5-Star Ratings Are Here
May 02, 2015

Thank you for your feedback, questions, and comments in the previous thread where I proposed that the site adopt a new 5-star rating system, to replace the 10-point scale. There was no consensus on any of it, but I was able to get a good sense of what everyone wants.

As of this evening, the site uses a 5-star rating system. Most of you were either in favor of a change to a 5-star system, or neutral. One of you wanted a 4-point scale instead.

While there was some support for one-word descriptions accompanying the ratings, there were also some of you who felt that wouldn't work well. At least for now, we'll try it without the one-word descriptions. They do appear when a person is submitting a review, to give contributors a general idea of how the rating system is intended to be applied, but on the actual reviews there will just be the stars.

Old reviews will retain the 10-point system. There are thousands of reviews on the site that were written with the 10-point system in use, and the shift to a 5-star system is radical enough that I don't want to run a script and change a bunch of ratings on everyone's behalf when a lot of people who used to contribute here no longer even frequent the site.

I had mentioned that I might not allow people to update old scores after this change, but I have left the option in place. If you edit an old review that was submitted before the change, it will retain the 10-point scale and you can edit as usual. If you submit a new review now, only the 5-star system option will be available at the time you submit, as well as when you edit the review. This will keep things as consistent as possible.

The change to a 5-star system does propose some new issues:

1) The "top rated" charts will gradually lose value, due to the way they were coded. A 5/5 will be interpreted as a 5/10, for instance. I don't know how many people even used the feature. It may be retired, or I may have to rework it if I can figure out a way when I have some time in the future.

2) Game profile pages, and a few other places, that show ratings attached to reviews will need to be tweaked, since it's currently not clear at a glance if a "3" means "3/10" or "3/5." This shouldn't be a huge deal.

I submitted a test review and everything seems to be working. With a change of this magnitude, some minor issues are likely to linger until I address them, perhaps in addition to the ones that I am aware of and noted above. If you find any other problems around the site, feel free to let me know here or by HG Mail.

As always, thanks for continuing to contribute to this community. I do think the 5-star system is a better fit for our particular community, and I hope it will reduce some confusion among casual visitors. There's no such thing as a perfect solution, but I hope we'll all be glad we went this route.

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

Feedback
jerec jerec - May 02, 2015 (07:56 AM)
The "top rated" page doesn't work that well on such a small sample of scores, anyway. Leave that stuff to Metacritic.

Is there any way for us to update our old reviews to get the new scoring system? I don't have a huge amount of reviews, so I wouldn't mind doing this for myself at some point.
Suskie Suskie - May 02, 2015 (09:49 AM)
Incidentally, I just finished a review, so let's put the new system to work, aye?
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 02, 2015 (11:19 AM)
I second Jerec. I wouldn't mind the option to "upgrade" my older stuff, but all the same it won't kill me to keep the X/10 scores.
honestgamer honestgamer - May 02, 2015 (03:46 PM)
The site is coded to check for the date the review was posted, and then to assign it the rating system that was in effect on that date, Jerec. So the short answer to your question is "no." Coding it differently, while possible--nearly anything we might want to do is technically possible--would be more complicated and probably isn't worth it.
Suskie Suskie - May 02, 2015 (08:16 PM)
My only issue with this system is that the stars themselves look kinda wonky :(
EmP EmP - May 05, 2015 (10:26 AM)
What are the chances of being able to type in our own one word summery by said stars if that's the way you end up going? I just don't like the idea of a review being summed up in a single stock word that isn't mine.
Robotic_Attack Robotic_Attack - May 16, 2015 (04:23 PM)
I know I am insanely late to this debate/change, but I just want to say I am firmly in the camp of 10 point ratings and hope we go back to them some day. With only 5 stars, I feel like I have to lump games into the same category that have some pretty big differences in quality. That said, I'm going to try it out, who knows, maybe I'll end up liking it!
yx yx - June 11, 2015 (02:30 PM)
I exactly quoute Robotic_Attack's post above the one I am submitting. There is a huge difference between a 10/10 game and a 9/10. Yes, we can ackowledge 5 stars to 10/10-worth games only. What we have is like:

10/10 -> 5 stars
8/10 and 9/10 -> 4 stars
7/10 -> 3 stars
5/10 and 6/10 2 stars
all lower games -> 0/1 star (I don't know if zero-star ratings are possible, actually).

Mister Venter, I know that, for obvious reasons that you don't need me to explain you, the crowd prefers 5-star ratings, but do you really think this may lead to any remarkable gain of success for the site? GameSPOT and IGN adopt 10-grade ratings, and yet.. ;)

I mean, it's like saying: let's be as vulgar and stupid as we can in what we write, cause it brings readers in. It does, but it's not the line of this site.

I am fully against the fashion-driven 5-star system, all together.


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