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Friday, October 26, 2018

How Does The Clout-Based Splatfest System Change Anything?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or, why was the Splatfest scoring system changed at all?

We have now had two Splatfests in a post-Splatoon 2 version 4.0.0 world, where there was a new Splatfest scoring system introduced. There was the Retro vs. Modern Splatfest, and last weekend was the Trick vs. Treat Splatfest.

There are two ways to play in the new system: Splatfest Battle Normal (you can play with yourself or up to three friends, with randoms filling the rest of the slots) and Splatfest Battle Pro (you play by yourself with three randoms). On top of the personal ranking system to go from Fanboy/Fangirl to King/Queen, and on top of “Splatfest Power” that exists for a bragging-rights competition that is only accessible via Splatfest Battle Pro, there is a Clout system. Clout is what is used to determine actual wins for the greater Splatfest teams, which are a best-of-three consisting of Popularity, Normal Clout, and Pro Clout.

In Splatfest Battle Pro, the amount of Clout you get depends on if you beat the opposing team or not, and you get more if the team has a higher team Splatfest Power than yours. You get zero Clout for losing. 

As for Splatfest Battle Normal, you get a Clout bonus based on if you win or not (1,000 Clout), plus the amount of turf you inked, plus a synergy bonus multiplier if you're cohesively fashionable with the other members of your team. (So people playing with their friends that coordinate this ahead of time have a Clout advantage.) That means Splatfest Battle Normal players get Clout even if they lose. 

If you're in a ditto match (same Splatfest team choice among the two teams Turf Warring) then there is no Clout gain by anyone for either Pro or Normal.

As you might suspect, the average number of Clout for Splatfest Battle Normal will be higher than Splatfest Battle Pro (higher ceiling and higher floor), so with that in mind, here are the final results for the Trick vs. Treat Splatfest, courtesy of Splatnet 2.0 (mobile-exclusive information as opposed to in-game):

Team Trick Treat Splatoon 2 Splatfest Splatnet results Clout average
Team Trick won Popularity, but lost the Wins.

Team Treat won the Splatfest, so I'm happy about that. Now, look at those averages there. Normal is quite a bit higher than Challenge (that's Splatfest Battle Pro, just oddly renamed in Splatnet), as you'd expect. Also, do the math and you'll see that they're providing those percentages based on the averages. That mathematically makes sense — the Votes don't have any relevance in that math, because only the 43.15% of Team Trick players that get matched with a Team Treat team are actually gaining any Clout. Trick and Treat both had the exact same number of opportunities to obtain Clout. So we're not given the TOTAL amount of Clout each team has.

Team Retro Modern Splatoon 2 Splatfest Splatnet results Clout average
For completeness, here are the results for Team Retro vs. Team Modern.

Here's the question for us to explore: Why did Nintendo change the Splatfest scoring system from the way it was at the start of Splatoon 2? Does the Clout system address the perceived problem that higher-popularity teams tend to have less wins, so you should predict the least popular team and go with it?

...Well, no. The team that gets the most wins will get the highest average clout. That's still wins → win the Splatfest.

Is there anything wrong with that?

Now, let's consider this thought experiment. Suppose that Splatfest results did not report the Popularity score. Invisible. And it had no effect on the result. There's only one score, and that's if you got more wins or less wins than the other team. Would anyone complain about how the Splatfest is rigged, in that case? What if it was still true that the least popular team always won the Splatfest, but we just didn't know that because it's hidden information? No one would suspect a thing... and no one would complain.

But that's less valuable, isn't it? Isn't it useful, or at least interesting, to get the Popularity result and know what Splatoon demographics are like?

To summarise the last few paragraphs, people are complaining about the Splatfest scoring system because they want an excuse to explain why their team choices get less wins, so they blame the only other bit of information we have — popularity votes. If we didn't have that additional data point, that admission of transparency, that scapegoating wouldn't exist. As someone who people think is trying to be a journalist (I'm an opinionated commentator, folks), I welcome greater transparency and information flow from institutions. I don't support attempts to demonise that.

Clout still keeps that same dynamic as before and doesn't do anything to “fix” Splatfest.

The only thing that has changed is that Marina has won both of the Splatfests that have happened so far post-Nintendo Switch Online. And I hypothesised nearly a year ago that this might happen...
“Marina has a core group of loyalists that will vote for her no matter what the topic is. I don't know how big this group is, but it's probably the 28% of freaks who voted for Team Back Roll when asked, “which way round should the toilet roll hang?!” They appear to suck. Maybe they'll disappear once you have to pay to access online multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch, and this will be the inflection point Marina needs to at least try to put up a fight.” 
Marina is not only putting up a fight, but she's winning after people have to pay for online multiplayer. Is that because of the Nintendo Switch Online paywall, or is it because of the Clout system? I think it's the former. Clout is pointless, and I don't understand why it exists.


If you disagree with Ludwig's analysis of the new Clout-based Splatfest scoring system in Splatoon 2, please make your argument in the comments section. Explain what it changes and how it changes it. Thanks!

2 comments :

  1. The new way results are calculated is not what really bothers me. I am just disappointed that ditto matches and disconnects still happen as frequently as they did in the past. At this point, I would have thought that these issues would have been addressed, but I still encountered them during the modern vs. retro Splatfest and others did too during this last one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you should've picked Team Retro instead of Team Modern.

      I didn't get ditto matches as the less popular team in both Retro vs. Modern and Trick vs. Treat!
      Would you rather have the very old Splatoon matchmaking during Splatfests where you would just wait in the lobby forever instead of getting to play a ditto match? Because at least in a ditto, even though it doesn't affect the results, you could still get experience and be on your way to Team King. And have some stimulation.

      As for disconnects... well... you know... Might have to be paying a higher fee than present for that. (Of course, you're likely to get Nintendo Switch Online as a prize...)

      Delete

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