New Feature: Tiers, tiers, tiers!
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Joepez 18+ Age Verified

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: New Feature: Tiers, tiers, tiers! Reply with quote

So we've been promising something for awhile and the dawn of a new era is nigh. Well at least the slow rising of the sun is near.

As promised several moons ago, in our strategic roadmap we talked about creating Tiers as a way to differentiate CCs and provide a new structure for the CC program. So let’s dive into some Q&A:

What are they?
Tiers will be a way to identify and reward our active CC community based on their actions. The program will be broken down into multiple levels that reflect the CC abilities and contributions.

So what will they do?
Under the old process it was pretty binary, you were either a Pro or you weren’t. Now they’ll be more levels that are calculated automagically and you’ll receive ever increasing rewards based on how high of a tier level you achieve.

How many levels will there be?
At the alpha launch there will be 0+7. Yes, I said 0+7. There will be a tier 0 which will be for all new CCs. And then 1-7 earned tier levels. In the future there will also be 1-2 paid for commercial levels for entities that don’t fit into the earned structure (but that’s a little ways off). Each level will be separated by 3 pts (more on the pts system below).

What kinds of rewards can we earn?
The final list isn’t locked down, but they range from: Discount on IMVU CC fees; special promotions; access to new features; participation in official IMVU bundles and first user experience; and more.

What happens to the old Pro system?
Essentially it is going away, but still remaining in spirit. There won’t be an official pro level anymore, but there will be more or less a Pro Zone of tier levels (5-7) that will represent ever increasing pro-like status. People who are at the current Pro requirement levels will most likely end up in this Pro Zone (I say most likely because of the way the formulas work). Who knows maybe we’ll create a way to identify and celebrate these individuals.

So how will the system work?
At a high level the system is merit based on your actions. The harder you work (or more you contribute) the better the tier and rewards. I won’t go into all of the technical specifics, but essentially this is how it will work:
Once a month everyone will receive a score ranging from 0-18. This score will be made up of your activities for the past 90 days in a range of criteria. The criteria are broken into 2 categories: Core and Unique. Everyone will have the same 3 core scores, and will be judged against the entire population of CCs, but to ensure that people are rewarded based on their unique contributions, we have the Unique bucket.

The Unique group will work by taking your 3 best scores from a pool of criteria. So everyone will end up with 3 equal compared across the population, and then 3 unique ones only comparable to others like you. Your tier level will be a total of your Core & Unique scores (9 in total). So 50% of your final score will be based on your Core (common to all) and 50% based on your unique actions.

The lowest score you can receive would be a 0, and the best is an 18. Each tier level is broken down into scores of 3. So Tier level 1 = 0-3 pts, and Tier level 7 = 18pts (best of the best).

Does this mean that my tier will change every month?
It might. Depending upon your level of activity and the communities at large, you may see your tier go up or down a level. But if you really step it up, you may jump up more than 1 level in a month, and if you forgo everything, your tier will slowly drop down in level to 1.

So how are criteria scored?
Without boring you with all of the mechanics (and to prevent some folks attempting to game the system) the scoring system does the following: Your score for either Core or Unique items are calculated using a Statistical Normalization process. What this means is, you’re actions are compared to the population and you are assigned a 0-3 value based on how close or better you are compared to the average user.

What criteria will be evaluated?
Core criteria will be: Sales in Units; Sales in Credits; and Sales in Predits.
Unique criteria will be: # of forum posts in the CC forums; Feedback review (avg of all products in your catalog); # of derivable products (of all time, this is the one exception to the 90 day limit); % of new products introduced from prior period to current.

We will be adding new Unique criteria as they come online.

So what’s an example of how this thing will work?
Let’s use two people, Bob & Jane.

Bob’s business is pretty average. He doesn’t create many new products or participate in the community much. Jane is very active, very popular, sells a lot and very involved.

Bob’s score would go something like this: Core = 3 (1 pt each for having average sales in Units, Credits & predits), and 1 pt for Unique (he got 1 pt because of avg feedback, and 0s in all the others). Total score of 4 pts.

Jane score is: Core = 9 (She’s a top seller in units, credits & predits). She also scores 6 pts in Unique (3 for feedback (she makes the best quality products); 2 for productivity (she’s above avg in creating new prods); and 1 Pt for having a lot of derivable products). Total score = 15.

So Bob would be Tier Level 2 (3-6 pts), while Jane would be Tier Level 6. Bob works about avg while Jane works really hard and gets rewarded for her contributions.

