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  1. #1
    Brewmaster insmek's Avatar
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    Realm Pop: More accurate than WoW Census could ever hope to be

    http://wow.realmpop.com/

    I stumbled upon this little gem while browsing the Undermine Journal last night. It seems about 100x more accurate than any other census tool I've ever seen. Here's the description from the site:

    Project Details

    What - We currently record character names, races, classes, genders, levels, and guild memberships for all characters on every realm in the US and EU regions.
    How - To get the list of characters for a realm, first we record all the characters who posted to the auction house. Then we fetch and record their guild rosters. This should cover the majority of characters on a realm. To avoid getting listed, a character must never post to the auction house, and never belong to a guild where a guild member posts to the auction house.
    Who - It's important to remember that we're simply counting the number of characters seen for each category. This does not mean the number of players, nor the number of actively played characters. We can't efficiently get activity data yet, so some characters may not have been played for a long time.
    When - We re-fetch guild rosters about once every 10-12 days, and then fetch characters we haven't seen after about 20 days. The goal is to find all characters, not necessarily to have up-to-date guild rosters. The reports that come from this data get updated about once a week.
    Where - We use the Battle.net API to get character and guild information. Every visitor to this site fetches some data that we need and sends it to our servers. In compliance with Blizzard's Third-Party API Usage Policy, you can view the code that accesses the API by loading this JavaScript file and running it through a beautifier.
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  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Kevyne-Shandris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazymangaka View Post
    It seems about 100x more accurate than any other census tool I've ever seen.
    Worse than /who.

    I and my toons rarely use the AH. If I don't auction, my three accounts worth of alts won't show.

    And guess what? I'm on almost every day for hours, too.

  3. #3
    Brewmaster insmek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    Worse than /who.

    I and my toons rarely use the AH. If I don't auction, my three accounts worth of alts won't show.

    And guess what? I'm on almost every day for hours, too.
    Are they in guilds where anyone auctions? If not, that puts you in what I would consider a statistically insignificant minority.

    And, /who is an awful census tool. It only grabs, at best, the characters currently logged in. That would be like conducting a real census and only counting the people who answer the door.
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  4. #4
    depending on how they handle characters that no longer have armory updates (e.g. account inactive), this could be an interesting tool to try to track account closures, though would need to periodically snapshot it and get a full quarter's data to try to see how it models western sub behavior. Also, there is certainly going to be a growth in average toons per account on existing accounts over time which would need to be factored in over time, looking at other known datum as comparisons are available.

    I do wonder what the average number of toons per player is, both per server they are on and total per account.

    edit - 9m level 85's in north america and europe - assume there are around 4 western subs total - does this sound plausible?

    Obviously realmpop is counting all alts and warcraft realms only counts what alts show up in the activity scan period, but realmpop shows one realm kiljaeden as having triple the number of toons as the warcraft realm pop shows at the same levels, which might be expected. Warcraft realms surely catches some alts on actively scanned realms.

    Thanks for posting this link. I may email them and ask how they will deal with toons being update-inactive in armory.

    EDIT - I HAVE FOUND REALMPOP IS USING POPULATION FIGURES INCLUDING CHARACTERS WITH MONTHS OF INACTIVITY, INCLUDING CHARACTERS WHOSE ARMORY PROFILES ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE (TAKES 6 MONTHS AFTER CANCELING). PLEASE TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN READING MY SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS ON HOW THIS DATA COULD BE USED.

    Also note you can click on the pie graphs' sub-elements to further narrow the characters being displayed in the window at the bottom.
    Last edited by Deficineiron; 2012-01-30 at 08:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    Worse than /who.

    I and my toons rarely use the AH. If I don't auction, my three accounts worth of alts won't show.

    And guess what? I'm on almost every day for hours, too.
    That doesn't change the fact that the site is well made and likely produces some of the most comprehensive census data I've seen to date. I'd venture a guess that most people don't have tons of alts in guilds full of people who never use the AH, which means the sampling is pretty decent. I'd agree that it's not perfect, but lets not exaggerate with the "worse than /who" nonsense.
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  6. #6
    The Lightbringer Kevyne-Shandris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazymangaka View Post
    Are they in guilds where anyone auctions? If not, that puts you in what I would consider a statistically insignificant minority.

