Dungeons and Dragons Wiki talk:Rating Articles

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Old Discussions[edit]

Discussions about the RC replacement and subsequent granularity votes can be found at the archive. - Tarkisflux Talk 03:38, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

User Sandbox, But No User[edit]

Ambidexterity, DaTedinator Variant (3.5e Feat) has met the criteria for being sandboxed, but there's no user attached to it! Where do we put the sandbox? Do we just delete the page, since the author is not a community member and therefore not terribly likely to show up and fix it? --DanielDraco 07:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Havvy moved it over, you could send it back to him and let him decide if he wanted to try to get it updated or just removed. Otherwise, deletion would be the only option I think. - Tarkisflux Talk 15:57, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with deletion. Surgo 16:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Mobile device problems[edit]

Clicking the "rate" button doesn't work properly when viewing the site on an iPad or Blackberry, and may not work for other mobile devices as well. Is there any way to fix this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Luigifan18 (talkcontribs) at

I think it's built on javascript, so any browser that doesn't support that wouldn't work. I don't know if there's a way to fix that actually. You could do a manual rate if you wanted though. - Tarkisflux Talk 21:49, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Community Favored/Opposed Averages[edit]

I think the goalposts for CommFav and CommOpposed are too tight. If we loosened the rating average by 0.25 in each direction, more articles which should fit in each category actually fit in there. --Havvy (talk) 18:23, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree with this and wholeheartedly support it. It feels too easy for a single outlier to change things at the moment. --Ghostwheel (talk) 18:24, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd be more interested in having a CommDisdained image for articles under about 1.5, rather than loosening the limit for CommOpposed. That way it can be immediately obvious that the article isn't very popular without having to destroy it outright. --Foxwarrior (talk) 19:12, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree, particularly since the reason for changing it seems to be that some people think that some articles should fall into those categories and aren't because other people disagree with them in their own ratings. The point was to keep them tight and force a strong consensus for an article to land in one of those groups and allow outliers to push them out of them. That is working as intended and discussed, and I continue to support it.
So while I don't really care if we opened up the favorites a bit, I am not really for it either and would vote against it because I want a degree of exclusivity among those articles since they're competing for main page advertising space. But I am pretty opposed to opening up the bottom end as proposed, particularly given the current trend of people opposing things before offering constructive advice or opposing on fluff grounds (instead of simply disliking). The articles already show a low score (which we can show on nav now if people want to), and moving them out as a result of the current rating trends + easier kicking seems dickish and exclusionary. Neither of which are conducive to the sort of community building that people say they want to counter the complained about slowness.
So if a display change isn't enough for people who want more stuff removed or highlighted, I'd like to see a better constructed argument in favor of changes. The downsides outweigh the upsides IMO.
As to Fox's suggestion, that sort of summarized rating was voted down last time I proposed it. If people want to revisit it we can of course. - Tarkisflux Talk 19:49, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Tark. The limits are where they should be. For the amount of rating that we get, we get about as many CommX articles as we probably should. I, for one, have not seen any articles which are generally favored by the community which have not become CommFaves, except by virtue of just nobody bothering to rate them. The ones that fail to fall into a category are the ones where no consensus exists, or where the consensus is decidedly unenthused in whichever direction it points. That's exactly the way it should be. --DanielDraco (talk) 20:22, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I feel like it would be a good idea to broaden it if CommFave and CommOpp were marks of "good article" and "bad article". But they're not. There are and should be good articles which are not CommFaves. That category is not for favorites of 25% of the community which everyone else kind of likes. It's for the best of the best as seen through the eyes of the majority. They are the articles that we can all come together and say, "Yes, this is a damn good example of what we want to see on this wiki." As is, we can already get CommFaves with only 50% of voters actually wanting it to become a CommFave. It should not drop below that. --DanielDraco (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it supposed to be that 3.0 - 3.5 is liked, and 0.5 - 1 is disliked? Or is it broader than that? --Ghostwheel (talk) 16:08, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
It's broader than that, with 2.5 - 3.5 being liked and 1.5 - 0.5 being disliked (which boils down to liked or disliked on average). These numbers are in line with those proposed by Fox above and Havvy below. - Tarkisflux Talk 16:12, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Additional Rating Pictures[edit]

Alright, that didn't work so well. Let's try something else. Right now we have three images: opposed, rated, and favored. Let's change that up. We have names for our ratings, so add pictures for being +/- 0.5 from the value shown. For example, opposed would still be 0-0.5, but we'd show a dislike pic for 0.5-1.5 and neutral for 1.5 to 2.5. --Havvy (talk) 20:43, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Completely fine with that. It's a recode, but not a particularly hard one. - Tarkisflux Talk 21:33, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I want to add that this is not only for selfish reasons--in fact, it would change one of my own feelings about an article to become commfav when it wouldn't otherwise be. --Ghostwheel (talk) 22:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Take my prior statement as a preemptive vote for Havvy's additional image suggestion and similar variations thereof. --Foxwarrior (talk) 22:57, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds fine. A more informative display is never a bad thing. --DanielDraco (talk) 03:36, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
We have a bunch of community favorites that won't even show up in the rotation because lack of blurbs and images. I haven't even written blurbs for two of my own because I can't find fitting images. Surgo (talk) 03:52, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be any objections to this, so I think we can get on it. I'll go make a request for art and get started on the re-code in a bit. - Tarkisflux Talk 23:28, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Re-code done, new art added (thanks Gan!), and the additional visuals are now live. Please let me know if there are any bugs.
Additionally, the rating is now a property of the page and can be displayed in navigation on lists if we want to. If anyone wants to do that, I can teach you how to add it. - Tarkisflux Talk 05:16, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Anonymous Ratings[edit]

So the issue has come up of whether we want anonymous ratings to be allowed. We chatted about it a bit in IRC and TF asked me to post some of the points raised against it so other people can agree or refute as they see fit. I'm just going to do it in bulletpoint for sake of ease.

  • The lack of a singular, unified identity tied to them
  • The fact that they are the easiest (though not the only) way to sneak multiple ratings from the same user onto an article
  • The brief registration process would be a good deterrent against troll ratings and hasty ratings from much-too-casual users
  • A registered user is one more likely to stick around and discuss their rating.

