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Mwo Obt - Failure To Launch!?


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#1 zmeul

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:47 AM

or just delayed reaction ...

before I begin I would like to state that I'm not an statistician or analyst and what follows is not 100% accurate

Tuesday, the 30th, I got this idea about monitoring the number or players that registered since Open BETA (a.k.a. OBT) and since the number of active players in the game was removed (I will not discuss the reason), the only way was to monitor the number of total accounts created
1st I had to verify that a new account is also given automatically a forum account, I did and it's verified.
I know it's 1 day late, but still ..

Also note that I didn't collect the data on regular intervals.

Starting on 30th 5PM my local time (GMT+2), the number of total users was 386256; to the moment of posting this, the number is 393378.
From that day, there are 7122 new user accounts created.

Posted Image

Now the growth per day is as follows, starting day 2 obviously:
  • 983
  • 873
  • 576
  • 777
  • 1285
  • 1082
  • 892
  • 654 (at the time of posting)
you can see a somewhat substantial increase during the weekend

this is how it looks from a daily perspective:
Posted Image
(note: slight mistake from me, image reposted with correct data/day)


What do I make from all of this? two things:
  • MWO OTB was launched prematurely
  • PGI and IGP created a hype around the game and at the launch of the global open beta it did not lived to expectations.
The 1.81% that account for the users created since OBT started, from the total of accounts, is the sword MWO fell into.


I would not comment on what sould've been done differently or what PGI/IGP should do from now on, the damage is done and they need to "fix" it; damage control mode ON

Today is the patch day, and hopefully some of the issues will get addressed, and also maybe interest in the game will rise.
This is why I will continue to monitor the number of user accounts; I will return in 1 week with another batch of data collected starting today.


If you find an irregularity or have some comment, please do tell.



[15.11.2012]
by the time I'm done posting this it's already the 15th for me

so .. I'm back with a new batch of data gathered from 6 (completing the day) to 15 of this month
Nr of accounts to date are 399674, out of which 13418 were created since OBT launched - they now account for 3.36% of total registered users

Posted Image

the number of new accounts created / day, starting with day 2 (30th of Nov) are as follows:
  • 983
  • 873
  • 576
  • 777
  • 1285
  • 1082
  • 892
  • 976
  • 936
  • 800
  • 727
  • 873
  • 846
  • 638
  • 610
  • 544
Posted Image


the numbers of new accounts created / day is "going down" and despite what Mr. Russ Bullock said in the N.G.N.G. podcast, it doesn't look encouraging at all
maybe this is the real reason for pushing 3rd person view?!

also you can notice that today (well yesterday for me) we hit a new low in nr of registrations

Edited by zmeul, 14 November 2012 - 02:16 PM.


#2 Mechwarrior Buddah

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:52 AM

ibtl
criticizm is handled by the golds

View Postzmeul, on 06 November 2012 - 07:47 AM, said:

damage control mode ON


why active accounts gets removed in any mmo Ive played previous to this

#3 Taryys

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for collecting the numbers.
This is interesting stuff to see.

#4 Naeron66

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:59 AM

View Postzmeul, on 06 November 2012 - 07:47 AM, said:

What do I make from all of this? two things:
  • MWO OTB was launched prematurely
  • PGI and IGP created a hype around the game and at the launch of the global open beta it did not lived to expectations.
The 1.81% that account for the users created since OBT started, from the total of accounts, is the sword MWO fell into.



Or .... People are not that eager to join an Open Beta compared to those who join after an actual Launch.

This game and WoT are the only 2 betas I have ever joined, all the other games I have waited until launch.

Edited by Naeron66, 06 November 2012 - 08:01 AM.


#5 zmeul

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

View PostNaeron66, on 06 November 2012 - 07:59 AM, said:

Or .... People are not that eager to join an Open Beta compared to those who join after an actual Launch.

the 386k of users created before OBT was launched would beg to differ, and also the fact that the game accepts payments
and if you have to compare it with HAWKEN's CBT stage 1, the number is small - sadly

I would love to see how may of those accounts are Alpha+CBT+founders, but I guess it needs a crawler and PGI won't be happy with the bandwidth usage
in the end would be impossible since the Alpha and CBT users are not marked like the founders

Edited by zmeul, 06 November 2012 - 08:09 AM.


#6 Alex Wolfe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

View PostLivewyr, on 06 November 2012 - 07:57 AM, said:

(It also didn't help that the ****tard premade griefers made new players miserable the night of OB...God I wish I could shoot their Mouse hand..)

It's the system that PGI/IGP enabled, and chose to launch with, same as broken balance and ruthless, XP-less new player grind.

