Dungeons and Dragons Wiki:Rating Articles

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Wiki Syntax

Rating articles is a process that helps us find and show off community homebrew favorites, while also providing feedback and critiques of those articles we don't like quite as much. All registered users are welcome and encouraged to rate homebrew articles.

Rating a Homebrew Article

Rating an article is as easy as clicking the link in the information box on the right side of the page, selecting one of the ratings values from the drop down, writing your reasons for doing so, and clicking submit. Your rating will automatically be formatted with your user name and placed on the article's talk page while you continue browsing.

Note that the article will not display your rating in the count immediately. It should display the next time the page is navigated to, not just when it is next refreshed, but it may take a couple of days in some cases. If it still hasn't updated the numbers after that time, you can edit and save the article to show the changes immediately.

Since we use these ratings for helping determine which articles to show or remove, we try to keep everyone on the same page as to their meaning. In general, if you are rating an article with a particular value, you are saying...

  • Favor (or 4 out of 4): ...that this article is good enough to be featured on the front page of the wiki. This is likely work that you would recommend to other games, recommend to players in your own games, or ask to use in games where you are a player.
  • Like (or 3 out of 4): ...that this article is good, but not among the best that we've got. This is likely work that you would include in your own games and ask to use when you played in others, but might not recommend to other games in general.
  • Neutral (or 2 out of 4): ...that this article is ok. You would allow players in your games to use it if they asked, but you probably wouldn't recommend it to others or volunteer it.
  • Dislike (or 1 out of 4): ...that this article is deficient in some way. It's not so bad that you want to see it removed, but you probably wouldn't use it or let it be used in your games.
  • Oppose (or 0 out of 4): ...that this article is terrible and doesn't belong on the wiki. It is so bad that you want it removed from our normal navigation and placed in a sandbox of the author instead.

Manual Rating

If you aren't logged in or don't have an account, the rating process is slightly more involved - you have to fill in a template on the article's talk page. Simply copy the code below into the talk page, fill in the sections as indicated, and save the page. The article will update with the new rating shortly, or you can edit and save the article to show the changes immediately.
{{Rating 
|rater=<-your wiki username (or IP address for anonymous raters with no account)-> 
|rating=<-choose one of: favor, like, neutral, dislike, or oppose-> 
|reason=<-the reason the article deserves the rating you are giving it->
}}

Additional information regarding the use of use the rating template, including examples, can be found on the Rating Template page.

Rating Rules and Guidelines

There are several standard practices and rules for rating articles. We have established these chiefly for the purpose of assuring fair and reasonably objective ratings, hopefully eliminating several sorts of bias that would diminish the value of ratings more generally.

Rate on Article's Merit

It is important to rate articles on their own merits, on the words and effects that it actually has. You can determine if a feat fails as a feat, or a spell as a spell, based on their contents alone, and a poor rating should reflect which parts of the article make a poor fit. It is inappropriate to rate an article badly because you dislike the system into which it fits, however. If an article is a psionic power, for example, you may not rate it badly because you happen to dislike the psionics subsystem. Such a rating is not helpful for those who do like the system and are looking for quality homebrew within it, and diminishes the value of ratings more generally.

Any rating that does not address the merits of an article may be called out as such on the rater's talk page, and may be removed by an administrator if not corrected.

Variant Rule Merits
For variant rules that may substantively affect the playstyle of a game, the merits are harder to determine except as the article meets its indicated goals. These articles are not trying to place a new piece of content into an existing framework, but to create a new framework entirely. If an article sets out to achieve something you consider inappropriate for play style reasons, you should rate it based on how well it achieved those goals and not on the goals themselves. As long as the goals are clearly indicated in the article, it will only be interesting to people who also desire those goals, and so ratings should be as helpful to those people as possible.

Respect Balance Categories

One of the primary criteria often used in evaluating an article's quality is its relative power or balance. Here on the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki, we recognize that there are many philosophies of balance and that one is not necessarily superior to any other. Therefore, we attach a "balance category" or "balance point" to most types of homebrew, so that users can better understand what the author intended with the article. When rating an article with a listed balance point (found in the author template), it is imperative that you appraise its balance against its balance point, not against what you feel is the "proper" power level. This includes appraising an article against the balance point as defined on the wiki, and not as defined personally.

Objecting to a balance issue that is not indicated on the wiki simply dilutes the value of the balance tag and your rating, and may cause your rating to be removed by an administrator. For more information on balance points, see our Project page on Balance Points.

Rate According to Guidelines

As it is important to be on the same page with respect to balance tags and related ratings, it is also important to be on the same page with respect to rating values. A favored article is one that you feel worth of a spot on our front page, while an opposed article is one that you feel should be removed from our navigation so that others are unlikely to find it, and your rating values should reflect this. Any article that fails to explain such a rating may be blocked from the totals.

Do Not Self-Rate

We believe that an author has a biased opinion of an article that he/she has written or adopted, and therefore forbid those users from rating their own articles. If you are the author, co-author or adopter of an article, do not rate it yourself. Any self-ratings will be removed whenever they occur. You are, however, free to ask others for ratings - indeed, several Community Favorites got sufficient ratings for their status by means of asking directly for them. When making such requests, please do not attempt to cherry-pick whom you ask in order to achieve maximal ratings, and similarly do not ask specifically for a favorable rating; both such activities compromise the objectivity we seek to establish.

Do Not Rate Anonymously or Pseudonymously

While a user may maintain multiple accounts if they so choose, no user may use an alternate account for any abusive purposes, including but not limited to: obscuring their identity for the purpose of self-rating; rating a single article multiple times; or concealing dishonest behavior by divorcing it from your public persona (e.g., an agreement to rate a friend's article favorably regardless of merit). For similar reasons, a user may also not rate anonymously, i.e., while not logged in.

