Introduction

Greetings!  Welcome to the results of my survey!  Thank you to everyone who participated in it!  I created this survey because there was a lack of data available to many of the players about participation based on clan, region, or age range, as well as possible previous history with the CCG or other LCGs.  So I went out and tried to get the data!

Now, a lot of the next part is probably dry to many of you, and probably a bit rambling.  It is filled with my observations on the data, at least what I could tease out before posting this, as well as some possible explanations.  The explanations are just speculation and conjecture, and are in no way fact. As a reminder (And I will reiterate this many times, but it is important), these opinions are my own.  They do not reflect upon this site or the other people who post on it. Additionally, this survey is NOT in anyway affiliated with FFG, AEG, or any other game company. I did this because I was curious.

You can always skip the text and look at the pretty pictures.  I did get lazy at some point in making all the charts, so if I felt the chart was legible from google forms, I just copied it in, rather than remaking it in Excel.

Methodology and Limitations

Methodology

My basic idea was to create a survey I felt would reflect people’s interest and commitment to L5R in general, the LCG in particular, but also covering the RPG and other related aspects of FFG’s IP.  Additionally, I was curious if there was any interesting age, gender or regional breakdown by clan. I also wanted to compare people who played the old CCG vs people new to L5R with FFG’s purchase. I also wanted to gauge reactions to a few of what I considered controversial moves FFG made for this game, especially compared to their other LCG products, or other card games.  With this I generated the list of questions, and then tried to create answers for it that I personally would like to see in surveys allowing me to breakdown responses into meaningful buckets, without it being too tedious for the people taking the survey.

I chose the various questions I did because I wanted to balance the time it took to take the survey with the detail of information I wanted to collect.  I will discuss mistakes I felt I made in the individual questions below, as well as at the end. There are also a few that I wish I had asked, which I will discuss in later sections as well.  For the possible responses, I felt like I gave enough of available responses to cover all possible answers. I know some people disagree, but I felt like I did a decent job of this. Much of the feedback I received from people who initially took the survey was around this.

I chose google forms because it was simple and free.  I’ve tried survey monkey in the past, but if a survey gets too large, they charge you money.  If you wish to fund further research of this kind with more rigorous methods, we can talk. I also wanted this to stay completely anonymous due to privacy reasons.  Because of this, as well as convenience, I did not restrict access to people with google emails.

I then decided to leverage the major L5R Communities to get the word out.  I posted to the L5R and Legend of the Five Rings LCG Facebook groups, posted it to the L5R Discord (And with help got it into one of the announcements), posted it to the FFG Forums, as well as the few clan forums I have access to, though I feel like most except the Crane are dead (This is my perception, I am not trying to start a fight).  Kakita Onimaru was kind enough to also post it to Reddit, but I eventually made an account, so that I can post the results as well. Additionally, I posted it to the local Facebook groups that I have access to (Ohio and NC ones). I’ve also requested that anyone forward it along to others that might be interested.

I tried to meaningfully normalize the data to something useful (often percentages), but that doesn’t mean that is the only way to look at the data.  Everything is available via the raw data at the end of the article.

Limitations

Now I see a few major limitations, flaws and biases in this particular survey.  The first is I am not a statistician, nor do I claim to be. I had 1-2 classes of this in college, and paid more attention to the probability side of it anyways.  I mainly leveraged Google to figure out how to look at my data. Additionally, I’m doing this for fun, so I’m not being very rigorous in my scientific method.  It would probably be easy to have anonymously manipulated the data, given I put absolutely no protections in place beyond “You need to answer every question” and have them across multiple pages, so it would hopefully take time to iterate through the survey.  That being said, I don’t know how powerful google’s form API is that people can’t access it through some other means. However, without either 1) paying extra money (I have MS Office) or 2) requiring people to log in I saw no way around this. I wanted to keep this as anonymous as possible, given many people’s often valid concerns about privacy.

Bias

There is a very large inherent bias to this survey (I will often refer to this as the basic bias of this survey).  I can only get it out via online communities, so to me this implies the possible audience receiving this already has some level of dedication to the subject matter, or else the survey taker would probably never see the survey.  I requested that people forward it to online communities for local playgroups, but I don’t know how many that reached. My assumption with this is that individual players who normally don’t pay attention to the larger online communities might at least pay attention to their local Facebook group or Meetup, making it more likely to reach the more casual player.  However, the most casual players will probably never see this survey (or care).