Maximizing gains is just human nature. Curbing those tendencies in their game falls to the developers. No excuses.

There were many, many voices repeating that the game isn't anywhere near ready for OB launch and there's the danger of a flop and terrible word of mouth. The devs/publishers chose to launch despite the community's protests and suggestions to change the terrible trial mech grind and add more content before launching. They wear the albatross, and the bullseye now.

Edited by Alex Wolfe, 06 November 2012 - 08:16 AM.


#7 Regergek

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:13 AM

Trial mechs ruined the game

#8 Taram

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:18 AM

View PostLivewyr, on 06 November 2012 - 07:57 AM, said:

(It also didn't help that the ****tard premade griefers made new players miserable the night of OB...God I wish I could shoot their Mouse hand..)


Yes because it's totally the fault of the folks who joined units and like to drop together that PGI has steadfastly refused to add a drop lobby or any other system that would let "premades" choose to drop against each other instead of random pugs. It's also totally our fault that PGI has failed to implement any method for pugs to organize themselves, instead relying on community provided free teamspeak servers, that any pug can join for free, so they can organize. Interestingly even though it's totally free to do it and those that do win nearly as often as 'premades' hardly any 'pugs' bother to go join them.

But hey, yeah, blame the people who enjoy the game so much that we play it the way it is intended to be played.

Edited by Taram, 06 November 2012 - 08:20 AM.


#9 OlF

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

zmeul, could you give some data for comparison? Since you metioned hawken.

I would find that interesting.

Edit: Even more interesting woud be the actual Players-online Number (as you mentioned), but that was taken out of the Mechlab. What a conicidence.

Edited by OlF, 06 November 2012 - 08:36 AM.


#10 Alex Wolfe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

View PostRegergek, on 06 November 2012 - 08:13 AM, said:

Trial mechs ruined the game

I'd say that's a big part of it, yes.

"Hey guys I want to play this new game, is it fun?"

"Kind of, but first you'll need to spend a few days grinding credits on an underpowered mech with terrible heat efficiency and no fighting chance vs. a custom config, while not receiving any XP and not being able to modify it in any way, or spend money on a completely run-of-the-mill mech you'd be able to buy a dozen of in your second week anyway".

"Gee whiz this sure sounds like a game I'd like to play!"

Blake-damn-it :) .

#11 Kyrie

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

View PostAlex Wolfe, on 06 November 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

I'd say that's a big part of it, yes.

"Hey guys I want to play this new game, is it fun?"

"Kind of, but first you'll need to spend a few days grinding credits on an underpowered mech with terrible heat efficiency and no fighting chance vs. a custom config, while not receiving any XP and not being able to modify it in any way, or spend money on a completely run-of-the-mill mech you'd be able to buy a dozen of in your second week anyway".

"Gee whiz this sure sounds like a game I'd like to play!"

Blake-damn-it :) .


While I agree in large part with what you are saying, the relatively low numbers signing up for accounts is really quite troubling. In other words, not many people are bothering to try the game despite a fairly large investment in advertising. I still see the banner ads everywhere...

#12 von Bremerhaven

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:35 AM

View PostAlex Wolfe, on 06 November 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

I'd say that's a big part of it, yes.

"Hey guys I want to play this new game, is it fun?"

"Kind of, but first you'll need to spend a few days grinding credits on an underpowered mech with terrible heat efficiency and no fighting chance vs. a custom config, while not receiving any XP and not being able to modify it in any way, or spend money on a completely run-of-the-mill mech you'd be able to buy a dozen of in your second week anyway".

"Gee whiz this sure sounds like a game I'd like to play!"

Blake-damn-it :) .


I realize that its chalk and cheese, but go roll a character on WoW. Play it casually. After about 3 MONTHS or so, you will finally reach the level cap, and begin to START gathering the gear you need to be competitive. 2 MONTHS later, you will be geared enough for ENTRY LEVEL PvP and PvE, and even then, you will need to know the fights (have tactics) and follow orders.

How many MILLIONS have decided that, yes, in fact that IS a game I would like to play?

Just sayin....

#13 Enigmos

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

It isn't troubling when you realize we are only testing the core of the game rather than the whole. The whole isn't ready to test. Basic elements must be perfected, especially matchmaking and the social panel, before community warfare can be rolled out and tested out here.

#14 Quxudica

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:42 AM

View PostAlex Wolfe, on 06 November 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

I'd say that's a big part of it, yes.

"Hey guys I want to play this new game, is it fun?"

"Kind of, but first you'll need to spend a few days grinding credits on an underpowered mech with terrible heat efficiency and no fighting chance vs. a custom config, while not receiving any XP and not being able to modify it in any way, or spend money on a completely run-of-the-mill mech you'd be able to buy a dozen of in your second week anyway".

