minority report

May 11, 2009

Once again it’s time for our check on where the latest patches have left class balance. This is the state of play at level 80, post 3.1.1:

Class Popularity
Death Knights 15.0%
Paladin 14.2%
Druid 10.3%
Warrior 9.7%
Mage 9.6%
Priest 9.5%
Hunter 9.3%
Shaman 7.6%
Rogue 7.3%
Warlock 7.3%

As you can see, the trends we noted last time have not been reversed. The only new thing here is that another class – the rogue – has joined warlocks on the Azeroth endangered species list. This is offset by the rise of the druid as the hybrid class of choice a popular hybrid class and the continued enthusiasm for paladins and DKs.


23 Responses to “minority report”

  1. Eq Says:

    I was wondering which percentage has completed the feat of strenght “Insane in the Memrane”? http://www.wowhead.com/?achievement=2336

  2. zardoz Says:

    Unfortunately I don’t do achievements here, but there are a few sites that do cover them e.g. Wow-Achievements.

  3. Rob Says:

    Paladins are 4 points higher on your list.

    How can you say then that Druids are “the hybrid class of choice”

    Wouldn’t Paladins be that?

  4. neroli Says:

    Is there rss feed for your blog? Can’t find one. ;o

  5. bjameswi Says:

    How the mighty have fallen… Remember when Hunters were everywhere? Now, they rank just above shamans. I think Blizz should be asking themselves what they’re doing wrong, here, when 40% of their playerbase is invested so heavily in just 3 classes.

    I’m curious: do you have data to show the relative movement of each class in the list? I’d be curious to know if, say, druids were still falling in their percentage, which would indicate that the movement is to consolidate into just 2 classes: DK and Pally.

  6. zardoz Says:

    @Rob: Yep, OK. I tend to use “hybrid” as a shorthand for the druid and shaman classes but that’s not how the term is generally used. I’ve amended the post.

  7. zardoz Says:

    @neroli: WordPress does the rss thing automagically. Here’s the link:


    One problem is that the rss feed doesn’t report updates to the class data pages of the blog which are the most important changes.

  8. zardoz Says:

    @bjameswi. I do have a set of old scans which can tell us something about the rate of change of these numbers. Let me see if I can generate some data for that.

  9. Rob Says:

    @ zardoz
    Well, the edit doesn’t really say anything.
    Paladins have always been more popular than druids, even when only one faction had them. Shaman have always been a relatively underrepresented class. The rise of the druid was back in BC when all three specs and four roles became a viable option. The death of the rogue is in no way offset by the rise in popularity of the druid which happened well over a year ago.

  10. zardoz Says:

    for a start, there’s an and in the last sentence…

  11. Kyouki Says:

    Hey, I was wondering if you could find out how many players are using Heirloom items to level their alts. If possible then only take the characters that has been recently active =) Well, really nice site you got here, just found it recently. And I have to say it’s very interseting.

  12. zardoz Says:

    I can have a look at heirloom items – that is an interesting question. I’ll see what I can come up with.

  13. […] Nachlesen kann man das hier. […]

  14. Felkan Says:

    In order to weed out lvl 80 alts, etc. Maybe you could _assume_ if the toon isn’t wearing at least X number of ilvl 200 purple items, it isn’t an “active” toon?? Where X would be 2-3? 4?

    That would eliminate those lvl 80 alts that were just leveled to 80, but not really used for anything other than to fill time between runs of a main toon?

    But for hard core players that have multiple active toons they would still count as “active”.

    That might change the number of DKs on your lists. As I assume many folks have lvl 80 DKs, but how many are actually used? I, for one, see fewer DKs and significantly more Shammies than your chart suggests, but obviously there are always server differences.

    Too bad you can’t see “time played”.

  15. zardoz Says:

    Good suggestions. I’m looking at a number of ways to use gear to partition the character base. The rate at which a character gets new achievements and the rate at which their total damage done increases have also been suggested. The main problem that I have is that I make a new random sample each scan and don’t track specific toons across scans. I’m rethinking that approach because a lot of interesting questions revolve around the main/alt distinction.

  16. Lilpoison Says:


    could anybody tell me why the rogue is going down? What are his weaknesses? His strengths? Isn’t it awsome to pwn somebody without him hitting back? Plz tell me…


  17. […] but data gets me all hot and heavy. WoW data is always fun, and a couple weeks ago he posted his Minority Report outlining level 80 class allocation at 3.1.1. His sampling methods are reasonable so let’s […]

  18. Gene Says:

    Any chance you could fill me in on the secret of obtaining the raw XML from the web site?

    I’ve tried everything I can think of and all I can get back from the server is the formatted HTML. I can see the raw XML in the web browser too. So frustrating.

  19. zardoz Says:


    Yes, there is a trick – you have to set your user-agent string so that the armoury server thinks you are a type of browser that can handle the raw XML. Otherwise the server will do the XML-to-HTML for you, which is not what we want. Whatever you are using to make your HTTP request should have a way of setting a user-agent string. I always use this one:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1. I think it’s the Firefox bit that does the trick.

  20. Gene Says:

    Yep, I finally got it figured out before I went to bed. 🙂

    For anyone else out there the info I sent to the server to get it to send me the raw XML is:

    GET /guild-info.xml?gn=guildname&r=realmname HTTP/1.1
    Host: http://www.wowarmory.com
    User-Agent: Firefox/2.0

    There is a blank line at the end.

    Be sure each line is ended with a CRLF. (Carriage Return Line Feed)

    Replace guildname and realmname with the guild and realm you are looking for. For encoding of the guild name and the realm name be sure to test it on the real armory first. For example, spaces in the guild name are converted into plus signs (+), and special characters have to be converted into the standard codes used in URLs. %27 for the apostrophe symbol, for example.

    Hope this helps others out there struggling with this.

  21. Orome Says:

    @bjameswi –

    Hunters might have fallen, but they are not “just” above shamans…they’re well above shamans, almost 2%, and within 0.2-0.4% of the three classes above them (mage, warrior, priest).

    Further, the 15% DK figure is easy to explain. You start at level 55. Leveling to 55 doesn’t take nearly as long as it used to, but it’s still a considerable investment, and even more attractive to the population of players that have already taken two or three players to 80. It’s an easy option to level up another 80 for dailies and farming, an attractive option for caster-oriented players to try a melee class, and – let’s face it – the starting quests are quite fun.

  22. […] people's class and role choices in games. Unfortunately, with only fan site numbers to go on, it's sometimes tough to figure out exactly what's happening with demographic shifts ingame. For a while now we've had the […]

  23. […] an older set of data from July 2009 (just after patch 3.1). Main changes […]

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