April 2017

Sampling and Bias

The total number of respondents to this survey was 165. Although there is some controversy regarding the exact number of players, I believe is is safe to say it is somewhere in the low thousands, making this a survey of less than 5% of the population. Thus, it is unlikely to be truly representative. In addition, there are at least two biases built into this survey:
Self-Selection Bias: by asking for volunteers, those with something to say are more likely to respond than those who don’t
Sampling Bias: my call for volunteers was placed on the Official Forums and the Steam Forums, and thus only reached those that are active readers of either or both.

Always remember that the conclusions drawn here are based on the sample taken, so may not be true of the whole population. In fact, this sample is probably not representative, as an unusually large proportion of respondents were Chaos.

Faction/Class Split

There was a fairly even split between Chaos and Loyalist Space Marines in this survey, and Orks continue to be the least represented. Tactical classes continue to dominate, with Healers and Heavies being roughly equal in popularity and the Ground Assaults being the last in double digits. Striking Scorpions and Swooping Hawks were the most popular Eldar specialists.

Guilded or Not?

This month’s respondents were mostly unguilded – 57.2%. This was swung heavily by the Chaos respondents being more weighted towards being guilded than the other factions. Guilded Players are more experienced in hours played, but show no major differences in class or role played except for a slightly smaller representation of healers. As in previous surveys, players in a guild report a slightly higher enjoyment of the game.

Factions

For the charts that accompany this, refer to the end of the section. For some reason, not all faction balance charts are displaying at this moment.

Loyalists

The Loyalists are the least experienced on average, with the highest proportion of players with <100hrs and the lowest proportion of those with 1000+hrs. In fact, they have a larger proportion of new players than either Veterans (501-1000hrs) or Ultra-Veterans (1000+hrs). The Loyalists have an extremely strong preference for Tacticals, with Apothecaries and Ground Assaults a distance second and third choice. This preference is clearly represented in their role preference for Ranged Anti-infantry, with melee following. They do have a decent anti-vehicle presence, mostly Tacticals with some Devastators. The Loyaliste generally have a positive outlook regarding their enjoyment of the game, but not strongly so.

Performance-wise, April saw the Loyalists in the negative for the entire month, with only 7 separate days with a positive balance against any faction. They also hit the lowest point in average territorial control they have been at since I started recording. Their worst losses were against Eldar and Orks, especially during the Ork Campaign.

Orks

The Orks had the least proportion of new players, and the highest of Veteran players, but don’t have a great number of Ultra-Veterans. The greatest proportion of Ork players had 101-500hrs played. As expected, they too favour their Tactical class, but their next chosen is Painboy, to a much larger proportion than any other faction prefers their healers. Sluggas are next favoured followed by a roughly equal number of Lootas and Stormboys and one enterprising chap who managed to play Swooping Hawk the most. Their class preference is reflected in their role preference, leaning heavily towards ranged and healing, but having a solid Anti-vehicle contingent of Shoota Boys, Slugga and Stormboy – no Lootas. While the Orks average enjoyment rating was little different to the non-Eldar factions, they did have the most even distribution, and rated it more positively than not.

The Orks performance during April was boosted during their campaign, but they were mostly in positive territory. They dominated the Loyalists, but had limited success against Chaos, and frequently suffered losses to the Eldar.

Eldar

In contrast to the Loyalists, the Eldar are the most experienced of the respondents, with more players with 1000+ hours than either <100 or 501-1000hrs, though the highest proportion was still the 101-500hrs bracket. With more classes to spread over, the proportion of Dire Avengers is lower than for other factions, but still clearly the most preferred. Striking Scorpions and Warlocks are the next most popular, followed by Swooping Hawks. Typical for Eldar, they show a preference for ranged combat and harassment, with the harassers most Striking Scorpions and Swooping Hawk with one Fire Dragon and one Warlock. The Eldar have the highest average enjoyment rating.

The Eldar were almost exclusively in the positive, with the major exception being during the Ork campaign. They otherwise faired well against all three factions at various points, with only 8 days in the negative against any faction outside of the Ork Campaign.

