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| Current state of FPS Gaming (3 comments )|
by: lgdevil (11) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 1
Posted 76 months ago ( edited 76 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
It is nearly impossible for any normal gamer to create an article on the current state of gaming though I will do my best to convey factual data and highly educated guesses. The most appropriate person to do this article would be someone acting as liaison for a lobbyist group that can accumulate true statistical data from every game manufacturer. For this article I will be using Valve's Steam statistical survey data.
|» MEDIA (2)|
Steam Statistics 02-09-07
New Xfire Statistics Screenshot
Steam averages approximately 300,000 gamers spread across about 200,000 servers at any given time. Most of whom play Counter Strike (not source) and account for more than 150,000 players at any given time. The rest are split between one of about 40 different mods. Of those mods only 6 are major mods which see more than 1,000 players per mod during peak hours.
• Counter Strike - 150,000
• Counter Strike: Source - 74,000
• Counter Strike: Condition Zero - 26,000
• Day of Defeat: Source - 6,000
• Day of Defeat - 5,000
• HL2: Deathmatch - 2,000
• HL: Deathmatch - 2,000
+ 30 mods with less than 1,000 players daily.
Obviously since all of this is mostly based on the Steam survey data there is no way to measure up gamers from Quake 3, Quake 4, UT2k4, etc... However, since there aren't many Quake 3 or Quake 4 players anymore it's relatively safe to assume most have migrated to Steam's all inclusive method of game packaging and play. With that in mind Steam becomes a bit more of a reliable source for the majority.
State of Gamer Hardware
It's always good to know where you stand with other gamers. You know, measuring the other guy up to better understand your own hardware inadequacies. I'll round the statistics to the easiest whole number for better digestion. So here's where we stand today. From a survey of approximately 1 million gamers between November 2006 to today (February 2007) this is the system of the majority:
• 2mb or better high speed connection
• 1gb of system ram
• 50/50 split between AMD and Intel CPU's.
• 87% use 1 CPU which ranges between 2.6 and 3.0 ghz Intel scale
• Nvidia GPU 54% while ATI brings in 38%. Other manufacturers round out the rest.
• Most used card is the GeForce 6600 for Nvidia and the 9600 for ATI.
• PCI-E 16x is now in the majority of gamer machines
• 14,000 are running Nvidia SLI and 600 for ATI Crossfire
• 60hz 1024x768 resolution monitor
• Those running dual-monitors (or more) use 2560 x 1024.
• Windows XP SP2
• On-board audio
Here's a quirky fact for you. Most gamers run either 1 single 74gb 10,000rpm drive or 1 250gb 7,200rpm drive. The people with the 74gb drive actually have more free space than the ones with the huge drives. I guess bigger drives just means more room for ummm... more media.
Unlike other game developers Valve has the whole game system wrapped up in a neat little package. It's called Steam and if you haven't seen it you are behind the times my friend. Might as well put on your life jacket McFly and make a like a tree. It would be nice to see other game developers follow their lead and have some sort of comparable system. I'm not a huge fan of some of Steams games but the system is excellent. I'll admit I've purchased games through Steam on a few occasions simply because of convenience. It's super easy to navigate and they are always coming out with improvements. The system itself is currently the best in the world and will continue to be so until someone comes along and does it better or at the very least gives them some competition. I'm not talking about something like Gametap either. Steam now gives you the ability to customize your own Steam skin (gui). I did it just yesterday in about 8 hours. I guess it would help to mention that you should be proficient in graphic and web design to accomplish it. It's just an example of how intuitive the whole Steam application is.
Xfire is Blazing
Xfire is developing some new features into their famous gaming instant messenger program. The ability to track your game stats from 3rd party applications such as HLStatsX might be a thing of the past. This will also give Steam a run for it's money when it comes to research. Unlike the Steam survey; Xfire is not limited to a single game. Xfire runs the gamut on them all. Xfire also made the program "All Seeing Eye" obsolete. Think of them as the Google of the gaming world. They are coming on strong this year. Here is a link to an example profile to give you a look at the new profile layouts. Layouts feature real game statistics including kills/deaths and other real statistics usually reserved for in-game stat tracking. http://www.xfire.com/profile/thresh/
What's so important about game statistics? Game companies pay BIG bucks for game statistics prior to game development. This is so they don't end up developing a game that the majority of gamers can't play. There are exceptions to the rule though. Some developers intentionally try to push gamers to upgrade. Some reasons of this might be to genuinely advance the technology sector. For others it could mean shady deals with graphics card or CPU companies to push something like I don't know...SLI. Either way it's hard to tell until the dust settles well afterwards. You probably know where I'm going with this.
