Urgent Evoke

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I believe it is critical for the points to have maximum meaning. This means, to me, that the problem is to solve for the points being distributed properly.

For points to be distributed properly, the meaning/concept of the points must be appropriate according to their use. Points are used for at least these three significant purposes

a) motivation - carrots for newbs such as myself (and it is highly appreciated),

b) confidence - I believe one MO of the game is to show the user that s/he he has talents that might have been underestimated (quests are great for this),

b.5) feedback - binary guidance; you know when you are on the right track when the points are coming.

c) featuring - points create the leaderboards, which newbs like me naturally take a look at to find out what it takes to excel in the game.

Given uses b) and c), it is dangerous to start a subgame culture that treats the points as empty or detrimental (saw a comment by an author hoping to drop off the leaderboard. bellyracher ;-]).

There is the valid point that Crystal (http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/evoke-politics-points) makes, which is that if you do not have or get many points, that is not evidence that you have little to contribute; if you have many points which you have scammed, that dilutes or empties your points of their meaning (meanings b) and c), above).

HOWEVER, Crystal's valid points belong to the metagame, not the game; in the scope of the game, you ought to aim to acc**ulate points. Yes, we should not scam, should not cheat, just like any other game. Yes it ruins it for the very player who cheats- like in any game, it makes the advantages garnered diluted of meaning.

Our game has a bit of 'honour system' in some of its constituent elements, which is fine, and we should apply social pressure to minimize the hazards of playing with an honour system. However, at the same time, I hope I get many more points than you, and if you don't want your points or think they are empty, you are diluting the meaning of the game (insofar as it is a game) in the same qualitative way as the those who dilute the meaning of points by cheating.

post script - I've talked only about points here, but the quests and mission objectives / other achievements structure the game as well. Speaking of which, I haven't figured out what the achievement symbols below the missions on my profile represent . Ripe for a Wiki, that is.

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Comment by Mita Williams on March 22, 2010 at 7:30pm
You're right that points are carrots that play an important role in motivation because no one wants their efforts to be unacknowledged. And they serve secondary functions such as highlighting rewarded behavior. The system right now is imperfect.

For myself, I'm not so worried about point distribution but about attention distribution. I know that's there is some wonderful evidence that has been submitted that hasn't yet been found and acknowledged with points.
Comment by Jeremy Laird Hogg on March 22, 2010 at 8:10pm
I feel the same way about finding that good quality, unacknowledged evidence. Let us all keep mining for it! (The growth of the standardized tag wiki should help).

And attending to it in engagement with the game: points giving. oh, that inspires slogan: keep the game meaningful!
Comment by Jeremy Laird Hogg on March 23, 2010 at 6:00am
Thank you Alexandru!

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