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Results of international Guild Wars 2 survey


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#1 GameStatistics

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:12 AM

Hello,

Some of you may remember a survey which has been done by GameStatistics on September 2013, about Guild Wars 2 players opinions about the game. The link for the survey had been put on Guild wars 2 Guru forums, as well as many other places (reddit, other fansites, social networks, etc...)

Results of this international survey are now available :


Guild wars 2 2013 survey : english report



Spanish and French versions of this document are also available.

Thanks for all the respondents.

Of course, do no hesitate to share and/or comment these results if you want.

Edited by GameStatistics, 18 February 2014 - 11:13 AM.


#2 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

Honest Question: Do you know how many people actually play the game ( or even better the number of players / accounts that were actively logged in at least once during Sept. 2013 ) ?

I actually read the whole thing. I wonder why Thief is one of the least enjoyed classes. Curious stuff ...

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 18 February 2014 - 12:24 PM.


#3 Alex Dimitri

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:59 PM

The entire numbers are based on participants in survey, this was not offical Anet survey as kind people mentioned !
So your question should be directed to Anet if you really want the answer (@gw2guruaccount).

I can say why i don`t like Thief as much as my Mesmer for example (or Ranger, Warrior......) i simply don`t find them to be that solid in PvE (which i play mostly) squishy feel of melee class and constant battle to survive (maybe i just don`t know how to play them) is turn off !
Same goes for dungeons, except their invisibility skill (rare need in some harder content, namely Arah) they are just not something special and i don`t see them as necessity for any of dungeons (low HP single target DPS, squishy,harder to play).

#4 Fantasy Trope

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

Fascinating.  Various observations, in no particular order:

1. The sample size is quite large (~6500), but, as the report noted, not necessarily representative of the whole GW2 population.

2.  I think the report would be best used by ArenaNet to understand their core, dedicated players.  This needs to be distinct from those who "generally" play the game, and so should not be used to infer about the entire GW2 population.  Several factors support this:

a) Given the nature of the communities that visit the sites where the survey was administered and given the nature of people who respond to surveys in general, it is reasonable to infer that this survey represents players who are strongly interested in the game, either negatively or positively, and (I would argue) mostly the latter.

b) A large percentage of respondents plan on playing the game for "years to come," and almost 70% of the respondents purchased the game pre-order.

c) Furthermore, it seems difficult to survey people who have already quit (and so gather their reasons for quitting), since former players are unlikely to visit sites dedicated to games they no longer play.

d) Apropos (a) - ©, it is possible, maybe probable, that the small number of dissatisfied responses represent those dedicated players who are reaching a critical level of dissatisfaction with the game's direction.  This survey should not be interpreted as representative of past and future satisfaction.  That could be a fatal assumption.  Rather, additional surveys--at least the kind I would find valuable if I were on staff at a game company--should attempt to establish whether this dissatisfaction translates into declining population and reduced gem store purchases.

3. I found the comparisons between 2012 and 2013 difficult to accept, mostly because the 2012 survey was a French-only population.

4. Page 22f showed frequency of cash-shop purchases, assuming respondents correctly interpreted the terminology ("through the game shop" was potentially ambiguous, although not ultimately relevant given the following).  Unfortunately, the purchase information is limited to French players only, so it is difficult to infer from this population to the larger population of dedicated players.  Given the importance of the gem store to the survival of GW2, the lack of information here is the weakest part of the survey.

If (and this is a significant assumption) we are able to generalize from the French population, and given (1) and (2) above, these data suggest that 25% of committed Guild Wars 2 players have never purchased anything from the gem shop with real money.  More important, the results suggest that around half of committed Guild Wars 2 players don't regularly purchase anything at all (although this could be subject to seasonal variability not captured in the survey).  There is also a strong correlation between daily playtime and frequency of purchases.

5. Committed players seem to enjoy the living story.  That's not surprising.  If you were playing the game during the period the survey was given, you likely already decided if you enjoyed the model (and so continued playing) or didn't (and so reduced playtime or stopped altogether).  This also tracks with the high number of respondents who spend most of their time (or a "frequent" amount of time) in PvE (made distinct from WvW in the survey).

6. Even players who regularly compete in sPvP seem to dislike it.  No surprise there!

Interesting report, although not as helpful as a survey sent to all GW2 account owners, since its results were somewhat predictable: players who are still dedicated to the game are likely to enjoy its current direction, and players who didn't have likely already left.

It would have been particularly interesting to see more detailed gem store purchases information, especially data not isolated to French respondents.

#5 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

Anet wouldn't likely have the information in a user-friendly format. I was just curious what the weight of the population was. Oh well.

Is there a complete list of websites involved in the survey? That was not on the report itself.

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 18 February 2014 - 06:50 PM.


#6 davadude

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:32 PM

Very interesting survey, may consider having this front paged!
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#7 Garegare

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:44 PM

Good job, very interesting results.

#8 Doctor Overlord

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:47 PM

Thanks for posting it.  That's very informative survey, well done with amusing graphics :)

#9 Conkers

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:44 PM

'self selecting sample'.

Edited by Conkers, 19 February 2014 - 08:45 PM.


#10 Beyond Freedom

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:43 AM

The sample seems to be wildly skewed with regard to gender. Larger surveys have shown that women gamers constitute around 45% of the overall population across the board, with the notable exception of e-sports where it is more like 10% like this sample.

http://www.theesa.co...ESA_EF_2013.pdf

If it's not representative of this dimension, it''s unlikely to be very accurate or useful about anything else.

