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Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 20:59:04

Level 59
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 or always 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 1/28/2022 03:23:32
- downvoted post by berdan131
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 22:23:31

Level 59
One more thing- activity by day of week:

This is noisy because of sampling- specific days are inflated because maybe I sampled Tuesdays earlier in the year and Fridays later. But overall, there's a semi-clear picture that participation gets higher around mid-week, which is reminiscent of what we saw with raffles:
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 23:33:13

Level 63
speaking from personal experience there were two things that really lowered the fun of CW for me. First was the increasingly longer seasons. I know Masters was one of the few clans in the luxurious position to get all rewards, and to get them pretty quickly at that. Especially last season, though, just kept on going and going, mainly fueled by dwindling interest and a bigger map. Interest in CW pretty much died out for Masters during the long nothingness that happened towards the end of last season.

The second one is the fact that half of the timeslots are only one template and half of the time said template is just not what you want to play (this should go for both strat focused clans and more casual clans). Timeslot should be at least two templates IMO.
Divide templates into 3 categories:
"Small Earth" including SEAD, SE1W and Bombcomb.
"strategic templates including Strat 1v1, Guiroma and FB.
"Special templates including Strat 2v2, MME com LD and MA MME LD

And each timeslot should have at least two templates from two different categories. IMO this would help loads, sometimes I only have time to play on one slot and if its MMEcomLD then that means that poor luck resulted in me having to either suffer through playing this template or just not play at all. Makes the whole experience very unenjoyable.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 23:51:24

Level 65
Outgoing from the result, knyte is essentially stating the obvious, but with a larga data-based proof. Well done!
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 23:57:37

Level 59
For real the 1 map templates need to go away and to be honest 4 is almost a bit much - just give us 2-3 is perfect - and normally gives us 1 in the couple time slots usually people can hit daily - that we don't mind playing
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/4/2021 23:59:25

Level 59
COMBOMB shouldn't be lumped in with the SE's- having COMBOMB in place of SEAD/SE1W converts ~10 SE players into COMBOMBers and ~5-6 into non-participants.

Imo, these should be the 3 categories:
SE: SEAD or SE1W, picked randomly
Strat: Strat MME or Guiroma
Niche: COMBOMB, Gotham, Bork, Landria, French Brawl

With the "Strat" category only added (as the 3rd slot) if the slot 24 hours earlier had at least 35 sign-ups, to kind of blackmail/bribe the strategic players into participating consistently and keeping CW afloat. This removes Weird MME and Strat 2v2- the former because Weird MME players would be better covered by a niche template, the latter because Strat 2v2 has functioned as little else other than a MASTER win farm; it requires higher interest per game (due to the pairing requirement) and so is basically non-viable once you have 3+ templates in play.

Guaranteeing SE in every slot would also mitigate the Niche vs. Mainstream fight, while the Niche rotation would allow for showcasing the variety of WZ playstyles. Niche I think should consist of 4-6 templates decided by community vote (paging Dr. Beren) each season, to keep that category fresh. I lumped Guiroma in with Strat MME since it seems Strat MME is more of a fallback for Guiroma than Guiroma is for Strat MME.

Another proposal would be to change the slot times to have more times that are convenient (rather than merely tolerable) for players in the US & EU where most of the player base lives. We could even keep the even spacing but remove the requirement that they start at 00:00 UTC (rant: zero isn't special! stop defaulting to treating zero as special!).

With 00:00 UTC and 6 slots, we get the following slot times in popular time zones:
US-Pacific: 4pm, 8pm, midnight, 4am, 8am, noon
US-Eastern: 7pm, 11pm, 3am, 7am, 11am, 3pm
Central Europe: 1am, 5am, 9am, 1pm, 5pm, 9pm

I propose shifting by just 1h, to get:
US-Pacific: 5pm, 9pm, 1am, 5am, 9am, 1pm
US-Eastern: 8pm, midnight, 4am, 8am, noon, 4pm
Central Europe: 2am, 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm

Edited 12/5/2021 00:00:07
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 00:00:00

Level 63
Yeah, everyone could have guess this was the case.

But Min makes an important point there, once TLA hit 20 territories last season our activity also dropped. We had all the idle rewards we could, and secured 3-5th rank for the season, also getting those rewards. There was no reason for us to keep playing, other than to just play for the sake of it and keep TLA in 3rd.

I understand Fizzer cannot put rewards spaced out too far, but a decent number of clans hits the 20 territories. It would be nice if there was some more rewards after that.

Things that I also noticed some people doing is win 1 game and quit the CW season, hoping to get carried by the rest of their clan.
A system that only unlocks things like the reward for the X-th territory should only be given to players that played at least X games. That way an individual (idle) player at least has a reason to play 20 games for its clan.

For non-idle players the rewards are shit anyways. If you dont play idle, you only have a few coins to look forward to at the end of the season. For all those games you played, you get less coins than you could have won with a single game....
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 00:26:46

Level 61
From my experience, the weird MME templates tend to be the ones that attract "elite" players that understand the settings very well and so can easily win matches against the "newbies". I know that, because I often did that, until I realized that it's the players much better than me, who are always going to be my opponents, thus I would always lose on the weird MME templates. :) Obviously, the more inclusive SE1W, SEAD, and regular 1v1 MME don't have such problem.