"Gee whiz this sure sounds like a game I'd like to play!"

Blake-damn-it :) .


Pretty much, the newbie experience is just awful. Even veterans got exceedingly tired of being put through it via resets. I was saying for a long time that MWO was going to have a PR problem if it launched into OB like it did, even during closed beta (before and after the NDA) most of the comments I saw about the game on various website articles were not positive. While the features themselves on places like Giant Bomb, RPS and PC gamer were general positive, the actual people in the comments had lukewarm or negative feelings about the game. Mostly due to the negative word-of-mouth that had spread from Closed Beta Testers that tried it out, found the intro thoroughly unenjoyable and broke NDA/talked about it since they no longer had any desire to play.

Honestly, I hate to say it but I think the only saving grace PGI has had is the simple fact there just is no competition besides Hawken for mech lovers. If this game didn't wear the Mechwarrior brand, and there were other options out there, MWO would like be dead on arrival already. It's a shame because the core of the game is (mostly) enjoyable once you get past all the questionable decisions, lack of polish and thin content offering.


Quote

It isn't troubling when you realize we are only testing the core of the game rather than the whole. The whole isn't ready to test. Basic elements must be perfected, especially matchmaking and the social panel, before community warfare can be rolled out and tested out here.


Sorry but that just doesn't hold water anymore, esepcially not for a free to play game. The difference between "Open Beta" and "Launch" is a purely semantic one these days, a game needs to put it's best foot forward as soon as the public can get their hands on it. While there aren't many "Mech" games out there, there are a metric-crap-tonne of Free to Play Shooters available and even more F2P games in other genres. There are so many things a player could spend their limited free time and money on, and they are so easily accessed, that there is just no reason for someone to stick through a game in a poor state of build unless that player is a truely dedicated fan of the IP. While Mechwarrior and Battletech are beloved, the number of fans with that level of dedication is no where near enough to make a successful game.

John Q. Public is who this game needs to impress, and so far there's very little here to hook them with yet plenty of indifferent or negative word of mouth. Heck I heard Totalbiscuit discuss MWO negatively (refering to the XP grind and the "must own three variants" system) on a pod-cast and he's a well known BT fan.

While Hawken could be considered a different sub-genre of mech game (more arcady, blend of eastern and western mech/mecha), that game beats the pants off MWO for player count, word of mouth, feature set (multiple game modes already?) and funding.

Edited by Quxudica, 06 November 2012 - 08:49 AM.


#15 Alex Wolfe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

View Postvon Bremerhaven, on 06 November 2012 - 08:35 AM, said:

I realize that its chalk and cheese, but go roll a character on WoW. Play it casually. After about 3 MONTHS or so, you will finally reach the level cap, and begin to START gathering the gear you need to be competitive. 2 MONTHS later, you will be geared enough for ENTRY LEVEL PvP and PvE, and even then, you will need to know the fights (have tactics) and follow orders.

How many MILLIONS have decided that, yes, in fact that IS a game I would like to play?

Just sayin....

Nonsense. In my foolish youth, I played WoW, from solo play and casual fishing until max level to heroic raids.

Want to know how the starting experience looks?

Ding! Level up! Took only a couple boars!

Ding! Ding! (oh cool found a nice uncommon item!) DingDingDing!

*ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED* [no achievements back when I started, there are now]

*discovered XYZ! looks amazing!* (should I learn alchemy, or enchanting?)

Ding! Dingadingadingadingding! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

In short... you're being showered with praise, prizes and hooks and all the time your character is growing. And that's on the trial account. Before you even pay them a single buck, the game is set up to make you want more. For a newbie, it's a journey alongside your character. The grind doesn't appear until way, way later.

Eventually you hit the level cap, but you can set up your character any way you want along the way, both talent-and-cosmetic-wise, and you DO get experience. You get to keep him, his name and his progress in case you want to come back and play at a later date. Anything else would be nonsense.

Want to know how MWO starting player experience compares?

Posted Image

"Pay or no fun allowed"

Edited by Alex Wolfe, 06 November 2012 - 08:50 AM.


#16 Artgathan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

View Postvon Bremerhaven, on 06 November 2012 - 08:35 AM, said:


I realize that its chalk and cheese, but go roll a character on WoW. Play it casually. After about 3 MONTHS or so, you will finally reach the level cap, and begin to START gathering the gear you need to be competitive. 2 MONTHS later, you will be geared enough for ENTRY LEVEL PvP and PvE, and even then, you will need to know the fights (have tactics) and follow orders.

