For example, I was looking at a popular submission the other day and someone had said "Hey is there a PHP port of this?". Back in the day, I'd be able to see how many points it had as a rough indicator of how many other people would have found a PHP port useful. Now I can't tell if that was just one guy, or if 50 people thought the same.
Please, PG, bring the points back? (and while you're at it, stop new users being shown in green?)
I lost information when comments went away. When someone suggested a payment processor and got 150 upvotes, I would know they sound respectable.
Maybe bringing comment scores back isn't needed, just a rough sense of how the comment was received via coloration.
+1 (not least because then I could hit the up arrow instead of wasting space with this post).
Previously: click up arrow, score of parent shows as 2.
Now: click up arrow... no one knows. Post a comment to make it visible (ideally add some other relevant detail).
Meanwhile, if someone posts about the project they are setting up and 50 people reply to the discussion with an assortment of feedback, it is probably useful/interesting to know that 5 of those ideas were also supported by many other people. Personally, I would rather see that from a simple, discreet number than a million "me, too" posts. The latter is the most obvious negative change I have observed since the scores disappeared, though as it happens I do agree with many of the other points people have made in this discussion as well.
If you're worried about too much groupthink and people trying to score every last point they can for some reason, surely there are other approaches that could be implemented quite simply: you could use some sort of grouping with a logarithmic scale, for example, or cap the maximum points any post can receive and let it decay accordingly in the priorities relative to newer posts no matter how many upvotes it got at the start of the discussion.
I don't miss the actual scores though. Just indicating positive/negative/neutral would be enough for me.
Have a sort (optional setting) that puts the highest rated comments at the top of each thread branch. This combined with graying of zero/neg rated comments should be adequate to see what the community prefers.
That way, skimmers can see and read comments that are rated higher first, but there's much less gaming for higher scores (just implicit ranking within the specific blog-post context).
Also an indicator of a comment that's much higher rated than others in the comment thread or post could also be indicated.
There are many ways to see quality without revealing the scores. Look at say, online stores like Amazon for "bestselling" sorts... you don't see overall sales, but a sales rank and even that's hidden at the search results level.