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Totally overhauled the sites rating / review system and replaced it with something KICKASS!

Posted by INtense! on Nov 4th, 2010

While i'm not sure about you, I believe game and mod reviews is a broken system. Allow me to explain. You see unlike movies, books and other forms of entertainment - games and mods are usually continually evolving projects which release patches, fixes and updates. Some introduce radical changes, others just tiny hot fixes. So while your initial impression of a game or mod might be "bleh", a few patches in you might discover the game becomes one of your favorites. The next issue is while one reviewer might find a game to their liking, another may interpret it in a totally different way. Compound this with the pressure placed on game reviewers these days to pump out reviews to the publishers liking, and it is hard to know who to trust.

With this in mind plus the fact that the old site review system sucked, I introduce our brand spanking new review system. Here's how it works:

Easy and optional

After you rate an item a review box pops up. You can either ignore it or fill in a review (maximum 2000 characters) and your done. Your review will then appear on the reviews page and in the RSS feed. And if you change your mind you can edit your review at any time.

Wisdom of many

I'm a big believer that the wisdom of many beats the wisdom of one, and with many users submitting reviews you can now browse through them them all, good and bad to get the true lowdown.

Cream rises to the top

Write a great review which sums up the game? Well users can "agree" or "disagree" with reviews with the best rising to the top. Plus the system is smart so a review with 100 agrees and 100 disagrees will not be ranked higher than a review with 50 agrees and 0 disagrees.

Developers cannot rate their own content

In the past developers could rate their own content however the system now stops this. It isn't too difficult to bypass this validation, but that probably isn't a great idea now as you can view a users review history in their profile.

Global review page

Track all reviews coming in from all games and mods on the global review page. See which titles are rated the best overall by their players. Subscribe to the RSS and receive a feed of updates.

Your review history

Want to know what games you rated 10 and which you rated 1? Well now you can browse your review history (see mine), edit your reviews and delete them from your profile. This also means you can view your friends reviews (and receive updates when they post reviews) to see which games they like playing.

Review breakdown

Sometimes it is hard to tell how good a game is by its overall score. For example a game may have a rating of 6, and yet the majority of reviews are 8's and above, it is only a few haters that rated the game as a 1 that is pulling its score down. Now at a glance you can view a games rating breakdown and even click each item to read reviews at that score.

I've been meaning to replace the site review system for such a long time, but have been so busy with Desura that it has been stuck on the backburner for a while. But on the weekend I decided to take a break (yeah and work on this because it was damn fun to make) so I hope you enjoy this.

Plus with Desura coming out soon it was about time we got a great review system together. So please let me know your thoughts. Future functionality might include the ability to see whats hot, browse the hottest site items and when viewing a game / mod page see key quotes from reviews like "kick-ass action mayhem" the kind you see on games boxes.

ENJOY and don't forget to go back and add reviews for your favorite games new and old. I'm sure the developers and fellow gamers will enjoy reading them.

Post comment Comments
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 1:04pm says:

Please note if you experience any issues it might be your browser cache. CTRL-Refresh to load the latest CSS / Javascript.

Also the reviews tab will only show up in released game, mod and engine profiles.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Cybio Nov 4 2010, 1:06pm says:

Looks like a good idea :)

+9 votes     reply to comment
ninjadave Nov 4 2010, 1:08pm says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Nov 4 2010, 1:24pm says:

Awesome, noticed I can delete reviews too, which is good since I had a rating sitting on my own mod cause my dad thought it was a good idea to vote... except he was logged in on my account while he decided that...

Deletion seems succesful as I can now rate again, except the number of votes didn't change. Is that cause the number doesn't count own vote to begin with?

+4 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 2:17pm replied:

The number updates when a vote is logged, not removed. So next time someone votes it will update.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Silverfisk Nov 4 2010, 1:38pm says:

When I add a review to a game I have previously rated, the review doesn't show up when I browse my reviews. Actually, it doesn't show up at all.

On a totally different note; have you considered changing from a 1-10 rating system to a 1-5 rating system?

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 2:23pm replied:

sounds like a bug, I just posted a review in firefox without a problem.

