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Drawing attention to a specific user and their detrimental behaviour
#21
If the author agrees to a solution published anywhere, it is his own fault. If the author agrees not, the solution shouldn't be published anywhere.
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#22
Autoren sollten definitiv selbst bestimmen, ob Lösungen ihrer Rätsel veröffentlicht werden dürfen. Ich habe vollsten Respekt davor, wenn das nicht gewünscht wird. Ohne aktive Zustimmung der Autoren sollten daher auch keine Lösungen (auch nicht Teile davon) veröffentlicht werden (das wäre meiner Meinung nach ein guter Zusatz für die Nutzungsbedingungen im Portal und wahrscheinlich wenig kontrovers).

Wenn Autoren sich aktiv dafür entscheiden und die Lösung direkt im Portal verlinkt wird finde ich es legitim das zu kritisieren und auch in die Gesamt-Bewertung ("Präsentation") einfließen zu lassen (da wäre dann aber entsprechendes Feedback sehr hilfreich, damit die Autoren auch nachvollziehen können was genau am Rätsel kritisiert wird). Gründe für die aktive Bereitstellung des (beabsichtigten) Lösungsweges durch Autoren kann es meiner Meinung nach viele geben, aber das ist hier nicht das Thema.
Wenn die Lösung irgendwo anders als im Portal auftaucht sollte das meiner Meinung nach jedenfalls nicht den Rätsel-Autoren negativ ausgelegt werden.

Generell sollte immer das Rätsel und die verwendete Logik im Mittelpunkt der Bewertung stehen. Dafür muss dann auch das Rätsel weitestgehend selbstständig gelöst worden sein. Konstruktive Kritik wird übrigens meiner Erfahrung nach von fast allen Autoren als positiv empfunden. Es geht also keinesfalls darum alles immer nur positiv zu bewerten.
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#23
We have looked into the matter and didn't find any "troll" users who rate hundreds or thousands of puzzles with 1 star.

Of course, some puzzles have received predominantly high ratings and some low rating outliers. This is nothing new; some of my own puzzles from years ago have received similar rating distributions. There are always solvers who for some reason disagree with a majority, and generally there is nothing wrong with that.

As others have said, there are no clear rules how to rate a puzzle. Some solvers treat any puzzle as "very good" unless they are somehow flawed; others may use "good" or "average" as default and give a better rating only if a puzzle contains some outstanding features. Some users rate only the puzzle logic, others include presentation (for example the quality of the graphics and the instructions) as well.

The rating system is somewhat biased, as you have to solve a puzzle before you are allowed to give a rating. There are puzzles that from the presentation alone don't fit my taste which I most likely wouldn't rate as very good, but since I prefer solving other puzzles instead, I can't rate them. From this restriction it is likely that the puzzle ratings are somewhat inflated. The existence of solving videos or solving tools may allow some users to circumvent that restriction. However, this isn't happening as frequently as it was suggested in this thread ("thousands of puzzles"), not even close.

From our point of view the situation doesn't warrant any action.
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#24
(08.10.2022, 23:24)uvo schrieb: We have looked into the matter and didn't find any "troll" users who rate hundreds or thousands of puzzles with 1 star.

From our point of view the situation doesn't warrant any action.

Thank you to the mod team for actually taking the time to read the post and engage in this discussion that went on through this week.

With that being said, just this first sentence shows how even the mod team misunderstood the main point of the post completely, which was that long just to make sure the point came across. I said in the original post itself that the user does not give deliberate 1 stars all the time, but instead vary in the range of 1-4 seemingly randomly.
And the core issue was them not solving the puzzles legitimately.
(08.10.2022, 23:24)uvo schrieb: The existence of solving videos or solving tools may allow some users to circumvent that restriction. However, this isn't happening as frequently as it was suggested in this thread ("thousands of puzzles"), not even close.
This statement is just false. You (meaning the entire team, not a personal call out to uvo himself) just checked if the solver rated puzzles with a rating of 1 and called it a day. You didn't even reach out to ask for any indicative observations I (and other users) did have. And almost all of the points I had were about how the solves weren't legitimate, and not really related to their ratings themselves. Which further enhances the fact the mod team deliberately closed their eyes and ears to the real problem.

Which is completely fine. I just hope that this type of decision won't encourage other trolls to surface with the knowledge that if they just put in the most minimalistic effort to stay under the radar, they will be able to get away with any action as long as it is not truly offensive. And as this user continues to wreak havoc on the motivation of many aspiring puzzle setters (I am not even making this statement for my own self, I will continue to publish and solve on this platform with full knowledge that this user will continue their behaviour), I sure hope that many of them will continue to find the mental strength to just ignore his behavior, as the mod team is doing the same and staying willfully ignorant.

(This last paragraph, the points in it I didn't even bring it up before since I wanted the post to remain as neutral and factual as possible).
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#25
Now I am really pissed.
I can see a "real problem" here, but it is not the one you are describing.

