Raptr Corrects My Perceptions – What I Played in 2013 February 4, 2014Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, World of Tanks, World of Warcraft.
As they did last year, Raptr sent me a nice summary of games that it tracked me playing over the past calendar year. So I now have my gaming summary for 2013.
This is pretty much why I bother to run Raptr. It quantifies my play time.
The report for 2012 wasn’t a big surprise. The three games I said I was playing most of the year, Rift, EVE Online, and World of Tanks, ended up being the top 3 in about the order I expected. The three together represented 71% of the play time that Raptr tracked for me.
I wasn’t keen on the circle displays, but the parity between my fantasy and space faring MMO time was pretty even.
For 2013 though, I have to admit that the numbers surprised me a bit. My guess as to how things might stack up looked something like:
- EVE Online in the #1 spot, what with the war in Fountain and Delve along with deployments to Curse.
- Something close to a four-way tie between Rift, World of Tanks, Lord of the Rings Online, and World of Warcraft, each of which I played for about a season in 2013, but none of which I played all year long.
- Then maybe Neverwinter, War Thunder, and a couple other games that I played in shorter streaks trailing behind
And what did I end up with? I will put that after the cut in order to develop some moderate level of suspense. Plus I have a lot (more) dumb graphics in the post that really look like crap and will clutter up the front page. Go artistic me.
How Bribing Rift Players Brought Raptr to New Heights March 12, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Rift.
Tags: Raptr, Storm Legion
1 comment so far
Raptr put up a case study blog post about how their cooperation with Trion around Rift lead to an increase in average user play time and hours tracked, complete with a colorful chart that proves that everything went great.
The numbers being thrown about are a 58% increase in the average daily play time and a 470% increase overall in Rift hours, as tracked by Raptr.
This was accomplished via a two-prong approach. First, Trion and Raptr offered up a free copy of Rift to players who had time tracked in games that seemed likely to have some overlap of interest. Skyrim, World of Warcraft, and Torchlight II were mentioned specifically.
Second, Trion and Raptr offered some in-game rewards for people who already played Rift. I mentioned these prizes as part of a mail bag post back in November.
The conclusion offered is pretty much “Huge success!”
During the Raptr Rewards promotion, RIFT’s daily active player numbers among Raptr members increased a full 470%. By giving away free copies of the game, and giving users exclusive rewards to work towards, Raptr and Trion Worlds managed to lower the game’s barrier to entry and revitalize the game’s community.
However, there are a couple of key items missing.
The first is that there is no mention of how many new players this promotion really brought in.
While I would accept that the entire increase wasn’t current subscribers installing Raptr just to get a special in-game item, I have to think that they represent a large portion of the increase. If I recall right, this promotion got Potshot to install Raptr again. And it is a well established fact that players will jump through hoops happily if offered a shiny in-game item.
Then there is the second item, which is more of a glaring omission.
What happened on November 13, 2012, right as that chart begins to spike?
Oh, yeah, the Storm Legion expansion launched. That alone could account for a lot of the increase, including the ramp up right before the expansion hit, as old players got themselves patched up and ready to go.
You would think that if you were going to count coup honestly, you might bring that detail up as part of your case study. I am also curious about how the hours tracked continued after the end of the chart, which cut off as numbers were starting to decline.
Ah well. It was certainly a success for Raptr, as I am sure that it got more people to use their service. I can see that more people tracked time in Rift. I just cannot tell if it added a single user to the pool of Rift players.
Xfire Numbers Now Imported into Raptr March 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment.
Tags: Battlefield 1942, Desert Combat, Raptr, Xfire
1 comment so far
I was digging through the Raptr settings trying to get it to stop sending me email for really stupid things.
Along the way I found myself in the “Identities and Achievements” section of the settings. I was wondering if any games I play might have had their achievements synced up with Raptr since I last looked. So far, no, but I did spy a setting for another service.
You can enter your Xfire account. And, more importantly, you can then import your hours tracked on Xfire into Raptr.
