On the topic of favorites

edited May 15 in Off-topic Chat
Favorites. They're a feature that at this time we are all well acquainted with, and are the most common way to indicate that you like a card someone made. All you have to do is click, and then the world knows you like that card. Fast, simple, easy. Favorites are a driving force for exposure, too. A couple favorites on a card, and it shoots to the front page where everyone can see your creation. It's a wonderful chance for the world to see what you've made that others like.

But I worry that what favorites are have slowly become distorted. Perhaps I misunderstand; I've always been of the school of thought that favorites are for cards you genuinely like and enjoy. And perhaps I'm in a minority here with this thinking. After all, like I said, they are a excellent way to show support for smiths that make creations you like and they get exposure as a result. This works well. But therein lies an issue, and my fear and worry that what a favorite is has changed.

Nowadays, favorites almost seem to be treated like a mandatory thing, and if I'm being honest it's something that bugs me. It seems to be turned more into a popularity contest for points of sort, rather than just an indicator of expressing how you like something. A favorite is now an internet point and little more. Perhaps it was never more than that. 

I would not have a problem with this if it were not for the occasional philosophy that seems to crop up that favorites are important. I personally think they are not. We do not smith as a means to an end for an internet point. We smith because, one way or another, it brings us enjoyment. And if we let the existence of something so frivolous get in the way of that, like when someone makes multiple accounts to favorite their creation, it interferes with the joy of creation.

That's my two cents, anyways. Just felt like posting about what's been on my mind lately. Was making this post a mistake? Possibly.


  • This is a great conversation to have!

    Personally, I don't think that the meaning of favorites have changed since MTGCardsmith introduced them. They are still imaginary internet updoots that can validate 'smiths and distinguish well-made cards from the rest in a very real way. If dishonest people give their cards fake favorites to make themselves happy, so be it. That being said, I believe that getting genuine favorites on a card I worked hard on feels much cooler. I also believe that these dishonest 'smiths will find this out as well one way or another.

    For me, I still use favorites as a way to commend smart card design. When I used to do contests, I would also use favorites as a way to reward cardsmiths who put in the work to make great cards. Favoriting cards for me is also a good way to archive them for the future.

    I think the only thing that's changed with MTGCardsmith is that the number of users have exploded. With so many users making and favoriting cards, I believe that the value of favorites have certainly inflated. Back in the ye olde days with modern borders and only seven possible border colors, it was a lot harder to get 50 favorites compared to today. 

    In summary, I believe cardsmiths should get more validation from within, rather than outside. Internet points are merely that. 

  • I think that it's a good idea, but it still feels really good to know what your creations are being seen, and I'm not sure how we could get it so that people's things would be seen without having some sort of point system...
  • It would have to be randomly chosen cards every few hours or so, which would allow more cards to be seen, but definitely for a shorter amount of time...
  • @Lujikul That is a very good point. Sometimes, I feel that when I get faves from cardsmiths who treat faves the way you perceive them, it really makes me feel happy. For example, getting a @Faiths_Guide /@jd_artwork fave really made me feel extremely happy because it felt like Faiths_Guide genuinely liked my card.
  • I must agree. When I get those favorites, it feels SOOO good! I personally think the problem with your idea @Abu_Jafar, is that this means crap cards like this one(An old card of mine) would show up:

    Maybe cards that are made by people with at least 1 follower? And only realistic? Or maybe a section for realistic, funny, proxy, and og art?

  • @LordTachanka123, perhaps that would work, and yes I am aware that would cause their to be a fair number of awful cards.

  • Hmmmm....  This is an interesting concept.  I have quite often felt like a lot of my poorer works have more favorites because they were brought to the attention of someone, and then there was a domino effect.  Meanwhile, my really good cards go to contests, and I think that people refrain from faving those cards because they think it would cause some sort of bias.  If they were seen more out of context, then they might get more favorites..

    On another note, quite often favorites are used as a form of currency, examples being as rewards from contests and as a way to avoid leaving feedback on the "Post your cards here and see what others think forum.  Using them this way is actually a loss in my eyes, as it skews the numbers from people enjoying the card to people "paying up", leading to some honestly awful cards getting likes that they don't deserve.

    This sort of thinking seems to stem from the original problem, which is favoriting being used as internet points, and the even more basic problem of value.  Favorites are currently one of two metrics that are used to show popularity, the other one being comments.  And the one that shows more value of the two is definitely favorites, as comments can be anything from a statement of gratitude to a random conversation, to constructive criticism.  Comments are indubitably more useful, but they give a lower endorphin reward than favorites, seeing as the number of comments doesn't say anything about the quality of the card.

