Saturday, August 13, 2011

How I'm going to score NWN1 modules

For NWN2, we have a clear set of voting guidelines, which I played a role in developing. Folks haven't always adhered to those standards--there still has been voting inflation, to be sure--but if you did vote using them you at least had justification for doing so.

With NWN1, however, there are no written guidelines. As such, you pretty much have to judge modules relative to one another. Add over 1100 modules that have received at least 10 votes and you have a recipe for massive voting inflation. There are 60 modules with scores over 9.75. That means that you literally have to vote 10 on each of them or you will lower their score. Yikes.

I'm planning to get back to playing NWN1 modules. But I'd like to use a written set of standards so I can be more consistent in how I evaluate modules. Here's what I'm planning to do:
10.0 - A masterpiece, genuinely groundbreaking
9.75 - Outstanding, a must have
9.5 - Excellent, recommended to anyone
9.0 - Very good, deserves a look
8.5 - Good, qualified recommendation
8.0 - Fair, solid yet unremarkable
7.5 - Some merit, requires improvements
7.0 - Poor execution, potential unrealized.
6.0 - Very little appeal
5.0 - Not recommended to anyone.
I don't love it. I won't use a 9.25, for example, which is silly (then again, I think non-integer scores are silly!). But I think this largely reflects how people have been voting. Very compressed near the top, with larger and larger gaps as you move down. It'll work.

I'd be surprised if I ever give a score below an 8...probably because I'm unlikely to finish such a module. And because there are so many modules to play, I can be pretty picky about which I download. The only exception might be one of the newer modules. Given that the rate of module release is so slow at this point, I am going to try to play and vote on most newer releases, even if they are from one of the old Bioware module design contests. For the most part, though, I'm going to stick with the top rated ones.

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