I suppose that shouldn’t be a big deal, since the team at Raptr was the team that did Xfire originally.
The upshot of this is that a bunch of tracking data of mine from Xfire is now reflected in my Raptr profile. To give you an idea how old some of this data is, I have a new elite ranking for…
That was back when the main reason I ran Xfire was to be able to launch games and jump onto the same server as a friend. Is that even still a feature of either Xfire or Raptr any more?
Raptr Attempts to Sum Up My 2012 Gaming February 13, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Rift, World of Tanks.
Somebody must have reminded Raptr that a new year has arrived, as they just sent me a summary of my 2012 gaming as tracked by them.
Since tracking my gaming is pretty much the main reason for my using Raptr, I was interested to see what they had to say, even if the calendar was already well into February 2013. (Compare this to World of Tanks, which sent out its 2012 summary in mid-December of 2012. Which is better, early or late?)
Anyway, on to see what they had to offer. It turned out to be just a few simple metrics.
It started with my top three most played games, out of the 36 games Raptr tracked me playing in 2012, and which were… not much of a surprise.
They happen to be the same games I have listed as “The Games I Play” on the sidebar of the blog, Rift, EVE Online, and World of Tanks, which ate up 71% of my Raptr tracked gaming hours.
Actually, World of Tanks might be a bit of a surprise, as I only went back to that with the 8.0 patch that included the big physics update.
Then again, I am not sure what else might have contended for third place. It certainly wouldn’t have been Raptr’s most tracked game of 2012… which is also not much of a surprise.
I have gotten this far in life and have never played a Call of Duty game. Shooters just aren’t my thing… except for tanks I guess.
A little more surprising is my achievements. Well, sort of surprising.
I think it is mostly a reflection of the games that both have a lot of achievements and have their achievements wired into Raptr. Rift’s achievements are not tracked by Raptr or I would guess that they would be on the top of the list.
As for the games, I did play a lot of Torchlight II. Probably more than I played Diablo III. And while I did not play a lot of World of Warcraft, the whole unification of achievements across characters meant that all of my tracked characters earned at least a few. So WoW probably doesn’t belong on the list.
And Little Big Planet was all my daughter. The PlayStation 3 account is tied into my Raptr and LBP was her game until Minecraft came along.
Raptr also let me know which was my rarest achievement among its users, which turned out to be a Defense Grid achievement.
Not as rare as all that I guess.
And then Raptr came up with a bit more data on when I actually played the most in 2012.
I play on Saturdays. That makes sense, what with the instance group and all. I played the most in November of 2012. And, November 17th was my busiest play day of the year.
Then they followed up with the same data for all users.
While Sunday was the busiest day of the week overall, not Saturday, the month of November lined up with my own busiest month and, oddly enough, November 17th was the most played date of 2012 over all, again matching my own profile.
Which makes me wonder, what was going on during that week that made Saturday, November 17th, 2012 such a busy gaming date?
Items from the Mail Bag – Barrel Scrapings and the Like January 29, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Facebook, Mail Bag, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Tags: Australian Open, Aventurine, darkfall, 해외커뮤니케이션팀, Kia Motors, Raptr
Mail bag was going to be a regular monthly feature, but frankly the mail I have been getting on the blog account really hasn’t been living up to the role. Still, I do get something amusing now and again. A pity none of it showed up recently, so this is all you get.
Three Kias, One Cup
The Kia Motors Overseas Communications Team ( 해외커뮤니케이션팀) wants me to go connect with their Facebook page so I can play a flash based tennis game featuring players that are, if I understand this correctly, anthropomorphized versions of their cars. The Soul, Sorento, and Cerato to be specific. Except I think that last one is sold as the Forte here in the US.
All because Kia sponsors some aspect of the Australian Open… which is a tennis tournament.
I had to look that up.
I almost want to go play this, just to see how they get that lumpy Sorento to move its ass around the court. But a surge of apathy has stayed my hand so far.
