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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jul 6th 2008 9:13PM Crsh said

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After a week+ of Xfire stat trash threads posted by 'haters' on the AoC forums, one thing is clear: Xfire is not widely used enough by MMO players to give an accurate or semi-accurate picture.

Ventrillo/TeamSpeak and built-in VoIP (when available) are far more prevalent than Xfire.

Posted: Jul 7th 2008 3:52AM swarmofcats said

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You can get a good idea of how the game is faring by these numbers. It's only a percentage of the playerbase that uses Xfire. But that sampling of people is showing that over time they are playing Aoc less and less. So why wouldn't this segment of the playerbase be representative of the entire playerbase as a whole?

You can't say it doesn't give a somewhat accurate picture of things... unless you're suggesting that about 1/2 of the Xfire users logging time in Conan decided to uninstall Xfire or stop submitting they're data. Doubtful.

It's funny that even when the picture is laid out in front of poeple they still don't want to see it.
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Posted: Jul 7th 2008 4:00AM (Unverified) said

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You can't take the xfire-users demographic and extend it to all AoC gamers. There are bound to be some differences in preferences and personalities between people who make different decisions about a piece of software.
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Posted: Jul 7th 2008 4:25AM Bohemund Guiscard said

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@royale - I'm one of those mystical people who don't run Xfire all the time even though I have it installed.

Also, 'somewhat accurate' statistics of a portion of the playerbase doesn't mean the truth is laid out in front of people... that means we get a pretty graph that doesn't show much of the big picture because of the selection bias due to the sample having to choose to install and run Xfire.
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Posted: Jul 7th 2008 5:58AM swarmofcats said

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@Joe, Jezebeau

Re: Selection bias causing inaccuracy. I could belive that the results weren't proof of anything if they were less dramatic. I accept that Xfire stats have to be taken with a grain of salt. I just don't see how such a huge dropoff in numbers doen't tell us -something- about the state of the game.

These numbers can't be written off entirely just becaue 100% of the people didn't log 100% of their AoC time in Xfire.

How else could you explain it?

a) AoC players used Xfire less than they had been and caused a decrease in minutes logged, for some reason the Xfire users didn't want to log thier AoC time anymore

b) AoC players who use Xfire quit playing and new AoC players started that don't use Xfire, so there are just as many people playing the actual game, but not as many of them are Xfire users

c) around half of the people with Xfire decided to uninstall it over the past month and this is just a reflection of that.

Nah, I'll go with the simplest explanation and say less people are spending less time in AoC.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2008 11:03PM (Unverified) said

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Eeeya... no one I know uses xfire and our 400 man guild uses Ventrilo, so this is a very poor indicator of actual subscription numbers.

Posted: Jul 7th 2008 6:58AM (Unverified) said

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@Jobe497

You're completely missing the point. No one is saying this is a great representation of subscription numbers, what people are saying is that such a steady decline in numbers is a result of people not enjoying the game as they once were, or a lot of people just not running xfire anymore when they were weeks and a month ago (which i find unlikely).

Take a look at these games numbers on xfire. No it doesn't have anything to do with understanding subscription numbers, but it gives a decent overview of whether games are holding players attention, a very specific scope of players that is:

http://www.xfire.com/games/wow/World_of_Warcraft/
http://www.xfire.com/games/gw/Guild_Wars/
http://www.xfire.com/games/aoc/Age_of_Conan_Hyborian_Adventures/

(I'd list more but only 3 links are allowed in comments)

Notice one game that shows a unique trend unlike the others? Or any of the top played games on xfire.com website. I do, and so do many others.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2008 11:38PM Softserve said

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Well, it's definitely an indicator of some sort. Whether 50% of AoC users compared to say 5% of LotRO users use it is up to questioning, though. I think it certainly can be used to say that it's possible that interest is down for the game overall, you certainly can't use it to compare to other titles.

To further this, LotRO has in-game voice chat that works perfectly in any situation I've used it in. There's no reason to use Xfire, really.

Posted: Jul 7th 2008 7:20AM (Unverified) said

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While Xfire is not the place to go to for stats for how many are playing AoC still, I do think that the reality is very similar and AoC has had a HUGE drop off in numbers, with a lot of people refusing to pay monthly for an unfinished game that isn't anything great over what is already out there and has only one starting area.

Posted: Jul 7th 2008 11:38AM (Unverified) said

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For gaming I'll go ahead and agree with the folks who say that XFire is a bad statistic to use.

I stopped using XFire long ago because I found that it didn't jibe with the way I play. I found far too many interruptions and annoyances by the program and community to make it a valuable tool.

For gamers who USE XFire they are likely using it for a specific reason. In other words, a specific TYPE of gamer uses XFire.

But to say that the way XFire's statistics are bouncing are indicative of the entire gaming community is a bit of a stretch. This trend noted in the article is just for the TYPE of gamers who use XFire.

By the way, I quit AoC before my free month was up so I'm not just a fanboy trying to discredit statistics. I just think these are bad statistics.

Posted: Jul 7th 2008 3:37PM swarmofcats said

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Right, the type of person who uses Xfire is bored with AoC but everyone else is loving it? I didn't realize that "Xfire user" was such a narrow demographic of people with such specific tastes regarding fun games.

I agree with Brela. Xfire stats show are pretty indicative of a game gaining or losing popularity. It seems to represent gaming trends pretty well.

Look at Diablo II for another example. http://www.xfire.com/games/d2/Diablo_II/ The announcement of D3 spurred many people (myself included, though I haven't ever used Xfire) to log into Diablo II and give that game another spin. The Xfire numbers reflect that, as D2 numbers had a huge spike (doubled in only a couple days) after the Blizzard WWI weekend.

Imo, the "type" of people who uses Xfire are generally "Gamers". So we could pretty safely say that AoC is losing popularity with gamers.
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Posted: Jul 7th 2008 8:08PM (Unverified) said

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Most people probably are shutting down x-fire to improve AoC's performance. Why would you run a craptastic program like that when you could get better perf?

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 6:57PM (Unverified) said

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I love the xfire statistics. They give a second look at how a game is doing, based on a small sample. This is no different from taking a cup of water from a river to extrapolate overall water quality instead of actually measuring the entire river. It is all cognitive dissonance anyways. Supporters of the game will prefer positive information while detractors tend to prefer negative information. I am sure many of the xfire statistics haters would be applauding it and getting more Age of Conan users to use xfire, if it showed AoC peaking over World of Warcraft!

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