So what did I find out? Let's first deal with the question that inspired this: Are arena pops more frequent now than they used to be? I can't actually answer the question in that form, because I have no data for how it "used to be", as my previous experiment took place just before the introduction of arenas. We can however change the question to: Did I get more arena pops than one would expect? That I can work with. Arena is one of six different PvP gameplay modes currently in the game, so I would expect, on average, to get an arena once every six matches (or about seventeen percent of the time).
There are four different maps for arenas, but considering that a death match is a death match, whether you're on Tatooine or on Corellia, I don't think that they should get higher priority in the queue because of that. If they did, if the randomiser gave every map an equal chance to come up instead of every gameplay mode, arenas would have to come up forty percent of the time, since they cover four of the ten available maps. Ack!
Fortunately my data seems to suggest that the randomiser favours each gameplay mode evenly, not each map, as only twenty of my one hundred matches ended up being arenas. I also got only fifteen Huttball matches, distributed evenly between the two available maps. Not that many arenas then. Phew!
What else did I find out? Well, mostly that Republic on the Red Eclipse still sucks - or again. In 2013 I ended my experience with a win rate of a measly 35 percent, while this year it was up ever so slightly with a staggering result of 38 percent. Yay! That's still a lot more losses than wins though. I also recorded my longest known loss streak to date, which lasted fourteen matches. For comparison, my best win streak only lasted four games. Overall there were many points where I got very frustrated and probably should have stopped playing earlier or taken a break for a couple of days, but I kept going because I wanted to continue my data collection.
Probably the most healing I've ever done in a single warzone... and a loss of course.
I can only take guesses as to the "why" of the Republic losing so badly to the Empire quite so often, but my impression was that there are mostly more dedicated PvP guilds on Empire side right now (even though the Imps don't have that many either). Still, there are some, and I experienced many a moment where I noticed several of our opponents wearing the same well-known guild tag and knew that it was probably going to be a loss. On Republic side there seemed to be much fewer pre-made groups, and generally not many guild names that inspired any kind of reaction in me. The notable exception were the three matches where I found myself with Etun from Nostrum Dolus on my team (once considered the best PvP guild in the world, though now defunct I believe). All three of those games were decisive wins.
What else did I find out that was interesting, especially compared to my 2013 study? Well, for one thing the Republic is still good and bad at the same warzones, and even more so than it used to be. Civil War was the one warzone where I recorded an equal amount of wins and losses, and Novare Coast wasn't too far behind. In Huttball on the other hand we were worse than ever (on both maps), to the point where my faction was only victorious in two out of sixteen matches, or less than thirteen percent of the time! Ouch! This is pretty much in line with what I said before about the Empire going in with more pre-mades, as Huttball is particularly easy to dominate with a guild group. Despite of my dislike for arenas, they weren't really that much worse than the regular warzones, with a win rate of about 35 percent for the arenas vs. 39 percent for the objective-based maps.
The other thing that was funny to me was the comparison between my characters. Back in 2013 they weren't all PvP geared, and I was surprised to find that my Scoundrel had an abysmal win rate despite of being the flavour of the month PvP healer at the time. This time around all three of my characters had full Dark Reaver gear, and Scoundrels are supposed to be the weakest PvP healers... yet my Scoundrel had the best win-loss ration of all my healers, losing only one more game than she won. I don't think that really means anything though; I suspect that this particular oddity is just another case of random numbers being random. Tonight I took my Scoundrel in for another PvP daily and she lost all four of the matches she played.
Now I really need a break from PvP.