It has also been noted that ratings from unregistered users under a dummy name might very slightly mitigate one or two of these issues, but not to any satisfactory degree. --DanielDraco (talk) 00:27, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Here are some points for it:
  • Lower barrier to ratings means more ratings and more casual user friendly in general.
  • Unregistered ratings allow people another way to dip into the site (in addition to talk page discussions and anonymous article contribution) and convert to registered user later. This assumes that conversion is a more effective population building tool than feature gating though, and I'm not sure that's actually true.
In response to DD's security points, we don't actually have ballot stuffing, troll ratings, or poor ratings from passersby to worry about at the moment, so the need to defend against them isn't well supported. I get the worry, but solving a potential future problem that may never even happen doesn't seem particularly compelling to me since it comes at an accessibility and openness cost.
I think this is likely to come down on community building decisions, and on those I have a preference for the continuity of a registered user name. It also makes it much easier to direct attention to responses with user talk pages instead of article talk pages, which is something that I see a lot more often than we have IPs rate. Which kind of sucks in this specific case because the IP who started this discussion would be excluded as a result :-( - Tarkisflux Talk 18:36, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that people should register before rating for the reasons DD stated, and also for the reason that if they invest more into the system (even if it's a few more minutes), they're more likely to be an active part of the community, rather than just saying something and leaving after a single rating. Furthermore, it's not like IP ratings are a major part of the rating system, so it wouldn't be a big downside either. --Ghostwheel (talk) 22:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see problems with allowing IP users to rate. Sure, the odds of having a dialog with them might be a bit low, but the whole point of a rating system is to get opinions. Some of those opinions might seem stupid to the author of the article and the author might want to discuss it, but even if that never happens, at least the author will get some feedback so they can either solidify their own opinion ("yes, I made this the right way") or see something they need to change. And if the author is upset about an IP rating throwing off their article's "score", they can just ask some of the regulars to go rate it to perhaps put the score where the general community thinks it ought to be. I don't think censoring opinions that go against the general consensus or that seem dumb is a good idea.
Also, I agree that security concerns aren't really an issue and probably won't be. It's not like sockpuppeting is impossible anyways, so I don't see IPs offering any threat that registering can't already do (if maybe a little less convenient).
As for it creating more active members... Well, I think that's not necessarily a great assumption. My initial experiences with the old D&D wiki was as an IP user for a while. I wanted to get used to how to comment on a wiki and such before I made an identity for myself. I wouldn't have joined just to rate if there had been a rating system. So, there's at least one counterexample to what you are suggesting, Ghostwheel. Whether it's more likely either way: I don't know. --Aarnott (talk) 22:29, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Surgo and Aarnott are for IP rating while DD and Ghost are against, and I don't really want to block out the only IP we have who is currently rating. So in the absence of more people wanting to restrict ratings and the lack of problems with the current open system, I think we might as well leave it as is for now. Tying down later is easy enough after all. - Tarkisflux Talk 20:08, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Just a bump before I tweak DD's policy writeup in a few days. As things stand IPs will be allowed to rate. They probably don't have the same expectation of permanency as registered users (because IPs can change, but that seems extremely unlikely) and should convert their ratings if they ever do register, but that's minor policy writeup stuff. - Tarkisflux Talk 22:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Removing and Blocking Ratings[edit]

Okay, let's talk about more of this policy stuff.

I have been told that there are users who feel that a negative rating with insufficient detail is unfair in that it offers the author no ability for the author to adjust the page to address the criticism and request a re-rate or apply the OldVersion tag. That doesn't seem like an unfair complaint (if one with a few other logical extensions that I'll get to shortly). I'm wondering how people feel about allowing an admin (and only an admin, because edit wars) to remove a rating upon request from the author if they agree that it is insufficiently specific and the rater has failed to respond to requests to clarification. Yes, I said remove and not block because the OldVersion tag is specifically there to delineate one that the author is blocking for the stated reasons no longer applying, not one that failed to specify actual reasons and was dealt with by an admin. It seems like the sort of case where we'd want an admin to step in and agree that it was a crap or inappropriate rating per policy, instead of just a user dispute. We could do a new tag instead, but I don't really want multiple blocked ratings tags floating around confusing people looking at the ratings.

Other things that seem unfair for similar reasons: continuing to include non-updated ratings two years after the migration. The RC system didn't include a negative rating and doesn't actually hurt articles (but may be blocking some actually negative ratings), but the anyone registered like/neutral/dislike system does actually hold articles back when they aren't updated. I'd like to remove all of them for consistency sake, and to retire the tag associated with them. It's been 2 years, people really should have dealt with them by now to be fair to the articles that they're attached to. Unless there's really strenuous objections from a lot of people, I'm just going to pull them all. - Tarkisflux Talk 05:01, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Fine, fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine... how does one find their old ratings in order to update them? :-P --Ghostwheel (talk) 05:49, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Yours are still linked on your talk page Ghost (you have a category with them and everything). Opinions on the other removal proposal? - Tarkisflux Talk 06:52, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Better than letting one or two ratings that have no actual basis destroy a good article's ability to get more press via commfav. --Ghostwheel (talk) 07:27, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
My post prompted this, but just for the sake of unity I'll note here too that I agree that this is a good procedure to put in place. I would suggest that it include a request on the rater's talk page for clarification, followed by some amount of time (3 days maybe, to be shorter than the CommX grace period) for the rater to respond and clarify. And holy crap, we still have legacy ratings? Yeah, let's get rid of those. --DanielDraco (talk) 07:47, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
3 days seems short to me, but I'm often on the long side of these sorts of things. And yes DD, you still have legacy ratings. - Tarkisflux Talk 07:51, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with DD on the 3 days thing, for three reasons; first, 3 days is FOREVER on the Internet, second it gives people an incentive to stick around and be part of the discussion, and because it can always be reversed. And yes. --Ghostwheel (talk) 08:10, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I actually like people waiting longer than FOREVER to make these sorts of changes and would prefer 7 days to match with the CommOpp policy, but I can live with 3 days.
How do people feel about removing non-updated OldVersioned ratings? If we went forward with it at all, I'd want to wait 7+ days from user talk notification of the OldVersioning. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but if we're opening the door to removal for these other reasons it seemed like the sort of thing we may as well discuss. - Tarkisflux Talk 17:15, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually deleting outdated ratings only sounds twice as sensible to me as deleting outdated discussions, that is, still not very sensible. Changing the template to make them look grayed out or something could be good though. --Foxwarrior (talk) 17:28, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
My main reasoning for 3 days is preicsely that the CommOpp grace period is 7 days. If a user gives a 0/4 rating that pushes the average down to 0.5, then the next day the author sees it and contests it because there is no explanation given, giving the rater 7 days or more to respond will mean that the article will be pushed into CommOpp before the rating can be removed. I guess we could just not allow an article to be pushed in or out of CommX by a rating with an unresolved contest against it, but that would A) provide a stalling tactic for butthurt authors and B) be more or less tantamount to just letting the author nullify it before allowing time to respond. I stand by 3 days as a good timeframe.
I am generally against removing anything from talk pages ever without archiving it. So I'm going to support Fox's idea here and say that OldVersioned ratings should be grayed out to be more visibly not applicable, but not removed.
I could have sworn I updated all my legacy ratings a long time ago. I'll get on that now. --DanielDraco (talk) 23:33, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

