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Half-Life 2 Episode Two Stats Now Online 96

Posted by Zonk
from the i-died-there-and-there-and-twice-there dept.
To go along with its recent hardware survey, Valve has released stats from Half-Life 2: Episode Two . The page notes the most common achievements, as well as the deadliest places in the game. Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog spells out a few of the results for us: "The median completion time hits at exactly five hours, with some noteworthy variance between four and seven hours. Average play session time logged was 27 minutes. The average number of deaths spikes significantly at two specific maps during the final two levels with an average of 11 deaths per section, as well; and looking at the topographical maps at some very specific locations on the maps as well. 73.1 percent of users playing were doing so with Direct X 9.0 SM3, and 72.6 percent played the game on medium."
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Half-Life 2 Episode Two Stats Now Online

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  • I didn't read the stats yet but I can guess the deadliest place is when you have to defend the missle silo from the stikers (those huge walkers with a little body up top and two massive guns.
    • Actually the Striders are the 3 legged ones, Hunters are the 2 legged ones.
      • uhh actually that is not a 3'rd "leg" you see.
    • I haven't played the game on hard yet, but that part isn't difficult if you run over the hunters with the car. I find the Combine trap at the inn to be much more challenging.
  • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Monday November 19, 2007 @01:46PM (#21409657)
    I'm assuming that the 73.1% using directx 9 means that 26.9% were using directx 10. If that's the case, doesn't this mean that vista adoption is higher among gamers, those who are usually more technically adept? IMHO, that's the most interesting tidbit right there.

    An alternate interpretation is that a large number of the computer playing HL2:2 were bought from a large retailer rather than built by the owner. I'm seeing a lot of potential with those statistics if combined with more information, like the rate of old OS reuse, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spyrochaete (707033)
      Another recent Steam survey showed that less than 15% of gamers use Vista. Source, the game engine used to build Half Life 2 and its episodes, scales down to DirectX 8 for lesser video cards. That's where the other 30% resides. Source does not support DirectX 10 effects.
      • Source does not support DirectX 10 effects.


        The commentary mentions that HL2 EP2 does use some of the features that are supposed to be limited to DirectX10 through some "back door" calls in DX9. I don't know enough about the architecture to know exactly what's going on, but it did sound like they use some of the DX10 features on the graphics cards, without requiring the DX10 API it (and thus Vista).
        • I think I chose my words poorly. I meant to say that the Source engine doesn't support DirectX 10 natively. In fact, if I understand this correctly, DX10 doesn't introduce any new effects but merely enables more DX9 effects to be used onscreen at one time. DX9 cards and software are perfectly capable of performing any tricks DX10 cards can do.
    • by Dublius (1143663)
      If you check out Steam's latest hardware survey, http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html [steampowered.com], about 14% are playing on Vista.
      • by LingNoi (1066278)
        From your own link..

        DirectX10 Systems (Vista with DirectX10 GPU) - 7.14% of users
        • by Kalriath (849904)
          From the same link:

          Windows Vista 40,235 13.97 % ##############
          You only counted systems with a DirectX 10 GPU. Not all GPUs support DX10. Feel free to apologise.
          • by LingNoi (1066278)
            My mistake, I got your post and the GGPs post [slashdot.org] mixed up..

            I'm assuming that the 73.1% using directx 9 means that 26.9% were using directx 10.

            Nope it's 7.14% not 26.9% GGP!

            You only counted systems with a DirectX 10 GPU.

            It's interesting the amount of people without a DX10 capable card that are running Vista. I wonder if these are new steam users that bought new machines and valve's orange box?

