Monday, March 28, 2011

X-Fire Game: Solo Edition - Rift

With this past weekend being the crucial last weekend for the "30 day window" in Rift, I am dedicating this post to a very fun MMO.

Does everyone else think it is as fun?

First up, lets go ahead and preview the X-Fire and Raptr stats for Rift and do some comparisons to launch
week.

  1. Rift -  4730 ( 4968 - LAUNCH )
The X-Fire data is actually from one week past launch...but, due to the broken stats reading, we missed the first day. How accurate this may be, I am unsure. But, I at least wanted some good comparison data.

****

  1. Rift -  3430 ( 3856 - LAUNCH )
The Raptr numbers are from the first Sunday of launch. This was to be it's 2nd busiest day, as the following week hit upward of 4000 players.

****
So, what do we see so far? The basic trend for most MMO's. The slow drop off from the players who found either Rift was not their game, or other concerns which have popped up (from security issues to the infamous "nerf after pay" patch).

But, when we look at this, we do note a VERY good retention rate as well. These numbers look pretty good, and if it can hold this spot after the 30 days are reached, then we will have a successful MMO.

Just to give a reference point, I looked back to find a previous top 5 X-Fire game and see how their numbers were...Warhammer Online.

2008

Launched in September of 2008, note the trend of the game as time progressed. The downward spiral was quite extreme. This is what we do NOT want to see in Rift. If you do, then we can add Rift to the pile of games that includes Age of Conan, WAR, and other non-starters that WoW eats for breakfast. (As another note on this little chart. See how many players there are? This gives an idea of how many people USE to use X-Fire in the past. Launch numbers had WAR at 12,000+ players per day back in 2008. So, not only did WAR fall, X-Fire has also lost a lot of users).

****
Moving on, I wanted to show how trends have been looking in Rift. Here are several views of the X-Fire and Raptr data.



This is the chart for Raptr. You can see the overall Metacritic score and how many hours have been played. But, what we want to see is the 7 day outlook scaling for time played. Big spikes are of course the weekend. But, note how there is a drop off. To be expected. The next 7 days will fix that...unless this falls even more, as players leave after the 30 days. What we WANT to see is this even out, and not drop massively.


Since we did not have complete data for Rift for X-Fire, there was a mass upsweep when they fixed how the X-Fire client read the games played hours. At that point though, we do see a steady view. I have noted in the past that Raptr seems weird to me at times, and can fluctuate freely, while X-Fire seems to hold steadier (unless there is an outage of the game or of course, players leave the game noted). 

Both of these will be good reference come next weekend.

Moving on...if you remember, we also were tracking a new site that had images of shard status. The chart gave us a single eyes view of how all servers were doing in specific time periods. Here are the final reports from Riftideas/Shardwatch.



This first chart is Sunday March 27th at 8PM in Germany. We have six servers with queues. But, we also have two at low. This is interesting, as we NEVER see low on the weekends on the US servers. So, this is an oddity.

Lets compare the first image I had for Germany and Shardwatch.




This was taken on March 13th. 7PM German time. Notice a difference? Right off the bat, no lows. Twelve queued servers also. Dang it was busy. Drop off of course IS to be expected, so, overall it was not massive. But, I see EU servers being the first to merge here.

Moving on to the US of A.


So, right off the bat, we see two things. Only one queued server. March 27th at 8:30 EST. I worry about this, as I had noted my own issues on Twitter this morning. Massive lag spikes leading to either DC's or being stuck not moving or anything...yet everything else around you was moving normally (characters, quest updates, etc.). Very Bizarre. That could lead to lowered servers.....maybe. Next, if we look at the EU servers, the number of low servers is quite large still.

What the heck, lets look at the older chart and see just how bad it makes this past weekend look.



Need I say more? Six queued servers down to one? This could be changes to queue sizes or population sizes...we do not know which. Again.....drop off is to be expected, but there is no way Rift can compete with World of Warcraft when we see charts like this. I would prefer they hold on to the number two position at least...

****
We have a lot of data here. Most of it shows the common trend in most launched MMO's in the Age of WoW. 

Hard to keep players when a polished, long running title still exists.

Eventually most of these MMO's will syphon off players from WoW, but at what cost? This is not a cheap business...and I can only hope the box sales held up for Trion. With the normal issues that surround MMO's from security and gold sellers, lag and engine issues, broken quests and what not...Trion is a bit ahead in getting it fixed. Just is it good enough to keep them afloat?

BTW, here is your final Moment of Zen to help you understand what is happening with Rift.

World of Warcraft X-Fire chart March 27th - 34,976 players (36,248 )

Yea....that feels good to see.

3 comments:

Rowan said...

I may have asked this before, but what "benefit does x-fire offer users as it surveys their game usage? I use Raptr, for example, chiefly for the cross-game chatting ability. And even then, I only use it sporadically.

Dink said...

April 3rd is when the largest first free 30 days to Rift expire. Look at this chart for week April 4 on.

You may see an increase in users after 1.1 patch on Wednesday.

The hemorrhaging of users will begin mid April.

Stabs said...

Very interesting.

I think what we're expecting giving Rift's high quality and the good window of opportunity in which it launched is high initial interest, followed by a shallow decline during the free period, a big dip when time comes to ask people to pay beyond the first month followed by a leveling out.

This matches your data. Declining numbers aren't doom and gloom for Rift, they're part of the launch cycle for any game. Even WoW has people who buy it, play for an hour or two then leave forever.

What is most uncertain is how the numbers will behave after the month-in dip. Will it steadily augment like Eve has done? Will it slowly fade? Or will it crash like WAR when the first real competitor in the brand new triple A MMO category comes along?