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Meta Analysis: How popular IS civ 5?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Zechnophobe, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Wardancing

    Wardancing Chieftain

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    If what has been reported on the net, and also on these forums, is true, then the illegal copy floating on the net allows these pirates to play online, on steam, so id love to know how many of those people playing civ even paid for the game.

    Simple serial key code could/would have done a better job of getting rid of these people.
     
  2. Charvel1

    Charvel1 Chieftain

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    Um, here's a little class on the Steam stats page for you. The numbers, such as the 30k that you mention, is for THAT MOMENT. Not for that whole day. The numbers reflect THAT MOMENT in time and so it's entirely possible that all of the 300K owners of Civ V boot up the game at some point during the day. At one moment there could be 20k people playing, the next there could be 40k playing AND THEY COULD BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
    Class dismissed.


    And you know this how?
     
  3. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    I know we don't always see eye-to-eye Zech but this is a remarkably mature effort in the middle of the zoo that is General Discussion at the moment. Good work :king:
     
  4. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    I agree completely. I was going to complain about the methodology (also, some of the questions are vulnerable to bias), but I decided it was reasonable to limit my answer to what the polls are saying about forum users who respond to the polls. I think the results are reasonably accurate all things considered. In spite of the people who trash the game or instantly leap to defend it, there's an undercurrent of people who like, but don't love the game and they tend to have the most reasonable posts on the issue.
     
  5. Crezth

    Crezth What's Up, Danger?

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    The topic title refers to "popularity" and is very vague and general. Excuse me if his thesis completely contradicts the "substance" (or lack thereof) of his body.

    I don't know what bizarre excuse of research you've worked in that takes the worst sample possible and says "WELL IT'S THE BEST WE CAN GET" and tries to draw conclusions from it. It doesn't work and it doesn't get reliable information - random sampling is the ONLY way to get a proper "mass" of data, as demonstrated by the law of averages. Go back to school.

    Then why have any discussion of popularity? Why include Steam statistics? And, most importantly, if you really are all just puddly-duddling around this data, why even discuss it? There's nothing to be gained.

    It is not "clear" that "we are...only discussing this population and no other" because frankly you lot are bouncing around the subject like a ton of jackrabbits hopped up on caffeine and cocaine.

    Is it too much to ask for some focus and clarity here? God forbid someone like me comes along and points out how the collected data isn't really demonstrable of any substantive behaviors, leaving any hypothesis you try to form high and dry.

    It just amazes me.

    EDIT: Just noticed the "straw man" crack. No straw man in that post, nosirree - this post, yes. Think about the type of logical fallacy you want to invoke before you invoke it.
     
  6. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    And instead of asking whether he meant "popularity among hardcore fans", "popularity among CivFanatics" (which would be the reasonable conclusion considering that he mainly collected CivFanatics polls), or "popularity among the general population", you choose the least probable one and then try to lecture everybody that we hadn't called him on that. It looks to me like you either misunderstood the OP (and are now in the somewhat awkward position of someone who tried to lecture others about an issue he misunderstood himself), or you indeed tried to build a straw man argument, as Zechnophobe assumed.

    I don't think ad hominem's are going to help your argument. With regard to sampling, you're frankly twisting my words - I never said "worst sample possible". I said that scientists often have to work with whatever sample is available to them, mostly due to budget constraints. Just go into your next university's library, take any science journal of a profession that has to work with human subjects, and count how many studies were conducted with randomly selected samples versus the ones that took "students of profession X at our university" (because they were available), "workers of company Y" (because Y was friendly enough to let researchers into its halls), etc. You'll be surprised.

    You seem to have a somewhat idealized vision of scientific work. I can assure you that reality is much more gritty. However, we still come to viable conclusions - as long as we acknowledge potential weaknesses of our samples, and have others reproduce our findings on their samples. Scientists certainly would like to have the budget to gather the perfect sample, but this almost never happens. We still get reliable results through responsible interpretation and peer control. Your approach, so far, is the statement that a non-random sample is worthless and shouldn't even be discussed at all. If we adopted this notion in science, then we could simply fold and drive night taxis (while research slows down to a crawl), because only a few very lucky guys and gals would be able to meet the standards you demand.

    Knowledge is gained by many people working together, each contributing within his own limits. Just like people in a CivFanatics forum who are interested in a certain question and look for data that could answer it. Knowledge is not gained by people stomping onto the scene and telling people to stop trying because they aren't "scientific" enough.
     
  7. Crezth

    Crezth What's Up, Danger?

