You may be aware that game companies (and many other companies actually) sometimes use data you provide them or they mine in order to figure out how to best make money off of you. Whether it’s placing banner ads on webpages that you are sure to like, or by offering micro-transactions in a game that just seem perfectly suited to you, this practice is nothing new.
But the folks at Trion Worlds say they use your data, not explicitly for money-making purposes, but to make the game better for you.
A post by Barish Orhon, who says he is “the head of a group of talented gurus of the data at Trion Worlds”, on the RIFT forums revealed some insight into how Trion uses that data, and what you can expect to see as a result. I have pulled some of the more interesting quotes for you below, but would encourage you to visit the site for the full post, as it is very lengthy, yet informative. The post even has a case study and a chart that shows a daily activity report for the act of harvesting artifacts.
At Trion, we use the raw power of data for a very different purpose: we want to build a better game experience.
At Trion, we have 3 different main sources of data for any of our games. We have the game databases that store everything that the game cares about, like your characters, our platform database that contains all details about your account and a log event system capable of capturing live in-game events as they occur.
The designers are the experts on why, and we don’t pretend that data has the answer to that – But we can answer key questions for them, likehow many, and how often, to help them in their decision making. We see something like x number of users played Rift yesterday and of this base, y% participated in a normal dungeon, whereas z% participated in PvP. Depending on the timeframe, this might tell us which is the prevailing activity in-game.
HOW DATA HELPED GIVE FREEMARCH & SILVERWOOD A FACE-LIFT
In late 2011, we did a deep dive to find out why players were leaving RIFT. We found a very interesting fact: there was a higher rate of players leaving between levels 7 and 14: players were getting through the tutorial and into the main world but not progressing much further. We took this information to the development team who went into the game and look a hard look at what was going on in areas we had highlighted. The team found that by spreading out our large groups of creatures, we could make running paths less congested and more manageable to a new players. We also modified the quest flow to minimize backtracking and improved the flow and difficultly of the early experience. While the design team did the heavy lifting to research and implement the gameplay decisions that improved the Freemarch and Silverwood experience, that work would have been far more difficult without being identified by the power of our data.