As some of you may be aware, a recent bug made it impossible for users to earn user level experience points (XP) on the site, frustrating our users and making it impossible for them to level up. Because many of our site features, such as commenting and writing user reviews, require a specific user level, this also unfortunately made it impossible for newly registered users to ever be able to perform those important community interactions.
Fixing this bug required that we dig into the specifics of how our user leveling system worked--something that was designed and built years ago by members of our development team that are no longer here--and in the process, we discovered some…interesting…details.
How it used to work
Each day, users could earn up to 2500 XP. For simply visiting a GameSpot.com page when logged in, a user would earn 500 XP, with additional XP awarded by visiting extra pages on the site at a rate of 5 XP per page. There were no other ways to earn XP, which means to hit the daily cap a user would have to browse 400 pages per day.
This was, simply put, a broken user experience. GameSpot is a community and there are many different ways to interact with it. We believe that each of these ways should be rewarded, and so we made some changes.
How it works now
Due to popular request, we updated this list on August 28, 2012, to include a couple of new items.
As before, there is a daily cap of 2500 XP, but we've completely redone how other XP is earned so that user actions directly contribute to user level:
- Visiting a GameSpot.com page while logged in: 500 XP (can be earned once a day)
- Commenting on a story: 20 XP
- Posting in a forum thread: 20 XP
- Creating a new comment thread: 30 XP
- Posting a user blog: 100 XP
- Earning an emblem/achievement: 50 XP
- Rating a game: 10 XP
- Following a game: 10 XP
- Being followed by another user: 100 XP
- Visiting 10 pages on GameSpot.com while logged in: 50 XP (NEW!)
- Writing a user review (stacks with rating a game): 90 XP (NEW!)
And there you have it: full disclosure on which user actions can earn you XP, which is just one part of our leveling system's "secret sauce."
So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!