    I'm pretty sure that everyone can see where this is going.

    Endorphin leads to pleasure.  Heck, it is the chemical for pleasure.  Humans like feeling pleasurable.  Ergo, we want favorites, as they give us the endorphin which gives us pleasure.  As such, there is a demand, and where there is a demand, there will be people trying to supply for the right price.  Seeing as it is easy enough to favorite something, it becomes a common trading good; a form of currency with a fairly low denomination.  When that happens, the use of "favorite" to determine a good card disappears.

    There are a couple of possible solutions.
    • Limit the number of favorites per account.  There would probably be an incentive to purchase premium to allow more slots for favorited cards.  Obviously, once a card is favorited, you would be able to un-favorite it to favorite a new card(in case you run out of favorites).  This would help raise the value of favorites to a much higher level, at the cost of adding another layer that might turn off new and returning smiths.
    • In a similar vein, getting a limited number of favorites, either per month or annually, but then being able to purchase more.  It adds in an unpleasant hint of "pay to play", but then again, it would make it so that you don't need to buy premium or constantly "un-favorite" anything, while still increasing the value of favorites to the point where most people would not use it as a currency or abuse it as an internet points thing.
    • Add more options for rating cards.  This is probably the most complex solution, as it requires a lot of discussion, coding, and testing to make sure it works as expected.  However, adding new options lowers the value of favorites as internet points, meaning more favorites would be delivered to cards that deserve them.  For best effect, add in one of the prior solutions, as that decreases the probability of people keeping favorites as the main mode of approval.  Some options I would include for new reactions would be:

      1.  A "funny" (symbol being a wink& tounge out emoji)
      2.  A "like" (being a thumbs up),
      3.  A "needs improvement" (probably a hammer hitting an anvil),
      4.  A "flawless" (IDK the symbol),
      5.  And a "flavor approval" (chef hat or @Faiths_Guide , whichever you like)

      Ok, so maybe not having @Faiths_Guide be a symbol.  Might be slightly annoying.  But the rest of that is serious.  This helps determine at a glance the main merits of the card.  Favorites would be reserved to, well, all time favorites.  Obviously, if you do hit the needs improvement symbol, please leave an actual improvement suggestion in the comments.  Flawless means that you think that everything about the card mechanically is perfect, and it is costed right.  Funny is just that, funny.  Probably reserved for silver-bordered or joke cards.  "Like" means that you liked the card, which probably would become the new internet points, and that is fine. Liking a card is a lot less of a strong statement than faving it, and so would be a lot more of a reasonable "point" system.  Again, adding in a previous solution would dramatically increase the effectiveness of that system.
  • *immediately turns bright red beneath my fur and sits back down, embarrased to have spoken*
  • You know, sometimes I feel like favoriting cards should be removed entirely. Sometimes. I think this because, for some reason, I see a favorite as a step onto the 'Hierarchy of Existence.' This hierarchy is apparently because I feel like some cardsmiths are excluded from being noticed.

    But that's just me, and only sometimes.
  • I agree @The-DM and @DrakeGladis's third idea.
    I have a theory. What if, they had a "second favorite"?
    Like @Ranshi said, an "archive". So now, your favorite cards are liked, and the others are just stored. 

  • I have never enjoyed being on the Favored list. It's one of the reasons I make very few cards and only late at night.

    There are currently THREE ways to influence a card page...
    Favorites - The obvious one
    What do you think? -  SIX options
    Ratings - Which relies on you to comment on the card and rate it.

    All we need to do is use them!

  • @The-DM I’ve also noticed that people with more followers normally earn more faves on their cards just because more people see them.
  • As a new cardsmith, I do understand how @Lujikul feels about favorites. More famous people tend to be followed more, gaining more favorites that, by extension, tend to "lose" their value. 

