Dev Blog: The Poll System
The poll system is, and will always be, an integral part of Old School RuneScape. It has given you the power to truly decide the future of the game since the game has existed.
We'd like to get your thoughts on how we should improve the poll system to better represent everyone in Old School.
Respresenting everyone fairly
The key challenge we have experienced with the poll system is being able to provide updates for smaller sub-sections of the community.
With updates requiring over 75% approval in order to happen, updates targeting smaller communities can struggle to make it in game.
Two examples of this are Pure updates and Ironman updates. While many have passed, there are certainly examples of changes which are highly requested by these communities failing to make it into Old School.
We want to ensure that everyone is fairly represented by the poll system, allowing us to support every part of the community.
There have been many discussions in the past about how to achieve this.
The idea of limiting certain questions to players who interact with the content which is affected has come up many times. For example, only an Ironman would be able to vote on a poll question which exclusively impacts their game mode.
In order for an update to be polled to a specific part of the player base, it would need to truly be exclusively a change to only that community. If it provides an advantage over other players, or an advantage which may be used against other players, it would still require approval from the entire community.
Another idea which is occasionally thrown around is reducing the level of support required for something to pass. 75% is a very high requirement, and if content is not targeted at a wide audience there is a good possibility it will not be achieved.
Lowering the pass rate on polls to 70% is something we could look at polling, much like we did in 2015.
But these are just a couple of the ideas we have seen come up over the past few years.
We want the solution we settle on to be one that the community is fully in support of, which is why we wanted the first step to be opening up a discussion.
Further changes to the poll system
There are also some more specific changes to both the poll system and what questions warrant a poll that we would like to discuss with you.
Allowing players to change their vote after they have voted is one possibility. This would help make sure that the final result of a poll represents the community's most recent feelings on the content being offered.
We could also conceal poll results until the poll has ended. This may prevent players voting based on how close something is to passing, rather than on the merit of the content itself. However, this would not prevent third-party clients from estimating poll results based on how their userbase votes.
It is also possible for us to make a slight change to what exactly warrants a poll. Currently, the only content changes which are not polled are those which are temporary and bugfixes.
We could extend this exception to usability tweaks and information displaying features if this is something the community is comfortable with.
The above ideas are just that, ideas. They should not be seen as things to come, but more as starting points for the discussion.
We are completely open to your suggestions, and we are eager to find out what the community feels should or shouldn't be changed.
So, what are your thoughts? How do you feel we should approach this situation and what suggestions do you have?
Discuss this update on our forums.
Mods Archie, Ash, Ghost, Jed, John C, Kieren, Mat K, Maz, Merchant, Ronan, Roq, TomH, Weath & West
The Old School Team