State of the Donut 2012

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gorboth
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Posts: 2306
Joined: 03 Mar 2010 20:51
Location: Some old coffin

State of the Donut 2012

Post by gorboth » 10 Nov 2012 00:51

Code: Select all

Fellow Genesis Enthusiasts,

The time has come again for me to attempt a general assessment of things in
our happy MUD home. The "state of the donut" address has been something
I've traditionally tried to do either at the end of the year, or
concurrent with the anniversary of the beginning of the Genesis Census.
It has been just over 5 years now since we began tracking player data with
the census, and so I'm in the mood to take a nice hard look at our game
with that as my signal.

In this address, I'll begin with a look at some data and offer some
thoughts on what we can draw from them. Then, I'll talk about current
realities of the game, including our active development staff and the
projects that are underway. From there, I'll look forward and try to make
some predictions about what is possible and what is probable for our
future.

So ... lets start with data. Here is the graph for our Year To Date (YTD)
of player logins for 2012:

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                               |
|            Average Per Hour (APH) by week for 2012            |
|                  Average APH overall: 10.3                    |
|                                                               |
+---------+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+
|    14.0 |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |     |    |
| H  13.5 |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |     |    |
| O  13.0 |     |    |    |     |X   |    |     |    |     |    |
| U  12.5 |     |    |X   |   X |X   |    |     |    |     |    |
| R  12.0 |     |    |X   |   X |X   |    |     |    |     |    |
|    11.5 |     |    |XX  |   X |X   |    |     | XX |     |    |
| E  11.0 |     |   X|XX  |  XXX|X   |    |     | XX |X X  |  XX|
| A  10.5 |     |  XX|XXX |  XXX|X   |    |X    | XX |XXX  | XXX|
| C  10.0 |    X|  XX|XXXX| XXXX|X   |    |X  X | XXX|XXX  |XXXX|
| H   9.5 |  X X|X XX|XXXX|XXXXX|X   |    |X  X | XXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
|     9.0 |X X X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XX  |    |XX XX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
| W   8.5 |X X X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XX  |   X|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
| E   8.0 |X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX | XXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
| E   7.5 |X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
| K   7.0 |XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|
+---------+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+
|  Month  |Jan  |Feb |Mar |Apr  |May |Jun |Jul  |Aug |Sep  |Oct |
+---------+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+

In May through the middle of Summer, many of our wizards (myself included)
dropped off the map for a while. This seemed to also happen for many of
our players. It may or may not be coincidence that Diablo III debuted
around this time. I spent many weeks playing it, and was distracted
by travel and other concerns throughout the Summer. In September I found
renewed interest in the game, and began logging in again regularly and
doing what I could to reconnect wizards to coding projects and get
communication going again with various things. In recent months, much
has changed for the better, and many efforts and activity levels renewed.

Now, lets look at this last year in context with the last 5:

+-----+----+------------+------------+------------+------------+----------
|21.5 |    |            |            |            |            |
|21.0 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|20.5 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|20.0 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|19.5 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|19.0 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|18.5 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|18.0 |    |      XX    |            |            |            |
|17.5 |    |      XX    | X  X       |            |        X   |
|17.0 |    |     XXX    | X  X X     |            |        XX  |
|16.5 |    |     XXX    | XX XXXX    |            |        XX  |
|16.0 |    |   X XXX    | XXXXXXXXX  |            |        XX  |
|15.5 |  XX|XX X XXX    |XXXXXXXXXX  |  X         |        XX  |
|15.0 |  XX|XX X XXX    |XXXXXXXXXX  | XX    X    |     XXXXX  | Diablo 3!
|14.5 | XXX|XX XXXXXX   |XXXXXXXXXX  | XX    X    |     XXXXX  |     |
|14.0 | XXX|XX XXXXXX   |XXXXXXXXXX  | XX    X    |    XXXXXX  |     |
|13.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXX   |XXXXXXXXXX  |XXX  X X    |    XXXXXX  |     |
|13.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXX  |XXXXXXXXXXX |XXX  X XX   |  XXXXXXXX  |     |
|12.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXX X|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXX X XX   | XXXXXXXXX  |     |
|12.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXX XXXX  X|XXXXXXXXXXX |     v
|11.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXX XXXX  X|XXXXXXXXXXX |
|11.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXX XX|XXXXXXXXXXX |  X     X
|10.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXX |  XX   XXX
|10.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXX | XXXX XXXX
| 9.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX| XXXX XXXX
| 9.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX| XXXX XXXX
| 8.5 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXX XXXX
| 8.0 | XXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXXXX|XXXXXXXXXX
+-----+----+------------+------------+------------+------------+----------
|Month| OND|JFMAMJJASOND|JFMAMJJASOND|JFMAMJJASOND|JFMAMJJASOND|JFMAMJJASO
+-----+----+------------+------------+------------+------------+----------
| Year|2007|   2008     |    2009    |   2010     |   2011     |   2012
+-----+----+------------+------------+------------+------------+----------
| Ave.|15.5|   15.8     |    16.1    |   13.0     |    14.0    |   10.3
+-----+----+------------+------------+------------+------------+----------

