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Higher level posts

by jjhorner (Hermit)
on Jul 07, 2000 at 17:18 UTC ( #21463=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've been thinking. Perhaps it should be required of all higher level monks to do some form of tutorial, thesis, HOWTO, or FAQ for the perl monks site. I know that once a monk reaches a certain level, he can pretty much vote all his points everyday and still gain plenty of XP to keep ahead of the curve.

If the higher order monks are required to post educational posts (1/month, 2/month, bi-monthly, whatever) we can all be assured that they are deserving of their rank.

This is not meant to be offensive toward the higher level monks we have now. It will be much easier to attain levels as this site grows, and I don't want perl newbies to hold the rank of pontiff, or friar or possibly even monk without at least leaving the newbie stage.

Any ideas or comments? I'm personally trying to leave the questions for newer monks to gain XP while I move on to more intellectual pursuits, like my female-to-perl translator.

J. J. Horner
Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Higher level posts (kudra: exp escalation, not unqualified monks)
by kudra (Vicar) on Jul 07, 2000 at 18:16 UTC
    I guess the real question is what makes someone deserving of a rank. The current exp system would suggest that writing posts, voting and logging in all contribute towards making someone deserve a rank. If these are not the ways that someone should be able to earn a rank, wouldn't it make more sense to change how exp is given out? Personally, I think that exp should remain at least partially influenced by other forms of participation.

    Not wanting newbies to hold higher levels sounds to me more like a subset of the ongoing debate on exp escalation due to the increased number of users. Describing gaining levels as 'increasingly' easy lends to this interpretation.

    Gaggio's suggestion of required minimum reputation will suffer from the same problem.

    I think the real problem is the scalability of the exp system. Note the following: "This is not meant to be offensive toward the higher level monks we have now." This suggests that the changes wouldn't be applied retroactively, which strikes me as a bit unfair.

    It looks as if lhoward saw something similar in the original post (he posted while I was writing this). I can't say I like having monks in competition with one another for levels, however. I guess I favor one of the suggestions from the previous discussion, which I believe was to have the required exp for each level to be related to the total number of votes available. But however the exp system is changed, if it is, it probably shouldn't include exact numbers as it does now.

      Actually the line about not meant to be offensive to our currently high level monks was just said to make sure they know I don't believe any of them to be unworthy of their current rank. Nothing more. Don't read too much into it. I feel I'm not completely worthy of my rank, but that is merely because I think I need to do more "theoretical" stuff, like FAQs, HOWTOs, and tutorials.

      It should almost be like a college where someone has to do a doctoral thesis to become a saint, or whatever.

      All in all, though, good post.

      J. J. Horner
      Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix
        If I understand jjhorner right, I agree wholeheartedly:

        Gaining XP by voting (and being voted on) appears to work very well to encourage positive participation.

        What may be needed is a mechanism to prevent an intermediate-at-best Perler like myself from advancing to Friar, Bishop or such just by being a reasonably well behaved Monk for a long time. Make me advance in my coding ability if I want to advance as a Monk.

        1. XP could still work as it does now.
        2. When XP earned to advance level, Monk must author documentation that benefits PM before gaining new level.
        3. Alternate methods of demonstrating Perl expertise are also possible.
        4. Monk earns no further XP until doc presented and approved by group of high-level Monks.
        5. Monk could be pre-emptive by presenting doc before XP earned, but only for the next level.
        6. Review process might begin at Monk (5) level.

        Having said that, I still have questions or concerns:

        • how would the review board be selected?
        • how could plaguerism be prevented?
        • retroactive or not?

      There are several problems inherent in scaling rank according to percentages... Let's assume that Saint is the 99.9th percentile automatically... That might equate to one person right now... whoever has the most XP (merlyn) would be the only one which is no real problem... but examine what happens near the middle as the site grows...

      Let's say the monk level begins at 50 percent. If the site grows thickly in the bottom half (where more newbies are creating accounts everyday and gathering lots of collective XP), this will oversaturate the bottom half of the breakdown and thrust everyone upward constantly even if they don't do anything (and as long as their XP level is not surpassed by the average of the growing bottom half). This would mean that the bottom half would constantly drive users with lower and lower XP amounts (and presumably contribution levels) into the higher user levels.

      I just don't see an easy answer to this escalating XP problem. It would take a long time just voting everyday to reach high levels and why would anybody want to do nothing but vote unless they wrote a bot to do it for them =).

