Mods: I meant to use 😱 instead of 😨. Could you please change the title to "Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😱😱😱"? Thanks
Sorry for the clickbait title, just thought "Clan Wars Participation Trends" was too vague/lame.
I counted participation (by hand) for each template for 152 Clan Wars time slots, distributed across Season 2-7 and all 6 times of day- in general, I checked every 11th slot and, since 11 is co-prime with 6, this meant I sampled each time of day roughly equally. A "sign-up" is when someone is signed up for the template at the end of the 10-minute sign-up period, even if they do not get a game- so this is a gauge of interest, not games created. You can get the raw data and sheet at https://bit.ly/cw-participation
Without further ado:Clan Wars participation has been steadily declining
Overall participation has been decreasing since the start of Season 2- both within and across seasons. At the start of each new season, there's a modest participation bump compared to the end of the prior season (~10 sign-ups per slot) but this fades quickly.
The big picture? Between Season 2 and Season 7, CW has lost ~40% net participation.
Interestingly, the bulk of this participation decline has happened for sign-ups around the very first and the very last CW slots of the day. They used to be the most popular time slots and now they're on track to become the least popular. The other times of day have also been declining in participation. One explanation for this phenomenon could be that more serious players- the ones who join the first or last slot because they intend to play every single day- have been losing interest in Clan Wars:Some templates are far more popular than others
SE templates are incredibly
popular, to no one's surprise. SE1W and SEAD average ~25 sign-ups while the next most popular template, Strat MME, reaches ~60% of that.
We can lump these templates into categories- SE, Strat 1v1, Community (FB & Guiroma), 2v2, and Weird MME (Multi-Attack A MME Light Fog LD, MME Commanders LD No Cards) and get really 3 distinct categories: SE vs. Strat 1v1 vs. everything else:
If you're curious about how popularity has evolved over time- the data for this is a little ugly (due to more recent time slots having fewer templates) but the story is that most have remained steady while Guiroma has lost player interest and COMBOMB has gained some.Second-choice participation helps some templates
Sometimes I played on SE1W or Strat MME because my preferred template- SEAD- wasn't available. How often does this happen?
Well, we can look at SE1W sign-ups when both SEAD and SE1W are present vs. when only SE1W is present. We can also look at the inverse- SEAD with or without SE1W present. If there's, say, 10 players who would play only SEAD, 20 that would prefer SEAD but play SE1W, 10 that prefer SE1W but play SEAD, and 10 that would play only SE1W, then we'd expect SE1W to have 40 without and 20 with SEAD and SEAD to have 40 without and 30 with SEAD. So we expect an asymmetric decline, with a smaller decrease for the more common first-choice template.
Based on this...SE1W is a second choice for SEAD
SE1W loses about half its participation when SEAD is available, while SEAD loses a sixth.COMBOMB is a second choice for SE1W and SEAD
COMBOMB participation declines by about 55% with another SE option present.Strat MME is a mild second choice for SE1W and SEAD
Strat MME participation w/ SE1W or SEAD is about 40% lower than otherwise.
Why does SE participation go up with Strat MME? That's because we're not controlling for overall participation here- if you have SE and Strat MME in a slot, it's more likely to be a popular slot (with more available templates), so those slots probably had more overall players. This is true for all these charts- the "w/" bars cover generally higher-participation time slots overall, so we're likely underestimating the impact of second-choice players leaving to play on their first-choice templates when they're available.
But what about templates that are usually
fallback templates- the ones no one really wants but people play because their actual preferred templates are not available?Templates of Last Resort
Some templates are essentially second-choice templates for every other template.
Can you spot them?
This shows templates' participation curves- what portion of total sign-ups do templates have as more templates get added? In a world of no preference, we'd get the "Average Popularity" curve.
SEAD and SE1W predictably outperform this, massively. Even when 5 whole options are on the menu, they get close to half the total participation. On the other side, we have the Weird MME templates:
Virtually every other template causes sign-ups on Weird MME and Strat 2v2 to plummet:Does Clan Wars have the right templates?
In a way this post is pointless. Fizzer already has this information, and everyone else already saw this coming.
But we can explicitly tackle the question of- do CW's templates make any sense? Let's recap: From the start, CW has had 7 templates- the Arena templates, the same as the Fixed Quickmatch templates minus Four Castles FFA:
After Season 2, a small subset of the player community voted in French Brawl and Guiroma.
Since the beginning of CW, players have raised concerns about this template selection- namely the inclusion of Strat 2v2 and the Weird MME templates. It's kind of an open secret that they're unusual strategic settings- usually people call them a harsher word than "weird" (rhymes with "dancer"). They have all sorts of issues for CW in particular- for one, games on them take much longer, and one thing we can infer from the template popularity above is that players probably want templates that take less time to play out, since CW is a real-time commitment at a mildly inconvenient time for most people. We can play for hours during our leisure hours but if we only get to pick one time every 4 hours, that's probably not a time when we're free for very long.
Anyhow, I can think of two arguments that could be made for the Weird MME templates of last resort:
- They showcase settings like Commanders, Multi-Attack, Light Fog, Local Deployments that demonstrate the variety of Warzone (perhaps a little bit too eagerly)
- Sure, maybe they're not popular
, but they might be some players' favorite templates and so should increase marginal participation: if we give up one SE template for an unusual template, we might net more
CW participation overall by having some SE players fall back to a second choice but having others join who would not have played to begin with
We can address the second point. How do these templates affect overall participation? We can simply estimate that impact from (a slightly more sophisticated version of) looking at CW participation with these templates available vs. them not:
When these Weird MME templates are in the mix, they drag participation down- they drive away more players that are looking for different templates than they bring in players who would prefer those templates specifically.
And honestly, just look at the actual sign-ups for these templates (from recent slots):
These aren't newbies and casuals or Idlers who've known nothing beyond the Arena templates. (Though I'd wager that, but for them being forced on players as fixed and Arena templates, they wouldn't be getting much games overall either. I doubt the Idlers actually like
them- MA MME Light Fog LD is probably too way confusing for Idlers.) Anyhow, the players playing Weird MME aren't casuals- they're in established clans, often elite players, members of the community. Odds are they would be playing CW without these templates in rotation anyway- maybe on community-picked templates.
I think it's fairly clear that Weird MME templates (and probably Strat 2v2, aka the MASTERs' playground) aren't making CW appeal to more players but less. In my opinion, they should be removed from not only CW but also the fixed QM rotation and certainly from Idle Arenas. To be honest, I haven't found compelling evidence of anyone but Fizzer being particularly enthusiastic about them- sure, MA MME LF LD is in the MTL, but it's had only 13 games since November 1st (vs. 26 for Strategic Greece, 21 for Strat MME, 29 for Guiroma, 29 for Biomes, and 14 for even Bork), so it's probably highly vetoed. GIven the timing, its inclusion into the MTL screams Stockholm Syndrome. And these templates certainly aren't drawing in newbies and casuals- they are wise enough to know SEAD is all they NEAD.
If we want to have odd settings to showcase the power of Warzone, there are
other options that have been discovered and built by the community, ones that have faster games and more strategic merit. But for now, even just excising the cancer would probably see a significant increase in Clan Wars participation- we don't need variety when it comes at the expense of choice and quality, and even a 3-template rotation of Strat MME, SEAD, and SE1W would probably outperform the status quo.
Edited 12/5/2021 00:18:32