Season 1 Squadron results - graphs and analysis

The season 1 squadron results are in - and while the winners have been congratulated already, the rest of the leaderboard is also quite interesting. There were 7 leaderboards - 3 general purpose ones for combat, trading and exploration - 3 specialist ones for AX combat, CQC and Powerplay - and 1 horribly broken one for Political. I'm going to ignore Political because it's such an exploitable mess.

Here's the scores achieved by the squadrons at various places on the PC leaderboards (the general purpose leaderboards go quite a way past 1000 but I got tired of clicking and there's no "go to page" button, and I don't have the hardware to see the console boards - if anyone wants to do the same for XBox or PS4, that'd be good)

The graphs have logarithmic scales on both axes, because as you might expect there are a few squadrons with lots of points and lots of squadrons with not many points, so if you use linear axes, all the action hides on them.

Other than a bit of irregularity in the top places, and a faster drop-off at the end of the distribution, on a log-log scale the graphs are mostly straight lines. This approximates a "power law" distribution, which isn't particularly surprising, but has some nice properties for estimation - you can conclude that the top 10 squadrons will have very roughly as many points as the top 100 squadrons *except* the top 10, who will have very roughly as many points as the top 1000 squadrons without the top 100. It's an approximation, of course, because there are limits on how large a squadron can be and how much each person can do that there often aren't in a genuine power law - and similarly the minimum activity is limited because you can't get fractions of a point (and on some leaderboards you can't practically get less than a fairly large number)

This sort of pattern probably holds true for a lot of player activities - similar patterns have been seen in CG contributions - and is probably worth bearing in mind when thinking about how representative particular groups are: a really active group might be the best of its sort, but as an absolute fraction of all activity is probably nowhere near a majority. I've used the power law pattern to approximate the total number of points scored, to see how big the winners were.

Looking at the leaderboards specifically, starting with the specialist ones.
Anti Xeno - 81 pages:
- winning squadron: "Anti Xeno Initiative"
- winner's share of points: ~20%
- winner's size: 178 players

CQC - 78 pages:
- winning squadron: "CQC Discord"
- winner's share of points: ~15%
- winner's size: 25 players

Powerplay - 38 pages: (note, the requirement to be in a squadron aligned to the same power as you before your PP activity is counted to the squadron means that this probably substantially underestimates Powerplay activity compared with the other leaderboards)
- winning squadron: "Federal Liberal Command"
- winner's share of points: ~15%
- winner's size: 137 players

And now the much bigger general purpose ones, where it's sometimes tough *not* to contribute something if you're in the squadron
Combat - 573 pages:
- winning squadron: "The Winged Hussars"
- winner's share of points: ~1.5%
- winner's size: 261 players

Exploration - 609 pages:
- winning squadron: "Fleetcomm" (and three of the other DW2 squadrons in the top 6...)
- winner's share of points: ~3% (all four DW2 squadrons together ~10%)
- winner's size: 491 players

Trade - 583 pages:
- winning squadron: "Hutton Orbital Truckers"
- winner's share of points: ~1.5%
- winner's size: 283 players

As I said above, you can be huge and still not all that big. DW2 is the biggest exploration event ever by a massive margin - and a credit to its organisers that it's that large ... and it's perhaps 10% of all exploration activity (and given how active and organised they are, well under 10% of total players). There are a lot of players out there, more than most people realise - all the talk about "half the players being out of the bubble on DW2", etc. [1]


Bonus analysis:
- the combat leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 150 Elite ranks
- the exploration leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 2,500 Elite ranks
- the trader leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 10,000 Elite ranks
- the CQC leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 5 Elite ranks (CQC rank is *tough* to get the high ones)

Very roughly, CQC, Thargoids, and Powerplay all seem about as popular as each other ... and I'd guess they're all a bit more popular than CGs are nowadays though it's tough to compare numbers that way for various reasons. Note that the winning squadrons on the specialist leaderboard were all smaller than the general purpose counterparts - and made up a significantly larger fraction of the approximate total. The specialist boards are likely to be easier to break in to for a mid-sized squadron looking for a prize.