            • by Kalriath (849904)
              Potentially. To be honest, not a lot of cards (even new ones) actually support DirectX 10 APIs. Quite a few people are probably content with their 7600GTX (or equivalent ATi card) and those aren't DX10 based GPUs. You made the mistake of assuming that Vista automatically meant DX10 (which is understandable, but a bit hasty) while the GGGP made the mistake of assuming that (!DX9) == (DX10).
              • by dintech (998802)
                It's also possible that people with Vista/DX10 setups are playing Crysis instead of Steam distributed ones... :)
      • I just took the hardware survey through my Ubuntu desktop a few days ago, and got lumped together in the Vista category since that's the Windows version my Wine config reports to Steam. Considering Steam doesn't include a Linux option in their survey, anyone running Steam through Wine (which works very well btw) will be reported as whatever version they have chosen. (I tried setting my config to Windows 2.0 to fill out the survey, but Steam refused to start...) Of course it's probably not too significant of
    • by (H)elix1 (231155) *
      There are some Vista gamers out there, but not that many. Looking at some of the data, about 14% of the players were still using some variant of DX8.

      http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html [steampowered.com]

      Windows Version
      Windows XP 234,100 (84.45 %)
      Windows Vista 38,760 (13.98 % )
      Windows 2003 64 bit (2,544 0.92 %)
      Windows 2000 1,793 (0.65 %)
      Other 24 (0.01 %)
      • by ADRA (37398)
        haha, I'm one of those 1793 people.

        That is until I hit a brick wall with 2000 on something called ATI Driver 8.43 and another something called Enemy Territory Quake Wars. You basically need the latest ATI drivers to play the game without getting immediate crash dialog.

        My solution was to install Fedora 8 on my spare Linux partition and use the Linux client. With some tinkering on the config file, I get pretty good performance out of the game. I had a brief experience installing XP on another partition which
      • Now I'm curious. What exactly are the other 24 people using?
        • by LingNoi (1066278)
          Ubuntu? I know I've connected to steam through wine but it probably detects me as Windows XP..
    • I'm assuming that the 73.1% using directx 9 means that 26.9% were using directx 10. If that's the case, doesn't this mean that vista adoption is higher among gamers, those who are usually more technically adept?

      If you had taken the 3 minutes needed to glaze over the Full article, you would have known that the Directx 9 SM3 is at 72.96 as of this reading, with Directx 9 SM2 consuming 12.6 percent. Direct X 8.1 accounts for 9.36 percent, leaving the "Other" category at 0.03 percent. DirectX 10 would likely make up a *portion* of this percentage, not the full thing.
      So perhaps Vista adoption is lower among gamers who play Half Life in thier underwear. This would make complete sense because people in their underwear d

      • DirectX 10 doesn't make up any number in that graph, because Episode 2 doesn't use/cannot use DirectX 10. The Other category is probably DX7.
    • I'm assuming that the 73.1% using directx 9 means that 26.9% were using directx 10.

      You forgot to count the people that still use DirectX 8 (I just checked the Steam Survey and was VERY surprised to see that they still list DirectX 7)

      From http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html [steampowered.com]:

      Cards which default to DirectX 8 Path on Source (31994 of 285082 Total Users (11.22% of Total) )

      Cards which default to DirectX 7 Path on Source (10073 of 285082 Total Users (3.53% of Total) )

      14.75% of steam users surveyed use e

    • by achenaar (934663)
      An alternate interpretation is that a large number of the computer playing HL2:2 were bought from a large retailer rather than built by the owner. I'm seeing a lot of potential with those statistics if combined with more information, like the rate of old OS reuse, etc.
      Combine'd!
      Narf!
      I kill me!
    • Hell no.

