Topic: Sim Strength Rankings

With the inevitable decrease in activity over the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's period and several members on long-term LOA, the admin team have been reflecting on sim 'strength' or health, i.e. the rate of posting in any given sim. One way we might consider measuring health would be by taking a snapshot of the site on a certain date, for example 31 January, and note the post numbers for each sim, then do the same a month later, e.g. 29 February, and work out the difference and divide by the number of active IC players.

How do people feel about this? Do we want to measure sim health? How best to do it if so?

Ash

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Measuring a sim's health is a good idea, I'd say. But maybe we should leave the OOC threads in the sims out of the calculation, since they do not contribute to the in-game posting.

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Mischa Brendel wrote:

Measuring a sim's health is a good idea, I'd say. But maybe we should leave the OOC threads in the sims out of the calculation, since they do not contribute to the in-game posting.

I would disagree - an active OOC thread is another sign of a healthy sim.

- Silent

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Perhaps we could do dual ranking then? Perhaps the two side-by-side can give us a stronger indication of how healthy a Sim is by examining its OOC versus its IC health statuses?

~Robert

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

That would require extra coding - my suggestion just requires two page grabs, an Excel spreadsheet and an ability to count.

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

...or we could hold the SL's accountable and have them do SS's of their own sims, though that might set the numbers off a bit though I do know you can schedule to view a page on a specific day which would help keep the numbers fair.

I'm open for whatever though, I abstain from taking sides in this conversation.  smile

~Robert

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Likewise, actually. I can see the reasons for a system of measuring sim health, and I'm very much alive to the debate around whether OOC posts are a sign of vibrant community or disrupted RP, but to measure sim 'health' numerically also feels a bit top heavy.

As in, if a slow sim is actually thoroughly enjoyed by all its players at that pace, then that's surely a good thing. Whereas it's possible for Sim Strength Rankings to become a 'competition' to be really 'fast' sims, disillusioning SLs, GMs, and players of slower sims on the grounds that they're 'underperforming'.

Conversely, if a sim isn't really active, the players aren't bothered about it, and we're not able to make it lively, a numerical measure like a Sim Strength Ranking makes for clearer arguments in favour of closing it. I'd probably feel better about closing a sim if I knew it had generated only three posts in a month - perhaps especially if I knew they were all OOC posts saying "is this sim still on?" - than closing a sim just because the SL wanted to call it...

So yeah, I'm on the fence on this one. Very much interested in hearing the debate and garnering a consensus, though, and working appropriately with that.

Ash

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

I think measuring is a good tool. It provides data but, much like the Nielsen ratings, really is not an accurate measure of the viability of a franchise (Firefly, Pushing Daisies, STAR TREK). It does point directly to where there might be a problem. What that problem is and how to fix it becomes a coordinated task between Government, SLs and members. But it does give an area for us to nudge. I do fear that we tend to over extend ourselves here, myself completely included. There is nothing wrong with closing a sim that is really not being cared for much. Unlike executive types, if there is demand for a closed dim back, it doesn't take much to reopen it. I know it goes against many sentiments, but I think having a minimum of 6 players before opening a sim would help the long term viability.  True two people can have a lovely time Rping with each other indefinitely, but larger vibrant sims grow the club, and are usually more interesting to members and newcomers. If two people want to keep their sim alive that's fine, but if we end up with a whole mess of titles that are not being played it looks cluttered.

Again it should be a decision of the membership currently playing a sim whether it should be shuttered or not. But it should be a conversation brought to the membership if their numbers are lagging. Even the conversation may bring tired sims back to life.

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Ash Leighton Plom wrote:

Likewise, actually. I can see the reasons for a system of measuring sim health, and I'm very much alive to the debate around whether OOC posts are a sign of vibrant community or disrupted RP, but to measure sim 'health' numerically also feels a bit top heavy.

As in, if a slow sim is actually thoroughly enjoyed by all its players at that pace, then that's surely a good thing. Whereas it's possible for Sim Strength Rankings to become a 'competition' to be really 'fast' sims, disillusioning SLs, GMs, and players of slower sims on the grounds that they're 'underperforming'.

