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The State of the Sphere Survey


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#1 Mr Smiles

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:59 PM

Hello, friends, and welcome to the State of the Sphere survey!

This project is an attempt to collate the gaming preferences of all MechWarrior fans into one single set of data—for use by the developers of the up-and-coming MechWarrior Online, as well as the MechWarrior Online community itself—to help clear up whether any given topic's proponents are in the majority or in the minority.

Here's how it works: I have created a survey, as comprehensive as I could manage, which takes approximately 20-40 minutes to complete. I have publicized this survey on several forums, and will gather a statistically significant number of respondents. I will then write up this data into a semi-formal analysis on these forums, publish the raw data itself alongside, and e-mail the entire spiel to one of the Mechwarrior Online devs. Ideally, the results will involve a more settled community, a more informed developer, and more happy faces all around when MechWarrior Online is published.

What do you have to do to contribute to this monument of player-developer communications? Well, you just have to take 20-40 minutes from your day to answer some questions about your MechWarrior passions and opinions! Just follow the link (Link) and you'll be on your way to helping create the most comprehensive poll MechWarrior Online has ever seen and is likely to ever see. Get your opinion heard! Sway the developers! Make MechWarrior Online the game you want it to be by filling out this survey, today!

I also have one favor to ask of you kind folks. In addition to filling out the survey, please tell your friends--ones who are familiar with the MechWarrior series, that is--to fill out the survey, too! I need as many responses as possible, but more importantly, I need them from as wide a sample as possible. Every friend you get who wouldn't answer this survey without your pushing is one more piece of validity to my test results.

FAQ
Q. Will this actually have an impact on the developers?
A. Most definitely. If for no other reason, than the developers have frequently made it clear that they read the forums and give serious consideration to all of the major movements. A company paying that much attention to the community, with as much riding on MechWarrior Online as Piranha does, simply will not ignore a massive wad of statistics on their fans.

That in mind, Piranha Games is composed of professionals who spent a lot of time and money and love learning their craft, and unlike our pipe dreams as respondents, they're working within a budget in order to create a mass-market product. We might overwhelmingly vote for a feature, only to have them say no anyway, and for good reasons. We must respect that decision, even if we hope for them to say yes.

Q. What's to keep people from contaminating your test results?
A. I have a few tricks up my sleeves which I won't go into. But if you attempt to post a troll response, or you attempt to take the survey multiple times: the joke's on you, because detecting that sort of thing is trivially easy, it takes me like 5 seconds to delete the response, but it takes you 20-40 minutes to fill it out. Worth it?

Q. What sort of scientific validity are we talking for this survey?
A. I'm not a scientist, but I've taken many courses in survey-taking and have a firm grounding in statistics. I've taken pains to make sure that questions are worded to avoid biasing people toward certain responses, the answers to many questions are placed in random order, and there is an abstain-type response to every question where I felt it was appropriate to add one. In other words, it's about as scientifically neutral and valid as an opinion survey can get.

In terms of statistics, the MechWarrior community is relatively small: I only need 1,000 or so responses before the results of this survey are so statistically valid that the probability of them being unrepresenative of the whole community is less than the probability of you winning the jackpot with a scratch-off lottery ticket.

Q. Can I help you in any way?
A. If you just generally want to help, find all of your friends who will be playing MechWarrior Online, and find all of your friends who might be playing MechWarrior Online, and force them to take this survey. I need a lot of respondents, but what's more, I need them to be from a wide variety of sources. The wider the better. That's why I'm posting this on so many different forums.

If you want to help me with the statistics, I would like to gently decline: I can handle myself well enough to write up my own personal analysis. If you want to write up your own, my raw data will be bundled with my analysis, so you can go nuts and start your own thread / hijack my thread then.

Q. You don't happen to play Team Fortress 2, do you? Because there was this one survey...
A. Yes, I did the State of the Fortress survey, as well as the State of the Fortress 2.0 survey. I had fun with them, and I'm bringing my patience with constructing and analyzing large surveys to this community.

Q. When are you going to publish the results?
A. Probably a day or two after I decide I've collected enough responses and had time to peruse them and think about them.

Q. How many responses is "enough"?
A. It depends on how many responses I can get. If I work as hard as I can publicizing this, and it turns out I'm only getting 5-10 respondents a day, I'll probably stop the survey at 100 or 200. This means it could take weeks. On the other hand, if there's an overwhelming response, I honestly only need 1,000-2,000 responses to provide a solid-as-a-rock set of statistics, so I'll probably stop around there even if the responses are continuing to flow in.

