Yes, they have moved several playlists to rotational status over the course of H5's lifespan, but the difference between those playlists & BTSF is that they're all towards the bottom of the weekly popularity lists. BTSF, on the other hand, sounds like it's towards the top of that list. Looking back to those historical lists, in 07/2018, BTB was in the top 50% of those popularity lists, but later in 11/2018, it had dropped into the bottom 50%. At some point in those 4 months, BTSF was added as a playlist, & it's possible that it kept siphoning off BTB players even after it's original planned 2 week stint. But unlike other rotational playlists that began to lose popularity after 2 weeks, BTSF stayed strong. So where other rotational playlists may transiently pull away players from other playlists, it's a temporary change & people eventually go back to their normal preferred playlists.
I fully understand & recognize that the proposed change I'm recommending is entailing a new take on the rotational concept. I'm well aware that I'm advocating for some playlists that aren't struggling with their own pop numbers to also roll into a rotational status.
I know the current parameters that are in place to justify playlists becoming rotational is strictly meant to deal with playlists reflecting unhealthy population numbers & under those parameters the results have been proven to be helpful. But, I'm suggesting that there are similar benefits to be had by taking the rotational concept beyond its current parameters designed strictly for struggling playlists. I'm recommending to move the vast majority of the social environment over to a thematic experience concept that rotates these playlists within themed groups.
It's designed to consolidate the number of active playlists while maintaining reasonable access to a fairly wide variety of mode experiences under a thematic structure. The thematic structure provides several benefits in how it limits siphoning from potential overlapping interests while maintaining fairly wide access to general themed experiences & gives particular experiences an opportunity to return more often; plus, under a more transparent set schedule. It should benefit ALL playlists by way of improved matchmaking & in-turn a vast majority of the population. It also increases the likelihood that players who return for particular experiences are inspired to return more often.
Quote:But since this didn't happen with BTSF, it seems unlikely that people were playing it reluctantly. Maybe a minuscule number of players, but if it wasn't legitimately popular then it would have waned like all the other rotationals. The fact that it didn't & only continued to gain popularity suggests that it's main crowd isn't choosing it reluctantly in lue of regular BTB.
Does BTSF continue to gain popularity since it's inception? I'm not so sure, but as BTB struggled it certainly helped direct players who just wanted a Big Team experience over to it instead.
There are many factors that can help explain why BTSF has the history it does.
Here are a few:
- H5 has an incredibly deep sandbox thanks to the REQ system. Most playlists don't offer vast access to the sandbox. Fiesta playlists which don't force players to deal with the REQ's collection system to gain access are naturally going to be popular. BTSF includes some REQ vehicles where as the other Fiesta playlists don't. These things alone will gravitate a good percentage of player-based interest over to it from other Fiesta & Big Team playlists.
- BTSF was introduced at a time when BTB hadn't received an update for well over a year which helped make BTSF's initial introduction all that much more popular since it was the first new thing related to Big Team in such a long period of time.
- As population shifts over to a particular available experience & away from another available experience it can begin a self-serving prophecy of which playlist will remain more popular going forward since any potential matchmaking performance issues will help direct future interest. This is particularly true between playlists that share high player count requirements & overlapping experiences.
To be clear I'm not suggesting that the vast majority of people who spend time in BTSF do so reluctantly, but that there's a high certainty a percentage must.
Quote:Looking at the scenario with no stake in the fate of BTB or even H5 in general, it just seems to me that Josh has no reason to treat regular BTB different than other playlists that lost popularity and had to be regulated to rotational status. You & Lukepowa are probably the most vocal advocates for regular BTB & while you make good suggestions, I can't help but feel this is all b/c you just happen to like BTB & are using it's history as a part of Halo as a reason why it should remain permanent, or--in the case of your proposal--more often rotated in than other rotational playlists. I think it's great that you fight so hard for the sake of your preferred playlist, but at the same time I also wonder why BTB should be given special consideration not afforded to other playlists that were in its same position. Especially a consideration that involves temporarily removing one of the more popular playlists.
Yes, I fought for BTB. And can direct you back to where I laid out some solid reasoning & history to support my fight for it
, but I also acknowledged that if it were provided a fair chance & it still didn't find acceptable matchmaking success then I'd support it becoming rotational. Unfortunately, I think that's where we're at.
Now it's been announced that H5 will be undergoing some heavy playlist changes for next year. It's pretty clear that some consolidation is at the forefront of the sustain team's minds; therefore, I'm offering a recommendation that I feel would benefit ALL playlists & the vast majority of the population.
Personally, I think it's a bit short-sighted for anyone to believe that the best policy is to allow H5 to continue condensing & catering its permanent playlists down to one particular popular mode which is Fiesta& then rotate so many other playlist experiences within a few slots thus causing these experiences to return so seldom that people stop caring. Perhaps data suggests this is the right decision, but IMO it requires people to lose view of a bigger long-term picture of player incentives. If everything that's regularly available becomes a reflection of one primary experience within the game & all of the other experiences basically take eons to re-appear or simply become unplayable because general interest in the game continues to plummet outside the single remaining faction then the population will only continue to steadily decrease instead of showing any signs of plateauing.
Quote:To me, it just seems fairest to continue using the data trends to decide how to consolidate playlists (it may not be the happiest method, but it's certainly the least biased).
As I've been saying, I think relying strictly on the trend for future direction can only lead in one direction which is the slow & continued demise of the population as everything begins to cater to what the remaining majority appear to prefer. There are plenty of merits to it, but I think there's more value in focusing on a plan that takes a more broad-based long-term sustainability approach that doesn't simply chase the trend. So, which one is more biased? Hard to say, but I hope it's at least clear where my reasoning stands.