Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The 10-man to 25-man Transition

I used to believe that Blizzard made a mistake by starting raiding with a 10-man and then forcing guilds to move to a 25-man model. I thought that running two Kara groups and having to increase in size would be too much work and organization for most guilds, and would prevent the majority of guilds from really experiencing raid content.

I think I was wrong.

The data that has forced me to change my mind comes from WowJutsu. WowJutsu is an automated ranking site that crawls through the Armory. It notes when new loot from raids appears on characters and uses that to determine which guilds have killed which bosses. It's not perfect, but it is fairly accurate for the most part.

On the side, they have an automated list showing what percentage of raiding guilds have killed each boss. For example, only 3.37% of raid guilds have killed a boss in Black Temple. By comparing the number of guilds on two bosses that come right after each other in progression, we can see which bosses guilds are "stuck" on.

When examining the 10 to 25-man transition, we look at the end bosses of Karazhan and the first boss of Gruul's Lair, High King Maulgar. First, we make an assumption:

Assumption 1: If your guild has killed Maulgar, your guild has killed Nightbane.

This is a pretty reasonable assumption to make, in my opinion. From WowJutsu, we see that 74.51% of all raid guilds have beaten Nightbane, and 72.68% of all raid guilds have beaten High King Maulgar. This means that the vast majority of guilds who beat Nightbane go on to beat High King Maulgar. That they are able to overcome organizational challenge of getting 25 raiders. The conversion rate is a whopping 97.5%.

But maybe the assumption is wrong. Maybe there's a number of guilds who have killed HKM, but not Nightbane, and that's skewing our results. So let's soften it to:

Assumption 2: If your guild has killed Maulgar, your guild has killed Prince Malchezzar.

Honestly, if your guild has killed HKM, there is zero excuse for Prince Malchezzar to still be alive. Now we see that 88.88% of guilds have killed Prince Malchezzar. Again, the majority of guilds who beat Malchezzar go on to beat HKM. The conversion rate here is 81.8%. That's lower, but it's still very reasonable. 80% of all raiding guilds are able to navigate the transition from 10-man to 25-man.

I think that this is a reasonable result. It's not perfect, but between the Nightbane and Prince Malchezzar numbers, it's evidence that going from a 10-man to 25-mans was not a mistake, and the transition is within the capabilities of most guilds.


  1. Actually our group 2 didnt kill Prince till a month after we killed Gruul but it was mainly a tanking issue as our tank was only available 3 nights a week 2 of which where 25 man.

    10 man guilds can step up to 25 man and fron evidence the majority do. The difficulty lies in that a great deal of those guilds then find themselves understaffed. Even a guild that runs 2 Karas probably wants another 10 people when they transition and the only source is other guilds in the exact same predicament.

    As you yourself mentioned on EJ forums the next step to T5 and Mags is a very big one and one a lot of guilds are having trouble making.

  2. What these stats are missing, by necessity:
    - Time factor. How long have the surviving guilds been stuck in Kara before getting there? The fact that just two months ago Kalgan could utter the incredibly short-sighted and idiotic statement that Khara was their most popular raid instance clearly tells a story here
    - Guild fallout. Wowjutsu only lists the survivors, it doesn't give any indications (for obvious reasons) on the total amount of guilds which got started on raiding TBC content since February, it only lists those who have managed to survive the transition - and if my own realm is any indication, by leeching off people from many now defunct guilds.

    If your guild managed to get Gruul ready without even the slightest hint of drama and all the other kind of BS which stems from running 3 Kara teams with different progression speeds (and many key members of team A running off to Gruul-ready guilds with the loot your own guild would need to make it after they get fed up with waiting for instance), you are either truly blessed or your guild is one of the survivors, formed from the ashes of several now defunct guilds which never got past Kara themselves.

  3. Another thing to consider is how many guilds that can't make it to Gruul are listed on there? Most of the guilds on that site WANT to be on that site to show off where they are at. If I was in a guild that just could not get HKM down, I don't think I would post my progress.


  4. K,

    WoWJutsu doesn't work on submissions, it crawls the armory by itself instead.

  5. Ohh, thank you, I didn't know that.

    I guess my comment is no longer really valid. :)


  6. Kalgan's comment has always seemed confused to me. It's supposedly on par in progression with Gruul's Lair (given that the quality of the loot is fairly close between Prince and Gruul (iirc, Gorehowl and the axe Gruul drops (I can't recall the name atm) have the same dps?)), but because of the lower player requirement you'd think it'd be a bit more forgiving. I think the Devs' confusion with thinking it's the most popular instance stems from people thinking they have to run it a lot, which may or may not have been Blizzard's philosophy.

    (As I finish this however, I remember that the key quest for SSC required a drop from Nightbane, right? So nevermind. :P )

  7. I all chalk it down to devs not having actually logged onto the live realms since way before TBC and just played their own damn game as a completely normal player would. It's pretty obvious that many design decisions are being made based on statistics rather than direct experience.

  8. Going from 10-mans to 25-mans still hurt most guilds when they started raiding in TBC. Mostly because by breaking guilds into 10 man teams they reduced the chance of players getting upgrades. Usually only the first team in a guild can down all the bosses in Karazhan and thus gets a good chance of getting an upgrade.

    Team A: All the bosses
    Team B: Up to Chess Even
    Team C: Lucky to down Maiden

    Now if the first raid was a 25 man raid everyone in all three teams would have had an equal chance of getting an upgrade. Instead from what I've seen Karazhan has become a shardfest with all the Team A's disenchanting most of the loot and driving the price of void crystals way down.

    It should be easy to switch members around from all the teams but that almost never happens in most guilds either because of organization or cronyism issues.

  9. You do need to submit your guild to WOWJutsu for it to show up. You also need to submit it for updates after that. If it does this automatically at any time I haven't seen it. I've personally updated my guild many times and added some other ones that weren't new to it. So I'm pretty sure the site doesn't list all guilds with some Kara experience. I held of adding my own too before we were reasonably deep into it.