First off, as we have all done in the past, we look over various sources of info which may reflect how the game is doing on the markets.
- Sales of boxes and subs.
Box sales we cannot know for sure. But, we DO know the game has been available VERY cheaply from differing sources. I have seen multiple places with the game for 5 bucks.
I even took the plunge and found a Collectors Edition for only 7.99 (awesome soundtrack, art book, in game items...way cool).
But, the game IS available still for purchase. So, that is a plus.
Subscriber wise we have nothing. Funcom does not share this data, and we cannot tell by server listings (they have all been "Medium" since launch on the servers list...).
We can look at Xfire and see that it is back down into the 50's...but it has been holding steady there. Of note, in comparison, Warhammer Online has been at times in the 10's then the 20's, then the 30's. Now that Aion has launched...Warhammer is in the 50's. So, how is THAT for a comparison.
- The naked eye.
As a player, I am on two servers now. The wife and myself will be starting on Wiccana, and we already have higher levels on SET.
For this conclusion of populace I use several features.
Sales of items on the trader, Raids being formed, Groups being formed, and visual.
Sales of itemsThrough various times of the day, the wife has a market on the trader. She continues a buy/sell system of various product that people want. We constantly see how these items are doing; Gems, Certain Resources, Rares (usually resources), and Blue BoE items.
We then compare this to how many are selling, prices and also variation in names.
The only difficulty here is we do not know how many of these are alts selling the same product. But, we CAN tell when someone is new (for example: Items sells for 5-7 silver and someone comes in and sells it for 2-3 coppers...NEWB!!).
So far, the market is STILL thriving, with the wife averaging 2-4 gold IN A DAY! Now, this is just SET. When we start on Wiccana, we will be able to see how their market is.
Next, we test the waters and see how many "crafted" pieces are for sale. We have several level of characters, and we can see if the items we "need" are for sale, and for how much. As we level, we also search each of the earmark levels (40, 50, 60, 70 and 80) and see just how many pieces exists.
SET has been slightly flat. Especially with the "high end" culture pieces.
These are special recipes for gear for specific classes (even though this has changed...but, we can tell what is for who...like if it has more INT., STR. etc...)
But, on Wiccana, there is a LOT more of the crafted pieces for sale based on a cursory view from a character I quick leveled there.
This leads me to believe there are MORE players on Wiccana than SET...but, for what level ranges?
For level ranges we can look at...
LFG and RAIDSThrough this method, we can view how many players at various level ranges are needing assistance.
First I will touch on Wiccana, since I have not had too much time there yet to look over the population. But, from the time I did log in, one thing was abundantly clear.
Lots of mid level stuff. Lots of Guild Recruiting, and lots of RP guilds (good deal). Several raids were going, and this was not prime time either. Also discussions were plenty (and not hateful...just chatting about game stuff).
SET on the other hand has a majority of Raids and most raids seem to need at least 6-8 people on average. This tells me (1) Guilds doing raids are not quite "full" (2) There are more higher levels than lower levels running on SET.
Also of note. Only large and notable guilds were recruiting on SET. Never saw any "new" names (Bloodline, Prophets, etc..all old standbys).
Something of interest on SET is a TON of PvP minis. Especially a new format.
12 man raid PvP, higher level...
Basically a group of 12 in a raid formation is set up. Then they all enter PvP at once. The system then splits this group up into the best team formats of 6vs6. So, there is not any "majority rules" class taking over the PvP.
This seems like a really cool idea and I hope it takes off.
VisualHow does she look Captain....?
We all know this is very subjective. I can only state what I see. Others may have varying viewpoints.
We all know we will never see launch day / Aion like numbers of people running around. But, what I want to know is DO I see anyone, and can I get groupings.
This weekend the wife and I headed out into a level 60+ zone and had several group based quests. We could not get anyone using the LFG method, so switched to using the built in tools and sending tells. We gained two people in our group this way. We also saw maybe 10 players in our particular zone using this tool. So, this is not good.
But, upon arrival back to the trader, we saw all of the traders full of players probably checking items, and what not.
As to Wiccana, since I was new, I could only see what was going on in Tortage...and it was bustling...whether from old players or new...who knows.
But, it was busy.
So for now, even though we have the launch of Aion, and even had Champions and Fallen Earth...it seems the population is not falling too much.
So, will it die? Hard to say.
Certainly not by year end. Discussion of new content and veteran rewards is coming down the pike (Craig has even said some stuff will be on Testlive this week).
My sub dies this coming Sunday. It looks like the wife and I are not done yet with the game, and I plan to reup again for another two months.
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment?
Naw, just the most fun I have had in an MMO in a LONGGGGG time.
Now...as a side note. I am still up in the air how much I will blog. But, I have had some questions about Dungeons (yes...for you Longasc)..so, I plan to tour some of these and discuss how they are working, etc.
Hopefully more on that as time permits.