April 2019 Rules Changes

April 2019 Rules Changes

Greetings builds.gg Members!

Now that the 10K Challenge has concluded, we have had some time to take a look back and see how to improve our contests going forward. After we implemented the new forum, you guys have provided some very compelling ideas on how to make things more fair, and more fun for everyone. Thus, we thought it appropriate to outlines these changes, and explain the reasoning behind each one so the community can better understand why they are being made.

Contest Qualifications
  • Build Photos - All builds will now require 3 different pictures to be uploaded before they can qualify to enter. This is to give voters more a better look at each build before voting, and also prevent people from uploading the same picture multiple times.
  • Voting - In order to vote on builds, we will now require that all accounts have a minimum of one published build before they are allowed to vote. This will prevent bots from creating accounts and voting, as well as a way to make the votes cast come from people with actual builds, rather than by those who are just looking to win freebies.
  • Build Changes - Once a build is entered into the contest, contestants are permitted to improve their build during the contest period. However, all changes will be logged and examined, if the build in question has won a prize. This is to prevent a "bait and switch" where users upload one build, and then before the contest ends, swap it out with another. Builds that have changed too drastically during the contest period will be disqualified.
  • Winning Build Eligibility - If a build has won a community vote-based prize, that build will not be able to enter another contest for a period of six months from the conclusion of that contest. The user account can still participate in random draw prizes that only require that a build be published. This is to prevent the same build from winning multiple contests in a row.
Build Promotion Etiquette

Link Spam - We have had a number of reports of users spamming their build link anywhere and everywhere in order to gain votes for their build. While we can appreciate the enthusiasm, spamming the interwebs with your build link does get annyoing, so we will disallow blatant spamming of build links. This includes behavior such as:

  1. Posting the same comment multiple times
  2. Adding your build link to another build's comment section with a "vote for me" suggestion, or
  3. Private messaging random people to vote for your build.

Of course, the particular forum or group's own rules must also be followed and not violated. Posting your build link once in a Facebook Group is fine, but constantly spamming your link is a no-no. Builds that are found to have violated this rule will be removed from the contest.

Build Promotion Platforms

Public vs. Private - One of the major points of contention from the community regarding contests is the social media reach of each contestant. In a contest where votes are cast by the internet at large, it stands to reason that those with the largest social media reach will garner the most votes, turning the spirit of the contest away from the build itself, and more towards a popularity contest. While it would be virtually impossible to make it a completely even playing field, we have already stated that "large channels" such as certain YouTubers and "pro modders" with significant reach could not enter the 10K Challenge. However, it is difficult to know where to draw the line. How many followers is too many?

After analyzing the situation, we believe that the real issue is access. Some platforms, such as Reddit or Facebook Groups will allow posts from virtually anybody, regardless of celebrity or status. However, platforms like YouTube and Instagram, where follower count has a direct impact on how many people see the message, are not available to everyone to post on. A YouTube channel with 1.3 million subscribers can get the word out to much more people than a person just starting their PC build journey with 10 subs. This person simply does not have access to the channel that is 1.3 million subs strong, and will be at a distinct disadvantage.

In light of this, unless explicitly stated, we will only accept promotion methods that are public. These include platforms such as:

  • Reddit
  • Facebook Groups
  • Unlisted YouTube Videos

Promoting a specific build on private platforms will NOT be permitted:

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Personal Facebook page
  • Company/Sponsor Facebook page

Votes that originate from private platforms will be removed, and repeated infractions will result in disqualification. Please note that the is NOT an exhaustive list, and will add platforms to it over time as more data comes in.

We feel that these restrictions will help level the playing field for all participants, and make the results more about the build rather than a user's own personal reach.

But what about those who have worked hard for that large social media following? Don't worry - we will have specialized contests just for them, so stay tuned. :)

Contest Leaderboard

Another issue that became apparent during the contest was the leaderboard itself. The leaderboard is meant for a way for people to keep track of who is currently ahead in votes, and provides an element of excitement while the positions of builds change over time. However, because clicking through each build made it possible to vote for that build directly, it became a sort of "snowball" effect where people on the front page stayed ahead of all others throughout the contest.

We will continue to offer the leaderboard in future contests as this is also a way to provide transparency as to the vote count. However, links on the leaderboard will not longer take you to that build's page. Clicking links will now only display the cover photo of that particular build. This will prevent people from just glancing at the top ten or twenty builds and voting for them.

Making this change still communicates the information we want (i.e. build position and what each one looks like), while preventing an insurmountable advantage to those who are lucky enough to be on the first page.

TL:DR

Builds.gg will be implementing a number of rules changes for all future contests, including contest qualifications, promotion etiquette, accepted promotion methods, and changes to the contest leaderboard. These changes will help level the playing field for our contests, and keep things more competitive and fun.

These are by no means all the changes we will implement, as we will discover new ways to enhance the fairness of our contests coming forward. We thank everyone for sticking with us as we work to improve the builds.gg contest experience for everyone.

Sincerely,
The builds.gg Team