We do not have the time to investigate in detail what happens on various other platforms. As far as the Puzzle Portal is concerned, you wrote (among other things):
"but also rates these puzzles in extreme ways, and in almost all cases, extremely negatively"
"who has done this to thousands of puzzles"
We have found no such pattern. We ran some statistical evaluations, and in our opinion they did not warrant the actions you are demanding. Bases on these current findings we will not go chasing after ratings and the users who gave them.

The mod team is not your personal avenger task force. There are ways to communicate specific complaints to the mods (in particular a contact form in the Portal). Instead you are initiating a public discussion where you are exaggerating events you are perceiving to a ridiculous degree and then complain that the mods do not take the exact action you want them to. This is not how the system works.

We are open to pursue complaints which are really factual and not just inflated in order to make a point. For example, I have a great deal of respect for Richard, who I know slightly better than most of the new setters in the Portal. If he says there is a problem, he has my attention. By making exorbitant accusations, you are weakening your own point. And by the way, calling the mods "willfully ignorant" is not helping either.
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#26
(07.10.2022, 18:34)Hausigel schrieb: Forgive me for being so blunt, but I find this rating obsession just sick.

Many have expressed similar views as this. And yet, the rating system exists, presumably to provide somewhat meaningful information about a puzzle's 'beauty' to users. If the rating is meant to be meaningless, then it neither serves nor ever served any purpose at all, so I'd question its very existence. I find it strange you are hung up on this. Niverio and many others have noticed a pattern, and using statistical analysis to dismiss the existence of one pattern does not mean there is no pattern to be found. It's natural to notice when a puzzle's rating randomly drops by upwards of 5%, and since this seems to closely align with solves by a particular user, it's not that absurd to notice that either. 

There are other users on the portal who I've also happened to notice don't rate particularly generously, but no one complains about them because everyone understands that its their prerogative to rate critically if they so choose. The complaints listed here are only with respect to one of them, because only one of them has a history of registering solves for difficult puzzles within 5 minutes of publication. As a setter, you really don't need to obsess over your puzzles to notice it getting a solve registered almost immediately after posting it.

I also question the idea that the user in question rates poorly specifically because solutions are readily accessible, since I can recall just from personal experience instances where the solution is not publicly known at all, but still gets solved within a couple minutes because it happens to have a vanilla ruleset.

(09.10.2022, 08:41)Hausigel schrieb: We are open to pursue complaints which are really factual and not just inflated in order to make a point. For example, I have a great deal of respect for Richard, who I know slightly better than most of the new setters in the Portal. If he says there is a problem, he has my attention. By making exorbitant accusations, you are weakening your own point. And by the way, calling the mods "willfully ignorant" is not helping either.

Richard acknowledged Niverio's observations in this very thread, so I'm not sure why you're bringing him up at all.

How can we make factual complaints when we're not the ones with access to the facts so as to analyze them? Not just that, but the only facts available to us are readily passed off as a ratings obsession, and never taken seriously? I know for a fact the user in question has been reported in the manner intended with no feedback as well. So what is it exactly you expect from other users? That's an honest question.

I do acknowledge the difficulty associated with even attempting to address the concerns presented by Niverio, but dismissing them simply because his name isn't Richard seems pretty inappropriate to me as well. Niverio is far from alone in noticing the pattern he's described here, it seems important to keep that in mind.
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#27
Maybe the moderators can consider revising the rating system? 
Maybe up the rating threshold a little higher, like whenever the puzzle receive 12 ratings, subtract one best and one worst ratings from it and calculate the 10 ratings left. For every 24 ratings subtract two best and two worst ratings..etc.

Btw, I also noticed there`s a person rating 5 star difficulty to generally rated 1 star puzzles, not sure if that`s a troll from the said same person, too.
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#28
Something very similar has already been suggested in the past. I did not like the idea back then, and I still do not like it now.
The rating system already has some major defects, and I believe such changes would make it worse.

A few statistics. The Portal was created in 2008. In the beginning, a puzzle was rated by about 180 solvers on average. This number has dropped over the years, and currently the average number of solvers lies around 40. Since the number of Portal users has exploded recently, for any two given puzzles it is now far more likely that the groups of solvers are essentially disjoint. Unless the users have the same standards for the ratings they give (and I am struggling to find a reason why that should be the case), the ratings are far less comparable than they used to be.

In 2008 the average rating for puzzles was around 4 stars (which corresponds to 75%). This average has also increased consistently, and right now the rating average lies above 4.6 stars (90%). Most ratings that today's puzzles receive are 5-star ratings, which means that removing the best ratings would hardly make a difference. But removing the worst ratings would serve to increase averages even further. This makes no sense to me.

On the contrary, we would filter out the few users who are still using the full rating spectrum. As far as I am concerned, lower ratings are still legitimate ratings. In fact, there is a significant number of solvers who only give 5-star ratings and nothing else; one could even argue that those users are actually the ones who are abusing the system. For some reason, nobody is complaining about them, though. As I see it, people do not want fair ratings; they only want good ratings. And I see no point in manipulating the rating system to satisfy this desire.
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