      From their recent hardware survey:

      Windows Vista 14.06 %
      And

      DirectX10 Systems (Vista with DirectX10 GPU) - 7.36% of users
    • by arkhan_jg (618674)
      Bad assumption. Source doesn't use directx 10 yet.
      From the stats:
      http://steamgames.com/status/ep2/ep2_stats.php [steamgames.com]

      72.91% are dx9 sm3
      12.17% are dx9 sm2 (i.e. old radeon x800's and the like)
      9.36% are dx8.1!
      5.38% are dx8

      with 0.18% unknown. This doesn't tell us anything about vista takeup, but it does tell us a number of people playing hl2ep2 are doing so with old technology. nvidia 5900's default to 8.1 for example (their dx9 shader performance sucked), and that's a 4 year old card. Native DX 8 cards are even old
    • by Kattspya (994189)
      You assume wrong. It says right in the summary that 73% used DX9 SM3 which means that the rest had nvidia cards older than the 6600 or ATI cards newer than some product line I can't remember.
  • primary sources (Score:3, Informative)

    by KatTran (122906) on Monday November 19, 2007 @01:54PM (#21409767)
    When a submitter writes a sentence like "Valve releases game stats" then one would think that would point to the site where Valve actually released the game stats. A more accurate sentence would be "Arstechnica 'analyzes' Valve's released game stats".

    Or you could just link to the actual stats:
    http://steamgames.com/status/ep2/ep2_stats.php [steamgames.com]

  • I play FPS games often and I like well made single player action (I rarely play commercial games online). It seems to be a trend that the length is cut down to a few hours gameplay, usually in the last years the avarage length was about 10-15 hours (which is not very long) for a linear shooter game.

    I didn't play episode 1 and 2 (because I wasn't satisfied with HL2 anyway), so 5 hours gameplay seems to be a rip-off for me.
    • by Pojut (1027544)
      Episode 1 and 2 are so short because they are exactly that...episodes. Valve said (can't recall a link to the interview, I'm sure someone will chime in with it) they considered episodes 1 2 and 3 to be the equivelent of half-life 3...just released in three parts.

      Assume it takes between 12-15 hours for Half Life 2...now look at the episodes. So far we have 3-4 hours for Episode 1, 4-7 hours for episode 2...assuming the short end of both of those, episode 1 and 2 combined are already gaining on the length o
      • > ...just released in three parts.
        To take 3 times the price for it?

        > Out of curiosity, why didn't HL2 do anything for you? Did you not play the first game/not play to the end?
        I played HL1.

        HL2 was fun to me in the first levels (the Ravenhome level was most fun and pretty well made). The Jail level was also ok. Then I remember driving around, kill some monsters, driving around, kill some monsters, go over a broken bridge in 200 meters height to press a button, go back, drive home...
        The fight in the stre
        • why do they need humanoid sized enemys anyway when they can destroy everything with a big monster?

          Excellent point! Why do we need foot soldiers and tanks when we have nukes and bombers?

          Yes, I'm being sarcastic but if you put it into the frame of your question it makes sense.
        • by Pojut (1027544)

          To take 3 times the price for it?

          I'm sure that had something to do with it, but the primary reason they gave was so that people didn't have to wait as long to continue the story line...might be bullshit, but it still makes sense. Besides, episodes 1 and 2 have some great experiences in them, as well as good plot development.

          As far as your last reasons...they would need humanoid sized soldiers so that they can direct individual humans on a person-by-person basis. A strider would hardly be good at giving

          • To take 3 times the price for it?

            I'm sure that had something to do with it, but the primary reason...

            I'm pretty sure profit is the primary reason. It almost always is. Any additional benefits would be secondary.

            Valve is a for-profit company. If they did anything else, they would be failing in their mission.
            • by Pojut (1027544)
              I would disagree with that. It is quite obvious when you play a game in the half-life universe that a LOT of time and effort went into it...take a step back and just look at the level designs used throughout the entire series...they are spectacular.

              Yes, their goal is to make money...but it's not their only goal. It is important to them to put out a quality product, and they have yet to dissapoint (Steam...well, I'll leave that to personal experience. People have as differing a view on Steam as people hav
              • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                I would disagree with that. It is quite obvious when you play a game in the half-life universe that a LOT of time and effort went into it...take a step back and just look at the level designs used throughout the entire series...they are spectacular.

