There have been a few records set recently. Some are people claiming to have leveled to 70 the fastest, some are groups of players downing a boss on the PTR before anyone else in the world, while others are PvP records yet to be made. Everyone likes to say "we broke a record." It makes them feel good, gives them a sense of purpose and measurable accomplishment, and generally will put a smile on their face. Even I've done that here at WoW Insider occasionally: "Hey, we had a record number of hits that day, cool!" (No, I'm not going to say when that was, I'll leave it up for you all to comment on and guess.)
With all these record breaking accomplishments, it begs the question: do they really mean anything? Does it matter if you've leveled up to 70 in the time that most people are still working on getting the Deadmines quests done? Let's take a look at what records do and do not provide.
One thing that they do provide is competition amongst a small group of players. To borrow a phrase from marketing, we'll call these players "alpha players." They are the ones that will always be the first to jump on new content, the first to let everyone know how to do it, the first to complain, and the first to get the benefits of completing the content. These alpha players are pretty hard core, and use world firsts and records to challenge each other. There is literally a whole 'nother side to the game that many of us don't ever see – hard core time based competition.
Read on for more and vote in our poll, after the jump!