    And, /who is an awful census tool. It only grabs, at best, the characters currently logged in. That would be like conducting a real census and only counting the people who answer the door.
    There's many "statistically insignificant" minorities in WoW. You don't have to bother with the AH to make gold (hate eBay style selling, especially taxing the seller).

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-30 at 12:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Relentless View Post
    That doesn't change the fact that the site is well made and likely produces some of the most comprehensive census data I've seen to date. I'd venture a guess that most people don't have tons of alts in guilds full of people who never use the AH, which means the sampling is pretty decent. I'd agree that it's not perfect, but lets not exaggerate with the "worse than /who" nonsense.
    /Who shows everyone in the area regardless of activity.

    A census like this essentially forefeits anyone who is new to the game; those who are on alts for other reasons (e.g., Goldshire PvPing; BG twinks who don't need to make money, they're a gold sink). Not everyone is in the AH game.

    Keep this is mind when thinking about how many actually are in the game and playing.

  7. #7
    Brewmaster insmek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    There's many "statistically insignificant" minorities in WoW. You don't have to bother with the AH to make gold (hate eBay style selling, especially taxing the seller).
    That's the thing, this tool doesn't seem to care that you don't auction. It takes the data from anyone who auctions, then pulls everyone else from their guild, whether they auction or not. You could make your money by sexy dancing on the Stormwind fountain, as long as you're in a guild with a person who posts a single auction, it's going to pull your data at one point or another.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    There's many "statistically insignificant" minorities in WoW. You don't have to bother with the AH to make gold (hate eBay style selling, especially taxing the seller).

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-30 at 12:14 PM ----------



    /Who shows everyone in the area regardless of activity.

    A census like this essentially forefeits anyone who is new to the game; those who are on alts for other reasons (e.g., Goldshire PvPing; BG twinks who don't need to make money, they're a gold sink). Not everyone is in the AH game.

    Keep this is mind when thinking about how many actually are in the game and playing.
    The issue is that you are not likely to find a large % of the playerbase fits this description on ALL of their toons on a given server, and even less so on their mains. The data, with a decent history to compare to in a few months, should offer itself to model what is extrapolated from other sources about western sub behavior.

  9. #9
    Stood in the Fire Noetical's Avatar
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    People please read the OP before posting your replies, he clearly states if you are in a guild where ANYONE has made an auction then your charactor is included in the census. If this doesn't include you then why are you even playing wow lol, sitting by yourself in the middle of nowhere just pugging lfd without guild perks?!

  10. #10
    Brewmaster Daedelus's Avatar
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    How can it be accurate? Counting a guild roster is not accurate, it could include 9 different alts....

    The only way to be vaguely accurate would be to count anyone who's armory has been updated in, say, the last week. Even then there would be double counting.

  11. #11
    The Lightbringer Kevyne-Shandris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deficineiron View Post
    The issue is that you are not likely to find a large % of the playerbase fits this description on ALL of their toons on a given server, and even less so on their mains. The data, with a decent history to compare to in a few months, should offer itself to model what is extrapolated from other sources about western sub behavior.
    This issue is it won't give an overall picture of who is actually playing.

    A census needs to reflect overall participation, from level 1 to 85, not just what 85s are gaming the market.

    Also keep in mind bank alts that do play the AH market, too often in a guild all their own.

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-30 at 12:27 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Noetical View Post
    People please read the OP before posting your replies, he clearly states if you are in a guild where ANYONE has made an auction then your charactor is included in the census. If this doesn't include you then why are you even playing wow lol, sitting by yourself in the middle of nowhere just pugging lfd without guild perks?!
    I came from EQ2 that has a broker system, not eBay. I detest paying an AH fee for selling. In EQ2 sellers pay no fees, and buyers no fees if they visit their housing and buy from their sale crates.

    So, yes, those who don't like the AH system don't participate in it. There's other ways to make gold in WoW, AH is just part of it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    This issue is it won't give an overall picture of who is actually playing.

    A census needs to reflect overall participation, from level 1 to 85, not just what 85s are gaming the market.