Graying out is easy (well, it's another re-code, but whatever), and a better idea anyway. So let's do that. Your position suggests that you would prefer blocking insufficiently descriptive ratings on articles rather than removing them via admin. Is that the case and you would prefer a new blocking tag, or are the situations sufficiently different as to allow removal? - Tarkisflux Talk 04:07, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm generally against removal of any ratings, but not strongly opinionated enough to argue it if this is not a popular opinion. --DanielDraco (talk) 01:49, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be just us in here, and non-removal was already suggested by Fox. So it's at least 50% popular. I don't mind supporting that over straight removal, which I'm also generally against. It's another tag, but those bother me much less in the grayed out scenario so I'm not worried about it. - Tarkisflux Talk 06:20, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
And a bump here before I update more policies and rewrite the rating template again. Current position is for a new rating block reason that the author can apply after 3 days if they do not receive clarification after requesting such on the rater's talk page. And for the template to do a better job of showing which ratings are being blocked by changing the color scheme instead of just adding a disclaimer. It's live in a few days if we don't see some objections. - Tarkisflux Talk 22:47, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Rating: "For Reasons Given Above"[edit]

Alone this should not be a valid reason to rate an article one way or the other. Referencing and agreeing to points below are relevant. But a rating should always add something to why it was rated in the manner chosen - and be given a personal touch that shows the article was looked into. --Franken Kesey (talk) 20:24, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

No. If someone has expressed my feelings clearly and fully and I have nothing to add, then I have nothing to add apart from agreeing with them. --Ghostwheel (talk) 20:56, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
And if someone's reason was: "Because its stupid." then three others: "For reasons given above." It should not be community opposed. No one took the time to work with the page. A rating is just as much a contribution to this wiki as an article is, there is no use in ten people making ten of the same versions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Franken Kesey (talkcontribs) at
As per policy, ratings must be validated with reasoning of some kind. It doesn't matter if its in the rating or the rater points to material elsewhere on the talk page (like from an earlier post discussing the article or the talk page of a similar article in a series for that matter). This is acceptable if less convenient in some cases of long discussions because people are lazy and reading ratings should be clear. Some raters don't like to express the same thoughts over again and waste people's time with redundancy on what's already been said (which itself reduces clarity, and again, people are lazy). Now, if the reasoning wasn't given or was for some reason invalid, then yeah, those ratings get struck. We already do that. Did you just hear a bell? 'Cause I just chimed in. --Ganteka Future (talk) 22:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
A rating is not as much a contribution to the wiki as the article is, and if someone writes an exhaustive rating (or commentary) of an article I see no reason to tell someone they are not allowed to second that opinion. I've rated articles with lots of positive or thorough negative reviews , and trying to find something new to add is non-trivial. While I prefer to write my reasons down, requiring that is a barrier to new ratings that I'm not interested in raising.
To your specific concern, vacuous ratings will be blockable based on being insufficiently clear (see above discussion) if the rater fails to provide additional details. And so would any ratings based on them. The case you are concerned about will be a non-issue shortly (and opposing for being 'stupid' instead of merely disliking might even run afoul of our merits requirement). - Tarkisflux Talk 23:04, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Grayed out ratings are now live. Parameter was changed from |OldVersion to |block to reflect different mission. Currently will accept |block=NewVersion and |block=InsufficientExplanation, can add more if we determine that these are insufficient. Editing article now. - Tarkisflux Talk 07:43, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Good, very good. Thank you --Franken Kesey (talk) 14:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Merit Guideline Expansion[edit]

It's been complained about a couple of times, and I wanted to discuss it without cluttering a talk page. People do not get to rate based on whatever they want, and any indication otherwise should be corrected. Part of that is on me and not writing a clear merit guideline, which is why I have just updated it.

They were always intended to work as a "rate according to what's there, and if you're wrong we'll delete it" standard, but it wasn't as clear as it should have been. I have deleted ratings (not blocked, deleted) for merit violations when they didn't seem to be addressing what was on the page, and I will do so again if I see any that I think aren't addressing the article fairly. They were also intended to work to make sure people rated based on how well what they made fit into the framework they were inserting into (how well made a flaw was, for example) and not a commentary on the framework itself. If someone writes up why they think a flaw is a terrible fit for the flaw system and then opposes it, then so be it. That part was pretty much there I think, but should be more clear after edits.

There is a problem with applying that to the variant rules though, because they're trying to alter the framework rather than insert into it. And since I'm not willing to condemn a playstyle and won't let the wiki get into the business of doing it either, the only way to really judge a playstyle altering variant rule is by how well it meets its own goals and does what it says it's going to. Anything else is tacit approval of some variant concepts over others. Since variants aren't going to be adopted by people who don't already want to meet the goals they specify, the ratings will help them understand how well the article does the thing that they're interested in and not argue that they shouldn't be interested in. If you still want to argue that it's a bad thing to want in the first place, you can do that in regular comments. - Tarkisflux Talk 00:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

