Season 2 Squadron results - graphs and analysis

Season 1

As with last season, here's the graphs for (PC) season 2. The similar scores for each place in season 1 are shown in grey - as this was a 28-day season rather than the 60-day season 1, the numbers are often a bit smaller but usually not by as much as you'd expect.

As before, we mostly see a "power law" approximating distribution of squadron scores, which allows various estimates to be made of total activity without having to count every single squadron.

Starting with the specialist boards
Anti-Xeno (71 pages)
- winning squadron: "Anti Xeno Initiative" (2nd win)
- winner's share of points: ~25% (up from ~20%)
- winner's size: 197 players
Despite the season only being half the length, total AX points were only down by a third. Squadrons having been around long enough to stabilise their membership will be helping keep activity counts up - we see similar rate increases on many of the boards.

CQC (53 pages)
- winning squadron: "CQC Discord" (2nd win)
- winner's share of points: ~20% (up from ~15%)
- winner's size: 25 players
Total points scored were - as you'd expect - about half that of Season 1. The winners drew further ahead, but the rest of the distribution was fairly similar.

Powerplay (35 pages)
- winning squadron: "The Seventh"
- winner's share of points: ~10% (down from ~15%)
- winner's size: 14 players
Total points scored were only down by a third, with the winning squadron (for Aisling Duval) fending off several larger squadrons (including another AD one) to take first place.

Over on the general boards
Combat (582 pages)
- winning squadron: "Cobra Wing"
- winner's share of points: ~2% (stable)
- winner's size: 269 players
Total points only down by a third again.

Exploration (648 pages - about 40 more than last season)
- winning squadron: "Fleetcomm" (2nd win)
- winner's share of points: ~5% (up from ~3%)
- winner's size: 487 players
Exploration is the board with the least effect on total size, only down by a quarter since the last (longer) season. Most of this is being driven by the top 5 squadrons, all part of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition - who actually scored more points in this season than the equivalently-placed squadron did in Season 1! A quick look at the graph shows that these squadrons just don't fit with the rest of the distribution: there's in effect two separate boards: "DW2" and "the rest". The DW2 total share of exploration points rises from ~10% to ~15%. This one will be very interesting to watch - they intend to leave "places to sell data" behind in just over a week, so the Season 3 board might look a bit different - and the Season 4 board even more so.

The number of exploration pages is probably a reasonable proxy for the total number of active squadrons, since it's the hardest activity to avoid doing.

Trade (583 pages)
- winning squadron: "The Winged Hussars"
- winner's share of points: ~1.5% (stable)
- winner's size: 283 players
This board is the one that's seen the most total drop-off in activity, with only a third of the season 1 points: in other words, the rate of collecting trade points across the entire squadron base has actually dropped noticeably this season! As with the exploration board, there's also a distinct split between the top 5 and everyone else on the graph, caused by a 5-way fight for the trophies going right up to the final day - well played, everyone. With core mining accumulating trade points considerably faster than basically anything else, this should perhaps be considered more as the Mining board ... and perhaps this explains the drop-off from season 1, as everyone who was just core mining for the money now has more than enough and has gone back to other bits of the game, leaving only the people who actually enjoy it to push their squadrons up the board. A small but intensive core mining group could potentially get a leaderboard place on this one.

On to Season 3 now - again, this is a 28-day season, suggesting Frontier may have settled on this as the length. I think this is a good decision if so, as it makes trying to get a leaderboard slot a bit less of a slog, and if there is a runaway leader, means that the boards reset sooner rather than them just hanging around at the top forever.
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