Chaos

Chaos has a similar experience profile to the Loyalists, but with more players on the Veteran experience range of 501-1000hrs played, surpassing the proportion of players that are new. Like all factions, they prefer Tacticals, but are much more balanced than their Loyalist counterparts, and field a good mix of Heavies and Ground Assaults, with fewer Healers. JPAs are fairly rare. The “tactical” preference makes their preference for ranged combat clear, but while they rival the Eldar for their reliance on healers, they have the least preference for Anti-vehicle than any faction. The Chaos players average enjoyment of the game is little different to the non-Eldar factions, but they had the highest number of 6/6 ratings, dragged down by a number of lower scores as well.

Chaos had a mixed to poor month, spending a lot of time in the negative. Even outside the Ork campaign, their gains against the Loyalists were often offset by losses to the other factions. Fortunately, no faction pushed them very hard, so losses were minimised.

General Comments

Not many strong themes this month, but the ones that do stand out are concerns about Eldar survivability, Server stability and latency, and enjoyment of the game. Particular comments of note were:

:I really want to like the game but, it’s frustrating playing Eldar and dying so easy all the time.”
“I play my SH as Anti-Infantry, not so much for harassment.”
“Playing chaos specifically for the challenge, because they’re by far the most underpowered currently.”
“Orks are by far more “fun” to play but as I have 1 Ork and 5 CSM characters I feel obligated to try and force myself to enjoy playing Chaos…but they just aren’t that good at teamwork”
“LSM are dumb, CSM and enthusiastic but dumb, Orkz are very enthusiastic and either savant or stupid, and the Eldar are simultaneously OP, UP and balanced like some quantum dildo from before The Fall but a lot of that comes from the core game not being stable or consistent. “Clunky” best sums up the game. I’ll leave the “fun with friends” modifier out as dying in a trench in Flanders is made better with friends and would push that score up to 5 easily.”
“Eldar need Health Buff”
“For the love of god I need a server not half a planet away!”
“The game is great, I enjoy it as Founder, but everybody is just complaining all the time. Complaining, but not expanding their tactics or trying to play smart. ”
“Been having a hell of a time with the master crafted lascannon on Chaos. 1 shot KO is so good”
“Damn you Forj, DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME FILL THESE OUT!”
“Campaign was / is bad, long wait times for matches and little variation in matches (defending blackbolt for 24 games in a row against orks, anyone?)”
“Nerf Necrons”
“Getting bored of the same maps, game types etc, making enjoyment harder.”
“Can barely play anymore due to issues connecting to the servers.”
“Can’t play more than 1-3 games per day. Have max level, there is nothing left for me to grind :(”
“SMOR Dominatus”
“New players often fail to understand the un-intuitive rules of skirmish maps.”

And one particularly long and venty that I want to include just for the effort of writing this all out in the form:
“The last few weeks, especially fallowing the beginning of the Chaos Campaign, I along with my guild have gone through spamming of sorcerer healers and auto cannons that are mounted to act like glorified sniper rifles, map exploitation by raptors from GAT on Fort Rownan, and a great deal of toxic harassment sublime to malicious insulting from the chaos faction weather a round is won or lost.

Overall, it hasn’t been a fun experience as me and my guild have been qued up for was chaos only, and it became quite predictable as to what to expect. At the same time we concluded that this campaign will duely shape out the missing gear for LSM to make them a more defined faction, and the fact that the auto-canon is still a stupidly overpowered weapon. We also concluded along with several other guilds of the community belonging to the LSM faction that when our campaign begins, many players will feel less attracted to it and will more than likely be bland in comparison to the amount of people that have played the previous ork campaign and current chaos campaign, making the LSM faction even less and less appealing to play to have a shred of fun instead of getting stressed out.

In all, these faction exclusive campaigns so far are only highlighting the obvious imbalances the game still has as well as issues that still need to be addressed. One of the most recent issues I and my guild mates have found is the possible activity of hackers as they have shared that they have witnessed two incidences of players being undamaged even when receiving fire from many foes with no contributing factors to make sense of it, to someone, again, on the CSM faction exploiting a glitch in one of the maps that makes any vehicle invulnerable.

I’m trying not to sound bias, but these are the things that I have noticed after playing for the last 3 weeks or so. Many others have also given their piece on witnessing in-game hacking and map exploitation to make faction gains, and all of these seem to be especially heightened by the CSM faction much much more than any other. “

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