Bandai Namco released a detailed results report from the Mobile Suit Gundam Online alpha test they held over three days in December.
Out of 3,000 selected participants 1,849 actually logged on.
Friday the 16th: 1,247
Saturday the 17th: 1,206
Sunday the 18th: 1,178
Zeon lost overall to the Federation each day:
Friday: 21-13 (battles won)
More players were making Zeon characters (1,320 as opposed to 1,269 Federation), but it seems like the Federation characters stuck with it longer—there were more Zeon players in Levels 1-3, but there were more level 4-5 Federation players (with the difference in level 5 being 76 - 35).
A survey conducted on participants had a 62.2% rate of response. For the question of if people play third- and first-person shooters, there was more of a curve, with "often" coming out on top. However, when asked whether they like the Gundam TV series and movies, it seems as though there was one troll (who hates the anime), a smattering of people who hadn't seen it or could take it or leave it, and a run-away majority of Gundam-lovers—as you might expect!
The vast majority of people thought the tutorial was helpful and enjoyed the large scale battles. On the flip side, not many people used the function to give orders so it's uncertain if they didn't because they didn't want to or because they didn't know it existed. Seems like the people who tried it were pretty luke-warm on it.
Players more-or-less understood how the battles worked, but had trouble communicating. It seems like the platoon system was lacking.
The distinctions between types of mobile suits was fun and understandable to most players, but it seems like many felt something was off, maybe a balance issue. The preferred types of suits were assault and sniper, with least favorite being support.
Fighting was fun and people understood the battle screen information pretty well. Most people liked the graphics and did not experience much slow down.
The most satisfying part of the test was the large scale battles because the rule sets were fun, but apparently it was a little intimidating for a first timer and there was not enough tutorial for that part of the game.
In the least satisfying list, the votes were a lot closer, with in-battle communication scoring just slightly worse than the platoon system. Lots of people were dissatisfied with the the chat and preset voice options, or had trouble using them, so some improvement is promised there. It sounds like as far as the platoons went, there were not enough communication options between members, and the various icons were hard to understand.
There's more info (and graphics) on the report website (Japanese), including specifics about how they are planning on responding to various player impressions. It sounds like they learned a lot from this alpha test, so things should hopefully develop in a way the players will appreciate.