I thought about the continuing discrepancies and ideas that keep rolling in how to improve the point system, and I think the reason is simply because the current reward system is not designed for a community like OTN. The reward system has become complex with all the missions, badges, levels, titles and is not transparent or easy to understand for newcomers. The reason for the complexity is apparently to achieve fairness, setting incentives and providing recognition. However, I have serious doubts and think the current reward system, and leaderboards in particular, have created more problems and grievances than perhaps initially anticipated.
To cut a long story short, the system requires a new leaderboard with a different reward logic. I see no good reason for the “King of the Hill” game mentality currently employed by all leaderboards. Personally, I have absolutely no problem to share my position in the leaderboards with others. I see no compelling reasons why there shouldn’t be more than one person in each of the available ranks. Below is an example, how I think the new leaderboard should look like:
1. User B (2002)
1. User A (2005)
1. User C (2011)
2. User D (2013)
3. User E (2014)
The order of names in each of the ranks should be shown by the date the position was achieved, not by the number of points a user has currently acquired. For example, If User A acquired rank #1 in 2005, and User B in 2002, User B should be shown on top of User A. There is also no need to show the number of points achieved. Points should be shown as a total in the users’s profile only.
The points required in order to obtain a certain rank in the leaderboards should be configurable in order to compensate for forum traffic, or in case entry levels need to be adjusted. For example, a busy forum may require 5000 points for rank #1, whereas a forum with sparse traffic requires 1000 points. This will also help newcomers to have a more reasonable chance to obtain or share top positions in each of the leaderboards..
Overall this should enable us to enjoy a more simplified, fair and reasonable reward system.