                People do seem to go on about that Episode 2 was short. Well, any fool can make a game longer by adding more of the same. I was playing F.E.A.R yesterday: go along corridor, get shot at by some soldiers, go along another corridor get shot at by some more soldiers
              • would disagree with that. It is quite obvious when you play a game in the half-life universe that a LOT of time and effort went into it.

                Where did I say otherwise?

                Yes, their goal is to make money...but it's not their only goal

                "primary" != "only"

                Producing crap usually cuts into one's profit quite a bit (unless you're Microsoft or a phone company, ha-ha). Indeed, in a competitive free market, making the best product is often the best way to make the best profit. A great many professionals take a lot of

        • I played Half-Life 1 and 2 pretty much back-to-back. Half-Life 1 had the best storytelling I've ever seen in a game, but I found Half-Life 2 to be a bit of a disappointment after the first.

          I liked the schmuck-in-a-suit aspect of the first one. He's just a nerd with a cool suit and a crowbar, trying to survive. In the second your character takes on all this heroic importance, just like any other game, and the crowbar takes a backseat to more exotic devices like a gravity gun (an awesome weapon from a gamin

          • "You kind of figured that Gordon would have said, "Uh, hey, WTF?" and asked for an explanation. The graphics are awesome, even beautiful, though.

            It seemed to me that every time Gordon was about to say "WTF is going on", the other characters said "OMG LOOK OVER THERE *points*" and then shuffled you off to some new "important task".

            Spot on with your post tho.. i felt the same way (although i think we are some of the only few who did?)
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Assume it takes between 12-15 hours for Half Life 2...now look at the episodes. So far we have 3-4 hours for Episode 1, 4-7 hours for episode 2...assuming the short end of both of those, episode 1 and 2 combined are already gaining on the length of half life 2...add in another 4-7 hours for episode 3 and you have a game that is longer than Half Life 2.

        And? That just means Half-Life 2 is just way too short.
        • by Pojut (1027544)
          ::shrug:: To me, 12-15 hours for a shooter is just right...especially when you have no form of progression (i.e. your character doesn't get stronger and you cannot modify your weapons (excluding the short stint with the overpowered gravity gun towards the end))

          Anything longer than 15 hours while playing a static character is too long, I think.
          • by Abcd1234 (188840)
            IMHO, you're spot on. It's very easy to drag a game out (and HL2 definitely has some of those moments... the vehicle sequences, for example, are much too long, if you ask me). Proper pacing is an artform, and I would rather a shorter, more evenly paced game, than a piece that's clearly been stretched to meet gamer's playtime expectations.
      • by ShakaUVM (157947)
        >>Out of curiosity, why didn't HL2 do anything for you? Did you not play the first game/not play to the end?

        HL2 was just a giant Havok physics puzzle.

        I'm actually curious what they worked on in the game for the four years before they licensed the Havok engine.
    • You know the episodes are cheaper than the full game, right?
      • by AmaDaden (794446)
        Yeah but not by much. That seems to be why they released the Orange box with everything in it and not just Ep2 by it self.
        • by tcolberg (998885)
          Well, they did release it on its own. Just go look it up on Steam and it's there for individual purchase. Alhough I think you'd be crazy to do so because Portal and TF2 are fantastic.
  • These processors are odd... 1 0.00 % Unspecified 1 0.00 % CentaurHauls 5 0.00 % GenuineBMCpu 1 0.00 % Also, is there any way to tell the number of WINE users from this survey?
  • by Khuffie (818093)
    ...they're tracking your gaming? And we're left to hope that they don't track much else? Does anyone else find something suspiciously wrong with this? Is there anyway to turn it off?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Borgschulze (842056)
      It's a "Survey" you simply don't participate when it asks you to.
    • also read the EULA, this sorta stuff has to be specified in the EULA, thats why valve havent been busted for it like microsoft have been :rolleyes:
    • by AmaDaden (794446)
      Valve has done a lot of things that sound funny. But I have yet to see them do anything that was actually bad. I was aggravated by them at first with steam being DRM and all. But now I would rather get a game on steam then on a disk. Their idea of DRM is actually MANAGING digital rights instead of restricting them.
    • by keithjr (1091829)
      I'm having a hard time thinking of anything I do in a game as being "sensitive" information that I will be ruined if people see. Well, I don't think they logged all those times I tried to shoot Magneson in his big stupid face, so yeah, I'm safe. What in-game activity would you be afraid of Valve knowing about? Naughty sprays in CS?
      • by Khuffie (818093)
        It's the principle of the matter. I don't recall ever being warned that my activity will be monitored while I play a single player, offline game.
    • by Aaul (695153)

