This update adds a large system that assigns points to users known as "Merit" on both a site-wide and individual forum basis. Right now this is only measuring post contributions (but it's got some pretty thorough rules for that), but in the next week I'd like to hook a lot more into the feature.
At the moment you can view merit by clicking the "Merit" link in newest posts / replies to see sitewide merit, or clicking the "Merit" link in a specific forum to see the merit rankings there.
Here's a long list of all the things that add merit:
Making a new post or reply -- +5 merit
All other merit bonuses are added on to this in a rolling, cumulative way.
If you post in NGVS, you earn an extra +25 merit.
Posting in a "promoted post" earns you an extra +20 merit. Promoted post titles appear green, and I've added them to the mod tools. I'm going to give the mods some advice towards them in my next post.
Reply length bonuses
Again, these are rolling cumulative bonuses.. you can earn more than one bonus at once.
If your post is greater than 500 characters, you earn +10 merit.
Greater than 1000 characters and you earn +15 merit
Greater than 2000 characters and you lose 7 merit (so at this point you'd lose half the bonus from the >1000 character bonus)
Greater than 5000 characters and you lose all reply length merit as well as the base reply merit bonus.
Somewhere between 1000-2000 characters is what I'm arbitrarily setting as the "ideal post length" because those types of posts are easy to reply to. Posts that are very very long are difficult to read through and work better if you split them up (it gives people a chance to reply while you're working on another piece of the post).
First reply bonuses
If you get the first reply to a post that isn't yours, you earn an additional +10 merit.
If the post hasn't had any replies for 24 hours, you get an additional +15
48 hours, and +5 on top of that.
72 hours, and +5 on top of that.
If the post hasn't gotten any replies within a week you don't get any first post bonuses at all.
The goal here is to prevent 0-post replies, particularly 0-post replies in NGVS where a good reply can net you 80-90 merit.
If you make a post, you can earn merit depending on how many replies the thread gets.
5 replies -- +10 merit
10 replies -- another +10 merit
20 replies -- another +20 merit
50 replies -- another +30 merit
100 replies -- if your post hits this, you'll earn +2 merit per reply
This system is going to be implemented into a pretty wide array of things -- making deathmatches, participating in streams, having people like your posts, bonuses for doing work on a GTX0 team. Individual point values will probably be tweaked a lot over time. I'll have a place somewhere that shows values for everything and when things change.
I'd also like to integrate into the actual "new reply" area a widget that tells you how much merit you can earn for posting.
Dooku has suggested integrating this system into the upcoming MyCons system, which makes sense.