[MUD-Dev] Re: Player statistics calculation

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Fri Nov 19 13:18:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


Marc Bowden wrote:
> "B. Schulte" <bs at hamburg.roses.de> wrote:
> > What is sadly missing up to date is keeping track of the number
> > new users, which I
> > think gives also important information about the "healthiness" of
> > a mud.
> 
>   Well, yes and no. If you track both visitors and new characters,
> and the numbers are equal, that's a pretty good sign of health.
> Cases where one number is greater than the other by a wide margin
> are too far open to interpretation.

This is one stat I'd be curious to hear.  I would guess that even the
most established and newbie-friendly muds suffer from one-time-newbies;
that is, people who log on once, look around, and then never again.

It would be interesting to see which muds have the lowest ratio in order
to study what it is that makes players more likely to stick around.
We had a good thread about this some time ago (search for "newbie sword"
and you're likely to find it), but we didn't have any hard numbers to
compare, just the subjective observations of players and admin.

>   Astaria, as a case study, has an *extremely* high number of new
> characters for its population. This is not an indicator of health,
> however, since the vast majority of those new characters are
> second, third, or even fourth(!) characters for the same people, or
> are re-starting high level characters who've decided to change
> guilds or allegiances.

Ah!  That makes it much harder.  Yes, Arctic prints out the current
size of the playerbase when you enter the "sys" command; it usually hovers
in the range of 10,000.  But how many of those are duplicate characters?
(Not many are one-time-newbies; characters under 6th level get deleted
after two weeks of non-logons.)

In my case I use player accounts (an idea I shamelessly stole from Lost
Souls many moon ago), so I can tell exactly when there are new *players*
versus new *characters*.

>   I'm tempted to stick with the touchstone of number of users per
> hour and average session time per guest.

I track a lot of stuff just for admin purposes, but so far I've found the
most useful to be per-area stuff.  Specifically I track player time, player
exp gained, and player money gained, each per area.  This has worked out
nicely; for example, I caught a bug where a certain skill was allowing
people to gain ten times as much experience as it should have due to an
overflow bug.

It's also handy because you can see which areas are unused; in one case I
realized that the secret for getting into a certain area was just too
obscure, so I dropped some hints (as a mortal) to some of the players
in order to get them on the right track.  Now lots of people know about
it, since those mortals shared their knowledge.

Adam W.





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