Q. Is this a scam for e-mail addresses?
A. Nope. I don't take e-mail addresses, nor do I want your name, exact location, or even username. I also make all of the demographics information totally optional. You can answer this in total anonymity if you want, and if you're nervous about me stealing your teeth while you sleep, you might just want to accept that anonymity.

Q. Does your link send me to a virus?
A. My link sends you to a site called SurveyBuilder.com. It's a relatively new site, but it's quickly approaching the quality of professional survey websites which require $1,000 licenses to use. It doesn't have a Wikipedia page yet, but you can check the site out on your own if you like.

Q. Can you repeat that link one more time? I'm bad at finding hyperlinks.
http://www.surveybui...source_type=web I'll even leave it like that so the paranoid guy in the previous paragraph can copy-paste it to his address bar.

#2 Alistair Steiner

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:13 PM

Excellent survey. I hope the numbers pour in, because I'm already ready to see the results from this thing.

#3 Jeremy Hunter

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:28 PM

Took a look at the first page (no time to complete it atm :D ) and going through the Favorite Merc part, I saw Wolf's Dragoons and Zeta Battallion were seperate. Zeta Battalion is actually an elite division of the Wolf's Dragoons.

Or sarna.net isn't correct ;)

#4 Uncle Monkey

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:14 PM

That was actually a really good survey. I had a really difficult time de-selecting any mech from the roundup. I'm not terribly excited by the overtly japanamation types of mechs, but why not include them all?

#5 EGL

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:01 AM

Long survey, just something to add on this question, How many 'Mechs should a pilot have access to? you should allow multiple answers for it, I want to answer it both ways
A garage of purchased or salvaged 'Mechs, with a limited number of slots
The mercenary corp shares 'Mechs from a single garage

you should have your own private mechs, but if your merc company is big enough and rich enough, it should have its own supply of backup mechs too.


=EGL=

P.S: Chose Snord's Irregulars, but my backup Merc company is MCarron's armored cav ;).

#6 sadamle

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:35 AM

Awesome survey. Until you get to the question about which of the thousand mechs you want in the game. Then I bailed, sorry, can't be bothered. I don't know all those mechs. Should have made it optional.

Cheers

#7 Johnathan McKenna

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:12 AM

Great survey.

#8 Nathan Wassenar

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:13 AM

Needs a "select all mechs" option for which mechs you want in the game to save people some clicking time ;)

#9 Cyber Carns

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:17 AM

Very well put together. Thanks for taking the time to make this survey. Can hardly wait for the results.

#10 Dlardrageth

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:24 AM

Yep, the Mech listing stuff was mostly a clickfest. All-in-all a very useful survey, now we just need to get enough people to complete it actually. ;) Missed a question or three about in-game music and sound details there, though.

#11 John Clavell

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:07 AM

Doing it now! ;)

#12 John Clavell

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:27 AM

Right. Done!. Very good, and thanks for putting the time into this. It might be worth, if possible allowing players to select all the Mechs from 'lights' 'mediums' & 'heavies' with one click.

#13 Mainland

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 03:53 AM

OMG that was really a thorough survey. Well done Smiles!

#14 SteelRat

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 05:10 AM

Interesting survey altho I feel its missing some questions/options. I don't feel the survey represents the MPBT:3025 beta players or the Solaris Players (AOL, Gamestorm, etc) completely. Some of the questions asked seemed to come from the wrong angle and not representing what I want to see the in the game, from an MMO perspective.

If MWO is nothing more than MW 2-4 online, my interest falls to almost nil. If MWO doesn't include a persistent map of the Inner Sphere and fighting over planets, and I don't care if its 4v4 or 50v50, I have almost no interest in playing.

Other than that, great survey. ;)

#15 Mr Smiles

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 05:57 AM

Damnit, I seem to have dropped the ball on the language list, because I'm getting a huge number of "Other" language speakers. I chose all of the ones that appear on the Steam hardware survey, and added several from Wikipedia's list of most spoken languages... the MechWarrior community must have a really strong following somewhere different.

View PostJeremy Hunter, on 23 November 2011 - 10:28 PM, said:

Took a look at the first page (no time to complete it atm :( ) and going through the Favorite Merc part, I saw Wolf's Dragoons and Zeta Battallion were seperate. Zeta Battalion is actually an elite division of the Wolf's Dragoons.

