Thursday, October 28, 2010

The X-Fire Cometh

So, sitting back and pondering my blog...I came back to my old posts on X-Fire stats.

I have not looked at the numbers in a while, and feel it may be time to review how things have changed over the months. So many changes have taken place in the MMO world, that it may be time to see how this is affecting the stats or trends of those games on X-Fire.

X-Fire has always polarized so many people. Usually it has a negative connotation from those whose games seem to be failing on the X-Fire charts, while others can look at the numbers for what they are; trends of players who load the software.

With the changes...specifically with The Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest 2 and the upcoming F2P of Champions Online... it could prove to be interesting to see how these games have progressed on those charts.

Here is my current goal. The games that will be looked at are commercial titles. The list is...

  • EQ2 (please note, X-Fire has been known to be broken with this game...and the numbers may not pan out)
  • Age of Conan
  • Warhammer Online
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online
  • Champions Online
  • Star Trek Online (as this may go Free)
EDIT: Need to add Final Fantasy XIV to this list. Knew I was missing a game I wish to watch.

Note, there are a TON of games not on this list. I may touch on a game here and there, if requested. Vanguard will, for example, be ridiculed once. WoW just does not need to be here.
Also, note, I will not be looking at non-commercial Vindictus, Cabal Online, Mabinogi...etc. Their releases do not match the criteria of "big companies" trying to profit...both on box sales as well as subs.

The games I am watching the most are: Age of Conan and Warhammer due to their less than satisfactory retention of players; LOTRO due to it's change to Free to Play (or as coined at Ardwulfs excellent blog by Winged Nazgul - "Cover Charge"); Champions Online and it's upcoming change to F2P.

Like I said, other games are welcome, so please let me know what you wish to see.

Stay tuned and CHEERS!

1 comment:

Ardwulf said...

I don't think it's fair to call games like Vindictus and Cabal Online "non-commercial," although I know what you mean when you lump them together like that. I think we're all really struggling with the terminology as we catch up to the seismic shifts in the hobby.

Better, I guess, to say "western-model" to describe the games you're tracking, meaning subs and the newfangled hybrids, and excluding games whose revenue primarily comes from an hourly charge (i. e. from Asia.) We don't have perfect terminology yet.

I'd like to see you include EVE in that list - it's a high-profile game with a substantial player base, likely to shift when Incursion launches next month, and I'd like to see how it behaves under that stimulus. There's no mandatory box to buy, but you could call the $5 account setup charge that CCP hits you with the first month as the "retail" sale, I suppose. (There is another retail box that just launched, but you can still just download the client and play, too.)

Vanguard... well, I think the numbers are so small nowadays that they probably won't scale well with stats for games people actually play. The premise of extracting meaningful information from Xfire numbers tends to break down at the low and high ends, and Vanguard has definitely fallen into the low, low end. I want to be positive about the game - I think it has enough good in it to be worth saving - but I have little hope at this point.

Thanks for the kudos, by the way.