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The Poll of Polls: How should Polls be used in Balance Discussions?

Do you think Polls are a good tool to use in the following phases of balance proposal development?

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Baller Magnus
Dec 31, 2005
As we have seen an uptick in polling recently, the goal here is to ensure we are using the polls in a way the community agrees with, so a POLL OF POLLS!!

When considering a balance discussion, there are generally 3 main phases of the discussion, though there is overlap between the phases from time to time.

Phase 1: Imbalance Assessment
Polls here are to determine if a debate is even worth having on a subject. It includes topics like "Do you think X is in a good place?".

These are generally yes/no polls.

Phase 2: Proposal Development
This is the heart of the process and the most lengthy phase. To address an imbalance identified in phase 1, a lot of brainstorming and debate happen. This is a lot of back and forth, with new ideas posted, tweaks and changes considered.

Polls here are the most complicated. They can include many ideas, and are often of a type "which of the following ideas do you think are good solutions". Polls here may see several updates as ideas are created or changed, and may rely on people paying attention to the discussion and changing their votes if superior ideas come about.

Phase 3: Community Approval
Once a proposal has been polished from debate, this is the time where the community should consider if the proposal is worth inclusion into the mod. Ideally such threads contain no real discussion and debate, as that has already taken place. Instead this is the stamp, is the proposal good and should be included, or its bad and should be rejected.

Polls here are generally yes/no, and include statements like "Do you approve this proposal X for inclusion into the mod?" People voting in these polls should read the previous debate on the topic before making a final opinion.

In this poll, you are voting on which phases it is a good idea to use polling (aka you thinking polling provides good value to that phase of the process), and which phases it is not (aka you think polling is a hinderance or provides misleading information in that phase of the process).

A yes vote means you think polls are a good tool for that phase, and a no means you think its not a good tool for that phase.
My viewpoint on the subject.

I think Phase 1, polls are very useful. It lets us know if that one thing that annoys us is an actual balance problem, or if its just a personal pet peeve and the rest of the community thinks its fine.

For Phase 3, I also think polls are a good tool as a "council vote". Aka if the community doesn't think your proposal is good, then it needs to be remade or maybe even dropped. This helps prevents a few dedicated modders or debaters from making changes outside of community desire.

I do not think Phase 2 polls are good. That's when things are muddy, brainstorming is happening, people are suggesting changes left and right. I think providing options here just limits discussion, as it already frames the options that people should consider, and puts a de facto "timelimit" on coming up with better ideas. I think phase 2 should remain with raw discussion, either in posts on the forum or chats on discord.
Good for 1 & 3, poor for #2 in my opinion.

It's because of how questions get asked. No one is going to say no to "Should things be better?".
Next thing you know someone's gonna make a Vox Populi poll iceberg
I think 2 is good, because without the opinion of the community, the developers might not know what to implement.
I don't know about 3, maybe it's just gonna be a poll on "Do you want this?", which if the developers accepted, the community should aswell, no?
Spoiler The Game of Games :

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I support 1 & 3.

Type 2 polls will result in poll fatigue and unclear results because people are voting on WIP ideas that may or may not even be feasible to code and haven't been thoroughly analyzed. Debating and voting and developing should not all happen at the same time.

I think community votes on polished ideas and to check whether something needs changing are fine.
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