ebony and ivory

October 16, 2009

Thanks to reader Armagon who asked for a consolidated report on race distribution. This subject is covered by a variety of other sites, but there is some doubt about whether those sites are maintaining a representative sample.

It’s easy enough to produce a couple of simple tables that give us the information we need. (The data is from the patch 3.2 scan.)

Race Popularity
Human 20 %
Blood Elf 17 %
Night Elf 16 %
Undead 10 %
Draenei 10 %
Tauren 9 %
Orc 6 %
Gnome 5 %
Dwarf 4 %
Troll 4 %

That seems to be a reasonable match to the Warcraft Realms data. There will always be some degree of sampling error in this work so everybody’s numbers have to be treated with a bit of caution.

Tables like that always make me shake my head a bit but… the fantasy RPG where everybody wants to roleplay the cute kid next door… Hey, trolls are people too you know!

Anyway, if we want the distribution of race and class then we get this. (Percentages here are based on the total population so the popularity column adds up to 100%.)

Race Class Popularity (%)
Blood Elf Paladin 6.1
Blood Elf Death Knight 3.2
Blood Elf Priest 1.6
Blood Elf Mage 1.6
Blood Elf Hunter 1.4
Blood Elf Warlock 1.4
Blood Elf Rogue 1.3
Draenei Shaman 3.9
Draenei Death Knight 1.6
Draenei Paladin 1.2
Draenei Priest 0.8
Draenei Hunter 0.7
Draenei Mage 0.7
Draenei Warrior 0.5
Dwarf Hunter 1.3
Dwarf Paladin 1.2
Dwarf Priest 0.7
Dwarf Warrior 0.7
Dwarf Death Knight 0.4
Dwarf Rogue 0.2
Gnome Mage 1.7
Gnome Warlock 1.4
Gnome Rogue 0.9
Gnome Death Knight 0.8
Gnome Warrior 0.5
Human Paladin 5.3
Human Death Knight 3.3
Human Mage 2.7
Human Warlock 2.5
Human Warrior 2.4
Human Priest 2.1
Human Rogue 1.7
Night Elf Druid 6.2
Night Elf Hunter 3.3
Night Elf Death Knight 2
Night Elf Rogue 2
Night Elf Priest 1.5
Night Elf Warrior 1.3
Orc Death Knight 1.5
Orc Shaman 1.3
Orc Warrior 1.3
Orc Hunter 1.1
Orc Warlock 0.5
Orc Rogue 0.3
Tauren Druid 4.1
Tauren Shaman 1.4
Tauren Warrior 1.4
Tauren Death Knight 1
Tauren Hunter 0.6
Troll Shaman 0.9
Troll Hunter 0.8
Troll Mage 0.5
Troll Priest 0.5
Troll Rogue 0.4
Troll Death Knight 0.3
Troll Warrior 0.2
Undead Rogue 2
Undead Warlock 1.9
Undead Priest 1.9
Undead Mage 1.7
Undead Death Knight 1.3
Undead Warrior 0.9

I’ll add this to my set of reports over at my Google site, so that it stays updated with each new scan. But it does seem that the other sites that cover population are doing a reasonable job of reporting what is really going on.


12 Responses to “ebony and ivory”

  1. Armagon Says:

    Woohoo, thanks a lot 🙂

  2. Dechion Says:

    From my own experience the class/race combo I choose is based on how well the racial bonuses stack with the availible classes.

    As an example Humans. The top two are Pallys and DKs. A lot of that may come from the sword and mace bonuses, and with DKs in particular the rep bonus.

    I know thats why my DK is human.

    Availibility is another option. It makes sense that Blood Elf Pallys and Draeni Shaman are the most popular, you simply have no other choices.

    In order to truely tell whether people are playing the character they like or simply the race with the best bonuses for their class we would have to dramaticly change the game.

    If all classes were availible to each race, and there were no racial bonuses, we could see what people really thought about the artwork that makes up thier avatar.

    I know 3 out of 4 of my characters would be a different race if that was the case.

  3. zardoz Says:

    It would be an interesting exercise to prove that there is a bias towards the eye-candy end of the race spectrum. Race choice is related to class because of the bonuses, as you say, but what we need to see more clearly is how many people are downplaying the bonuses when they make their race/class choice. Let me have a think about how to do that.

  4. Jon Says:

    Sweet work… Now I’m trying to decide whether to roll a

    Dwarf Rogue
    or a
    Troll Warrior

  5. zardoz Says:

    always good to stand out from the crowd!

  6. Mania Says:

    Could you add in gender as well? I’d love to see what the least popular race for female characters is, for instance.

  7. zardoz Says:

    Hi Mania.

    I did gender a long while back, but you’re right, it’s an interesting issue so I’ll update my google apps site so we always have an up-to-date report.

  8. Mania Says:

    Excellent! Thank you so much. :>

  9. zardoz Says:

    You’re welcome. I’ve just updated the google site with the latest figures.

  10. […] Data Mining compiled an awesome list of the most popular races and classes and combinations thereof in WoW. Very useful if you’re ever trying to figure out what the most […]

  11. Majinto Says:


    I would like to ask if you have researched the opposite relation between Classes and Races. I find interesting how we pick a race to pair with the class we want to play (separating Horde and Alliance, of course).

    Congratulations on the awesome work you do! It’s really great that someone takes time into doing this kind of data mining.

    Best regards,

  12. zardoz Says:

    Cheers, thanks. I don’t have a class-to-race table but I could add one – I’ll add that to my to-do list. In the meantime, the Warcraft Realms site covers population pretty well. They have reports that cover races by class.

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