In various discussion threads, I saw several people using the words "minority" when describing the PvMP population within LOTRO. As far as I know, Turbine does nor release any official numbers on the amount of subscriptions, let alone the percentage of players taking part in PvMP.
Let me try to summarize what numbers are publicly available. These numbers are derived from the various websites that use the myLOTRO database. While they may not be accurate in the total amount of players, some sites give insight how many players are actively playing PvMP.
Let's crunch a few numbers from various sources:
- Dailystats: the Dailystats PvMP leaderboard website tracks how many toons have their infamy/renown changed on a daily basis. This gives an estimation of how many players engage in PvMP every day, but it does not tell us what the % of accounts is of players playing PvMP. In the period 2011-2013 you can see that the number of players entering the Moors is around 8,000 - 10,000 per day on all the servers. (source)
- Surugi stats: This website lists all R3+ toons (so not the ones that tried PvMP once and decided it's not for them). Unfortunately, it only lists the US servers, and not the former EU servers. On the 15 US LOTRO servers, there were 68,896 rank 3+ toons recorded in 2012. Ofcourse this does not tell you anything about the number of accounts/players that play PvMP. However, the website does allow us to see the amount of toons that were logged every week, giving an idea of how many play PvMP actively. In the months November-December 2012 those numbers were consistently between 7,000 and 8,000. This means that around 11% of the R3+ toons is played on a weekly basis.
- LOTROaltfinder: This website uses the myLOTRO data. I'm not sure if it tracks all active accounts, but it gives us an estimation of how many players there are and how many people have, for example, created a monster toon. The website does work on an account basis, not on a toon basis, so that gives us a better impression of how many players engage in PvMP. According to the website, of the 475,000 unique accounts there are, almost 56,000 have a max level (lvl 85) creep. This means that 11.7% of the registered accounts has tried PvMP at least once. This does not mean they are actively playing PvMP, though.
- If we combine those data: there are (according to LOTROaltfinder) around 750,000 toons listed on the US servers. According to Surugi stats 69,000 of them are R3+ toons. This means that 9% of the US toons is a rank 3+ PvMP toon.
- This German website tries to log the number of weekly logins on all servers. The US servers have roughly 1,500,000 logins per week (215,000/day) and the EU servers have roughly 800,000 logins per week (115,000/day). If 10,000 players play PvMP per day, this would mean that around 3% of all logins includes PvMP activity.
Based on the available data, It would be my rough estimate that around 10% of the LOTRO players engages in PvMP. That would mean at least 50,000 players. Of those players, around 10-15% plays PvMP on a weekly basis. Around 3% of all logins includes PvMP activity.
Are PvMP-ers a minority?
Yes, obviously we are.
But we are not a small minority. If you take paying customers into account, the % of PvMPers will be higher, since PvMPers include freeps that pay for Ettenmoors access by a subscription and (b) creeps that most likely have used the store because of the conveniences it offers.
Do PvMPers on the forums represent the PvMP community
Well, if let's say 300 players would post their opinion on a matter that would be around 0.6% of PvMPers. Although many newspaper articles are based on such samples in national queries, one can ask whether it is a good and balanced sample.
PvMPers are a minority, but not a small minority. I can think of many ways to increase the number of players taking part in PvMP, which will result in more revenue for Turbine. That requires PvMP to be handled by the devs with some attention and with care. But I think most of us agree that PvMP in LOTRO has a lot of (unexplored) potential.