This is a bump, because I don't want anyone complaining about not seeing these changes when I start informing people of violations and deleting ratings in a few days. If this isn't ok and needs to be adjusted, tell me now (or soon, you know what I mean). - Tarkisflux Talk 02:05, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Acknowledged. Give me a heads up if I run into any issues. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 02:21, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Variant rules should also be judged on how smoothly they fit in the existing system (or at least the parts that are not replaced) and how overall usable they are, not only on their stated goal. If I make a combat system whose goal is to redo initiative to be like 2e and succeed, however the system triple the length of combat because of how it work, it is perfectly justifiable to dislike such system because of it unplayability. --Leziad (talk) 02:56, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Explain how to do that without letting the whole thing devolve into playstyle complaints, and I'm on board.
Your example doesn't really do it. There could be people who would prefer the chance to interrupt a spell between the period when casting began (char init) and the time when it was successfully cast (char init - spell speed). There could be people who want small weapons to go slightly faster, on average, than large weapons. And there may be people who like randomized turn order. I am unwilling to tell any of those people that they're doing it wrong and their rule is bad and should be removed from the wiki, even if it does slow the game down substantially. Those are necessary consequences of the setup, and as long as they're discussed and acknowledged I don't see a reason why it should be rated badly because of them. People who want that other stuff might be willing to make that trade, and that's a playstyle decision. It's not one that I'm going to make, but that's not relevant to how well the variant achieves its goals.
If there are other things that it does that don't work well or aren't intended, then it can and should be downrated for those reasons. But downrating because people want different things out of the game and are willing to pay different prices to make it work (when that price is done as reasonably as possible and indicated clearly) seems a lot like playstyle preferencing, and I'm not down with those cases. - Tarkisflux Talk 05:03, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Dunno if it helps, but I have an unspoken rule that I limit to dislike if it functions, but I think it's a terrible playstyle that hurts the game (and typically try not to rate those period, I'm not the target audience and it's a bit rude otherwise). Of course if it's broken AND a bad playstyle it's free game. The key point here is that dislike shows my disapproval, but oppose is straight up "remove this", and I think it requires a measure above and beyond the transition between neutral and dislike.
One big thing I will say though is in your description, especially if it's an oppose, you need to justify it. That's why I harped on MS when he was like "I don't like dragons, oppose", and why I harp on others when they do the same thing. That is, at most, a dislike and really "you probably shouldn't bother rating this". Show why it is broken, regardless why you like dragons or not. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 05:07, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
It not about playstyle, I wasn't complaining about 2e initiative in 3.5e by itself. It could work, I am referring to if it was done in a way that considerably slowed down combat. Perhaps not the best example so let try another. Short of designing such a rule myself we will need to go abstract and hypothetical here:
Someone make a rule that change ability score, compressing them into 4. The system itself is consistent with itself and work well, however the changes have a great effect on the framework of the game. We need to take in account how the variant will rule will impact what it does not change: Monsters, spells, items. Now let say the rulemaker added fractional ability scores to add some variety to his 4 ability score system. This fractional ability score system work well with itself and is well written. There is a problem however, no monsters in the game use fractional ability score and using the variant rule would require the DM to convert any monster he want to use to the system. While the rule is well written and achieved everything it own goal it clashes with other part of them system and since using it require mass conversion it is not really seamless.
Now if charisma was completely taken out from the ability scores, requiring major change in a lot of classes and skills. Assuming the rule is well written still there is alternative but it still require conversion. So while it is possible to use the system, and it excellent at what it does, doing so is an extreme hassle I believe it would be justified to rate this system negatively based on how it seam with part of the game it does not touch. Now if the rulemaker expanded the system and did the conversion himself the complaint would fall off obviously.
It is true that variant rule create their won framework, but we must also consider how they interact with the framework they do not inherently affect. They still after all work within the framework of the game as a whole. Also we must consider how clunky and annoying some rules are, which I assume count toward attempting to reach it intended purpose and what if the author want to make the game as clunky as possible with 300 words paragraphs of rules? We also need to pay attention to the overall quality of the rules, it mathematics, it grammar, how clear it is. I think it would be fair to dislike a rule if you need a cipher to be able to read it no matter how well it meet it intent. What if the rule is inherently offensive? Adding racist and sexist or other distasteful elements to the game? I agree we should be more lax with rating variant rule, but basing it solely on how well it meet it intent seem unwise to me. --Leziad (talk) 05:24, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

(RESET INDENT) Hmmm, Leziad has a point. Variant rules either add, or change, something in the overall framework of D&D. Not all rules fit, regardless what intention of the rule is. After all if you augmented it enough it's not a variant rule, it's a new system. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 05:50, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Eiji, that whole idea of "I'm not the target audience for this, and so I'm going to hold my rating a bit" is pretty much what I was trying to go for. I may well steal some of the 'you probably shouldn't be rating this' bits when I work up whatever next form this is likely to take.
Leziad, for the 2e case my point was that I don't think such a thing could be done without slowing down combat. Downrating because of the slow down would be problematic as a result, because it's part and parcel of the whole thing. But if the slow down wasn't discussed, or it was instead praised as a speeding up, or if it was terribly worded and unclear then sure, downrate. Oppose even if it's bad or misleading enough. I don't want to remove the quality considerations, and if that needs to be made more clear I'll do that. There's a line between 'this is a bad rule because it promotes something I don't like' and 'this is a bad rule because it is poorly written / works poorly with all of these other unchanged subsystems that aren't mentioned at all' that I'm trying to stop people from crossing over. If you have wording suggestions, I'm happy to steal them.
And I support straight up deletion for inappropriate articles, so I'm not sure that they should really be discussed in ratings... but sure, oppose those too if it's a borderline case. - Tarkisflux Talk 08:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Then we are in agreement here. --Leziad (talk) 08:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, if you're going to be giving something a bad rating, you should hold off until you actually discuss it and make an effort to iron out its faults. If someone makes a rule that's only broken by an overly-literal RAW reading or as a result of obscure/mostly ignored rules and you say "Feat is mechanically broken and does not function, 0/4" instead of "It's impossible to qualify for this feat because of this rule: blahblahblah", then you're just being a jerk. You might as well bite a cow's arse and say "This is the worst steak ever!". When it comes to variant rules, you need to get it through your head that not everyone needs them. If you think full attack as a standard action is OP because you play a dwarvern rogue with a +5 flaming holy composite longbow, then you're obviously not someone who needs it to be useful. I mean, I consider the injury variant to be inherently broken because it turns Marshal into an invincibility button, Paladins become unstoppable, and other such nonsense, but I don't rate that poorly because it's obviously incompatible with certain games. LenKagetsu (talk) 19:25, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Ratings are supposed to have reasons. If they don't, then they're not valid. Apart from this, I could barely understand what else you wanted to say in your post :-/ --Ghostwheel (talk) 19:40, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Len - While I prefer discussion before downrating (because courtesy), it's not actual policy and I don't think it should be. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that people don't stick around for as long as their work does, and asking raters to wait a bit for them to respond is just yet another hoop to jump through for page ratings that new users are likely to get tripped up on. If you disagree and want to start a separate topic about it, feel free. Policy reflects consensus in this case, and consensus can change.
As for the variant bits, I suspect we're mostly on the same page. If the injury variant didn't call out its potential problems with some game sets or purported itself to be a replacement suitable for all games, I'd consider that a failure of the article and downrate appropriately. I suspect Leziad would too based on his framework comments.
Ghost - My original one or Len's? - Tarkisflux Talk 21:17, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Len's. --Ghostwheel (talk) 23:03, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm basically saying that someone should make a significant effort to improve on an article before giving it a low rating. If you can see faults, you can take time to point them out and let them fix them. If they've been AWOL for months though, then slap them all you want. LenKagetsu (talk) 23:14, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Real world religions and politics[edit]

