2016 By The Numbers

With 2016 in the bag, I thought it would be fun to explore all the data that was recorded in the Xonotic world during the calendar year. For this I turned to XonStat’s underlying database XonStatDB. Armed with the Pandas and Matplotlib libraries for Python, some interesting visuals appeared!

First up, let’s look at the number of games throughout the year:

It’s interesting to see that the winter months hold the most amount of games! I wonder if this is because of the large amount of time off that folks get over the holidays. With new gifts of computers all around the world, what better way to test it out than with a few adrenaline-boosting games of Xon! Also worth noting is the solid representation of the three biggest game modes: capture the flag (CTF), deathmatch (DM), and duel. Although I didn’t break this chart down by the mods in play (e.g. insta), it is still good to know that we have reasonable variety.

Next, a question that I’ve always wanted to answer: what time of day and what day of the week is best for getting a game? A heatmap of the games played will help us answer that. Behold:

It comes as no surprise, but the evening hours are the best times to play games. That’s when just about everyone is off work or out of school. Your best chance is on Fridays at 8PM UTC. Note that these times are in UTC, so adjust to your time zone accordingly. I’d recommend World Time Buddy for keeping track.

Looking at the number of games is one thing, but what about the players who create those numbers? This next chart looks at the number of distinct players per month.

I’m not sure what to extrapolate from this one, but it comforts me to know that we don’t have any dramatic spikes in either direction. Instead we have a steady stream of players, with slight surges in the spring and winter months.

Next up we deal with weapons. Having all that weapon data sitting around in the database, I had to see what it looked like when plotted out! Were there any trends? Was any weapon predominant? Let’s have a look at the weapons data by damage dealt first.

I am rather surprised to see representation from all the various weapons in here (including some non-standard ones too, from modified servers). I was expecting larger blocks for the “core duel” weapons that we talk about in IRC often: mortar, devastator, and vortex. It’s good to know that people are getting usage out of all of them. Aside from the large block of blaster activity in May, things look - dare I say - balanced! Oops, that’s a trigger word. I’ll shut up with that one right now.

The number of frags dealt by all that damage is another lens through which we can look at weapon data. Here’s what that looks like:

Similar to the per-damage one above, this one also has a somewhat-even distribution. It’s slightly weighted towards some of the duel weapons I mentioned above with the exception of the crylink. Also, from this visualization it seems like people aren’t quite as comfortable finishing their victims with the electro or the hagar.

This concludes my data-tour of 2016. As it turns out, formulating these visualizations using new libraries takes a lot of time. While I could have opted to use something more familiar (like NVD3, which is used in stats), I enjoyed learning something new. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and all of the wonderful numbers and metrics it provided. I’ve placed the code that generated these charts on Github if you’re the coding type. If you’re not, I’ll see you out on the servers instead - we have 2017’s numbers to take care of!

Xonotic is a free and fast-paced first person shooter for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It combines addictive, arena-style gameplay with rapid movement and a wide array of weapons. Xonotic is available under the permissive GPLv2 license. Download your copy today!

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