A few more notes.  I mostly identify as a Crab player (Though I also have played Crane and Dragon in the past).  I previewed and got a lot of support from the Crab Clan Channel in the L5R Discord (As well as the Discord channel in general).  While, I do not expect that this will influence the results in any meaningful way, it is entirely possible. Additionally, I intentionally phrased many of the questions vaguely in an attempt to actually let people define what they mean by the terms I’m using.  

I will also acknowledge that I wrote the survey in English, with no efforts to translate it.  This definitely limits potential survey takers from outside of the US, UK, and Canada. I apologize to those that I missed because of this.  This then applies the above bias even more, for participants in non-English speaking countries, since participants are required to be able to read English, have google translate it for you, or have a friend willing to translate for you.

Assumptions

As I missed a few questions that I later felt might have been helpful to ask, I am going to make the following assumptions:

  • People answered honestly.
  • People are not actively trying to skew the results.  I will do a cursory glance to see if I get any really weird results, like the same entry repeated over and over within a few seconds of each other (Implying some sort of robot). But it is very cursory.
  • People chose the clan they most associate with as the “Best”.  I didn’t explicitly ask “Overall, which clan/faction do you like the most?” which would have been a better question for this.  However, there are a ton of follow up questions, of this that I did not want to impose too much on people. However, this assumption will let me at least try to correlate data to things like clans people play, or to age, etc.
  • If someone chose the various “Prefer not to Answer” or similar responses to a question, that person was ignored for any analysis I did with that particular question.

I wish to reinforce that these opinions are my own as formed from this data and whatever I have floating around in my head.  I have my own biases that I am trying my best to remove, but no one is perfect. I have no ulterior motive for doing this beyond my own curiosity.  These do not reflect the opinions of the owners of this site. I am not affiliated with FFG, AEG, or any game publisher in any way, nor am I trying to make money off of this.  You can give me money, I won’t stop you, but that is not the purpose of me trying to do this.

I give some possible explanations of why I think we see certain trends or data.  This is all speculation. I often have no real basis for it.

General Survey Info

I launched the survey at about 20:30 EDT on 5/14/2018 after testing it with a few people and getting feedback to help make the questions more clear.  It ended at about 12:00 EDT on 5/29/2018 with 1017 total responses. Additionally, the raw data can be found in a link at the end of this document, as well as some contact information for the author.

Timing on this survey managed to miss an interesting point in time.  On 5/21 (About the half way point of the survey), FFG announced the restricted list.  It would be curious to see how stuff shifts from this, though I doubt it will directly impact the survey (Beyond drumming up some buzz in posts adjacent to my survey).  At that point, over half of the responses had been submitted (About 650). Around that time, I did a second wave of messaging to remind people and announce the end of the survey.

I will append the questions and possible responses to the end of this.  

Observations and Musings on the Results

Demographics

Note, with the Clan breakdowns, this is based on the LCG Clans Played, which was a checkbox response.  Because of this, the numbers don’t add up to 100%, because a person could be in multiple groups.

Age Range

Someone managed to answer this question with a different 27 than everyone else’s 27.  Kudos to you. I asked for actual ages, but I am consolidating down into age ranges, since I think that is more meaningful to the general populace.  My age ranges I am choosing in part based on how I perceive typical grouping of players (for example, I find that there is usually a subtle difference in behaviors and attitudes of people 25-30 than ones 30-35) and in part, arbitrarily.

The average (as well as the median) age is pretty similar across the clans.  There might be some interesting data here but I do not know enough about statistics to tease it out.  Age range of survey participants is 17 to 62, average is 32.70. From a cursory look online, this is well above the average age of an MTG player (Mid 20s), as well as most of the other mainstream, non-LCG card games.  This is similar to the data I saw for Netrunner players, which doesn’t surprise me at all, though their data is pretty roughly bucketed (Roughly 50% of players were aged 26-35).

Most of the clans are pretty close to the average, with the Unicorn clan being the “youngest” and Crane and Dragon clans being tied for the “oldest”.  I put these statements in quotes, because it might well be within the error of the data, and I have no clue how to calculate that.