I for one don't think we should have political things on the wiki; that includes bashing of specific religions, or political stances either way. I'd like to add this to the list of requirements of an article. It's fine to take a real world religion or political ideology and change it into a fantasy version that has no connection to reality (such as the cult of Sarenrae in Pathfinder being similar to the faith of Islam), but things that directly relate to real life religions/politics should be a no-go. Aye/nay/reasoning? --Ghostwheel (talk) 08:44, 27 February 2019 (MST)

Most classes are inspired by the real world. This would exclude clerics, paladins, priest, etc. All real world professions. The original sourcebooks included them. D&D has always been an expansive universe. Further, the whole point of homebrewing is to create more classes to expand this universe further.
The greater issue here is censorship. A user (ghostwheel) did not rate a class according to the current rules. When I corrected him for this he chose to flee here, instead of rating the article based on its merits. If this becomes a precedent, whenever a user dislikes a rule they will just change it here, instead of giving a valid reason on the article. (The related article can be found here.)--Franken Kesey 14:21, 27 February 2019 (MST)
I think he mean real world issues only, I also do not believe that downrating constitute an attempt at censorship. --Leziad (talk) 14:32, 27 February 2019 (MST)
Downrating based on merits is fine. However, ghostwheel did not rate based on merits. What ghostwheel is attempting to do is remove all religious/political articles from this site. Which is impossible (you would have to remove most divine-spell casters). It is censorship if you only remove some divine articles (while keeping others). Since the site licenses are American, this would be breaking 1st amendment rights (favoring one religion over another).--Franken Kesey 14:52, 27 February 2019 (MST)
...Really? Divine spellcasters who worship Pelor, Iomedae, or Llolth are actual real world things? Give me a break. Second, yes, there are some things we censor on the wiki. Some are blatantly illegal, others are extremely distasteful, and people have downvoted them in the past (like the "God" article based on the Christian god). Since you brought it up as a point, I brought it up to the community at large. Feel free to disagree and give your reasoning, but I don't believe that any good has come up in the past of referencing actual, real world politics or religions. No one likes having their core beliefs attacked, and honestly, I don't think this is the place for that. On top of it, your article refers to the world as though it were the real one, where gods cannot be proven and do not demonstrate their power, and where they are not blatant and unequivocal forces for good in the multiverse. Keeping it in the realm of fantasy? Go for it. But start bringing real world things into it, and I think that's where the line should be drawn. --Ghostwheel (talk) 15:06, 27 February 2019 (MST)
Oh my. This has exploded since i started typing... Where do I begin...
Not to be rude, but in the "real world", we don't have dragons, beholders or magic in general, despite the fact that many real-world things exist in D&D, like a generalized "Cleric". While I have long bemoaned the Christianity-specific origins and abilities of the Cleric and Paladin, they are generalized enough to be acceptable. D&D does have an expansive universe, you are correct, and it expands far beyond real-world issues, into things like "Wild magic is running rampant and this magic condom, place on the statue of the witch king in the Starfell Temple, is the only thing that can stop it".
Satanist is more or less that which is already thoroughly covered by Diabolist, Ur-Priest and Eiji's False Prophet. Not only is it mechanically flawed from the last time I looked yesterday, but it entwines fluff with mechanics to the point of being nearly impossible to re-flavor it for other purposes, which goes against most of the design philosophy of this wiki overall. We create things that are creative but not offensive, and can be adapted to suit things beyond the original design.
Additionally, the topic it is so thoroughly steeped in is an incredibly sensitive one, and we don't support articles like that. One such example is an old Flaw made by Balmz, called "LGBTQ-aphobic" or something to that nature, which reduced the bearer's Int and Wis to the minimum required to function, and so forth. We appreciate conflict in fantasy, but articles relating to real-world topics like religion or politics cause a huge stink in real life that we don't want to spill over to the wiki here. If you wish to create such an article, I suggest you sandbox it or put it on another site, such as DandDWiki, who will more readily accept it. User:Cedric we have asked to sandbox questionable/potentially offensive material, and it is a matter of keeping the wiki a peaceful and creative place as opposed to more closely resembling the dumpster fire of a Facebook comment section. This isn't censorship, this is common sense.
Another option is to re-flavor the class and make it less flavor-specific, such as the cult that Ghostwheel mentioned. It could be generalized as a person who opposes religion and either draws power from a dark patron like a Warlock does, or has so much faith that there is no divinity that these athiest values manifest as divine power of a new type. As you said on the talk page, "In LaVey Satanism, these are all archtypes of people. Not literal deities. As such amen-ra, set, shiva, yahweh, etc. could be put in place depending on the setting. Good and evil are just points of view" - Which means you can simply rename some abilities, cut some fluff, and mention all somewhere that it's meant to represent being like these real-world-religion entities.
We are not saying your idea is utterly wrong and unsalvageable, we're saying you need to think about the shitstorm your article could start and said shitstorm's effects on the wiki as a whole. Sensitive real-world topics shouldn't be welcome on the wiki, but you can quite obviously leave out some things to make it more vague and less offensive.
One last piece of advice - Tone down your conviction a bit. Ghostwheel didn't flee anywhere; He saw a problem and came here to re-evaluate the rules. It's not any different from finding a hole in a wall you've built and trying to figure out how you could repair and reinforce that wall to prevent more holes from forming.
I hope this has been an intelligent and thorough way of explaining the issue and possible solutions, and I hope in equal measure that my writing style doesn't cause too many headaches. (Oops, forgot to sign) Zhenra-Khal (talk) 15:25, 27 February 2019 (MST)
I'm all for being creative and having ideas but to me using real world religion and names and so on makes me uncomfortable. Also even though this may seem sjw the satanist class could be seen as stealing their culture, finally i just find the notion of real world religion in d&d to be very odd, i recall a very old ad&d article about some tiger creatures and it mentioned they were found in india which was really bizarre, like i play d&d to get away from rl things, I don't think your class is bad but just renaming it or reflavoring it could work nicely, like call it demonoloist or hell worshipper. Balmz (talk) 15:25, 27 February 2019 (MST)
I am not for a blanket ban, if someone made a fictionalized real life setting as a wiki setting by example and did it well I would have no problem with it. However I am for allowing downrating because it reference real world stuff. I think it a flavor issue and does reflect on the merit of the article, since it affect flavor heavily. I agree with Zhendra and Ghostwheel in general, and I think that bringing censorship and 1st amendment into this is a bit over-the-top. --Leziad (talk) 15:34, 27 February 2019 (MST)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

