Five Years of Raptr Tracking

I hit my five year anniversary with Raptr this week.  It is today actually.

RaptrLogo

Raptr, for those who do not know, is a gamer social network, an instant messenger client, a streaming platform, an advertising venture, a producer of gaming statistics, and a client that will track your video game play time.  Founded by Dennis “Thresh” Fong, it is essentially the second coming of Xfire, which was also founded by Dennis “Thresh” Fong and later sold Viacom.  Thresh is a matter of legend in some gaming circles, as the Wikipedia bio I linked will attest.  I used to be an avid reader of his old site, Firing Squad.

I also used to use Xfire back in the day and picked up Raptr five years back to track my game play time to see what I was really doing on that front.

I rarely use any of the other Raptr features.  Occasionally Potshot will send me an IM via the Raptr client, since we both use it, and I will occasionally log into a game when Raptr announces that a friend has just logged in.  I also used to be quite fond of the individual stats and summaries they used to offer.  Their individual yearly review was quite nice, but they stopped doing that a couple of years back.

Which means that I mostly leave it installed to track my game time.  To mark this five year anniversary I thought I would lay out the top 20 games that Raptr has tracked me playing.

So here we have the list, with the top 20 presented in order to the percentage of the total hours tracked.  So it is Rank, Percentage, Game, and (Raptr ranking/rep), the last being how I stack up in hours played versus the community. (details here)  Basically, Elite puts me in the top 10% of the community for hours played (plus achievements earned in some cases) for that game.

The ranking/rep chart

The ranking/rep chart

The list:

  1. 26.50%World of Warcraft (Elite)
  2. 18.12%EVE Online (Elite)
  3. 8.60%Rift (Elite)
  4. 7.28%EverQuest II (Elite*)
  5. 6.86%Minecraft (Elite)
  6. 6.24%Lord of the Rings Online (Elite)
  7. 5.10%World of Tanks (Elite)
  8. 4.86%Civilization V (Elite)
  9. 2.99%EverQuest (Hardcore)
  10. 1.65%Need for Speed: World (Elite)
  11. 1.46%Diablo III (Hardcore)
  12. 1.07%Defense Grid (Elite)
  13. 0.82%War Thunder (Hardcore)
  14. 0.76%Guild Wars 2 (Dedicated)
  15. 0.53%Empires & Allies (Hardcore)
  16. 0.44%Age of Empires II Age of Kings (Elite)
  17. 0.33%Path of Exile (Dedicated)
  18. 0.29%Neverwinter (Dedicated)
  19. 0.29%Total War: Rome II (Dedicated)
  20. 0.21%Torchlight II (Dedicated)

I suppose the top two are no surprise.  Or maybe they are to some readers.  To me they are not.  Years of playing WoW with a regular group bears out this number, even through the Cataclysm expansion.  And if anything, the EVE Online percentage is probably low.  Raptr has problems tracking it some days, so it should probably be much closer to the WoW number.

Then we get into the strange zone.

That Rift is number three ought to strike you as odd.  It benefits from Raptr tracking it accurately and all of my play time with the game, including when the instance group went to Telara, being within the five year tracking window.  So despite the fact that I didn’t start playing until nearly nine months after it launched and stopped not too long after the first expansion, it still represents a pretty good chunk of the last five years of play time.

Likewise, the ranking of EverQuest II is largely determined by the time frame measured.  If it had been a 12 year window, it probably would have been the top title.  A three year window would have seen it far down the list.  But within this five year time frame came EverQuest II Extended and a revival of my interest in the game for a bit.  And, just a side not, EQII and EQIIE are tracked as different games on Raptr, so that is the combined hours for both games. (I would be “Elite” if they were lumped together, hence the asterisk.  Otherwise I am “Hardcore” for EQII and “Elite” for EQIIE.)

And then there is Minecraft, which I started playing in June of this year and yet is in the number five spot for five years of game play.  Clearly that hooked me.  It even beat out Lord of the Rings Online, which I have played “seriously” a couple of times in the last five years.  Had I guessed at the ranking, I would have put LOTRO further up the list.

There was a time when I played a lot of World of Tanks and when Civilization V was a regular thing for me.  Then we are finally out of the all elite category.

EverQuest is a game from a bygone age. I spend more time posting about it than playing it I am sure.  I played all I could play of Need for Speed: World, and then it was closed down.

Diablo III and Defense Grid aren’t bad numbers for essentially single player games.  I feel like I have played more Diablo III than that.  Meanwhile, I am elite for Defense Grid because it only had so much content and I didn’t feel like chasing every single achievement. (Just most of them.)

War Thunder I ebb and flow on.  I reinstalled it last month and played it a bit.

The numbers reported for Guild Wars 2 though are completely bogus.  Raptr counts time spent in the launcher patching as game time.  It does that with EverQuest sometimes too, so that percentage is inflated as well.  But the GW2 number is mostly installing and patching the game.

Empires & Allies, a Zynga Facebook game, and the most embarrassing item on the list.  At least it wasn’t FarmVille.

And then we’re down below one half of one percent.  You can see which of the heirs to Diablo II I ended up playing the most along with a couple other titles, including a single MMORPG.

So there it is, five years of video game play time summed up.

Now the question is, what to do with Raptr.  Even a year back I was pondering if keeping it around was worth the CPU cycles.  It hasn’t given me a personal statistics report since my 2013 play time summary.  I suppose adding data to the Raptr pool helps generate their monthly stats for their own blog, though their relevance to the broader gaming world is pretty tenuous.  League of Legends, which tops the Raptr list, is not being played twelve times as much as Minecraft, as their October stats might lead you to believe.  Raptr represents a self-selected group of gamers that trend to the more hard core and much more to PvP, just like its predecessor, Xfire.