While we know that Fizzer considers LD or commanders fun, the experience I describe above for sure can't be said to be such. It must be very discouraging to the less "strategic" players, and these obviously outnumber the "elites". The beginner-friendliness argument simply doesn't work.

Moreover, we already know, that things like MME LD & MA or MME commanders aren't very well liked even by the players more invested in the strategic scene, as the Real Time Ladder poll shown years ago: https://www.warzone.com/Forum/151334-official-ladder-poll-results - nothing has changed since 2016, except that the RT Ladder eventually did die because of inclusion of such templates. Do we want Clan Wars to be next? And CW don't even have the juicy XP multiplier that the RTL had.

Edited 12/5/2021 00:28:17
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 00:31:22

Level 63
nothing has changed since 2016, except that the RT Ladder eventually did die because of inclusion of such templates. Do we want Clan Wars to be next? And CW don't even have the juicy XP multiplier that the RTL had.

Oh, CW as the new RT(clan)ladder, thats amazing idea! Than Classic-only players also have a reason to play it.
Smack that 200% xp on those CW games, instead of the 50% it currently ha.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 00:42:54

Level 59
Throwback to 2021/03/16 when Nauz pointed out this exact thing and I promised to visualize it when we had enough data


But really, where did these Weird MME templates come from? Why are they in the Arena rotation? Why are they fixed near the top of QM? Chronologically, what happened here? I wasn't active for most of 2017-2019, so does anyone remember how they would up in Fizzer's favor in the first place? Why have they stuck around for so long- is there some evidence (public or otherwise) that they're enjoyed by a bunch of players more than the templates that they displace? Absent that, the stubbornness around keeping them in their privileged positions makes no sense to me.

I think virtually everyone would've said back in March that single-template MA MME LF LD slots are nonsense and bad for participation, but 9 months later and even the obvious and popular (since virtually day 1) request of guaranteeing SE in every slot has not happened. It's Season 7 and we've finally got a guarantee against single-template 2v2 slots.

There are approximately 30,000 human children (worldwide) who have been conceived and birthed in less time than it took to prevent single-template Strat 2v2 slots. How many millions will be conceived and born before a single proposal from this thread gets implemented?

Edited 12/5/2021 00:49:38
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 00:50:51

Level 62
Wow changing the timeslots by 1 hour. such 'westerncivilisation' centric

What is unfair is that some players can play twice in a 'day' , where 0000 UTC and 2000 UTC passes through their waking hours. Conidering the general daytime waking hours which the majority of the population follows, the area in which 2000 and 0000 UTC are both in general waking hours stretches from the longitude of Alaska to the Central united states.

Pretty unfair for players outside this. Making timeslots more frequent would reduce the advantage that such players have
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 01:00:38

Level 59
What is unfair is that some players can play twice in a 'day' ,
The 1 game/day cap is based on UTC hours, not local hours. Those players can't play the next day, so they have no advantage.

What you've described otherwise is just a reality we have to accept- some people have more viable slots per day than others. But about 9 in 10 accounts are based in time zones between US-Pacific and Eastern European Time (from Semice's datadump - https://bit.ly/warzone-datadump) so it would make sense to have better coverage of CW slots during times that are convenient for the majority of the player base. Shifting the start time would achieve this without changing the cadence or increasing the number of slots.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 02:01:46

Photonic Symmetry
Level 60
clan wars was never alive
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 02:19:19

Level 65
PS, did you expect something activity- rather than skill-based to be alive? :)

This is not the first game where this was tried and it won't be the last. Activity competitions always create attention for a short time and then nobody cares anymore. Conversely, skill competitions can canalize attention for many years to come. We've put to Fizzer's attention for a decade now that this game's problem is that built-in skill-based competitions are drastically missing and those that exist feature terrible rating systems.

If his response to that is to invest time in an activity-based feature with unpopular templates that only offers rewards in some idle game, then this is just a new big demonstration why our efforts were wasted.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 02:34:15

Photonic Symmetry
Level 60
Completely agreed.
- downvoted post by Loxiiv
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 02:52:21

Level 59
Here's the sign-up trend for just the 00:00 and 20:00 slots - the first and last slot of each day- highlighting the faster and more definite participation decline for those slots than for the others:

About half the participation decline comes from declining participation at 00:00 and 20:00.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 03:13:55

Level 56
I guess I'm an oddball because I actually like MMA LD. That being said, I still usually sign up for any SE if it's available just because I'm more likely to get an opponent around my skill level.

I don't know how feasible it would be to do, but I would like to see something like divisions or a tiered system. With each division having it's own smaller map so that your opponents are more equal to your clan either by participation or skill. I know our clan would most likely participate more in 2v2 if it wasn't mostly a guaranteed loss against Masters or other much higher skilled players. It's kind of sad that in clan chat boot wins and free wins are sometimes celebrated.

While the match making algorithm seems to be a little better this season, it's still frustrating to get matched with a top player from a top clan instead of someone more around your skill level. I think that is part of the reason why the SE templates are preferable to many people. More sign ups increase the odds of a game with someone of your skill level.

As it is, Clan Wars is not newbie friendly.
Is Clan Wars DYING?!?! 😨😨😨: 12/5/2021 04:35:49

Level 60
that fizzer reply on that thread above lmao, i think fizzer is a npc limited by his dialogue pack. half his replies dont make sense and you wonder if he even reads a paragraph properly. my conversations with him have been frustrating because he disregards what the person is saying to him but keeps repeating his point again and again
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