December 2016

Faction Performance

December saw the fortunes of all four factions shift and change several times, with each getting their time of dominance, and their time of being the underdog.  Each faction spent some time holding well below a quarter of the map, but only the Loyalists dipped below 20 territories although the Eldar came close.  The Eldar had the most consistent performance, and maintained a positive Territorial Balance for just over half the month.  If there was an overall winner for December, it would be the Eldar, based on most territories held over time, even though they fell back to third place in the Territory ranking on the last few days.

Demographics

Unsurprisingly, most players are Loyalist Space Marines – more than a third of us. Chaos Space Marines make up just over another quarter, for a total of 62.5% of all respondents playing some form of Space Marine. Of the other two factions, the Eldar are a surprisingly large portion, nearly a quarter themselves. Orks are the least populous, with only 15.2% of respondents choosing that faction.

Another statistic that will be no surprise to anyone is the class split, with nearly 40% of all respondents playing a Tactical, Shoota, or Avenger. The next most popular classes were equally Heavy Weapon and Support classes, followed closely by Ground Assault at not quite 15% of respondents. The least popular are the Jump Pack Assaults.

Of particular interest to me was identifying the Specialists amongst us by filtering the dataset to only show those that listed a single preferred class. The greater proportion of respondents who were Chaos, Eldar, or Loyalist were specialists in a single class, but the Orks are much more generalist, with it being more common for them to play two classes than one. Of the other three, Chaos was more likely to specialise in a single class, but the Loyalists were only slightly more specialised than the Eldar.

However, the factional differences were much greater amongst the specialists than in general. Less than half of the Chaos specialists chose Tactical compared to nearly 60% in the other factions, and there were many more Chaos players who chose to specialise in Heavy or Support than there were Eldar, Loyalist, or Orks. Fully a quarter of the Chaos specialists choose to play Havocs – the largest non-tactical choice across both faction and class choice. It is likely that that this is due to the appeal and effectiveness of the Autocannon and the Aspiring Sorcerer.

Player Morale

The enjoyment of the game in general, the enjoyment of December matches, and the perceived win rate all follow a similar distribution, but with general enjoyment rating slightly lower and perceived win-rate slightly higher.  Most people seem to be enjoying the game:  roughly 60% of respondents rated either match or game enjoyment at 4 or above.

Map Preferences

The most hated maps were the two Fortress Maps, Harkus and Agnathio, with almost half of those who answered the question choosing one of these two.

Most of the hated maps were equally disliked amongst the factions, but Zedek stands out as being hated more by the Loyalists than anyone else, and not being hated by Eldar.  Torias and Pegasus stand out for not being hated by Orks.

Olipsis is clearly the most enjoyed map, with almost a third of respondents preferring it to other maps. Most curiously, Harkus is not only one of the most hated, but the second most enjoyed. Likewise Zedek, which collected just over 10% of the “Hate” ratings is also the third most enjoyed.

Comparing the two ratings is where some of the factional differences become obvious. Most of the “Enjoyment” ratings for Harkus come from the two Space Marine factions, and the bulk of the ratings for Zedek come from Eldar, who did not rate it as their “Hated” map. Most of the rest of the maps are enjoyed equally by all the factions, but Loyalists are the most likely to enjoy both Pegasus and Torias.

Guild Survey Results

The faction split in terms of number of guilds is very similar to the factional breakdown of the players themselves.  However, if the total members are taken into account (from the in-game Guild menu), then the Loyalists are a much larger proportion – of the guilds surveyed, more than half the population is Loyalist.

The main focus of the guilds has, of course, been general PvP, but 11 of them focused on taking the fight to at least one of the factions specifically.  8 of them had some sort of focus on PvE.  Only one guild mentioned participating in official Guild vs Guild Competitive play, so at least one Guild has been missed from this survey.  Several other, though, did mention doing unofficial Guild vs Guild combat in the course of normal play, and enjoyed doing so.  Competitive play is something that is underused, could become more popular if the mechanism for organising it was simplified.  Several guilds have seen their activity and enthusiasm dropping off lately, and two of them are largely inactive until more content is in game.

General Comments

As part of the Player Morale Survey, I included a field seeking feedback on the reports I do weekly.  While I got a lot of positive comments (thanks guys, I appreciated them!) and some useful suggestions, many respondents took the opportunity to give general feedback on the game.  While I am in no way associated with Behaviour, and thus am not a good conduit for this feedback, I thought it was important to let these people have their voices heard.

The common themes of the comments were:

  • Confusion about how the World Map works
  • Not being able to tell what the name of the map was
  • Latency is a big problem for many
  • Loyalists are popular due to their equipment, but the players are considered a problem, especially the less experienced ones.
  • There is less polish on the Xenos factions

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