And the gamer social network aspect… well, I am still not sure if there is any real value in such a thing, given all of the other avenues for gamers to connect.

So does Raptr have any value?

11 thoughts on “Five Years of Raptr Tracking

  1. zaphod6502

    Quite an impressive list more so for the fact it seems you play multiplayer games almost exclusively. Do any single player games occupy your gaming time or are they simply not tracked or possibly don’t even approach the hours played compared to a long term online game?

    I don’t use Raptr (I did once but I do not like spyware and deleted it) but looking at my Steam stats :

    1. BF BC2 161 hrs
    2. Skyrim 137 hrs
    3. AC IV Black Flag 101 hrs
    4. Just Cause 2 95 hrs
    5. Far Cry 3 76 hrs
    6. Kerbal SPace Program 75 hrs
    7. ARMA III 70 hrs
    8. Dying Light 67 hrs
    9. Dragon Age II 62 hrs
    10. Far Cry 4 58 hrs

    But Steam doesn’t track MMO’s I used to play so I had WoW at a years play time (I think) and then LOTRO and EVE Online. But I do not play traditional MMO’s anymore. I am sure my Minecraft time would have been a couple of hundred hours. World of Tanks and World of Warships would probably be about 500 hrs and 200 hrs respectively.

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  2. Fenjay

    I never used Raptr or Xfire, but I’m sure my list would be embarrassing anyway. I only play MMOs and Minecraft for the most part and not many of those (Eve and WoW overwhelmingly).

    I did not know that Thresh was behind both of those. In my house in college his name was spoken in hushed tones since we were all Doom/Quake players and he was at that time winning championships before eSports was even a word.

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  3. Helistar

    I keep it to exchange chats with one specific friend, but I stopped believing the numbers when I actually checked them. First, there’s a fundamental problem on how raptr measures online time, which makes it much worse than WoW’s internal “parent control” system. Raptr looks at the execution time for the game’s .exe. This means that 12 hours on the WoW login page actually count as 12 hours playing the game. This is not a problem with games with high engagement, but it gives you useless numbers if it’s not the case.
    Even worse, when I did a systematic test with a chronometer in front of me in order to compare “real” (=active) play time vs. raptr time, I found some raptr values to be LOWER that the “real” ones. This should be downright impossible unless raptr randomly misses games sessions, adding to the fact that the numbers are useless.
    BTW does any of you know of some tracking software which is able to count “active time”. What I mean is that even if a game executable is running, if there is no mouse/keyboard activity for a couple of minutes or more, it’s pretty clear that I’m NOT playing, so that time should not be added.

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  4. SynCaine

    “League of Legends, which tops the Raptr list, is not being played twelve times as much as Minecraft.”

    That doesn’t sound as unreasonable to me. Say the active monthly number for LoL is 50m (I think its actually higher than that now, but anyway), and lets say 50% of that 50m is leaning towards the hardcore side (10hrs+ week). I’d guess Minecraft has fewer than 50m activity monthly users, and has a far smaller hardcore %. Then what would really separate the two are the ultra-hardcore (40hrs+ week), which I could easily see LoL having a few million worth (think about that; LoL has more of these kind of players than most MMOs not named FFXIV or WoW), while I doubt Minecraft has but a few.

    Perhaps the ratio isn’t twelve to one, but ten or eight? I’d buy that. (This is assuming we are talking only PC players for Minecraft, which is what the Raptor stat shows right?)

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  5. Kevin Brill (@kevinbrill)

    If anyone is interested, I’ve been collecting my own data for a few years now:

    http://tempusgameit.com/users/profile/kevin

    I originally built it because I didn’t like the limited stats that rptr gave, especially for myself. And like @Helistar was saying, I also hated the fact that I got credited for sitting at the login screen for 12 hours.

    I’m in the process of reworking the client (both web and app), and I think I’ll have things back in good working order by next week.

    If anyone is interested in trying this out, send me an email at kevin.brill@gmail.com, or DM on twitter @kevinbrill.

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  6. SynCaine

    Yes, because Riot isn’t Blizzard, and the Riot numbers match up (top of Raptor, top of Xfire, most views for their eSports, etc) while the Blizz numbers don’t (HS isn’t a top app, but should be if you believe the Blizz ‘active’ numbers).

    I mean, do you hold, say, Turbine reporting to the same standard of honesty as say Bethesda?

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Except I have the opposite view when it comes to Blizzard versus Riot. Blizzard is at least part of a public company in the US, so publishes financials so you can detect what is bullshit and what is not. On the flip side, I have no way of telling whether or not Riot has a strict metric for their numbers, are just pulling them out of their asses, or somewhere in between. The only thing I can see is that Riot’s current parent didn’t have to pay very much to go from holding 22% to 93% of Riot. Maybe they got a real bargain, maybe not.

    As for Bethesda vs. Turbine, it is easy to be honest when things are good. It is when things go south that you get a better measure. Do you think Bethesda has done a lot better reporting of TESO than Turbine has on LOTRO? Because to me it has looked to be about the same level of vague.

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  8. SynCaine

    In Blizzard public filing they lumped HS with Destiny account numbers, so I don’t think being a public company is much of a factor here when it comes to giving false or misleading numbers. Also ESO isn’t a Bethesda produced game, Zenimax made that one. I was referring to give out numbers for Skyrim or F4 vs number of characters created in LoTRO. Are you saying you think the Skyrim sales numbers are also phony?

    Plus I think my original statement of 50m monthly players was way too low, considering they had 36m WATCHING the finals, and I doubt even 50% of active players watch the pros play in a game as large and casual as LoL.

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  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – But you can at least see the BS. All those numbers out of Riot’s mouth… and they currently claim 90 million monthly somethings… aren’t backed up in any substantial way. I don’t know what Riot even means by a player logging in.

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