WoW Progress recently added a new feature that makes really interesting reading. While their Speed Kill rankings are still in their infancy, and a little buggy in places, they reveal some really interesting stuff about how top guilds play the game. First up, though, before you check out the new feature, I should mention their little disclaimers:
Those Klaxxi. Always so darn buggy. Towards the end of the ladder, then, the data should be considered unreliable. There are certain guilds I know have killed Garrosh on Heroic who don't even feature. Method, for example, who got the world first.- Boss Kill Time counting starts from kill of the previous boss and includes trash clearing
- Due to buggy Paragons of the Klaxxi Battle.net data, some of Garrosh Hellscream kills and Paragons of the Klaxxi kills might be missed
But nonetheless, even if we discount Garrosh for now, these are really interesting to look at. Taking Method, certainly among the world's best guilds and the holder of more world firsts in Mists than any other, as our example again, let's have a look. They rank 32nd on Fallen Protectors. Sha of Pride? 142nd. What's going on? Well, Method run with more healers so they don't wipe. Look at the Method vs. Midwinter race at Blizzcon, Method won pretty much exclusively because Midwinter wiped three times on Dark Shaman. Slow and steady won that race, and apparently the World First one, too.
But this is also an exercise in how it's important to understand the context of data. Knowing that Method run extra healers isn't that important to viewing this in its overall context. Method rank at 15 for Dark Shaman, but it's important to note that Dark Shaman's position in the raid is behind their position in the Heroic kill order. Fewer guilds have taken down Dark Shaman than have defeated Nazgrim, so that's going to have an effect on the kill order. And the total number of kills of this tricky boss is simply lower, too.
Interestingly, though, slow and steady may win live raid races and world first races for Method, but Paragon, the guild that has taken every 10-man world first tier this expansion, also rank high for speed. They're in the top two or top three for every boss that hasn't bugged out on the rankings. So lower speed kills and higher healer numbers may not apply so much in 10-man.
What's more, it's really important to remember that these kills include trash, so if you're a guild that swaps people out for certain bosses, or always takes a break after Nazgrim, you're going to rank lower. It's really important, right now at least, to look at these kill times in context. Now that this new ranking exists, you can bet people will start pushing those times, trying to rank higher, trying to go faster.
It's boss-by-boss, too, so there's not the peril of wiping, like at the Method vs. Midwinter live raid. You can try all kinds of crazy tactics to get things done at the maximum speed. Personally, while speed runs will not be for everyone, I think it's great to have these stats, and as the unofficial source of progression information, the top guilds will pay attention to this new feature. And it extends down into normal mode, too. So it's not just for the elitists raiding heroic, although you can bet some of them will be out there dominating the ladders!