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    Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

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    Pyriel32
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    Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by Pyriel32 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:32 am

    On the heels of last week's revelation that Star Trek Online will be releasing its first ever expansion, Legacy of Romulus, many people were apparently waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop so they could rage when their expectations weren't met. That happened within seconds after the release of a special Ask Cryptic blog written by Executive Producer Daniel Stahl last Friday.

    Massively received a tip or two informing us that there was a Thread of Rage on the Star Trek Online forums, one that arose after the Ask Cryptic revealed that characters in the upcoming Romulan faction will be forced to choose to ally with either the Federation or the Klingon Defense Force and share in their fleet capabilities instead of developing fleets of their own.

    With the help of my accountant husband, I took on the challenge of dissecting this alleged Thread of Rage to determine how many people really did express feelings of rage, anger, or even disappointment with the news. You might be interested in the results of our analysis. If you are, take the jump!



    The challenge

    There are times I tire of people who make grandiose assumptions when measuring the temperature of rage in game forums. They're usually wrong, or worse, they make claims that the playerbase is full of anger because a thread has expanded exponentially in less than a day. Surely, players must hate the company announcements if the thread has "exploded" to 70 pages! 70 pages in less than 24 hours reveals just how much the players hate it, right?

    Wrong.

    So here's the real scoop

    When we began our analysis of the Ask Cryptic forum thread, the thread was 77 pages long and contained 770 posts. That's a lot, you might say, and for an average STO thread, you'd be right. A 770-post thread is actually quite a chunk of text to develop in a span of less than 48 hours. However, the breakdown of the posts might actually be of interest.


    The 770 posts were broken down into four distinct categories:
    Positive: Posts that clearly stated happiness, joy, or other positive remarks about the new Romulan faction as outlined in the recent Ask Cryptic and/or its ability to ally with the UFP or KDF;
    Negative: Posts that clearly stated dissatisfaction, anger, or disappointment specifically with the new Romulan faction as outlined in the Ask Cryptic and/or its ability to ally with the UFP or KDF;
    Neutral: Posts that requested more information before proffering an opinion on the new faction as outlined in the most recent Ask Cryptic or made general statements that did not offer an opinion one way or the other, and;
    Off-topic: Posts that were entirely general responses to another poster and/or argued about Star Trek canon or potential storylines, flamed or trolled another poster, or had nothing to do with the subject at hand. All posts made by Cryptic employees and/or forum moderators were automatically listed as being Off-topic to nullify any potential company bias.
    Let me further clarify our methodology: If a post contained both pros and cons about the new material but did not offer a clear opinion (i.e, "I'm going to take a wait and see attitude"), it was placed in the Neutral bin. If a post contained flaming but an opinion was expressed, the post was placed in the appropriate opinion bin. If a post was entirely off-topic (discussions of the book Dune, for example) or was merely a general response to another player's question (about ships, Star Trek canon, or the Ask Cryptic blog, to name just a few such topics), then it was placed in the Off-topic bin. "General responses" to another player (like this one) were categorized as Off-topic because such posts offer no opinion and do not discuss the expansion at all. It was our opinion that the opinions expressed by everyone in the thread were pretty clearly stated. We could find no post that offered both a positive and a negative opinion, and those that were close were actually very neutral in their opinions and were therefore placed in that bin.

    The breakdown

    It was truly fascinating to watch the numbers change over the course of the project. Every 100 posts we would stop and complete a breakdown to consider the allegations that the majority of posters are upset about the decision by Cryptic to force Romulan players into allying with a previously made faction. Surprisingly, after the first 200 and subsequently 300 posts, the overall numbers showed that more than 30% of the posts were clearly negative, while 20% of posts were positive. The remaining 50% of posts were either neutral or off-topic.

    But the numbers really began to shift after we reached the 500-, 600-, 700-, and 770-post mark. At the end of it all (again, we ceased counting on Sunday, March 31st, at 12:30 a.m. EDT so that I could write this column in time for my deadline), here was the final tally:
    Total number of separate accounts that posted in the thread: 194
    Positive responses: 13.9% - 107 posts
    Negative responses: 23.8% - 183 posts
    Neutral responses: 15.2% - 117 posts
    Off-topic responses: 47.1% - 363 posts

    Already it's easy to see that the claims made that the thread was "filled with rage" are already highly dubious. However, let's go into a bit more detail, shall we? One also might find it interesting to note that of the total 770 posts in the thread by the time we analyzed it, 38% of the total posts (290) were made by a total of 10 people. That's right, 10 people made up a total of 38% of the total overall posts in the "filled with rage thread." What's even more interesting is that one person posted a total of 71 times or just around 10% of the thread's total posts, and those posts were mostly categorized as being Off Topic; only one was considered Neutral.

    Of the 770 posts, 183 were deemed to be negative or contained a clear opinion that the poster was disappointed, dissatisfied, or angry about the Romulan faction in the upcoming expansion. Interestingly, those 183 responses were made by 71 different account names, meaning that the average negative poster responded 2.6 times in the thread. However, 75 different accounts replied with a total of 107 positive posts, meaning that those who were more upbeat about the new faction posted 1.4 times. So there it is: Angry people posted about their about their anger just about twice as much as those who are satisfied or happy about the change.


    So here we are, once again, being drilled with claims being made by angry players that the majority of the playerbase hates what's going on because the forums are being "lit up" or are "filled with rage" or "everyone" thinks he's being screwed.

    Frankly, the numbers just don't add up. In the future, my fellow STO players, please do not bombard me with unfounded claims in the hopes that I will just take your word for it. This wasn't that hard to do. Sure it was tedious, but it is important for all of us to have an objective look at the data and reassess the idea that somehow a big thread in a forum holds more credibility based on its lengthiness alone.

    Until next week, live long and prosper.

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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by Reanna Aloi on Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:35 am

    and statistics can be made to say anything. Just saying!!


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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by Lomax6996 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:53 pm

    I've never found the need to actually do a breakdown. Just being a bit more observant when scanning the forum posts is sufficient. Just pay better attention and what they're saying here becomes obvious at a glance. It also happens fairly frequently heheheheh... a few people, passionate about a given issue, can create a HUGE forum storm that's, truly, just a "tempest in a teacup"...


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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by Lastline on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:07 pm

    "tempest in a teacup"...
    Changing my shuttle name!


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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by james1493 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:12 pm

    there is always someone in the group that disagrees, and that's fine but don't believe everything you read. find out for yourself then make a decision.


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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by verbena on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:35 pm

    Dunno, it's true that it doesn't make the thread seem very rage-filled if you look at the breakdown. On the other hand, I think it also only serves to highlight that there might be an issue.

    I mean, you can just flat out ignore the off topic comments. The "neutral" comments the same, except those asking for more info, if that info is available.

    That leaves you with nearly twice as many negative comments as positive, even if you work out that the negatives post more, that's still a lot of negativity. It should be examined why, and seen if there's a way to address that issues.

    Of course none of that will happen. Cryptic looks as subscribes and profits, it doesn't really care if people are "happy" so long as they're playing, and buying keys, and so on. So the whole thing is moot.

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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

    Post by Lomax6996 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:06 pm

    Lastline wrote:
    "tempest in a teacup"...
    Changing my shuttle name!

    ROFL - Your welcome heheheheh


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    Re: Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online player uses math by Terilynn Shull on Apr 1st 2013

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