Monday, June 8, 2015

Corporate Survey of Thunder and Goodness Results!

The survey is now officially closed.  There were 37 folks who chose to respond, which for a small blog in a small game isn't all that bad.  I was shooting for 50 responses but was happy with 25+.  Oddly enough, 37 is right in between those two numbers.

Background:  First, I figure I should elaborate on why I did this.  I started off wanting to ask a few questions and using the blog comments to collect some thoughts.  But, as the idea started to gel, I realized that I had more than a couple questions I wanted to ask.

The core of my query is to support a future blog series that talks about starting your own corp/alliance and avoiding some of the problems of the first 6 months or so.  I have my own opinions on this, but wanted to see if my ideas held up to reality.

I knew going in that the results would be skewed - you fine readers are a subset of a subset of EVE players (people that read niche blogs as a subset of folks that actually read news outside of the game).  But, SOME feedback is better than NO feedback, so here we are.

And with that out of the way, let's dive into the results.

The FREE survey tool only allowed me 10 total questions, and I was too cheap to upgrade.  So I allocated the questions in a few areas.  The first was trying to frame up the audience with the initial 3 questions.

Q1:  Not a huge surprise here.  Not a bash against the NPC corps, but I'd expect most folks to be adventurous enough to be reading a niche blog to have moved into a player corp.

Q2:  I was surprised how evenly split the audience was between CEO / Officer / Member.  I expected a high percentage of CEOs, as the one-man corp structure is reasonably prominent in our EVE culture, but didn't picture the bars that close together for all 3 categories when I wrote the question (I expected the Director bar to be smaller).

Q3:  This fell out about how I pictured it.  A reasonable number of folks settling into a new home, another bump for the longer haul.  Note that 56%+ have been in their corp 1+ years.  The initial draft of the question only had 3 choices and would have lumped the last two bars together.

From there, I tried to characterize your CURRENT corporation.

Q4:  Here's one of the main data points I was after: one in 5 people who responded are in a single-man operation.  This is a phenomenon that I'll touch on in a future post more fully, but I think it's interesting, since that's the bucket I'm currently in.  I won't go any deeper into interpretation than that right now.

Q5:  I honestly struggled trying to write this question.  The "intensity" of your gaming is a very subjective thing.  But relating it to your personal high water mark of intensity kind of made it work.  I was happy to see that so many folks were in their most intense/hardcore mode of play.  I've been in the bottom bucket for nearly a decade and was fearful that it would be the runaway response.

Q6:  As results started to come in, the shotgun spread of this question surprised me. I also noted that highsec missions scored relatively low for an audience reading a blog about ... highsec missions.  Sugar reminded me that people can do that stuff solo and don't need the Corp to organize it, so it's not necessarily a deciding factor in locating a good Corp.   I was surprised that Null-Sov ranked so low, but given that many of my readers come from other blogs that discuss Low content, I'm not offended.  It's certainly not my target audience.

Q7:   Not a ton of surprises here.  Pretty evently split, and I didn't constrain folks into only one answer (so the percentages add up to far more than 100%).

The last few questions related to your PREVIOUS corporation.  I was trying to get some insight into what went wrong, and why the corporation "failed" you (harsh word, but I'll use it).  That's too complex of a question to answer multiple choice, so I gave the option of an essay question for #10.

Q8:  This was another happy surprise.  In my personal experience, previous corporations/alliances have exploded in drama and other forms of crazy.  The idea that many vibrant corporations are swapping players around is far different than a series of crash-and-burn disposable corporations.

Q9:  Why did you leave your PREVIOUS corporation?

The first of two write-in questions, and one of the other bits of key data I was after.  The responses weren't incredibly surprising, but the results are useful.  If I were to bucket the answers, I would say that:
a) Drama and general corp death played a smaller role than I expected.  However, Wardec Drama (as a specific flavor of drama) showed up a few times as reasons to drop a corp.
b) Changes in Corp Operating Environment showed up consistently (i.e. the answer of "they went to X space and I didn't want to go along" where X is wormholes, low, or null).
c) Changes in Personal Goals showed up a few times (i.e. the "I wanted more and outgrew my corp" kind of answer).

"They were assholes and trolls. I learned a lot, but I suffered a lot too." was a response that I laughed at and then realized summed up a lot of EVE perfectly.

Q10:  Are you happy with your current corporation?  (Do you intend to stay with your CURRENT corp?  Is your corporation leadership meeting your needs?  If not, why not?)

This was the question that drove the original Survey.  If I'd been smart, I'd have loaded this as a Yes/No checkbox and a write in comment block (then I'd have a pretty graph).  By my rough count (there were a few "maybes") 23 of 31 (not everyone answered) responded YES.  Which isn't a huge surprise since about the same percent have been with their current corp 1+ year.

So there we are.  I tried to keep the commentary to a minimum here and just report the results and my kneejerk reactions to them.   More to follow on this topic in the next few weeks.

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