Having received relatively few votes for my own ME3 questions, I looked at all the questions and noticed that the number of votes for both questions and answers is considerably lower on average than other top tags, for example or .

Could this be due to tactical voting because of the missions? It's in people's interest not to vote up competitors to improve their own odds of winning. I'm not saying that this is happening, I'm just aware that there's an incentive to do so.

  • 4
    The percentage of posts at 1+ or higher for each tag is 81%, 84%, and 87% respectively. At 5+, the percentages are 24%, 39%, and 50%. At 10+, the percentages are 4%, 16%, and 25%. While you can see more significant differences as vote threshold increases, I'm not sure this is anything more than a factor of time, really. Might be able to check, will look later if I have time...That said, I know I've been voting more, since I've been around to do so, but.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 12:25
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    @TimStone Thank you for using Science, it's what this question really needed.
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 12:36
  • I noticed this too, I usually vote a lot but I'll try to increase upvotes on deserving posts
    – juan
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 13:01
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    Anecdata: Since this contest has begun, I have run out of votes every day. The last time I did so was several months ago. I am voting much more than average at the moment. Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 13:41
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    Between posting my questions and answers, flagging the "not an answer" posts that come in from new users, and hunting down and voting to close the numerous dupes, I'm finding that I barely have time to actually play the game, much less read and vote on everything. I've definitely thrown a ton of votes out there, but I also keep saying to myself "I need to set aside some time to go read more posts and upvote the good ones", and I know from chat I'm not the only one who simply hasn't gotten around to reading any that didn't directly affect them or a problem they were having in-game.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:00
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    Although that said, I bet I too am voting more per day now than I used to. It's just that there is so much new content to vote on.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:04
  • Honestly, I have been upvoting less for ME3 questions only because I am avoiding spoilers so I am not visiting a lot of questions. As I get to the questions that involve the later parts in the game, though, I am upvoting as per usual... So basically, give it some time :) Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 16:52
  • @TimStone where do you get these statistics?
    – SMeznaric
    Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 9:46

4 Answers 4


We know people are tactically voting but I would not say it is in the negatives. I have seen quite a few of the people in the upper mission rankings so far have mentioned getting hit with the Serial Up-Voting notice.

Do I think people are ignoring or down voting however? Not really. The majority of the people partking of this promotion do seem to be an all for one and one for all sort of mentality.

I would however just point out that the site is saturated with ME3 questions right now so it might be a level of burn out on the parts of people.. I know I am simply ignoring almost all the questions right now until the mix and match of them starts to vary more.

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    It's called "serial upvoting" by the way.
    – FAE
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 11:29
  • I'll check this out later from the mods tools. EDIT: They don't detect suspicious vote patterns actually...
    – juan
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:21
  • @FallenAngelEyes Thats the term! Thanks, it was like 2 or 3am when I wrote that, not really sure which one.
    – James
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 15:45
  • I'm probably partially contributing to the serial upvoting since I can't vote or comment at work I do it all in a batch when I get home.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:17

I think this is more of a factor of the game rather than tactical voting. The other two games you mentioned are far more open ended, usually with more than one valid solution per question. Also, those games have a lot more variety in terms of items and quests. Answers to the other two questions will usually involve a lot more research and work (in the case of minecrafts, lots of example building).

ME3 is a rather closed game when compared to the other two. Also, as Tim mentioned in the comments, there's been a lot of time for the other two games to get late upvotes.

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    I find this very true (in combination with @James), the amount of questions that can be asked (and their associative answers) is deteriorating. It is really hard to ask a question that hasn't been covered that actually would help others. Answers also have this problem, as a lot of answers are covered in another question that is worded differently. If you were late to the game it is hard to get ahead.
    – Resorath
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 17:11
  • @Resorath That's kind of by design. The question are meant to drive search traffic. That only works if the question is indexed prior to the search. So by the time two weeks have passed, we're not really getting any special benefit from the questions, and thus you aren't earning special rewards either.
    – bwarner
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 18:26
  • I agree with @Resorath that this game doesn't have significant depth of questions to really keep rolling at this point. (This was my concern initially with the promotional grant only being for this one game, although it makes more sense in light of the promotion in retrospect...)
    – Shinrai
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 14:44

I suspect that there is a small effect, but it's not all that easy to distinguish from other effects. Just comparing the average score with e.g. Skyrim questions is not a fair comparison, as those questions had far more time to accumulate votes.

The contest is designed in a way that tactical voting likely won't have any major effect, though if all the prizes are taken there will certainly be some effect. But you would have to upvote a direct competitor for your prize, which is relatively unlikely. But most users probably wouldn't rationally judge the probability that upvoting the competition would hurt their chances of winning, so it's hard to see whether the competition design here actually helps to limit the effect of the competition on voting.


There is no incentive to do so, as everyone who has completed missions will get a prize, in each catagory, the number of prizes awarded will be the same as the number of people in that bracket.

I'm not saying people aren't tactically voting, but if they are it doesn't help them.

Also have you considered that the increased number of questions mean that people don't see them all so don't get to vote on them?

  • Ah, I've misunderstood then, I thought there were a limited number of prizes. Must be my shoddy questions then!
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:07
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    There are limits to the prizes and only the top 200ish people partaking will receive anything: The maximum number of prizes that will be given out per level are as follows: 100 for Mission 3, 50 for Mission 4, 25 for Mission 5, and 10 for Mission 6. In the event that more than the maximum number of people complete a Mission, the prizes are awarded to those winners that have the highest combined score on their contest posts. The remaining completers are instead eligible to receive a prize for the next lower level they have completed, if any.
    – James
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:16
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    @James That's true, but it should be noted that those caps are (deliberately) far higher than the number of winners that are to be expected.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 13:21
  • @balpha I'm not sure about that. The contest isn't even half over and the top prizes already have some competitors, with others rising rapidly.
    – Resorath
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 17:08
  • I do not think any tiers are in danger of filling up at this rate, honestly.
    – Shinrai
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 14:45

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