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The Pre-4.3 Numbers

As I did back in June – has it really only been five months? – for posterity’s sake here is a screenshot of WoWProgress’s Firelands numbers as they stood on Tuesday, November 29th, at around 2am:

Since there is no 100% boss (but Shannox gets close), a little reverse-engineering results in a total of 45,839 guilds having killed at least 1 boss this tier. I would do a further breakdown as I did last time, but what’s the point? About 71% of every guild that started Firelands in some fashion finished it. Unlike last time around, Blizzard rolled out the content nerf before the patch hit, which obviously influences the completion rates in this bizarre way.

Speaking of last time, there were 62,405 guilds that downed at least one 1 boss in T11 content. Compared with today, that is a drop in activity of 26.55%, or 16,566 guilds that fell off the grid.

As always, the numbers get a little fuzzy if you want to look at the number of players instead of guilds. If we assume a generous 18 raiders per guild, 825,102 players have killed 1 boss in Firelands, down from 1,123,290 killing 1 boss in T11. Back in June I had what I assumed was a reasonably accurate count of all non-Chinese subs (i.e. all guilds WoWProgress tracks) at 6.5 million, but obviously that has changed in the midterm. Back then, it meant only 17.28% of players raided. Today that would be just 12.69%, but only if the overall population had not decreased as well.

To understand exactly how generous I am being vis-a-vis the 18 people per guild estimate, WoWProgress says that only 4934 guilds killed Shannox on 25m, compared with 39,861 10m kills. In other words, there are over eight (8) times as many 10m kills of Shannox than 25m of the same. That 8x figure is fairly consistent across all bosses until you hit Ragnaros, interestingly enough. In fact:

Boss 10m guilds 25m guilds Difference
Beth’tilac 39,165 4,821 8.12x
Lord Rhyolith 38,122 4,704 8.10x
Alysrazor 37,086 4,467 8.30x
Shannox 39,861 4,934 8.07x
Baleroc 38,320 4,574 8.37x
Majordomo 37,619 4,516 8.33x
Ragnaros 27,595 3,991 6.91x

If those 25m numbers don’t seem jarring to you, perhaps this will illustrate it better:

Boss 10m guilds 25m guilds Difference
The Siege of Ulduar ??? 31,993 n/a
Beasts of Northrend 86,187 58,801 1.46x
Anub’arak 84,044 52,903 1.58x
Lord Marrowgar 84,136 59,356 1.41x
Lich King 48,523 11,567 4.19x
Magmaw 60,390 4,395 13.74x
Nefarion 39,390 4,580 8.60x

I was not actually aware of the Magmaw discrepancy until just now, but… wow. Assuming that Blizzard making it difficult to differentiate between 10m and 25m kills achievement-wise doesn’t impact the accuracy of WoWProgress, this seems an armor-piercing argument that the merging of lock-outs (and possibly of gear) is not just killing 25m raiding, but driving it before us, while we hear the lamentation of its women.

While I understand the LFR system may address the casual PuG content gap, these numbers cannot bode well for the future of 25m raiding. Less than 5k guilds running normal 25m content means all that content is being made/balanced/tuned for the entertainment of less than 90,000 150,000 people. There will likely be three two times that number of players engaging in Pet Battles at any given time of day, let alone overall.

Hmm, perhaps the decision to include that as a major feature is not so incongruous after all.