Hello everyone! I'm proud to unveil a bunch of changes that have been made to PureZC. It's my hope that these changes will benefit the community as a whole by both encouraging activity and making things more accessible. So, without further ado, let me go over the changes.
Rating System Changes
This is the most extensive part of this update. A lot of changes have been made to the review and rating system. There have been problems with the rating system for years, so I've done some things to try to resolve at least some of the complaints regarding the system.
The Rating Algorithm Has Been Changed
While sticking with the 5 star system, the rating has been changed to now lessen the impact of outliers. While I don't want to get into the details of the algorithm, the intention is if there are a small number of ratings that do not approach the norm for a database entry, it'll slightly lighten the impact that they make on the overall rating. Ratings are intended to be a ranking system based on the overall impression of an entry by the community. Individuals being able to majorly skew these results compromises that intention. However, only a certain number of outliers will be impacted (depending on the total number of reviews).
Ratings and Reviews Have been Split
There have been situations in the past where some members haven't liked giving numerical ratings to go along with their reviews as well as other situations where members didn't like writing a full review to go along with their ratings. Because of this, sometimes we'd get rather rushed reviews or unthought out ratings because people simply had to do it. So, now ratings can be made without reviews and vice versa, and all previous reviews and ratings have been separated. The hope is that this will encourage more ratings because they are easier to add while encouraging more detailed reviews because the people who will be leaving them are doing so because they wish to. Ratings are now added via a link next to the current rating in the database while reviews are made in the same location as before.
It's Now Easier to See the Rating Distribution
Since the overall rating for a database entry has been getting further and further from being 100% impacted by the ratings made on it, I wanted to make the rating distribution easier to access. By hovering over the ratings on database entries, you can now see the rating distribution of how many five star, four star, etc. ratings have been made on the entry.
The Rating Descriptions Have Been Changed
In order to help keep the rating scales of people consistent, we have reworked the rating descriptions to match how we'd like to see ratings to be made. The new scale is intended to have 3 as the score for your average, run-of-the-mill entry that is neither amazing nor bad. We are also asking for 0 to be used for items that are broken or partially unusable. We're hoping that this will help avoid some of the discrepancies with how people rate quests.
All Users Must Accept a Rating/Review Agreement
We have also created a very short agreement in which every user must accept before making their first rating/review on the database. (or first review since this update) The goal is to just give a small reminder to people to ask that ratings be consistent and that reviews be constructive. You only have to accept the agreement once unless major changes are made to it in the future (which is unlikely).
Other Major Changes
"Greatest Hits" Is a New Quest Sorting Option
While it's understandable for ratings to change with time, I wanted to include a different ranking system that might better encapsulate some of the most influential quests on PureZC. While some of these quests may not necessarily have the absolute best ratings, they are ones that garnered a lot of attention on the forums, have received lots of downloads, and have had other activity surrounding them. Unfortunately download tracking of quests only started in 2013, so some really old quests aren't as high as they probably should be, but I think it's still a solid list regardless.
Databases Now Have "Quick Search" Links at the Top
In order to help people find the content they want faster, I've included links at the top of all of the database with common categories for the database you're in. For quests, that list is all of the different versions of ZC. For tiles, they're some of the most common tags.
New Content is Highlighted on the Database
This comes in two ways. The first is that database entries that are either new or updated will have little markers next to them showing their status. Also, by default new database entries will show up at the very top of the database, no matter how you have the database sorted. This can either be disabled in the site options or be changed to include updates as well.
More Site/Forum Integration
In the popup window when hovering over a user's name I've included links to that user's scripts and quest projects. Also, in user's profile, it'll show lists of that person's most recently added/updated quests and quest projects. It'll only show up to 5 of each though, but it'll have a link to the database to view the rest of they have more than that.
Minor Changes and Bug Fixes
- The "View Recommended" popup music now works properly in regards to music by the same author
- Secondary quest creators can no longer rate/review quests
- The Featured Quests/New Quests/Contests sections in the main site sidebar now have a black background
- Fixed the issue with quest project updates and linked quest topics having the wrong last post date
- Resolved the issue with usernames with special characters appearing wrong on the online list on the main site
- Added a custom sort on the database to sort by the number of reviews
That wraps up all of the changes. Please let me know if you run into any bugs with these changes. Also, just as a heads up, the site will be undergoing maintenance in the next couple weeks. I'll have more information at a future date. Other than that, please enjoy!