statistics for dummies

January 27, 2010

Thanks to all my visitors from who left comments on various posts. One thing that came up in a  couple of places is the suggestion to use more powerful statistical techniques on the data. Great idea! Unfortunately I took my last stats course at Queensland University in the first semester of 1978… and no, that’s not a typo… and I’m sure things have moved on a bit since then.

So I’d like to issue an open invitation to anybody who does have the time and the statistical skills to help play around with the data and see what we can come up with. I’m happy to have guest posts here, with the proper attribution for you, or you can post on your own blog.

We’ll have to see how to handle access to the data, but I’m sure there’s somewhere in cyberspace that’ll help with that problem.

Just leave a comment here. Your email address stays unpublished but I can see it and I’ll reply as soon as I can.


16 Responses to “statistics for dummies”

  1. Kapo Says:

    It would be so cool if someone mines a little into the statistics data.

    Like the “most money owned”, “money per day”, “number of deaths by other player” (compared pve/pvp servers) or “number of 5 players instances done” for lvl 80s and so on.

    Problem is, I dont have any statistical knowledge =)

  2. zardoz Says:

    Unfortunately all the armoury data related to gold has been removed. I’ve got some unpublished data on things like duels, the popularity of instances and so forth. I’ll try and get some of it posted.

  3. insanum Says:

    Zardoz, I’m in the process of getting my master’s degree in computer science and am currently taking a data mining course. This course contains a final project which entails taking some data set of interest and wringing it through statistics hell using WEKA. I’m very interested is poking around your wow armory data set.

  4. rag Says:

    Fantastic! I’d really appreciate the chance to play with the armory data you’ve mined. I’m something of a stats geek, and I’ve always wanted access to some of the armory data – particularly death rates… always been curious why some players die more often.

  5. statistically a man Says:

    I work in reporting and analysis of data sets, not so much ‘data mining’ in the official sense. I think I could bring some idea’s and techniques to your data and would be happy to lend a hand identifying interesting relationships within the data.

  6. zardoz Says:

    Thanks for all those offers. I’ll try and get emails out to you over the weekend.

  7. sebz Says:

    Do you have any server specific data? I’m interested in the class/spec data of a specific realm for level 80s.

    Do you offer any of this data for download?

    How do you get name lists for a realm? … Or do you poll the data by some other method?


  8. zardoz Says:


    “No” is the short answer. Sorry. Server population issues seem to be reasonably well covered by other sites so I’m trying to avoid repeating what others do.

    I do record the realm for each toon, but. If you’re after something specific I can probably generate a report for you. Just leave another comment and I’ll email you.

    I do a random sample of the whole US and EU “population”, based on an exhaustive search of guilds and toons with common names. For example there are over 100 guilds with the name “Sin”, and each toon name in each guild is repeated in other guilds. Exhaustive searching for each guild and toon name produces a “random walk” through the sample. You can read more about my technique here.

  9. sebz Says:

    That method causes me physical pain. I was afraid that’s how it’s done. That would make it very had to get the stats of just one server only. The armory search is so limited; it’s frustrating.

  10. zardoz Says:

    Oh I’m sure it’s deliberate – Blizz wants to make it difficult to do any sort of exhaustive study of the data.

  11. Elysoun Says:

    Let me know if you need any additional help. I’ve been looking to dust off my stats-chops. I’ve got access to some nice software, it is just a matter of how to get access to the data.


  12. zardoz Says:

    Thanks, I’ll email you.

  13. Marcus Says:

    I’m definitely interested to dig through the data.

  14. Mearis Says:

    Hey zardoz,

    I’d love to help out with the statistical analysis of the data you obtained. I have fairly extensive experience with network analysis, so I’d be quite interested in extensively studying relatively narrow systems – for example, how ‘ interbred’ are the various high end PvP teams? How often do people team hop? What are the winning % for various team set ups versus each other at different ratings? That kind of stuff!

    If you still need help, this is something I’d very much like to help out with.

  15. matthewvb Says:

    I’d love to help mine some data and run some stats. I’m wrapping up my MBA and have had my fair share of the latest and greatest in stats and data mining and would love to assist.

    Please drop me a line – I’d love to get a community going around this!

  16. Arn Says:

    I was about to write my own xml parser and data miner to get at some statistical questions I’ve got, before I ran across your site. If you’re still offering to open up your data, please drop me a line.

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