Once a week the Senior Editor at Darth Hater locks all of the interns into a closet. They’re provided a laptop, as much caffeine as their frail bodies can handle and access to a treasure trove of survey data collected monthly from our readership. Their assignment: uncover insightful correlations between the players of Star Wars: The Old Republic and their gaming habits. The interns are reminded of this task every 42 seconds via mild shock treatments and left to their work. For the third straight week, we're pleased to report all interns have emerged largely unharmed. More importantly, their analysis has revealed a number of interesting differences in the dynamics between men’s and women’s approach to the game. For the results of Crowd Control's first ever Battle of the Sexes, read on.
Before dropping the statistics into your lap, we should note that the survey data we’ve collected is dramatically skewed towards men. Last week we discussed a number of the limitations of the poll, chief among them the fact that many of our participants identify themselves as active, hardcore players of The Old Republic. As a result it is these players that are over-represented in our survey responses (being the most frequent readers of Darth Hater), leaving casual gamers with a somewhat smaller voice as far as our data goes. If we assume that women skew towards being more casual players (an assumption we plan to address in future surveys), we can surmise that this accounts for the relatively low representation of women in general — just over 10% of total respondents. Nevertheless, our participant pool is large enough to provide statistically significant results; in the past month there have been more than 2,500 submissions.
When considering the sexes, an obvious question to ponder is whether or not men and women prefer playing different classes from one another. It’s not surprising to learn that they do, but where those differences arise proves interesting. On the Republic side of the Galactic frontline, Women prefer playing a Smuggler (16.67%) to a Trooper (5.56%) three to one, while men on the other hand trend towards Troopers. Perhaps it’s that they prefer a straight fight (heavily armored, no less) to all that sneaking around. We see a similar pattern in the comparison of Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents among both men and women, but to a lesser degree. As the Smuggler and Trooper classes are mirrors of Agents and Hunters respectively, it seems that men and women are choosing their character roles in part for reasons other than just class mechanics, perhaps story. Or perhaps more simply an ability to identify with a particular class as it pertains to one’s own gender or other demographic. The charts below offer some visual fodder to help conceptualize the differences; let us know what you think by leaving a message in the comments section at the end of the column.
Another finding brought to light this week is that women enjoy dishing out DPS just as much as the men do, but when given a choice between tanking and healing they will prefer healing 5 out of 6 times. Men on the other tend to… well, behave like men and smash things repeatedly.
We also investigated the general posture of men and women as it pertains to typical immersion preference, sampling rates of average participation between solo-PvE, group-PvE and PvP play. When given the choice about half of both genders prefer group-PVE (49.3% and 48.1%) to either solo or PvP play. Women however far prefer solo-PvE to PvP (34.3% to 16.4%). Men, sticking to their guns, favor PvP facerolling to solo-PvE (29.5% to 22.5%). The preference of men to play PvP is further underscored by their willingness to gank other players as discovered in last week’s analysis (Editor’s Note: Working on getting you a graph to update this particular metric in last week’s article). Men are nearly twice as likely to gank a member of the opposing faction than their female counterparts.
As a parting note we’ll leave you with a fun little graph of a less serious sort. One of the questions included in our survey this month asked players if given the choice of one of the following real-life items, which would it be: Astromech Droid, Lightsaber, Pod Racer, Tauntaun, or Tie Fighter. The results are in.
Apparently Anakin didn't do the Galactic Pod Racing industry any favors. Now we turn over the discussion: How would you interpret the above results in the varying preferences between men and women as they pertain to Star Wars: The Old Republic? Impress us with your analysis and you just might find yourself locked in the closet with our interns next week! Errr, wait a second…