Thanks to Epicsnakehips who left a comment on my last post (about class popularity) to the effect that the less popular classes like rogues and hunters don’t seem so unpopular in PvP. No, indeed they don’t; your basic rogue may be passé in PvE, but spend just a bit of time in a level 19 battleground and you’ll have rogues up to your armpits.

That comment has inspired me to improve my reports on class distribution. You can find two new tables over at my Google App Engine site, which show the class breakdown across PvE and PvP realms. As well, I’m working on a table that shows the same data for x9 BG twinks (where you’ll find that rogues, warlocks and hunters are all popular choices at many of the x9 levels).

Here’s the breakdown on PvP and RPPvP realms:

Class Popularity Tree One Tree Two Tree Three
Paladin 15.7% Holy:

4.4%

Protection:

4.8%

Retribution:

6.5%

Death Knight 13.6% Blood:

5.8%

Frost:

3.6%

Unholy:

4.2%

Druid 11.5% Balance:

2.7%

Feral Combat:

4.1%

Restoration:

4.6%

Priest 9.7% Discipline:

3.0%

Holy:

3.2%

Shadow:

3.6%

Warrior 9.2% Arms:

3.0%

Fury:

2.5%

Protection:

3.7%

Mage 8.6% Arcane:

4.0%

Fire:

1.9%

Frost:

2.7%

Shaman 8.5% Elemental:

2.9%

Enhancement:

2.0%

Restoration:

3.5%

Rogue 8.5% Assassination:

5.2%

Combat:

2.8%

Subtlety:

0.5%

Hunter 7.4% Beast Mastery:

1.5%

Marksmanship:

2.2%

Survival:

3.6%

Warlock 7.4% Affliction:

2.2%

Demonology:

1.1%

Destruction:

4.1%

It is interesting that the basic popularity of the classes doesn’t change all that much between PvE and PvP realms. I was expecting rogues and hunters especially to move way up in ranking.

The basic issue seems clear enough – classes like rogues and warlocks are near the bottom because they have only one tree that PvPers want to use. The destruction warlock at 4.1% and the assassination rogue at 5.2% seem competitive with DK and paladin builds, but DKs and paladins have all three trees as competitive in world PvP.

What surprises me is that the hunter is not more popular on PvP realms. They certainly are popular and effective in battleground PvP.

Advertisements

appetite for destruction

January 11, 2010

… seems to be running at about 4%. But more on that in a second. I’ve updated my Google App Engine site for patch 3.3. Some of the twink reports are a bit iffy because of the small sample size so I’ll refresh them again next week when I’ve got more data. Not a lot of people playing level 59 twink Shaman, it would seem.

Meanwhile, I’ve added a couple of new general reports, including the ever-popular class distribution table. This time, I’ve added a view of the overall popularity of the 3 talent trees within each class. Note that the percentages for each tree are based on the total level 80 population and not on the count of the class. Destruction warlocks are 3.9%, which means 3.9% of all level 80 toons are destruction warlocks. And the query is based on the active spec, where the toon has dual specs. I’m hoping that, statistically speaking, the sample is playing with their preferred spec.

Class Popularity Tree 1 Tree 2 Tree 3
Paladin 15.4% Holy:

4.2%

Protection:

4.8%

Retribution:

6.3%

Death Knight 14.0% Blood:

6.1%

Frost:

3.9%

Unholy:

4.1%

Druid 11.5% Balance:

2.9%

Feral Combat:

4.1%

Restoration:

4.5%

Priest 9.8% Discipline:

2.7%

Holy:

3.4%

Shadow:

3.7%

Warrior 9.4% Arms:

2.9%

Fury:

2.6%

Protection:

3.9%

Mage 8.7% Arcane:

4.0%

Fire:

2.2%

Frost:

2.5%

Shaman 8.4% Elemental:

2.9%

Enhancement:

2.0%

Restoration:

3.5%

Hunter 8.1% Beast Mastery:

2.1%

Marksmanship:

2.2%

Survival:

3.7%

Rogue 7.4% Assassination:

4.1%

Combat:

2.8%

Subtlety:

0.5%

Warlock 7.4% Affliction:

2.1%

Demonology:

1.4%

Destruction:

3.9%

So we have the retribution pally as the most popular at 6.3% down to the subtlety rogue the least popular at 0.5%.

