This thread is not meant to review any mods. It is also not meant to discuss any specific reviewer. Rather it is meant to find out what people find helpful in a review. What makes one review hold more weight with you than another? What makes you tend to disregard the opinions of one reviewer, while embracing the opinions of another?
I am grateful when someone takes the time to post their impressions of a mod, but sadly, have often been disappointed too find that instead of a review it was really more of a venting session. Too often I have found that a review just highlighted the things the author didn’t personally like about the mod. Then passed judgment on whether it was good or bad based on whether it included content they personally liked. Just not very helpful.
The type of review that I find most helpful offers me information from several perspectives. I really appreciate it if the reviewer is obviously trying to provide information without bias. Especially if the reviewer didn’t find the NPC appealing, but remains respectful of both the modder and those players that may like something different than themselves. Some of the information I personally look for is the following.
General impression about the NPC’s personality. I appreciate it if I can get an idea of whether or not I am likely to enjoy having this NPC in my party.
How strong or weak the NPC might be in their class. This is not as important to me as other points. I find that I can so easily change stats with EEKeeper to better fit my own game that it is rarely a problem for me. Still, I do appreciate its inclusion.
Information about any personal equipment the NPC might have so that I can decide if it fits into how I like to balance my game. Also if the equipment is removable.
The NPC’s alignment and general acceptance of other NPCs who’s alignment/personalities differ from their own.
Are there any quests, personal or otherwise, added to the game with the inclusion of this NPC.
How much dialogue and banter the NPC adds to the game.
If the NPC offers a friendship or romance path for the protagonist or other NPCs.
One of the things that really makes me question the validity of a review is when a reviewer gives a mod a grade like Pass/Fail. When a reviewer does this I get a mental image of a judge bringing his gavel down. This makes me tend to lose respect for the review in general as it says to me that the reviewer is more interested in making a point about what they personally want in their game than giving others helpful information.
Overall, I guess the thing that holds the most weight with me is if the reviewer remains respectful of both the modders hard work and the other players out there who do like the mod. Especially if they didn’t personally like it. I find myself really trying to understand their points if I see that despite the fact that they really didn’t like it, they at least respect the fact that others might.
As with the mods themselves, everyone finds different things helpful in a review. I would very much like to learn about what you find helpful.