Defiance 2050 records over 3 million dead hellbugs from its closed beta

If you were taking part in the closed beta for Defiance 2050, you were probably killing Hellbugs. Just from a statistical standpoint. There are over 3 million dead hellbugs thanks to beta testing; that is a lot of hellbugs. Or was a lot of hellbugs, we should say. Now they’re piles of mush and chitin. An important distinction, to be sure, but one that we feel obliged to make in light of the statistics from the game’s closed beta.

Of course, players apparently liked shooting Mutants even more, racking up nearly 5 million kills there; along the way, testers gained more than 200,000 levels and 420 people hit the level cap. All of this provides useful feedback for the developers as the game moves close to its proper launch over the summer, which is good news for fans who had a fun time during the testing. And awful news for hellbugs.


Trove has passed 15 million players… and lots of other milestones

Congratulations are in order for Trove, which has passed 15 million players over the course of its lifespan. That’s a lot of people logging in and playing. And the developers have some more entertaining stats for the game as well; players have placed over 6.5 billion blocks, and they’ve also destroyed more than 10 billion blocks in total. That’s… a lot of blocks.

More than 237 million quests have been completed, nearly 353 million clubs have been entered, and about 119.9 million pinata parties have gotten cracking. There are also 161 million or so lifetime played hours across all players, which comes out to nearly 185 centuries of total playtime. So congratulations on all of your big numbers, Trove. People really like you, and it counts.

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DC Universe Online discusses the playstyles supported with the stat revamp

As DC Universe Online overhauls its stats, it’s helpful to know how the game actually expects players to play the game. The answer as of the latest revamp rundown is that you get to choose, but there are three main playstyles that the game is being built and balanced around. The hybrid playstyle is the “default” style and the one that most players are likely familiar with, but the play-from-tray and weapon styles are a bit more unusual, especially when one considers that all three playstyles are meant to have roughly similar performance.

Play-from-tray as a playstyle means focusing almost entirely upon powers, specializing on doing most of your damage with powers while minimizing any weapon use. The weapon playstyle, naturally, is the inverse; almost all of your points go into maximizing weapon damage and your powers are secondary at best. The goal is to ensure that damage-oriented players can be dealing just as much damage using a powers-only approach, a weapons-only approach, or the usual hybrid build. Check out the latest dispatch for more details on how everything is being balanced.


The Daily Grind: How important are MMORPG playerbase metrics to you?

While playing Overwatch with guildies the other night, my husband turned to me with a hypothetical. The guys were speculating on World of Warcraft’s current playerbase size and wanted to know whether all the other sub MMOs combined could touch WoW’s sub numbers.

I did my best to answer them — with at least a hundred caveats. Blizzard doesn’t give sub numbers anymore. Do we go by last count? Do we go by pre-expansion peak extrapolation? Do we count western monthly subs and eastern microsubs equally? How do you estimate the subs of hugely successful sub games like Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Final Fantasy XIV for the purposes of this calculation? How much weight do you give stats from the likes of Raptr, Steam, and Superdata? In the end, I told them sure — it’s completely possible that WoW’s western sub base is now lower than the western sub bases of just those three games combined, and that’s without factoring in RuneScape or EVE Online (and so on through the list of hybrid F2Ps and classic games).

But it’s an educated guess. With increasing frequency, studios refuse us the information to figure it out, and that’s frustrating to me as both a player and a journalist. We’re left with picking apart revenue numbers and endless streams of registered user bragging. To a degree, I can understand not wanting to tip your hand when the community would panic over a sub dip or similar, but the status quo borders on deception.

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Skyforge releases its one-year anniversary trailer

The anniversary event for Skyforge has been running for a little while and is scheduled to come to an end very soon on July 27th. But there’s one last bit of celebration to be had in the form of an anniversary trailer recapping the game’s post-launch history. One year and eight expansions later, how have players been enjoying the game?

According to the video, 64% of player characters are male, while 36% are female. Archers lead the pack of classes at 14%, while Monks trail behind at 5%. But none of that matters, since 87% of players died facing Merciless Astara the first time, making her particularly… well, merciless. Check out the full video below for more stats and plenty of shots from the game in action.

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The Daily Grind: How often do you have to look up information in your main MMO?

My wife was sitting behind me and leveling one of her alts in Final Fantasy XIV, looking for a particular enemy. “Where are these stupid orobons?” she asked.

I glanced over my shoulder to see where she was, and then immediately knew exactly where they were. And no sooner had I said it than we both paused for a moment and wondered why the heck I knew that off the top of my head. We’re both Legacy players in the game and have been around the block several times, but she has apparently not devoted her brain to remembering where mid-30s enemies are located on a map. I have, and I cannot for the life of me imagine why.

Some of us do seem to just have something of a mental sponge for this sort of information, though; I have friends who remember ability names and exact levels when classes learn things in many games, while I frequently have to look that up if it’s relevant. But when it comes to navigation, I can almost always remember it instinctively. Which leads to the obvious question: How often do you have to look up information in your main MMO? And is it usually the same information, or just various things that slip your mind?

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Wisdom of Nym: Materia melding on tome gear in Final Fantasy XIV

One of the big additions with Final Fantasy XIV‘s patch 3.2 was tomestone gear with materia melding slots. This is something very new for the game; up until now, materia melding was something that existed entirely outside of the high-end gear. You melded materia on crafted gear for specific purposes, but you didn’t usually have access to them at the topmost levels. Now that materia actually has a use again, and you have plenty of encouragement to do Void Ark at least once a week because you do not want to spend the money on those Savage Aim Vs.

Honestly, though, the addition of materia melding changes a lot about how the uppermost gearing works, even with tomestones. Materia becomes far more relevant and useful, and it also makes gearing more expensive in every sense of the word. I don’t need to tell you that I have thoughts about all of this, and I think it’s the sort of thing that’s going to have a big impact on the community over time. So let’s talk about these melds, whether or not they’re worth it, and what the ups and downs are.

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FFXIV, SWTOR, and Guild Wars 2 fall in Raptr’s June rankings

Raptr has published its stats roundup for the month of June. It turns out that people are still playing games online. You can close your browser now, and thanks for the pageview.

Oh, you want details? League of Legends is still kicking everyone’s ass. ARK: Survival Evolved debuted in 12th place, and Heroes of the Storm landed in 8th place thanks to its formal launch. In the realm of pure MMOs, World of Warcraft jumped back into the top five in terms of relative playtime share, but its total playtime was down over May — no surprise there. Final Fantasy XIV fell two spots to 15, Star Wars: The Old Republic fell four spots to 18, and Guild Wars 2 dropped out of the top 20 altogether. “Dungeon Fighter Online made a surprise entrance into the top 20,” posts Raptr, crediting the game’s North American open beta.

As usual, this post comes with caveats that you will ignore on your way to shout about this post in the comment section. The stats represent only users of the Raptr service, and percentage playtime is calculated relative to other games, so it is possible for a game to sink in relative rankings while actually improving in overall playtime/players/income/health (and vice versa). Irritatingly, Raptr does not provide complete information on games’ total playtime except for the tidbits it mentions in the body of the article.

The top-20 infographic is below.

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MOBAs dominate Raptr’s January rankings as WoW playtime falls

According to a Raptr press release posted today, MOBA League of Legends dominated the service’s January rankings with just under 20% of total playtime share. World of Warcraft held onto second place with not quite 11% of total playtime share, but it “lost 5.28% of play time in January compared to December.”

DOTA 2, SMITE, and Hearthstone scored well; Diablo III, in particular, saw its playtime rise 77.27% percent month-over-month, likely a result of the 2.12 patch.

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