georgeatkins wrote:So are you saying that the promotional ranks are hard-coded in a way that cannot be changed, or only insofar as they must be reprogrammed?
Since Brad & Neal gave me administrative abilities, I have been able look behind the curtain. Setting up forums, moving stuff around, change settings, etc... Yay! Then I discovered there is another curtain... where the real power is. Unfortunately, nobody at Redscape has the ability to program the big stuff that's behind that curtain. Fixing the PM system, updating the graphics, creating a title page, and such cannot be done by anyone here. Brad had to pay someone just to de-couple OTTO from the system and fix the login issues. So, effectively the ranks are hard-coded.
As you point out, this tracking could be done outside of Redscape. I do program, but not in PhP. But I might see about creating an ELO system in a standalone database and test it out.
I think for what you're talking about, this would be ideal. Track the data offsite but publish the resulting player rankings here and keep them updated.
My concern is that we're not creating just some kind of feel-good awards system. I don't think a forward-only rank tracking has a lot going for it. I think going up and down is natural. Many games and sports (i.e baseball) work that way. I'd like to think that Dip players can handle a promotional setback as well as they do when they get eliminated in a game. Or maybe better, come to think of it.
Don't discount the value of a feel-good award. I remember when I started to move up and would often stare at my avatar with the proud proclamation of 'Statesman' underneath. Did it make me a better player? Doubtful. Did it make me want to spend more time at Redscape? Probably. We need foot traffic - let's give new members a reason to come back. Besides, even if they don't mean much... they're kind of fun.
Honestly, there is no reason we can't do both. Quality as dictated by an ELO system and some measure of dedication as dictated by the rank.