    Also keep in mind bank alts that do play the AH market, too often in a guild all their own.
    The realmpop data starts at level 1. Who said they ONLY did level 85s? At any rate, if you think about it, you should realize that most players with a level one already have a level 2 or higher. Fortunately, the bank alt guilds will be counted along with everyone else.

    Being in a guild with multiple humans pretty much guarantees being flagged by realmpop as existing.

    They imply that they may be able to track activity later, but that isn't so much the point. This study is going to capture probably more than 95% of toons per server consistently (either do an auction or in a guild, ever, since data inception). Tracking this number and getting a comparison basis vs. extrapolated western sub trends, also including some assumption in growth of alts for ongoing accounts, and then comparing to the most actively covered warcraft realms servers (there are still some), will collectively provide info to model actual sub cancellations.

    In theory, realmpop could [BUTDOESN'T, INACTIVE/DELETED ARMORIES ARE COUNTING IN THESE POPULATION FIGURES AT PRESENT]

    1) actually provide data on how many toons going armory-inactive per reporting period (account inactive)
    2) provide data on how many armories resume current reporting data (account re-sub)
    3) how many new toons appear (high levels are xfers or name-changes, which in itself is data)
    4) and how many just vanish (which presumably means transfer or delete, name change not sure what else causes instant vanish).
    5) 3 and 4 would offer some potential to model sales of realm xfers, race changes, name changes, if you got fairly specific in the data comparisons used to try to establish xfers vs. name changes vs. etc. It could certainly be done with a high % accuracy with existing armory data, though.

    This data is specific enough that I wonder if realmpop has considered contacting firms that cover ATVI and asking if they would be interested in getting this data as a premium service (if so, can I get it too? ). If realmpop is reading this thread, it is one of the first things that come to mind, though you will need some depth of data (weeks/months) and clear examples of reports on the above stuff.

    This is potentially more data than everywhere else out there together compiles.

    So, yes, those who don't like the AH system don't participate in it. There's other ways to make gold in WoW, AH is just part of it.
    Don't see anyone disagreeing with your specific insistence on this, because it is true. It is also going to be statistically insignificant and does nothing to detract from the value of the data being compiled.

    To recap -

    yes, some toons never use AH. Yes, some toons never join a guild. yes, some toons meet both the preceding criteria, and will not be counting in realm pop as their data collection methods are now described.

    Now, if they start pulling player lists from warcraft realms and then crosschecking those, this very small minority would be much less likely to remain uncounted.
    Last edited by Deficineiron; 2012-01-30 at 07:46 PM.

  13. #13
    Many people here have said "I don't use the AH" but no one has said "I have never used the AH and no one in any guild I have ever been in has ever used the AH".

    Presumably its early days for this stats website, but the longer it runs the less likely you will fulfil every single criteria there, its going to get almost everyone soon enough. Remember also that you don't need a massive sample size to make accurate statistical projections, and this site is already well beyond that, the data it presents is the most accurate I have ever seen (for WoW).

    Admittedly the data that it presents is limited, it makes no predictions about activity, player skill, player achievements (not the "medals" but whether they have completed certain raids/dungeons or achieved a certain rank in pvp) so there aren't many useful facts that you can gain from it, but its a start.
    Last edited by Tinyknight; 2012-01-30 at 05:41 PM.

  14. #14
    The Lightbringer Kevyne-Shandris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deficineiron View Post
    They imply that they may be able to track activity later, but that isn't so much the point. This study is going to capture probably more than 95% of toons per server consistently (either do an auction or in a guild, ever, since data inception).
    What do you do with an account that doesn't have any toons in a guild?

    Do you realize how many accounts in WoW are for gold farming, alone? Just run out to a newbie starting area looking for guild sigs, and see how many who will flat out tell you they're a gold seller.

    They're guildless...but they're online almost 24hrs!

    What I'm trying to say is, the premise is there, but the collection of data isn't enough. You must add /who data along with it, and then you must have a fleet of people in the world doing a sample size. If the latter isn't there, the collection of data has holes in it.

    It's the bane of these census reports. They give a sampling, but not a complete picture. It's the complete picture folks are seeking (especially in transfering to a server that meets their needs).