(It'd be interesting to see a similar analysis to this based on squadron sizes, but looking up squadron sizes is tedious so unless the interface improves I won't bother)


Season 2 is only a 28-day season, compared with season 1's 60 days (who knows?), so the absolute numbers will probably be quite a bit down next time - though on the other hand we only got our squadron at all about 1/3 of the way in, only fully together about 2/3 of the way in, and still won our board, so maybe not. It'll be interesting to compare the results in a month or so.


[1] As an aside, it'll be interesting to see what happens to the exploration leaderboard in Season 3, after DW2 has departed Sag A*, and they stop being able to regularly sell all that data they're collecting! Maybe someone else will be in with a chance of the trophies. :)
 
Seems like Colonia is pretty boring atm :D
Just kidding, cool analysis, thx. Will look into it more tomorrow [up]
 
Also, Anti Xeno Initiative was in the 2nd place in combat with relatively less players than the winning squadron. Securing 2nd place by working for AX leaderboard doesn't seem right imo. I'm not complaning though :D

Nice post, repped
 
Great post as always, Commander Doncaster.

I have some questions about the leaderboard, this may or may not be the right thread, but it's worth a try.

1. I am predicting the same squadrons will win the specialist gold medals. CQC discord and AXI have some of the finest pilots out there and they will probably always win by a significant amount. Perhaps second and third place will vary. I do wonder how much 2nd and 3rd place will fluctuate and if they do not, will squadrons be incentivized enough to compete?

2. The leaderboard may be of interest because it is new, however, after a year or so of the same squadrons winning over and over again, will the leaderboard become meaningless? Hopefully there will be a lot of volatility.

3. How can Frontier promote Squadron cohesion and communication overall besides the current Leaderboard? I certainly hope carriers are in the future, but as of now, carriers do not exist. I must admit I am a bit mixed about the leaderboard because it is yet another thing to grind for.

Thank you.

o7
 
1. I am predicting the same squadrons will win the specialist gold medals. CQC discord and AXI have some of the finest pilots out there and they will probably always win by a significant amount. Perhaps second and third place will vary. I do wonder how much 2nd and 3rd place will fluctuate and if they do not, will squadrons be incentivized enough to compete?
Certainly AXI and CQCD (and Distant Worlds, for the next few seasons) have an advantage in that Frontier have essentially said "that thing you were doing lots of anyway and built your player group around ... have a leaderboard for it"

2. The leaderboard may be of interest because it is new, however, after a year or so of the same squadrons winning over and over again, will the leaderboard become meaningless? Hopefully there will be a lot of volatility.
I'd expect a lot of volatility in the general purpose boards, if nothing else because even for a big squadron you need to put a lot of effort in to get those top places, and once you have the trophy it's maybe not as important to get a second one or you'll at least want a break before trying again.

The specialist ones are probably more intrinsically static because there are specialist squadrons heading them for whom the leaderboard place is sort of a side-effect - but on the other hand, there's also a lot of potential for challengers.

CQCD got very roughly 150,000 points per player over the season. That's about the equivalent of going rank 1 to rank 40 - or about 2500 points per player a day. That's not a particularly fast pace. A group of 250 players could get the same score at an average of 250 points each a day (which is basically "show up for a single match") so a "new entrant" could place very easily. Big groups could potentially use their numbers to shake things up a lot.

Pileus Libertas got 2nd place in Season 1 basically on the strength of a single player deciding that this was going to be the month they got Elite rank ... the second-placed AX squadron is much smaller than AXI and had a much higher points/player count ... there's also a lot of potential for small but focused groups to just decide they're going for it.
 
The season 1 squadron results are in - and while the winners have been congratulated already, the rest of the leaderboard is also quite interesting. There were 7 leaderboards - 3 general purpose ones for combat, trading and exploration - 3 specialist ones for AX combat, CQC and Powerplay - and 1 horribly broken one for Political. I'm going to ignore Political because it's such an exploitable mess.

Here's the scores achieved by the squadrons at various places on the PC leaderboards (the general purpose leaderboards go quite a way past 1000 but I got tired of clicking and there's no "go to page" button, and I don't have the hardware to see the console boards - if anyone wants to do the same for XBox or PS4, that'd be good)

The graphs have logarithmic scales on both axes, because as you might expect there are a few squadrons with lots of points and lots of squadrons with not many points, so if you use linear axes, all the action hides on them.

