Klepsacovic demands numbers and I’ll absolutely second that motion. It is rare for MMO companies to even give us something as simple as subscriber numbers, let alone detailed statistics on player behavior. Some of that could be derived from games like World of Warcraft through the use of mods or parsing the armory at least, but really we know very little about the games we play. This, of course, makes it very hard to make informed judgments of developer decisions. Not that that keeps us from trying anyway.
As a researcher, I would love access to numbers, especially raw data if we could get that. There was a group of researchers that was granted access to live server data by SOE in the past [PDF], but that is about the only time I know of that developers have granted that kind of access (and even then only to a very limited number of people.)
I get that companies are afraid their competition might use those numbers against them, but frankly I think that independent research can only benefit game developers as a whole. I’ve already tried to make the case for game analysts once, and there is a huge pool of untapped potential lingering around in universities who would love to spend their free (and working!) time to help you improve your game for free.
So give us those numbers and spread the word! (You know, maybe lots of people asking for numbers might actually get us some. A man can dream.)