Gaming Massively

Saturday, August 15, 2009

more data, more data, more data!

Kill Ten Rats informed me that Edward Castronova (and friends) have published a paper (pdf) on the Economics of EQII, using actual game data. Lots of it:
The dataset is
a comprehensive capture of the actions and communications of hundreds of
thousands of players over time. This dataset contains more than 300 million
individual transactions: lists of thousands of items sold, with purchase amounts
and prices.

I'd like to draw your attention to that number again: 300,000,000 individual transactions.

With that kind of data I'm amazed the paper is only 24 pages.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More data, more data, more data

The Daedalus Project just dropped me a note to let me know they have more MMO data, articles, and surveys available. One that caught my eye, just because it's so often a topic of discussion on MMO blogs, is 'what do players want?' With a sample size of 500 (but a not necessarily representative sampling), the top ten answers were:

# Quests (9%): More interesting quests. Quests with variable outcomes. Quests that involve trade skills. Quests that drive social interaction. Quests that utilize logic.

# Customization Options (8%): More customization features. Ability to look truly unique. Unique classes or races. Hybrid classes. Unique abilities.

# Solo Content (7%): Soloability and solo content.

# Storylines (6%): More lore and background threads. Interesting stories or plot lines. Active storyline.

# Casual Content (6%): More casual-friendly content. More content for small groups. Low-level content.

# PvP Content (5%): More opportunities for PvP. Well-designed PvP content.

# Crafting / Tradeskills (5%): Robust crafting and economic systems.

# Role-Playing (5%): More support and enforcement for role-playing. Tools for role-playing.

# Community Changes (5%): Regulate farmers. Ways to report people. More mature / honest / civil players.

# Social Tools (5%): Ability to build houses or social spaces. Group transportation. Collective player-created content. Social events tools.

No big surprises. There's also stuff on pets and crafting.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

research and exploration

Van Hemlock has a wonderful post up about how to work around the fact that all the hard work that goes into creating a new PvE area (dungeon, what have you) goes away as soon as people post a guide on teh intartubes. He discusses the system in Eve Online, where good stuff spawns randomly, and you have to hunt for it using consumable goods. He also talks about arcane research in Asheron's Call, which apparently used special andles keyed to your account name. Unfortunately, someone reverse engineered the system, and they killed it, but I enjoy the idea of arcane research - especially things like critical fails (you mix it up, and it kills you dead).

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

cross dressing

An upcoming study will examine the phenomenon of gender-bending in MMOs. I'm not personally very interested in the topic, but clearly some people are, and if you're one of them, you should head on over for more info.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

The psychology of mmorpgs

I don't know how I missed this site for so long - The Daedalus Project examines the psychology of MMORPGs. Now, from what I've seen some of the results as are dippy as you might expect, but some of the stuff is more interesting. You can also participate in the surveys if you like.

I'm personally more interested in the economics of MMOs than the psychology, and have followed the progress of Edward Castronova as he became the poster boy of this research (in looking up his papers, I see he is ranked 15th at SSRN. I do not even get a rank, perhaps to protect my pride). Most recently I see he has a paper titled Dragon Kill Points: A Summary Whitepaper.

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Slashdot has posted a story about using AI to reduce the effects of lag on gamers. The actual paper is a bit more complex. From the abstract:
Predictive contract mechanisms such as dead reckoning are widely employed to support scalable remote entity modeling in distributed interactive applications (DIAs). By employing a form of controlled inconsistency, a reduction in network traffic is achieved. However, by relying on the distribution of instantaneous derivative information, dead reckoning trades remote extrapolation accuracy for low computational complexity and ease-of-implementation.
The 'reduction in network traffic' will be nice, as although I would like to think the network will cease to be a block to a good online experience, I don't honestly believe things will get radically better soon.

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