The Raid Observer: Dragon Soul Raiding Progress - Your Day 1 Update!

Welcome to the Dragon Soul progression race of Patch 4.3!


The Plan

So I'll be posting some basic observations on progress each day during the race itself. Paragon asked me to not just provide updates on their progress but also track the race in general. And since raiding began yesterday on the American servers, I'll start off with a short update today and then keep adding information, at least daily and sometimes even more as the race heats up. Yes, yes, I know the "real" race begins next week with the heroic modes, but I think how we move through the normal modes can be quite informative, too, so that's where we'll start. I'm going to be including sexy things like graphs and charts to help with our race progress analysis! I'll also do some comparative analysis over previous patches! 


Hearing from the Guilds

I know one of the things we like to read about is how the guilds are doing during progress. Well, I won't be posting any strategies, but I will be reporting some feelings and expectations of the raiders on the frontlines as I can talk to them. I'm not just interested in how the top guilds are doing, I'd like to hear from any guild that's aiming to improve its rankings; is engaged in a race for realm first; or just wants to make a mark on raiding for the first time. Let me know how it's going! You can report progress to me via a PM on this site or reach me via IRC (same name!). I want to hear it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly! 


Day 1: Normal Modes Begin

So looking at the progress sites this morning, I see something a bit wonky! Wowtrack isn't even listing rankings yet and wowprogress doesn't seem to have any separation by raid group sizes as of yet. Guildox does appear to have things separated so far, however. Bugs in the tracking sites are just something to be mindful of when you're checking progress in these early days. It might take a bit for the rankings and tracking to catch up with the actual progress. Can you imagine if that happened with something like the Premier League or during the Olympics? Anyway, based on what I can read, we have almost 2000 American guilds that have killed at least ONE normal mode boss. That's after only about 12 hours of progress so far. I'd say that's quite compelling information! But who is killing them? Around 56 guilds in total have gone ahead and cleared every boss on normal mode, but that does not include the top-ranked guilds from Tier 12 necessarily. Out of the top 10 US guilds, only Exodus (ranked US#5 in tier 12) and TG (ranked US #6 in tier 12) have done a full clear, while four have done a partial clear, and three (vodka, Premonition, and Suit Up) have not killed a single boss. This is typically for strategic reasons, holding back on killing the actual bosses to possibly check tactics, gear up on trash drops, or for other reasons. Essentially, these guilds are typically more than capable of clearing the instance in an evening, so they'll most likely hold off on completely clearing the area until they've benefited from what they can over the course of the week. My expectation is that the top European and Asian guilds will follow the same pattern, with some guilds clearing part or none of the instance right away, holding off on clearing completely until right before the heroic race begins.

But nonetheless congratulations to the following top 3 US guilds for their sheer speed at clearing the normal modes:

1st: Nirvana, a Chinese-language 10-man guild that cleared the entire instance in just under 2 hours! (As an example, they appear to have only spent under 9 minutes on the Blackhorn encounter.)

2nd: Exodus, a 25-man guild which was ranked 5th in the US in tier 12, and first guild to clear all normal modes in 25-man mode and in under 2 and a half hours!

3rd: Newbee, another Chinese-language 10/25-man guild on an Oceanic US server, that cleared the content in approximately 3 hours. 

So, while this won't necessarily be a hint of things to come, it does suggest a few interesting ideas: guilds can clear the normal modes very quickly and being first to clear the normal modes does not necessarily correlate to the final rankings after all is said and done. More to come! Welcome to Patch 4.3, Europe. :)


I wish Blizzard had a ranking system or at least made it a more reliable service to link the information to the ranking sites. It's becoming even more so an interesting thing to watch and people are starting to wish for more immediate information on the race.

Hopefully there will be even more support for this in the future.

like you said there is no direct correlation on completing a full clear in one night vs clearing everything on the last night, it depends on what you are looking for. You don't need any graph on that anyone with basic knowledge of statistics knows that your hypothetis is right. But like you said you have to look into human behavior to understand what is deeper. What is the goal of doing a thesis in 1 week if you don't publish any scientific papper during that time (1 week is not possible but it's for the sake of the exemple) unless you want to get hired by some big company. If you want to stay in the field and get a job at any big university, you better get your ass rolling and publish papper even if your thesis take a life to get completed, you want to be the top of the world in your domain not to be recruted or recruit anyone. Basicly normal raiding can be devided in two rwo, ppl that want to recruit good player that aren't satisfied of their group and good group that want to make sure they will won the real race. It's just like post grad school you can get in post grad with a high grade average and no publication or get in with a lower one but tons of publication, studies show that it's the later one that get to pierce in reaserch cause they have a heck lot more of a background. So what you say is exactly what's observed scientificly and is no big surprise I don't get why you need to remember people this...

I kind of disagree with maggus. As a member of Paragon I have already answered over 10 people in-game (and elsewhere) that we aren't disbanding. When people don't see the familiar names on top of wowprogress, they always assume the worst. And I can imagine the situation is the same with other top guilds as well.

hey paragon, im a member of NewBee....actually we havent clear the T11 Hard mode but we done the Ht12 guys can check the wowprogress~~maybe you can fix the articles.....

sorry about the bad english..and GL to all of you on the hard mode of T13!

Tbh i think the bosses for normals are too easy we cleared the first 4 bosses in about 1 hour and a half and got a bit stuck on ultraxion anyway maybe its supposed to be like that to get a quick start to help gear up quicker for the last 4 but im not sure. First four bosses get buffed! we all like a challenge

@qqueensblade: I am so sorry for my error! I misread the progress tracking site. I was just very impressed by your progress so noting that distinction. I've corrected the article.

And just to clarify: I'm doing this reporting FOR Paragon but I am not a member of the guild. I'm just a researcher and writer who has done work in the past with guilds like Paragon and Method and took Paragon up on the offer to put the updates on their site rather than my own. If you'd like more information about my research into raiding and raiding guilds, please visit