Saving The XP/WU System and Fixing Its Problems

The crux of this entire discussion seems to be that the current XP requirements, compared to the WUs required, is too low and encourages people to write bad writeups, because WUs are usually the limiting factor. I propose that this problem can be fixed using the current leveling system of requiring a certain number of XP and a certain number of WUs.

I decided to take a mathematical approach for mending the current XP system instead, because as other E2 users have noticed, Professor Pi's scheme has flaws.

Let's start off by looking at the XP needed and WUs needed for each level, plus the number of votes acquiring that level will get you.

Level           XP     WUs    Votes
2   Novice      50     25     10
3   Acolyte     200    70     20
4   Scribe      400    150    30
5   Monk        800    250    45
6   Crafter     1350   380    60
7   Artisan     2100   515    75
8   Seer        2900   700    90
9   Archivist   4000   900    105
10  Avatar      7500   1215   125
11  Godhead     13000  1800   150
12  Pseudo_God  23000  2700   200
13  Pedant      38000  4500   300

Given that voting is impossible prior to Level 2, it is clear that a user needs to acquire two XP per writeup to reach that level. In fact, let's use it as a benchmark. Let's call it XP1.

Let's also assume that a writer can turn out one writeup at that level of quality (earning two XPs per writeup) every two days. Some writers can do better than this; others may not be able to. This is simply to establish some sort of baseline. So, then let's add another column called D2NL, days to next level.

Let's also assume that every other day you use all of your votes. This means that you should earn, on average, you earn 20% of votes in XP when you vote and 50% of your votes in XP after dumping all your votes. This totals to 70% of votes converted to XP every other day, or 35% every day. Let's call this DXPA, or Daily XP Added

On average, then, using the WU requirements, the XP numbers are far off kilter. Let's recalculate, using the formula (XP needed for Ln = XP needed for L(n-1) + XP1(of L(n-1)) + (D2NL*DXPA of L(n-1))).

Level           WUs    Votes  XP1    D2NL   DXPA   D2NL*DXPA  XP needed
2   Novice      25     10     50     90     3.5    315        50
3   Acolyte     70     20     140    160    7      1120       415
4   Scribe      150    30     300    200    10.5   2100       1675
5   Monk        250    45     500    260    15.75  4095       4075
6   Crafter     380    60     760    270    21     5670       8670
7   Artisan     515    75     1030   370    26.25  9712       15100
8   Seer        700    90     1400   400    31.5   12600      25842
9   Archivist   900    105    1800   730    36.75  26827      39842
10  Avatar      1215   125    2430   1170   43.75  51319      68468
11  Godhead     1800   150    3600   1800   52.5   94500      122218
12  Pseudo_God  2700   200    5400   3600   70     252000     220318
13  Pedant      4500   300    9000   n/a    n/a    n/a        477718

Compared to the old style XP requirements:

Level           Old XP  New XP    
2   Novice      50      50
3   Acolyte     200     415
4   Scribe      400     1675
5   Monk        800     4075
6   Crafter     1350    8670
7   Artisan     2100    15100
8   Seer        2900    25842
9   Archivist   4000    39842
10  Avatar      7500    68468
11  Godhead     13000   122218
12  Pseudo_God  23000   220318
13  Pedant      38000   477718

It should be pointed out that a good noder who nodes more frequently than one every two days can easily level up much faster than I predict here, because of the merit of the "cooling" system, blessings, and additional XP that good writeups will incur. This is just intended to be a rough model of an average E2 user's behavior.

In this new scheme, levels are much trickier to come by. In fact, I believe that crossing the level line will often occur with writeups before XP. This means that good writeups that can continually earn XP as people discover them and vote up (as voters would on a good WU) become much more valuable, and bad writeups simply to fill a WU count will decrease in number.

The net result of this scheme is then the same result that Professor Pi wants: good writers are rewarded for good writing. Good writers, quite simply, will be able to progress through the level system faster than those who just churn stuff out to meet the WU requirement for leveling, because this system will place the emphasis on quality over quantity.

Of course, leveling up becomes much more difficult. But, on the other hand, people of a high level would deservedly have much more prestige in the system and many bad WUs would be avoided.

Some people would most definitely drop in level if this system were implemented today. Thus, if this were to be adopted, I would be in favor of "grandfathering" those people into their current level if they so wished, with the grandfather clause disappearing at their next level up.

I strongly encourage any comments you might have via /msg. Especially you, Professor Pi.

Professor Pi's comments:
  1. You are proposing to change the rules of the game. I am very aware that my initial proposal did that as well, and based on the many comments I received I have decided that it would be unwise to alter the existing writeups/XP requirements. My second proposal does not change the existing Level Advancement system; it only adds to the existing rules. Increasing the XP reqs is not fair to those who have been declining vote XP. Now they are faced with a big XP deficit for leveling up, and it will be much harder for them to gain levels. Among those people that decline voting XP are some awesome writers that we would penalize.
  2. Voter participation is important; you assume using ALL votes every other day for your XP gain. At the higher levels it is nearly impossible to use all your votes unless you start dumping votes carelesly; that is not good for the DB. Ask P_I how hard it is for him to use ALL his votes... Granted, there is no incentive for him to accumulate XP in order to rise to a non-existing level, but using all votes can be hard for lower levels as well.
  3. I believe your system would put more emphasis on those "subjective/joke/rant/sex" nodes as compared to a system based on writeup reputation. Your system will accumulate XP for ALL those nodes, as they get upvoted into the sky. A system based on a fair average node reputation is less sensitive to this. An example:
    Prof Pi's Stupid Example Joke: 100 upvotes, 30 downvotes, 4C!s: 36 XP gain, and it gets nuked.
    Solid State Chemistry: 30 upvotes, 3 downvotes, 2C!: 16 XP. That is less XP gain, but I now created a useful and good contribution to the DB. And that is exactly what my proposed system intends to reward.