Excuse me while I wipe the vomit from my screen. Yeah. This isn't exactly
what we want to see is it? Clearly, 2012 has been a very real departure
from the activity levels Genesis has enjoyed in prior years. I feel that
the game has been boiled down to the "absolute players" who have made
Genesis their hobby through thick and thin, and who will play so long as
we keep the doors open and the lights on. Thank goodness for such players!
Whether or not you value the style of gameplay that these players employ
(grinding, primarily) we should be glad to see anyone who chooses to
come and have fun in our world. And, I am happy to say, that despite the
low numbers, much good roleplay continues in pockets of the playerbase. 

Speaking of that playerbase, let's look at some specific information as it
breaks down by guild. I've calculated two sets of rankings here. To
understand how these rankings are generated, I ran numbers for the month
of October 2012, and checked each guild by day. To be represented in the
count for that day, a given guild would have had to have members logged
in when the census took it's snapshot. It is therefore possible that
members were logged in but not counted. We can still view this as giving
a fairly good estimate of the correct rankings if we presume that those
guilds who have players logged in more often are more likely to have them
appear in the hourly snapshots taken by the census.

There are two lists, one that takes all the hours of a day and averages
them together to paint a picture of the overall activity of guilds for
the entire 24 hour cycle. Then, the second list shows us activity at the
peak hour of gameplay in Genesis, which happens to be 22:00.

     Representation Averaged Over Entire Day In October 2012:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Mercs:      1.343
    2. Angmar:     0.812
    3. Dragonarmy: 0.593
    4. Monks:      0.562
    5. Niedar:     0.437
    6. Rangers:    0.343
    7. Calians:    0.125
       Cadets:     0.125
       Gladiator:  0.125
    8. Academics:  0.093
       Mages:      0.093

    No measurable representation:
       Ogres:      0.000
       Kender:     0.000
       Knights:    0.000
       PoT:        0.000
       ScoP:       0.000
       Union:      0.000

    Representation During Peak Hour (22:00 gametime) In October 2012:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Mercs:      3.375
    2. Angmar:     2.718
    3. Monks:      1.937
    4. Rangers:    1.687
    5. Niedar:     1.437
    6. Gladiator:  1.125
    7. Mages:      0.968
    8. Dragonarmy: 0.937
    9. Cadets:     0.906
   10. Calian:     0.875
   11. Ogres:      0.656
   12. Knights:    0.593
   13. PoT:        0.500
   14. Union:      0.406
   15. Academic:   0.281
   16. ScoP:       0.218
   17. Kender:     0.187

What is nice to see here is that every single occupational guild in the
game retains active players. Not all guilds are active enough to be
counted in the daily average list, but during peak hours, you do have the
chance to find members of any occ guild logged on from time to time. In
the case of the least active guild, you would be likely to find a Kender
logged in roughly 1 in 5 days during 22:00. In case of the most active
guild, you would be likely to see nearly 4 Mercenaries logged in during
22:00 every day.

In terms of general trends, it would appear that our guilds that cater to
casual play are the most populated, while those that cater to much more
hardcore roleplay, overseen by strict council regulation, enjoy fewer
members. Even so, I am aware of high-quality roleplay even where numbers
are scarce, and can say that all of our guilds have some life in them.