    But still, I think that a part of being a cardsmith is seeing wether people do actually like (or even notice) your cards. Doing what you like is extremely important, but even just a comment saying "this is a good card" is a really big motivator to improve and keep it up. 
  • Not going to lie, basically every time now when i win favourites in a contest, I just ask them to favourite stuff of mine that they like or sometimes other peoples stuff, because otherwise they are 100% artificial favourites.
  • I can fully agree with you @Abu_Jafar. Except for the part of me winning contests...
  • @DrakeGladis & @Everyone

    I understand where you're all coming from. Personally I reserve "Faiths_Guide Faves" for winners or honorable mentions in contest I (co)hosted. That does, however, give me an idea for an alternate solution whereby you make a second account--like I have--where you give out faves to whatever cards/smiths you like without feeling like your wasting currency :P  
  • That's an awesome idea @Faiths_Guide!
  • edited May 18
    [[REDACTED]] Remember to look at the discussion to make sure it's the right one before posting your comment, children!
  • Fot some, favorites are a fun way to use the site and recieve recognition/exposure. The rate feature only gets used about %30 of the time currently, and the comments section about 75% of the time. I don't see favorites as a currency, an internet merit popularity thing or whatever, I see favorites as another method of showing your support on a cardsmith's card. I know people are going to disagree with me, and that's to be expected. I feel favorites was intended for showing support in the 1st place, and I think the idea of favorites being used as 'currency' destroyed favorites and drove that idea further away from the original intent of favorites, and thus I think favorites are overrated in their value because of this. I am on the side of enjoying them I will be honest, but I also enjoy the rating feature and comments section just as well. I see all 3 as the same. If just about everyone faved more often then treating the favorites like its the covid-19 virus, old smiths especially, then the cards you really want recognition for will get it more often. There is no way currently to show the current top funny rates, or the current top angry rates, and so on. I think if they had a way to show that just like they do the faves it would be seen as equal to favorites. Just my opinion.

    There is an unspoken disdain towards favorites from many smiths, and that attitude discourages activity on the site. Despite what some cardsmith's think, refraining from favoriting isn't the answer, because there already is people who refrain from favorites. It doesn't do anything to help the activity of the site. Think about it. If they did away with the favorites altogether and just had the rating section, and a way to show recently published top rated cards for 'thumbs up' or 'angry' or 'funny', etc. etc. people would complain about the ratings section like they do the favorites section. But at least you will know more about how the card is being rated as overall. Just an opinion! :smile:
  • Not complaining, just analyzing...
  • It is my opinion, that favs are overrated. Personally I would much prefer some real feedback other than that you "like" the card. 

    I didn't always feel this way though... Not 5 months ago me and my brothers would fav every single one of each others cards. Just to get onto the hotlist and be seen... @Ranshi took the time to point out to us how unfair and selfish what we were doing was(Not in those words) And I stopped being so free with favoriting their cards. As a result, both of my brothers became somewhat inactive because they "Never got on the hotlist" Life isn't all about being famous ok!?

    I'll admit, I do randomly fav only halfway decent cards that new cardsmiths make, because I've been in the position were 3 favs was the best thing in the world. Heck, I remember when my most favored card had 7.

    I do not think that favorites are a bad thing, but I do think that favoriting every card you see that tickles your fancies isn't a good thing. Look at the card. If it is either:
    1. Very well made (Good grammar, formatting, and balance)
    2. Nicely flavored (Name fits the card. And maybe some nice flavor text that helps that happen)
    3. You just right out love the idea of it. 
    I have trouble finding cards that fit into any of those categories. But then, I don't exactly browse through the cards very much.

    All in all, it is my opinion to reserve your favorites for either:
    1. Amazing cards.
    2. To encourage new cardsmiths to keep making cards. (Just one or two every once and a while to remind them that you're watching.)

    If anyone sees anything wrong in this comment please tell me so that I can fix it. It's just my opinion.
  • As a matter of fact, I actually don't care that most of the cards I've been making lately are only getting 1-3 favs, because it tells me that I need to do more work.
    Were as 3 months ago I would've been disappointed.

    I'll have you know that in December my average number of favs per card was 5-10. That got me over confident and a more than a little careless. All it took, was for me to slow down, and let other cardsmiths get some fame and glory for once, to see that favs really don't mater that much.
  • Well @Fantastickill7, I would like to ask you a question on this topic. Whilst you said that you only give out free likes to half-decent cards of newer members, you recently liked my Clubber card, which shouldn't have gotten a single like. May I ask why?
  • edited June 2
    Because, I liked the general idea of the card, it could've used some work on formatting, but otherwise I felt that it was well balanced for a 3/1 for 1.

    Remember that a card doesn't HAVE to be a mythic legendary to get favs. I find that it is much harder to make a good and balanced common or uncommon. Most people just want to make OP cards, but when I see a nice design for a common or uncommon I fav it to encourage the production of those rarities. Which btw is very low right now. (Those people who are making rares and mythic with common set symbols don't count.)
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