You would think with the release of Quake 4 that the Quake 3 community would keel over and die. Well to be honest that happened about 2 years ago. You could almost hear the loud sucking sound as Steam siphoned away most of the players. There are still people playing Quake 2 so of course there will be Quake 3 players left. I suspect they are still playing the same maps over and over like Insta-Unlagged CTF1. I'm not sure if there has ever been a game that's run as long and strong as Quake 3 has. For that it definitely goes down in the gaming hall of fame for longest franchise game. That and Warcraft 2 but this is about FPS so I'll leave that one alone.
Quake 4 was a complete flop from the start. Bugs, crashes, lag-o-rama, not to mention most systems simply couldn't play it. This is one of those upgrade or die situations. If you could afford the needed GPU upgrade (at the time about $300) they still didn't find much enjoyment from the lack of players and Luigi like model animations. Quake 4 was and continues to progress in the downward spiral of a slow painful death. The majority of Quake 3 players that bought Quake 4 actually went back to playing Quake 3. If you are running an old socket such as 754 or 939 which most are and do not have money to upgrade there is only 1 choice. Don't play Quake 4. Most gamers moved back to quake 3, are waiting for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, or moved onto other games. Quake 4 single player was the best part of Quake 4. Same goes for Doom 3 of which the games engine was hybridized from. When more attention is given to the single player than the multi-player expect a short online lifespan. Did Quake 3 have a single-player? Well sure but it was just to train you for the multi-player. Die hard Quake fans wanted the campaigns back similar to Duke Nukem. Q4 delivered the goods but there is just something about the multi-player that gamers are simply not enjoying. I think most of it has to do with the fact that the development team over estimated the amount of players that would upgrade their systems. id Software has released recent patches and updates but unfortunately the server and player counts speak volumes that the damage has already been irrevocably done. The actual numbers aren't even worth mentioning. Thus bringing to a close id Software's evolution of the revolutionary Quake series. Now before someone goes off on me for not mentioning it should be attributed to Raven Soft and not id I'll say this. Quake belonged to id and now Activision not Raven Soft. They are responsible.
Servers capable of hosting 64 simultaneous players does not hurt when it comes to gathering a large group of gamers together. 2gb of memory to run the game smoothly does especially considering the majority of gamers today have 1gb of memory or less. Prolonged issues with damage factors and game exploits in what equates to be the same game repeated 4 times in the past couple of years doesn't make for a healthy community built on mutual respect and sportsmanship. BF2 has many die hard supporters like most EA games do. As long as the servers have a large number of players EA will make more of the same game. That seems to be their modus operandi for game development anyway.
Server Count: 2,000 64 man servers with approximately 1/4 full during peak hours. That rounds out to about 32,000 players.
Call of Duty 2
COD2 is in the same boat as BF2. Extremely high memory and gpu requirements. Basically it's an unwarranted resource hog. The game doesn't have the healthiest community out there but it's not the worst either. Player counts aren't worth mentioning.
I'm not going to go over what games will be coming out this year because those will be reviewed, reviewed again, and reviewed more when the time comes. My intent here is to give you some knowledge for use in comparing yourself and your gaming habits to others. Most gamers have a good understanding of these things. This article is geared towards those that might otherwise have been clueless to the statistical factors revolving around FPS gamer habits.
I know for a fact that some gamers base their habits on where the majority of gamers are playing. They don't necessarily care if the game is good or not they simply want to be where other gamers are for the largest amount of competition. You and myself included do not have to agree with gaming via that method but some do.
When a shift in gaming happens from one major title to the next it's usually an exponential shift. Keep an eye out for those shifts or you might just end up playing with a few friends in a dead or dying game. There will always be new games and better computer technologies on the horizon. Let's all not lose sight of today's reality. Your system can only play the games it's capable of handling right now. It doesn't conjure up joy-joy feelings to think of all the fun you might have down the road when that uber cpu or gpu comes out. There will always be new things on the horizon.
The fact of the matter is statistics show that gamers are not upgrading in sync with the ever escalating game requirements. Currently half of all gamers still cannot handle Doom 3 or Quake 4 specs. That's a fact and one that drives gamers to find alternatives to high end games such as moving to Counter Strike: Source or Day of Defeat: Source instead of playing Quake 4.External Link: http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html
|7 User Comment(s) • 7 root comment(s)|
| suibhne (65) Feb 14, 2007 - 10:36 am|
|Your title mentions "FPS Gaming", but you focus exclusively on multiplayer. That's big for a lot of us - heck, I've played UT2k4 competitively for almost 3 years now, and UT3 can't come soon enough! - but I still suspect that most FPS gamers are killing stuff offline. Epic's Jeff Morris, for example, has repeatedly mentioned that their own customer surveys show most purchasers of UT2k4 never took the game online. In other words, it's probably worth remembering that these statistics describing online play only characterize part of the market - maybe 20%, maybe 45%, but probably still less than half. Perhaps this will change as broadband penetration increases Stateside, but I'm not aware of any good sources on such statistics.|
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