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greekphysics
07-22-2018, 01:08 AM
First of all, I absolutely love that all dancers can participate online in the Just Dance World Cup from home. It's an amazing experience.

The song selection seems, in my humble opinion, very fair across all platforms. (Plus, I know from experience that the scores will be calibrated across the platforms to ensure the fairest experience.)

I do have a little request. There isn't much time between songs. Footloose is extremely physical (personally, I put a lot of energy into it). Today, I started Footloose out with several perfects, which got me quite excited. With my adrenaline and excitement, I put even more energy into the dance than usual. It paid off with a new personal best score, but it was difficult to catch my breath before the next song, and Another One Bites the Dust stunt version is fairly physical, too. It took my determination to push myself through the end of that dance (and not bite the dust on it). Fortunately, Instruction is fairly light and easy, though still it was tough to recuperate enough for the level of precision and synchronization that the complex choreography of 24K Magic extreme demands.

Maybe our fitness level is part of the challenge, so maybe it isn't worth adding time between songs. Or maybe for technical reasons it can't be done (or maybe there is some other problem that favors not changing anything). I enjoy the challenge of seeing how well I can do compared to the many extraordinary Just Dancers on the leaderboard, and the challenge of seeing if I can improve my mastery of these dances: Fighting for every point I can get, maybe a few extra seconds between the 3rd and 4th dances would help a little. However, either way, it is fair that all dancers face this same issue.

I really, really enjoy Just Dance. It's the best game/sport out there, and the annual JDWC really makes it feel like a competitive sport. (I truly hope that you add a National final for the USA some year. It would be amazing to watch Aazzlano, Little Siha, and other extraordinary dancers compete in a national qualifier before moving onto the world final.)

greekphysics
07-24-2018, 11:35 PM
Wow! It looks like the JDWC rules have been updated to include a National Final for the USA. That's amazing. Thank you, Ubisoft. :-) (However, you may wish to take a look at paragraph 3.3.4, which wasn't updated to include the United States, and should perhaps say 10 instead of 9. Also, paragraph 3.2.4 says 1 to 7 finalists, but in the USA, it looks like there are 8 spots available on the posted scores on the JD website. I'm guessing it's because the US doesn't have offline qualifications...?)

I have mixed feelings about the posted scores. The 2017 qualifications seemed to heavily favor Xbox Kinect, since all of the dances except for Wherever I go were much easier with Kinect (whereas Lean On and Hips Don't Lie were especially challenging for most players on Wii U), and the 2018 qualifications again seemed to heavily favor Xbox Kinect, as Cake by the Ocean seemed to be the main difficulty for the top tier of Xbox players (whereas most of the dances, like Single Ladies and Bailar, were significantly tougher for many players on Wii U and Switch). Even though there was a strong curve applied to the 2018 scores, overall I felt that I had an advantage using Xbox (even though I had switched from Wii U to Xbox in the middle of the year and lacked experience with Kinect at the time).

So far with 2019, it seems that the scoring strongly favors platforms other than Kinect. I felt like the song selection was much more fair in 2019, meaning that the selection of songs only slightly favored Xbox for a change. Yet the scoring adjustment seems to say that it's much harder with Switch. Another One Bites and Dust alternate version is rather challenging with Kinect, and seems to be comparatively easier with a remote or phone (judging by world rankings on Wii U, Switch, and Xbox). The main challenge with a remote or phone is 24 K extreme, which although it's also challenging with Kinect, seems to be tougher to master with a remote. I see players on all platforms doing quite well on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th dances: Maybe the top Xbox players have mastered these somewhat better, but it's a small margin.

I worked hard since October, studying video, practicing in front of a mirror, learning the dances. I'm proud of myself for hitting 13,000 on 39 of the 40 main dances and high 12's and low 13's on the alternates. I've really struggled with Another One Bites the Dust alternate version, but finally broke through with 12,800 on it, and with Footloose, but finally hit 13,090 on that. I was happy with the 78,334 that I hit with Kinect. Maybe I could squeeze out a few more points. I know I'm not going to beat Aazlano, Zombslayer, and LumaJohnny on Xbox no matter how good I get, but I felt a bit disappointed to see my adjusted score when I averaged over 13,000 per song.

