There’s been some clear discontent with Milky Way 66, Back To The Basics and the decision to fully shuffle. I think it warrants some clarification, as I’ve received feedback that some players think this was done on a whim.
To start, what was being considered was “chance to stay in fam”, not regular “stay in fam” so even if we stuck with the poll results, nobody was guaranteed to land with their former teammates. This doesn’t matter now, but I wanted to clarify as I don’t think everybody was aware that this option had changed and this may be effecting perceptions about what they actually missed out on.
Another thing was the impact of the MW65 Post-Round Review. Some people there expressed a desire for a shuffle, and some requested us to not shuffle. These round review threads are meant to be conversations, not polls. To that end, I want to be extra clear that nobody in that thread is at fault for suggesting anything. Ultimately the decision is on me, so please do not be upset with other players for simply expressing their opinions.
That said, a reshuffle did end up being the choice for MW66 for a few reasons:
The timing of the round restart was an issue due to my day job, and managing stay-in-fam is not automated in its current form. It takes a non-trivial amount of work to manage, and is not something the mods have access to do. We had the option of opening the round when we did with the shuffle, or waiting several more days for me to have more time. Waiting longer between rounds potentially leads to more early inactives, which was a significant factor that was considered. This is exacerbated by the fact that stay in fam rounds also have extended registration windows to account for the reserved spots.
We are sending another email to get more players into the round, and we have a specific window for an optimal send. Similar to above, waiting until we could set up stay-in-fam would compromise the performance of this email. The alternate to this would be waiting yet longer to send a better performing email but at the expense of a more ideal round turnover and fewer inactives.
Evaluating all the feedback I received. This is more than just that review thread. We try our best to stay aware of the problems players face, and sometimes it is determined that a potentially unpopular choice (and changing expectations) may be in the game’s best long term interest despite the short term pain. In other words, despite the timing issues above, there was already a case to be made to shuffle regardless.
No single factor made the decision, it was the collection of these factors that were considered, and it was not at all done on a whim or because of any specific player making a request.
I understand the frustration, but ask for you to embrace the opportunity for something different. It’s been nearly half a year since we’ve had a proper shuffle and I think we’re long overdue on mixing things up.
For what it’s worth, there are plans to fully automate the galaxy setup process so that it doesn’t require staff involvement, which would at least eliminate the timing problems and can help us avoid similar issues in the future. There is no ETA on that feature yet given other priorities, but please do know that we’re trying to improve this process so that we have less of these frustrating moments for everybody.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.