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Default The context and long-term relevance of scores as a means to refence quality

September 26th, 2021, 09:35
Originally Posted by OverIt View Post
Sorry to go slightly off to a tangent. But i thought user score and critic score differences are relevant to this topic.
No, that's fine, because at the same time you're giving an example of a game that was really good (PS:T) as it reflects in its reviews, but sold comparatively poorly when put next to other games of the same genre, for example, Baldur's Gate 2. This is possibly because Baldur's Gate is based on very well known DnD fantasy setting, which has always been very popular and well-beloved by roleplayers in the world, back then and still today. That invoked an extra later of hype and familiarity with its setting and general "feeling", which attracted more players than Torment, a game which used a more obscure, gimmicky setting within the DnD multiverse that most players wouldn't feel familiar or even comfortable with.

This is very likely a similar reason for Pathfinder: Kingmaker attracted slightly more players than say, PoE, even if on average they were less satisfied than those who played PoE. A well-known fantasy setting will always raise the number of players that flock to them significantly, and this is why acquiring them costs a lot of money (ask about getting a Warhammer IP for your product. Good luck with making a profit after that).

But in the end, a better game will equal better scores, a worse game will equal worse scores. That has been true for every game, movie, restaurant, hairdresser, or toaster that has ever existed and been reviewed by users in the world. This is only meaningful when the opinion of all of the people who played the game and reviewed it are taken into account, with as many different backgrounds as possible.

It is clear, and it is never the question, that to each individual a game can feel to be better or worse than the general consensus by several levels of magnitude. Hell, in this site several people don't even consider the Witcher 3 to be a RPG, and definitely not something they'd play, despite the massively positive critique it received. That is fine, personal tastes are all good, because it's what works for each different person. They however do not dictate the average quality of a product. They affect it as much as everyone else, by adding their one opinion to the grand pool.

The problem I see in some sections of this thread is that some individuals develop an emotional connection that tells them that playing or loving products that have a worse score than others equals having bad tastes, or making wrong choices. But nobody is telling them that, they only tell that to themselves, as if their personal opinion required validation to feel good about having a personal opinion to start with.

They also have the idea that some individuals, mainly them and whoever they chose, are better qualified to decide the quality of something when this is simply not only an exercise of extreme vanity but also false. A problem for them to solve at the personal level.

The premise was always that the overall perceived quality of any product in the world, and in this case, videogames, will follow a simple rule: the better the product = the better average score it will receive by the totality of those who consumed it.
Last edited by Nereida; September 26th, 2021 at 09:58.
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September 26th, 2021, 10:03
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
The problem is that some individuals develop an emotional connection that tells them that playing or loving products that have a worse score than others equals having bad tastes, or making wrong choices. And that is simply not the case. It is only them telling that to themselves, and so it is a problem for them to solve at the personal level.
I agree it is a very poor way to look at games. But the problem is that games come with a price tag. It is the "wrong choice" because "on average most people find this game mediocre and i am not willing to spend $50 or more on a game to find out".

Sorry to go off on a tangent again.

This is I think game pass or a service where playing the game doesnt cost you anything but you have to pay the service fee regularly is a big boon to the industry. Whether it is to develop "street cred" for the developer("Oh I know that dev they made so and so") or to get more people to play a niche game that they would never buy in a million years, it would bode well for the next game that dev makes or games similar to that niche game.

The other solution is to drop the price massively so you go "hey i might try this game because it is so cheap". Having gone to game stores in the past, this tactic doesnt seem to work. Even in humble bundles, instead of playing the game, they give the game away. The there are the steam discounts when people just buy a game and never play them.

That said neither solution really works out. The game pass structure doesnt allow for many games and many games get left out and making the game cheap doesnt seem to work out. There really needs to be a better solution for games not in the "spectacular mainstream games" category.
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September 26th, 2021, 10:20
Well, that's a whole different topic, but these days you can try pretty much any game you want for free, to get a good idea of what you are paying for. Steam's refund policy, for example, has become quite lax and it will return the cost of any game you've played for less than 2 hours and was purchased less than 14 days prior to the refund request.