  15. #15
    The Patient Velanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deficineiron View Post
    depending on how they handle characters that no longer have armory updates (e.g. account inactive), this could be an interesting tool to try to track account closures, though would need to periodically snapshot it and get a full quarter's data to try to see how it models western sub behavior. Also, there is certainly going to be a growth in average toons per account on existing accounts over time which would need to be factored in over time, looking at other known datum as comparisons are available.

    I do wonder what the average number of toons per player is, both per server they are on and total per account.

    edit - 9m level 85's in north america and europe - assume there are around 4 western subs total - does this sound plausible?

    Obviously realmpop is counting all alts and warcraft realms only counts what alts show up in the activity scan period, but realmpop shows one realm kiljaeden as having triple the number of toons as the warcraft realm pop shows at the same levels, which might be expected. Warcraft realms surely catches some alts on actively scanned realms.

    Thanks for posting this link. I may email them and ask how they will deal with toons being update-inactive in armory.
    Sure, I've got 12 85s and I'll probably end up with a few more before the expansion lands. Boredom is an amazing thing.

  16. #16
    Brewmaster insmek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daedelus View Post
    How can it be accurate? Counting a guild roster is not accurate, it could include 9 different alts....

    The only way to be vaguely accurate would be to count anyone who's armory has been updated in, say, the last week. Even then there would be double counting.
    They're not trying to count players, they're trying to count characters. While you could theoretically extrapolate something resembling subscription data from this, it's not at all the point of the tool.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Velanis View Post
    Sure, I've got 12 85s and I'll probably end up with a few more before the expansion lands. Boredom is an amazing thing.
    just curious, how many servers are the 85's spread out over?

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-30 at 06:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    What do you do with an account that doesn't have any toons in a guild?

    Do you realize how many accounts in WoW are for gold farming, alone? Just run out to a newbie starting area looking for guild sigs, and see how many who will flat out tell you they're a gold seller.

    They're guildless...but they're online almost 24hrs!

    What I'm trying to say is, the premise is there, but the collection of data isn't enough. You must add /who data along with it, and then you must have a fleet of people in the world doing a sample size. If the latter isn't there, the collection of data has holes in it.

    It's the bane of these census reports. They give a sampling, but not a complete picture. It's the complete picture folks are seeking (especially in transfering to a server that meets their needs).
    I think you have to look at this data as simply missing the non-guilded non/ah characters, and also missing the gold farm accounts, some of which have fairly high turnover.

    It is potentially very powerful data as it is for certain applications. If they find a viable way to integrate activity, that would be interesting too, depending on how it is done.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevyne-Shandris View Post
    /Who shows everyone in the area regardless of activity.

    A census like this essentially forefeits anyone who is new to the game; those who are on alts for other reasons (e.g., Goldshire PvPing; BG twinks who don't need to make money, they're a gold sink). Not everyone is in the AH game.

    Keep this is mind when thinking about how many actually are in the game and playing.
    /Who shows people who are online at the time only. That's why it's ludicrous to call it a more accurate census tool unless you've got someone doing nothing but every constant possible /who command 24/7 on both factions and then porting that information into a website. That's just asinine and you should know that.

    I'm well aware of how people play the game, and I've stated that the system isn't perfect, but it's the best I've seen to date. The only people you've pointed out that wouldn't be caught are those new to the game and gold-sellers, neither of which people would be basing their decision to move to a server on, so I don't really see your point unless you're just arguing for the sake of it.
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  19. #19
    Scarab Lord namelessone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazymangaka View Post
    http://wow.realmpop.com/

    I stumbled upon this little gem while browsing the Undermine Journal last night. It seems about 100x more accurate than any other census tool I've ever seen. Here's the description from the site:
    What about people who rarely or never post on AH, and what about players who play AH on several alts? Doesn't sound very accurate at all.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by namelessone View Post
    What about people who rarely or never post on AH, and what about players who play AH on several alts? Doesn't sound very accurate at all.
    Well the first question - are they in a guild?

    If the goal of the toon is to survey every toon that either makes a single auction or is in a guild with someone who has, ever since data was captured, then this seems like very accurate data.

    Toons who are never guilded during the life of realmpop, and who never do an auction during the life of realmpop won't be counted.

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