      I think static thresholds are probably the best way to go but they should be more widely spaced. I just can't help but feel that the average hacker using PerlMonks should get to stay at the Monk level for a much longer time before progressing beyond (like approximately twice as long as it took them to attain Monk status). This would help to have more Monk loyalty and ownership I think. Anyways, it's a tricky issue. Hopefully any changes that can be made will ultimately be for the better. We should all keep thinking about this as some Monk is bound to have a brainstorm (er epiphany) as to the right way to do it. Hope this helps the discussions somewhat. TTFN.


      p.s. I'm Not Really I!

RE: Higher level posts
by gaggio (Friar) on Jul 07, 2000 at 17:45 UTC
    Yes, this is a good point.

    Maybe that the current rating system should be a little reviewed. It does not mean that a newbye does not deserve getting points by asking questions, but I would simply add some "requirements" that would unify a little more the actual knowledge of the monks at each level. Just to point it out, a few days ago, a newbye was wondering how he could get Monk by simply voting and asking questions.

    My propositions is to require postings that are not questions to go from a level to the upper level, and require also a number of reputation points that would increase along with the level.

  • to go from initiate to novice, require to have a post with +2 for reputation
  • to go to acolyte, two posts with +5 for reputations
  • etc.
  • and to get to the Saint status, having at least a post in each category with +50 or more for reputation (hey, not everybody could be a saint like that! :-)

    Otherwise, I am pleased with the current grading/XP system. I like the fact that you get XP just by logging on the site several times a day, because it proves that you are an "active monk".
      I don't agree with the idea of requiring posts with a certain rep to advance to the next level. We all know that there are problems with voting (people who vote randomly or against people they just don't like).
RE: Higher level posts
by flyfishin (Monk) on Jul 07, 2000 at 17:38 UTC
    I don't think requiring peopel to post helpful information is necessary. If people really want to help out the community they will post educational material and/or comments. However, I think people who post HOWTO, FAQ, or tutorial information should gain mega XP allowing them to outpace people gaining XP simply by voting.
      If each ++ on the HOWTO, FAQ, or tutorial was worth 1 or 2 experiance points instead of 1/3 it would allow fast XP growth, but the amount of XP would still be determaned by votes.
        And gaining XP based on receiving votes should be a major way to gain XP. Afterall, if others feel you are contributing and giving you ++ you should receive the rewards. The problem with the current system is that people gain XP simply by voting. Take me for example, I am a monk simply because I log in and vote each day. I haven't contributed that much to the site, IMO. One idea is to take away the possibility of gaining XP for simply voting. People should gain XP based on what they contribute and by contribute I mean by what they post. If you gain XP based on ++ votes then you are achieving status because others believe you deserve that status, not simply because you show up. Now that I have wandered off topic into the XP realm I will stop now.
      I like this idea a lot.


RE: Higher level posts
by Shendal (Hermit) on Jul 07, 2000 at 19:09 UTC
    I've been thinking about the whole XP system, and it is geared toward having monks participate -- mostly in the form of voting.

    Before discussing how this should be changed, I'd ask why we even have monk levels. Currently, it pretty much only has to do with seniority -- that is, time on the site voting and posting. It has little to nothing to do with quality of posts (although you can rise more rapidly with consistent ++ voting). It also says very little about the quality of knowledge about perl. To me, the level system never did say these things.

    The question remains, is this acceptable? What do we want the levels to say? I like the idea of a thesis as suggested by another post. When it gets time for you to level up, you must complete some sort of task, complete a mantra, quest... a step on a 12 fold path to sainthood, if you will. This may start out as just a quality post (moderated to something like 10 or so) for level 2, making a (good) code contribution for level 3, or perhaps making a new FAQ for monk level. Sainthood might be reserved for doing something a bit more advanced, such as writing your own perl book (i.e., merlyn).

    Improving the XP/level system is important. I think doing something such as this would improve the site and give real meaning to the levels.

RE: Higher level posts
by Apterigo (Scribe) on Jul 08, 2000 at 03:20 UTC
    I'm not a very high level monk, and I think this is an interesting idea. Unfortuantely, I don't forsee this as a true probability. Many of the monks simply do not have enough time on a monthly basis to post an indepth tutorial, thesis, HOWTO, or FAQ. If a monk is unable to fulfill his monthly educational posting obligation, what will his punishment be? I think it would be quite unfair to drop someone 100+ experience because they were unable to provide an educational, indepth post. Another problem with this is that some people are not graced with excellent writing abilities. Small posts that provide concise answers to questions are simple, however, larger, more complex posts that require elaboration on a given topic are impossible for some monks, and they should not be held back because they are unable to write FAQ's, HOWTO's, or Tutorials. Some people can provide direct answers to questions, and others excel at writing Tutorials, FAQs, and HOWTOs. I don't think it's right to hold someone back for something they simply cannot do.

