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Progress ranking is a major part of the hardcore raider's lifestyle, in that it allows for competing against other guilds for the top spot as raiders. While I understand what their goal is, I think a lot of people don't take into consideration the flaws they have.

When dealing with progress ranking, the goal is to figure out who kills various raids the quickest. By allocating maximum points in the beginning and decreasing the amount of points earned over time, it keeps the “top guilds” in the top ranking and allows others to fit in where they are in terms of how long it took them to kill raids in comparison to the other guilds. For what this point system is designed to do, I agree with it – as the raids are open for more and more time, there are more guides available, so completing them does become easier, to an extent.

The biggest flaw with the points, however, is that the guilds that lock in most of the “world firsts” are those who both tested and helped shape the raids. In other words, they already have a lot of time to gain the experience needed to take the bosses down. So while they may be the first once the patches go live, they have a massive advantage. It's hard to really lock down on what guilds are testing though, as they are all bound to NDA's to keep them from sharing that information.

The second major flaw is that the points are decreased over time but it's usually in a linear fashion. As time goes on, bosses are also gimped down (usually) and players are getting more geared. In this instance, the gear itself is promoting an easier battle, as gear can definitely help account for having less skill (this isn't true in every battle but it is in most). This isn't to say that guilds who make it in late “suck” or anything, simply that they are not on the same difficulty level as they are in the beginning.

The last big flaw in the system is that it doesn't account for the number of tries, nor the amount of time it actually took. As an example, you could have a guild that spends 5 hours a day working on raid progression, while another spends an hour a week on it. If the first guild downs the bosses in 3 days and the second in a week, I'd classify the second as being the better raiders. Remember the saying “practice makes perfect.” It's true in raiding too!

This idea could go the other way as well. After the guilds that spend a lot of time down the raids, they are usually more likely to create guides to help other guilds do the same. After all, they have already gotten their shard or world first, which is the goal. After that, helping others be successful no longer hurts them. What this means for the more casual guilds is that they have an even more increased chance of being able to just look up some guides online to figure out all the tips and tricks without having to spend the time other guilds did to learn it all. This makes mastering the raids that much easier. It would be extremely hard to account for this when dealing with raid leaderboards, though, which is likely why it is left out.

Keep in mind that the raid progression charts are a lot like the leaderboards though. They have no real benefit, other than being for bragging rights. Regardless, even in that sense I think they're flawed enough that you really can not judge a guild's relative progression (in regards to what guild is the “best”) based on them. Each guild can be great at one part of the task, and putting a more hardcore guild above a casual one in skill level or otherwise is not always accurate. There are plenty of players out there that can catch on to new strategies quickly and are able to analyze and implement new plans in a fluid motion, removing the need to keep returning and doing the same mistakes over and over to learn where they are going wrong.


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