A while ago during one of the various UI updates, they added a feature to the “About” page of event screen which shows your exact global rank. Before this update you could only know your exact rank if you were in the global top 1000. It occurred to me that this allows an interesting “census” to see approximately how many people still play this game.
Its no secret that as games go WD is getting long in the tooth. We all know our numbers have dwindled. We can feel it when we try to recruit. And I think that likely has a lot to do with the dramatic change in attitude towards the players which has resulted in many positive changes this year. No doubt PG has also run the numbers and wants to milk this cow as long as they can. But specifically how many of us are left?
Method: I had an alt that I don’t care about or play anymore. That alt happened to have about 200k egg tokens available. I waited until the final hour of breeding event, so that everyone else pretty much had finished breeding, and then I burned those tokens stopping to record the global rank at every prize level. The resulting data paints an interesting picture of the remaining player base. A few things to note - this method will not count players who earned no individual points during this breeding event. Although I expect that very few active players have zero score, there are a few reasons someone who is an active player might have zero score
- Its end of season so they may have reached their season goal and didn’t give a damn about helping the team earn team prizes.
- They may have lost eligibility by switching teams before doing any breeding
- They may have been unable to login during this event due to temporary circumstances like vacation, illness, broken device, etc.
So there will be a small amount of under counting, but the under counting should be quite minimal.
Another thing to note is that this method counts active accounts, not active people. Alts will be counted if they earned any score at all. So people who actively maintain multiple accounts will have all of those active accounts counted. Place holder alts who are kept just barely active so that they dont get kicked but otherwise nothing is done with them, they generally will not be counted since they probably have zero score.
In short, this is quite accurate way of telling exactly how many active players there are left in the game, with only a maybe 5% margin of error.
Here is the actual data
Interpreting that data, at a score of 10 points (the lowest possible non-zero score in Breeding event) the rank was 38,696. Just shy of 39,000 accounts did any amount of breeding at all this event. If we hypothetically sort players into teams based on their score, then we have enough players to fill D1 down to P2 completely, and have a few teams in P3. Then we run out of players. The remainder of P3, all of P4, and the entirety of Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues would be empty.
Further down we see that at the 2nd prize level, 600 points, we are now down to 37,753 players. That’s almost a 1000 players who barely bred anything. That behavior doesnt make sense for players who have met their season goal or are unable to breed due to ineligibility or absence. So I think its safe to say that those 1000 players are all very low activity alts whose owners just blew a few eggs.
Even with the progression rate improvements, very few dragons cost less than 20k eggs, even back breeds are typically that much. Looking at the 175 sigil prize level (21k points) which is the lowest level that could be considered non-trivial amounts of breeding. This level had 34736 players. This can be considered the number of people who truly participated in the event.
The slope of the curve reaches an inflection point at the 225 sigil level (80k points). More people quit at this level than any other level. This is probably an average for a typical forward breed of a lineage dragon, or an average of how many tokens people had to spend. At this level there were 23229 players. These can be considered the “significant” players. Significant players are serious enough about the game that they are unlikely to miss a war. Note that in the hypothetical arrangement of players into leagues by score, there is barely enough significant players to fill P1. P2 has only a few teams with significant players on it.
The median player score is 99k points (minor prize before the 250 sigil level). At this level there are 19668 players and P1 can no longer be filled completely in the hypothetical arrangement.
180K points is the cut off for the 1200 sigil team prize. This is the level that serious players can usually be expected to achieve. I don’t have a data point for exactly this level, but thanks to the beauty of curve fitting, we can say it was approximately 11699 players at that level, representing less than 1/3 of the overall player base. There are enough serious players to fill down to S2, and a part of S3.
A lot of interesting data, but to me the most interesting was the first number. 38696. That’s all of us that are left, give or take a few thousand. To put that in perspective, D1 down to P4 has 58750 slots. That means that there are more than 20,000 spots empty or occupied by a non-active place holder. More than that really when you figure that there are some number of active players in gold league. The number of empty spots approaches the number of filled ones down in the lower parts of platinum.
I saw one P4 team the other week that had 28 alts, which they had bothered to carefully number 1-28. And that is why those spots are so damn hard to fill.
PG has effectively banned the creation of new teams. Technically you can still make a new team but the new teams cant get Atlas unless they fight their way up to S3 without atlas which is a moon shot, so for all intents and purposes that’s a ban. I think its time to consider re-balancing the leagues. I suggest eliminating the bronze, silver, and gold leagues and P4 also, so that P3 is the lowest league. That would help with filling out recruitment, for a while anyway.
The end is only a couple years off my friends. I wonder how many players is the minimum to sustain PG employee salaries and server hosting expenses? 10,000? 20,000? Who knows.