In this blog we talk about our intentions for polling, and specifically the hiding of poll results.
Polling is a fundamental part of what makes Old School RuneScape great. Old School’s very existence was decided by a poll back in February 2013! And in the six years that have followed, polling has been pivotal in shaping our game.
However, as we’ve alluded to previously (see the section titled ‘Polling’), it’s clear that the current polling system isn’t working for the vast majority of the Old School community.
Content which could benefit smaller groups of players often suffers in polls, despite the fact that it would have minimal impact on the wider player base. Plus, only a very small number of players are actively voting, despite the community growing hugely over the past 18 months. This means that a small proportion of our community is defining the content for the majority of our players. This was not polling's original intention, and we don't think it’s a sustainable way for decisions to be made in the long-term.
The reasons for this are complex. As mentioned in the previous blog, we wanted to explore hiding poll results as part of a wider initiative, designed to tap into providing the exact content that you want. This is a long-term project that requires extensive research. But you’ve made it clear that we needed to make more immediate changes.
Here’s our proposal for hiding poll results:
Old School has operated with visible poll results for its entire life. We’ve been hesitant to hide poll results for many reasons, chief among them being the uncertainty it adds in relation to new content - which understandably is a very sensitive subject. This new content has been crucial in both attracting new players and engaging our current players. To put it candidly: we don’t know what will happen when poll results are hidden. We've tried to adopt a scientific approach to testing and predicting the impact, but ultimately we have concluded that the only way we can test this is by actually hiding poll results in the live game.
Whilst we’re committed to longer-term research into how best to assess the potential appeal of new content, in the shorter-term we have to ensure that we regularly release content that is certain or likely to appeal to the majority of players. This is essential for the health of Old School. Any risk to that vision has be taken with serious consideration.
With all of the above in mind, we’d like to announce that we'll be hiding poll results from Friday April 12th.
The results of the poll on that day will be hidden in-game until it has concluded, at which point they'll become visible. The webpage results will also be hidden until the poll has concluded. On Thursday, following the game update, you'll be unable to access the poll booth. This is to allow us to test the poll booth changes.
We will be monitoring the impact this change has on polling over the first few months, both in terms of participation and voting percentages. We'll assess our next steps from there.
There’s more we’d like to do, too. We’ve discussed making polling more visible, or more accessible, and that seems to be something you support. Ideas you’ve suggested include allowing you to vote directly upon login, adding a voting button to the Account Management tab and offering more than one reminder that a vote is live. We welcome any new suggestions you may have!
As ever, we appreciate your help getting us to this point, and we hope that this is a suitable solution that works for both ourselves as a development team and you, our players.
Mods Acorn, Archie, Ash, Bruno, Curse, Ed, Gambit, Ghost, Gee, Husky, John C, Kieren, Lenny, Lottie, Mat K, Maz, Nasty, Roq, Ry, Sween, Tide, Weath, West & Wolf
The Old School Team