There's a new link on the online page - the online history page. It shows historical stats for how many bots were online at once and online over the past 1, 7, and 30 days over time. Data goes back to February 2011, but with some caveats; see the info on that page for full details.
My goal of publicly providing this data is twofold:
- Measure the success of new player engagement efforts - As I talked about a couple weeks ago, lately I've had my eye towards improving the new player experience in order to do a better job at attracting and retaining new players. Number of online bots is by no means a perfect measure of activity or engagement, but it's not terrible and is more powerful (I think) than what I can do with Google Analytics out of the box.
- Give more visibility into game health - It's no secret that game activity has waned over the years since launch in 2011. Some decline after the initial excitement of the game launch was expected, but there's a steady downward trend over the years. The charts provide a somewhat depressing though honest picture - while there is definitely a downward trend, there's not no activity. It's with the existing/remaining core contingent of active players logging on every day (thank you!) that I hope to grow the game back into what it was before, and more.
Enjoy! I hope you find this interesting.