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Old 07-24-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
Lasher
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10 years of MUD stats.

I don't usually post Aardwolf stuff here, I figure it gets enough coverage on TMS as it is. I'm posting this one because I think it will be interesting to most MUD owners and I'd be very interested to get a feel for how much of this is local to Aardwolf and how well the numbers represents MUDs overall. The numbers themselves are less important than the trend (or lack of one):

Is Aardwolf Dying? - Aardwolf MUD Blog
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

I would be very interested in whatever it is you use to record usage stats
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Interesting stats. Do the bumps correspond with major updates? I also noticed the playerbase appears to have declined prior to the V3 release, but remained stable since then. At what point did you stop working on V2 and concentrate exclusively on V3? Did you notice a decline while no new content appeared?

I've observed a strong correlation between playerbase and new content on my own mud - the playerbase slowly declines over time, but goes back up whenever new content is added. This is actually one of the major reasons I'm so interested in player-generated content.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Quote:
I've observed a strong correlation between playerbase and new content on my own mud
Same. I held 5-15 players on when I was making a couple changes per week. If I fell behind, in a couple of months it'd be around 2-6 players on average.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Interesting stats. Do the bumps correspond with major updates? I also noticed the playerbase appears to have declined prior to the V3 release, but remained stable since then. At what point did you stop working on V2 and concentrate exclusively on V3? Did you notice a decline while no new content appeared?

I've observed a strong correlation between playerbase and new content on my own mud - the playerbase slowly declines over time, but goes back up whenever new content is added. This is actually one of the major reasons I'm so interested in player-generated content.
The spikes are very seasonal. Aardwolf has always been busiest in the October-March time period, particularly around December as that is the mud "birthday" and a lot of events are run.

A lot of "V3" was developed slowly over a period of years (with a few starts and stops in there) so the impact was low. There was a period of about 8 months right at the end where development was 100% on that (Aug 2007 to March 2008) but there really wasn't a big drop in numbers. There was one right after. With any major change (including a major rebalance) there will be a good amount of people who don't like the new environment and move on and, as of you already know, replacing them is increasingly more difficult.

I think what you said about content is accurate, but it's not as well defined as "put new content in get more players". More of a general feel that when the game is getting regular updates people are more engaged and active and during those times when it isn't, you can start to feel the atmosphere slip after a while.

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Originally Posted by Melopene
I would be very interested in whatever it is you use to record usage stats
No special magic here Melopene, just an hourly event that counts players online and appends it to a file.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Just stumbled across an old comment on another forum which brought this thread to mind:

"Aardwolf is still running. However, 4 years ago they had over 2000 people on at a time, now its down to like 300."

That comment was made 19th May 2009. Looking at the stats from 4 years earlier, the number was actually around 450 players, which was Aardwolf during its peak years.

It brings to mind similar claims I've seen in the past - like the guy who insisted that his mud had used to have 256+ players online at all times, until I dug up some old usenet posts that proved his mud had peaked at 60-80 players back in its prime. This same person also claimed to have read an article in 1994 which said there were "nearly 1 MILLION players on muds"!

Similarly, while researching Wikipedia references for muds, when I've found reliable sources the figures they claim are sometimes much lower than the figures that are generally thrown around by former players.

It makes me wonder just how much of "the dwindling player base" is due to poor memory and exaggerated rumours. If people believe that Aardwolf has dropped from "over 2000 people on at a time" down to 300 over a period of 4 years, then it's hardly any wonder that they might think the mud is dying!

But what we're seeing from these stats is that Aardwolf averaged roughly 300-350 players prior to late 2003, then went up to around 400-450 players over a period of 2-3 years, then went back down to around 300-350 players - and has remained at around that number for the last 5 years. Is that even a decline? Or was there just a "bump" in a generally consistent playerbase?
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post

It makes me wonder just how much of "the dwindling player base" is due to poor memory and exaggerated rumours. If people believe that Aardwolf has dropped from "over 2000 people on at a time" down to 300 over a period of 4 years, then it's hardly any wonder that they might think the mud is dying!
That's a very good point. Aardwolf never had 2000 players on, or even 1000. The "average max" during the peak was 450-550, the most that would generally be online at the busiest time of day. That number is definitely down, but it still touches 400+ quite often.

The most online at a time *ever* was 853 during a MUD birthday celebration. The absolute highest "24 hour average" was 590 on that same day.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:22 AM   #8
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
The spikes are very seasonal. Aardwolf has always been busiest in the October-March time period, particularly around December as that is the mud "birthday" and a lot of events are run.
Interesting I've always found AU's peak time to be summer when the student segment of our population is on break, and not sleeping.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Re: 10 years of MUD stats.

Personally, I just wish more people were on the mandatory roleplay MUD's.
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