The way forward for Ludus Labs

I figured this would be a good time to comment on what's going on with Ludus Labs. Most people are probably not aware that I have been working quite intensively behind the scenes on a number of things, and I would like to share what I've been doing and what Ludus Labs will be doing going forward.

Over the last couple of months, I've been redesigning the site simply for the purpose of making the user experience a bit better. Perhaps more importantly, I've also been doing a lot of infrastructure work on the backend. This involves things like implementing databases, tightening up the automation of jobs, improving data quality of the ladder sampling process, and so on. This has already massively streamlined the work we'll be doing going forward, and it will allow us to focus on actually doing innovative work rather than routine tasks. The ladder sampling mehod is now self-growing, and we have now indexed over 400,000 characters from EU and US realms with excellent data quality and provenance. This is going to open up a lot of possibilities for us in terms of doing more sophisticated analyses on the PvP ladder data.

SquadOV data sharing collaboration

For those who are not aware, SquadOV is a desktop client and web platform that records your played WoW arena matches (and other instanced activities), annotates it with game log data, and makes it easy for players to view and share VODs of their arena matches. I have personally been a long-time user of Squad and I honestly think it's one of the best tools for improving as an arena player. For the time being, it's also completely free, which is pretty unbelievable.

In addition to being a really useful (and free) tool for players, SquadOV also represents one of the largest repositories of arena match data out there. While we've been collecting data from REFlex logs for over a year, it is a manual process for the users, the volume of data we get is limited, and we do not get talent, equipment, or Covenant/soulbind data. I've been having an ongoing dialogue with the good people over at SquadOV for a while and I am really excited to announce that we have now finalised a data sharing agreement. I want to be really transparent about this: we do not pay for this data (nor we do get paid to advertise SquadOV). They share this data as a service to the community, and in return I make sure that they get the credit they deserve for not just having a great platform, but also having gone out of their way to provide this data to the WoW PvP community.

So what does this mean for Ludus Labs? It means that we're going to have far more data when we show the Comps overview pages. We're going to be able to track changes to the meta more closely, and do more in-depth analyses of which comps counter other comps. A higher volume of data and a more reliable stream also means we'll eventually be able to provide some analytics in the REFlexology tool, such as whether there are specific specs or comps that you are underperforming against. Most importantly, it's going to open up a whole world of analytics surrounding arena builds (e.g. talents) that no one has touched yet. One thing I am really excited to build is a tool which shows which talents, PvP talents, and legendaries high-rated players run against specific comps in 2v2 and 3v3. Suppose you've just picked up a Demon Hunter and you want to know which talents and PvP talents to run against Fire Mage/Subtlety Rogue. This tool will tell you the breakdown of how often each PvP talent is played above a certain rating (e.g. 2400+). You'll definitely be seeing a lot more mentions of SquadOV and their dataset around the site so stay tuned for that. If you still haven't tried their desktop client, I highly recommend giving it a go.

Patreon

Something perhaps less exciting is that I'll be making an effort to provide some interesting bonus content and posts to people who support the Lab on Patreon. For the foreseeable future, this is the only revenue stream I'll be pursuing for the site, and all the revenue generated is going straight back into the site. If you'd like to support the work and get access to some cool bonus content and early peeks, please consider becoming a Patron. I have also just established a Patrons-only channel on my Discord, but the Discord itself is open to all and everyone's welcome. So if you want to discuss anything related to data and WoW PvP, don't hesitate to jump on in.