Change in the points system for bigadv work units

For new bigadv WUs, we have changed how the points are calculated to bring them back into balance with the rest of the points in Folding@home.  There are more details in this post:

The main jist of the change is that we are decreasing the points associated with bigadv WUs, from 50% over SMP to 20% over SMP.  As with previous points changes, this deals with only new WUs to go out, not with WUs that have be collected, etc.  I want to stress that the bigadv program is still continuing, but that, as we've mentioned before, this is an experimental program and subject to changes. 

It's clear that any change to the points system is controversial, but this one has been raised as a very serious problem by many donors.  After investigating the issues raised, we agreed that this was significantly out of balance, and made this change.  Moreover, the feedback we have gotten is that we make a change soon and do so quickly, like "removing a bandaid" rather than drag out the pain. I'm sorry to have to make any changes at all, since any change is disruptive, but we (and many donors) felt very strongly that this change was very important.  

The other change that we have in mind to do is to bring all classic and GPU WUs into the Quick Return Bonus (QRB) system.  This would help further bring all FAH projects into balance.  There may be some issues with GPUs and QRB, so we are looking to see what we can do to minimize problems with that before making a change in the points for GPU WUs.

Finally, I would like to remind all that we do listen to donors and take their input very seriously.  There has been extensive discussions about the problems with the points system with the huge PPD's seen with bigadv (sometimes reaching 500,000PPD) and the lack of QRB for GPUs being major shortcommings.  

Considering the great variety of donor opinions on this matter, it is no surprise that we agree with some donors and disagree with others.  Moreover, with points, there will never be any system which makes everyone happy, but our goal is to try our best to balance the project as a whole, taking donor input seriously, and making hard calls when we feel it is necessary.  This was definitely a hard call, but hopefully in time donors who disgaree now will come to understand the issues raised by the other donors and appreciate their point of view.