Can this system be gamed?
Well I would hope that every CC is ethical and wouldn’t ever do that, however we are realists at IMVU. Due to the way a score is calculated it is going to be really hard to game the system, because of the process involved the hurdles to gain upper levels is always changing from month to month. If the entire pop moves in one direction and one person moves in the other, they’ll be singled out as an outlier and not counted in the calculation of the hurdles for the 1-3 scores. The system will flag outliers and let us look at them for clear cases of gaming. Mass gaming will also be self-defeating. Because of the way Statistical Normalization works, if everyone is the same, the score will go to 0 when it is calculated. This defeats everyone trying to do the same thing.

Finally since the values are calculated every month, a person would have to work really hard to game the system every month, which would get them noticed pretty quick. For instance if Bob was thinking he could game the system by spamming the CC forums, he’d get picked off by a moderator before that got out of control. And the system would self-regulate his score out of the calculation process and he wouldn’t be able to influence it in his favor.

I’d also like to think that if someone did go through that much hard work, they’d just invest it in developing content in a constructive way and not risk banishment.

Wait didn’t you say something about a Tier 0?
Yep. All new CCs will start out at Tier 0. Once we launch our first batch of rewards, Tier 0s will have additional requirements to “graduate” to tier 1. The first requirement we’ll implement is 10 published products. Expect this system to go online when Peer Reviews comes online.

This all sounds neat, so what’s the game plan?
We will be launching the alpha of Tiers this week. You’ll get a new Dev report that tracks your tier level and scores, and on you “My Accounts” page your Dev module will include your tier level.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be monitoring the results and making sure everything is working correctly. During this Alpha period your tier level will not have any rewards, it’ll simple be there for your own bragging rights.
Once we feel comfortable with the system will begin rolling out more criteria, rewards, and other bonuses to the tier system as we bring online other functionality and ensure stability and accuracy with the system. We know that the rewards have the potential to impact a lot of people, and want to make sure everything is calculating correctly before we touch anyone’s credit sales. Also we want to nail down the reward structure before revealing it and give time for community feedback.

So what’s the future plans?
Well as we talked about before we are building out a core infrastructure to a new CC program. Tiers will be at the center of this new structure. Many of our additional features will be centered around tiers, or have an impact on them, or gain from them. As we bring online additional features (ex. Peer Review) we will integrate them into the tiers formula (if they have a measurable quantity) or tie them to the rewards (if possible) or provide recognition where applicable.

We would also like to celebrate our CC’s tier status through stickers, titles, and badges of honor. These systems will all come on line in time and offer of CC’s even more ways to differentiate themselves.
Finally I should mention that the tiers system will in the future be closely tied to our punishment process. CS will be able to adjust tiers as a new way of dealing with flagging. This will give them more options.

That sums it up for tiers. You’ll see them going online this week (I’ll post a follow up note in this thread when they do go live). Please ask any questions that you might have, and I’ll do my best to answer them, or our C3 members can answer them too.


Last edited by Joepez 18+ Age Verified on Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sikk 18+ Age Verified

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Access to new features? We've waited 14 months for the tier system already Laughing No new ways to spend tokens. As a pro dev in the current economy, I don't earn enough to pay you to be some commercial level dev.

This just seems like a way for IMVU to treat devs differently. I prefer equality. Thumbs down.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question:

Are Pro Devs who are no longer active in the community going to be downgraded using these fancy calculations?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess would be yes. And I can name many, many of those.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joepz, can I ask you to sticky your threads so they are at the top?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting all of this in the public forums and requestsing feedback, Joe. Plus I really like the plan to include time for each of us to see how this actually functions so bugs can be worked out before it affects actual rewards.

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Needie,

Current Pro Devs who are no longer active MIGHT be downgraded out of Pro Tiers, but that's not necessarily so. If their items remain high selling/ high rated, and their sales volume is still very high, the dev may not be in the very top tier, but could theoretically remain in a pro-type level.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make a lot of things for people as exclusives. ie...

I make a mesh and hide it after someone I am working with derives from it, they set thiers as derivable and run with it.

Are these types of products figured into the equation? I sincerely hope that derived sales are.

Can you elaborate on % of new products. A person with 10 products would get 100% increase by submitting ten new items where a person with 100 would only get a 10% increase? or am I way off? Stats were not my forte.

Are credit transfer caps incorporated and if so immediately? I need to have the ability to send quite a few credits to my resellers while the details get worked out. I can't afford not to sell everything I have when I can until the system gets ironed out.