Are you sure your cache is correct and no javascript errors occured? what browser are you using? If you can send bug reports to i'll look into it.

+2 votes   reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 5 2010, 8:21am replied:

this is fixed

+2 votes   reply to comment
Bird_of_Prey Nov 4 2010, 1:43pm says:

A note for Google Chrome users: in order for the new system to work you will need to go to the wrench menu and choose "History" (Ctrl + h). In the new tab that opens look in on the right hand side long the blue bar near the top and click on "Edit items..." This will enable two new buttons on the blue bar area, on the left side. Click the "Clear all browsing data..." button. This will open a pop-up window. Make sure "Empty the cache" (might also need to select "Delete cookies and other site data" as well). Click the "Clear browsing data" button and wait. Once done the new review system should work fine (does for me).

As for the new system its self: looks great! Nice to be able to get a little better idea of overall opinion. Great work!

+3 votes     reply to comment
jjawinte Nov 4 2010, 4:07pm replied:

Good bit of useful information there !

+1 vote     reply to comment
feillyne Staff Subscriber
feillyne Nov 4 2010, 1:55pm says:

No HTML, no images... lost a couple of reviews (20?) and hours of aligning everything. Nothing serious, eh. ;-P

Anyway, this system should be merged with ratings. This way every troll will automatically exposes himself when reviewing/rating. :-)

+1 vote   reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 2:19pm replied:

Yeah i'm really sorry about that - your reviews are still there just hidden. I can move them to the feature section or do something to restore them. Just let me know.

Oh and it won't totally prevent trolls - we might add that in future

+3 votes   reply to comment
feillyne Staff Subscriber
feillyne Nov 4 2010, 2:30pm replied:

Features section will do nice, as other members' comments could be lost.

Mhh, meant a complete mergence of ratings and reviews - so one couldn't vote without reviewing. :-) (Only votes from reviews would be counted.)

+1 vote   reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 2:51pm replied:

I certainly considered this - but I believe quick reviews are just as important as the ones where people put effort into sharing their thoughts.

+3 votes   reply to comment
jjawinte Nov 4 2010, 4:13pm replied:

I completely agree with your thoughts on this. In a user-made site, everyones voice should be considered, regardless.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Expack Nov 4 2010, 2:08pm says:

Epic news! Now I can finally give a review without feeling weird about posting an ENTIRE review in the Comments field of mods/games.

+2 votes     reply to comment
█Black/Brunez█ Nov 4 2010, 2:10pm says:

Hey! I like it!

+3 votes     reply to comment
medve Nov 4 2010, 2:14pm says:

a bit too complex, but lets give it a try

+2 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 2:24pm replied:

It's only the backend system that is complex, the frontend is very simple. My description makes it sound more complex than it is.

+4 votes   reply to comment
MatthewD Nov 4 2010, 2:36pm says:

Sounds good.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Chrissstrahl Nov 4 2010, 2:41pm says:

I think it is fantastic, love that!
This makes the review and user rating to a useful function!

Not just some random "cheat on me crappy hater tool" to get every one in a bad mood.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Adam0795 Nov 4 2010, 3:22pm says:

Great ideas. I especially like breakdown feature, good job :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
theman878 Nov 4 2010, 4:05pm says:

bad idea, now people cant do a proper review like i do now its just like a chat box now i cant use this site to post my reviews, bye bye Moddb

-2 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 5:01pm replied:

It might be presented as only a "chat box" but you can include a ton of detail, links, quotes and the works pretty much.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bird_of_Prey Nov 4 2010, 5:53pm replied:

You can also still post larger reviews in the "Features" section with images and all just like before.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Torabi Nov 4 2010, 4:05pm says:

Great update. Will come in handy!

+1 vote     reply to comment
BluishGreenPro Nov 4 2010, 4:27pm says:

Excellent! This looks like it will be a very fair and useful system.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Torabi Nov 4 2010, 4:29pm says:

I made a review but it didn't get up on the game's page. Does it have to be validated by the developers first?

