Up until tonight, I saw only three ratings (with text) in the app I maintain. The three visible were “good”. Nevertheless, the overall app rating was “neutral”. So I asked two of my dev team members to also rate it “good” (without text). Since then, it is “very positive”. My answer below explains why.
As a dev/maintainer, I expect to be informed when my app gets rated, no matter whether with or without text. And I expect transparency on the current status of ratings (like “35 bad, 167 neutral, 28 good”), ideally with timestamps.
I propose to (a) allow for “rate only” (without text) but (b) to urge people to leave a hint what should be improved, at least if the rating is not “good”.
I further propose that old app ratings should (c) deteriorate over time and (d) no longer be counted at all if they were given for a NC version that is no longer supported. This deterioration rate may depend on (e) dev feedback (like ‘issue solved’) and (f) the timely maintenance of the app (or the lack thereof).