Still, don’t let me stop you! You can find the page on Facebook here. Just be quick, as the game only runs from January 16th through the 31st. Of course, they only sent me this note on the 29th, so clearly my participation was not all the important.
Aventurine Fails Again
Aventurine sent me a “Media Alert” to invite me to come and explore the world of Agon, which I am afraid always brings up images of Larry Storch.
Unfortunately for Aventurine, all they actually had for me was a link to a dev diary video about their upcoming (some day) Darkfall: Unholy Wars reboot.
Then they listed out the price of the game ($14.95 if you are a Darkfall Online returning player or $29.95 (25% off) if you are new to this game) like they expected me, a member of the media (who else gets “media alerts” right?), to actually pay for it myself. This is how you get 2/10 reviews. (Though I still suspect there was a method to their madness.)
Haven’t we all learned by now that companies can get game journalists to degrade themselves and their profession with a few simple freebies? Playing it straight is a mug’s game.
The Soda Sipping Inside Joke?
I keep getting press notices about a game called Soda Drinker Pro, but cannot tell if this is just the internet yanking my chain or not. The quotes sound tongue in cheek.
Soda Drinker Pro is the most advanced soda drinking simulator ever created
While sites like Gamasutra have reprinted the press releases due to contractual obligations.
Mashable has a brief write up, but it still ends up sounding like an internet goof.
Somebody Sued Facebook
Which probably isn’t news, but the announcement showed up in my email. It was something about sponsored stories.
Why did I get this notice? This Notice relates to a proposed settlement (“Settlement”) of a class action lawsuit (“Action”) filed against Facebook relating to a particular Facebook feature called “Sponsored Stories.” According to available records, you may be a “Class Member.”
What is the Action about? The Action claims that Facebook unlawfully used the names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities of Facebook users in the United States to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those users’ consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability.
You can read more about it here. If Facebook used your likeness without your consent, it could be worth a sawbuck to you.
Meanwhile if the suit succeeds the lawyers will all get paid for the hours they billed and Facebook will have to change their terms of service so that by accepting them you allow Mark Zuckerberg to do whatever he damn well pleases with your likeness.
So who is going to win here?
Raptr Has a List!
Raptr sent me a list of awards they made up and gave out for 2012 based on their game tracking stats.
- Most Played New Game – Borderlands 2
- Most Played Game (Released Anytime) – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Biggest Boost from User-Generated Content – Portal 2
- Most Played Long-Awaited Sequel – Borderlands 2
- No Bathroom Break – Borderlands 2
- Most Played XBLA Game – Minecraft
- Most Played New IP – Dragon’s Dogma
- Most Successful Paid to Free-to-Play Game – Star Wars: The Old Republic
Some of those make sense, while others… I am not so sure. The “Bathroom Break” bit probably relates to a measurement of play sessions, but how did they come up with “Long Awaited Sequel?” Was Borderlands 2 really that long in showing up? Relative to what?
Meanwhile, their last category almost always reflects a sentiment of “crap, we’d better mention MMOs!” They used the same category as 2011, but this time they managed to combine it with an attempt to suck up to EA/BioWare. Or does somebody think if you were going to mention MMOs that there weren’t other categories or titles you might choose? “Most played MMO” or GuildWars 2 certainly springs to my mind.
Anyway, you can read their full post here, which includes some additional details.
Finally, I seem to be getting more and more messages asking me if I would like to come write for other sites. These invites are rather transparent requests to please provide free content for such and such a site to exploit for ad revenue.
It is the sources of these requests that are getting more interesting. I had one from a web media group from everybody’s favorite Germans, ProSiebenSat.1 and another from a group that purports to run the largest MMO gaming site in China.
All I can think is, “China?” My Larry Storch jokes are probably too obscure for Cracked.com, how would they possibly play in China.
Anyway, send me something interesting that isn’t about your 99 cent iPhone app and maybe I’ll make fun of it. As always, contact info is on the About page.