I will say it is kind of interesting that the average LCG player is older than the average Magic player.  It isn’t surprising at all, but I’d be curious the exact reason why, given that the LCG model is cheaper overall than Magic.  However, to some extent, the cost of entry might be higher for the LCG model than for the typical CCG model, given that paying $40 MSRP for a single core will probably get you a playable deck in MTG.  Another possibility is that the appeal of opening packs could be more for younger players. I know I appreciate the lack of randomness, but given the ‘appeal’ of the concept of loot boxes in video games, there might be something to this.  

ClanCrabCraneDragonLionPhoenixScorpionUnicornTotal
Average32.5732.9532.9532.6732.4832.6932.0932.70

 

Regional Breakdown

I was generally pleased by the overall coverage of the survey.  I always worried, living in the US, that my view is significantly tainted by a US centric perception, and it still probably is, but these results at least cover a significant population of Non-North American players (Sorry, Canada and Mexico, I lumped you in with the US).  To some extent I am happy to just see Non-North American, because FFG is an American company.

Gender

This is probably the most depressing results (to me), but it isn’t surprising.  If you do not want to get involved in my own opinions about gender equality in gaming, please skip ahead.  I will try and contain my opinions about this to this section.  Again, these are MY opinions, and if you wish to discuss them, I will welcome it, but if that is all you take out of my article, I will be disappointed.  I am not trying to start a flame war or act as an online crusader, though I am definitely of the stance that I’d like to see more women at my game store playing games with the rest of us.  

I think this topic suffers greatly from the basic bias of this survey being in online communities.  Given the unfortunately hostile nature of online gamer communities, especially towards women, I expect that a lot of women avoid online gaming communities due to the general immaturity of the participants.  On top of that, competitive card game participation is generally male dominated, and I have definitely seen some sexism from participants in the past at tournaments (Both Magic and L5R). In L5R, which at least tries to be gender neutral, I’ve seen this being strongly discouraged, though I can think of at least one incident in the CCG’s Kotei history where this still happened, and I expect better of the L5R community.

My other personal experience is that many women I’ve met playing the game are the significant others of much more dedicated fans, and while their level of interest can vary greatly, my experience has been that they tend towards the more casual side of the spectrum.  I am not saying that women don’t play L5R on their own (I can think of a few who are some of the biggest champions for the game that I know), but I am just questioning the validity of the results particular question based on how the survey was performed.

I normalized these numbers to a percentage because otherwise, the graph doesn’t do much good since there are far less responses for Female or Other.  I don’t know that there is a statistically useful number of “Female” or “Other” players. We had 965 Male responses, 35 Female Responses, and 8 Other responses.  The chart below is not limited to any particular clan, just what people said they played. Additionally, these values are the percent of players within the gender.

How did you hear about L5R and Community Participation

The results of these particular questions are unsurprising to me.  I think the only part that I would be more curious by is the participation between in the larger Facebook groups vs the smaller local ones.  Within my own playgroup, I know a number of the local players only participate in the local Facebook group (Me included). Meetups and Local Facebook groups have been really helpful for organizing the local population, at least anecdotally.

Now, a small but not insignificant percentage of people answered “None” for this question.  Given that this survey was only available online through the community, there could be some head scratching at this.  This is where the question of “Where did you hear about this survey?” might have been useful. However, I will personally continue to assume everyone answered this survey honestly, and that this subset of people got forwarded this via some other means from friends.  And to those I say “Good job! Thanks!”.

Most people had heard of L5R before it was bought by FFG, which given its age (20+ years) that doesn’t surprise me much.

When did you first hear about the Legend of the Five Rings Intellectual Property?
Before FFG bought the IP from AEG.75.5%
After FFG acquired the IP (2015)5.1%
After FFG announced the new LCG (Early 2017)10.7%
After the L5R LCG was released (Late 2017)7.9%

 


L5R LCG Basic Info

Note, if the user said they are not and never were interested in the LCG, the next few sections got skipped and you were dumped into the RPG section.  I wasn’t going to make people answer questions about a thing they didn’t have any interest in. 93.9% of participants (955) answered Yes, and filled out this next section

Do you enjoy the game?

This definitely suffers from the basic survey bias, which is fine.  You probably won’t be paying attention to the L5R online communities if you didn’t like the game.  I am happy to see people who are not strongly into the game answered the survey. I appreciate you all for taking the time to fill this out.  

