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Important Regarding GTOP100 & Voting Changes

Discussion in 'MapleLegends Announcements' started by Kimberly, Jul 17, 2021.

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  1. Kimberly

    Kimberly Administrator Staff Member Administrator Game Moderator

    Sep 9, 2014
    The Netherlands
    6:10 PM
    Moderator Post
    Hello all,

    Unfortunately, this is another negative thread about GTOP100, the main 'voting' website pretty much every unofficial Maplestory server makes use of.

    For the last few years, GTOP100 have made very questionable design changes on their site. Pretty much everyone agrees that they are for the worse. Whenever we provide any feedback, GTOP usually ignores the feedback and claims the changes are for "SEO" (Search engine optimizations) and "tweaks"

    Usually, we just let it go and just let them do their thing. After all, designs do not *completely* ruin the voting system and users voting on the site.

    On July 4, 2021, GTOP100 made a very questionable and shady change towards GTOP: Completely hiding and removing vote numbers from their site.

    According to GTOP, this is to "reduce cheaters" and changing the way their rankings work. On top of that, they randomly changed the system that allowed each account to vote 3 times a day or something like that. Honestly, I still don't fully understand it even now, because absolutely nothing but vague information gets communicated to us.

    The explanation GTOP have given us regarding the 3 times voting is that "everyone was doing it anyway".

    This is an extremely sloppy and poor explanation to us, because not only is this not true, their vote rules (https://gtop100.com/site/tos) points out that each person is allowed to vote on EACH CONNECTION HE OWNS.

    The sudden ranking changes

    At first, not much changed. Basically, it was exactly the same as before except we could no longer see how many votes each server has.

    On July 15, 2021, our voting rankings suddenly went down from rank 2 to rank 4. Matt, the owner of MapleRoyals, pointed this out to me because I didn't notice the ranking change yet, because honestly since the ranking changes I did look at their site much less than before since it basically had no point anymore for me to since we were far into rank 2 and I could no longer observe the state of other servers.

    Me being extremely confused why we moved to rank 4, looked into it. Matt e-mailed GTOP, which gave him this explanation:

    Okay, so poor rankings.

    Basically, our rankings somehow were 'poor' while other servers were untouched. On top of that, a server that was previously far away from us (current #3) suddenly passed us, on the very same day Dream did.

    Matt suggested I should check if our votes indeed did decrease a lot, so I did. This is the current votes from whole month of July:
    July 1: 5029 votes
    July 2: 4933 votes
    July 3: 4811 votes
    July 4: 5100 votes
    July 5: 5597 votes
    July 6: 5559 votes
    July 7: 5521 votes
    July 8: 5485 votes
    July 9: 5441 votes
    July 10: 5326 votes
    July 11: 5535 votes
    July 12: 5603 votes
    July 13: 5573 votes
    July 14: 5664 votes
    July 15: 5602 votes

    So.... we see no difference whatsoever in the voting. So, I have e-mailed GTOP once again, and ask for them to show some sort of transparency over what is seen as us as no changes at all.

    We got this as reply:
    Hello, we changed out our voting system the 4th of July which changed the way we rank servers, we are no longer only counting votes as a ranking factor, you can read more about it on our Facebook page.

    Best Regards, Gtop100 Admin

    This is my limit. We are losing rankings because of voting changes that they REFUSE to be transparent about, making us lose to competition to something we don't know how to improve. This to me is extremely shady, and honestly, I feel they have only changed this voting system so people have to vote more yet again, which increases their SEO and ad views. I, as well as multiple other server owners, fail to get any reasonable explanation, refused to be listened to, and refuse to receive any sort of explaining how their new system works.

    We have absolutely enough, so until GTOP revert their system, we refuse to still use their service starting now.

    Vote changes

    - The voting site, TopG, which has never any problems at all for our users, will be the primary vote site for the time being
    - You will be able to vote every 20 hours for 6500 Vote Cash
    - GTOP will be completely removed from our website until they fix their mess, or at the least be more transparent about how their current system works, since to us, and many different owners, it's currently extremely shady and confusing.
    - We currently only have a warning in-game about voting on GTOP. This needs to be looked into and can't be directly copypasted, because TopG uses a fixed 12 hours system instead of 24 hours like GTOP... or well, used to be.

    Why the new system is bad

    - We are unable to track the growth of competition, and see how well each server is doing, and learn from things that may be happening that caused them to lose/gain votes or users
    - Servers can now way easier fake their online user count because we no longer have GTOP to compare
    - On top of that servers can now abuse the voting system itself and we have to trust GTOP that it's been moderated (it haven't been in past, we always had to report servers).
    - Their new system highly suggest to all of us that it's been done for more traffic or ad views, instead of "anti-cheating measures"
    - Their new system will need us to let each account vote 3 times a day, which is an extremely terrible and unacceptable inconvenience for the user.
    - When GTOP has a problem, or users have voting problems, we are unable to see if every server currently is affected by it or not anymore (global issue vs server issue)
    - According to Facebook, Premium users now get "better rewarded", which may also be the explanation why we deranked, because both Dream and Ristoria are premium users. If that is the case, GTOP is selling out even further, and that should still not be supported. Literally, pay to get better rankings. "most fair rankings of any top site" yeah, right.

    Other shady possibilities:
    - They could award users that view their site longer as a more "valuable" vote, vs those that just vote and click away. Heck, they could give your vote double or triple the value if you click their ads
    - They could manipulate the rankings in favour of those that benefit them more (top banners, premium, etc) and there's no way for us to verify it anymore "Just trust us lol".

    We are their customers.
    At the end of the day, the top 10 is completely taken by MapleStory servers. We are using their service as early as 2008, which unfortunately is something that stayed popular within the MapleStory scene. GTOP do know they are the most popular and have pretty much no competition at all. Because we never take action because we want to keep their free traffic, we keep eating it up after a frustrated rant and move on. However, because of that, they keep getting away with these changes. Enough is enough, we've decided that after years of GTOP worsening their service we will finally shift our dependence on them, in hopes of either getting better service or finding an alternative altogether.

    How can you still help us?

    Unfortunately, it remains true that GTOP is very heavily on traffic, which will definitely be impacted by this change. There's a reason GTOP has a massive monopoly over servers, and servers refuse to let them go. We feel this is an extremely big step, but we need your help to be able to survive through it. If you do know people missing Old MapleStory, or play in other communities, try to make aware of the server. I've recently played some GunBound again, and multiple people were not aware of our server but did play MapleStory long ago, and were very excited to hear our server exists. Awareness is key, and with your help, even more users will know about our server, and possibly inviting even more friends.

    New ways to get Vote Cash

    We are also still brainstorming behind the scene on how we can give users "Vote" cash outside voting because even before these major changes we were really done with the whole 'voting' concept and all the flaws that come with it. This just pushed it further and faster, and in the future, we hope we can provide alternative ways to earn Cash in-game.

    Thank you

    I want to thank Matt from Royals for being honest that even they think these recent changes are a mess, even though it doesn't impact them position wise. Respect.

    - MapleLegends Administration
    • Great Work x 16
    • Informative x 6
    • Like x 5
    • Agree x 3
    • Friendly x 3
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