All the people crying out about the idea of getting rid of puzzle points, let’s just convert all of that into an experience system. Your account will level up with all the random stuff you’ve accumulated over the past decade of playing (although I would honestly say it would be a good idea to audit the total points of everybody in order to remove arbitrary point assignments).
I personally would like to keep points because I’m close to a million. It’s nice to keep track of my progress. A leveling system would be a nice compromise. I think we need to come up with ways to incentivize people to create more puzzles using different folding engines. I also think we need to incentivize labs and reward participants who focus on that side of eteRNA better.
Points mean different things to different people. Someone who has played Eterna for many years, or uses scripts to solve puzzles may find the process dull and points of little interest. But for a new player, reaching the top 1,000 can be hugely exciting. We’ve all seen their happy messages when they get there. Public signs of achievement can inspire and motivate.
Points do not mean different things to different people. The difference is that the rate you earn points when you start the game is faster due to the first puzzles you’re given access to being worth more points. If the goal was to have new players at the top of a leaderboard, then why not just make it so that every new account made is given 1,000,000 points upon making an account?
A counter argument could be “but those points weren’t earned” but if the goal was an arbitrary ranking system, then it wouldn’t matter because 30 days later newer players will be at the top of the leaderboard.
If it isn’t fair, then what is relatively fair about the current system?
If points represent a player’s current progression in Eterna, then what is the difference between points and EXP?
There is a clear distinction that has to be made between wanting to retain what currently exists because it’s convenient, or because it retains big number, or because it is less work to deal with, compared to whether it would be a better future infrastructure for Eterna.
Examples of what you can do without points:
Activity specific ranking in Eterna: Puzzles solved, puzzles made, labs done, etc. Instead of having points being assigned for every activity, we can begin to rationalize having these activities being separate from each other, having separate rankings attached to each, and then having them all contribute to a unified level based system where your progress and skill is tracked.
Level based gatekeeping: Booster scripts for performing repetitive tasks are slowly becoming popular in Eterna. Typically, a game will introduce ways to mitigate or reduce repetitive or menial tasks as time goes on, and it is not unreasonable to have customizable scripts be set up in a similar fashion.
Lab Specific Rewards: The easiest way to convince people to do something in a game is to have unique rewards attached to that activity. Currently, lab design and participation has few unique rewards associated with them. Having a “point” reward would be the current way to do this, but using points as an incentive is worthless. If I give 10,000 points, that’s not enough incentive to a new player (who can get 10,000 points fairly quick) and that’s not enough for an older player (because 10,000 points is worthless in the context of the vast sum players accrue).