Most players were interested in this section, and I definitely targeted the survey towards LCG centric areas, but still about 12% of the population do not “like” the game (Strongly Disagree or Somewhat Disagree).

Play frequency and Level of Commitment.

These questions are spaced apart and probably should have been closer together.  These are the “Do you play regularly?” and “What is your level of commitment towards the game?” questions.  Both are ambiguous questions, and I left it up to the user to decide if they played regularly or not, or if they considered themselves a casual, competitive, or in between.

I cared more about if a user considered themselves to play regularly, rather than if I thought they did.  Playing once or twice a month might be regular for some people, whereas playing once or a few times a week might be regular for others, especially given the online options.

Same with Competitive vs Casual play.  I personally consider myself in the in-between bucket, thus why I included it.  I played what I would have considered competitively back in the CCG and in my Netrunner days, and my dedication to the L5R LCG is less focused, even though I’m showing up to tournaments (Including Kotei).  For more data driven definitions of competitive, the questions about participation in the various tournaments will be more telling, but it is a topic that could also pursued deeper in another survey.

What Clans do you play?

This question is one of the biggest purposes of this survey.  I wanted to correlate these results with the demographics, as well as comparing the results to the last couple of questions.  The basic breakdown is interesting, though maybe not really surprising. Phoenix being first, given the clan pack, and Lion and Unicorn being last, due to the general negative attitude towards their current decks, didn’t surprise me too much.

This question let you answer 1-7 clans that you played.  This is another one of those vague questions that I wanted the user to choose how they felt, rather than I describing an absolute number.  The least popular # of clans to play is 6. I guess if you are playing 6, you might as well play the last one! The largest number is 1 clan, which surprised me a little, given the ease of making 2 decks with a set of 3 cores, and no need to chase down cards.

The next two tables I found interesting to see how clans got added as people added more and more decks they support.  For example, Crane and Crab have the most “Clan Loyal”, ie willing to only play that single clan (Note, I’m not trying to start an argument about the definition of Clan Loyalty, and it means a lot more to some people than others).  However, Phoenix, which is in the middle of the pack for players with only one regular clan, takes the lead with 2+ decks.

This next table is the percentage of players based on the number of clans they played.  So 17.10% of players who only play 1 clan play Crab, and 61.11% of players who play 5 clans play Scorpion.  The total is total number of responses for each row, and each row should sum up to # of clans played x100%.

 

# of Clans playedCrabCraneDragonLionPhoenixScorpionUnicornTotal
117.10%19.69%14.77%9.33%14.51%14.51%10.10%386
232.94%33.73%27.78%16.67%38.10%29.76%21.03%252
339.47%44.74%46.71%31.58%57.24%48.03%32.24%152
470.83%62.50%60.42%54.17%66.67%41.67%43.75%48
583.33%88.89%61.11%66.67%88.89%61.11%50.00%18
6100.00%90.00%80.00%80.00%100.00%80.00%70.00%10
7100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%17

 

This next table breaks the percents down by how many players within a clan play how many different clans.  So 24.65% of Dragon Players play 3 different clans (Including Dragon).

 

# of Clans playedCrabCraneDragonLionPhoenixScorpionUnicorn
121.29%23.68%19.79%17.14%16.42%19.65%18.93%
226.77%26.48%24.31%20.00%28.15%26.32%25.73%
319.35%21.18%24.65%22.86%25.51%25.61%23.79%
410.97%9.35%10.07%12.38%9.38%7.02%10.19%
54.84%4.98%3.82%5.71%4.69%3.86%4.37%
63.23%2.80%2.78%3.81%2.93%2.81%3.40%
75.48%5.30%5.90%8.10%4.99%5.96%8.25%

 

Also, I broke down this topic down by what communities people participate in.  I was curious to see if participating in any particular online community affects what people will play.

Additionally, here is a comparison of clans played by level of commitment to the game.  This is interesting to see if a level of commitment skews what people play. The percentage is total players within a level of commitment.

Tokens

This question was just to gauge people’s reaction to the tokens in L5R.  FFG is notorious for including a plethora of necessary game tokens in their card games, and I wanted to see if players thought that about this game.  Most players are okay with the number of tokens.

