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Wherigo v2: Scoring System


Ranger Fox
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Wherigo scoring will work more like a game than geocaching's one find, one point system. The scoring system will encourage the behavior we wish of Wherigo's player base. That said, these are the goals the scoring system will attempt to accomplish:

  • Decrease the number of cartridges that are unplayed for long periods of time (in geocaching terms, decrease the number of lonely caches on the playing field)
  • Encourage giving back to the community through cartridge creation
  • Make sure those creating cartridges also experience playing them
  • Encourage quality over quantity for cartridges

 

We will accomplish the above by implementing scoring in this fashion:
  • The bounty collected from completing cartridges is based on a cartridge's activity. A cartridge will start off with a first clear bonus. This bonus will be rewarded to everyone who completes a cartridge during the first day the cartridge is completed. After that, the completion bounty will decline over the next seven days until it hits the minimum level of one point. After that, every couple days a cartridge is not completed, another point will be added to its bounty. A full month will add an additional, yet low, bonus. A half year will add a noticeable bonus and a full year a substantial bonus. Everyone who completes the cartridge on the same day will receive the same bounty.
    • Cards gained from Wherigo Invaders can be used to alter the bounty, even allowing someone to complete the cartridge a second time.
    • Invader faction dominance and a change in which faction dominates the cartridge can also affect the bounty and additional completion rules.
  • As time goes by and you accumulate more points from completing cartridges, you'll eventually develop a negative modifier. At first, you'll only be able to collect 95% of a bounty, but the amount you'll be able to collect will slowly decrease. That's because you're taking from the community without giving something back. It'll stop at 10%, though. To remove this modifier, you'll need to create a cartridge, either alone or with others.
  • If you keep creating cartridges but don't play any, you'll also develop the same type of modifier. You'll gain fewer points from the bounty kickback you receive from your cartridges until this goes to about 10%. You can remove this modifier by completing some cartridges, gaining experience from playing what others have created.
  • I'm still considering how I can encourage quality over quantity. Perhaps I can give players a rare resource to apply to cartridges they like. The more of this rare resource a cartridge collects, something happens. The cartridge's authors at least receive bonuses, but I'm still uncertain about the players. I need some way to encourage rewarding for good cartridges and not stockpiling resources on shoddy cartridges or just because someone is a friend. If I apply the scarcity factor, perhaps that'll help.

 

I should also note first-time cartridge completions receive random Wherigo Invaders cards and perhaps the ability to draw for an agent. That or a completion has a 20% chance for a card and you can spend points in the shop. Spending points won't decrease your score. Instead, your score is the sum total of spent and unspent points. For example, someone's public score might be 10,000 points. The person might have spent 8,000 points in the shop and be saving the remaining 2,000 unallocated points for a spree later--likely for the next round of Invaders agents or an authority draw.
 
I have yet to come up with a mathematical formula for the scoring mechanism. The above is what I envision. This is the starting point. The community will review the idea and we'll shape it. Once we're all satisfied, we can come up with the math.
 
(I didn't have too much time to type things up since I had two posts to write, so I didn't go into details.  This, though, should be a good start for discussion for what we'd envision for a fun scoring system for Wherigo.)
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Impressive but also in combination with the complexity of the Invaders meta game I have some doubts concerning your weak point: how to encourage quality over quantity.

 

What we do not want is that by this setup

  • very creative and good creators that are poor players (either no time or limited ability up to physical disabilities), are discouraged or not giving their best to the community
  • very poor creators are forced to just "give" and thus create quantity because of the scoring system

We saw the negative effects in Ingress and munzee, but also in geocaching with (in my opinion) stupid power trails, geoart and lame drive by micro's. Nice "on paper" (virtually) but no fun in the field.

 

It comes from the premise that everybody has to give back and can not only take, but also that you can not only give. From this comes the idea that everybody should be equally able to create... And from this I think we end up with lower overall quality as the builders must be easy enough to serve the general creator. I read in the general Feature List thread things like "templates, snippets and general frequent scenario's", point and click or visual programming, ...

 

Can we not accept that quality creation requires skill and is an art. And also, that some creators enjoy just doing that and are just rewarded by great logs, community appreciation and acknowledgement? I do not want to force good players into becoming bad creators or good creators bound by limits.

 

Compare it with car building or art creation. Everybody agrees that building a good car is technically difficult or making a nice art work is only for limited creative artists. We do not want everybody to be a car builder or an artist? Imagine the rubbish on the streets or in the art world. But car builders and artists enjoy the reviews and public recognition of what they put on the market is of good quality. And lots of car users or art lovers can enjoy it without being forced to at least try to build a car or paint?

 

Maybe this means that you can keep the elaborate scoring and meta game but at least provide for an extra layer like "quality logs". Otherwise it just ends up being a scoring system and no (or poor / minimal) logs that I can not enjoy anymore as mainly a creator? (look at the poor adventure lab logs and no other possibility of giving more to the quality creator)

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Perhaps we could use something analogous to the geocaching favorite system?  After a certain number of completions, a player gains some applause points that can be used to apply to cartridges.  Applause points also function in the same way as the author completing cartridges, resetting the counter that eventually kicks off the decreased point modifier.

