Tommy Sollen isn't allowed to comment on this thread in the GameSpot forums.
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Tommy wonders if this is a drastic way to combat spammers. He's right, except this isn't for spammers. It's for genuine members. It rewards the top members and motivates the rest.
Too many levels might be drastic, but they should grow as the community develops. It's a simple way to break your community down into the essential smaller groups. Most communities have some private discussion areas, but few base their entire community around this idea.
p.s. Visit Tommy's beautifully designed CommunityOfSweden.