      The hardware survey is voluntary and it displays the data it sends to Valve at the end (though that doesn't mean they don't collect anything else about your machine). The gameplay data, I *think*, is done behind the scenes while you play although it might be stored on disk and sent with the hardware survey. I understand the importance of the principle of being able to opt-out on something like these surveys; however, from listening to the in-game commentary from Lost Coast, EP1, and EP2, and Valve's reputa

  • by ACS Solver (1068112) on Monday November 19, 2007 @02:42PM (#21410465)
    Here's an interesting bit from the achievement stats. Apparently many players didn't actually finish the game. There are numerous achievements that you will get if you get to a certain point in the game. Let's see:

    Acid Reflex: 81%. While you *may*, I believe, get through those levels without killing an acid antlion, it's extremely difficult. With 19% of players not getting this achievement, I'd bet that's at least 17% that never got far enough, and that's close to the beginning of the game.

    Twofer: 63%, and you'll get this achievement when you progress far enough. Ditto for "Meet the Hunters", 61% - here it looks like a third of players didn't make it this far.

    Gunishment and Quiet Mountain Getaway, 59% and 58%. Looks like those who make it past the first third or so of the game mostly continue to go forward. You can complete the game without getting Gunishment but it's tricky and is a glitch.

    Finally: Defense of the Armament, at 48%. You get the achievement for winning the game's last (and truly spectacular) battle. So it'd seem like half the players who started the game didn't finish it, interesting.
    • by cavtroop (859432)
      or are like me, and just haven't had time to get that far yet. I'm only at the acid part right now. I have limited gaming time, and TF2 is taking most of it up :)
      • by 0123456 (636235)
        Ditto. Like many people I bought the Orange Box, so I started Episode 2, but then got distracted by Portal and TF2, and then the free Sam and Max episode that was available on Steam... I'll get around to finishing Episode 2 sometime in the next few months :).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chyeld (713439)
      I haven't yet finished the game (last night I quit after sampling the final battle), however I do know from playing around with Portal that you STOP receiving Achievements if you turn cheat mode on.

      In Portal I got to a certain section where I had to use consecutive portals to get somewhere and just couldn't get my gun to aim well enough to get the next portal laid down before I would fall. Although I completed the game by switching on noclip for that short section and then turning the cheats back off, I sto
    • by Kelerain (577551)
      Looking at the other stats page:
      http://steamgames.com/status/ep2/ep2_stats.php [steamgames.com]

      There is a chart for:
      Highest Map Played (percentage of players)

      Which probably is a more accurate representation of exactly how far most people have gotten. As mentioned in other comments this includes people still playing through, but my hunch is those numbers aren't going to go up a whole lot. I wonder how other forms of entertainment where leaving is easy suffer from it? Say television movies? Or TV series with high c
    • You don't get achivements if you are cheating or in commentary mode, or if you are playing the game without an active internet connection. I know this is how I played Episode 2 so I don't have that achievement.
    • I haven't finished it yet and I can't see how anyone could enjoy it in 5 hours. I tend to spread my play of these sorts of games over a few months. I still haven't finished Ep 1 but decided to get Ep 2 anyway :) On Chapter 2 or 3 now and I must have put in at least 5 hours. Got quite a few achievements though!
    • by Trevelyan (535381)
      If you play with steam 'offline' your not credited with any achievements. They are only awarded iff you have steam logged in. I would guess this is some sort of anti-cheat protection.
    • I would bet that the statistics of the 52% that didn't finish the game and the 19% that didn't even make it past the first part probably had something to do with not only the Orange Box, but the heavy game releases that happened between October and November.

