tag here) i saw that time in seventh grade for, like, two seconds and who i can't really remember now, but at the time really made my (insert appropriate gender function here)." do you? really?

if you do, you are abnormal and should seek therapy, because i have a hard time remembering my favourite movie lines, let alone every girl i ever rated as a "10" in my life, so i'm darn sure i couldn't give myself a benchmark for that.

i know i've kind of gone off on a tangent there, but this is a gaming site, so it was only fair that i remind you all about the one thing i think is important.


i mean, umm, recognising an opinion over a fact.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/15/12
Posts: 67

1/15/12 10:20:27 AM#70

I have to honest when I say that Mr. Murphy's response appears contradictory.  I am not trying to attack Mr. Murphy, but if we are not to pay attention to the scores then why have them to begin with? Why not just review the game from your point of view.  Number systems are so incredibly subjective that you have to trust the review that their context for an 8 is the same as your context for an 8. With TOR's review I felt a huge disconnect to be honest.  I simply did not feel in sync with the reviewers 8.7 (flawed, but closer to perfect).  I simply felt BW was extraordinarly lazy in their work with TOR.  From I have seen and experienced from writing, to the textures, to fixing bugs, customer service, the untested endgame, the heavily mirrored classes, the unoriginal abilities, the terrible Revan/Exile characterizations, and the awful game engine that TOR is not a 8.7.  Considering the time and the money BW had, I just simply do not find it acceptable.  No game is perfect, but TOR's imperfections are beyond just new game jitters, the HeroEngine was an atrocious choice. 

Getting back to the point, readers often obssess themselves with number to the point that it  becomes dentrimental to the review in my opinion.  It is not just MMORPG, I just feel like the number systems in general, while easy forr casual readers, are heavily flawed.  I guess my purpose is writing this it to question whether there is a better alternative to a number system.  Personally, I think words alone are enough, but there are a plurality of views on the matter.



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Joined: 7/08/07
Posts: 372

1/15/12 11:46:07 AM#71

It would be interesting to hear from MMORPG.COM how they actually use the scoring system. How does the review process work internally? Do you hand the job over to a single guy or woman, and let them do the process from A to Z, or is there some group discussion as well? If the process is almost entirely done by one person, do you all have a concensus about what the rules for rating is? Do you all subtract points for the same faults?

Would the score be mostly the same if you had your staff rate a game in turn?

If the honest answer to that question is "no", then I suppose you have a problem. I dont belive its GOT TO BE random. Yes, we are all individuals, and many times we value things differently. Still, is there a difference between professionals and personal opinion? I do belive there is.


  User Deleted
1/15/12 9:38:15 PM#72

How about we just have all the MMORPG forum hawks provide their input on every aspect of the game with their own scores complete with their opinion and just trivialize an MMORPG writers job to organizing everyone else opinions without being able to include their own. Then post his compilation of findings and average of scores complete with ONLY statements and words used only by communities, none from the writer. Then when we realize how split everyone is in terms of opinion on gameplay, sound/music, video, story what have you and realize that a 5 out of 10 on everything will be the only thing allowed to keep everyone happy, maybe these writers can go back to their job without being criticized over the political-correctness of subjective measures such as Numbered Scores or written Goods, Excellents, Perfects, Terribly Bad grades.

This is absolute nonsense and I wonder if anyone else is here on the same page. I don't believe an MMORPG writer even should have to take a weekly column to even address this due to recent unnamed MMO with an immense amount of haters thats not named WoW. But hey, an MMORPG writer went out of his way to explain some things to everyone else and he still gets burned immensely by probably the same haters. Get over it, this is a video game review, you know video games...meant for fun? Not a presidential campaign which ironically is also occurring around the same time.

Maybe its the season for everyone to be have ridiculous expectations over trivial matters after all -_-


Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/11
Posts: 41

1/16/12 1:31:51 AM#73

I give the article a 2/10 cus while Murphy thinks he is so elite at reviews he's just a noob, the biggest noob on this site rly.  Murphy should L2R before he keeps shooing his mouth off about how awesoe he is and giving himself 7/10 (LMAO!)


Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7847

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

1/16/12 11:17:14 AM#74

Originally posted by SBFord

Originally posted by rygard49

Sorry, Bill. You'll always be fighting against the 'No one is allowed to have an opinion unless it matches mine' mentality in this community. People are going to find fault with your numbers, with your words, and will invent fantasies in their heads of seedy backroom deals with the publishers encouraging you to think one way or the other.

LOL! You made me spew my Kix cereal when I read your post. Thanks for the great laugh and the spot on remarks about the seedy backroom deals. :)


It really wasn't THAT funny... and 'spew'? Really :/

I probably shouln't bother at this point bother to mention how the quoted text of what you you laugh so hard is pretty derogatory to your readers, and not just the ones that might see things in the way described.

You basically just laughed at an indiscriminate piss take of your users. Y'know, the people that provide traffic that allows you to sell space and get paid.


Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7847

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

1/16/12 11:18:03 AM#75

To Bill's point, I would say... then maybe don't use scores?


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/08
Posts: 386

1/17/12 8:01:13 AM#76
Originally posted by vesavius

To Bill's point, I would say... then maybe don't use scores?

Hmm yes.

"Ignore the scores," then why use them at all? 

Very odd article.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 105

1/17/12 10:54:19 AM#77

Originally posted by BillMurphy

The thing is, we do have a wide range of scores late on the site.  And I feel that every score we've given in recent months has been justified by the reviewer.  The problem lies in the fact that scores ultimately remain subjective, just as the opinions contained within the written review do.

We are neither "right" nor "wrong".  But we are always honest.



i've seen similar types of reviews differ in the scores they give.  You guys should take a look again at your scoring system and what you map it after.. and I would start by not going by the standard U.S. school grading system.  That way it can actually make some sense.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 22

4/04/12 2:01:22 PM#78

A score is easy to see, simple, and concise.  People on the internet don't like reading. So yeah, I agree that a score isn't a good thing to use in judging something, but it's really all people care about.

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