conspiracy theories last year, average # of players on uswest was 150k, with maybe a 20-30k swing depending on time of day. now, in the past two weeks, it's been 75k, with maybe a 2k swing. after talking to some people in channels, i have some ideas why .10 is less popular than .09: 1. Duelers all quit: dueling is no longer as popular as it once was, because: a) hammerdins/necros are overpowered b) they lost all their duped items, can't/won't try to recover 2. Game is too hard: casual gamers prefer an easier game rather than a harder game, so the casual players all quit. 3. Anti-bot measures are successful: 75k people who were counted last year were actually bots. 4. Game is boring: now, people team up for baal runs, which are shorter and less profitable than the old cow runs. 5. Bad players quit: now that you actually need some skill/knowledge to survive, those who lack these gave up. 6. New games came out: old players moved on to other games. 7. Good players quit: now that a very limited number of builds are feasible for solo play, weren't able to experiment with unusual builds. 9. Mf'ers got screwed: popular mf runs were made longer, more boring, less profitable. Mf'ers also got almost nothing in the way of new eq.