On the other hand, Littlesiha is amazing on every platform. She puts on a great performance, too (something the game can't really judge). She hits 13,000 on just about everything on Xbox Kinect, but her Switch score seems even more incredible. The other top players who didn't use Xbox, I recognize most of them from the WDF, and they always hit impressive scores on every song. There are so many excellent players on every platform, it must be a really difficult job for Ubisoft to try to determine who is "best." No matter how the scores are (or aren't) adjusted, some players won't be happy.

(I saw a suggestion on Twitter about having separate leaderboards for each platform. If there are 4 National online qualifiers in a country, you could potentially take the top score from every platform, or if there are 8, you could take the top 2, so that every platform gets to participate and has the same number of National qualifiers. In a few regions, it would be a problem, but perhaps you could determine who ranked better, percentile-wise, on their respective platform...?)

I'm going to give Switch a chance. I spent two days dancing avidly just to open up 24K extreme and All You Gotta Do (because I couldn't even practice those dances on Switch until I "won" them through the Gift Machine). It was a little disappointing to hit just 5 stars on 24K extreme today when I'm used to hitting 13,000 on Xbox, but when I looked closely, I saw that I had a bad habit with not quite moving my right hand correctly in a few places (where Kinect is apparently more concerned with other challenging aspects of the dance on those particular moves), so I feel like I can improve, and the other 5 dances are much easier. (On the other hand, I was a little frustrated when I was dancing to Side to Side on Switch, when at the same time a 10-year old hit 12,000 while sitting on the floor the entire time, while I was working hard doing the full-body choreo the same way that I do to hit 13,200 consistently on Kinect, but coming up with fewer points on Switch. The main version, not the alternate.) I may not be ready for Switch this weekend, but it will be interesting to see how well I can learn these dances on Switch and compare with my Xbox score.

I love Just Dance, and I love the Just Dance World Cup.

Black_Widow9
07-29-2018, 08:56 PM
Glad you're enjoying both, greekphysics!

We appreciate you sharing your feedback with us.

Good luck and happy dancing!

greekphysics
07-30-2018, 03:07 AM
By the way, I didn't mean anything against any of the dancers on any of the platforms. There are phenomenal dancers on every platform, and every platform is challenging. (I only shared my scores, in case a few players familiar with Xbox may have been wondering.) It seems like the alternate version of Another One Bites the Dust will be the very last ball to come out of the gift machine: It's the only JDWC dance that I haven't been able to try on Switch. I might even have the chance to try dancing on PS4, and then I will be in a position to compare all four platforms. It's interesting to try the different platforms and compare the experience (switching from one platform to another also presents its own challenges).

greekphysics
08-03-2018, 05:06 AM
I see that Ubisoft made an algorithm adjustment today for the Just Dance World Cup. Thank you. I appreciate that you consider feedback and try to make the competition as fair as you can.

I've now tried all 4 platforms (Xbox Kinect, PS4, Switch, Wii U), though most of my recent experience has been with Xbox Kinect and my prior experience had been with Wii U. One thing I've noticed in JD 2018 is that it's reasonably easy to hit Megastars on virtually every song on all four platforms. Although I didn't dance to every song on Switch, and for some I only danced once, I hit megastars or close to it on all of them except for one extreme (which obviously should be harder), where I need more practice doing that dance with a remote. On the WDF, even though I participate with Xbox, I recognize top dancers from Switch, Wii U, and PS4 who hit 13,000's and high 12,000's on almost every dance, which shows that the dances are possible to master fairly well on every platform.

However, of the 52 dances for 2018, I will say that it seems easier to hit 13,000's on more dances on Xbox Kinect and the PS4 camera than it is holding a remote. More players from Xbox seem to dominate the dance floor for a wide variety of dances, although I do recognize players from all 4 platforms who put up phenomenal scores on just about anything.

I can understand why the Wii U and Switch platforms need a favorable adjustment. It must be difficult to pinpoint how much, and the level of difficulty varies with the song. There are actually a handful of dances that I feel are easier with a remote (in fact, when those songs come up on the WDF, the leaderboard is often packed with players using a remote or phone). On most dances, I'd say it's easier to hit a score somewhere in the 12,000's on Wii U or Switch than it is to hit 13,000 on Xbox Kinect or the PS4 camera. But does 12,500 or 12,700 or what on Switch compare with 13,000 on Xbox? And again it depends on the song.