Tournament Participation

While the trends in this aren’t surprising at all (More participation in local tournaments than the ones that cost more money to get to), it was interesting to gauge people’s interest in these.  I was curious to see how the interest in Kotei/Grand Kotei compared to Worlds, but the results were not unexpected. I would have liked to go into more depth on how people feel about how FFG is handling events, especially with the change from their previous LCG models (Store Champs vs Kotei), but I didn’t want people to get bogged down in the survey.

Other Games

This section was always of interest of me.  I am very curious about the evolution of people’s participation in the various customizable card games.  I initially had this section be more detailed, breaking down the level of commitment to the various games, but it was pointed out that the questions were confusing, and so I just changed the competitive questions to a yes or no since I didn’t have a good way of asking the question.  Somewhere early on I noticed I didn’t make them required, so that is why they might not have as many results as the others. 94.8% of people who answered the L5R LCG Section has played other card games before.

27% of responses play other games competitively.

63% of responses played other games competitively in the past.

The number of people who played old L5R and continued on the new L5R was one of the big things I was curious about.  Unsurprisingly, lots of people have played magic in the past, and have since moved away from it. The only other interesting point of data to me is that only 5% of players have not played other card games, meaning the L5R LCG is their first.

Number of Players with AEG L5R CCG Experience by Clan

LCG Clan PlayedCrabCraneDragonLionPhoenixScorpionUnicorn
Played CCG15217013310916614198
Did Not Play CCG158151155101175144108

 

L5R Purchase Habits and the Release Model

I could have spent a lot more time on these sorts of questions, since I am weirdly curious about FFG’s marketing data (I don’t have anything I want to do with it, I’m not trying to get into the gaming industry, I’m just curious if they have the data to back up their strategies).  

Purchase Habits

The results of the purchase habits I feel are likely very skewed by the basic bias of this survey.  Interest in the game generally means you’ve bought into it to some extent, and most people who are interested enough in the game to participate in the online community are likely to have bought all 3 cores.  At the time of writing this, there are 7 expansion packs for the game, 6 Dynasty pack and the Phoenix Clan pack. I felt the break down of the how many have you purchased were meaningful, implying (in order), 0: “Not interested” , 1-2: “I’ll give it a shot”, 3-5: “This is more interesting” or “I hate this, I’m done”, 6+: “I’m in!”.  

Most people are all in and intend to keep buying product.  Again, this goes back to the basic bias of this survey. You are unlikely to be filling this out unless you didn’t already have an interest, and have at some point probably bought the game.  Given that roughly 85% have bought everything, it is interesting that only 73% of participants intend to keep buying product as it comes out.

 

Release Model

These questions are some of the few that are probably not as much affected by the basic bias of the survey.  To be fair, If you hated it, you’d probably not see this. However, of people who like the game, I am seeing (anecdotally) that most players will still keep playing even if they hate the release model.  And the interesting data to me is in people’s reactions to how FFG plans on releasing their product given a level of commitment to the game. I expect that the more casual players (the ones not participating in the survey) just don’t care.

While people did like the faster release of cards for the Imperial Cycle, the 6 packs in 6 weeks for the Elemental Cycle is much less appealing.  It would be interesting to pursue why, and I know I saw comments asking to complain about this (I am not FFG, complaining to me does you no good), and the negative reaction some suggestions as to why I think this is possible is  due to the scheduling (Middle-end of the Kotei Season, Gen Con not having only 4 of the 6 packs out), the long delay (8 months Start to Start, given that the Phoenix pack came out pretty soon after the Imperial Cycle, there is 4+ months of no new cards), and people wanting all 6 packs at once, or wanting to go back to the 1 pack a month, generally (Anecdotally) due to the cost.  This particular topic is something where we could definitely gather more data about it.

Most people approve of the Clan packs.

3rd Party Stuff

People seem to like the extra doodads.  I know I do. There is a flaw in this question in that I’m not sure if people are including free stuff, such as the ‘free’ playmat from the Premier (Kotei and Worlds) events, promos, or tokens from the Conflict for the Stronghold events.  It is also possible people are including sleeves (Which I feel are required for any card game and isn’t intended as being anything special, but is technically a 3rd party thing). That being said, a lot of people have done something for custom bits and pieces that I’ve seen.

 

RPG Info

I could have gone a lot more in depth into this section.  I’ve been an avid L5R RPG player for far longer than I’ve played the card game.  However, as my initial focus for this survey was on LCG participation, the RPG section was kind of tacked on to the end and, for that, I apologize.  However, I did get some data about people’s opinions on the FFG’s edition of the L5R RPG, so it isn’t all bad. Personally, I got into L5R via the RPG, not the card game.