If we're talking about censorship and favoring one thing over another... if it applies to all real world religions and politics, rather than one, then it's in no way favoring one thing over another, so that point is pure baloney. --Ghostwheel (talk) 15:54, 27 February 2019 (MST)
The following classes have strong religious underpinnings: Bishop (3.5e Class), Godseer (3.5e Class), Hardened Paladin (3.5e Class), Paladin, Tome (3.5e Class), Priest (3.5e Class), Templar (3.5e Class). To truly be non-religious, all of them (and many more), would have to be removed. I am not at all suggesting that we do this. I like some of them. But currently this wiki favors one religion over another.
The Satanist (3.5e Prestige Class) is the solution to this. It ironically adds balance to the spectrum of religious inspired classes on this wiki. Creating a new rule barring it would condone only Abrahamic religions. Current ruling is neutral on this.--Franken Kesey 17:19, 27 February 2019 (MST)
None of these are at all Abrahamic though, you can have a Bishop of Athe, Godseer of Rejiksoon, or a Priest of Sheep the Head and not only is the Paladin in the base game, but they are not even serving the Gods, just good and law. They are terms, even if someone made a Miko (3.5e Class) following pseudo-shinto it should be fine. Even if the rule were changed, it would not remove anything just allow people to vote down or up IRL content as a merit in of itself. --Leziad (talk) 18:54, 27 February 2019 (MST)
A great many of the pantheons of gods in D&D are based upon real world religions, many ancient, some still going. Many 3pp products expand on this with lucifer, angels and so on. Most of the political systems used in the game are based upon real world systems. Yes they are all 'magic'd up' and such, but denying articles simply because of real world ties/basis is placing strictures on play style, IMHO. Who is to say a game might not take a weird trip through a strange gate to this world for an adventure? I agree that bashing real world religions or political beliefs should be banned, but definitely not articles simply based upon them. I would also be against down rating such articles simply because of a difference in flavor/setting preferences; ratings should be based upon the quality of presentation and system workablility. Elohim (talk) 19:00, 27 February 2019 (MST)
Wow, I can't believe this is getting so out of hand ... I actually completely agree with Elohim, so I'm going to start by reiterating what Elohim said that I agree with. Bashing real world religions or political beliefs should be banned, but not articles simply based on them. I am also against down rating such articles simply because of the difference in flavor/setting preferences. I also agree that ratings should be based upon the quality of presentation and system workability. There are many classes with religious underpinnings as previously mentioned and this has never been a problem until now. The reason for that is because Satanism is viewed in such a sensitive light in the real world that it evokes a different feeling than a Bishop or other such articles would. At that point if we start saying that its wrong only now than we're discriminating. He's not saying anything negative about the religion itself, and if anything, for the most part he seems to be trying to present it in a neutral light, which is the most you can ask from an article with religious underpinnings.
As to having real world religious stuff in D&D the Evangelist prestige class in Complete Divine doesn't out right name Christianity, but it certainly STRONGLY evokes the imagery and feel of a Christian evangelist, and then the Deities and Demigods handbook presents rules for the Deities from the Norse pantheon, the Greek Pantheon and the Egyptian pantheon BY NAME. All real world, real life religious subjects presented as true as possible to the depiction of them in the real world. Sure those religions aren't practiced as much if at all now n' days and aren't controversial, but if we're looking for precedence in the core material for a real world religion being converted into rules, there is your answer.
That being said, I do agree with Ghostwheel, Leziad and Zhenra-Khal as well. I personally identify as Christian, and when I got the request to rate the article, it did make me feel a little uncomfortable at first. Because of the sensitive nature of this article, it could in theory make a .. "shitstorm" as it was worded .. which I agree is something we definitely not want in this wiki. I wasn't part OF the drama on the previous Wiki, but I was an article contributor during that time when we split off and came here, and I dont want to see anything at all on this wiki that is going to cause drama or disrupt the zhen and peace that we have here. I like it, I like this site and I dont want to see it presented in a negative light by any article, ever. So if something were to become a bigger issue, I would support making a line in the sand somewhere for the sake of keeping the peace. The-Marksman (talk) 02:02, 28 February 2019 (MST)
Suddenly Eiji.
Point of Order; people get away with using things like the Norse pantheon and whatnot because they are "dead religions", or at least so small or so unknown that it's not an issue. That... doesn't so much apply to modern religions. Especially big ones. Especially big ones with fantastical followers who would invoke violence in the name of their particular brand. While I'm not particularly afraid of them, its a good idea not to provoke them into possibly running a DDOS attack or whatever because someone got terribly offended. This also applies to politics, so me making a class about, or making fun of, the Whigs by name is fine but if I make Libertarian (3.5e Class) I'm probably gonna get reamed. Since it was brought up before, I've clearly danced on this line with Covfefe, but at no point do I point out a certain real life sack of rotting tangerines, as this is clearly some slightly cursed slaadi beverage.
You're probably like "but Satanists aren't a big thing" and you're right. I have no concerns about actual Satanists throwing a fit. Unfortunately Satanists are tied at the hip with Christianity by nature soooo... there's no getting around that. I would also be opposing Christian (3.5e Class) on the same grounds.
It may seem like a small thing, but simply renaming it and washing a bit of its background to be more generic or more in tune with D&D lore easily fixes it. I could make that class, have it chock full of Ayn Rand quotes and the invisible hand of the free market and have it all about destroying government services and call it the Rebel or the Anarchist* or whatever. Or have the religious man who worships aliens and is all about selling woo and call it the Cultist of Yenu who is definitely not a Scientologist. You could rename is Adversary of Faith or... actually nevermind, stole that one. But you get the idea.
(*Yeah yeah Anarchists is also a political group, but its also the name of an ideology in general so we're good. That's also why Evangelist is fine. It's Evangelist, not Southern Baptist Evangelist.)
Unfortunately the nature of the situation is inherently fuzzy, so you're not going to get a hard and fast rule to follow out of this. It's really more of a politeness thing, and it's pretty easy to fix. Anyway, personally I like it when you work a class into pre-existing lore. Tell me how you make a worshiper of Asmodeus or something. Or at the very least purge it of referring to reality. If you're going to import Satan or Yahweh or Me into your game tell me how it interacts and works in a world of Pelor and Friends.
So yeah, strictly speaking it's not "illegal" or "against the rules" to do this. But I do think that the subject matter and how it's handled is in fact fair game in ratings. A negative rating won't hide your work, it just says your work is not desired and here is why. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 03:18, 28 February 2019 (MST)
I'm here to lay down the law. And it is this: no hamfisted real-world reflections onto the wiki. That's perfectly fine to be judged by ratings, and I encourage it. Earlier in this thread, you were given by Zhenra-Khal a number of suggestions. You could reflavor your class a bit to make it less hamfisted and more widely applicable. If you dislike the way it is interpreted here, you could also sandbox it, or move it elsewhere. Hell (pun intended), you could even refer to the fact that Satan is a title and be like “any evil demon can be your satan” and have satanists of demogorgon or whatever. Or if you want to stick with the atheist theme, make a class out of rejecting the gods.
I'm not as a rule opposed to real-world things on the wiki. It's possible that someone make, say, a Pastor of Saint Something for an urban modern setting and it ends up being great. But that's the sort of thing you have to be pretty careful about, and I and the rest of the user base do not think you showed that level of care.
You've been given options on what to do here. There are many options available to you. But one of them is not leave the page as-is. You will do one of the available options, or I will delete the page, as I am this site's Satan, the God of This World and its final authority. Surgo (talk) 16:59, 28 February 2019 (MST)
That would be missing the whole point. My class does not interpret satan as an evil supernatural being. The class permits all alignments and mostly uses Extraordinary abilities. There are over 30 different christian-based classes on this wiki. If you refuse to allow a satanist class, you admit to favoring one religion over another.--Franken Kesey 17:54, 28 February 2019 (MST)
You seem to be laboring under the assumption that this is an argument or in any way up for debate. It is not. Surgo (talk) 18:41, 28 February 2019 (MST)

