there will only be sixteen machines at KO5
Why was this decision made? Is there a competition related reason to reduce the number of machines going forward or is this more of a business decision related to supply and demand of building and then selling the machines?
I believe the motivation for this decision was the fact that Richie was under a great deal of stress to get all the cabinets in working order -- both in terms of time and money. Not all the cabs at KO4 were in the best condition (though it may not have been immediately obvious, many of them did not survive later stress tests after the event -- at least one cab died during the event itself).
I can't speak for Richie, but I think the angle he wants is rather than have 24+ "good" machines, he can have 16 "great" machines.
Twelve of these machines will be reserved for DKF Top 12, Arcade platform.
In my opinion, this is repeating old mistakes that should have been learned from by now. On a personal level I know that this will almost certainly cause me to become unqualified for the competition unless I end up taking the "online qualifier" machine
This is false. If you were bumped out of the arcade top 12, you would immediately become the #1 DKO seed with your 1.17 DKO3 score.
One cabinet will go to the #1 seed in Eric's Donkey Kong Online Open tournaments that have happened since KO4 (DKO#3 and beyond). Remove the arcade top 12 from the aggregate list and you have the #1 seed. The seeded player will get a cab even if their score was done on MAME.
I have not been following very closely how this has been handled, but all of a sudden it has become quite relavent for me so I hope that this can be further explained. How exactly is the aggregate list calculated? Is it simply the single highest scoring submission across all of the online competitions?
Aggregate beginning at DKO#3 (the most recent of Eric's tournaments). Again, if you were bumped out of Arcade Top 12, you would immediately be the #1 seed, and I highly doubt any contenders are going to put up a score in an online open higher than a 1.17m.
In the event you were somehow miraculously knocked out, you have an open invitation to come qualify on my cabinet -- I'm only about 1.5hr from you.
To further clarify, this means Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe currently do not qualify for cabinets at Kong Off 5.
I am likely in the minority on this, but I still feel that this is a mistake.
There is some reading in-between-the-lines that can be done here. Realistically, it is extremely likely at least one player from the current Arcade Top 12 decides not to come to the event. In that circumstance, next in line would be Corey Chambers. Assuming Corey doesn't go (and I have a hunch he wouldn't), Steve Wiebe would be next in line.
Also, if Wiebe or Billy still failed to qualify, this doesn't guarantee Richie wouldn't have them there anyway as personalities. This has been discussed as well.
As for event planning, I think that starting immediately, anything and everything that can be done to plan for improved live streaming of the event (and marketing such coverage in advance) should be a major focus.
Discussions are happening between Richie and Jace Hall about event broadcasting. The biggest concern is bandwidth in the convention center. I do know, however, that KO5 will be a center-stage event this time around, whereas KO4 was sort of the red-headed step-child of the event. This guarantees Richie more resources to pull off better internet exposure and live coverage.
I find the "throwing out" of mame scores to be an extreme step in the wrong direction, even if it doesn't affect any current top 12 players...
I agree with you and Dean that the combined Arcade+MAME scoreboard should be used, however Richie has stated this is an Arcade-platform event. I did express there would be disappointment/resentment over the decision, which is why he said if any player would be excluded due to this rule, he would reach out to them personally and see what steps could be taken to ensure they could be included.
However, to add to this, there is not a single player that would be excluded by this rule, and I can't think of a single player who would fall out of inclusion by it either (such as Dean and Willms). Tudose has already expressed absolutely no interest in playing. The only player I can even think of who might be impacted by this by summer of 2016 is Mr. X, who based on his comments I've seen on Tim Sczerby's channel would be very hypocritical to qualify using MAME. Otherwise, I find it very difficult to believe there's a 1.1m+ capable MAME player out there we've never heard of, or there will be by summer of next year.