Server browser ideas

Let’s discuss some ideas regarding the server browser

Here’s a quick prototype of what it could be

Some explanation:

  • When you click a server in the list, this popup appears
  • You can only post a review after spending some sensible amount of time on the server
  • Reviews can be sorted by value (by reviewer’s s&box playtime or whatever)
  • It shows server’s MOTD if it is provided or collapses the middle panel altogether otherwise
  • Shows a detailed addon list with addon sizes and tells if you have a particular addon installed (black) or not (grey)
  • Calculates and shows the total amount of content to download
  • Shows the average initial loading time for this server near the connect button

Some things were discussed in this thread.

Please give any suggestions or prototypes of how it could work, maybe we’ll come up with some useful ideas.

Fantastic job on the design here man! Looks really good and informative. Only thing I can see to improve from reading through other threads on this same thing is adding a “Download Content” button positioned at the bottom of that addons box. Like position absoluted there so if there’s like 100 addons the list will scroll but the button will stay in the same spot.

Allowing an HTML MOTD seems to be perfect though so owners can design pages to attract more peeps.

From a UI perspective this makes total sense and is definitely creatable :slight_smile: Hope to see this in game!

Haha, nice one. I also prototyped the server browser, but decided it wasn’t good enough. Your idea isn’t bad, but colors need some work.
UPD: I also think that reviews are superfluous.

Thanks for the feedback, though it’s just an example mock-up thrown together in figma in like 20 minutes that isn’t meant to represent how exactly it should look, more about what elements it could have, just to give the general idea.

image

unnecessary, ok?

No I gotchu I had just never seen that word before haha. I do disagree however, I think reviews would be extremely helpful for server filtering and sorting on the server browser. Mainly just for discoverability of smaller servers

It’s too dangerous. Several people can gather and simply ruin the server’s rating, simply because they wanted to.

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That’s why I’d only allow reviewing after spending like at least an hour on the server, otherwise it doesn’t make sense to review the server if you haven’t really checked it out.

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Again, this is ineffective. A group of former or current server players can also get together. Imagine a situation where a well-known streamer is playing on the server, he called a bunch of players, plays and he was banned for some reason. He urged his viewers to spoil the rating of the server and now this server is at bottom of the serverlist.
Unpleasant, isn’t it?
But you can make a rating based on whether the server follows all the recommendations of the game. For example, server owner has link his Steam API key/server has a constant uptime/server has existed for more than one month and etc. But it shouldn’t be implemented as a rating, more like check mark.

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In theory you are correct, but your arguments apply for any rating systems in any other application/game/social media/whatever.

All of them have competition and rating of any particular entry can be spoiled by a group of users, but in practice it doesn’t happen that often and isn’t really worth the effort since it’s just one of the available metrics.

That’s just my opinion, of course.

UPD:
The formula for total rating calculation could also weight some users’ ratings over others, like reviews from players who spent more time in the game in general and on this particular server are probably more valuable than a stranger coming by, etc.

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RE: Rating systems

These are notoriously hard to get right and IMO should not be in the first iteration of the release, if ever.

It’s too dangerous. Several people can gather and simply ruin the server’s rating, simply because they wanted to.

That’s why flat ratings where everyone’s vote is counted the same don’t really do a good job of reflecting whether a server is good or not. I think there are solutions for this, but it would take a lot of trial and error to get right, and even then preventing abuse would be hard. And I don’t know which solutions would work in practice.

I think these issues can and should be side-stepped instead of trying to come up with inherently controversial solutions that will upset someone one way or another.

Something I’d like to see is a review system similar to Steam’s, especially the way Steam handles “useful” and “unuseful” reviews. Seeing how many (good/bad) reviews a user has posted right next to their username/badge would go a long way from discouraging bad actors, because accruing a good score as a reviewer would require actual effort and producing actually good reviews.

This’d rise the barrier of entry to people who just want to spam someone else’s server with negative ratings. It’s not fool-proof, but it’s much more resistant to abuse than a system of flat ratings.

Ultimately, any completely-automated system will be subject to abuse and that abuse will be successful eventually. If you ever want something like that to work, there needs to be moderation and oversight to detect and remove bad actors.

I’d rather prefer that this issue was sidestepped entirely by offering the players multiple sorting categories and not sort by “popular” servers by default. Come up with something like “hot” or “new & rising” etc. Community spotlights for good gamemodes right in the game would be a huge boon to fringe gamemodes with a lot of effort being put into them, that can’t get off the ground because they can’t get any players.

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Good arguments.

I’m probably being too optimistic about the rating system working as intended most of the time.

Exactly. Servers always update, change, improve or get worse. People will just post meme ratings, and could easily ruin a servers reputation. Potentially an idea is people can post reviews, however. But, only the comment is shown, the comment is shown with the date and the server owner or other people can respond to the comment. The users rating is only shown once there is a large number of ratings maybe?

Idea about reviews is good. I guess most popular reviews would look like joke about admins or something else.

The steam rating system for games works well enough in my opinion: Recent Reviews and Overall Reviews ranging from “Overwhelmingly Negative” to “Overwhelmingly Positive”

Remember this.

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I like this, but 2 suggestions

  1. make it look more “modern”
  2. do not add ratings. Not after an hour, not after a day, not after a year of playtime. A lot of gamemodes are toxic as shit, and it’d be abused more than used correctly. Sure, for some gamemodes it’d be fine. But, you got banned for spamming porn and gore? Post a bad review. These add up and the server’s put at the bottom of the list despite doing literally nothing wrong. You don’t like the server owner? Bad review. You don’t like the gamemode? Bad review. You want to make a bad review because you’re that type of person? Bad review.
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Changing a server’s/selection’s weight/score because of user ratings just doesn’t sound like a good idea here. It works better on other platforms like Steam/Amazon, but even then is rife with blatant abuse of different kinds.

I still find the idea of easily seeing what people have to say about a server interesting, though. I know that when I buy a product online it’s extremely useful to look at recent reviews to see if only in the past 50 out of 500 ratings did a serious problem introduce itself.

And I can look for overlapping opinions from posters that at least seem human and are not out to hit-and-run. That’s still possible to abuse but it’s at least way harder to. And it gives me not just a number but a general idea of what to expect quickly enough, so maybe for a certain kind of person some features suck but are what I myself enjoy.

I agree with that, a more comment-like system rather than a rating system would be nice

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