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Homecoming apparently not dying


thunderforce
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It seems to be common knowledge some places that Homecoming's player numbers are gradually declining.

 

Today we're about a month after Page 4; the live graphs on Discord tell me Excelsior peaked at 1043 players online this week, Everlasting 687, Torch 237, Indom 108, and Reunion 148. Given that the NA servers peak around the same time and Reunion then has about 100 online, that's a peak peak of circa 2150. (This paragraph is now less relevant given I thought initially the graph below ran from the 5th Jan to the 9th Jan '22).

 

The graph below (captured by macskull, hence the MMDDYY dates) is interesting; now it's not clear what the exact numbers are (especially given the interesting decision to break the y axis up with lines every 166 2/3 players online) but I think (for example) the weekend peak for Excel is higher but the lowest in the week lower, and more generally the numbers look extremely similar.

 

They're not as high as they were in 2019 (Dec 2019 has the lowest peak total players at 3,308) - but does anyone have 2020/21 figures? I suspect Homecoming player numbers flattened out from the initial burst of enthusiasm some time ago and now are more or less steady.

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Edited by thunderforce
fix day/week confusion on er my part
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37 minutes ago, thunderforce said:

They're not as high as they were in 2019 (Dec 2019 has the lowest peak total players at 3,308) - but does anyone have 2020/21 figures? I suspect Homecoming player numbers flattened out from the initial burst of enthusiasm some time ago and now are more or less steady.

I think this is very much the case. 

 

Occasionally, you get people on reddit using the drop-off from 2019 numbers as evidence that HC is on its way out, but the reality is that a few people came for the novelty and figures have been pretty stable. 

 

Also, I'm English so write the dates as DDMMYY and wondered why you were using an incredibly detailed view of early January to base your numbers on... but you're probably North American so dates are MMDDYY. 

 

Homecoming numbers are pretty stable, though. Certainly doesn't feel hard to get teams, and I've been playing in UK hours on an American server when half of you are still asleep. 

Edited by Gulbasaur
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12 minutes ago, Gulbasaur said:

Also, I'm English so write the dates as DDMMYY and wondered why you were using an incredibly detailed view of early January to base your numbers on... but you're probably North American so dates are MMDDYY.

I had a think about this - the graph wasn't created by me but by macskull, and indeed it _is_ arse-backwards dates. So it's "from May", and that explains my daily/weekly confusion because I was looking at a graph with considerably more up-down than a week but with an x-axis that said it was a week. Editing the OP to reflect that.

Edited by thunderforce
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5 minutes ago, thunderforce said:

I am comparing it with the current numbers on Discord. It comes as a surprise to me that I am North American, I admit.

Me? Assuming everyone on the internet is American until proven otherwise? Never. 

 

I'll just be over here quietly eating marmite on crumpets fight me, you know I'm right  and drinking ale that is brewed to be drunk at cellar temperature in the same manner that red wine should not be chilled, causing some people to assert that it is "warm", contemplating the finer points of morris dancing. 

Edited by Gulbasaur
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There has been a decline in the last year but it is not too bad. Numbers have been more or less stable this year. While I do look at other Shards, a quick glance at Excelsior on the Server Status Page gives me an idea of what is happening, kind of like reading a health bar. Right now, Excelsior should hit over 900 on a weeknight. 1200 for when Page 4 was shiny seems about right. 

 

While I do have doubts that we will get over 1500 unless some surprise advertising happens, I'd expect the peak for the next event to similarly be around 1200ish. 

 

What you should watch for is if Excelsior dips to the point where it's struggling to get 800 at peak. I don't think that will happen this year, but it could happen next year, maybe. 

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The numbers show me that the fan base at this point is rather steady. Page 4 didn't really receive a bump like Page 3 did. The market wasn't really impacted at all if anything it went down. So yay, numbers are steady, but numbers ideally would have gone up during a Page release.

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My perspective is likely different than others. 
I don't "feel" or sense any decline in numbers based on monitoring help and lfg chat. 

I do see a number of players I used to team with are no longer logging in. A lot of them, in fact. 

Most of that is due to things picking up due to the pandemic seeming to drop off the news coverage. Like it or not, the pandemic seems to be "over".  At least the non-stop coverage of it seems to have dropped from the news. 

There are a collection of players that have found other games or other social outlets. Hopefully, it's other social outlets. Nothing against other games, but sitting and playing this game just isn't really a great use of time beyond a certain point. In my younger days, 14 hours a day playing this game was common. Now, I'd be lucky to hit 14 hours in two weeks. 

The pandemic probably gave a lot of folks an excuse to get on, as there wasn't much else to do, except maybe play other games. Now, there's football, movies, hiking, running and all other things to do besides waste time in a virtual world that doesn't give much of a return in the real world, beyond some "chill" time. Don't get me wrong, "Chill" time, or whatever you want to call it can be important. I just think beyond a point, there's probably more important things to do. 

I'm just glad I work remotely, or I probably wouldn't even be able to play what little I do. 

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51 minutes ago, Ukase said:

There are a collection of players that have found other games or other social outlets.

I think that's probably a large part of it. I was unemployed for a significant chunk of the pandemic and I inhaled MMOs because they were a social activity. City of Heroes was a big nostalgia trip and GW2 is good for achievement hunters and boy howdy did I hunt achievements. 

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The big changes I notice is the "when" matters when looking at player numbers. Friday or Saturday night? Lots of people. Sunday morning? Not so much. Sometimes I see a lot of friends or people on, and sometimes its a ghost town. But I would consider this all normal activity. High and low points, depending on time of week/time of year/blah blah blah. I wouldn't be surprised to see a small up-tic in players during the winter, since you know, cold and stuff. And a dip in the summertime, since sunshine and stuff.

