Awhile back I gave some of my thoughts on my feelings regarding progress rankings. My thoughts on this haven’t really changed since the last time I offered them, save for the fact that I am now even more frustrated by them than I was previously.
The Current Source of My Frustration
Really, all of my frustration with rankings can be boiled down to recruitment. Whether I like it or not most potential recruits will start out by researching a guild via a guild ranking system such as Guild Ox or WoW Progress. Fine, I understand that people want to see how a guild is performing, if their
advertisements are accurate, etc. That’s certainly reasonable (even if I don’t like the ranking system). However, right now the ranking systems are flawed and knowingly reporting less than accurate information. This has the potential to have a very negative impact on guilds trying to recruit – especially if the potential applicants aren’t informed about the current reporting issues.
But Beru, what do you mean they are reporting less than accurate information?
Here’s the deal. Right now in Blizzard’s system, there is no way to distinguish between a 10 and a 25 man kill. Blizzard purposely designed it that way to push their “raids are equal” philosophy, I believe. And when WoW Progress and Guild Ox updated for Cataclysm the both said “we are just going to rank kills regardless of raid size”. Except that really ruffled the feathers of a lot of raiders – specifically those that felt that 25s deserved separate recognition.
So WoW Progress and Guild Ox, in an effort to appease their “clientele”, decided that they were going to try to bifurcate the two raid sizes and jerry rig a way to track progress from varying raid sizes. Only, really, they can’t do this with any efficiency or relative accuracy.
Now to give credit to both sites, they recognize that this is a problem. Guild Ox even posted a statement regarding the issue. And to try to keep things “accurate” they have both chosen to display a “10s rank”, a “25s rank” and a “T11 combined” rank. Now for both sites the combined rank disregards raid size, as was their original plan, and just ranks you based on your kill count.
The problem becomes the “10s” and the “25s” rankings – and specifically has a huge negative impact on any guild that opted to run 10s before starting their 25s (which is a large portion of guilds, including mine).
Let Explain the Problem.
The problem is that if your guild ran 10s first – both sites aren’t giving you accurate credit for your 25s kills. Guild Ox is dealing with this slightly better by looking at the raid size of your last 3 kills and then adjusting accordingly – but my guild isn’t even listed on their 25s list because we’ve only had two weeks or 25s raiding.
I am not even entirely sure that I completely understand how WoW Progress is dealing with the problem. I have heard that you if you ran 10 mans WoW Progress looks at your kill dates for the members of your raid. At any given time to be recognized for a 25 man kill you must have 15 people obtain a kill date on the same day. You see the problem here right? Any guild that ran multiple people through 10 mans is completely screwed of any 25 man ranking for many encounters.
Let’s look at my guild to give a better example of this:
Here you can see that we have a Tier 11 rank, and a Tier 11(25) rank. However, we have no Tier 11 (10) rank. You can see that we are credited with being 11/12 in the Tier 11 rankings – but only 6/12 in the Tier 11 (25) rankings. Now for those curious, it gives us a server second overall ranking for Tier 11 (25) with 6 kills.
Now, if we look more accurately, we are 11/12 in our 25s only missing Nefarion as a kill. In fact according to the incredibly flawed system we were the 193 US guild to even kill Al’Akir. And yet we’ve only got credit for 6/12 of the bosses? To top it off, WoW Progress is crediting us with two end boss kills (Al’Akir and Cho’gall) along with some kills deep into Blackwing Descent yet we don’t have credit for the bosses earlier in the zone that we had to kill to get to those bosses!
An intelligent person would presumably look at our boss kills and say “clearly if they can kill Cho’gall they can kill Halfus and the Twins”. However, a potential recruit that is just browsing through our progress may not look any farther than the 6/12 kills and decide that we aren’t a guild that would meet their desires as a raider.
Now, I’ve updated our “blurb” on WoW Progress to indicate our kills. But the truth of the matter is that until we are given proper credit for our 25s kills, a person just browsing through WoW Progress will think that we are a 25 man guild with only 6/12 kills under our belts. That is frustrating.
If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all
As I’ve been thinking more and more about this (and ranting frequently to just about anyone who will listen) I’ve heard a lot of people place blame a lot of different places for this problem. Some people blame Blizzard for not having the code in to separate the two. But I don’t. I blame the sites who are claiming to reputably record and report accurate guild progress.
I blame them because they admit and acknowledge that they can’t really do it with any sort of accuracy – and yet they try to do it anyhow. And that frustrates me. A lot.
Honestly, I would have preferred if they would have just left it with recording kills and let the guilds chasing the ranking battle out whose is “legit” or considered “progress”. At least that way the data reported would have been accurate and not this jerry rigged, mish mash or inaccurate information.
All of this logically brings me to my initial question:
Have Progress Ranking Lost Some of Their Credibility?
I don’t see how they couldn’t have. Both of the main sites acknowledge that their ranking systems have serious flaws. Both sites acknowledge that any guild that ran 10 man content before 25 man content will likely not be recording accurately. And if that is the case, how on earth can they presume to “rank” anyone with any sort of meaning attached to it?
How can they offer “rankings” in a flawed system? Those who have done any research into it know the data that they are offering is inaccurate. In fact it’s so inaccurate right now that frankly I think that it’s more harmful than good for a large majority of guilds affected.
I have always felt that “world rankings” put a lot of stress on guilds and took a bit of the fun out of the game due to the “rankings game”. But now, even more than ever, I feel that these “rankings” have lost most of the credibility that I ever gave them. On top of that it’s not fair to the guilds that have been busting their asses to say “here – we know this ranking data is broken and not accurate data, and we know that people will judge your guild based on it – but we are going to put it out there anyhow”.
I think it’s so unfortunate that rankings have now become an even bigger source of frustration.
I try really, really hard not to care about rankings. But I’ll be damned if the pride I have in my guild, and the friends who bust their ass nightly with me to meet and overcome new challenges, don’t demand that we deserve better than this half assed attempt at “ranking” us.
If it can’t be done right – it shouldn’t be done at all. Period.
What do you think? Have rankings lost some credibility? Am I the only one irritated by this?