However, nearly 30% of the people filling out the survey had absolutely no interest in the RPG, so keep that in mind for this section of the survey.

Initial Impressions

This might have been a bad question.  I’m not sure if there is much meaningful data here, as many people probably didn’t have initial impressions of the RPG Beta, and answered neutrally.  Additionally, I don’t know if the phrase “Initial Impressions” biased the answer or not. I am going to assume not, but it’s a possible flaw.

Beta Participation

Surprisingly even between all of the choices!  I’m going to remind you that this is of people interested in the L5R RPG, so about a quarter of people who are interested in the L5R RPG are not interested in the Beta or the new system.

RPG Custom Dice

To me this is the most controversial topic about the new RPG, and I was curious of people’s reaction to it.  However, over half of the responses either Don’t know or Don’t Care (I am Ambivalent), so it might be worth digging into this question deeper in the future.  I personally really liked the old Roll and Keep system, and the new system is an interesting, if expensive, implementation of it. I also know that there are many passionate people on both sides of this debate, and even more that don’t care.  About 19% Like the new dice system, about 27% don’t like the new system for various reasons, and the rest (About 54%) just don’t know or don’t care.

RPG History

This series of questions is just a way to compare between the various levels of commitment to FFG RPGs, L5R RPGs, and RPGs in general.  Nearly half of the total participants of the survey (About 48%) regularly participate in a Tabletop RPG, which I think is neat.

Battle for Rokugan

I included this out of politeness and completeness.  The game has been out for about 6 months at the writing of this article and around 20% of L5R enthusiasts have played it at least once. I find this interesting, and I’m wondering how much of a success this game is for FFG.  However, what I do not know is what the expected participation in a board game as compared to a card game (like if we look at the GoT board game vs the various card games). Though, out of everyone, I would have thought L5R LCG players would know someone who has picked up the game to try and play it.

L5R Lore

Current Lore

Around half of people taking the survey have read most of the fiction, and that was surprising to me.  I think also that is quite good and promising! The survey bias might be in part to blame for such high numbers, but I know some people don’t like to read.  

 

Past Lore

This breakdown is much more what I expected.  There is a lot of L5R fiction from AEG, all of various degrees of quality.  More read “All or Most” of it than I had expected, given how much there is. Though I do remember that when the IP got announced, there was an uptick of people asking about where they could read through the old lore, despite assurances from FFG that they would reboot the story and change stuff.

 

Best and Worst

These questions were probably both the most interesting and the most poorly written.  I intentionally made it vague, but that may have been a mistake. It might have been worth breaking down into various categories between mechanics, clan loyalty, and lore.  My hope was that people would, to some extent, just choose the faction they most associated with as best (or had the best emotional reaction to), and then also chose which one they have the most negative emotional reaction to as worst.  That being said, I believe that many people interpreted the question in the context of the LCG, which is fair.

I am going to use the “Which Clan/Faction is the Best?” question to identify what clan people prefer to associate with (IE Clan Loyalty), as compared to what clans you play in the LCG section.  While this is not 100% accurate, I feel this is probably accurate for a majority of people.

I based my list off the faction list from the Oracle of the Void (The AEG CCG Card Database), but I skipped Ninja and Spirit since those were only nominally factions that had closer associations with one of the other clans.  I intentionally left out “Imperial”, since they are obviously the best, and never the worst. I completely forgot about the Lying Darkness and Kolat, which might have been worth a mention.

Kudos to the ~20% of you who decided that you didn’t want to be judgmental and choose “None” as the worst faction.  However, it is now a fact that you are wrong, and the Spider Clan is the worst.

I discuss Scorpion being the ‘Best’ clan in the next section.

A bunch of data and charts follow this, just a warning.

