WoW – Numbers and Trends

Alt-Chat has a neat post that triggered a thought.  Then it had me dig a bit deeper around the data analysis of the game.

Let’s start with the following MMO-Champ post on garrison achievements.  I think it would be fair to say that raiders have top level garrisons.  Maybe not so much that they have invested in the monument achievements exactly, but it’s certainly a barometer. That half the current playerbase has hit 100,000 apexis crystals isn’t really that tough to believe.  We’re nearing the 1 year mark and those things drop everywhere.  Epic crafting is also pretty simple, gated only by time.  Legendary ring at 18%, you’d kind of hope it was higher – but it’s not too far from the “complete all normal raiding” sitting at 13%.  The Mythic achievement being low makes sense, you’d sort of expect it to aim for the top 1%.

Pet battles though…that’s an odd one. It was super popular in MoP.  There’s more data here, where it seems ~25% of playerbase has had some depth in pet battles (getting quite a few to level 25).  Though there’s a rather significant drop after the 300 battle mark.  Even more data here in terms of the number of battles, where clearly the WoD implementation didn’t resonate with players.  Also quite evident, nobody gives a toot about PvP pet battles.  I wonder what Wilhelm has to say about that, given his series of pet battle posts.

Flight in Dreanor is also an interesting topic, to me at least.  Here’s some data on it.  It shows that ~30% of the active players have the appropriate achievement, though about 60% have the basics down.  Very telling is the drop from 100-200 treasures, as only the first is needed for flight.  Even after getting the ability to fly, very few are chasing treasures.  Given those numbers, it really is a head scratcher as to how important flight is to the player base if 60% didn’t think it worthwhile.

Class representation per item level is also pretty neat.  The ones with a downward trend would indicate a more casual/non-raiding attitude.  Rogues and Monks have neat low ilevel appeal but then people either quit them, or go deep into raiding.  5x more Hunters than Monks is pretty darn telling though. I would have thought better representation since Monks are a triple-spec, sort of like Paladins and Druids, but it’s also a class with weird momentum.

I’m trying to find an up to date version of this, but this March 2015 data on raiding is telling, about 2 months after Blackrock (raid #2) opened.  60% completed the first raid on a minimum of LFR, 8% for raid #2.  0.4% completed Mythic raid #1 (that’s about 25,000 people) and I don’t think it’s worth talking about raid #2 (~1200 people).  These numbers align with what was seen in SoO back in the MoP days.  The trend was around 70/40/25/10 for the first tiers and 50/20/15/1 for the later tiers.  I’d be surprised if Mythic raiding was even an option in Legion.  Given the user base, it’s pretty striking how few people actually bother with it.  It’s hard to see the breakdown in WoD for Normal & Heroic with that data, but the trends are similar to what happened in MoP.  I guess the days of banging your head against a single boss for a week are gone, people would want some sort of steady progress. I would find it hard to argue that WoW being more casual killed Mythic raiding as the % is less important than the actual number of players.  If anything it would seem that Mythic raiders just moved on.

I’d be hyper interested in the 5 man dungeon achievements, per expansion.  WoD had some good ones that were completely useless in terms of gearing, but MoP’s launch had some neat ideas.  Once Timewalking is fully fleshed out, maybe there’s some data from that.  If it’s anything lower than 50%, I’d be truly surprised.

Analytics are a tough one, since you’re often missing context.  Raids in WoD are arguably much more accessible due to Flex, so that Mythic content is only about prestige/e-peen, clearly less important than originally thought.  Pet battles, once a darling, have been underused in the expansion.  PvE content is highly active, given the apexis numbers.  Flight has only minor appeal to the playerbase, either indicating that people never leave their garrisons or that the movement system in WoD is sufficiently good to not be worth the effort to improve (my vote on the former).  Class balance is actually pretty good, if you look at it objectively, with only small variances within a class.

It’s too early for a full post-mortem on the WoD expansion but there are certainly clear trends that emerge.  I’m quite curious as to how the developers can/will try to use those trends to their advantage.

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