WARNING : If you don't like numbers this post is not for you!
I gathered data for EOTS(H) over the weekend...it's up on the Updated Holiday HPM post I have linked on the right, along with SOTA & WSG. The nutshell:
Winning HPM : 283.92
Losing HPM : 126.32
Overall HPM : 204.76
EOTS : 100%
SOTA : 69%*
WSG : 68%
Interestingly, the old WSG data is about 69% of the old EOTS data, so that stuff seems intact. What this says to me is reinforcement of the asterisk I put next to the Strand data when I put it up (short version : my data was skewed toward the losses and so win data was likely not as accurate as it could be), so people out there who liked SOTA and were sad that it was apparently sucking as bad as WSG, have hope, the situation may change.
What I would like to do with this data today is draw some comparisons with regular EOTS (which I also have data for) to make some general conclusions about holiday/nonholiday experience. To recap :
Winning HPM : 247.08 ( -37 )
Losing HPM : 111.89 ( -14 )
Overall HPM : 179.18 ( -25 )
Unsurprisingly...holiday gives you better than regular. You may take your dunce cap and sit in the corner now. Here's where the interesting numbers come in though, and I think it shows fairly conclusively that when a BG is on holiday, it attracts better players. Yes, most of us already knew that, and no, it's not just the fact that I was fighting at BET yesterday with one arena master on my side, against two arena masters on the horde side (yes, they killed me badly), that makes me wonder that. It's just that, much like the assumption that WSG sucks for HPM, which everyone implicitly knows to be true, it's nice to have hard numerical data to back that up.
Points in Favor of the "Smarter People" Argument
Point A : Time Investment
A regular EOTS match lasts an average of 13.71 minutes. On a holiday it lasts 13.9 minutes. The games are fought closer and so they tend to last longer. Why? Because it's harder to roflstomp a good team than a bad team.
Point B : Smart Targeting
I don't mean to sound like a self-absorbed prick here but taking me as a healer and extrapolating to generally cover all people who heal -- on a regular game, I die 2.65 times. On a holiday, 2.67. It's close enough that I guess you could call it statistically insignificant (.7%). I choose to look at it as saying that maybe it shows that people are ever-so-slightly better about targeting and killing healers on the holidays.
Point C : The Map
On a holiday, games that devolved into 2v2+flag games were more common. This correlates Point A; games are more evenly matched, and abandoning a 3-tower strategy to go for 2+flag usually follows upon the heels of recognising that the opposition is too tough to grab a third.
Statistically : On holiday, I recorded 10 games, and two of them were flat-out 2v2 matches, with another 2-3 that started out that way but eventually gave way to a 3-tower game. On regular, I recorded 20 games, and two of them were flat-out 2v2 games, with one unrecorded that you could give the benefit of the doubt to if you wanted and pretend it was a 2v2. But the gist is: it's basically twice as likely to get trapped into a 2v2 on holiday as it is otherwise.
People are also slightly smarter about fighting you for that flag cap in that situation -- on a holiday, a flag cap took 2.31 minutes on average, as opposed to 2.28 on regular. There's also correspondingly less flag caps in total -- 7.19 caps on average (both sides put together) for regular EOTS, 7 for holiday.
Point D : Dropouts
Four of my 20 regular EOTS games were joined in progress...none of my holiday ones were. That could be a fluke, and why I put this point last b/c I think it's the most nebulous, but it could indicate that people are more likely to play it out on holiday than otherwise.
Point E : Point Differential
The average point value for losing a game of EotS (both Horde and Alliance together) was 670 for nonholiday losses, versus 624 for holiday losses. You could make the point that therefore people are more skilled on regular b/c they manage to get more points even when they're losing, but I would argue differently. I think it means that the teams that win have it more "together" on a holiday than otherwise -- to allow the losing teams more points on a nonholiday to me speaks to sloppier play.
I think also what it might come down to is those 2v2 games -- smarter players, recognising that they're in a 2+flag situation, will be better about controlling mid before they cap (hence the longer time between caps on a holiday, also), and therefore keeping the losing team's point totals smaller.
How can we test that? By looking at the differential between flag caps (how many times the winning side caps, versus the losing side) on those 2v2 games. Using the 5 games (2 certain, 3 sort-of) from the holiday, the average differential between winning side / losing side caps is 4.8. Using the 3 regular EOTS games...the average differential is 3. I don't think I'm going too far here to say that there's a direct correlation between that number and how effective your control of midfield is -- the smaller the differential is, the worse your midfield control is, and the higher it is, the better you were at monopolising it.
Conclusion : If you want to play a game with smarter people, go to the holiday weekend BG. Ron Burgundy imitation: It's SCIENCE.