A brief analysis of the S17 four person leaderboard

General Discussion
Lately I've been doing some work with scrapers and data visualization, so as a bit of practice, I took a crack at taking a closer look at this season's four person leaderboard. As most of you know, botting has been a problem for quite awhile, and despite the bans handed out last season, it appears botters are running rampant yet again. That being said, I wanted a better grasp on just how big of an issue this is, so with that in mind, let's get to the data.

For starters, the following #s were drawn from Season 17's leaderboard for the Americas server on July 7th, 2019, which is the 52nd day of the season. While leaderboards track the top 1000 clears, I was more interested in what's going on at the highest levels of the game, so samples were selected from four person parties with a GR148 or higher clear. Players with foreign characters in either their clan tag or player name were excluded since the OCR package I was using couldn't process those correctly and manually entering in that data didn't seem like a fun enough time for a weekend experiment. Ultimately, a sample size of 120 players was drawn.

From these 120 players, the following #s came about:

  • The average paragon was 3517.
  • The average total hours played across all classes was 773 hours, approximately 14hrs and 50mins per day since the start of the season, but in reality it's actually a bit higher since downtime for server maintenance and unplanned maintenance was not taken into consideration.
  • Necromancer was by far the most popular class by "play" time, with an average of 383hrs and 31mins logged.
  • Witch Doctor was by far the least popular class by play time, with an average of just 2hrs and 30mins. This average is a bit deceiving due to a couple outliers of heavy play. 75% of sample players logged less than 1hr on WD, with many not even reaching lvl70 - most likely just using WD to get Swamp Land Waders via Kanai's Cube. Ouch.
  • Rifts completed and bounties completed were all over the place, so I can't say too much about these.
  • The following is a scatter plot depicting total hours played (y-axis) and paragon (x-axis):

    https://i.imgur.com/jD47qBt.png

    The red guide line marks 936 hours played this season so far. 41 of the 120 players have exceeded an average of 18hrs of play per day, every day. An average like that is humanly possible for a short while, but nearly two months? Highly unlikely that any of these players above the line are legitimate (not botting or account sharing). 100 of 120 players have exceeded an average of 10hrs per day, every day. Streamers, students, retirees, homemakers... possibly legit to hit hours like those, but still leaning towards guilty. While this sample was from GR148+, there are quite a few players in the GR139-145 range that are also well over a 1000 hrs logged this season. It seems there is a belief that not clearing a 150 might make it safer to bot? Last season we saw people without 150 clears get banned so hours played probably (hopefully) carries more weight than clears when it comes to manual reviews for banning.

    Can I include a "Players most likely to be banned" list? I'm not sure about the rules here regarding player aliases. If allowed, I guess I'll add it in the comments section.

    At some point I'll probably do a more comprehensive look, it would be kind of neat to see class play time distributions changes from season to season and region to region. Unfortunately there's no reliable API for this stuff (at least not that I am aware of), so it would involve quite a bit of scraping.

    Anyways, that's about all I've got for now, I still have some other charts to put together but probably won't get to it until next weekend - will post when its all available online and you can sift through interactively. If there's something you're curious about, lmk and I'll try to get back to you. Cheers.
    does this take into consideration of actual time played this season as opposed to rebirth hours?
    07/07/2019 05:10 PMPosted by FunkyMonk
    100 of 120 players have exceeded an average of 10hrs per day, every day. Streamers, students, retirees, homemakers... possibly legit to hit hours like those, but still leaning towards guilty.
    The situation is so obvious. This game is polluted by many hypocritical two-faced cheaters and they will come here again to down-vote your legit discussion. But I appreciate your effort on these thorough analysis.

    07/07/2019 05:10 PMPosted by FunkyMonk
    Can I include a "Players most likely to be banned" list? I'm not sure about the rules here regarding player aliases. If allowed, I guess I'll add it in the comments section.
    It will be better to report those users first to hacks@blizzard.com (and tsarnis@blizzard.com) with your analysis and evidence. But, I am not sure whether Blizzard takes care of these email address. If they don't reply, then do what you think as best. So sadly, Blizzard no longer take care of this game seriously.
    Fangskin, I agree that there are a lot of botters.

    The problem is that there are a few legit players that actually play 16 hours a day. When I mean few, I mean like less than 5.

    How do you know which 5 are legit and which aren't?
    Fascinating analysis. I wish WDs/DHs/Crusaders were equally viable in the 4 player meta. I wish we could compare WDs to Wizards, Crusaders to Barbs, and DH ST to Necromancers. Certain classes will realistically be "best" but the gulf is far, far too wide.
    I am usually around the 110 to 120 greater rift area for solo and 4 man teams. I log a lot of hours in a season. I am retired, an imsomniac, and suffer from severe depression since my youngest son got killed 2 years ago. Yes there are quite a bit of botters out there but there are also some legit players with those stats.
    so, if blizzard didn't lock this to being online only, I wouldn't care about people doing whatever they want with the software they bought.

    Back in the 80's, you bought your game and if you wanted to hex edit it, you did it.

    This is a byproduct of drm.
    OP thanks for the graph pretty cool to see. It's super ridiculous how fast people can earn exp this season 4600 in 700 hours, dudes prob not botting, but I think majority of SC gets mad cookies. Honestly Im suprised by the criticism, even from a botter- OP was very coherent, it wasn't flooded with emotion, or complaining, very factual and in my opinion interesting. I have 'friends' on this game that have or do bot, I don't personally approve of it, but I understand the mentality SC 4man pushing top end, either way they know what they are doing is a good way to lose their account- And if you decide to bot you have to accept that you are knowingly taking an advantage others don't have.

    For those of you who care - nCg been keeping HC leaderboards often taking world 1's against botters without allowing botting including not allowing cookies. So if you dont mind turning your anger to your ISP when you lose your character cause "scheduled maintenance" come join us in HC.
    07/07/2019 08:06 PMPosted by Phatty
    does this take into consideration of actual time played this season as opposed to rebirth hours?


    Actual time played via a player profile's seasonal summary page.

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