Other than a bit of irregularity in the top places, and a faster drop-off at the end of the distribution, on a log-log scale the graphs are mostly straight lines. This approximates a "power law" distribution, which isn't particularly surprising, but has some nice properties for estimation - you can conclude that the top 10 squadrons will have very roughly as many points as the top 100 squadrons *except* the top 10, who will have very roughly as many points as the top 1000 squadrons without the top 100. It's an approximation, of course, because there are limits on how large a squadron can be and how much each person can do that there often aren't in a genuine power law - and similarly the minimum activity is limited because you can't get fractions of a point (and on some leaderboards you can't practically get less than a fairly large number)

This sort of pattern probably holds true for a lot of player activities - similar patterns have been seen in CG contributions - and is probably worth bearing in mind when thinking about how representative particular groups are: a really active group might be the best of its sort, but as an absolute fraction of all activity is probably nowhere near a majority. I've used the power law pattern to approximate the total number of points scored, to see how big the winners were.

Looking at the leaderboards specifically, starting with the specialist ones.
Anti Xeno - 81 pages:
- winning squadron: "Anti Xeno Initiative"
- winner's share of points: ~20%
- winner's size: 178 players

CQC - 78 pages:
- winning squadron: "CQC Discord"
- winner's share of points: ~15%
- winner's size: 25 players

Powerplay - 38 pages: (note, the requirement to be in a squadron aligned to the same power as you before your PP activity is counted to the squadron means that this probably substantially underestimates Powerplay activity compared with the other leaderboards)
- winning squadron: "Federal Liberal Command"
- winner's share of points: ~15%
- winner's size: 137 players

And now the much bigger general purpose ones, where it's sometimes tough *not* to contribute something if you're in the squadron
Combat - 573 pages:
- winning squadron: "The Winged Hussars"
- winner's share of points: ~1.5%
- winner's size: 261 players

Exploration - 609 pages:
- winning squadron: "Fleetcomm" (and three of the other DW2 squadrons in the top 6...)
- winner's share of points: ~3% (all four DW2 squadrons together ~10%)
- winner's size: 491 players

Trade - 583 pages:
- winning squadron: "Hutton Orbital Truckers"
- winner's share of points: ~1.5%
- winner's size: 283 players

As I said above, you can be huge and still not all that big. DW2 is the biggest exploration event ever by a massive margin - and a credit to its organisers that it's that large ... and it's perhaps 10% of all exploration activity (and given how active and organised they are, well under 10% of total players). There are a lot of players out there, more than most people realise - all the talk about "half the players being out of the bubble on DW2", etc. [1]


Bonus analysis:
- the combat leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 150 Elite ranks
- the exploration leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 2,500 Elite ranks
- the trader leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 10,000 Elite ranks
- the CQC leaderboard contains approximately enough points to get 5 Elite ranks (CQC rank is *tough* to get the high ones)

Very roughly, CQC, Thargoids, and Powerplay all seem about as popular as each other ... and I'd guess they're all a bit more popular than CGs are nowadays though it's tough to compare numbers that way for various reasons. Note that the winning squadrons on the specialist leaderboard were all smaller than the general purpose counterparts - and made up a significantly larger fraction of the approximate total. The specialist boards are likely to be easier to break in to for a mid-sized squadron looking for a prize.

(It'd be interesting to see a similar analysis to this based on squadron sizes, but looking up squadron sizes is tedious so unless the interface improves I won't bother)


Season 2 is only a 28-day season, compared with season 1's 60 days (who knows?), so the absolute numbers will probably be quite a bit down next time - though on the other hand we only got our squadron at all about 1/3 of the way in, only fully together about 2/3 of the way in, and still won our board, so maybe not. It'll be interesting to compare the results in a month or so.


[1] As an aside, it'll be interesting to see what happens to the exploration leaderboard in Season 3, after DW2 has departed Sag A*, and they stop being able to regularly sell all that data they're collecting! Maybe someone else will be in with a chance of the trophies. :)
Steam Numbers Don't... Oh, OK. :)

We just need a productivity per player metric.
 
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