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    Your total lack of understanding precedes you. To wit:

    Naturally, this is the case; that is not to say, however, that they are ideal, and if you honestly believe researchers accept these lower standards as having the same legitimacy as the ideal ones, you are the delusional person here. Certainly, some restraints will get in the way of the proper scientific procedure, but no self-respecting or decent researcher has ever allowed his compromise to cloud his judgment. We take what we can get, fine; but if what we get is not proper for the task at hand, we don't pretend it is.

    My point (which you seem to have missed altogether) is that this sample, being non-random and therefore non-representative, cannot be interpreted as anything but a very narrow range of options. The entire premise that Civ V is or is not popular could easily be determined through polling is generally flawed, but there is a certain degree of dissonance here that begs the question.

    That is to say, Civ V is popular because 100% of users who responded responded about Civ V. All you're getting from this data and all you can really draw through conjecture is that Civ V is popular among people who play Civ V. Wow. Nice job.

    You can see why that is plainly ridiculous and frankly at first glance I held you all to a higher standard, hence my sustained confusion at how people could possibly take CivFanatics polls to represent the general will of the public.

    Oh wow, look who's bringing out the strawman now.

    Your arguments are completely disjointed. Budget has abso-:):):):)ing-lutely nothing to do with how you are conducting these polls and gathering this information. You have no budget, you're a guy sitting at your computer posting on an internet forum.

    Nonetheless, you are right about one thing: if you acknowledge your shortcomings, then you can still make *some* scientific progress. It's too bad nobody acknowledged this shortcoming until I pointed it out. Look at the thread before I posted: people are talking about general sales and how many people are playing it on Steam, and tying this directly with a notion of popularity. THIS is the problem I addressed and THIS is the problem your severely damaged pride doesn't want to admit exists.

    I'll accept your apology now.

    Thanks for the lecture, Newton. I guess we should all just subscribe to some hippy idea of "free knowledge." In fact, eschew the scientific method all together - if we TRY hard enough and work TOGETHER, empirical reasoning and logic are no longer required. We can do it! Go go internet forum power activate!

    Moderator Action: Trolling, by messing with the other member's username in the various quote blocks.
    Language, using terms which trigger the autocensor.

    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  8. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    Look, there's really no point in debating if you continue to talk about things that nobody ever said, and couple this with personal insults.

    My point was (and is) that analyses even on non-optimal samples can be useful. I do think that analyses like Zechnophobe's can be useful, and imho he arrives at a valid conclusion about the observed population.

    Skepticism is welcome (at least for me ;) ), and if you see flaws in his conclusion or method or hypotheses, then I encourage you to bring them forward (though I'd appreciate a less offensive manner in doing so). Constructive criticism usually helps to gather knowledge. What I was (and am) objecting to is the notion of sweeping away the whole analysis as worthless due to being "non-scientific", for the reasons I already laid out. If you see better means of gathering the respective data, then by all means suggest them, I'm sure that Zechnophobe would be interested in them too.

    But I'm really not interested in any exchange of ad hominems, so I don't see much merit in continuing this part of the discussion.
     
  9. Zeiter

    Zeiter Chieftain

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    So, maybe this is a strawman as well, but I conclude from your post that none of us is entitled to drawing any conclusions unless it is supported by the most impeccable logic and airtight set of qualifications? Not gonna happen. There is such a thing in the world as "folk wisdom." Maybe scientific types like to condescend and make fun of it, but that is how many human beings work. Many humans draw inferences, sometimes too broad and unfounded, but it works often enough to get most people through life and arrived at conclusions that have some practical value. I believe that's what the OP was trying to do here. Perhaps the OP's forum post is not fit to be published in a scientific journal, but I find it productive enough. One just has to be able to read between the lines a bit. Not everything that humans communicate is made explicit. I don't want to be a flamer here, but your post reminds me, to be honest, of how I often get annoyed when dealing with autistic individuals (in high school I tutored an autistic classmate, and this girl I used to go out with had an autistic brother, so I am by no means an expert, but not totally ignorant about it either). I know that we are supposed to feel all sympathetic for people with autism, but it sure can get exasperating after a while to deal with individuals who don't have "normal" (as in common) human social skills and who can't read between the lines and who have to have everything spelled out explicitly and in a way that is exactly correct, like a computer program. This is the feeling I get from your post. And it makes it feel like a chore for me to contribute to this conversation, because I have to make sure to qualify every little assertion so that I won't get my comments dismissed. To clarify, I'm not saying that I know that you are necessarily autistic, but merely that your discourse annoys me in the same way as my past interactions with autistic kids has. Sorry if this is flaming.

