Yet another fucking survey results thread, last one though I promise
The questions were a choice between a few different whitelists that gradually reduced the numbers of unlocks, but only one of them really cut some of the most controversial unlocks. The survey wasn’t perfect, but it still contains some useful data.
EU outvoted NA in this survey by about a 4:3 ratio and there are some differences between the two regions in voting. Anyone interpreting these results themselves should probably try to take this into account.
The full results
There is significant support for a much shorter whitelist, but as I marked on the graph it’s also the only option for anybody that wants to cut the most controversial unlocks, so some people who feel passionately about getting rid of those were probably pushed into this option.
There was probably room for an additional whitelist option that cut all the most controversial and had a more generous whitelist for other items, which might be why all these options suck has a decent showing.
Also the current global whitelist is receiving very little support, there is clearly a significant appetite for some change to remove a significant number of items, and even taking into account the possible flaws in the survey design it’s clearly pointing in the direction of a significant number of bans.
The EU in general has a more hardline approach to the whitelists, significantly preferring a much shorter list and getting rid of things like crossbow, vaccinator, etc. NA still supports that option the most, but the balance of power is clearly closer to a less draconian whitelist option overall.
One thing to note is that the proportionate differences between the regions aren’t shifted around evenly, support for the intermediate whitelist 7182 is roughly the same - NA has a lot more support for both the status quo and a more permissive whitelist with just a handful of least popular unlocks removed.
The reasons for this are unclear, but it’s possible that the league fees in ESEA are something that discourages troll play a bit so maybe they aren’t exposed to it to the same degree.
The “Other” group regional group is relatively small, but very very strongly in favour of reducing the whitelist heavily.
There is also a difference in how NA and EU approached the idea of voting for the greater good
NA had a higher percentage of people voting on the basis of the good of the game rather than simple gameplay considerations, but the majority in both scenes still voted on gameplay considerations.
A matter of principal
One of the survey questions was about voting motivation, were people voting for gameplay, for the greater good, or for a laugh.
People voting on what they think is the greater good are much more likely to pick a broader whitelist, support the current global whitelist, and much less likely to want to have a very restricted whitelist.
This doesn’t mean that everyone in this group is more in favour of the current whitelist, there is still a majority in favour of larger cuts to the whitelist, but there is a clear over representation of more permissive lists amongst those that are voting for reasons beyond just gameplay.
People voting purely on gameplay considerations were much more in favour of a heavily reduced whitelist, with the current whitelist’s support dwindling to nearly “all these options suck” levels.
One thing both types of voter were united on was a solid 7% thinking all these options suck.
The casual view?
Players that self identified as using a pickup or matchmaking service rather than league play weren’t heavily represented in the survey, but they were more supportive of the current whitelist than any other group I’ve looked at, and more likely to think all these options suck… which is still a vote against the status quo.
To be honest it really just looks like they don’t have a strong identity as a group, and there’s no really strong overriding opinion about what these players want although the sample is small.
Unfortunately the "New to league play" group was too small to offer a significant opinion
There is a clear desire across all groups to move away from the current global whitelist. I did try to structure the survey in a way that didn’t undermine the current whitelist unfairly, but there was probably room for another whitelist between the medium one and the heavily cut one I presented that also removed some contentious unlocks that maintain some support.
There is about as broad of a consensus as can be expected that some of the most disliked unlocks have to be removed, things like Jarate, Natascha, Pomson, etc, regardless of actual use. There is considerable support for getting tougher and removing a lot of other stuff as well, but the point it becomes contentious is when you start removing cow mangler, crossbow, etc.
The item voting would suggest that amongst the low hanging fruit of unlocks I only removed in the most extreme list would be things like the Cow Mangler and Vaccinator. The crossbow would of course be the biggest point of contention, and maybe something those that want a heavily reduced whitelist might be expected to compromise on as it’s the most controversial unlock that has overall positive support.
Ultimately this schism isn’t going to go away until Valve makes their own matchmaking offering compelling enough for it to not matter, if ever. In the meantime admins are going to have to navigate this difficult territory, hopefully this data is of some help.