Comparing this to what we had last time, the most notable thing is the decline of the hunter. Paladins and DKs continue to rule. And not a lot of love for the rogue or the warlock.

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.

working class orc

July 24, 2009

Thanks to blog reader Grant, who asked for a report on races and professions. And voilà

The numbers are percentages of the total race counts for toons that have at least one profession. So, to take the first number, 4.9% of all Blood Elves who have at least one profession have Alchemy as one of those professions.

Alchemy Blacksmithing Enchanting Engineering Herbalism
Blood Elf 4.9 5.9 11.2 7.9 10.8
Draenei 6 5.4 6.2 6.4 12.3
Dwarf 4.1 10.7 5.7 13.7 8.2
Gnome 5.5 3.3 10.4 20.9 10.1
Human 6.8 10.3 11.6 7.5 12.1
Night Elf 9.1 3.7 6.9 8 15.4
Orc 5.1 9.2 5.4 11.8 10.3
Tauren 9 6.4 4.8 5.7 16.8
Troll 7.7 3.5 7.5 11.3 13.2
Undead 7.9 3.8 13 10.6 13.6


Inscription Jewelcrafting Leatherworking Mining Skinning Tailoring
Blood Elf 4 8.2 4.7 23.1 10.8 8.6
Draenei 4.1 14 4.6 26.4 9.9 4.8
Dwarf 2.3 2.6 7.2 28.4 13.2 3.8
Gnome 3 2.7 2.3 22.7 7 12
Human 3.7 3.4 2.9 21.8 8.4 11.4
Night Elf 3.2 2.6 13.3 14.7 19.5 3.6
Orc 3 3.8 7.6 26.8 14.3 2.8
Tauren 3.7 3.3 12.6 17.7 18.8 1.2
Troll 3.1 3.1 9.3 19.1 15.6 6.5
Undead 3.3 3.6 3.7 17.1 9.2 14.2

Race, class and profession aren’t independent variables – class influence profession because of the different types of gear that can be worn, and race influences class because not every race can take up every class. Differences in playstyle (for example selecting a race for PvP) come into it as well. But there is more variation there than I was expecting, and I’m not sure I understand everything in those tables.

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.

moar content plz?

May 8, 2009

Things are progressing nicely here. My scanner is past the 100K character mark – just a bit behind where I’d hoped to be by now. All the new glyph and enchant pages are up. I’ll refresh them at the end of the scan when I have a bigger data set.

And as always, the raw data has interesting things to say. What struck me this time is how many characters are piled up at level 80. Here’s the chart:

Character distribution by level

You can compare that with the distribution at the beginning of the year. The logjam of level 70s has been cleared, which means people have taken most of their alts to 80. Of course that begs the question – what next when you’ve got all your toons to 8o?

I must admit that this raises a design issue that I have never understood. Why does Blizz downplay the levelling experience so much? Some of my fondest memories in the game are instance runs through some of the mid level content like Blackfathom Deeps. A bit challenging for a leveling character and with plenty of lively, fun fights.  There is so much content in old Azeroth that has been devalued by the changes since BC.

True, a  lot of it is just kill-10-rats quests, but surely it would be easier to beef up that content than create complete new zones. A few creative writers to add new questlines with a bit of variety and challenge must be gazillions of dollars cheaper than the army of artists needed to work up a whole new continent.

Update:

It’s worth saying that this chart puts the dual specs data in a different light too. In my post on that subject, I said that the take-up of dual specs was lower than I was expecting. A commenter pointed out that I didn’t seem to have taken alts into account. Well, I had, sorta… I thought that most alts were still back in the 70-79 range and weren’t being counted in my sample.

LOL! I can see that that assumption was, like, so totally February 2009… It’s clear now that the commenter was quite right. If about 50% of all level 80s have dual specs, as they do, then everybody’s main has them, statistically speaking at least. And a good few alts as well.