Or sarna.net isn't correct :unsure:


Oops. I didn't know that. I go through each merc group, that's why some of them are dated after 3050--but you're right to observe that I only deleted the ones marked as divisions of other merc units :ph34r:

View PostUncle Monkey, on 23 November 2011 - 11:14 PM, said:

That was actually a really good survey. I had a really difficult time de-selecting any mech from the roundup. I'm not terribly excited by the overtly japanamation types of mechs, but why not include them all?


Ha, yeah, but I think since the designers would have to redesign those ones to make them get into the game anyway, they'd turn out fine. I wouldn't mind them.

View Post=EGL=, on 24 November 2011 - 12:01 AM, said:

Long survey, just something to add on this question, How many 'Mechs should a pilot have access to? you should allow multiple answers for it, I want to answer it both ways
A garage of purchased or salvaged 'Mechs, with a limited number of slots
The mercenary corp shares 'Mechs from a single garage

you should have your own private mechs, but if your merc company is big enough and rich enough, it should have its own supply of backup mechs too.


Sometimes, I made answers exclusive because I felt if I made them all available people would just hit "yes" for each one, and the statistics would get muddled. Don't worry, if people want it to be a mix of the two categories, it'll still show through the statistics :P (Since an evenly-divided audience will pick each option 50% of the time)

View PostNathan Wassenar, on 24 November 2011 - 01:13 AM, said:

Needs a "select all mechs" option for which mechs you want in the game to save people some clicking time ;)


View PostDlardrageth, on 24 November 2011 - 01:24 AM, said:

Yep, the Mech listing stuff was mostly a clickfest. All-in-all a very useful survey, now we just need to get enough people to complete it actually. :D Missed a question or three about in-game music and sound details there, though.


Ugh, I know, I hate it too. There's a way to make a single option EXCLUSIVE, but no way to make them all-encompassing (except to include an "All of the above" option at the bottom).

But, as much as I hate it, at the very least forcing everyone to click each option will make there be a tiny increase in the number of people who don't just hit "yes" to all questions.

View PostSteelRat, on 24 November 2011 - 05:10 AM, said:

Interesting survey altho I feel its missing some questions/options. I don't feel the survey represents the MPBT:3025 beta players or the Solaris Players (AOL, Gamestorm, etc) completely. Some of the questions asked seemed to come from the wrong angle and not representing what I want to see the in the game, from an MMO perspective.

If MWO is nothing more than MW 2-4 online, my interest falls to almost nil. If MWO doesn't include a persistent map of the Inner Sphere and fighting over planets, and I don't care if its 4v4 or 50v50, I have almost no interest in playing.

Other than that, great survey. B)


Hummm. I am not familiar with MPBT:3025 :P However, without giving too much away of what answers I've already received, I can assure you that there are some questions in my survey which, if the public wants an MMO-type game, are going to clearly show that with their answer.

Edited by Mr. Smiles, 24 November 2011 - 05:58 AM.


#16 Silent

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 06:48 AM

I don't see the point in the Mech lists, other than to deter people from voting more than once, because that's a lot of clicking. Pretty sure everyone wants all the Mechs on the list, or any list for that matter.

#17 Strayed

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 06:51 AM

View PostSilent, on 24 November 2011 - 06:48 AM, said:

I don't see the point in the Mech lists, other than to deter people from voting more than once, because that's a lot of clicking. Pretty sure everyone wants all the Mechs on the list, or any list for that matter.


I wasn't a fan of quads or melee mechs so I left them out. Sorry but I'm not sure if I want melee combat cause I've played mech games with it in and usually ends up a bit of a lag fest. So it was kind of useful for me but I believe he can short it down to "types of mech"

Anyway I answered the survey, pm'd you feedback, quite a few questions actually made me go "hmm"

Edited by Strayed, 24 November 2011 - 06:53 AM.


#18 CoffiNail

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:07 AM

Really enjoyed the survey. Thanks

#19 Cattra Kell

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:27 AM

You got my survey results now! Hope they help out around the office!

Edited by Cattra Kell, 24 November 2011 - 07:27 AM.


#20 Arnold Carns

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:38 AM

Excellent survey. I hope THIS devs listen (unlike them which created that MW4/Mers... crap). But asking a BattleTech-Fan WHICH Mech should make it into the game is a waste of time: ALL is the only possible answer ;) :D

Oh, and i missed a question:

"Do you want TechLevel 3-crap in MWO?"

A. No!
B. NOOO!
C. Keen on listening to your own screams?





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