 

The decreased point modifier worked off this assumption: authors can improve by experiencing what else is out there, both others cartridges and what it's like to play cartridges.  Likewise, encouraging players to create cartridges gives them a better understanding of the process and they can perhaps share ideas from cartridges they've come across.  Since it's possible to form a small group to create a cartridge and everyone gets credit, it's not as exacting a price to exact.  As maps become more populated with cartridges, perhaps we can let up on the counter that leads to the modifier being applied.

 

We don't have to use the modifier idea, but I would like something in place that encourages people to create and play, even a little, the side they don't frequently do.  I think the experience would be good for them.

 

To put it in perspective, perhaps I can thing of WVTim.  He put out a lot of good gadget caches.  I would want to incentivize him to put out more.  Applying favorite points to caches would prevent that modifier from ever going into effect, keeping him placing and reaping the rewards.  But those who continue to place park and grabs that aren't appreciated as much by the community should have an incentive to go out and find something.  Perhaps they'll come across a gadget cache and get an idea about placing something to which the community will give favorite points.  And someone like me who constantly finds caches should be encouraged to place something at least once a year.  I could even help someone make and place a gadget cache since I don't have a workshop and woodworking tools of my own.

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1 hour ago, Dani+Iris said:

Can we not accept that quality creation requires skill and is an art. And also, that some creators enjoy just doing that and are just rewarded by great logs, community appreciation and acknowledgement? I do not want to force good players into becoming bad creators or good creators bound by limits.

 

I completely agree! :grin:

 

9 minutes ago, Ranger Fox said:

We don't have to use the modifier idea, but I would like something in place that encourages people to create and play, even a little, the side they don't frequently do.  I think the experience would be good for them.

 

Modifiers are likely to incentivize publishing or completing "anything". Maybe the key is to keep it simple: there are points to collect when completing cartridges, and any completion grants owners a fraction of the collected points.

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3 hours ago, Mangatome said:

Modifiers are likely to incentivize publishing or completing "anything". Maybe the key is to keep it simple: there are points to collect when completing cartridges, and any completion grants owners a fraction of the collected points.

Yes, owners will have a kickback on the bounty collected.  Perhaps the kickback percentage will also be influenced by the number of favorites/kudos/applause/thumbs up a cartridge has received over the last three months and cumulatively.  Thus, if you do a good job and keep raking in applause from the players for a job well done, you should keep reaping the rewards.

 

I'm aware people can game any system to their advantage, so I'm not going to try too hard to prevent creative individuals.  Their local community will handle them through social behavioral feedback.  (Then again, there are geocachers who time and again do divide and conquer to find more caches.  The community says they don't like this behavior, but they keep on doing it.  So the point is we can't stop all behavior, but the scoring system should at least demonstrate to all players what we're encouraging.)

 

Last year, I hid a cache that wowed the local community.  They enjoyed it.  I guess I got several favorite points for it (I haven't checked).  It was an adventurous one in the heart of the area.  But since it was a multi, no one else has attempted it after the area's who's who list of cachers has found it.  I'm thinking of that as an example for the scoring system: a good experience and applauded by the major players, so get a kickback and increase the bounty to incentivize other players to try it when the bounty gets to be too big to ignore.  One strategy players can have is to wait for a bounty to increase, but complete it before someone else snipes the bounty from them (or at least right after the sniper on the same day since everyone who completes a cartridge on the same day gets the same bounty).

 

I want the bounty system to encourage some good behaviors while also being a fun and entertaining part of the game.  People might tell tales of cartridges they completed right up to the completion trigger and stopped in order to wait for that bounty to increase.  Over days or weeks, they waited and even spent an authority or two to help the bounty grow.  Then someone came in and sniped the bounty from them, completing the cartridge right before midnight!  Oh, no!  You shouldn't have waited that long!  Well, they then waited and used a few more authorities to help the bounty increase.  However, that same person who sniped the cartridge before spent an authority to allow them to complete the cartridge a second time, sniping the bounty yet again!  The horror!  Then the sniper later used another authority to reduce the bounty down to one yet again!  Will that sniping person ever leave the other player alone?  The player and sniper laugh, the player pats the sniper on the back, and they continue to enjoy the Wherigo event, sharing other tales of their experiences to those gathered.  Sounds like fun.  It would be nice to bring that joy to people.

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Really love this idea! I think this system will make Wherigo incredibly engaging, and will hopefully draw in all kinds of different players. I would argue that increasing quantity will also increase quality. The more games there are, the more the community will get involved, and this will attract more skilled programmers. If we want to increase quality, than I would argue that we also focus on improving the builder- make it more accessible, and add as many features as we can.

 

Another idea with scoring is that players could have two values - their score, and then their tokens or credits. Perhaps these values would work a bit differently For example, maybe points are a lot easier to get than credits. I also like the idea of allowing builders to incorporate special items into cartridges that increase players scores and or credits. I know of one website that sort of gamifies writing in a similar way - https://4thewords.com/. I'm sure we could get some ideas from there.  

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