    Just my thoughts,

      I like this last post! I think the XP-system is good...
      It's rewarding to come back to PM to just vote everyday and to read new nodes and to answer them. It also is good to get a fast answer on a node because most monks come everyday to cast their votes. This site is based on interaction between their members. The cortibution is not only in writing FAQ's, HOWTO's and giving answers to nodes but also voting. There are monk discussions, well getting XP to vote and to answer these nodes is also important.

      So IMHO you also could get a higher status to vote, write/answer nodes and interact with all the users AND come back everyday to this site. Well you need to motivate people to come to this site(even people who aren't perl guru's) every day and not just when they need a answer to their node!

      Maybe... giving a higher impact of votes cast by higher monks is maybe ... the only change that could be done ...

      My opinions may have changed,
      but not the fact that I am right

RE: Higher level posts
by Aighearach on Jul 07, 2000 at 18:40 UTC
    I think it is a great idea to require that users publish some sort of FAQ, Tutorial, etc. before being granted higher levels. I'd like to see a system where you have to contribute in this manner to get past level Monk, and to have to make increasing contributions at each level.

    Right now, XP is primarily awarded for voting.

    Not to say that I don't like to climb the list, but I really do think that I am climbing it faster than is deserved. Most of my XP is because I use all my votes, every day. Not hard to do, I'm highly opinionated. But, does that really make me a better Perl Monk? If it causes me to post more, than perhaps. But is voting really the largest contibution a person can make here? Sure it's important but, but is it the most important?

    If I had been required to write a tutorial to get past "Monk", I guarantee you there would be one more tutorial than there is now. Should I do it anyway? Yes. Is it on my list of things to do? Yes. Do I get around to it? Not yet.

    Paris Sinclair    |    4a75737420416e6f74686572    |    205065726c204861636b6572
    I wear my Geek Code on my finger.
RE: Higher level posts
by BigJoe (Curate) on Jul 07, 2000 at 18:36 UTC
    Maybe instead of having to do one every month or 2 months or so. Have it so that every time you get ready to go up a level you have to contribute something like jjhorner said "tutorial, thesis, HOWTO, or FAQ". Then after they write it the monks that have a ranking higher than them vote on it. (kind of like a poll) If the post gets good enough ratings by the higher monks then that person will gain a level.

RE: Higher level posts - XP Growth problem
by lhoward (Vicar) on Jul 07, 2000 at 18:00 UTC
    This is a little off-track, but I just had an idea about the "XP-growth" problem. How about assigning monk titles based on an XP curve for all levels above scribe (or some other arbitrary level). (I made up the percentile numbers, just using them for example)
    This has the downside that people could go down levels while still gaining XP. Of course, it also punishes high level monks for not contributing by dropping them back. But it does keep everything in proportion, preventing us from having a site where everyone is a saint if they hang out long enough.
RE: Higher level posts
by gaggio (Friar) on Jul 07, 2000 at 19:59 UTC
    This debate is really interesting. I went to the node given by kudra and read interesting stuff there.

    So I have a new idea: What about changing the weight of each vote? I mean, making a vote give more points to a Monk if it has been made by a high level Monk. To make this system reliable, we could also have a maximum number of vote that you can get from each level (e.g. 10 votes per level).

    This would fix completely the problem of the number of votes increasing because of the number of users (since there would be a maximum that you can reach), wouldn't it?
      I don't think I'd care for a maximum number of votes. I think there's a big difference between getting 10 votes and getting 30 votes, for example.

      I'm not sure how I feel about changing the weight of a vote. I seem to recall having blabbed about this before.

      If the weight of the vote were dependant upon level, I think a way to do it that would scale fairly well would be to have the level affect the chance of gaining exp from the vote. An example would be having every level above friar give the current (1 in 3) chance of exp, while friar level would give a 1 in 4 chance, monk would give a 1 in 5 chance, and so on.

      The larger problem though, becomes scalability. If you make the weight of higher level users votes count for even more XP, this increase compounded by the constantly growing number of total PerlMonks all voting more and more total votes everyday, it gets to the slippery slope point where a newbie signs up, makes a great post that gets moderated to the Monsastery Gates and gets so many votes so quickly that they climb several user levels in one day. If 31 high level monks voted a ++ on a post and each of those was worth 3 or 7 XP combined with say 127 normal votes (as there would be far more total users) and you have a first post leaping right onto the doorstep of the Monk user level. It's gotta scale well with many more users and votes and still be meaningful.

      I think Shendal is right on above that we first need to evaluate what the XP system is supposed to designate (if not solely participation which includes voting). TTFN.


      p.s. Initiate Nail Removal Immediately!

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