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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » XFire - As MMO population estimation tool

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297 posts found
  uidCaustic

Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/11
Posts: 148

1/02/13 8:44:08 PM#161
In the 17 years of online gaming ( MMO's as well as First Person Shooters ), through countless guilds, thousands of fellow players.  I have never met a person that has once used XFire aside from myself for a minute before uninstalling it, as I saw no purpose for it.  Statisically speaking, I wouldn't consider it by any means reliable.
  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4684

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/02/13 8:48:54 PM#162
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by madazz
Originally posted by Yamota
 

The aim was to use it as an estimation tool, not ask a bunch of amateur mathematicans if it is valid or not. 

So you are a full fledged mathematician? People have entered this thread and shown that your aim/goal is not achievable. You are basically trying to make a pig fly using nothing but a pig and a toothpick. It ain't happening bud. Seriously, stats don't work that way and xfire is not a solution. Maybe its time to pack it up and look for another tool to estimate with?

@yamota, you cannot discuss using something as a tool for estimating a population without also discussing how valid it is.  

It's validy as that tool is central and paramount to it's ability to be used as that tool. 

My own view is that it probably has some small validity in trends in large newer games.  But as a definitive tool for estimating populations?  forget it.

Unless devs start releasing their player numbers, it's impossible to verify or debunk XFires validity.  It's the best tool we have right now and it has been pretty good at showing trends before the numbers are announced in quarterly reports.

I don't think it is the best tool at all.  Most of the companies are publicly traded, therefore they have quarterly reports and prospectus.  It's very easy to get these and they would provide a much better sample.

Again for large newer games x-fire may have some small validity but thats it. 

Most companies try to hide their declines in one way or another.  Blizzard doesn't separate their subscriber numbers by region.  SWTOR stopped being specific once they lost a ton of players.  Turbine never released their numbers.

 

There is currently no better tool for measuring relative populations between games and population trends and there won't be unless every PC game distributes only through steam or if Windows adds a tool to track every game being played in their operating systems.

There is no need to seperate by region as the games are all played on a world market.

X-fire showed swtor's decline but it does not give any information on the actual population number.

Prospectus and consumer reports are much more reliable for hard numbers than x-fire.  All x-fire shows are trends for large and popular games, thats it.  There is absolutely no evidence of anything more than that.

There is a need when people in US/EU pay $15 per month (more in EU) and in many parts of asia they pay per hour.  It's very important to know how what the subscriber numbers are in US/EU separate from the rest.

Why?  The games are played on a world market.  Eve, WoW, Swtor, Ryzom... are both played on US Europe and many parts of Asia.  In each game the subscription price varies per region according to the rules and customs of that region.

Some countries in EU don't pay $15 dollars per month.  Why does it matter what they pay, as long as they pay and the rates are about the same for each game?

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  FrodoFragins

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2757

1/02/13 8:58:52 PM#163
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Why?  The games are played on a world market.  Eve, WoW, Swtor, Ryzom... are both played on US Europe and many parts of Asia.  In each game the subscription price varies per region according to the rules and customs of that region.

Some countries in EU don't pay $15 dollars per month.  Why does it matter what they pay, as long as they pay and the rates are about the same for each game?

Because paying for one hour in a month is not nearly the same as paying for the entire month regardless of time played.  Yet they get counted as equal.  Eventually you'll understand the point I'm making.  But I won't try again.

  FrodoFragins

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2757

1/02/13 9:00:30 PM#164
Originally posted by zymurgeist
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by zymurgeist
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by zymurgeist

 It's a mediocre tool for telling long term gross population trends up, down or fairly stable. However it's useless for determining rate of change or providing population estimates. MMOs almost always trend down over time aside from a short term resurgance when business model changes or new content is released. It's not going to tell you anything you shouldn't already know.

So I assume you have some examples of where XFire trends were way off the mark ? 

 

SWTOR divebombed on XFire and in real population numbers.  Other games like LOTRO and Rift have been fairly steady.  LOTRO and SWTOR also showed population increases after going F2P.  It also verified the rapid decline of D3 populations.  It's not like XFire trends the same for every MMO.

 

I've yet to see an example of XFire being completely off base with a game that started off with lots of people and then lost a ton of them.  Yet people cry every time their game shows major population decreases on XFire.  Again, this is really only useful for games that were in the top 10 at some point.  The margin of error for the low pop games makes it trickier and it's not like anyone disputes that those games have population issues anyway.

 If you would like examples where it was way off you need only wade through this thread, and the dozens of other threads that preceeded it. Like I said it shows direction not magnitude. There are no reliable D3 population numbers. There never have been. Blizzard has never released any population numbers because there is no subscription and they don't matter. Long term Xfire trends are the same for almost all MMOs. Over time they go down unless there is new content or a change in business model. I've never seen  proof of Xfire predicting actual MMO population within 10-50 thousand players. That's a huge margin of error. People can't just fudge up numbers and claim they are true you have to prove it. That is their burden not mine.

There are reliable D3 numbers.  It's related to the number of public games you see up.