You can literally say in the refund request "I don't like the game" and they will refund it.
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September 26th, 2021, 10:31
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Well, that's a whole different topic, but these days you can try pretty much any game you want for free, to get a good idea of what you are paying for. Steam's refund policy, for example, has become quite lax and it will return the cost of any game you've played for less than 2 hours and was purchased less than 14 days prior to the refund request.

You can literally say in the refund request "I don't like the game" and they will refund it.
That is a very, very good point.
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September 26th, 2021, 13:32
I think @Nereida the problem with your point is that it's a good general view but doesn't take into account many of the exceptions mentioned and you don't seem to be willing to acknowledge that.

Some games may get bad review scores simply because people find it too expensive, it's not what they expected, it's got online DRM (check reviews from gog on Hitman), difficulty or even potentially some political views.

Yes, in general higher scores probably reflect a higher quality game, but it's not necessarily the case for all games.

So simply saying that a game with a higher score is higher quality isn't necessarily true.

I think that you claiming that as an absolute truth is what irked people in this thread.

At least, that's what i disagree with, because I have seen so many cases of games getting bad reviews simply for being too difficult and other games getting amazing reviews just because of good graphics.

Those are factors for a game's quality but do not reflect the holistic view of a product.
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September 26th, 2021, 13:53
This is a lot of words to say that tastes and scores of reviewers are very subjective to a multitude of factors and should always be taken with a grain of salt.
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September 26th, 2021, 14:01
Originally Posted by Pladio
At least, that's what i disagree with, because I have seen so many cases of games getting bad reviews simply for being too difficult and other games getting amazing reviews just because of good graphics.
But even in this statement, you are pushing your own personal preferences and dictating what is good and what isn't. If to most people being too difficult is a bad thing, then it is a bad thing. You do not get to decide that it is good but 95% of people are too stupid to realise, because there is a good chance that the 95% others think you are too stupid to realise that the game is too difficult to be enjoyable. This is why what you contribute with, is the same as everyone else - you add one opinion to the pool of thousands, and at the end of the day, it all gets counted and averaged.

What you have a huge problem with is separating what is good with what is good -for you-, and that is not what is being discussed, at all. Even if you find a place where 20 others agree with you and seems like you hold the universal truth, there is no more universal truth than that which is decided universally, not by you and your niche group of buddies with a similar mindset. If that irks you, that is something for you to come to terms with.

Besides, you're being extremely simplistic in those statements to make an inexistant case. I can tell a dozen games which had breath-taking graphics and had pretty discrete reviews because they had nothing else to go by. And the other way around, games with really average graphics that received extremely good scores (hi Disco Elysium).

Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
This is a lot of words to say that tastes and scores of reviewers are very subjective to a multitude of factors and should always be taken with a grain of salt.
True, which is why it is the average what matters, and not what small niche/extremist sections of the population think. Definitely not what any one individual thinks.
Last edited by Nereida; September 26th, 2021 at 14:14.
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September 26th, 2021, 16:28
Again Nereida, you've picked on two points and ignored everything else.

So, let's pick one of my other points. According to you the score of thousands of people is what matters, so when people review Hitman and give it a 1 star review on GOG then the game is bad.

Actually if you read those reviews many people actually say the game is amazing but the only reason they are down voting the game is because of the online DRM.

That completely invalidates your position.

Even the reviewers themselves are saying it is a good quality game. They just dislike one element which is part of the game.



The same is true for any other game which gets review bombed for whatever reason the community is unhappy with. This could be that the game does not take into account gender pronouns or games that don't have bisexual romance options. Or it could be that that do take into account gender pronouns or do have bisexual romances.

Those things are very common. Yet according to you they have no impact on quality.
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September 26th, 2021, 17:37
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Words (just saving space)
Yes, but no.

So, review bombing, while being a thing, it is known when it happens. We can all tell which games get review bombed and why. They are very specific games that are exposed to the public in a very specific way and suffer review bombing. Definitely none of those that brought up this topic (DAO, PoE, DOS, PF). If anything, DAO got some post-mortem review bombing due to being a BioWare product, and it still accrues higher scores than PF, one of my main points of comparison being that this game is objectively, a better game than PF.