#11 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:22 PM

View PostBeyond Freedom, on 20 February 2014 - 11:43 AM, said:

The sample seems to be wildly skewed with regard to gender. Larger surveys have shown that women gamers constitute around 45% of the overall population across the board, with the notable exception of e-sports where it is more like 10% like this sample.

http://www.theesa.co...ESA_EF_2013.pdf

If it's not representative of this dimension, it''s unlikely to be very accurate or useful about anything else.

Actually it is accurate about something: Most of the people on the GW2 forums who found it worthwhile to compile data are dudes.

You can only glean what you gather; the survey shouldn't have represented sex in relation to gameplay at all, just respondents.

#12 Feathermoore

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:56 PM

View PostBeyond Freedom, on 20 February 2014 - 11:43 AM, said:

The sample seems to be wildly skewed with regard to gender. Larger surveys have shown that women gamers constitute around 45% of the overall population across the board, with the notable exception of e-sports where it is more like 10% like this sample.

http://www.theesa.co...ESA_EF_2013.pdf

If it's not representative of this dimension, it''s unlikely to be very accurate or useful about anything else.

Remember that those statistics are across all games, not just MMOs so even that survey is not representative of the population we are talking about here. That survey is even less valid than this one in these specific circumstances. It is too large in scope.

We can say that the players of the game with an active out-of-game presence are represented by this survey and this split is what I would have expected based off past surveys from other games. This isn't representative of all GW2 players. The only group that could hope to get that data is Anet and only if they put up a survey pop-up upon login and even then it would only represent those people who had the time/interest to fill it out. How many of those website surveys do you decline when they popup?

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#13 Beyond Freedom

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:52 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 20 February 2014 - 01:56 PM, said:

This isn't representative of all GW2 players. The only group that could hope to get that data is Anet and only if they put up a survey pop-up upon login and even then it would only represent those people who had the time/interest to fill it out. How many of those website surveys do you decline when they popup?

Also, to quote Douglas Adams: "Everyone lies to people with clipboards."

#14 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:18 AM

View PostBeyond Freedom, on 20 February 2014 - 05:52 PM, said:

Also, to quote Douglas Adams: "Everyone lies to people with clipboards."
Well played.

#15 Axiom

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:27 AM

Though a few people who have soured to the game's devolution, like myself, may have stumbled upon the survey and taken it, the survey seems highly biased in favor of current players who like the current game. If this was in any way a representative sample of everyone who has played the game, then one would think that the game would be growing in revenue and sales, rather than bleeding players and revenue.

I mean, it makes sense that most people currently playing the game and frequenting forums where the survey would have been found like the game, right?

The survey mostly represents the opinions of current fans of the game with a positive view of it's current state, which is far less valuable than a sample that would be representative of all past and present GW2 players.

In any event, enough people seem to like where the game has gone since launch that it's unlikely that things will ever get back on course, for those of us who feel the game has gone way off course. The game will likely never come close to fulfilling it's once vast potential, which sucks for long term fans of the genre, as so few titles ever have such potential. It also sucks for the genre in general, as GW2, at launch, attempted to shift the MMO design Paradigm in some serious ways, but it's failure to ignite as a genre standout in player base growth or revenue growth, will likely mean that few will attempt to move the game's original paradigm shifting design model forward.

In fact, most of the ongoing design with Colin Johanson at the helm seems bent on undoing the paradigm shifting work of greater minds who have left the studio and steer the game back towards the same design doctrine that has resulted in so many western AAA MMO failures.

GW2, at launch, was a big step forward for MMO design, while post release development has been two large steps back for the new paradigm GW2 attempted to spearhead.

#16 Swoopeh

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:07 AM

View PostAxiom, on 21 February 2014 - 07:27 AM, said:

I mean, it makes sense that most people currently playing the game and frequenting forums where the survey would have been found like the game, right?

The survey mostly represents the opinions of current fans of the game with a positive view of it's current state, which is far less valuable than a sample that would be representative of all past and present GW2 players.

The survey was posted in multiple locations so it had a high chance of catching ex players who aren't satisfied (a lot of them do hang around posting about how bad the game is). Also the results show two different surveys, the French one being a lot older and it shows that most people who have taken the survey have pre-ordered the game or played from launch, which means that they've been either been playing a long time or have stopped playing. So the sample should be well representative of different opinions, both as they have evolved as time passed and by user experience. It could just be that there really aren't that many people really unsatisfied.

#17 Axiom

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:23 PM

View PostSwoopeh, on 21 February 2014 - 10:07 AM, said:

The survey was posted in multiple locations so it had a high chance of catching ex players who aren't satisfied (a lot of them do hang around posting about how bad the game is). Also the results show two different surveys, the French one being a lot older and it shows that most people who have taken the survey have pre-ordered the game or played from launch, which means that they've been either been playing a long time or have stopped playing. So the sample should be well representative of different opinions, both as they have evolved as time passed and by user experience. It could just be that there really aren't that many people really unsatisfied.

I found it and took it, so it wasn't impossible for people who are no longer playing to find it, but that's because I still check into appropriate forums every week or two to see if things have taken a turn for the better. It's still going to be much more representative of current active players than those who no longer play. Only a direct survey from ANet to all who purchased the game would be likely to be more representative. I notice they have been very wary to do so, even though they did so in the wake of the Karka event.




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