 So how many people play D3 a day based on the number of public games now...... or now......... or now? Your assertion is nonsense. You can't have a rational discussion of the efficacy of xfire in predicting MMO populations because there is insufficient reliable data. If you can provide a month of accurate daily numbers for ten MMOs and compare them to Xfire numbers you might have something. You cannot.

Fewer public games, more and more people on peoples friends list gone for good, Blizzard trying to hack fixes to their broken endgame, there are a multitude of indicators.  Feel free to ignore them all if you'd like.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4684

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/02/13 9:01:32 PM#165
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Why?  The games are played on a world market.  Eve, WoW, Swtor, Ryzom... are both played on US Europe and many parts of Asia.  In each game the subscription price varies per region according to the rules and customs of that region.

Some countries in EU don't pay $15 dollars per month.  Why does it matter what they pay, as long as they pay and the rates are about the same for each game?

Because paying for one hour in a month is not nearly the same as paying for the entire month regardless of time played.  Yet they get counted as equal.  Eventually you'll understand the point I'm making.  But I won't try again.

I understand I just dont' agree.

The other games are subject to that same rule and are still on X-fire.  Therefore since the games are played in the same region for the same amount, that is not a factor that is usefull in determining a population.

It's a non significant variable and therefore completely moot when discussing whehter x-fire is a valid tool or not.  Where they are played, or how they pay as long a they played in the same regions and the people in that region pay the same amount makes it moot.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 9:15:48 PM#166

Why is this thread the XFire thread?

XFire thread posters should demonstrate at a very minimum .pdf proof of at least one statistics course in university with at least a B average.

 

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 9:16:23 PM#167

Last year a friend of mine (MMO friend only) demonstrated with as much precision as possible that XFire was an accurate correlator of intraMMO populations:  both in terms of those logged in and those subscribed. 

The methodology was simple:  A script pulled all XFire numbers over a period of 3 years for the top 20 MMOs that were out there.

Data was then assembled from separate posts that measured in-game populations from within the game. 

Data was also gathered from companies that trade publicly and released subscription numbers, or from where subscription numbers could be directly calculated.

Ratios were calculated.  Simple regression, least squares, was applied. 

The result?  R2 was .88. 

So you can hazard guesses until the cows come home as to why it is correlated.  But anyone with a statistics background who ALSO has a bit of common sense could likely figure out that SHOCKER...Xfire populations are a representative sample of a game's playerbase in so far as likelihood to play and subscribe is concerned.  It does not matter if you get more hardcore gamers, it just so happens, fortuitously, that they tend to quit games as much as your less hardcore non x-fire gamer does.

Or at least, good enough to sneak out a .88 R2.

Cheers,

RexTerra aka Loicenick aka Leaky the Leviathan aka Litigator

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/02/13 9:16:59 PM#168
Originally posted by FrodoFragins

I'll be honest, this thread is pointless.  This is exactly what the moderators want to avoid.   It's like arguing over religion or politics to some.  Nobody wants to debate the efficacy of XFire. 

 

The problem I have is that this site doesn't allow for people that see value the XFire numbers to do so without being derailed or flamed by people that claim XFire numbers are useless.  The mods here refuse to just punish the derailers and trolls.  There's no reason that each game can't have an XFire thread that is free from trolls and XFire deniers.  They don't want to deal with moderating it, even though many of us see value in XFire numbers and appreciate people keeping long term track of them.  As XFire seems to only display them for a brief period of time.

 

There is literally no safe way to discuss population numbers here if they aren't sourced by publisher propaganda.

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 9:19:09 PM#169

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

1/02/13 9:22:57 PM#170
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

You did nothing more than state "My friend did" lol. Thats not really hard to argue against. 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

1/02/13 9:23:27 PM#171


Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG. You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.
I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.




You didn't answer anything. There's almost no actual information in your post at all.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 9:25:20 PM#172

They deleted the thread.  If he has it saved and if I can contact him I will repost it.

I would hope it is not deleted again. 

But assuming that the data is valid, do you agree that this settles the argument?

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 9:27:37 PM#173
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

You did nothing more than state "My friend did" lol. Thats not really hard to argue against. 

Do you agree with the argument then?  Honestly it is a lot of work to have to pull the data again (from a contact perspective). 

But if it is enough to settle this silly debate I'd love to end it:  XFire is a sound correlation for in-game player populations and game subscription levels as a whole. 

And if someone believes it is not, please provide your argument?

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4684

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/02/13 9:29:28 PM#174
As one of my old profs said, don't give us your conclusions, don't give us your reasoning, don't give us your opinion.  Give us the data, we'll decide if it's valid.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/02/13 9:29:29 PM#175
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

So where is this regression formula then?  You are saying you came up with a formula where some coeeficient times number of xfire users plus an offset comes with an accurate representation of users?  Im calling BS until you post the formula and we can test it vs common sense. (common sense tells us that 738 users for Eve vs 30 users for EQ2 shows there are other factors at play)

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

1/02/13 9:34:05 PM#176
Originally posted by gamesrfun
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

You did nothing more than state "My friend did" lol. Thats not really hard to argue against. 