To counter review bombing, there's fanboyism. Owlcat itself has a legion of 10/10 voters with not an ounce of criticism, that will counter or mitigate any review bombing the game could suffer. And being a well reputed company as Owlcat is, the review bombing they receive is minuscule if not inexistant. Definitely less than a game made by BioWare or Larian, especially since they got the BG3 IP and apparently they became the Devil.

On top of that, review platforms already counter review bombing themselves. Many platforms use algorithms to give diminishing returns to values that are too far from the average, for example. Here is an article on how Steam actively seeks and removes from the equation reviews that are posted due to off-topic/non-relevant circumstances that have nothing to do with the quality of the game. https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/15/18…scoring-update

Third, we're not only accounting for user data, also critic data, that tends to be more measured and objective, even when bias is inevitable, you won't see a 10/10 or anything below a 4/10 from anyone that wants to earn any reputation as a reviewer.


In the end, it's true, very specific games suffer review score manipulation, but those games can be easily pinpointed, and there are already mechanisms enacted to counter them. Which, while pertaining to the general topic of "A game with a higher score is objectively better", it is more an exception than the norm, and it does not affect either of the games brought to the table for the present discussion when we make the objective statement that DoS, PoE, and DAO games are better than PF games.
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September 26th, 2021, 22:37
@Nereida,

Again, these are just examples. Yes, you can find counterexamples for all of them individually, but together, holistically, they show the full picture.

A game can be too difficult for some users, or too easy, it can have bad graphics, or good graphics, it can have a style that some people love or hate, it can be different than expected, it can be released with no bugs or tons of bugs, it ban be more expensive, or cheaper than expected, giving people different expectations for game length, it could have good voice acting/writing in one language but not in another, etc. etc. etc.

Many of the reviewers even acknowledge these things.

One example:
Spoiler


Obviously this person does not understand that many of those encounters were optional or could be done later, but because of these kinds of things, the game average score drops tremendously.

I don't know how many times I can say this, but stop focusing on one or two of these and look at it from a holistic perspective.

As I said, I can't talk objectively about DOS because I personally did not enjoy the game at all.

However, I cannot agree at all to your statement saying:
when we make the objective statement that DoS, PoE, and DAO games are better than PF games.
It is not an objective statement since you are only considering one set of criteria you have subjectively set for yourself.

There is nothing objective about that statement at all. At best, it just validates your opinion of those games, meaning you are one of the majority.

In brief and to close this from my perspective:
The majority is not always right.
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September 26th, 2021, 23:03
It is not an objective statement since you are only considering one set of criteria you have subjectively set for yourself.
There is nothing subjective about this criteria, this is the scientific approach. Take all the data and average it out. The definition of objective itself is that which is not subjective, affected by any single entity's biased views.

There is nothing more objective than taking raw, heartless data and putting it to a statistical test without trimming or manipulation, without letting your own filters or tastes get in the way. Nothing more objective in the world than saying that something that gets an average score of 90 is better than something that gets an average score of 73 without throwing subjective human emotions like "feelings" or "hunches" in the equation.

What is not objective is thinking that you can manipulate the scores, trim or choose who is more apt to give an opinion, or blaming a random reviewer with a misconception of some aspect of the game be your excuse for 20 points of score difference, while not even making the attempt to realise that every game suffers the same type of reviews, and in the end it all averages out equally.

As I said, I can't talk objectively about DOS because I personally did not enjoy the game at all.
Case closed.
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September 26th, 2021, 23:10
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Case closed.
LOL
I'm talking about all games and again you think one example shows everything. Shows you're not reading anything anyone has said in this topic.
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September 26th, 2021, 23:45
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
LOL
I'm talking about all games and again you think one example shows everything. Shows you're not reading anything anyone has said in this topic.
it's "case closed" because your solitary personal opinion about DOS is irrelevant in a discussion about how popular/acclaimed DOS (or any game) is as a whole.
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September 26th, 2021, 23:57
So Pladio isn't allowed to have an opinion?

Much of what's been said throughout this thread had been opinion. Some of which certain people have put a great deal of effort into disingenuously passing off as facts.
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September 27th, 2021, 00:26
I want to make clear once again that I am not discussing in any way the validity of anyone's tastes or preferences. To me they are all valid, as long as they are not immoral or harmful to others. I also think differently on how good some games are while accepting that it is not up to me to decide what is universally perceived as better.