In terms of how activity breaks down in the span of a given day, here are
the numbers, including which weekdays are the most popular:
       
       +---------------------------------------------------------+
       |              Jan 01 2012 - Nov 01 2012                  |
       +-------+-------+--+-----------+-------+------------------+
       | Hour  |  APH  |  | Weekday   |  APH  |                  |
       +-------+-------+  +-----------+-------+                  |
       | 00.00 | 13.62 |  | Sunday    | 11.11 |                  |
       | 01.00 | 10.53 |  | Monday    | 10.37 |                  |
       | 02.00 |  8.97 |  | Tuesday   |  9.91 |                  |
       | 03.00 |  8.15 |  | Wednesday | 10.42 |                  |
       | 04.00 |  7.15 |  | Thursday  | 10.22 |                  |
       | 05.00 |  6.57 |  | Friday    |  9.73 |                  |
 low-->| 06.00 |  6.01 |  | Saturday  | 10.17 |                  |
       | 07.00 |  6.10 |  +-----------+-------+                  |
       | 08.00 |  6.61 |                                         |
       | 09.00 |  7.44 |                                         |
       | 10.00 |  8.03 |  +--------------------------------------+
       | 11.00 |  8.50 |  |       - - - Field  Size - - -        |
       | 12.00 |  8.96 |  | Number of days in 2012 YTD:     305  |
       | 13.00 |  9.42 |  +--------------------------------------+
       | 14.00 | 10.00 |                                         |
       | 15.00 | 10.69 |                                         |
       | 16.00 | 11.40 |                                         |
       | 17.00 | 12.01 |  +--------------------------------------+
       | 18.00 | 12.82 |  |           Overall Summary            |
       | 19.00 | 13.89 |  +--------------------------------------+
       | 20.00 | 15.90 |  | Overall average for 2012 YTD:  10.28 |
       | 21.00 | 16.89 |  +--------------------------------------+
peak-->| 22.00 | 16.98 |                                         |
       | 23.00 | 16.34 |                                         |
       +-------+-------+-----------------------------------------+

From the above data, it seems our most popular times are those that
correspond to late night in Europe and afternoon for the United States.
Sunday has become our most populous day of the week with Wednesday
remaining our most popular weekday, perhaps due in part to the Market
Quest.

Now I'll move on to the state of the current game in terms of development.
It should be understood that at the beginning of 2012 there were fewer
wizards in active development than probably at any time in the 20 year
history of Genesis. In fact, the number was very nearly zero (our
steadfast Admin notwithstanding). But the lights stayed on, and much like
a myth who decides to pay 37 visits to the giants northwest of Sparkle to
rid themselves of all that pesky non-quest experience, when I reactivated
my own interest in the Spring, I felt there was only huge improvement to
be anticipated in the months to come! :-)

And, as it so often happens, a new season seems to have come once again
for our game. Many wizards have returned to visit Genesis in recent
days - some from the very ancient past! Styles, Elessar, and Olorin, all
of whom were instrumental in the creation of some of our oldest content,
have made appearances and reconnected with Genesis. While Mercade, Stern,
and Cotillion have remained steady presences, it is just recently that
myself, Petros, and Lavellan have found our way back to active duty among
the Admin. 

As hasn't been the case for quite some time, numerous wizards are at work
with various small-scale projects. Boreaulam recently completed a small
quest near Sparkle involving an update of the old goblin caves. Bendis is
creating a fun quest for Sparkle City itself. Cherek is working on some
updates for the website that would bring a lot of color to the maps we
offer. Kellon is hard at work on a fairly extensive project for a new
area with quests in Krynn. And, most recently, Zhar has come on board to
try his hand at some improvements to Khalakhor. This is a lot of activity
which stands in stark comparison to the doldrums of our year's opening!

In terms of large-scale projects, Lavellan is looking into building some
infrastructure for a module that will function with Twitter and possibly
Facebook that allows Genesis to broadcast to listeners various types of
information. This is a critical step in updating our game to give us the
kinds of functionality that are now standard in the industry for
connecting to our users and their friends. What is more, he is also
starting work on the long-discussed project of creating "Achievements"
in Genesis.