In 2017 and 2018, even though I danced to Xbox then, I'll admit that the algorithm seemed from my perspective to favor Xbox a bit, so if in 2019 the algorithm favors other platforms a bit, perhaps that is fair. (Most of the 3-song classic tournaments that occur on the WDF also seem to favor Xbox, and Xbox dancers have benefited from this for all of 2017 and 2018. Maybe this has attracted many competitive dancers to the Xbox platform.)

After the 1st JDWC session, I spent a week dancing avidly to Switch. But I wasn't able to unlock Another One Bites the Dust alternate version until after Session 2 (so I didn't participate that week). Once I finally unlocked that song (and danced to it once), I got the opportunity to try out PS4. So I've been dancing to PS4 this week. This time, I haven't yet unlocked 24K Magic extreme, so I'm not sure if I'll be ready for Session 3.

I was a little worried about using the PS4 camera, as I'd heard horror stories about it. I am seeing some technical issues, but it doesn't seem to be impeding my scores significantly in most cases. I hit 13,314 (a new personal best) on my first try of Keep On Moving with PS4, and have had a few other good scores on my first attempt, which shows that this platform can produce competitive scores like Xbox Kinect. (In fact, that PS4 score is the best I've ever done on my first attempt on any song on any platform.) I have also had the opposite experience, where I score much lower than I usually do on Xbox Kinect. However, for the few songs where I've danced more than one time, after studying the dance and practicing in front of a mirror, I was able to make an adjustment and successfully improve key moves. Maybe with the PS4 camera, the game isn't equally demanding (sometimes more, occasionally less) as with Xbox Kinect on every move, and maybe it's not looking for exactly the same criteria on every move (or maybe you need to emphasize certain moves a little more on one platform). Either way, I'm going through the usual "progression of improvement" when switching platforms that I've come to expect with the JD experience.

I've only been able to dance to 4 of the JDWC songs on PS4 thus far, and I still need some reps to get a better idea of how much I can improve on them (and what level of consistency I can expect), but it will be interesting to see how well I can do on PS4 (I might not be ready until Session 4) compared to Xbox Kinect. The hardest dance for me on Xbox Kinect (the helicopter dance) seems like it is easier on PS4. I had an incredible start to the dance (on my one attempt today), and was able to hit the moves that trouble me on Kinect, but eventually I took a few X's in places that I normally hit (but still came close to 12,600 despite those X's). I feel like if I just study those moves where I hit those X's, I can put up a great score on this hard dance using PS4 (but realize that things don't always turn out as easy as I plan).

I sincerely hope that I don't "pass" the Xbox players who are currently ahead of me by switching platforms. Mostly, I'm curious about the differences in scoring between platforms (I'm not looking to take advantage of the system).

It's been fun to try the dances on different platforms and compare the experience. (Those who don't have this luxury, don't get mad: Get friends. Maybe a friend with a different gaming system will let you come over and try out the experience.)

I have a question. Do players using the PS4 move controllers get the same adjustment as players using the PS4 camera? I haven't tried the move controller yet, but so far, the camera seems fairly comparable to Xbox Kinect. I can see a few technical issues that I've been working on, like it being pickier with shadows, and not as easy to get it to recognize you at the beginning of the dance (which if that happens on the WDF, it would spoil the JDWC experience), but for the most part, so far it seems viable to score well with the camera on many of the dances (though I can see why players familiar with Kinect might struggle with the transition).

Similarly, what about players using a phone on Xbox or PS4? Perhaps their adjustments should be different than for those using Kinect or a camera?

I suppose Ubisoft will reconsider the algorithm after each session. It's easier to see how dancers have already done than it is to predict how much they will improve, and with each session Ubisoft has more data to potentially analyze.

A couple of great things have already come from JDWC 2019 for me. For one, I'm enjoying my experience with PS4, which I might not have tried otherwise. For another, I enjoyed spending some time dancing with a remote via Switch. It reminded me of many of its unique challenges, and reminded me of the importance of trying to be smooth and steady when the choreo demands it (and a few other technical details that I will keep "secret"). Perhaps next year I will devote more time to multiple platforms. I suspect that the complementary demands of the various platforms can help you put together a more complete package. Thank you for letting us have a voice on your forum and share our experiences (maybe I have done this a bit too much, but I really love Just Dance). Anyone who disagrees with my opinions, don't worry, I don't mind (and your opinions are certainly just as valid).