Tag Archives: Xfire

And What of Raptr?

I originally installed Raptr to track my game play time.  I wanted to see what games I was really playing over the course of time.

And for that it has worked out well enough.  I had previously used XFire, which did give me better low level data, but which always had some problem or another.  It was bad at tracking certain games.  I could never, for example, get it to track EVE Online, a game I have played a lot of over the years.  Leaving that out of the mix would be a serious gap.

So, since late 2010, Raptr has been keeping track of my time spent playing games.

The start date is a little late to get a real sense of my gaming history.  EverQuest II is dramatically under represented in hour played if the time frame had been from 2004 or even 2006 forward.  And there is a big chunk of time allocated to EverQuest II Extended, which is still counted as a separate game despite having been merged into EverQuest II in late 2011.  And game tracking isn’t perfect.  There are games it does not track.  Nobody will know, as an example, how many hours I have spent playing Civilization II.

But it gets the basic job done.

And over the years Raptr has added some things that I have found interesting.  I like the friend’s list comparisons for each game, so you can see who else plays a game on your list.  I am okay with the notification of people launching a game.  It often isn’t that helpful, but once in a while it alerts me that Potshot is logging on.  And the yearly gaming reports have some fun trivia.

Raptr2012RareAchi

I was also happy when Raptr let me import my XFire stats, which basically added Battlefield 1942 to my list.

RaptrBF1942

XFire used to be quite useful back in the day for games like that.  You could see your friends online and join them on the server on which they were playing.  That was a huge boon, as the server interface for the game was a mess.

And they have given out some fun stuff as part of promotions done in conjunction with games like Rift and EVE Online.  While I flew around a bit in the Catalyst destroyer in EVE, I think the little Raptr dino pet in Rift is probably my favorite.

Four Enter... plus a dino

Four Enter… plus a dino

Generally speaking, I like Raptr and look at it regularly.

Of course, there have always been parts of Raptr that I haven’t cared for.

I realize, for example, that Raptr probably has to have an IM client built into it, but given nearly a dozen other IM services on my system, it isn’t one I use very often.

They also push a lot of promotions at me in which I have no interest, something that has ramped up since Raptr started giving you points for your play time which you can spend on these special offers.  I have a lot of points and haven’t spent a one.

And they have started integrating other services into the client so I can launch my games, stream on Twitch, optimize my video settings, share screen shots, and record gaming sessions, none of which I particularly want or need.  Even if I wanted to do something like stream, I am not sure the first recommendation for getting started would be “Install Raptr!”

I understand that Raptr has to find its niche and make money, but as each of these features has been added over time, the bits I actually use have been pushed further and further into the background.  Not so long ago I used to be able to just bring up my profile from the taskbar control.  Now I can only bring up the Control Center.

Out of Control

Out of Control

From there I can click on my avatar in the upper right hand corner to get to my profile.  But that is my social media profile (which I no longer use because they don’t want external stuff… like blog posts… linked and I am not interested in having essentially another blog) and I have to click on About to get to the little bit of detail that I actually want to see.

That BoonSmith has a lot of hours...

That BoonSmith has a lot of hours…

I know, cry me a river over the horrible inconvenience I face trying to access a bit of trivial data.

What I installed Raptr for in the first place is mostly still there, even if it gets moved around or hidden more and more often.  But more and more Raptr is cramming stuff into their client that does not interest me, which is not without cost.  Just sitting idle the various Raptr processes are eat up more memory and processing time than Steam.  At some point I have to ask myself if I am the type of person Raptr wants using their service.  Are they burying the bits of their service I like because they would really rather people like me just go away?

 

 

Xfire Numbers Now Imported into Raptr

I was digging through the Raptr settings trying to get it to stop sending me email for really stupid things.

because who needs this crap?

because who needs this crap?

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.

RaptrXfire
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…

RaptrBF1942

I was playing Battlefield 1942… and specifically the Desert Combat mod for it… before EverQuest II came out.

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?

How Games Can Boost Their Raptr and Xfire Hours Played!

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.

Raptr Calls It

Raptr Calls It

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…

Tell Me Again About the Impact of WoW Patch 5.0.4

I recently contended that those who felt that WoW Patch 5.0.4’s drop date was some sort of scheme by Blizzard to undermine the Guild Wars 2 launch were… not aligned with reality.

My main point was that there was nothing in the patch, and I went through the release notes section by section to be sure, that would get people to resubscribe to WoW.  If it was a deliberate plan, it was a bad one and hardly worth Blizzard bothering, in my opinion.

Most people reading my post seemed to agree, if the poll I included is to be believed, though some people had anecdotal evidence and/or a firm belief in the evil of Blizzard that allowed them to continue to cling to the patch 5.0.4 conspiracy.  And I couldn’t really gainsay them, not being a Blizzard insider and having nothing but tortured logic and anecdotal evidence of my own.

But now there is a bit more evidence.

The Nosy Gamer does a weekly round up of MMO stats from Xfire.  Specifically, he takes the number or hours Xfire measured every Sunday and pulls out the top 12 MMOs.

And while as an absolute measure of MMO populations Xfire is complete crap, it can serve as an indicator of population swings over time.  You are measuring the same pool of people week after week and what they are playing.

And when it came to MMOs, Sunday, August 26th, which included the GW 2 head start but preceded the GW 2 launch and the Patch 5.0.4 drop, the top two MMOs measured in Xfire hours recorded were:

  1. Guild Wars 2 -79,622 hours
  2. World of Warcraft – 48,913 hours

That is a lot of Guild Wars 2 hours.  The full top 12 list for that day is here.

The following week, this past Sunday, September 2nd, Xfire recorded the following:

  1. Guild Wars 2 – 92,946 hours (up 16.7%)
  2. World of Warcraft – 25,033 hours (down 48.8%)

Guild Wars 2 was up some more, which is to be expected, but WoW looks to have taken a dump.  The full list is here.

That is an epic drop in hours for WoW.  To give perspective, looking at the data Nosy Gamer makes available, 92K hours is a “Sunday when Cataclysm was fresh” level of WoW number, while 25K is in the “SWTOR hits the 30 day mark and the exodus begins” sort of number.

Now, you can argue about the accuracy of Xfire… that is such a drop that I wonder if there was an Xfire problem or if the servers were down… or that it was a holiday weekend (except GW2 went up, so no holidays in Tyria), but it looks to me like the first bit of hard data that Patch 5.0.4 wasn’t a big draw for people who were not subscribed to WoW.  Or even people who were.

And if this was a Blizzard initiative to mess with GW2, it does not look like it went as planned to me.

What do you think?