Rules & Guidelines

Discussions about the game review boards and the review process go here.
Discussions about the actual mod reviews should go into the appropriate board below.

Rules & Guidelines

Postby Toccatta » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:16 am

While there are a number of mod sites that allow members to rate mods with some sort of rating system - either a 1-10 scale or multiple stars - none of them really do the modding community justice.

Often the votes end up turning into a popularity contest or there are a bazillion mods which are rated a 10 on a scale of 1-10 because the people voting have little or no idea how to review a mod and the reviewing process has virtually no oversight or guidelines. Also, a single rating, whether it's a number or group of stars, provides an incomplete picture of a mod's strengths and weaknesses.

So to correct that, we're going to try to create a mod review section here and start off by establishing a few guidelines.

1) Mods will be graded in up to five areas.
    a. Concept - This is the only area that a member may rate a mod without having downloaded and played it first.
    b. Lore Accuracy - How closely the mod follows the lore established by Bethesda.
    c. Design - How well planned the mod is. Also, how well the concept was implemented.
    d. Attention to Detail - How well crafted the mod is. If a mod has "dirty" GMSTs or entries, it should be noted here.
    e. Technical Achievement - Comments about the technical aspects of the mod. Only members who have a good working knowledge of the construction set and its capabilities should rate mods in this area.
A mod should be graded on its own merit and not upon its compatibility with any other mod unless that compatibility was expressly claimed by the author. e.g. don't reduce the grade on a mod because it isn't compatible with something else you like to use or because "there are too many mods in Balmora" or some such.

Including a list of known mod incompatibilities in the review is welcome, but should neither be graded nor affect the grade except as described above.

Note that not all mods will necessarily be graded in all five areas. If you don't think a particular area applies to a mod or if you don't think you're qualified to rate a mod in one or more areas, just leave those out. It isn't necessary to include them and leave them blank or rank them as n/a.

2) Instead of rating each area with a number of stars or a numeric rating, please select one of the following grades, and then explain:
    Very good
3) Each thread should be used for only one mod. If you want to add a new review, just post in the appropriate thread. If you want to review a new mod, make a new thread. In general, the first post in any review thread should give information about the mod being reviewed. This can (but doesn't have to) include an explanation of the mod if the author has provided one and a link to the mod if it's available online. Mods which contain multiple .esp files to allow for user selection or which have relatively minor revision changes are still considered to be one mod. A revision update which significantly alters the capabilities of a mod may be treated as a new mod at the reviewer's discretion. However, the revision number needs to be included in the thread title to differentiate it from the previous version.

4) Some modders may not wish to have their mods reviewed, and Fort Elder Scrolls will respect that. Review threads will be removed at the request of the mod's author, subject to the following two rules:
    a. A modder may request to remove ALL the reviews of a mod. Individual reviews or review sections will not be deleted except as described in rule 5.
    b. Once the reviews in a thread are deleted at the request of the mod author, the thread will be locked and no further reviews will be allowed. Mod authors, please think carefully before requesting reviews to be deleted.
5) Any section of a review which contains significant factual errors or which the reviewer is obviously unqualified to review may be deleted. Please be fair... If you haven't actually played with a mod, you shouldn't be reviewing anything other than concept, and if you don't have a good grasp of the abilities and limitations of the construction set and Morrowind's game engine, don't review a mod's technical aspects.

6) Compliments are welcome, but constructive criticism is also appropriate and often more helpful. Also, we always prefer reviewers to explain a given grade, but a rating of "unplayable" requires an explanation. Any section of a review rated as "unplayable" without some form of explanation will be removed.

7) To avoid conflict of interest, and in the hopes of maintaining objective reviews, modders are prohibited from reviewing any mod in which they contributed significantly to its development. They may; however, post that the mod is released for reviews with description and link(s) and reply to comments in existing reviews. Also, be sure to check that your mod has not already been posted before you add it. Someone may have already beaten you to it.

Also, when modders submit a mod for review, they should provide the same information that a reviewer would normally provide in the first post of a new review. A mod author is also welcome to attach a copy of the mod if it isn't otherwise available online. Out of respect for intellectual property, we request that actually attaching a copy of the mod should only be performed by a mod author or with their explicit permission. Reviewers responding to the submission don't need to provide this information, so they should begin with the actual review in the second or later post.

8) Reviews of adult mods are welcome; however, it should be clearly marked in the subject or description line that it is an adult mod. Please don't use internet shorthand or abbreviations like NSFW (not safe for work) or NSS (not school safe) as not all members will be aware of what they mean. That way, our members and guests who are at work will not click on something that could potentially get them in trouble with their employers.

9)Mod authors are encouraged to post a rebuttal in a review thread if they believe a review contains a significant error or misunderstanding. If the reviewer chooses to edit the review to correct the error or misunderstanding, the rebuttal will be removed to keep the reviews clear of unnecessary clutter. However, reviewers are under no obligation to edit their reviews in response to a mod author's rebuttal. If the reviewer chooses to disregard it, both the review and rebuttal will remain in the thread to represent differing viewpoints.
"All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither; deep roots are not reached by the frost."
- Bilbo Baggins
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