About Forum Features

About Forum Features

What are kudos?

Kudos are an easy way to express your appreciation for someone else's post.

How do kudos work?

If you see Kudos : 9 to the left of someone's post (beneath their name and avatar image), it means that post (not that person) has been awarded that many kudos.

If you see an extra number in parenthesis like this: Kudos : 9 (2), it means that the post has received nine kudos, and that you awarded two of those nine kudos.

If you click on someone's profile (including your own), you can see how many kudos he or she has given and received, and how many he or she has left for the day.

When you mouseover something related to kudos, a little tooltip should pop up to tell you what's up. However, this feature is very browser dependent and not 100% reliable.

How do I award kudos?

If you have kudos available and you haven't previously awarded kudos to a particular post, you will see a series of up to five clickable numbered gold stars to the left of that post: Award Kudos. (If you have five kudos, you will see five stars, etc.)

Just click the gold star or the number associated with the number of kudos you want to award and the system will do the rest. The page will reload and the stars will disappear, and the posts count of awarded kudos will show your contribution in parentheses, as described in the previous answer.

How many kudos can I give out per day?

The value of kudos stems in part from their scarcity. There's a stiff 5-kudos-per-person-per-day limit, so it is necessary to exercise some care in awarding them. Unawarded kudos do not carry over from day to day. At midnight (in some or another time zone), you will be reset to five awardable kudos for the new day, no matter how many you used (or didn't use) on the previous day.

You can see how many kudos you have left to give out for today at the left of any post you haven't given kudos to, and if you need to confirm that you are out, you can do so by viewing your own profile.

What posts are eligible for kudos?

All posts that are not in topics that are locked due to age (the R.I.P. icon) are eligible for kudos.

You may not give kudos to your own posts. (If you create second forum ID and use it to give yourself kudos, we will eventually catch you and remove all the bogus kudos.)

There is one other important restriction: posts in the Deep_Cesspool can receive kudos, however when that post expires, the kudos awarded will be permanently lost.

What are the benefits of kudos?

The primary benefit is their purpose: awarding kudos is a way of saying "thank you" and "good job" to a poster, demonstrating your appreciation for his or her efforts.

If you are interested in the XP-based title system, then kudos have additional implications. Awarding kudos will generate some XP for both the giver and the recipient. In fact, awarding kudos is the only way for lurkers (people who don't post) to accrue XP.

What are the grammatical nuances of kudos?

The word "kudos" has its origin in the Greek kydos and is a singular word meaning "praise given for an achievement." The presence of the word "kudo" as a noun in some dictionaries is looked upon with snooty disdain as a "back-formation" by certain vocabulary snobs. If this is a concern for you, feel free to interpret the number associated with an award of kudos as a measure of degree, rather than quantity.

The term "kudos" is not affiliated with the tasty family of eponymous snack bars, and indeed, while far healthier, its use is in no way endorsed by Mars, Incorporated or its family of companies.

Are there any kudos etiquette issues?

Not many. However, some have commented that it can seem a little sneaky to reply to a post and say "Kudos!" without actually awarding kudos, especially if someone else has. Since the kudos system is publically anonymous, this might be seen as taking credit for someone else's award of kudos.

Of course, kudos are not the only way to express approbation and gratitude for a post. A simple "great job!" or "thank you!" works just as well. Kudos are no substitute for discussion or comments about a post, but since some people feel uncomfortable with such things, don't like constantly saying the same things, or just don't know what to say, the kudos system provides an easy (but still valuable) alternative.

What are XP?

The XP system is a method the site uses to track and reward frequent contributors for their posting activity.

What is the XP system for?

The default method provided by phpBB for tracking poster activity is the post count, which simply represents the person's total posts to the forum. Then, posters who accrue certain numbers of posts can be awarded various predefined titles.

This scheme has a number of limitations, the two most prominent of which are that it does not differentiate between a one line "me too" post and a post containing a new drawing that is result of hours of labor, and that the title system is rigidly inflexible, offering only a linear hierarchy and no potential for customization.

The XP system has been designed to correct both of these problems. First, a person can gain anywhere from 0 to 1000 XP from a single post, depending on a large number of complex factors designed to reward posts based on the amount of content they contain (for example, a description of a weekend sinking experience will generate many more XP than a "me too" post) and how popular a post is with the readership.

Second, XP can be "spent" at will (provided that enough are available) to acquire various "titles" from a complex, multi-dimensional hierarchy that allows each frequent poster to mix and match a variety of options to create a title or title combination that best suits him or her.

What does XP stand for?

The term "XP" has been imported from role-playing games, in which players use XP to advance within the game. There, the term is short for "experience points." Here, XP awards are based on the amount of unique, popular content posted, and are not based on any degree of perceived or actual experience.