How Games Can Boost Their Raptr and Xfire Hours Played! January 28, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Path of Exile, Star Trek Online.
Tags: Path of Exile, Raptr, Xfire
Just make sure your launcher/patcher counts as your game being played.
The other night I went to patch up Path of Exile. It is going into open beta which, among other things, means that characters made from this point forward won’t be wiped.
And while it is really tough to build any enthusiasm for the third attempt to recapture the Diablo II spirit in less than nine months, it had been about a year since I last peeked into game, and so I thought it might be time to go back for a visit.
Of course, with that much time having passed, I was rightfully expecting a big patch. So I waited until the end of the evening, kicked off the patch process, and went to bed.
And, in the morning, not only was the patching done, but I had two items in my inbox from Raptr.
Raptr was proud to tell me that I had earned the rank “Experienced” and the “Dedicated” for my playtime in Path of Exile.
Although I have to admit, Raptr does seem a bit confused as to what rank I really am. Both of the messages are proud to tell me the rank I have achieved and what I have to do to get to the next rank, however they used the same name for both. So am I experienced, or have I been experienced, or what?
Anyway, it ends up Raptr looking like I have played a lot more Path of Exile than I really have.
I am not sure how big of a benefit that really is, and I am almost completely sure that this sort of thing is the fault of the likes Raptr and Xfire as opposed to the developer. But it did make me wonder what other games might be benefiting in the playtime number department due to this sort of thing.
I went through some of the other games I have installed and found that Star Trek Online’s launcher/patcher gives the same result. I did not bother to try it with Xfire, as it would have meant re-installing Xfire again, but I have to imagine that the same thing happens with some games there as well.
Of course, the real question is, does it matter? Does this make play time numbers from services like Raptr and Xfire any more dubious in your mind or not?
Now I wonder if anybody logged into my account by accident over the weekend. Not that I need any more playtime credited…
The Raptr Catalyst November 29, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Inner Zone Shipping Catalyst, Raptr
Last time around I got some cosmetic goodies in Rift for the Storm Legion launch.
This time they have been working with CCP for the launch of the Retribution expansion.
So if you use Raptr, play EVE Online, and rank at least “experienced” in the number of hours tracked in EVE, you should check you Raptr Rewards, as you might have an Inner Zone Shipping Catalyst waiting for you.
(Click to make that bigger, like just about any picture on the blog.)
You have to claim it, get a code, go enter a code, log into your account, and so on and so forth. And it didn’t even work for me the first time I tried. I suspect it failed because I used Raptr’s browser. In a real browser it worked however, and after that you can claim it like you do any other gift item from CCP, via the little gift box icon on the character select screen.
So I claimed it, logged in, and assembled it right away, then took it for a quick spin.
I named the ship “Killmail Bait” because I am sure somebody will want to shoot it just to have a new and different ship on their destroyed list.
The ship itself isn’t really anything special. It looks to be a re-skinned version of the all-too-famous suicide gank destroyer, the Gallente Catalyst.
Other than that, it appears to be the same. Same number of slots at high, medium, and low.
It might actually have a bit more heft on the power grid and CPU fronts, if the Catalyst article on EVElopedia is up to date. It also seems to be beefier on defense.
Ironically though, for a something called a “shipping Catalyst,” it does not hold any more cargo than the standard model, with the same 400 m3 of storage. Maybe they meant “slightly more secure” shipping.
So I have a somewhat beefier Gallente destroyer in my ever growing fleet of ships.
I am not sure what I am going to do with it. I could take it out to null sec and keep it around for comedy ops, or to just be the odd ball ship on kill mails.
I considered opting-in on the Goonswarm Secret Santa program so I could give it away, though in reading the “Dear Santa…” thread, I don’t see a lot of people asking for a slightly better Catalyst.
I could always have another screen shot contest with this ship as one of the prizes.
Or I could let it sit in my hanger like several other one-time ships I have gotten in the past.
