A few days ago, I published a post on how to increase your RIO score, and very soon after hitting that Publish button, I realized I probably should have touched on the topic with this post instead. But, you live and learn, so this time we’re going to take a step back and talk about what Raider.io is, how exactly it works, how it awards you points, how you get ranked, and what you can do to improve your score.
What is Raider.io?
Apart from being one of the most popular WoW addons, it’s also a website with a whole bunch of ways to rank, display other people’s ranks and performances, and help you figure out what you can do to improve your own score. The way it works is by pulling the public data from the game and listing you in the leaderboards, while awarding you with points that are predetermined by Raider.io.
How are your M+ runs scored using Raider.io?
When it comes to your Raider.io score, it’s important to note that it’s individual for all your characters. This doesn’t mean that you need to have all your IO scores high up in order to get accepted into groups, as you can easily select your main character on the website and whenever you’re playing on your alt, your main character’s stats will also show up to let people know you’re experienced. What’s also individual is your spec score, so if you’re playing a Resto Druid and you have an 800 IO score, it doesn’t show up on your DPS rankings – only the healer ones.
Your overall IO score, though, is simply the sum of all the individual scores for every dungeon you’ve done. This means that each dungeon can award you a certain amount of points, and only your best run from each dungeon counts. So right now, in Shadowlands, we have eight dungeons we can do, and the best way for you to establish a good ranking is to target the lowest dungeon scores and try to improve those, as that single thing will give your RIO a nice little boost.
What’s important when dungeon runs are scored?
The two most important factors when it comes to awarding points for each dungeon are the level of the dungeon and the time you took to complete it. There’s a scoreboard on the Raider.io website where you can see that each level of the dungeon awards you a certain amount of these points. It’s called the base score value, and this is how much you get per each dungeon if you complete it in time. If you go overtime, the points you get will be lower, but you’ll still get them, and if you time it, you’ll get a bonus based on how much time there was left. So for a +3 you’ll get 30 points, for an +8 you’ll score 80 points, for a +13 you’re getting 133 points and so on. The points grow exponentially, so improving from a +3 to a +4 is not the same as going from a +15 to a +16.
How to improve your Raider.io score, then?
Based on all these facts, the only logical answer for improving your IO score is doing as high of a key as you possibly can, and doing it on time. It sounds simple and that’s what we’re all trying to do, but sometimes, there are some additional things that need to be done in order for you to be able to jump into higher keys, like self-improvement, preparation, and all these things. That’s why I made that separate guide with more than 20 tips on how you can realistically do that!
It’s also worth mentioning that if you leave a dungeon or you get your key depleted, you will not lose any points (at least not directly). I always encourage people to stay in the dungeons and practice, rather than leaving, as almost everyone is prone to mistakes and isn’t above doing a dungeon over time limit just to learn more about it. But yes, if you do leave, you score will be fine. There is currently no penalty for that, as the IO number only represents the data from your best runs, which is a bit sketchy as you can have a good few runs and be a terrible member of the community in the background of all your failed runs, but what can you do. It’s the only system we have, people use it, and will continue to use it, so I guess it’s better to embrace it and go down the self-improvement road than become the best at trashing and venting wherever there seems to be a place for it online.
Do all your runs matter? (And why not?!)
There’s another little thing that gets a lot of people confused, and that’s the fact that not all your runs are in fact recorded. In order to have a run that’s being read on the website, it needs to be in the top 500 runs for that dungeon on a weekly basis, at any point of time. So if you’re doing a very low key and you end up going overtime, there’s a chance you will not score any points for it. So just be aware of that, and that’s why you should try to time your runs regardless of which key level you’re after.
More tips for progress tracking!
If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to link your battle.net account to the Raider.io website, as that will unlock some additional options for you and you’ll have an easier time figuring out what it is that you need to do next. Also, you want to update your addon every day. This may sound like a hassle, but if you let your addon sit there with old data, your numbers will also be showing up lower than they should be when you’re looking for groups. If you don’t feel like doing it daily, that’s fine, but at least do it before you queue into groups, so your data can be represented correctly.
Now that I’ve gone all reporte-y on you, I’d like to touch on some personal thoughts and experiences when it comes to whether I think RIO is a good idea.
Why I dislike the Raider.io system
As someone whose life isn’t completely merged with this game, regardless of being a content creator, I have some concerns when it comes to this system. I get it when it comes to doing high-stake keys, but at this point, people have started abusing it on lower keys that anyone with the basic unranked gear can time. It creates a gap where there shouldn’t be one, and it’s frustrating for new players coming into the game as this is yet another system to be aware of that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the game. It’s the community’s way of measuring your performance, and that can get frustrating for people who don’t play a lot and don’t have a group of friends to do keys with.
Raider.io can also easily drive you nuts when you catch yourself obsessing over the tiniest things, realizing you’re not truly enjoying WoW the way you want to, and it can make you take a big step back from doing Mythic+ simply because you feel snooped, stalked, judged and criticized, and no one wants to feel that way. So yeah, from that point of view, I feel the concern and I definitely feel the pain as a full-time mom and a content creator who doesn’t spend nearly as much time in the game as people think I do just because I create content for it.
Why I think Raider.io is ultimately a good idea
There are some pros to this, and I think that regardless of all the cons, this system is worth being a part of. If we were to not have access to this kind of info, there would be a lot less successful runs and that’s just a fact, as anyone with a higher gear score could just enter a dungeon, stand in fire and ninjapull stuff because they’ve never been in it before. It helps you trust people more, and allows you to at least somehwat control what your group is going to look like. It also gives people a sense of progression and and idea of where they are in comparison to the other people on their server, or even in the world, and that’s a big motivator for many players to get better at the game.
By going to the website and looking at the talents and gear and covenants of all the best players, you can also get raw data on what the top people are using, and you’ll have some viable info on what you could be doing too, to become better. It’s definitely not a perfect system, but it’s the best thing we have so far, many people use it, and being that it’s so popular, it’s just easier to embrace it, rather than fighting a lost war against it.
When used properly, Raider.io can truly be a great thing. Yes, there are people abusing it on low keys, expecting unrealistic numbers for the keys they want to run, shaming others for their performance, but just like in any decent system, there are people using it in a wrong way. The best thing you can do is not be a part of the abuse, be decent towards the people you meet in-game, and try your best to justify your score by not being a total wreck in the dungeons.
And that’s all I’ve got for you today. What are your thoughts on the system? Do you have any more questions about how it works? Leave all those in the comments, and if you’re more of a visual type, and you don’t mind getting easy wins in WoW, you can check out all of this in my video – and subscribe for more awesome WoW stuff!