 

The Following are breakdowns by region for factional alignment:

 

Best Faction by Regional Breakdown:

 

FactionTotalNorth AmericaEuropeAustraliaAsiaSouth America
Crab Clan12.59%14.76%10.34%7.69%8.33%11.11%
Crane Clan12.68%10.89%16.09%7.69%20.83%9.52%
Dragon Clan9.83%11.62%8.05%7.69%4.17%7.94%
Lion Clan7.28%6.27%8.05%10.26%16.67%6.35%
Phoenix Clan10.03%9.59%10.92%7.69%16.67%7.94%
Scorpion Clan15.54%14.58%15.80%15.38%8.33%25.40%
Unicorn Clan7.57%8.12%6.61%7.69%0.00%11.11%
Mantis Clan5.51%5.72%5.46%7.69%4.17%3.17%
Shadowlands2.65%1.85%3.16%5.13%4.17%4.76%
Spider Clan3.05%3.51%1.72%10.26%4.17%1.59%
Ratlings/ Nezumi2.16%1.85%2.87%0.00%0.00%1.59%
Naga1.08%1.85%0.29%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Brotherhood of Shinsei0.39%0.55%0.29%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Toturi’s Army0.98%0.92%0.57%2.56%4.17%1.59%
Ronin0.79%1.11%0.57%0.00%0.00%0.00%
One of the Minor Clans1.77%1.66%1.15%7.69%8.33%0.00%
Other0.59%0.92%0.29%0.00%0.00%0.00%
None5.51%4.24%7.76%2.56%0.00%7.94%

 

Worst Faction, by Regional Breakdown

 

FactionTotalNorth AmericaEuropeAustraliaAsiaSouth America
Crab Clan2.46%2.77%1.72%5.13%0.00%3.17%
Crane Clan6.19%4.98%6.90%7.69%4.17%12.70%
Dragon Clan1.57%1.29%1.72%2.56%8.33%0.00%
Lion Clan5.80%5.72%5.17%2.56%12.50%9.52%
Phoenix Clan1.77%1.85%2.30%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Scorpion Clan9.34%10.70%7.18%7.69%4.17%12.70%
Unicorn Clan10.62%10.15%11.21%12.82%8.33%11.11%
Mantis Clan3.05%4.06%2.59%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Shadowlands3.74%4.24%3.74%2.56%4.17%0.00%
Spider Clan24.39%25.46%24.43%25.64%16.67%17.46%
Ratlings/ Nezumi3.93%4.61%4.02%0.00%4.17%0.00%
Naga2.36%2.03%2.59%2.56%4.17%3.17%
Brotherhood of Shinsei0.59%0.55%0.29%5.13%0.00%0.00%
Toturi’s Army1.38%1.48%0.86%0.00%4.17%3.17%
Ronin1.28%1.11%1.44%0.00%0.00%3.17%
One of the Minor Clans1.57%1.48%1.44%0.00%0.00%4.76%
Other0.59%0.74%0.57%0.00%0.00%0.00%
None19.37%16.79%21.84%25.64%29.17%19.05%

 

Best Clan vs Clans Played (Non Great Clans, followed by Great clans):

 

CrabCraneDragonLionPhoenixScorpionUnicorn
Best Clan not Great Clan (Total)46555439594537
Mantis Clan1519221420910
Shadowlands8117912115
Spider Clan88836128
Naga2260323
Brotherhood of Shinsei0011211
Toturi’s Army4435352
Ronin5343422
One of the Minor Clans3634624
Other1200312
Crab Clan118212012241917
Crane Clan211162317341712
Dragon Clan1411931025108
Lion Clan1119146917117
Phoenix Clan17252012941812
Scorpion Clan413336224413723
Unicorn Clan1716101320871

 

Some Other Conclusions

One thing that I find somewhat interesting is to look at people’s opinions versus what they are playing.  At the time of writing this, the Scorpion Clan is leading the pack with 6 Kotei wins, followed by Crab’s 4 Kotei Wins, and zero for everyone else (Which I personally find surprising).  Now Scorpion is listed as the Best Clan, with Crab as 3rd Best, and the Kotei wins might be reflected in Scorpion’s numbers to some extent. However, what is really interesting is that Scorpion is the 5th most played clan, and only 4th most played amongst people who list themselves as being “Competitive”.  All of these results are before the restricted list actually went into effect too.

One thought I had was because Scorpion is possibly viewed as a control type deck, which many people might shy away from due to the ‘complexity’.  Another reason could be that people don’t want to be seen as bandwagoning the winning decks. This was definitely a viewpoint I felt was popular amongst everyone but the very top players in the CCG (And even some of them).  Maybe, given that the Scorpion are the nominal villains right now, people don’t want to be seen as playing the bad guys (Though I would expect that roughly the same amount would want to play them to play as the bad guy).