What would you do with the Inner Zone Shipping Catalyst?
Items from the Mail Bag – Prizes, Discounts, and Volvo November 9, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Mail Bag, Rift, World of Tanks.
Tags: EQInterface, Raptr, Volvo
Time for a return to this irregular feature where I pull items from the blog’s email in box and display them for all to see.
I haven’t done this for a bit because most of the blog email has been music industry press releases or people asking me to please review their iOS or Android app. However, aside from the Pet Shop Boys (and I am sorry for you guys if it has come to sending press releases to the likes of me) I haven’t a clue about any of the musical acts. And as for iOS and Android apps… well… most of them were unimaginative knock-offs of other games from indie devs and I have a general editorial policy of not posting about such things if I do not have anything nice to say. Big companies or big names can survive some mocking.
Still, a few items worthy of mention or mockery have shown up, so on to that.
Raptr Gives Me Some Hats in Rift
Raptr is the game time tracking tool I have been using since late 2010. (See me here) It is a competitor to Xfire and was, in fact, created by some of the same team that originally created Xfire. My main complaint about Raptr is that they do not display game time stats the way Xfire does, so you cannot do things like Nosy Gamer’s weekly Digital Dozen.
Instead they are trying to be more of a social network. They want you to interact with your friends there. They want you to do reviews there. They want you to blog there. And the really want you to hook Raptr into your other social networks.
And, they offer up special deals, which usually amount to “please come play this game, we’ll give it to you at a steep discount and/or free.” But once in a while, something I actually want comes up, like hats. I just got this in email last night.
This was part of a push to get you to connect Raptr to Facebook I guess, but it actually came with a prize I might wear in Rift. While I can run around with awkward mis-matched armor, I will go out of my way for a good hat. So I get this next week when Storm Legion goes live.
I am also eligible for a helm that looks like it was inspired by Half-Life 2.
I think I will just stick with the hat and goggles. I wonder if they can be dyed?
Meanwhile, if Trion is going to work with Raptr, I wish they would get Rift achievements hooked up into Raptr the way Steam and Blizzard have. Ah well.
World of Tanks and Veterans Day
Wargaming.net is doing a special for Veterans Day and Remembrance Day. They have a charity offer for veterans organizations, plus the usual buffs; 5x bonus experience for your first win of the day in each of your tanks and they are giving credit bonuses to a few tanks I do not own. (B1, T-34, M4 Sherman and PzKpfw VI Tiger) Details here.
And they are giving away 24 hours of Premium service, which enhances your experience and credits earned even further. The code for this is VETERANSDAY and you can read about how to redeem the code here.
LOTRO – Spend More, Save More
Lord of the Rings Online also has a deal going this weekend which basically amounts to the false economic proposition of “the more you spend, the more you save!”
If you were planning to buy something expensive, this might be a boon. However, I cannot see myself spending 3,000 Turbine Points just to save 30% off of something.
The team at EQInterface, which hosts UI mods for EverQuest, along with sibling sites for EverQuest II, Vanguard, and World of Warcraft, was celebrating their 10th anniversary back in… August I think. They had a trivia contest about the site and I apparently was a winner. I got a notification about it back in September. However I still haven’t gotten anything because they are still trying to get in touch with all of the winners.
So I continue to wait, but I still endorse their site for UI stuff.
Crash with Volvo
I keep getting notices from Volvo about their new iOS/Android game called Volvo Transporters. I suspected it would mostly be an ad for Volvo, but I grabbed it because it had the virtue of being free.
And, yes, it is something of an ad for Volvo. It throws little Volvo factoids at you like how much food in the EU is hauled by Volvo trucks or that if you lined up all the Volvo buses ever made you would be well on your way to simulating the 405 freeway at 5pm on a Friday.
Basically, you drive a truck… a Volvo truck no doubt, but it is too small to see the logo… and have to drive over power ups to transform your truck into the vehicle appropriate for the hazards in the area. So for fires, you need a fire trucks, garbage requires a garbage truck, piles of muck require a front loader and so on.