    Anyways, I think it is reasonable to imagine that those who feel most vehemently one way or the other are being the most vocal on the forum, and those who feel the game is promising but could use some improvement, or who feel a little unsettled by the current state of the game but are going to wait and see if it is improved, are not seeing it as urgent to voice their opinions.

    Personally, I'm surprised that more people don't fall into the camp of, "Civ5 looks awful (for my purposes), but I don't care, I already have Civ4." That's really where I'm at.

    From looking at Sullla's walkthroughs, and from reading elsewhere, I feel that I've seen enough of the game to conclude that I think the core mechanics look awful, so I'm not even really holding my breath for patches and expansions.

    That said, I don't feel betrayed. I already have the best game that I could ever wish for, Civ4BTS(RevDCM), which, at about $30.00 for probably 3000+ hours of gameplay, is, at ~1 cent per hour, just about the most cost-effective crack-cocaine (er, I mean, "pastime") that I could ever imagine, lol. Everything else is irrelevant. If Civ5 attracts a new crowd to civ-gaming, and if some of those kids get curious and decide to try out Civ4 (and especially RevDCM), then that can only be for the better, in terms of enlarging the community of players with whom I can empathize and trade stories and whatnot in my play of Civ4. Otherwise, I don't really care about Civ5.

    I never really thought that a Civ5 needed to get made in the first place. I would have gladly paid $30 to get the professional firaxis staff to hire the wonderful RevDCM modders for a few weeks to work together and really come up with a polished, fully multiplayer-compatible, as bug-free as can be RevDCM, but I realize that there's not much of a market for such a niche product, so I'm not about to get my hopes up, and the same goes for any new release. I am always cautious about new civ games. With Civ4, I waited until I could get Civ4 Complete for $30 before I played my first Civ4 game. I figured the only thing I was missing were the messy growing pains of a new game being ironed out, and I knew that the mods would only get better with time, like a nice bottle of wine. And I was still having fun with Alpha Centauri, believe it or not (although I can't imagine going back to SMAC now...modded Civ4BTS has so many essential components (revolutions mainly--I always thought that SMAC was missing that, and really when I found the revolutions mod on the civfanatics customization forum, that's when I knew that it was time to buy Civ4 finally. Will modders be able to work the same sort of magic with Civ5? Only time will tell, but from first appearances it just looks like core concepts like city states and such (as they are currently implemented) would messily overlap with things like revolutions, and would require a lot of reworking to make them work in a way that I'd envision).

    Edit: Note: The main reason that I continue to read these Civ5 discussions, even though I've concluded that I probably won't be playing Civ5, is that I find it extremely fascinating as a bellweather for the state of PC turn-based-strategy gaming. I really fear that it is a dying breed, and what I fear even more is that the 4X TBS-player is a dying breed. Why should I care about what other gamers like to do? Because it is already hard to find people to relate to in my love of Civ4. Most of my friends have no interest in it, and probably see it as a silly, boring game, rather than as an inspiring celebration of human history, as I've grown to appreciate it. So, to a certain extent, I think part of the hostility towards Civ5 is borne out of a certain degree of social alienation and anxiety of seeing even more social alienation on the horizon, until the 4X genre has been completely taken over by kiddy-console players playing bright and flashy kiddy-console knockoffs, and where I am alone in a metaphorical corner in society, still playing Civ4, something that nobody else understands anymore. I'd give a lot of things to get my dad, or some of my friends, to play through a game of Civ4 with me, for example, but with people becoming accustomed to games less and less like Civ4 and more and more like Civ5, it feels like that scenario is becoming more and more remote.
     
  10. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Presumably, it also fails to count people playing in offline mode.
     
  11. Crezth

    Crezth What's Up, Danger?

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    Nice cop-out, but I'm not done yet, and this time I brought evidence:

    Look at all this and tell me there isn't a significant muddying of the line between CivFanatics users and the general populace in your discussion. If there isn't, as you claim and fail to back up, then why are Steam stats relevant? They aren't.


    It happens all the time, you know, in better sciences no less. It is true that these fields are not precise sciences like physics or mathematics, but if we do not apply basic principles of logic and reasoning to the broader fields of psychology, sociology, and related fields thereof (i.e. marketing and analysis of any commodity's popularity) then no conclusions gathered can be scientifically legitimate.

    Oh boy, here we go.