How many MILLIONS have decided that, yes, in fact that IS a game I would like to play?

Just sayin....


However new players in WoW aren't stacked up against players who've been playing for 5 months to get all that gear and XP right out of the gate. In MW:O they are, which is the problem.

That said, not seeing a large spike is new users joining at the launch of Open Beta does not necessarily indicate a failure to launch. Keep in mind that many may have signed up before Open Beta so that they could have a chance to participate in Closed Beta, or simply to just be around on Day 1 of the Open Beta so that they could download and launch ASAP. Having the ability to remain informed about the progress of the game before it actually launches may mean that we get the majority of users joining before Open Beta, since they can just sit pretty and wait for the e-mail telling them that they can now start playing.

That said, good on you for collecting all of the data!

#17 Quxudica

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:55 AM

View PostAlex Wolfe, on 06 November 2012 - 08:44 AM, said:

Nonsense. In my foolish youth, I played WoW, from solo play and casual fishing until max level to heroic raids.

Want to know how the starting experience looks?

Ding! Level up! Took only a couple boars!

Ding! Ding! (oh cool found a nice uncommon item!) DingDingDing!

*ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED* [no achievements back when I started, there are now]

*discovered XYZ! looks amazing!* (should I learn alchemy, or enchanting?)

Ding! Dingadingadingadingding! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

In short... you're being showered with praise, prizes and hooks and all the time your character is growing. And that's on the trial account. Before you even pay them a single buck, the game is set up to make you want more. For a newbie, it's a journey alongside your character. The grind doesn't appear until way, way later.

Eventually you hit the level cap, but you can set up your character any way you want along the way, both talent-and-cosmetic-wise, and you DO get experience. You get to keep him, his name and his progress in case you want to come back and play at a later date. Anything else would be nonsense.

Want to know how MWO starting player experience compares?

Posted Image

"Pay or no fun allowed"


Yeah pretty much. While low level PvP was an abysmal experience (due to twinks and the fact blizzard only balanced around level cap), there was so much other stuff to do in that game and it was all so well presented/easy to get into that there was never a dearth of hooks to keep a players interest.

Also suggesting that WoW was ever a truely grindy or difficult game shows a distinct lack of experience in the genre. That game was always new player friendly even in vanilla. The quest system was actually a revolution for mmorpg design when wow first started, which actually made it substantially more new player friendly. I remember starting it comming from another mmo with my better half, I was flabbergasted by the fact I could level up doing quests, engaging in story, and didn't have to sit in a camping spot for five hours killing the same mob over and over again anymore.

#18 zmeul

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:59 AM

View PostOlF, on 06 November 2012 - 08:23 AM, said:

zmeul, could you give some data for comparison? Since you metioned hawken.
I would find that interesting.
it would be interesting but I'd rather not catch PGI's attention, the bad way

View PostOriginalTibs, on 06 November 2012 - 08:39 AM, said:

It isn't troubling when you realize we are only testing the core of the game rather than the whole. The whole isn't ready to test. Basic elements must be perfected, especially matchmaking and the social panel, before community warfare can be rolled out and tested out here.

the core game is tested during the focus test > ALPHA > CBT
when you go OPEN BETA you inviting people in to see who's who and what's what - this is when a game gets interest and can be covered in the mass media

Quote

Keep in mind that many may have signed up before Open Beta

yes, but that's just the hype the game created, I mentioned it
how many of those are actually active playing it? only PGI knows and I sincerely doubt we'll know the numbers

Edited by zmeul, 06 November 2012 - 09:11 AM.


#19 MrPenguin

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

Considering that doing an open beta is more about getting data. I'd say it was rather successful.

Also, your data shows that its doing incredibly well. Its actually far more then what I was expecting out of a niche game like mechwarrior. Yet you miss read your own data and think its failing?

How do you miss read your own data? The only way I can see that happening is if you made this data purely to show something negative about the game. In that case, your data is rendered moot because of bias. Which would be sad, because it looks decently well put together, if not lacking some information.

#20 zmeul

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:23 AM

View PostMrPenguin, on 06 November 2012 - 09:01 AM, said:

Also, your data shows that its doing incredibly well

how's that incredibly well? the graph I showed is more like a zoom in, id the Y axis would go from 0 to what the number is today it would show a flat line

if the current speed of growth keeps true, for the user base to double it would need 1 year and 2 months(!)

how is that incredibly well?! it went globally open, people are free to join in and play, there will be no more DB wipes

I could've presented it like this:
Posted Image
you see a flat line, not a single blip, spike of any sorts - almost flatline dead

Quote

lacking some information
please, do tell

Edited by zmeul, 06 November 2012 - 09:28 AM.






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