      I could easily see some players starting Episode-2 but then getting sidetracked by the equally great games Portal or Team Fortress 2 that was bundled in the same package. I would bet those percentages would be a bit higher if more people bought this

  • Why I didn't finish (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cbc1920 (730236) on Monday November 19, 2007 @03:22PM (#21411101)
    It's obvious to me why not many have finished this game- the orange box! The first game I played when I got it was Portal, then I played an hour or so of Episode 2. I'm more likely to revisit Portal for the challenge levels then slog through the second two thirds of Episode 2, though I'll probably get around to it in the next few months.

    What really sealed the deal against finishing the game was TF2. Every time I think about finishing Episode 2, I think of how much more fun it would be to play a few rounds of TF2 instead. Even though there are only a few maps, the team-based play never gets old. I would really like to see a stat of hours of TF2 played vs. Episode 2, for those players that have both installed.
    • I was almost in that boat. I immediately played Portal and beat it within three hours of getting home with my purchase. Then I played around in all the bonus maps and commentary. I still haven't unlocked everything yet but I'll get around to it. Some of them are hard...

      Then I went to Episode 2. I really wanted to play TF2 but I knew if I did, I would likely never get around to Episode 2. So I beat EP2 and got all the achievements except for two (because I played when the servers were down and they weren'
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)
        Without voice chat I feel like it's a lot harder to be helpful, especially with spies and locations of things

        Meh, in the old days of TF on the Quake engine, we just set up lots of keyboard macros with various canned phrases ("incoming", etc), which take care of most of the common situations (I assume this is possible in TF2... I haven't gotten into it deeply enough to check). Other than that, just type quickly. :) TBH, I never play with voice chat, and for larger games, I can't imagine it being worthwhile
        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          i don't use VC for tactical stuff, i prefer to play on global (both teams hear) servers so everyone can shoot the shit while playing. it really does make things a bit more fun especially when the server population is a bit too low for a good match.
      • by Winckle (870180)
        Why not try a desktop mic, and use in ear headphones?
  • by McP (5183)
    Similar to those "death maps", they need to show all of the common places where players zoom in on Alyx's butt.
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      Alyx might look pretty but I just can't get along with her, especially in Episode 2 when there's any work to be done she's off before you can say Jack Robinson. "You need to go and get the car Gordon, I'll just wait here and, well just wait really" - it doesn't need 2 people to operate that sniper rifle and the Vortigaunt looks more than capable. "That pesky alarm is going off again, I'll just wait here and sip coffee while you go down and sort it all out". "That gun turret will need to be taken out Gordon,
  • I love the death map of the first level [steampowered.com] (red spot at the bottom right): all those people jumping off the cliff like lemmings

    And this one [steampowered.com] (green spot at the bottom left, where Dog fights the Strider): "Oooh, robot fight! Let's watch... uhoh! *squish*"

    And last [steampowered.com] (greenish blue at the top, where the rocket takes off): it seems that several people wanted to become astronauts, they even went through walls just to get on that rocket ("Wait for meeeee...!")

    • by G4Z (865584)
      hehe, I did the exact same thing on that first map and leaped off the cliff. Can't quite remember why I just found it amusing.
  • i killed all of the grubs halfway before i noticed that the achievement wasn't being properly recorded.. apparently you can't play in offline mode and track achievements (even tho i was), it looks like steam thought i wasn't connected to steam and therefore ignored the tracking..

    When i resumed playing a day later it did track the events but i was already a good ways through the game...

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