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:
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.
April 30, 2009
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.
|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 Feral Combat||14%|
|Hunter||Beast Mastery and Survival||10%|
|Hunter||Marksmanship and Survival||7%|
|Hunter||Beast Mastery and Marksmanship||3%|
|Hunter||Two of Survival||5%|
|Hunter||One Beast Mastery||21%|
|Mage||Arcane and Fire||11%|
|Mage||Fire and Frost||11%|
|Mage||Arcane and Frost||8%|
|Mage||Two of Fire||3%|
|Paladin||Holy and Retribution||19%|
|Paladin||Protection and Retribution||16%|
|Paladin||Holy and Protection||11%|
|Priest||Holy and Shadow||26%|
|Priest||Discipline and Holy||12%|
|Priest||Discipline and Shadow||11%|
|Rogue||Assassination and Combat||15%|
|Rogue||Combat and Subtlety||5%|
|Rogue||Two of Assassination||9%|
|Shaman||Elemental and Restoration||28%|
|Shaman||Enhancement and Restoration||18%|
|Shaman||Elemental and Enhancement||4%|
|Shaman||Two of Restoration||3%|
|Warlock||Affliction and Demonology||12%|
|Warlock||Affliction and Destruction||8%|
|Warlock||Demonology and Destruction||8%|
|Warlock||Two of Demonology||3%|
|Warrior||Arms and Protection||18%|
|Warrior||Fury and Protection||16%|
|Warrior||Arms and Fury||6%|
|Warrior||Two of Arms||3%|
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.