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Reputation: the lifeblood of the community.

Except it really isn't. I had to struggle to get to where I am reputation-wise. I couldn't answer questions for the longest time, even my own. And when I did do so, both the answer and the question got downvoted into oblivion. I'm frustrated by how new user-UNfriendly this site seems. I want discussion!

Commenting on questions, even if it's just to clarify: 50 reputation. Not an easy task if you are bad at writing answers, look at things very differently, or need more information and are new on the site. I can understand the requirement for the religion sites and Puzzling, but things like Blender and Worldbuilding? I don't care if it costs me, but 50 reputation is too high for some folks.

Even if it takes 50 rep to comment on another person's answer, it shouldn't take 50 rep just to ask the author "well what do you mean when you say that x is y-ing z?" or "Could you clarify that for me please?"

And before you edit this, please keep in mind that I do have Asperger's Syndrome and thus look at everything in a very different way. I'm okay if you downvote this a little, just... don't bash me on it, okay?

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    $\begingroup$ Regarding comments, I too always thought 50 rep seemed rather high.. For any users reading this who really really want to comment and can't, it's okay to leave an answer and make a note that it's intended as a comment, one of our mods can convert it. But spamming such answers will likely be frowned upon. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jun 15 '15 at 7:26
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    $\begingroup$ Except nobody even seems to care. I've literally had to add 'this is just my thought process, please don't ban me' to many of my answers to stay safe. $\endgroup$ – Nefer007 Jun 15 '15 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Nefer007 you'd need to do a string of stupid antisocial things to warrant a ban. We do care about visitors, and new users, we care about this site enough to continually make decisions that may seem mean but are really only an ongoing effort to streamline the information here. Almost all questions get edited, it's the way things work here, and the reason is to make the content easier to read by reducing verbosity, spelling mistakes, and improve structure and formatting and fixing tags. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Jun 15 '15 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ Also saying "please don't ban me" is not likely to have any affect on whether or not you are banned (and you are not likely to be banned, as zeffi said). $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jun 15 '15 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ The rep system favors skilled users, which is exactly the point. Reputation next to your post, is like having a PHD co-author your article. It adds credibility, and you have to know what you're doing in order to earn that respect. As far as privileges go, I think the 50 rep limit (which I do think is tad high) is implemented to make sure people who have no idea what they are doing don't keep adding their two cents worth into the discussion. I earned my first 50 rep in a few days (its a bit longer but I didn't visit the site for a week), experts are not chased away. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Jun 18 '15 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ The first few privileges (such as the 50 rep for comments) are mainly to prevent spammers and bots. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jun 22 '15 at 17:59
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While the reputation system may seam unfair to you now, I hope to help you see that it is actually a well balanced privileges system.

First off nearly anyone with at least 1 rep can ask or answer any question. (So I don't see how you "couldn't answer questions for the longest time.")

It is not hard to gain 5 up votes on a few answers, to get to the comment privilege (anyone can comment on their own posts).
If SE did not have the barrier for the comments then we would have all kinds of spam trouble with the comments. (As it is now comments do not go through any review process, low quality or spammy looking question and answers do.)

Don't take it personal, but if you are having trouble gaining rep and are question the system, there probably is a reason your posts are not being up voted.
Take your mushroom question, the way you first posted it, it would be likely to get down votes; because of the title and the first sentence. Looking through your answers, I see that you have only received one DV on all your answers (remember one UV equals out 5 DVs).

See gaining rep does more then let you do more on the site, it is a measure of how much the BSE community trusts you, and of what quality the posts you write are.