Lessons Learned and Possible Further Exploration

A few things I think I would do differently in the future:  

First, I believe I missed the 4Chan L5R community.  Given that most of them participate in other communities, I’m not worried about having missed them getting in on the survey, but I still apologize for not separating them out.  I forget that 4Chan is a thing.

I should have used Oceania instead of Australia.  My apologies to those of you who live in the area but don’t live on the big island.

Having a question of “Where did you hear about this survey?” might also be useful, with categories such as the obvious ones above, as well as “Clan affiliated community” or “Local Community”  I personally posted to a few different Crab specific communities, since I am a member there, and asked that people post to other ones, but I do not know the success of this getting out there. Also, it would help to find new participants if I decide to do more surveys in the future.

It might have been worthwhile to ask the question of “What clan do you identify with?” The whole “Which Clan/Faction is the Best?” question covers maybe 80-90% of this, but I could also see people interpreting this question as “Best in the LCG.”  Additionally, I could have repeated this question for the RPG, to see if people prefer a particular clan in that, as opposed to the LCG (For example, I prefer playing Dragon in the RPG, and playing Crab or Crane in the LCG).  Same with the “Worst.” Possibly also breaking it down by “Which faction is the best in the LCG” vs “Which faction is the best in Lore,” or something similar. But I also didn’t want to bog down the survey by asking the same question over and over with just slightly different phrasing.

I initially wanted to try to look closer at people’s history of previous card games to the L5R LCG from a casual or competitive level, but I couldn’t find a good way to ask that question.  Like if people were playing the CCG competitively then moved to the LCG, or if they started in another FFG LCG.

I would also be curious to see more detailed information on opinions of various aspects of the game, either from individual mechanics (The rings, separate Dynasty/Fate Decks, the way conflicts work, Mono no Aware and fixed fate income), or on individual aspects of the competitive game, like the way Role choices work in the competitive environment, or how tournaments are run.  Additionally, on topics such as the LCG vs CCG model. However, this got a little more detailed than I initially wanted to include, especially to throw at people who do not play the game more than casually.

I am also interested in running this survey again with similar (if not more refined) questions, and see how opinions change over time, especially in 6 months when we should see all of the Elemental Cycle, as well as maybe some new clan packs or deluxe boxes or something.  Also, maybe running more detailed surveys on the mechanics or on the RPG would be of interest.

As it turns out, data processing is more difficult than I think it should be, at least for free.  I ended up doing most of my stuff by hand in excel, since pivot tables refused to behave like I wanted.  I have used a combination of charts from the form itself (Auto-generated by google), and charts and tables from Excel, depending on whether or not I thought the original was good or not (mainly if it displayed all the numbers).  Many of the auto-generated google form charts are only useful when you can interact with them, as they often hide data when it becomes inconvenient to display, and it shows up when you mouse over.

Also, given how google forms works, spending a lot more time on how I phrase the questions is definitely worthwhile.  For example, I could not use a CSV file, since a number of options had a ‘,’ in it. I ended up working off TSV (Tab Separated Values), then working from there.  I also had to reprocess the various check box questions after the fact, though I think about half way through, I figured out how to do it without actually having to do that.  But having distinct markers as the value may be worthwhile, especially if I can figure out how to make google forms dump the results using a unique identifier (such as a number) that I can reassociate later, rather than text.

Special Thanks:

Thanks to all of you who participated in this survey, and also those of you who bothered to read my rambling article.  Special thanks to those in the L5R Discord that helped me put this together and get the word out. Also special thanks to Joe from Cincinnati for letting me post my drivel on Wardens of the West, as well as helping me edit this.

 

Data and Contact Info

Data: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vr2tZZTgbgCvRCIsyqqKdL7I6lFHJRLj

Questions: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVINcX8Emm75sCjgAIN0kCP9q00K7L3T

Questions? Comments?  Email me at [email protected]

If you use the data, I ask that you just let me know what you are using it for and send me a link to your results at [email protected].  I will also try to answer questions and comments about my data, methodology, or the survey itself, though if it is just “You should have asked this <QUESTION>” or “You should have included this <Response>”, I probably will not answer.

Feature Image Source: Joe From Cincinnati | Wardens of the Midwest