How exactly are XP calculated?

The calculation of XP is an automated process based on an extremely large number of heuristic factors. Specific details cannot be provided as the system is extremely complicated and is occasionally tweaked to improve it or prevent exploits.

Why did my XP go down all by themselves?

Decreases in XP are very, very infrequent, but they can and do occur.

The most common cause of XP decrease is having a post moved. Posts in the "Beyond the Swamp" forum accrue fewer points than other forums, and posts in the "Deep Cesspool" forum accrue no points at all. Should you post in another forum and have your post moved to either of these, your XP for that post will be automatically re-scored accordingly.

It is also possible for your available XP to decrease after a change in the XP calculation system. This is most commonly a change designed to prevent exploits, as that is the case where a downward revision is most likely to occur. After such a change, any post in a topic that has not been locked due to inactivity might be rescored. There is no specific way to determine what posts would be rescored or what the net change might be. Recalculations are performed dynamically based on the activity of the readership.

If your available XP falls below zero, please post in the "Technology Talk Show" forum and we will generally be able to reset your score to zero.

What do I do with my XP?

Once you have amassed at least 50 XP, you can go to your Edit Profile page and scroll down to the "Optional Avatar Customization" section. There, you will find a list of options for "Classes" you can adopt. In this case, the word is borrowed from certain old adventure games and a "class" is something like an imaginary quicksand "profession." If you select a class, the class name will replace "Deep_Sinker" under your name in the forum and on your profile page for all to see.

Initially, you will have five choices for classes to "spend" your first 50 XP on. As you gain additional points, you will be confronted with additional options. You may choose to advance further in a class you've already chosen, add an additional class, or, if you meet the requirements, change to a new class.

If you advance in a class you already have, you will gain an additional title. For instance, if you are a Craftsman and you advance, you will become an Advanced Craftsman (as at least one person has already done). There are 20 levels in each class, each requiring more XP to achieve than the previous.

You might prefer to add an additional class if your interests cover more than one of the five options. You can never have more than two classes at one time.

Finally, you may choose to change classes. Some classes are not available unless you first achieve a certain level of proficiency in one (or two) prerequisite classes. Most classes have two prerequisite classes and represent a combination of the two class elements. For example, if you become a Master Wanderer and a Master Rescuer, you will have the option to become a Knight. Some classes, however, have only one prerequisite and represent a refinement of that prerequisite in a specific direction. For example, if you become a Superior Master Wanderer, then you will have the option to become an Explorer instead.

If you change to a class that has prerequisites, it will permanently replace its prerequisites. If you change to a class that has two prerequisites, that means you will then have an open slot again.

One caveat: it is not possible to advance more than once at a time. If you have enough experience to do so, you will permanently lose all XP above one less than what you would need for a second advancement. For example, if have two classes and 120 XP and you need 50 XP to advance each class, advancing one class will leave you with 49 XP available, not 70 XP. This happens only when you advance, so if you have one class that needs 400 XP to advance and one that needs 50 XP, you will be able to accrue the 400 XP without interruption if you want to advance the former.

How many different classes are there?

There are about 70 different classes.

Not all classes can be combined (you can't have two classes with two prerequisites because you could never get all the prereqs at once), but there are thousands of unique combinations.

If I change my mind, can I go back?

No, it is not possible to "undo" a choice. If you don't like a class you have chosen, contact the board janitor, who can remove it for you, but unfortunately you won't get any XP or prerequisite classes back.

Does my choice of classes affect anything in Sinking Island?

Not yet. ;-)

It is, however, visible if people examine you.

This is really complicated for something so minor. What if I don't want to fool with this?

This is completely optional. Everyone who posts to this forum even once is fully entitled to call themselves a Deep_Sinker.

How come I had a certain number of XP when I signed off, and when I came back I had more?

The XP awarded to your posts is revised upward as they become more popular, and additional points are added to your total.

Do kudos relate to XP?

Yes, both giving and receiving kudos are factored in to your XP awards.

How many XP does a post get, on average?

About 12.

Can other people see how many XP I have?

No, they only see what you do with those XP in terms of classes.

Which class is the coolest?

I don't know, I tried to make them all pretty cool (with the general idea that the "harder" classes should be cooler and more detailed than the "easier" ones).

Which class is the lamest?

The Deep_Lurker. That's what you get if you've never posted at all.

I'm a Deep_Sponsor. If I take a class, will I lose this designation?

No. Your posts will continue to show the "Sponsor medal." Thanks again for your commitment to the health and success of the board.

What is Sinking Island?

Sinking Island is the site's real-time chat and online role-playing feature. Due to its size, Sinking Island has its own documentation.