The full list of strongly religious (and mostly Christian) inspired pages on this wiki[edit]

The full list of strongly religious inspired pages on this wiki:

1) Bishop (3.5e Class): only Christians have bishops.
2) Deacon (3.5e Class): Only Christians have deacons.
3) Templar (3.5e Class): A real world order of religious knights.
4) Hashshashin (3.5e Class) A real world cult.
5) Church Hunter (3.5e Prestige Class): Only Christians call their temples churches.
6) Exalted Saint (3.5e Prestige Class): Even uses biblical language.
7/8/9) God-blooded (3.5e Class), Godseer (3.5e Class) and Godling (3.5e Prestige Class): It is in the name. Only Christians use the term god. Muslims call him Allah, while Jews call him Yahweh. Thus Christian.
10/11) HellFire Destroyer (3.5e Prestige Class)/Hellmaster (3.5e Prestige Class): Hell spelled with two “L”s is Christian, Jews would say Sheol, the Norse would spell it with one “L”.
12-18) Cleric, paladin, and at least five different homebrew paladins on this site
19-28) The entire Tome of Fiends uses a Christian interpretation of evil. Which includes 4 base classes and 6 prestige classes.
29/30) Priest (3.5e Class) and High Priest (3.5e Class): Sure it could be argued that other religions have priest (i.e., Hindus), but both leans hard towards Judeo-Christian origins.

All these could be called shamans (a religious neutral term). Yet technically the word shaman comes from one religion (then was used by anthropologists for decades as a name for all tribes’ spiritual leaders).

However, there is only one class that takes a neutral approach to Satan (the Satanist (3.5e Prestige Class)). This is the only class that is criticized for using real-world religious inspiration. Which is out of balance. Do we only allow Christians here?--Franken Kesey 17:39, 28 February 2019 (MST)

