Sampling and Bias
The total number of respondents to this survey was 268. 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.
This survey allowed for multiple faction selections, and each respondent was classified according to their most preferred faction. A tie was classified as “Multiple factions”. Once again, the preference for the Loyalist Space Marines is clear, but this last month has seen a relative rise in popularity of the Orks, to match that of the Eldar. However, both Xenos factions are a smaller proportion of the total respondents, possibly due to the “Multiple factions” option. As can be seen below, a reasonably large proportion of the respondents never play at least one faction.
For this survey, I have aggregated the location of the respondents into larger geographical areas, notably Canada and the USA are now “North America”, and the locations with smaller numbers of respondents have been collected into “Other”. The respondents to this survey have a larger proportion of North Americans due to this aggregation. As with previous surveys, the bulk of respondents are from either North America or Continental Europe, with a scattering of players around the rest of the world.
This survey allowed for multiple class selections, and each respondent was classified according to their most preferred class. A tie was classified as “Multiple Classes”. This chart shows that there is still a clear preference for Tactical type classes across the board, but that playing multiple classes is the most popular choice for Orks and Eldar, while those that play multiple factions are the most likely to play multiple classes (partly due to Eldar have exclusive classes). The popularity of the Heavy and Support Classes has dropped noticeably except for the Loyalists who maintain a popularity of Apothecaries almost even with the Tacticals. The largest proportion of “Never played” classes are Eldar specific due to the Eldar also have the largest proportion of people never playing them at all. Other than that, the Jump Assaults are the least favoured class.
As with Faction and Class, the survey allowed for the selection of multiple role preferences. There was a clear preference for Ranged Anti-infantry roles, but playing multiple roles was almost equally popular, both of which are true across all factions. In fact, if preferences are aggregated instead of split by faction, multiple roles is the most popular category. Anti-infantry melee was the next most popular overall. Healing is the least popular role for Orks and Eldar, but Anti-vehicle takes that for Chaos and Loyalists. Harassment is almost exclusively the realm of the Eldar. Harassment and healing have the largest proportion of players who choose to never play those roles.