The above** links to website information for DDO.COM According to this source, DDO.COM is the 68,287th most popular site on the web.
This fact is not particularly interesting. What IS interesting is the decline in popularity since mid 2012. Indeed, for the first half of 2012, DDO.COM was running a rough average of 30,000th most popular site on the web. There was a sharp peak there in mid 2012 all the way to around 15,000th most popular. Directly after this peak, there has been a steady decline to what we have now.
When I saw this information, I asked myself what was going on in mid 2012.
The answer? MOTU. aka "The Expansion" aka Update 14.
Interestingly, here is a list of SOME of the changes to the game that accompanied Update 14:
1. Epic levels
3. The beginning of the end for the endgame raid scene (compared to pre expansion)
4. Spellpower system changes
5. DC casting getting hit (due to SR and level increases)
6. Stones of experience (right before)
7. Buffed lootgen
8. Nerf to Eardweller
9. Multiple Epic Difficulties
10. Buff of poison and disease effects
11. Displacement Self-Only
It makes sense that there would be a peak of traffic to DDO.COM right around the time of the expansion given the increased marketing. However, it appears that traffic and MORE has since left.
I wonder if, in order to try to recreate that spike in interest (which likely included a surge in revenue) the devs were pushed to create the second expansion. It appears no such spike occurred.
I am not making an argument here per se. I just found this information to be powerful. Furthermore the correlation of U14 and traffic to DDO.COM does not prove a causality.
But, I'd bet it was not a coincidence.
**Credit to karatekid for braving the Vault of Night in order to bring this information to light.
***Additional note: The tracking site also says that 71% of sites on the web load faster than DDO.COM (ouch)