Ding, two years of blogging done!
I’m going to try and follow the format I used in my previous yearly review in order to make the comparison a bit easier. Like last year, the overall ‘Blog Stats” are up first.
Blog Stats 2009
Total views: 335,842
Busiest day: 11,852 — Thursday, September 6, 2007
Blog Stats 2008
Total views: 104,123
Busiest day: 11,852 – Thursday, September 6, 2007
Totals views are up (duh), and at a much faster rate than last year. When we look at the top posts the ‘why’ will become a bit more clear, so I’ll wait till then to really get into it. Perhaps not all that surprising is that the busiest day statistic remains the same, as 11.8k views in one day is a major outlier compared to any other day. I doubt we will see this change in year three, short of another major, major site linking the blog for some reason. Total posts are about on-par with last year, which I’m overall very happy about. It shows that even a full year later, my approach to the blog has remained consistent (one post per business day average), and that even after all this time, I’ve still got stuff to say that people consider worth reading. Comments are up big time, which directly relates to the sites overall increased traffic, and is perhaps my favorite statistic. The more people that comment, the easier it is to keep writing. Thanks to everyone for dropping a line, from my faithful regulars to the one-liner trolls.
Top Posts for all days ending 2009-06-22
iPhone MMO, Field Runners, and a slow Friday – 9,437
Blizzard’s new focus for WoW, just as soon as Mythic finishes it – 7,259
Screen shot comparison. – 3,848
Level 4 missions in EVE, and my silly Rohk – 3,314
Burned out on WotLK already. – 2,902
Looking in the mirror; the sickness that was WoW raiding – 2,773
Help coming for low population servers in Warhammer Online – 2,526
Top Posts for all days ending 2008-06-25
The love and hate game, WoW style. – 16,875
Screen shot comparison. – 2,636
Looking in the mirror; the sickness that was WoW raiding – 1,918
Throwing down the gauntlet, the great MMO challenge – 1,414
Ebolt anyone? – 1,230
Funcom to AoC players, GTFO! – 1,176
Stuck in easy mode. – 1,059
The BBC-linked post about WoW remains king, although its margin of victory is shrinking as the Google-feed Field Runner/iPhone MMO post continues to gain ground. The sad part is neither post is what I would consider real quality posts, but you can’t control who links you or when Google front-pages you. The “Screen shot comparison” post takes a dive from #2 to #6, but still gets half-decent Google-feed traffic, which is probably why it was able remain in the top 10 at all. The current #3 post is one that I actually enjoyed writing and think that it does brings something to the table, both for comedic value and because it’s a good reflection on the genre; copy/paste your way to financial success and design mediocrity. This is even more fitting with Aion right around the corner, a game whose current high-praise is that it’s like, a really good copy/paste job of WoW with lot-o-shiny. Sad what passes for the success formula in the genre in 2009, but at least we have niche titles for those looking for a bit more in their game. And just a quick note about the current #4 title: Fix your downloader SOE!
Referrers for all days ending 2009-06-22
virginworlds.com/home.php – 11,315
google.com/reader/view – 4,346
wowinsider.com – 2,914
keenandgraev.com – 2,701
tobolds.blogspot.com – 2,598
killtenrats.com – 2,097
bdadv.blogspot.com – 1,386
massively.com – 1,338
Referrers for all days ending 2008-06-25
wowinsider.com – 2,922
virginworlds.com/home.php – 1,831
google.com/reader/view – 1,288
tobolds.blogspot.com – 1,055
eq2-daily.com – 838
keenandgraev.com – 650
killtenrats.com – 499
crazykinux.com – 398
This is the category where I feel a major upset occurred, with Virgin Worlds passing the BBC as the #1 referrer. VW is my favorite ‘all MMO’ site on the net, and its ever-increasing popularity feeds traffic to all blogs that it links. The list remains somewhat similar to last year, with a few sites switching spots or being just edged out of the top 10. Surprising that the blog Overlord is no longer the top referrer out of all bloggers, but that’s what happens when a blogger gets traffic from games he no longer plays. Gushing with blind faith gets you noticed kids. One odd error is the stats for WoWinsider, as it somehow LOST 8 to its total. WordPress; free and easy, but not exactly perfect I guess.
Search Terms for all days ending 2009-06-22
field runners – 3,106
hardcore casual – 2,011
syncaine – 1,117
wotlk – 998
darkfall account – 762
warhammer online server population – 749
warhammer online collectors edition – 711
field runners for pc – 670
wheel of time mmo – 583
sandbox mmo – 536
Search Terms for all days ending 2008-06-25
Syncaine – 334
vanguard trial – 312
hardcore casual – 267
eq2 – 259
wow progress – 219
hardcore – 195
warhammer podcast – 132
eq2 trial – 119
sotnw – 92
switch mmo – 77
shadowbane reset – 70
The Search Terms, or “What has Google done for you today” category explains a little about why certain posts have seen their overall numbers increase. That ‘field runners’ is the number one term, over both the name of the blog and the author is a bit telling. That ‘darkfall account’ is so high on the list shows us one of two things: either DarkFall is huge, or getting an account required a lot of Google work. Care to guess which one is the real reason? Warhammer Online is next, with its biggest issue being one that many wonder about. Who would have guessed that population would be a problem when you hard-code two sides to go at it in an MMO… That expansion adding a 3rd side can’t come soon enough Mythic! Field Runners making a second appearance on the list shows just how much demand is out there for the game, and just how big a game for the iPhone can get. It’s a great version of tower defense, and anyone with an iPhone should already have it. Rounding out the top 10 are people looking for a Wheel of Time MMO (yes please), and those who are curious what the world outside of a themepark looks like. Combine the last two and I’m a happy camper. I also found it interesting that this year’s #10 has a higher total than last year’s #1 by a good margin, further reinforcing the fact that it’s only a matter of time before Google rules all of mankind.
Outside of all the numbers, the major events since the last review have been the release of a major surprise (DarkFall) and the solid but somewhat flawed WAR still trying to get itself where it needs to be. For DarkFall, the core of the game is extremely solid, and the ideas behind the game just work. It’s not surprising that a niche title of its type has some rough edges that need to be smoothed out, but despite all the flaws, the release of the NA-1 server is my most anticipated MMO event on the calendar. As for WAR, LotD will be a fun bit of content, but won’t ultimately fix the issue plaguing the game; the need for a third faction. Until that’s added, it’s hard to really remain excited about WAR’s RvR, especially now when it’s compared to DarkFall’s PvP. Still, with a third faction added, WAR will become a fun, casual PvP title that I could see myself playing 1-2 nights a week, if nothing else than to take a break from the ‘it always counts’ PvP of DarkFall.
Not really surprising is that ‘RMT is the future’ has once again not happened. Aside from the twist of failed sub games adding RMT (DDO, SOE games on Station Access life support), RMT is still ‘that kid’ in the MMO genre, and I just don’t see that changing next year either. The ‘free and pray’ model might work for shady products of dubious quality, or games that otherwise could not attract enough attention to warrant people paying for them, but it’s rather clear that if you have a solid title that you believe customers will find worth-while, you make them pay a monthly fee.
And that about wraps it up; another year of blogging is in the books. Hopefully everyone has enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it, and I can’t wait to see what year three brings!