Thanks for the heads up on this and not just rolling it out, the buffer between now and roll out will give us time to get used to what is going on and hopefully welcome it.

Thanks

G
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the tier criteria is participating in the forums, what about those that don't participate? People who are no longer active, people who wont use the forums because they are ignored or ridiculed when they do post, people who don't realise the forums exist? This will downgrade their status, sales will be taken into account on a monthly total basis, I guess all the music ring devs will hit the top tiers pretty quickly then. Also reviews count in the totals? How can you get people to post a review on your product, especially guests?
Not sure this is going to work, but will wait and see.
Cheers Confusticated.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goose,
Let me try to tackle a couple of those answers for you. (Joe, correct me if I'm wrong!)

The CCC was just informed today that the number of derivations WILL be included in the calculation of the derivables portion of the stats. We haven't seen the newest formula yet for that aspect, but the need to recognize meshers of popular derivables (definitely based on number of derivations, and possibly even deep levels of derivations) was a serious discussion item in the CC Council.

% of new products. It won't be based on the straight type of percentage that you are thinking of. It's more like % of new products verses ALL new product submissions in the catalog for that period. So if 2 people submit 10 products (one new dev and one experienced dev/mesher), they would have the same score on single criteria. However, if the mesher's version is popular and had lots of derivations, plus gets higher review marks, sales, etc., then the mesher will still come out at a higher tier despite equality on that one part.

Confusticated,

I think all legitimate developers are concerned about music thieves who churn out ten or more items each night. There has been some discussion by IMVU about kicking them back to tier 0 based on # of violations, but I don't know what's going to happen. It IS a real issue that crosses many topics in IMVU, not just tiers.

Product reviews DO count. Developers with lots of good reviews will get more tier points. Developers with lots of bad reviews will move lower in the tiers. Guests can post reviews in the current review system. The only restriction is that the reviewer must own the item (through purchase or gifting) to write a review.

Forum posts. No one HAS to post in the forums. Not posting doesn't hurt anyone; in fact most developers DON'T post in the forums. The purpose of the "soft" criteria in general is just to give credit to individuals (like forum moderators) who do extra work for the overall good of IMVU. In fact, those who don't post should be able to build even better stats than posters since they have more time for development (since number of sales actually has a stronger weight in the calculation than forum posts).

I expect we'll see a lot of "fine tuning" based on developer input over the next few months if not more.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AnakaTarren wrote:
Needie,

Current Pro Devs who are no longer active MIGHT be downgraded out of Pro Tiers, but that's not necessarily so. If their items remain high selling/ high rated, and their sales volume is still very high, the dev may not be in the very top tier, but could theoretically remain in a pro-type level.


The problem with this is that some are hard to get a hold of and that equals poor customer service. Just wondering how that will be acounted for in the new fancy schmancy calculations.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok now im just all kinds of confused. all i know is that by the old system i was halfway to pro.

i only have around 65 or so visible products and many many countless derivations.

are you saying that WE pay IMVU to be on the top level or IMVU pays US?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anaka, I am not saying bad reviews versus good reviews, I am asking how do we get people to leave a review, I have products with over a thousand sales, with only one review, some have no reviews, how will this count in the scheme of things? I understand guests can leave a review if they purchase the product, but most new users don't realise they can.
Cheers Confusticated.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lassarina wrote:
ok now im just all kinds of confused. all i know is that by the old system i was halfway to pro.

i only have around 65 or so visible products and many many countless derivations.

are you saying that WE pay IMVU to be on the top level or IMVU pays US?


Actually with your level of community input and being a mesher, you will be closer to that pro tier than you are today because all of the other great things you do are counted in.

At some point he is saying that one might be able to bypass all the criteria and just pay to be a Pro tier..

That way if some brand name does come here, they can go right to having all the perks for a SMALL price.. I hope it is small I have no idea.

I think this is a good thing, as some may choose to focus soley on developing product vs helping people in the forums or making sure they have met other criteria that may be involved and it will make those of us that get to the top by way of tier all the more reason to be proud in a sense that well we Pwn'd it all and didn't have to pay a dime.

Does that make sense?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprised if you are right then i better get around to making those tutorials like i have been meaning to!! Very Happy

this sounds nice i think. Wink it wasnt that much longer untill i was going to be pro anyway, but this is nice. Smile


hopefully things are going to change around here for the better. the day after the grace period ended so many things have come out. lets see how they do.
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