Sorry, I'm gonna field this one. This is disingenuous and a silly hill to die on.
Bishops is a generic term too in common parlance, much in the same way that Band-Aid is technically a company and not the name of the product (adhesive bandages). Otherwise, you're gonna have to explain to Games Workshop that that pseudo-Roman society of space marines are actually worshiping Christ and not the God Emperor. This also applies for Deacon, Saint, Church, and so far. They're titles. You can even refer to a pope because that's like a lord or a king or a czar, and that's fine.
Templars and Hashshashins are "dead". Throw it in with the Norse gods and other groups that no longer have a major presence.
Godseer and company. Are you really trying to claim that the word "god" is owned by Abrahamic religions? You literally can't get more generic. They aren't referring to the middle eastern war god of the Jews with "Godseer", they just refer to their god as a generic title.
Hell too. That's not a special word. No one owns hell. No one is going to go to bat over someone slandering their interpretation of hell.
Paladins are generic. Crusaders are generic. A lot of these words are generic. This is weaksauce, bring me specifics.
Tome of Fiends... well, yeah. More specifically it's based on occult hearsay and a lot of Paradise Lost and myths and legends that aren't actually religious specific. As a former Christian I feel I have authority to say that no, absolutely none of this is part of their dogma. In fact they typically go out of the way not to address any details about devils or angels other than "they're a thing, might be scary seeing as they keep saying don't be afraid, demons sure like living in pigs lol". All these names and details came later, or they were stolen from their original sources when they took over places and turned local deities into various demons.
I don't get why you're fighting so hard on something so incredibly easy to fix. There is literally half a dozen fixes right in front of you, what is wrong with those fixes? The easiest one is also the best one for flavor: generic it up for D&D so it can be used in games other than "This is a setting with real world religions." -- Eiji-kun (talk) 18:08, 28 February 2019 (MST)
Oh I agree, most Christians know more about the Legend of the Fall from Paradise Lost, than books from the bible.
Name one other religion that uses the term Bishop or Deacon as a name for their priests (and other denominations of Christians do not count).
Thus far, only one person has mentioned mechanical or balance issues with the page (and he has been very helpful with the page). However, nobody else has mentioned specifics beyond: “The name Satanist hurts my feelings.” I have always been welcome to changing class features and mechanics. But if a website states it will not allow any religion, but have so many Christian specific articles it is being disingenuous.
If you are sincere that all class features are just titles. Satan is a title. It is not even a name in the original Hebrew Bible, it is just a title (literally the accuser, like a job). Thus, such an argument (a class name is just a name and title) is used to justify the above classes already -- the same argument is being used here to justify satanists. The rule could be changed to remove all religious inspired articles, but this would have to include all the above classes for they have no different justification that the satanist. --Franken Kesey 18:19, 28 February 2019 (MST)
The Bishop or Deacon point isn't relevant. My point is entirely that it's a generic term like Band-Aid. It can have religious origins, that's fine. It's just people understand when you say "Bishop" you mean "a religious dude, maybe in a funny hat" and not always specifically a certain religion. But since it was brought up and you insist, have some Caodaism for your trouble.
We're not Christians. I'm certainly not. I care about references to the real world. It's an easy fix, make your work operation with fiction, either a specific fiction like Forgotten Realms or Dark Sun or your own homebrew, or a generic one. One of your solutions is mentioning that Satan is in fact a title which can be applied to any demon and, boom, instantly it now works with Asmodeus, with Demogorgon, with Cthulhu, with Wibblewobble the Lord of Badwrong in the setting of Derpitydoo... because right now this is, specifically, "Satan as understood by Christianity in real life" and that don't fly.
I'll... get to the mechanics eventually. I haven't bothered with it because this is more pressing and to be honest I wasn't impressed. tl;dr "You're running into the Ninja problem, where you are trying to make a ninja class but you are trying to be all versions of all ninjas at once and it's clunky because you have murderous peasants standing next to orange wizards using burrshittu no jitsu." (Add on: Also behinds the mechanics the fluff is so.... tryhard. There are like 4-5 pictures. You have Hail Satan in bold and super large text. You keep talking about wearing all black and being all m'lady tips fedora europhia. If I didn't know better, I'd say you'd be making fun of them. You're Poeing yourself and you don't even know it.)
Just redirect the class fluff from "this is real stuff that is totally accurate and real" to "this applies to fiction". It's eaaaasy. In the words of our great Sith lord Palpatine: Do it. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 18:34, 28 February 2019 (MST)
All you want is a disclaimer. Too easy. Added to page. Obviously the class is fictional. I thought you wanted me to change the name. I am shocked that people would think it literal. But you have a point there are plenty of religious fundamentalists. Franken Kesey 19:53, 28 February 2019 (MST)
I'd also make an argument for a different name, but yes, ultimately I want to make sure it's well divorced from its source material. I suppose with that done... well, I'll move it to the actual article page, but as I stated before I have issues with the article itself beyond the name. Still, one down! -- Eiji-kun (talk) 20:46, 28 February 2019 (MST)

Revision of Rating Blocking Policy[edit]

As seen in the Wildknife Talk, I think that the rather generous policy is being pushed to it limit. There is barely a few thousand characters changes TOTAL between the first iteration of the wildknife and the last, and ratings were blocked three or four times, sometime blocked in the same day they were done. The class isn't even being hatebombed and several ratings were still correct when blocked.

This is a tiring experience, the Wildknife received more attention than any other base class in this site history while getting at most moderately ambitious revisions, which were mostly just class features addition. This isn't just the wildknife, the feat hothead also had very similar treatment. What kesey is doing is not against the rule, and we as a community value the rules... well at least I do.

I want to start a discussion on reevaluating our current position on blocking rating. Making it more restrictive or also apply to positive ratings? Any input from anyone? --Leziad (talk) 12:34, 6 June 2019 (MDT)

The biggest issues about rating blocks are surrounding: what constitutes 'significant' changes?; the author gets to cherry-pick which ratings that they block?; and the former rater's ability to discern what has been changed. The first two are issues that have been brought up, but the latter issue is something that I feel is something that's pretty dang important. The history of an article is a useful tool to figuring out what exactly has changed, but if you've rated an article and now have been told that it has gone through "significant changes" - the onus is now easily just on you to go and find out what has changed and if that change is relevant or even significant enough to nullify your rating.
Should we be expecting some kind of patch note like include on the Talk Page for these significant changes - after all, a significant change would indicate that a lot has changed and it is now up to the Former Reviewer to be able to take stock of what once was and what is now. That seems like putting a lot on the person - if we decided to actually note that a significant change is not just a few minor tweaks here and there. --TK-Squared (talk) 13:05, 6 June 2019 (MDT)
A good definition of what is significant and insignificant would help. Currently it is pretty vague.
If a rater names an issue specifically within the article, and that issue changes the rating is no longer relevant. I support specificity in articles. Metrics and math are always good. However, these are the most easy to change. And thus a common reason a rating gets blocked. Thus general broad ratings, while inferior, are more likely to remain relevant. But the rating style is the choice of the rater.
Thus ratings based on theme or flavor are more resilient, but can be insufficient; while those on mechanics are less resilient (because mechanics change easily) but are more sufficient.--Franken Kesey 13:20, 6 June 2019 (MDT)
I support a change to this policy as it is confusing to the person who was blocked to try and figure out what changed. Not to mention I have seen numerous occasions where the person putting the rating says something broad or thematic and just because the user has made "changes" on the page, they'll block a rating and claim substantially different article, when in reality, the broad thematic problem wasn't really solved at all. I also agree that this starts with defining what substantial change means, however I dont think that it should be measured in characters, because I could write an article that is 15,000 characters long, get bad reviews, and then scrap most of what I had and write completely new abilities and completely new mechanics and could end up at 15,001 characters. So while on the surface the article is the same length, it true is substantially different. So I dont think we should take character length into account.
I think a bigger thing is you shouldn't be able to block a rating at all unless you have addressed all of the issues. Because if you still have valid points in your rating that are not addressed, then most of your rating still stands. I think that the author should have to reach out to other users and request a rerate if all of the issues are not addressed. So if I list 5 things wrong with an article, and someone vastly fixes 3 of the issues, but 2 are still there, they should not be able to block my rating, they should have to reach out to me on my talk page and tell me they've made changes and would like me to have another look, but if they fix all 5 issues, then they could block my rating for being substantially different.
Maybe even have it where if the author has changed 3/5 items in a rating and let the user know in their talk page, after a few weeks, if the user hasn't replied to a request for a rerate, then the author can request permission of an admin to block a rating where 3/5 things was fixed and the user wouldn't respond. Something along those lines possibly. The-Marksman (talk) 14:05, 6 June 2019 (MDT)