The best thing about the hearts is, that it doesn't cost anything to bump songs. In the current system (hearts is still in beta1 bumping costs vary from over 100 pts. for a fresh new song by a top 10 artist, to 5 pts. for any older, successful song. In the new system listeners receive a limited amount of hearts to award songs with. The exact number of hearts depends on listener level and will be refreshed every day at 0:00 am PST (8:00 am GMT). During the day, extra hearts can be earned by listening to the Rack - T61's radio that randomly plays songs from the browse pages - you'll find it under the Radio tab.
In return for bumping a song you receive points. In the current system these are called XP points. In the new system you get reputation points. The profit you make depends on many parameters. Your level and that of the artist are two of them. Other things that leads to the product of T61's secret formula are the number of bumps you gave, which bump came from you, the number of bumpers (which is something different than the number of bumps) and probably also the level of those other bumpers.
Since the introduction of the Hearts, the reputation formula is not T61's only secret. Both the number of bumps and the listeners who bumped are hidden for the first 24 hours of a song's life time. This new rule is most likely the final step in an attempt to diminish the influence of power users. The developers probably were under the impression that some people only bumped songs after they checked if some of the high ranked listeners bumped it first. As if a song only is good if a top player bumped it. Not knowing anything about a new song except the title, the artist, the fb-er and most importantly the music, makes browsing through the Recently Uploaded songs more exciting, but it also can take more time to find the stuff you like and/or you think is good. It definitely makes it harder to first bump a song.
To bump or not to bump
One aspect that has been improved by introducing the Hearts / Reputation system, is the dilemma of bumping songs for points or pleasure. I know it sounds strange to talk about an 'improved dilemma' but to me, having to choose between supporting music or leveling up, always has been what T61 is about.
In the Bumps / XP system, every single bump has it's price. You can bump as much songs as you want, but if your XP drops, you loose the ability to support music. In the beta system hearts cost nothing and your reputation will always improve. Even if you bump songs that only you will like. But you can only bump as many times as you're level allowes you to. This change in gameplay means that nobody needs to worry about profit anymore, making T61 more fun for listeners who hardly care for reputation.
The daily amount of hearts in your inventory2 is probably just enough to bump every song you love. But there's a good change that you'll run out of hearts before you're done bumping, forcing you to both work on your reputation and think twice before you bump anything. I expect that most listeners will always be short on hearts, but not to an extend that it frustrates their enjoyment. Frustration might strike some power listeners though, who play every song and like many of them. In the end everybody will need to carefully pick the songs to bump and this is especially true for people who browse and listen the recently uploaded songs.
Warning: these songs have been recently uploaded!
One thing you shouldn't do when you don't care for reputation, is browse the Recently Uploaded pages. If you just want to hear the good stuff, stick with the Top Songs, Hot Right Now or Recently Posted pages. Songs over there are not the newest of the newest, but are the best of the best without any doubt (and still new enough to know them before your non T61 loving friends know them.
For gamers Browse > Recently Uploaded on the other hand is the place to be. The more your reputation grows, the more important it'll be to early bump songs. Why? Because your reputation is determined by the number of bumps a song gets after you've bumped it! As a new member you'll never be a top rookie when you solely stick to the Radio pages.
The Tao of The Sixtyone
If you care about your reputation than you'll most likely become subject to the Tao of the Sixtyone:
The music you love is not always the music that will make you look better
(I'll need to work on this quote a bit more)
Consider this situation: you have one heart left to bump a song and two new songs appear on the Recently Uploaded pages. One you don't like very much, but will most likely get a lot of bumps and one that blows your head off, but is in a very unpopular genre. Which one would you bump? The gamer in you wants the reputation points, but the music lover that you are, wants to unconditionally support the unpopular song . It's this dilemma that I like best about T61. You'll always need to split the daily amount of hearts over both the music you want to support and the music that's good for your status.
Next episode in Evonity's strategy guide will be about the different song lists you can find at T61.
- f you haven't done so already, you can enter or exit the beta hearts game by editing your Preferences
- Listeners can earn extra hearts by listening to the rack (click Radio in the navigation bar, than choose the rack.) After the first minute of a song you will receive one or more hearts. Not with every song though.