|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
So... you're probably wondering what happened.
You show up one day at the Monastery, cradling your precious caffeine delivery device, only to find... change! What's this? Was I demoted? What the $#%@ is a Sexton, anyway?
Well, the long-dreaded prophecy has come to pass. We have a new level system.
The good news is, most of us will find we've gone up in level. The progression at the low end of the scale is now smoother, and the levels come a bit quicker, so hopefully they'll do a good job of keeping our new members interested.
The bad news is, many of us will find our titles not quite so grand as before. There are some material losses, as well. For each level you gain, you now get only 2 additional votes. Hence, if you'd just made Saint and now find yourself one of my fellow Priests, you're down from 40 votes to 26. It'll take another 9000xp, to get back to 40... but it's all uphill from there, to a maximum of 58.
Many will lose level powers, as well. These changes are not yet fully implemented, as they require that the permission system be made a bit more granular, but hopefully things will be settled shortly. The effects will be most noticeable to those who had recently gained access to the consideration process. Any such system requires a balance, and changing numbers have, over time, made consideration rather different than in the past. We are attempting to restore moderation to moderation.
Many who recall the original proposal will notice differences. One of the complaints about the the proposed scheme was that it left out many of our most experienced monks. The new levels add a series of challenges even for the most active amongst us. They're also pretty daunting for folks like me... but 3000xp looked darned near unattainable to me when I got here, too, so I think there's hope.
The role demerphq has played in bringing about this little miracle cannot be overstated. From a technological standpoint, this is entirely his baby. Building on his past work, finding and abstracting away the original hard-coded XP checks strewn willy-nilly about the site, he implemented this by creating the new preferences, updating scads of minor nodes, and surviving a protracted kibitzing by several rather opinionated people.
I, on the other hand, take full responsibility for the decision itself. If you don't like it, I'm to blame. In my defense, I shall only say that while I cannot hope to please everyone, I do entertain the hope that this will please many, and that the rest will not be too deeply offended.
Now that it's done, I find, somewhat to my surprise, that I'm excited. Last week I had no idea how many XP I had... now I find I'm only 566 points short of Vicar. I think a lot of people will feel the same. It's all still a game, but if you play it right, it's a game of learning, and helping others. That makes it a game worth playing. None of the changes make it more likely that everyone will play fair... but experience shows that the great majority in this community are in it for the right reasons, and that's not likely to change either.
Below I have recorded the old and the new tables, for posterity... not that posterity ever did anything for me. You'll have to ask demerphq about anything which resembles math... I'm okay till about 10, then my shoes come off. The account of level powers isn't complete, and there will be further changes to the powers anyway. The site docs will be updated accordingly.
Update: Thanks a lot, Gramps... I had to go and update both tables! ;-)
Update: Minor, but important, semantic error corrected. Thanks, perrin.
Update: We regret to report that the Grand Inquistor perished, this morning, in a tragic stake-burning accident. Standing in will be Sage.
Update: Upon tye's suggestion, made a much-needed clarification to the voting bonus 'power'.