    Any examination of human behavior should show you that humans are not logical! "Folk wisdom," as it were, is rarely scientific and only sparsely reliable. Oh yes, there are instances of some ancient Chinese remedy being beneficial to a man with a sore throat, but there are even more instances of old wisdom being cast out in light of better knowledge. For instance: tobacco was thought of by the Aztec to be beneficial to one's health. Hundreds of years later, through the use of science (supported by proper scientific procedures and a little thing called the scientific method) we find this is patently untrue. In fact, tobacco is hazardous to one's health - and greatly so!

    I understand it is appealing and very proanthropic to believe that our "folk wisdom" is capable of defying appearance to reach some higher level of understanding, but in terms of how the world "actually" works (something you lot seem to believe I have little perspective of) then it is very much worth pointing out that no great scientific advancement or profound theory was every truly great without being heavily substantiated with evidence - evidence derived from proper sampling, proper reasoning, and reproducible results.

    This is why the stipulation that this data is very central to CivFanatics is useful - nay, necessary. Without that stipulation, you will find that when you compare data from other websites and Steam (for goodness' sake, the cognitive dissonance here astounds me) there is going to be some disagreement between the conclusion and the data. Hell, there's going to be some disagreement between your data sets. It is important to note this.

    You know what conclusions have the most practical value? Not "smoke tobacco, it's good for you," and that's for damn sure. No, conclusions that have practical value have a basis grounded in science. Who, after all, are those whose business it is to provide practical conclusions to society? Engineers. And no engineer ever got anywhere using "folk knowledge" and a healthy disregard for mathematics and reason.

    I'm sorry that scientific discourse annoys you. Here, maybe this will whet your beak.

    I would also caution trying to play psychologist over the internet when your knowledge of the field (and the related disorder - classy move, by the way, mocking autistics) is rudimentary at best.

    Thanks for your opinion! In some ways, I feel similarly - but I see the changes made to the system as having a lot of potential. I had a few problems with Civ IV but overall saw it as a solid game and I personally am curious to see how Civ V develops. Right now, IMO, it's a lot too buggy to play quite well - I was about 400 turns in as Washington of America before my game would refuse to go past a certain turn. Kind of reminds me of vanilla Civ 4. But I'm getting off topic, excuse me.
     
  12. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Chieftain

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    First, i stated on avarage, so if you take in account every day from a minimum of 17k to a maximum of 37k, i'm taking the avarage number larger because of offline players, that are, to be honest, probably not so much... I posted the page to show where we can see the flow of players..

    Answering to the second question, we can address the many steam group struggling for the achievements, and we have a reference for the whole community, as you can see by that chart:

    http://steamcommunity.com/stats/CivV/achievements

    As you can see, the best of steam is that all is shown on the browser, numbers, percentage....

    Have a nice day, you can go the lesson ended, but i think you will not pass the test, sorry...:lol:

    PS the same counts for Piece, not good, i think you need to take lessons after school too ;)
     
  13. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    It sucks that a thread that started so well has turned out so poorly.

    This is why people are frustrated with general forums atm.
     
  14. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Chieftain

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    The thread speaks of popularity, so we need numbers, percentage and an arithmetic mean.

    We have Steam for that...
     
  15. ShuShu62

    ShuShu62 Chieftain

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    But its so big and FLUFFY!
     
  16. ShuShu62

    ShuShu62 Chieftain

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    :) Although, as the OP points out, folks really shouldn't speak for others on the forum. I, for one, am here for the train wrecks too ;)
     
  17. Seashore

    Seashore Chieftain

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    Even if the polls were random they couldn't represent everyone becouse of the simple reason that every individual is unique. Even if you took a representative from every group possible you wouldn't get a exact number the only way is to force everyone to vote which ofcourse is impossible. The only conclusion you can make is that polls aren't scientific even if you want them to be.
     
  18. ShuShu62

    ShuShu62 Chieftain

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    That's an unreasonable assumption. The polls clearly show that there are only three types of people.

    1) People who like the direction ciV went in.
    2) People who aren't sure
    3) True CIV fans who speak for all of us.
     
  19. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Bolsheviks.
     
  20. Crezth

    Crezth What's Up, Danger?

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    Oh boy, here comes someone who thinks they know what they're talking about.

    The fallacy that "every individual is unique" is not relevant to the question of statistics because statistics is at a basic level mathematic: if you take a random sample of any population, you're guaranteed to get a representative sample due to the law of averages.

    Take probability & statistics plus any human sciences course (let's say psychology, that'll clear up your misconception about behavior as well) and they'll teach you all about it.

    EDIT: I owe everyone here an apology, I said "law of averages" where I meant "law of large numbers." The law of averages is in fact false and the idea I'm referring to is the law of large numbers.
     

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