I will say I was happy the game was not one of those tilt-to-steer apps. I find that the iPad has too much mass to steer smoothly or accurately and so the big reason I think that Sonic the Hedgehog racing game is horrible is because I cannot steer very well. That and it is such a complete rip-off of Mario Kart games I am surprised that Sonic doesn’t feature a mustache and a little red hat.
That said, it requires a finger swiping action to steer which, combined with the odd “two-thirds off the rear quarter and fluctuating” viewing angle, wasn’t exactly winning me over. But then again I have big hands with all the agility of a cinder block, so maybe I had best stick with board games like Ticket to Ride on the iPad. You can see a video of somebody who can actually play the game here.
All in all though, I came out of the game having crashed often and with no additional desire to buy a Volvo.
Which is to say, I would still like an 1800ES. But that desire goes back a long ways.
Raptr Gets Analytical or Only 18,999 Hours to Go! March 1, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Need for Speed World, Rift, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Defense Grid: The Awakening, Raptr
Raptr put up a several blog posts and sent me two email messages, all about the new stuff they are launching that lets you… well… compare your epeen against your friends. Click on the picture below to see it in full size.
I think Raptr must be primarily a console gamers destination if 36 games on my system puts me 26 games ahead of the average Raptr PC user. Either that or Steam users… those of us who must resist their insane sales… are not well represented.
And the last bit, my summary, makes me think they haven’t quite got their system tuned:
Lightning Bolt! You and 0% of Raptr users have more RPG games than anything else in their game library. You put on your robe and wizard hat…
I suppose it depends on how you define the games. I notice that that Raptr still seems shy about calling out MMORPGs. Of course, that might be because MMORPG players are batshit insane. I offer this up as proof.
While I might be an Elite World of Warcraft player, I have still been measured and found short a whopping 18,999 hours and/or achievements to be the #1 WoW player on Raptr. If we take that as just hours of play, that is over two years of constant, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week play.
Meanwhile, on the EVE Online front, I am 103 hours shy of Elite status.
Other games in which I rank as elite for one reason or another:
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Need for Speed: World
- Defense Grid: The Awakening
- EverQuest II Extended
Elite status seems to be a pretty arbitrary thing.
Addendum: And if you want to be my friend on Raptr, I am wilhelm2451, as usual.
Raptr: MMOs? None Were Released in 2011 December 8, 2011Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Casual Games, entertainment, Gaming Industry Trends, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Tags: Free-To-Play, Raptr
Raptr announced their Most Played Games for 2011, restricted to games launched in 2011, despite the fact that we still have 23 days to go here. Maybe nothing else important is launching this year.
What? Star Wars: The Old Republic is launching this year?
Well, too late and too bad!
In fact, of the categories Raptr chose to acknowledge, MMOs barely make the cut.
The categories are:
- The Most Played Shooter of 2011
- The Most Played RPG of 2011
- The Most Played Open-World Game of 2011
- The Most Played Sports Game of 2011
- The Most Played Social Game of 2011
- The Most Played New IP of 2011
- The Most Played Game of 2011
- The Most Successful Paid-to-F2P Game of 2011
No, the only mention of MMOs is in the final category, the one about Paid-to-F2P conversions. That covers MMOs, because it seems if you ran some sort of crime or crime fighting MMO… Champions Online, DC Universe Online, City of Heroes, All Points Bulletin, or… well, it doesn’t quite fit but I’ll make it fit… Global Agenda… then apparently 2011 was your year to go Free to Play.
So, from one angle I suppose congratulations are in order. Raptr managed to do a “Most Played” list that squeezed in MMOs from such an angle that they avoided mentioning any fantasy MMOs… like Rift maybe… along with Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Was it really that bad of a year for MMOs? I know my 2011 MMO Outlook ended up on the sad end of things, but were there really so few launches?
Was the slide to F2P really the big event for 2011?