While I was doing a little more analysis of the Realmpop/WoWProgress data, questions started popping up.
“Assuming that WoWProgress’ ranking is a measurement of a realm’s success as a raiding community(*), is there a correlation between raiding population and the realm’s ranking?”
To an extent, that’s an easy question to answer. Illidan is the #1 server in terms of progression AND has the highest population of guilded raid-capable max-level characters. All the way at the other end of the ranking structure you’ve got Dalvengyr and Gurubashi, who have very small raiding populations and consequently have no ranking. And the whole conceit behind Connected Realms is to increase the populations on low-pop realms so players have a greater pool of players to quest, guild, raid, and otherwise interact with.
Looking at the data, though, there are some notable patterns we can look at.
There is a very dramatic drop-off in raiding population as you start climbing the ranks. Out of 246 realms, only three have numbers higher than 16,000 raid-capable characters, and they’re all in the top ten.
- 21% of the total raiding population is distributed across the top 10 realms.
- 40% of the total raiding population is distributed across the top 30 realms.
- 50% of the total raiding population is distributed across the top 50 realms.
Take this to its logical conclusion: the other half of the raiding population is spread out across close to 200 other realms. Or, to make it more numeric, 50% of the raiding population is on less than 20% of the realms.
This might be the strongest evidence to support the idea that Blizzard is going to be connecting a LOT of the lower-ranking realms together. If we look at the table from the previous post, and see the numbers for Black Dragonflight/Skullcrusher and the impending numbers for Bloodscalp/Boulderfist/Maiev, we can get a rough idea of what Blizzard might consider to be a healthy raiding population; let’s say an average of 3500 raid-capable players between both factions.
Take the ~200 realms that have less than 3500 raiders, add up their populations, then average them out, and that leaves us 97 connected realms, while the 40+ realms that have more raiders than that average would stay untouched.
The result? 246 disconnected realms become ~140 unique communities, with the architecture in place to connect them further if necessary. That alone is a dramatic shift, but I don’t think Blizzard is necessarily going to stop there. Considering the size of the Connected Realms resulting from the first three rounds, they still wouldn’t necessarily be in line to break the top 50 ranking. But all told, it’s an interesting prospect — and I expect that with more data from subsequent rounds of realms getting connected, we’ll be able to get a clearer idea.
Tomorrow is Monday, 21 October, and by the end of the day we’ll have a number of new connected realms online. One thing I can promise you is that we’re just getting started.
(*) — Keep in mind that WoWProgress extracts its data via the Battle.net API, drawing max-level characters who a) killed a boss in Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) in any difficulty, or b) are in a guild with someone who has a kill in Tier 15. And while the Tier 15 kill MAY be an indicator that a character is active, max-level toons that just happen to be guilded with someone who made the kill might not be raiders or might be inactive characters. So the raiding populations and the subsequent rankings aren’t exact bits of data. As always, take this conjecture with a grain of salt.