Thursday, July 30, 2009

Visual Display of Data

As of late I have been knee deep in the world of data visualization. To be fair my interest is mostly driven by the work I've been doing for the past year and a half, but it has painted my reading outside of work as well. My amazon cart runneth over with various books on the subject. Expounding on that topic conceptually sounds like a boring post though. So instead dear reader we will look at some graphs on WoW raid progression, specifically Ulduar care of

The first graph shows the number of guilds that have cleared each of the four wings in Ulduar by time. Siege and Antechamber, the easiest of the four wings, have clear exponential curves that speak to their accessibility to the majority of the raid community. Conversely Keepers and Descent require more dedication and repetition to complete and as such are straighter curves with slower progression.

Next is the "easier" tier of achievements, I say easier in quotation because the majority of guilds do not make it this far. The two interesting trends on this graph are Cache and Heartbreaker. Until mid June it is clear that Hearbreaker was the hardest of the four achievements displayed. However post heart health nerf there is a marked spike in the number of guild completing the achievement. The graph quickly goes from slow straight line progression to a stepped progression. Indicating that it became easy enough for guilds to simply attempt the achievement to complete it. The stepping appears to happen on every Tuesday of the raid week. Please not that XT-002's heart may have gotten easier, but it is still a guild killer. The one step on Cache is a result in the time change for the achievement, going from 2 minutes to 3 made it easier. As noted by the slow straight line progression after the step, it is still not a cake walk.

Finally the "harder" tiers of Ulduar achievements, I say harder in quotation because this crap is seriously hard. The vast majority of guilds will not complete this content before 3.2, Afterlife included. Firefighter was nerfed in late June and has since eclipsed 3x Knock as the easiest of this set, noted by it's sharp spike. Alone in the Darkness was thought to be mathematically impossible by all most all of the top guilds until July 7th when Stars completed the task. Since then only 8 guilds have duplicated their success.

Talk about a nerd out, math, graphs and MMOs. I don't know if a round of cycling pictures will suffice to pull us out of this nerd chasm on Tuesday dear reader. Maybe I'll talk about chain saws, boobs and dirt bikes instead...Mmm Nah.


Riez said...

Hey dude, I like your blog. has a pretty cool achievement progress tool for WoW. is an example of how the data is compiled.

Wreck said...

I actually have a GB account and listen to the podcast every week. My GB achievements can be found here:

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