Sampling and Bias
The total number of respondents to this survey was 191. 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 as 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.
Guilded or Not?
Just under half the respondents were in a Guild. Loyalists and Orks were roughly evenly split, but noticeably more Eldar were guilded, and Chaos were the reverse the trend with just over 60% of them not guilded. When it came to class, the following were more likely to be in a guild: Support, Fire Dragon, Striking Scorpion, Swooping Hawk. Notably, 75% of both Fire Dragons and Swooping hawks were in a guild. More likely to be unguilded were: Ground Assault, Jump Pack Classes, and Tacticals by a small margin. Heavies were equally likely to be guilded or not.
For this survey, the respondents were once again required to only choose one faction, but this time the wording was such that it was “most played”. Once again the Loyalists are the largest population, followed by Chaos, Eldar, then Orks. The differences from last month are minimal, 3.6 percentage points (Orks) at most, but Chaos and Orks up are, while the Loyalist and Eldar populations are down. This is probably not a real population shift due to small sample size and small actual changes in proportions.
Once again, the Tactical classes are the most played, but the proportion has increased by nearly 10 percentage points – it is now close to half the player population. The proportion of Support Classes has remained the same, but they are now the second most played, up from third. Ground Assault has likewise moved up a rank, but with a drop in proportion compared with December. Most of shift towards Tactical seems to have come at the cost of the Heavies (-9.1 percentage points), but there has also been a drop in the Jump Assault classes (-4.3 percentage points. It’s worth noting that some measure of drop in proportion is expected, with the addition of Fire Dragon, Swooping Hawk, Striking Scorpion and Banshee.
The per faction Class split has also changed somewhat, in part due to the nature of the survey: the previous version allowed multiple answers, while the January only asked for “most played this month”. This makes it difficult to compare proportional values, but the overall mix can be considered. All factions favour their Tactical equivalent classes, Loyalists more so than the others. Support and Ground Assaults are the next most popular, though the Orks reverse the order of preference and Eldar have the smallest proportion of Support. Heavies and Jump Pack classes are the least favoured amongst the Loyalists, Orks and Chaos. The Eldar have a fairly even split amongst their non-tactical classes, but Banshees are least favoured and Striking Scorpions the most.