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Amazon ratings of Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
From my observations of the Amazon reviews of 5E adventure and rule books, a good bit of the low star reviews have to do with shipment packaging and handling
Amazon seem to be pretty much always late with D&D hardbacks in the UK (my copy is currently due on the 24th) but that is clearly a supply chain issue, and thus the fault of Amazon, not the product.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Well, presumably 1 star and 5 stars are equal extremes, unless you don't agree with them. It's a binary world these days - things are either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.
I rate your opinion 1 star.

ONE STAR I SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Worst. Post. EVAR!!!!!

 

jayoungr

Explorer
Also, given the tendency for the internet to be negative, it is much more likely that a One Star is political (by which I include any reason unrelated to the quality of the product itself, such as "I hate what Hasbro is doing with Eberron").
Could be something as superficial as "There are two female humanoids to one male on the cover (plus a monster of indeterminate gender), so obviously it's a feminist product!"
 
True, but, that is generally how ratings are done.
I'm involved in another community where books are regularly rated, and 'normal curve' does not normally happen.

Most reviewers have one of two curves:

A) Bimodal Distribution: Everything is either good or bad, and good things tend to receive the highest rating and bad things the lowest. Average ratings tend to be rare, as cases where a person has mixed feelings about something unusual. Basically these people are rating their feelings. If they like it, praise it, and if they didn't, then hate it.
b) The Bad Long Tail: Almost everything that they read is a 5 star book, and each worse rating is rarer than the one before. These people like reading, and reading itself gives them pleasure, and they will read almost anything and certainly almost anything in the genres that they prefer. It's rare that they encounter a book that makes them uncomfortable or has any flaw that meaningfully impacts their enjoyment. They just like to read.

The reading habits of the public then create all sorts of counter-intuitive weirdness, such as, "The worse a series gets, the higher the average rating of subsequent books in the series." The reason for behavior like this is that most readers are turned off by the decline in quality in the series and so stop reading, leaving the series to be rated only by its most devoted fans. The number of reviews on later books in the series tends to decline sharply, and the most popular review tends to be negative, but the average review tends to be more and more positive.

Another counter-intuitive result of aggregate human behavior is that anything with an average rating much below 4 stars ("it was really good") probably sucks, because the average reader is so reluctant to give ratings lower than 5 stars, that anything much below 4 indicates most readers hated it. Yet at the same time, it's almost impossible to have an average rating much above 4 stars, since it's almost impossible to find a book most people liked and those that didn't like it tend to give it 1 star. So the actual range tends to be between 3.8 and 4.3, and that 'half star' worth of rating is almost the full difference between a classic and trash.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
My oly real criticism is that Locathah are too mobile out of the water. In most prior editions, they had a speed of 10 ft outside water. which made them a 'fish out of water' race. This encouraged certain strategies for the locathah that did not involve moving once out of the water...
 

collin

Explorer
Here is a wacky idea (just spit-balling here): go to your local game/hobby or book store, pick up a copy, look through it, then decide for yourself if you think it is a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5-star piece of work. :lol:
 
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Smarmot

Villager
It was missing the dice and the game board and the little fish people. And I couldn't understand the rules. One star.
 

pogre

Adventurer
I typically only bother to rate products I am very pleased with or products that disappoint me incredibly. Products that fall in the three to four range I rarely bother to rate.

I coached American football for many, many years - we were required by our state high school athletic association to rate officials. If I gave an official the lowest rating I was required to provide an explanation.

Requiring an explanation of super low ratings really is much more helpful to future consumers.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Am I right in saying that you have to buy something on Amazon to rate it? And the street date was yesterday? I’m betting these people haven’t even read it yet!
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I very rarely review stuff and almost never give a one or five star review.

5 stars are the best of the best, a one star product is trash. If something's bad I would normally give it a 2/5.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Am I right in saying that you have to buy something on Amazon to rate it? And the street date was yesterday? I’m betting these people haven’t even read it yet!
Hmm... I think you need to buy "something", but not the product in question. If you've actually bought the product from Amazon, a written review has the tag "Verified Purchase". (Ratings... not so much!)

There's more than one review I've seen where they've criticised the shipping rather than the product.

Cheers!
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
True, but, that is generally how ratings are done. That's why most reviews skew so high. Really, a 7/10 should be a pretty high rating, it's higher than the majority of other similar stuff out there. But, unfortunately, what it really means is that it's a barely adequate product because the baseline is 9 or 10 out of 10.

Same goes for 5/5.

It makes reviews pretty much pointless in most cases.
This is cultural to the US (and presumably the UK, Canada, etc.). In other cultures and countries, they have different distributions; in some places, the median star rating for products and services is around 3/5.
 

akr71

Explorer
This is cultural to the US (and presumably the UK, Canada, etc.). In other cultures and countries, they have different distributions; in some places, the median star rating for products and services is around 3/5.
I would agree with this statement, though I don't know that I speak for all Canadians. If a product is OK, just OK, it will get a 3/5. A good product will get 4/5. I'll give a 5 if something really wow's me - the product is better than anticipated or does stuff I did not expect it to do. It doesn't have to be a long term thing. I just have to be really impressed in the first few days.
 

ExploderWizard

Villager
IDK one star for the Forest Oracle seems fair.
Are you kidding? The Forest Oracle provided so may laughs not to mention an epic thread here which provided more entertainment than any other module of similar page count. For pure entertainment value I give The Forest Oracle 5 stars!
 

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