Stratics is an Internet network of web sites and message boards focusing on massively multiplayer games. Originally called "Den's Den: the UO Statistics Site" and hosted on the Geocities free Web hosting network, founder Ryan "Den Dragon" Findley (a member of the Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter) focus his work on providing statistical research and guides about Ultima Online during its early beta stages. Shortly after the original site's founding, Findley adjusted the name to Stratics, which is a portmanteau of the words strategy and statistics.
From fan site to network
After spending time being hosted on Geocities, Findley moved his site to Stomped, who hosted the site for a short while before being officially hosted by FrostByghte (later founder of the Coldfront gaming network in 1998. It was during this time that Findley began to expand his site as his interest in other massively multiplayer games grew, including creating a site focusing on Asheron's Call (AC Stratics) and the original EverQuest (EQ Stratics). As his interest in EverQuest grew, Findley handed the reins of Stratics flashship Ultima Online Strategy and Statistics (UOSS) over to Xena Dragon (another UDIC member) sometime between EQ's open betas 3 and 4. Findley, however, continued to run the network as a whole.
Under Xena's guidance UOSS focus continued on meticulous accumulation of game data as well as a focus on community news and community building.
(As an aside, when the Stratics Network switched from using Matt's WWWBoards to UBB Boards a large chunk of the popular UHall forums protested and formed their own smaller communities, attesting to the popularity of said boards).
The Stratics model
The premiere site within the Stratics Network has been its original site, Ultima Online Strategy and Statistics (formerly known as UOSS, now UO Stratics), the content of which became the model upon which the overall Network is designed around; special attention is placed on creating detailed information about the focus game of a particular subsite. This model has proven so popular that competing sites and networks have followed suit, and in most cases their work has superseded that of the Stratics subsites.
A common criticism of the Stratics Network, especially for its UO Stratics site, is that data is out of date. This can be typical of sites focusing on massively multiplayer games due to the constantly changing nature of game data. An alternative explanation is that the model is fundamentally flawed; if only a few volunteers are making real contributions to the network, it is difficult to keep up with all the games covered.
Houses of commons
One of the standout features of the Stratics Network are their Houses of Commons discussions with game developers via internet relay chat (IRC). Originally called "Open Houses," the first House of Commons (HoCs) was held on February 12, 1998](log) and featured a variety of Ultima Online developers talking about the game with attendees, answering their questions live.
As the massively multiplayer market grew, and as the network itself grew, Houses of Commons included developers of other MMO titles, including EverQuest, Asheron's Call, and later Star Wars Galaxies and more modern massively multiplayer titles. HoCs have proven popular with both game developers and players. A number of Houses of Commons discussions can be found weekly in irc.stratics.com 6668 in #straticshoc.
June 2010 Hacking
The Stratics web server was hacked twice in one week. There was malicious code on their forum and possibly other locations. If you visited their website, it was possible malicious code was placed on your computer. The hacker placed an iframe that redirected users to a 3rd party site hosting the malware.
- Update 1: Stratics has posted a message saying the hacker is still active and they don't have access to their own database yet.
- Update 2: Stratics says it is now all clear, if you think you were affected you should seek assistance in cleaning your computer