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 4 2010, 4:59pm replied:

this might be the same bug silverfisk reported above. Reviews should be shown instantly (well refresh the review page). If it isn't shown please email me your browser specs so i can investigate

+1 vote   reply to comment
Torabi Nov 4 2010, 5:14pm replied:

I just resent it and it is now up. I doubt my browser will be of much interest, it's just Opera. Still, not a big problem, as long as you save your review so you can resend it of course.

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Nov 5 2010, 8:21am replied:

i've fixed this bug

+1 vote   reply to comment
jjawinte Nov 4 2010, 4:59pm says:

This is one of the best system revisions you've come up with. I really enjoy doing reviews on the mods I've played, but hesitate to do so because as soon as it's posted, it's as good as written in stone. And hell, I might change my mind later.

This system will allow players the flexibility to revise their initial impressions and give the developers and groups the recognition the deserve for their hard work as they strive to improve their initial releases based on the recommendations of member feedback. Also, as a user-made site, every members opinion deserves to be counted. Trolls can be easily dealt with as they appear.

The Global Review page is the icing on the cake ! Excellent work INtense!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Nov 4 2010, 7:52pm says:

review karma system ftl

+1 vote     reply to comment
MatthewD Nov 4 2010, 10:06pm says:

WTF no voting for your own mod?? There goes my MOD's only chance of getting a 10.

+2 votes     reply to comment
KuriousKook Nov 4 2010, 10:19pm says:

Awesome! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jok3r098 Nov 5 2010, 2:10am says:

Hmmmmm. Beard stroking goodness!!!!!, i just wish i had a beard to stroke :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
Chαrli Nov 5 2010, 12:26pm says:

awesome! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
crizyz Nov 5 2010, 2:09pm says:

Hey I really like this system of rating/reviewing! Makes a lot of things easier! I think it might also make choosing whether or not to buy a game a lot easier (if it has a ModDB page off course)...
As you said, it is very hard to find reviews which are thrustworthy... By being able to see a lot of community-made reviews I think I (and other people) might get a better impression of (the pros and cons of) a game!
Or indie/mod if you like... But I happened to just try a lot of them since most are free anyway.

Nice work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
master_oli-p Nov 5 2010, 3:24pm says:

yeah certainly sounds good, nice going

+1 vote     reply to comment
Matt_Bak3r Nov 6 2010, 6:22am says:

this is a better system yes, good.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kissaki Nov 8 2010, 9:06am says:

Good choice optimizing this.
Well done.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Rikachu Nov 16 2010, 11:54pm says:

You know, before this new rating system came out I spent a great deal of time on my reviews. They were very long compared to some of the reviews I've seen, and I tried to cover almost every aspect of the game, good or bad. I thought they were really good reviews. I did about 5 or 6 of them on Half Life 2 mods and now they are gone! I really did spend a lot of time on them, but I can't find a way to recover them...


If someone can respond, that would be helpful.

+1 vote     reply to comment
JC_Fenix Nov 19 2010, 11:36pm replied:

Yeah, I'm having a similar issue, but I know why my review got hidden. I already posted about it in the poll, but the official announcement, here is probably a better place to put it:

What about people that just like a mod and add it to ModDB for the author? (with their permission of course, which I got.) Seems odd to not allow the uploader to review in that case.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JenWave Nov 26 2010, 6:27am says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Gezzas Dec 21 2010, 7:48am says:

That's awesome. Moddb and Desura are becoming facebook for true gamers, not those who worshiping endless Cod expansions.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Eagle_11 Jan 5 2011, 12:08pm says:

A mechanic that looks like will function great on the paper but fails in reality. People are writing "reviews" like: "Its good game,play it!"(nothing more).
People must be clarified that reviews are different from comments. And i also think most of them happen so: Dude(ill simply name that person dude) downloads a mod,likes it and comes back for giving a high rating. When he clicks on rating "write review" appears and he writes his normal comment in it,instead an critic.
And i dont even speak of why anybody cant review a game. If that was like so pc-game magazines would never exist or would have been totally public without editors,imagine magazines are written full with "Super game,buy it!,Good game like it!". Would it have any worth then ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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