Conversely, if a sim isn't really active, the players aren't bothered about it, and we're not able to make it lively, a numerical measure like a Sim Strength Ranking makes for clearer arguments in favour of closing it. I'd probably feel better about closing a sim if I knew it had generated only three posts in a month - perhaps especially if I knew they were all OOC posts saying "is this sim still on?" - than closing a sim just because the SL wanted to call it...

So yeah, I'm on the fence on this one. Very much interested in hearing the debate and garnering a consensus, though, and working appropriately with that.

Ash

These are good points. I agree: the activity of a sim is only part of the information, it also depends on the pace that has been set and agreed upon by the players of that sim. In this light it might be a good idea for sim leaders to set an AWOL limit. Because then we could set minimum values for a healty sim. A sim with an AWOL limit of X days and Y players would make a safe limit of Z, if you get my meaning. The obvious problem with this is of course that it would require quite some calculating, or we would have to create a table in which this information could be quickly looked up.



-Mischa

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

I have to agree with Kevin on all of his points - even the minimum number of players per sim. Six may be a bit too high, though, maybe 4-5 minimum (much to my chagrin, as I think over half of the sims I am in have less than that in them).

-Jason

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

If people would like, once we have captured some statistics, with my background in Math I can do some research off of those numbers to formulate some risk-ratings to give us a better idea for how sims are doing? Before you say yes or no, my thoughts are that we can make a case for sims with fewer members to be stronger than sims with more members and vice-versa and the same can be said for number of posts, age of the sim, etc., though an evaluation that sums up everything in a way that is more comprehensive might be in order - and that's what I'm suggesting. Possibly both a Risk rating and a Confidence rating (Confidence for how strong the Risk rating is).

I'm open to suggestions on what to look for and what we want to show, but I am volunteering to take on the project.

~Robert

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Sure, go for it - it's a great idea.

Silent

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

I'm all for a strength rating, and the more math behind it the better. wink

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

I rarely say no to a volunteer. Please go ahead, Robert.

Meanwhile, one of my favourite points raised so far was Kevin stating that the conversation "should we close this sim" should be had with the players! Oh so true and one which I don't think I'd stated explicitly so far! That really does need to be said and emphasised. My point is that a measure will trigger the conversation. But cold numbers shouldn't close a sim if the people involved are enjoying it. It's not hurting anyone else by being slower, I don't think, and it's also good for us to provide a range of speeds in our sims. I know it's not true of all online roleplayers, but I think some game online chiefly because they don't have the time to commit to real-life tabletop games.

Ash

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Ash Leighton Plom wrote:

but I think some game online chiefly because they don't have the time to commit to real-life tabletop games.

Ash

Or in my case, the local groups. I don't know of any such groups in the East London/Essex area.

- Silent

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Shameless link to another live topic, but it may be worth each of us looking up groups in our areas and approaching them with mutual advertising opportunities.

Ash

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

OK, I've grabbed my raw data for the beginning of the month. One immediate thing - it's clear that the Firefly sims are the most popular - they've got over 50% of the IC posts on this forum...

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Considering the origins of the group, that's not much of a surprise! Still, would be nice to get some other genres competing with that...

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

OK, February has ended and I'm compiling my SSR data. If SLs could please PM/email me with their current player counts, I can calculate the SSRs more accurately.

Or just post here.

Silent the Statistician

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

You want players + GM, or just players?

Just players:
USS Repulse: 3
Wheel of Time: 2
Mass Effect: 5

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Yeah, need Jason's answer. Your answer will decide on whether it's 2 or 3 for D'ni since I didn't actually create a char for it myself.

~Robert

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

I'm assuming it's the total number posting?

The Elemental: 8
SGB-2: 5
Triple Zero: 6
The West Star: 7
Middle Earth: The Fourth Age: 6

Ash

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

It's GM+players.

Re: Sim Strength Rankings

One other thing I was waffling on was whether to include the non-active players. They are still players, after all, but they just post infrequently. Were the sims larger, I'd consider setting posting limits, but since they are just barely hanging on as they are, I'd rather not.

Anyway, am I right in assuming you want number of total players (even if they aren't posting), or just actives?

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Re: Sim Strength Rankings

Actives, please.

Silent