When you are comfortable and you value yourself, neither you doubt that your tastes are valid nor you need public confirmation for them, you can be fully happy knowing that you have a bit of an acquired taste on certain things. It is not offensive to me that most of the players can't appreciate some games the way I do. It is a privilege to think that I feel that way, and that is what makes me unique.

To be honest, I see a lot of people fussed about the fact that their favourite games are not seen as the best by the general consensus, fighting back in every way they can to deny the objective data, or bend it in any way they can, and my mistake in this thread has been fighting them back a bit too hard.

But I believe having unique mindsets needs not be taken negatively. For example, when I play a game based on choices (say Detroit: Become Human) I am always a little disappointed when I pick an option and the game tells me "97% of players picked the same option", and always feel a little excited when I pick something that sets me apart from most others. It's a good thing to be peculiar and feel different about things.

Either way, I feel I've gone too far making my points, and I've I've bothered someone, I'm sorry. Sometimes I get a bit too passionate when trying to make a point, especially when I find what I believe "dishonest resistant", and I can get carried away. As far as I can tell, I understand everyone's points of views. I believe that mine is the right one, but I acknowledge that each person is entitled to see it as it works for them, and their point of view is just as valid as mine.
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September 27th, 2021, 00:39
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
In brief and to close this from my perspective:
The majority is not always right.
I would say that the majority is right for the majority. If you have niche tastes then obviously you cant agree with a games quality based on what the majority says about a game.

Like I LOVE Elex, i beat it 3 or 4 times. I even tried to get a friend to play it by getting him a copy. But it is considered by the majority as a mediocre game.

As for review bombing vs 10/10s, they seem to even out in the grand scale of things. I dont give ratings on many games but the ones i do i give them 10/10 or 0/10. Because to me a 10/10 is "I enjoyed a game immensely" vs "i didnt enjoy the game at all". To me that is all i care about and that is who i rate game. After all isnt that the function of games? To give enjoyment?

I think many people score like that so i dont think that you should discard the score because it is a 0/10 or a 10/10. And imo the best way to use user scores is to look at some 10/10 reviews/comments and a few 0/10 reviews/comments.
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September 27th, 2021, 01:12
Originally Posted by OverIt View Post
I would say that the majority is right for the majority. If you have niche tastes then obviously you cant agree with a games quality based on what the majority says about a game.
You are now completely contradicting what Nereida spent the first half of the thread arguing for.

Apparently numbers don't matter.

By your logic, more people enjoy PK than enjoyed PoE, ergo the majority prefer PK. Just because PK has a greater ratio of negative reviews doesn't contradict that the majority of people prefer playing and enjoying it.

You can't have it both ways. Either number of players is a relevant stat or it's not. By the criteria you just promoted. By your logic, the negative reviews on PK are just a niche of players with individual opinions, the majority, a greater majority than PoE, prefer PK.
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September 27th, 2021, 03:05
Not going to join this thread in any meaningful way other than providing my short opinion.

Kingmaker has really great highs (ruleset, vast size, gear etc) but had a lot of lows (Bugs, Final area grind, Re-use of areas, weaker DLC etc).

PoE maintained it's quality throughout most of the game (except for the twin elms) but had two truely standout DLC - White March 1&2.

I think I would give Kingmaker the slight edge - but only in it's final state. If I had of played it earlier when it had even more bugs I think PoE would of won out.

I would rate both of them above OS but I certainly still enjoyed playing it.
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September 27th, 2021, 03:38
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So Pladio isn't allowed to have an opinion?
This is why productive conversations about anything even mildly controversial is impossible in most online communities. Deliberately missing the point. Tossing out comments that take into account none of the thousands of words that have been written already in the thread. Ignoring context. Being provocative and argumentative just for the sake of it.

I don't have the patience for it anymore. Y'all have fun.
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September 27th, 2021, 03:43
Well allow me to say thank you for everyone for this thread. As it provided many hours of entertainment. Anyway my tastes in gaming leans toward niche games nowadays.

So regardless of graphs, stats, and opinions I consider modern day gamer's taste in games shit. You ask why just look at the top sellers. Most don't even interest me.
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