Rating as an IP

Users without an account may rate with their IP address since they have no user name, but should not have the same expectation of permanence as registered users. If their IP changes and someone else begins rating with the old IP, the new rater has precedence and they may alter existing ratings without reprisal since we have no way to verify that the original rater and the new rater are different people. For this reason we strongly prefer that raters register an account on the wiki before applying ratings.

Users rating as an IP are expected to follow the same guidelines above, of course.

Modifying Ratings

Your Own

You can modify your own ratings any time, and for any reason. Simply edit the talk page, and adjust your "|rating=" or "|reason" parameters as you see fit. Then save the page when your changes have been made.

Blocking a Rating

You may not modify anyone else's rating or reason for rating, but you may block a rating from being included in the ratings total under very specific circumstances as explained below. In each case you are required to notify them of the change on their talk page, as you are in effect erasing their input on the article and diluting the value of their name. We frown on this here as we do everywhere else. You may notify a user by leaving them a message or using the {{BlockNotice|<-article name (with identifier)->}} template on their talk page.

  • Outdated Ratings: Sometimes an article will go through a substantial revision, often as a result of ratings criticism, and the old criticisms will no longer apply to it. In these cases, it's not fair for an outdated rating to bring down the related page since it no longer applies, particularly if the author of the rating has had substantial time to update their opinion. These ratings can be marked by the relevant article's author or co-authors (and only that author or co-authors) as outdated with the addition of the "|block=NewVersion" parameter in the template. This will add a notice to the article and cause it to not be added to the ratings on the article page.
    The rater may remove this parameter after updating their rating reasons to reflect the current state of the article.
  • Insufficient Explanation: Sometimes a rating will object to an article, but not give a reason why they did so. These sorts of ratings make it impossible for an author to improve the article or address the criticism. If the author requests additional information about the rating on the rater's talk page and does not receive it within 3 days, they may block the rating with the addition of the "|block=InsufficientExplanation" parameter in the template. This will add a notice to the article and cause it to not be added to the ratings on the article page.
    The rater may remove this parameter after updating their rating reasons to better explain their position.

Removing a Rating

Any user may remove a rating by the author of the article in question, as self-rating is often easy to identify and requires no adjudication.

Other ratings concerns require the attention of an administrator. The preferred solution to any rating dispute is to discuss and correct a rating, but an administrator may also simply delete any rating that violates one of our ratings guidelines or the spirit of one of our guidelines. Reasons for deletion therefore include, but are not limited to, multi-rating sock-puppetry, rating based on personal balance instead of wiki specified balance, anonymous rating from an IP associated with a user account. Only administrators may remove a rating in this way, though other users are encouraged to report ratings that they feel violate one of our guidelines.

Articles With Four or More Ratings

When an article has been rated by at least 4 separate users, the article gains a special graphic based on the rating average. It may also qualify for a special category determined by whether it was rated extremely well or extremely poorly.

Community Favorites

An article that has at least 4 ratings that average at least 3.5 is eligible to be shown on the main page as a community favorite. These articles are shown in a random rotation, with one appearing each time anyone loads the main page, and are a great way for a great piece of work to get the attention of more casual users of the wiki. An article must meet this criteria for a full week before it is added to the rotation.

Favorite Blurb

The article must have a paragraph or two summary written up about it, in the same way that published works have a product blurb on their back cover. This may be written by anyone once the article has reached community favorite status, though the author of the article retains final say over the form of their blurb.

The favorite blurb can be created by replacing the "Favorite Article (Identifier)" text in the field below with the article name, like "Amazing Writing (3.5e Feat)", and clicking the button. This will take you to a new page with fields that can be edited for the favored article. If there already is a favorite blurb for the article, you will instead be taken to it for editing.

Adding an article to this rotation is not an automatic process, and requires an administrator to complete the process manually. Once the summary has been written and formatted, the author (or one of the co-authors) of the summary will need to ask a user with administrative access to add the summary to the main page rotation. Once added, the summary will be locked so it can only be edited or updated by a user with administrative access. The authors should be sure that they are happy with the summary before it is moved.

If the admin user is unresponsive, the author(s) should feel free to ask another admin user to complete the process. No more than one administrative user should be asked at any given time, however. There's no reason to spam these requests, and doing so may cause all of the admins to ignore the request.

Adding to Rotation

This process is for administrators to add a requested article to rotation.

Community Opposed

Community Opposed is a status reserved for articles that are considered so poor by so many users that we don't want to show them in the main navigation. An article with 4 or more ratings and an average of 0.5 or less qualifies for this status. If an article has this status for one week, it may be moved to a sandbox of the author's user page without further notice. Any user may complete this move, but whoever does so should add a link to the article to the author's user page.

Once an article is sandboxed in this fashion, it may not be moved back into the main navigation until such time as it has undergone changes and revisions that invalidate enough ratings to remove this status. Any ratings invalidated in this fashion should be marked as outdated by adding the "|OldRating=NewVersion" parameter to the rating template. The raters should also be notified of these changes, so that they can update their ratings and remove the tag. If an article becomes opposed again, it will be removed again after another week.

Rated Pages

While adding any rating is useful, users may also want to find pages that have already been rated to add their own voice to. Users may also want to find articles rated by a particular user. The following link is useful for this, but you will need to enter their user name in the "Value" field. This field is case sensitive, so if you enter the name incorrectly you will not get useful results.