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  • $\begingroup$ The issue was that I was so bad at answering questions. Originally, I was posting incomplete answers/guidelines that somehow prevented me from answering any other questions, including my own questions that I myself posted... which is a problem and should, in fact, be allowed if you actually did solve your own problem on your own. You shouldn't have to wait for a stroke of luck or some project to be able to answer your own question. That I see as a problem. $\endgroup$ – Nefer007 Jun 15 '15 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ I cannot agree with this answer. The reputation is definitely not a "well balanced" system. It has many flaws, including high-rep users abusing the system because they do not know about the subject. $\endgroup$ – Joehot200 Jun 25 '15 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Joehot200 what you describe is not a flaw in the rep system (voting on popularity), it is in fact a flaw in how people vote. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 25 '15 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @David Taking StackOverflow as an example - So it isn't a flaw in the rep system that people who got a lot of rep from python are then able to upvote/downvote/modify java questions? I even once had two unrelated questions closed as duplicates of each other by a high-rep abuser. Despite the issue not being so prominent on blender (since it is about a single piece of software), it is still an issue that should be thought about and fixed. People upvote/downvote questions/answers that do not deserve that upvote/downvote because the voter doesn't know what the subject is about. $\endgroup$ – Joehot200 Jun 26 '15 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ if you think it is a problem worth mentioning, ask a question on the SE meta. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 26 '15 at 13:35
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Those of us who have been around for a while, or have plenty of Blender experience, are tooled up to answer questions fast and effectively. It is by no means easy for a newcomer to compose an acceptable response at the same speed. Feel less bad about that! :)

This reputation threshold is by design. Only people (such as yourself) who for some reason feel an affinity to this 'cause' will stick around and gradually gather reputation. Without that rep barrier you have no idea how much spam we'd get, it would be fun for no-one.

It may seem less easy now to ask novel questions, since we've been around for 2 years, and have amassed 11.000 questions. Questions are frequently marked as duplicates, not because the question was asked exactly that way before, but because the answer of another question also answers that new question. This is to some extent because new people are less intimate with the search feature, partially because the search isn't very fuzzy yet. (ie requires you to spell stuff correctly, and has only limited contextual understanding)

But if you look at the questions that get upvotes, look at the top 20 questions and you might see a pattern. If you want to game BSE ask modular questions, spread them out, make sure the question can be answered (shows clarity and thoughtful composition) and doesn't require a tonne of work to answer, provide .blends or screenshots.

Every day we get around 20 questions, a rough estimate is that 15 of those are unique/novel to some extent, we are not at 'peak' question yet :)

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    $\begingroup$ Expertly answered. $\endgroup$ – A Wild RolandiXor Jun 14 '15 at 23:22
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed :) Small addition along the lines of duplicates: duplicate questions aren't bad, having your question closed as a duplicate doesn't mean you did something wrong and are being punished. One of the advantages of closing duplicates is that content about a given question is all redirected into one place, where it can all be found by other people without searching through piles of separate questions. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jun 15 '15 at 7:31
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    $\begingroup$ Duplicates which by their title alone aren't obvious duplicates are great and indeed help site users to get 'redirected into one place'. I find a lot of original questions don't have perfect titles to begin with, and we should and (do!) edit titles whenever we think "this question is more general than the person asking it realizes, let's give this question the right keywords that it deserves". $\endgroup$ – zeffii Jun 15 '15 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ Some questions are "cash cows" and generate an unexpected amount of points, but for the rest, for anyone with a lot of reputation points, I think we can all agree that it was a lot of work, time and effort to get them, point by point..day by day. braincell by braincell. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Jun 15 '15 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ Then why haven't we developed folders? By making folders, we can organize the duplicates! $\endgroup$ – Nefer007 Jun 15 '15 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ This is what tags are for. I'm not convinced it would be practical to group duplicate questions or if that would make searching any easier, it still takes experience to know off the top of your head that the question already has an answer somewhere.. this comes back to the weak contextual search of BSE. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Jun 15 '15 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ @zeffii, sorry. I got carried away. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Jun 18 '15 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Nefer007, tags work nicely as folders. And adding a tag which belongs on a post where it does not already exist, is a valuable edit. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Jun 18 '15 at 7:46
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, duplicate answers shouldn't really close a question. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jun 22 '15 at 18:02
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Personally, this is something that I felt like I struggled with when I was new, but I didn't have it as bad as you. Think about it like writing a paper for school: it's about professionalism, and respect.

