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Update on Ulduar Complete Raid Boss + Trash Rankings

Last updated: June 19, 2023

For the past few weeks, we have been investigating a bug affecting the Boss+Trash rankings in Ulduar and this has now been solved. This article has a short version and a long version elaborating on this.

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Short Version

We found a bug in how Complete Raid Boss + Trash Rankings were calculated in Ulduar. There is a small fix going live now, and a larger fix that will be applied starting in Phase 3. No rankings besides Boss + Trash damage are affected.

On May 2nd we announced a change to Freya, capping the amount of damage done to Detonating Lashers. Applying this change required re-exporting logs, and many were re-exported to respect the new cap. Shortly after, a couple of players pinged us about losing damage on their Complete Raid Boss + Trash ranks, where the Freya cap should not have applied. The cap ultimately was not applied to those logs, but digging into the issue revealed two bugs that did impact these ranks.

Long Version

What is Complete Raid Boss + Trash?

Before digging into the bugs and what we're doing to fix them, we should explain what the intended behavior is and how the messiness of Ulduar brought them to light.

Boss + Trash ranks are intended to be more-or-less totally unfiltered---everything counts on all fights all the time. The only things that should be excluded are (1) bosses that are intentionally excluded from Complete Raid (like Hodir), and (2) fights that use exploits. Everything else should be included.

For historical reasons, our Boss + Trash calculation used "Weighted Damage" internally to track this unfiltered damage. Most Classic zones have a special override to treat Weighted Damage as unfiltered damage to support this.

The main bug that we discovered is that Ulduar is missing this override. There is a secondary bug that only came to light because of this missing override, which resulted in the lost damage that we were pinged about.

Boss Resets During Trash

When you pull a boss, the fight in the log gets boss information attached to it. If the boss is quickly reset, the boss information gets cleared.

Or, rather: it should get cleared. We discovered a bug that could cause this information to only be partially cleared when processing a full re-export of a log, such as when re-exporting for the Freya cap. This can cause trash fights with Mimiron or Freya resets to be ignored during a re-export, resulting in a drop in overall Boss + Trash damage only if the log was re-exported.

This bug only affects rankings due to the missing Weighted Damage override for Ulduar, and as a result, has gone undiscovered for quite some time. Naxxramas and other previous raid zones have the override, and are thus unimpacted by the bug.

We have applied a fix for this bug and re-exported the logs that we're aware of with the issue.

Weighted Damage in Ulduar

Ulduar is unique among Classic raids for having Weighted Damage rules to normalize boss mechanics. However, this normalization is not intended to apply to Boss + Trash ranks. Applying the existing override would remove the normalization for regular boss rankings as well as Boss + Trash rankings, which is also not desirable. This motivated us to make deeper changes.

We have restructured the Complete Raid implementation to use truly unfiltered damage for Boss + Trash rankings. However, due to the scale of Ulduar, we are not able to recrawl Boss + Trash ranks to reflect this. As a result, this change does not go live until Phase 3.

While Weighted Damage was not the intended ruleset for Boss + Trash ranks in Ulduar, it was a consistent ruleset that applied equally to all players. This ruleset will remain in effect for the rest of Phase 2, before switching to the "normal" Boss + Trash ruleset of truly unfiltered damage at the start of Phase 3.

We expect that this will result in Boss + Trash damage numbers increasing across the board, and as a result, Phase 2 and Phase 3 rankings won't be directly comparable.

This change is not retroactive, and will not impact Naxxramas or any zones in Vanilla or TBC. Trial of the Crusader and Vault of Achavon do not support Boss + Trash rankings and are unaffected. Future zones, including ICC, will use the new implementation of unfiltered damage for Boss + Trash rankings.

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