Until recently, Wowtrack has detected guild progress exclusively by analyzing the criteria and achievements earned by guild members at specific points in time. The achievement based method works well for separating 25-man and 10-man raiding guilds – and it remains unchanged in Wowtrack. However, that method has now been supplemented by a loot based method.
Loot based tracking is increasingly becoming a necessity because the downside of the achievement based method is that it works for first kills only. Once a character has earned a criterion or achievement, that is a done deal. There are no further traces in the achievement system if the character defeats the same encounter again – even if the new kill happens in a different guild, or on a different raid size. This issue has been particularly troublesome for guilds that have formed during Cataclysm progress, or for guilds that have changed raid size while progressing. In both cases, raid members had already earned some achievements, and it was difficult to give proper credit to a guild based on the achievements alone. Loot based progress tracking fixes this issue for such guilds as it works independently of the achievement system.
In the loot based guild progress tracking, Wowtrack analyzes the items obtained by guild members from raid encounters, and detects fresh kills and the corresponding raid size from the loot. For a kill to be recognized based on loot, all loot items must be assigned to guild members, and the disenchant roll option must not be used. (Manual disenchants following the assignment of the items are fine.) Also note that a guild will generally not receive 10-man credit from loot based tracking while it is doing content on 25-man.