Do you agree with the argument then?  Honestly it is a lot of work to have to pull the data again (from a contact perspective). 

But if it is enough to settle this silly debate I'd love to end it:  XFire is a sound correlation for in-game player populations and game subscription levels as a whole. 

And if someone believes it is not, please provide your argument?

Here's the thing, feel free to do what you wish to do. As it stands I am completely comfortable with my stance on Xfire numbers. I don't feel that they are reliable at all. There are simply to many variables for anyone to use in the way they attempt to use them.

Being comfortable with my stance and you give me no data what so ever and tell me I am supposed to change my point of view because an in game friend of yours at one point convienced you simply doesn't fly. 

Post the data and we can go from there lol. 

  TheCrow2k

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

1/02/13 9:46:17 PM#177
Sorry OP but your base data collection Method is flawed. Not everyone uses xfire and I daresay for example that casual gamers wouldn't even know what it was let alone use it. As a result any game that has a lot of casual players is being misrepresented in your base data & this is just one example.
  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 10:09:16 PM#178
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Thats because the people that want to use X-Fire ARE DOING IT WRONG.

You want to use it as a tool?  Figure out how.  Answer my challenge from a page or two back, or at least discuss *how* we can use x-fire given its limitations.  Its clear that the OP's xfire factor is useless rubbish.  So figure out a way to incorporate different factors besides raw users.   Fiigure out *why* a higher percentage of EvE users use xfire than Rift, and a higher percentage of rift users use XFire than EQ1.  Once we can do that we can discuss xfire is a player measure.

I just answered it.

Or is someone going to argue against demonstrated correlation today?  Be my guest.

So where is this regression formula then?  You are saying you came up with a formula where some coeeficient times number of xfire users plus an offset comes with an accurate representation of users?  Im calling BS until you post the formula and we can test it vs common sense. (common sense tells us that 738 users for Eve vs 30 users for EQ2 shows there are other factors at play)

I already gave you the formula.  Simple Regression/least squares.

I didn't invent linear regression lol.  Try Stats 101.

And no, you don't get a "common sense" pass.  If you are anti-statistics, then you are not allowed to participate.  I don't let Creationists debate on my newsgroup either.

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2796

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

1/02/13 10:32:49 PM#179

XFire, much like any polling device, is not going to be an accurate device to rate how many people play compared to actual hard numbers given from the game company with actual number charts giving the exact data needed.

Case in point, say I have a room with 100 people. Left will be the full population while the right will be Xfire, with people in Xfire playing counting towards the 100 total.

 

XFire Bias

  Total People XFire Users
# Available 100 20
Play Game 35 15
% Playing 35% 75%

 

XFire Unpopular

  Total People XFire Users
# Available 100 20
Play Game 60 5
% Playing 60% 25%

 

 

As you can see, the % difference can be vastly different as the poll of players vary greatly as more users might play on Xfire while the very same can happen were fewer use XFire but might play overall. That being said, it can 'possibly' be used to pick up trends in when population increases in a game, but those types of trends can easily be pointed out without numbers, relying instead upon patches and other factors to expose the cause.

XFire is NOT a good way to judge a game's population. Unless the game is able to somehow manage to have an Equal % based representation with the total population (a feat which would be incredibly difficult to pull off) its just not going to stand a chance at being able to be a valid tool to judge anything outside possibly the influx of players at a certain time.

 

  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

1/02/13 10:51:40 PM#180
Originally posted by Purutzil

XFire, much like any polling device, is not going to be an accurate device to rate how many people play compared to actual hard numbers given from the game company with actual number charts giving the exact data needed.

Case in point, say I have a room with 100 people. Left will be the full population while the right will be Xfire, with people in Xfire playing counting towards the 100 total.

 

XFire Bias

  Total People XFire Users
# Available 100 20
Play Game 35 15
% Playing 35% 75%

 

XFire Unpopular

  Total People XFire Users
# Available 100 20
Play Game 60 5
% Playing 60% 25%

 

 

As you can see, the % difference can be vastly different as the poll of players vary greatly as more users might play on Xfire while the very same can happen were fewer use XFire but might play overall. That being said, it can 'possibly' be used to pick up trends in when population increases in a game, but those types of trends can easily be pointed out without numbers, relying instead upon patches and other factors to expose the cause.

XFire is NOT a good way to judge a game's population. Unless the game is able to somehow manage to have an Equal % based representation with the total population (a feat which would be incredibly difficult to pull off) its just not going to stand a chance at being able to be a valid tool to judge anything outside possibly the influx of players at a certain time.

 

Okay this is why people without stats backgrounds should not be allowed to post here.  Can't we have a meritocracy on at least one topic? 

 

Please? 

If XFire correlates to the population of 10-15 games (which it does) it is highly likely that it is a correlate for all games.  Perhaps there are a few examples where it does not.  But it has proven to be a very good analyzer of game populations.

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