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Pandemic was definitely the mover for me. When restrictions calmed down here I didn’t wanna feel like I was ‘wasting’ the chance of being able to go out by being on. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened to others.
 

I know others have spoken about not wanting to be on social media for various reasons, but even there are people on the CoH Facebook fan page that don’t even know the game is back. 

Every once in a while, when on the bus or something during my non-break times, I’ll search twitter for people talking about it in gaming circles or in a reply to polls. I’ll reply to a few, send em the HC link and tell em I’ll drop some inf if they need a start-up. Probably a 1 in 3 conversation rate I reckon. It isn’t much but it is something. No harm (other than to my bank balance). But I think with a concerted effort we could probably get the nums up in a few months. 

 

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4 hours ago, thunderforce said:

It seems to be common knowledge some places that Homecoming's player numbers are gradually declining.

 

This again?

 

Is it taking a long time to get the monthly revenue in? That's the main thing.

I don't even bother looking any more because the window to donate closes so fast. 

 

It doesn't make any difference how many people are playing. That's not the point of Homecoming as far as I can tell.

This is a place that people that love CoH can come to play the game and, hopefully, find people to team up with.

 

Numberwise, this does impact Indominable and Reunion during most of the times that I play in regard to teaming. I can still solo or play on another server,

Torchbearer is busy prime time but it does drop off on the off hours.

Everlasting has stayed fairly well populated most of the time.

I've seen population on Excelsior growing during prime time. I'm not sure what the cap is, but I'm guessing that at some points it is heading toward max load on weekday nights. I'm wondering if that server reached max pop on weekends. Excelsior is the new Freedom server. Highest pop and the behavior that goes on with that - which seems to go hand-in-hand.

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20 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

Excelsior is the new Freedom server. Highest pop and the behavior that goes on with that - which seems to go hand-in-hand.

 

Hey, I resemble that remark!

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22 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

Is it taking a long time to get the monthly revenue in?

 

 

This is the metric people should be using.  If the servers are being kept running by the generosity of fellow humans regardless of whether they actually play, then the venture is a success.

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I run a lot of content on Everlasting and usually check everyone's globals when I do.  I've been seeing a lot of globals I don't recognize, and a lot of new players asking for Hami/iTrial instructions.  But I'm also seeing a lot of gray names in my friends list.

 

As for content popularity, it's been interesting.  Hami raid attendance has only gone up, and raids are often filling before the launch time without even advertising, and the curious thing is that I see new globals at these raids too.  iTrial attendance has been stable, while lately MoTF attendance has almost exclusively been filled with older globals that are just playing alts.  Hard mode content seems to have more new globals than MoTFs do.  And occasionally I'll spot a global I haven't seen since 2019 for a few days of content, only to not see them again.

 

The population appears to be stable, but new players do seem to be replacing the older ones that are losing interest or taking breaks.  Strangely, weekdays seem to be more active for raids than weekends.

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6 hours ago, thunderforce said:

It seems to be common knowledge some places that Homecoming's player numbers are gradually declining.

 

Today we're about a month after Page 4; the live graphs on Discord tell me Excelsior peaked at 1043 players online this week, Everlasting 687, Torch 237, Indom 108, and Reunion 148. Given that the NA servers peak around the same time and Reunion then has about 100 online, that's a peak peak of circa 2150. (This paragraph is now less relevant given I thought initially the graph below ran from the 5th Jan to the 9th Jan '22).

 

The graph below (captured by macskull, hence the MMDDYY dates) is interesting; now it's not clear what the exact numbers are (especially given the interesting decision to break the y axis up with lines every 166 2/3 players online) but I think (for example) the weekend peak for Excel is higher but the lowest in the week lower, and more generally the numbers look extremely similar.

 

They're not as high as they were in 2019 (Dec 2019 has the lowest peak total players at 3,308) - but does anyone have 2020/21 figures? I suspect Homecoming player numbers flattened out from the initial burst of enthusiasm some time ago and now are more or less steady.

index.png

 

Nice graph.

 

I have almost ceased playing the game altogether in my typical fashion, which was 1-2 AFK farmers and one active account.  I used to play nightly like that, sometimes daily during business hours with the AFK accounts, but now maybe log in once per week and only on my Active account.

 

The chart shows flat trendlines from May-Sep on all servers, so from my perspective, Page 4 didn’t really drive any new player engagement.  We’ve hit our peak years ago during Live, we hit our Homecoming peak 2 years ago and we have an active, if really small, community of hardcore players.  No more, no less.  Any changes to the game from here on out aren’t to drive growth of the playerbase, just oriented at hanging onto what we have.  That’s fine, I get some enjoyment out of it still.  But then I also still play Day of Defeat fairly regularly.  Familiarity is always a strong draw.

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53 minutes ago, Veracor said:

Strangely, weekdays seem to be more active for raids than weekends.

 

It's not *that* strange if you think of it in terms of a (probably) older playerbase who has to mow the lawn and take the kids to soccer and all that domesticated stuff on the weekends, but have a couple hours free on weeknights.  

 

I've been keeping tabs on server population for the better part of two years, and based on my random grabs over that time, if people really are leaving in droves, then others are arriving in droves.  Not much more than ~10% difference on any given date/time sample, comparing 3PM EST on one Friday to another, and so on.  But I've been looking at the Server Status page, not Discord.

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