I’m a lurker. I appreciate what you guys do and the talent and effort that it requires. I enjoyed your relay this weekend and probably watched 60% of it. I didn’t watch any of the previous years’ races. I was disappointed to read this morning that some of you thought it was meme, whatever that is, and that the race was at some level a joke. I didn’t think so, but I understand the sentiment.
My comments as follows are from a viewer’s perspective (and unsolicited, of course):
The problem with the format, if it is intended to be a “showcase” and “celebration,” is that the length of it and the entire nature of RNG within the games as well as speedrunning in general sets it up to be non-competitive and anti-climactic very early on whether due to technical issues or simply one of 21 runners having a bad moment. No-reset runs come to mind. One bad outcome is that the next seven hours is non-competitive where the losing team has no hope other than to wish that the winning teams have something major go wrong and the winning teams/runners just nurse their leads with no unforced errors and just aim to not embarrass themselves. And no one cares at the end. One runner’s bad day, bad level, or even bad checkpoint can really deflate the entire event and even ruin the rest of the day for his teammates who might do well otherwise. It’s akin to sitting down to watch a thrilling bicycle race only to have half the contestants get stuck at a railroad crossing for 20 minutes for no fault of their own and the rest of the day sucks.
I suggest that you change the event from a relay to a decathlon of sorts. I think you should assign point values to winners of individual games and/or levels and weight them in such a way that subsequent events carry more and more consequence so that by the end there is a reasonable opportunity for each of the teams to prevail in the final game. If the point of your race is to have some level of entertainment value, you have to figure out how to make it last for the full nine hours. That means that early games and mistakes matter less than later. Of course it might not be fair to make the whole game dependent on Halo 5 runners. But that can easily be remedied by randomizing the game sequences by team or even the sequence of the game after the runners have committed.
I have not run any numbers but I have run football and basketball playoff pools that were weighted in such a way that a decent amount of players had opportunities to compete the closer we got to the finals. It kept everyone engaged longer.
My thinking is that the winner of each level would gain one point, the winner of the game would win two to five points, the second place winner one to three points, and each subsequent game would be weighted at some increasing point multiple in such a way that each team would have an opportunity for victory in the seventh or eighth hour of the tournament. I recognize that this could be difficult to capture timing wise given the geographic spacing but maybe different timing rules for the event could be implemented for entertainment value. In this case, after one game, Green team has 8 points, Blue 6 points and Red 4. They all are within striking distance of each other instead of Green being 30 minutes ahead of Red and Red having no chance of recovery the rest of the day.
If awarding points by level is too cumbersome then awarding points for each game and weighting them appropriately is more important. One way to help in that situation is to award bonus points within a game for completing a particular trick that was voted on in advance. Perhaps you could vote that within each game there were two tricks that had to be completed. And the runner got five points on first try, four second, and so forth until they ran out of bonus points and abandoned the trick. Or maybe a particular level has an elevated point value.
I also think the runners and teams should have some skin in the game. One idea, losers should have to host winners on twitch for two weeks. Or losers should have to wear eye makeup and heavy lipstick on their streams for two weeks. Or maybe winners should have to wear makeup as a badge of honor or shave their heads. Or maybe get a special badge on haloruns.com for the year. Whatever. Skin in the game.
Also, I think there should be a winning team MVP. Voted on by their team or admin or viewers. As long as it is based on the event, not the guy with the most twitch viewers or the game with the most runners. Perhaps the community could solicit Microsoft to donate an Elite controller to the event or the community could pledge a $1 each to give the controller to the MVP.
Last thing, no matter what you decide, from a viewer’s perspective, please make all runners start each new game simultaneously (if you don’t randomize the game sequence). It was too hard to figure out how close runners were when one guy was finishing the previous game and the other guy was two levels into the next one. It won’t end much later but at least you can enjoy the race within each game.
Thanks for what you do.
Edited by sknydgs3 on December 06 2018 at 7:52 PM EST
Hey sknydgs3, welcome to HaloRuns and thanks for tuning into the relay! I watched probably 80% of the relay this year and I also think that the format of future relays could use some work. And while, I think you brought up a lot of good ideas to consider for next year, your title seems a bit crass and could come across a bit like you were attacking certain individuals involved in the relay.
While I don’t think you were specifically attacking Dustin (the person who was running the relay stream on HaloRaces), it could come across that way, so just for the record, I have watched all of the prior years’ relays, this was one of the most well administrated/streamed relays of all of the past HaloRuns relays. The transitions between runners was much better than it’s been in the past, the runners’ names were updated expediently, the times were updated as soon as the runners themselves submitted them, and (in my opinion) the relay was fun to watch. That’s not to say that the relay wasn’t without issues, but that had nothing to do with the way that the relay was streamed by Dustin. I think Dustin did a mighty fine job.
All that being said, I really, really like most of your ideas for next year’s relay and hope some good discussion is had on why we should or should not adopt a new format for next year’s relay. Not too sure about the eye makeup or shaved head, but I like the rest. :)
Just to be clear from my perspective, I thought what you all put up was awesome and I was not in any way attacking Dustin or anyone else. I am sorry that my clickbait title didn't have the intended effect.
In any case, my TL;DR really amounts to my thinking that the relay could be modified in such a way, for entertainment purposes, as to make rng, bad luck or simple mistakes more forgivable so that the entire relay remains competitive to the end. It seems so easy to lose 20 minutes early and almost impossible to pick them back up later. So then you have to hope the other guy has bad luck, too, which isn't fun to watch.
Shaved head or eye makeup: if I had any creativity I wouldn't have to sell dog food for a living. That being said, I think that all competitors should have some skin in the game at some level, so smarter persons than me can come up with better ideas.
Again, I appreciate what all of you do. I have watched every single IL world record since this site went up and I really enjoy it all (except HC butterflying which makes it nearly unwatchable).