Now I think you realize that, but your profesh is a bit lacking. (mine is too. :-) take a look at my first question Projectiles in the BGE

Using verbal quirks and similes make a question very interesting to read, but sometimes they make it hard to understand at the same time. Now lets annalize some parts of your question Trying to restrict movement of player without causing it to fly off the screen.

I'm trying to restrict the player's movement so that someone can't just barrel through the level.

^^That one made me laugh, and it explained your problem well: Good

So I'm making a three-dimensional danmakufu game in Blender

This one not so much. You started with "So" which indicates a conversational tone, great for chat, but for questions it detracts from the quick-informational asking feel. Too boot, not everyone knows what a danmakufu game is.

AND STOP POSTING ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS

putting stuff like this in the middle of a question breaks the flow of information.

Over all, I think people need to stop DVing you, and suggest edits, or help in another constructive way. The only thing for you to do though, is maybe cut back on the conversationallism until you're a more solid member of the Blender Stack Exchange community.

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  • $\begingroup$ They never downvoted me unless I asked a question that I solved on my own, and then they blasted it. Also, danmakufu was the game engine. $\endgroup$ – Nefer007 Jun 19 '15 at 16:03
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With respect to the comment in another answer about more experienced users being able to answer more quickly, even if someone else has provided an answer to a question before you were able to, if you have a good answer, post it anyway. You never know when another user will find your answer more useful than the answer of a member with more reputation, and vote up you answer instead of the other. In some ways, the experience of a power Blender user can be a hindrance in forming good answers useful to novice users, either because they have become fixed in their workflows, or because some of the steps are so ingrained in their work habits that they get ignored when forming their answer, while less experienced users are sometimes more careful to include all the steps when composing their answer. Also, adding a tag to a question counts as an edit.

One way of gaming the system is suggested in another answer, but there are other ways to game the system, too. For example, having a suggested edit to another post (either question or answer) accepted gains two points of reputation, though the edit has to be more than a certain number of characters until one reaches a certain reputation. A suggested edit expanding BSE to the full form Blender.stackexchange might be useful, as new users on the site might find the acronym unfamiliar and hindering their understanding. On the other hand, correcting to to too won't work by itself to gain reputation, as the number of characters is too short. Reviewing old posts, you'll notice some with awkwardly worded titles, or common misspellings, such as using one of there, they're, or their where one of the other two is intended. A side benefit of such reviews is that you become more acquainted with the content of older questions, and will soon start to identify yourself when a post is a duplicate, or is answered by a different question which is not a duplicate.

Also, if one is a known member with sufficient reputation on another stackexchange site, joining a different stackexchange site under the same login, generally results in a grant of 100 reputation points on the new site upon joining. Finally, when you attains the reputation that earns the reputation of voting questions or answers down, use the privilege sparingly, as downvotes cost you a couple of reputation points every time they are cast.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes multiple different answer to a given problem are always welcome. I would not recommend "gaming the system" or posting about ways to do so. Edits are not "gaming the system" SE gives rep to new users that make a post better, it helps them learn what to do, and what is not a good edit. Last you only get the association bonus if you have 200+ rep on any of your sites. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 19 '15 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ @David, "gaming the system" was not my invention; I got that from the post of another member. I don't think any of the methods either he or I gave are actually gaming the system. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Jun 19 '15 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ they quite probably are not. So why use the term? $\endgroup$ – David Jun 19 '15 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ @David, it's not a particularly adult answer to say "because he did" but in this case it's the best available choice. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Jun 20 '15 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ If someone is struggling to formulate a well received question, they should look at the style and content of those questions that have done well. consider which qualities it makes sense to emulate. The phrase 'gaming the system' was not chosen to illicit misuse, or abuse, but rather to emphasize the importance of how we perceive questions as an audience. The list of high scoring questions is public record and can be studied. In the end questions which zero real applicable content won't get much attention, it still comes down to substance dressed in presentation. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Jun 20 '15 at 15:25

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