These are the correct figures on dual spec adoption. The mistake in the original post was mine (those left outer joins will get you every time) and not a fault of the armoury. The sample size is small, so the sampling error may be large, but the general pattern  is clear enough from these numbers.

Sample size: 30K level 80s who have been played since 3.1. Choices below 2% are not shown.

Class
Specs
Popularity
Death Knight Frost and Unholy 10%
Death Knight Blood and Frost 8%
Death Knight Blood and Unholy 7%
Death Knight Two of Frost 3%
Death Knight Two of Unholy 3%
Death Knight One Unholy 28%
Death Knight One Blood 21%
Death Knight One Frost 17%
Druid Balance and Restoration 23%
Druid Feral Combat and Restoration 18%
Druid Balance and Feral Combat 5%
Druid Two of Feral Combat 7%
Druid One Restoration 16%
Druid One Feral Combat 14%
Druid One Balance 13%
Hunter Beast Mastery and Survival 10%
Hunter Marksmanship and Survival 7%
Hunter Beast Mastery and Marksmanship 3%
Hunter Two of Survival 5%
Hunter One Survival 42%
Hunter One Beast Mastery 21%
Hunter One Marksmanship 12%
Mage Arcane and Fire 11%
Mage Fire and Frost 11%
Mage Arcane and Frost 8%
Mage Two of Fire 3%
Mage One Fire 29%
Mage One Arcane 22%
Mage One Frost 15%
Paladin Holy and Retribution 19%
Paladin Protection and Retribution 16%
Paladin Holy and Protection 11%
Paladin One Retribution 21%
Paladin One Holy 16%
Paladin One Protection 13%
Priest Holy and Shadow 26%
Priest Discipline and Holy 12%
Priest Discipline and Shadow 11%
Priest One Holy 22%
Priest One Shadow 16%
Priest One Discipline 8%
Rogue Assassination and Combat 15%
Rogue Combat and Subtlety 5%
Rogue Two of Assassination 9%
Rogue One Combat 32%
Rogue One Assassination 28%
Rogue One Subtlety 7%
Shaman Elemental and Restoration 28%
Shaman Enhancement and Restoration 18%
Shaman Elemental and Enhancement 4%
Shaman Two of Restoration 3%
Shaman One Elemental 15%
Shaman One Enhancement 15%
Shaman One Restoration 15%
Warlock Affliction and Demonology 12%
Warlock Affliction and Destruction 8%
Warlock Demonology and Destruction 8%
Warlock Two of Demonology 3%
Warlock One Demonology 26%
Warlock One Affliction 22%
Warlock One Destruction 16%
Warrior Arms and Protection 18%
Warrior Fury and Protection 16%
Warrior Arms and Fury 6%
Warrior Two of Arms 3%
Warrior One Protection 25%
Warrior One Fury 15%
Warrior One Arms 14%

Oddly enough, my conclusions are exactly the same as last time despite the different numbers:

  • Take-up of dual specs is much lower than I was expecting. I published figures a while back which showed that 30% of level 80s did all three of PvE raiding, BG PvPing and Arena PvPing and the vast majority of level 80s did at least some mixture of PvE and PvP. I would have thought that anybody who did PvE and PvP would want two specs – which basically means everybody.
    Perhaps people are waiting for the talent-resetting patches to stop. Perhaps the need to lay down the one large (in the Tony Soprano sense) is holding people back. Or maybe it is just too early to see where this feature is going to take us.
  • The most enthusiastic adopters of dual specs are players who want a DPS-and-support combination, where “support” means tanking or healing. Nothing surprising there. Take-up amongst the pure DPS classes is lower on the whole. So only 25% of hunters have a dual spec but 50% of druids do.
  • One limitation of my data is that I can’t yet sort the actual builds into raid and PvP builds. If I could do that, the picture we see here might be a bit different. An interesting question is what pure DPS classes are doing with dual specs. There seems to be two alternatives: a) having the off-spec as a spec-in-test and b) having a PvE and PvP DPS spec. So when we see that a warlock has two demonology builds, that could just mean that they are testing the second build or that they are trying to run as demonology in two different areas of the game. I’m still working on a solution to identifying builds by their intended role so I can get an answer to this question.