Sandalphon remains interested in further development of our client, and
is continuing to think about the project as he finds time with his busy
RL schedule.

Eowul has returned to Genesis and is back to work in full swing on the
recode of the Morgul Mages. This is extremely significant, as that effort
had suffered essentially a full stop of late. Petros continues his work
on the vision he has for a true neutral occupational caster guild for
Genesis, eventually slated to exist in place of the current ScoP guild
as a different offering following the themes of Calia. With Navarre's own
efforts with the PoT still in process, this truly means that we are
getting back on track with our guild recodes, tackling all of our occ
magic-user guilds!

And, as many of you know from posts on the official forum, my own work on
a new guild offering for Genesis has been proceeding nicely. I now believe
that I am halfway complete with the creation of the Cult of Chemosh, which
will be a guild for full-scale occupational Necromancers in Genesis. Work
on this guild, while not entirely defensible against the question, "Does
the game really need a NEW guild right now?" ... has done what I hoped
it would. It has gotten me completely excited about Genesis again,
reconnected me to my passion for development here, and helped me maintain
activity to the level that I've been able to facilitate many of the
developments listed above. 

So ... all this being said, where are things headed? My own skills as a
forcaster for Genesis playerbase populations have long-since been revealed
to be desperate guesswork. This being the case, I think what I can do here
instead is to look at examples from the past, since we now have five nice
years of census data to examine and call history. This is not the first
serious decline in the history of the Genesis Census. In 2010 player logins
dropped nearly 24% from the previous year. Then, in 2011, we did this:

+---------+------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+---
| A  18.5 |      |    |    |    |     |    |    |     |  X
| V  18.0 |      |    |    |    |     |    |    |    X|X X
| G  17.5 |      |    |    |    |     |    |    |    X|XXX
|    17.0 |      |    |    |    |     |    |    |    X|XXX
| P  16.5 |      |    |    |    |     |    |    |X   X|XXX
| E  16.0 |      |    |    |    |     |   X|    |X   X|XXX
| R  15.5 |      |    |    |    |  X  | X X|    |X   X|XXX
|    15.0 |      |    |   X|    |  XX | X X|X  X|X   X|XXX
| H  14.5 |      |    |   X|    |  XX |XXXX|XX X|X  XX|XXX
| O  14.0 |      |    |   X|    | XXX |XXXX|XXXX|X  XX|XXX
| U  13.5 |      |    |   X|    | XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|X  XX|XXX
| R  13.0 |   X  | XXX|   X|X XX| XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
|    12.5 |  XX  | XXX| XXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| E  12.0 |X XX  |XXXX| XXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| A  11.5 |X XX  |XXXX| XXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| C  11.0 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| H  10.5 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
|    10.0 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| W   9.5 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| E   9.0 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| E   8.5 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
| K   8.0 |XXXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXX
+---------+------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+---
|  Month  |Jan   |Feb |Mar |Apr |May  |Jun |Jul |Aug  |Sep
+---------+------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+---

That 9 month stretch in 2011 proves exactly what can happen when sustained
efforts are made toward the development and promotion of the game. Right
now I feel that developent is gearing back up and in a very good position.
Were we to see promotion by both players and wizards similar to what we
had in those months, it could be reasonably expected that similar results
would be possible for our next 9 months beginning now.

So there you have it. There is much to be excited about in Genesis! New
projects are well underway, and old projects are renewed in their momentum.
Old players return and new players continue to welcome them. I can't wait
to see where we land in 2013.

Thanks for another great year together!
G.

Mmmmmm ... pie ...

User avatar
Rhaegar
Legend
Posts: 960
Joined: 13 May 2010 06:22

Re: State of the Donut 2012

Post by Rhaegar » 10 Nov 2012 01:55

Niedar ftw!
I fear no evil for I am fear incarnate.

Gadez
Beginner
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Oct 2010 01:47

Re: State of the Donut 2012

Post by Gadez » 13 Nov 2012 02:53

Mmmmm ... Necromancer!

User avatar
Zhar
Wizard
Posts: 863
Joined: 17 Apr 2012 12:09

Re: State of the Donut 2012

Post by Zhar » 13 Nov 2012 16:44

:?:
Time is precious. Waste it wisely.

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