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.

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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.

smarter than the average bear

November 23, 2009

Well only just… I’ve got some results from my attempt to divide up the feral druid population into cats and bears. We started from the fact that there is no “form” tag in the armoury XML – no direct way to count the thing we want to count. The only way to get an insight into this is to find a proxy for each of the forms – something that is in the data which can be used to separate the sheep from the goats, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor.

Talents seem to be the obvious choice, so long as there is one talent that bears will take and cats not and another talent that is vice versa. Glyphs are the other possibility. Whatever we choose just has to be i) something that players are highly likely to take  and ii) something that is orthogonal; something that definitely points in one direction for bears and another for cats.

But the basic problem is that there are a lot of um… how to put this politely… there are a lot of left-of-centre specs out there. Talents and glyphs are both less orthogonal than I was hoping for – many specs look a bit bearish and a bit cattish at the same time. And there is a big group that takes none of the talents or glyphs that we want to use.

That’s why I decided not to make the queries very complex – adding more talents or glyphs into the selection criteria  just increases the number of toons that fall into the grey area. Also I’ve counted specs and not toons since the original question was related to the number of druids specced for tanking.

Thanks to the commenters who made suggestions on possible talents and glyphs that might fit these criteria. I’ve run two queries against the data.

The first query counts feral druids who have Natural Reaction versus those who have Predatory Instincts. A druid with some points in Natural Reaction and none at all in Predatory Instincts might be a bear; t’other way round for cats. Those with points in neither are marked as “unknown”; those with some points in both are the “could be either” group.

The second query counts druids who have a Glyph of Maul versus those who have either a Glyph of Shred and/or a Glyph of Rip. Equipping Maul but not Shred or Rip indicates bear; Shred or Rip but no Maul indicates cat. Again we have groups with a mix of these glyphs, and, unfortunately, a huge group with none of them.

Anyway this is what we’ve got:

(Patch 3.2.2 data; sample size 16327 level 80 feral druids with 28970 specs).

Talent-based spec count:

  • Bear: 30%
  • Cat : 33%
  • Could be either: 5%
  • Unknown: 31%

Glyph-based spec count:

  • Bear: 18%
  • Cat: 9%
  • Could be either: 15%
  • Unknown: 58%

Frankly I’m still not sure how valid these numbers are, but I hope they provide a bit of insight. The talent-based count may at least provide a low-water-mark indication of the number of bearish specs in there.

There’s a post over at wow.com that has set me a bit of a challenge. The post is about bear tanks, but makes the valid point that we don’t have any clear data on the popularity of the various druid forms. There’s a pretty simple reason for that – the armoury data doesn’t provide any direct way of getting such a count.

Still, we don’t let little obstacles like that get in our way. What we need are some data items that can be used as proxies for what we want to count. Unfortunately I’m far from being a druid expert, so I’m looking for suggestions on what items to use.

What we basically want is a talent, or a glyph (or maybe a gem) that bears will want to equip and cats not. And then something that’s vice versa – something that cats will have and bears not. One talent or glyph, or several… whatever makes the most sense. All suggestions on this are most welcome.

(Thanks to the commenters who have already made suggestions on other threads; I’ll be taking those comments on board.)

If I can get suggestions for both talents and glyphs then I can run more that one query and see how well the numbers match up.

I’d imagine that, with dual specs, players who liked both forms would have a spec for each. In any case, going from specs to forms and getting a count against the total druid population should tell us something interesting.

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.

I see I’ve got a lot of visitors over the last day or so from here. The author of that post has come up with a simple but interesting datamining idea – producing a consolidated list of the most popular gems to aid people playing the AH.

Unfortunately it isn’t really correct to add the percentage values in my tables since they are relative measures designed to show what is popular by spec. But the population in each class/spec combination varies wildly which make it impossible to go from that to a general count.

However, your humble dataminer stands ready to help with questions like this. I ran a query on gems across the overall sample and came up with the following list. The numbers are the total count of each gem and for comparison’s sake there are 171,148 characters in this sample who have at least one gem. I’ve chopped the table off at 5000, but the list goes all the way down to various cuts of shattered and opaque Dark Jade which are worn by one toon only in the sample.

Be aware that this is not a random sample – it is biased with a lot of higher level twinks, who could be expected to be gemmed up to the gills. But since twinking players are ones most happy to splash the cash, maybe that is no bad thing.

Runed Scarlet Ruby 67720
Solid Sky Sapphire 50331
Bold Scarlet Ruby 39622
Rigid Autumn’s Glow 27453
Balanced Twilight Opal 26209
Delicate Scarlet Ruby 20147
Smooth Autumn’s Glow 18689
Chaotic Skyflare Diamond 17878
Bright Scarlet Ruby 16895
Brilliant Autumn’s Glow 14784
Runed Bloodstone 13025
Potent Monarch Topaz 11621
Bold Bloodstone 11099
Sovereign Twilight Opal 10407
Pristine Monarch Topaz 10371
Luminous Monarch Topaz 10257
Sparkling Sky Sapphire 9610
Glowing Twilight Opal 9414
Purified Twilight Opal 8304
Relentless Earthsiege Diamond 8057
Enduring Forest Emerald 8049
Veiled Monarch Topaz 7508
Deadly Monarch Topaz 7491
Vivid Forest Emerald 7483
Runed Dragon’s Eye 7376
Royal Twilight Opal 7337
Thick Autumn’s Glow 7069
Austere Earthsiege Diamond 7066
Solid Chalcedony 6857
Ember Skyflare Diamond 6604
Dazzling Forest Emerald 6482
Glowing Nightseye 6344
Bold Dragon’s Eye 6100
Steady Forest Emerald 6072
Smooth Sun Crystal 5793
Inscribed Monarch Topaz 5724
Jagged Forest Emerald 5701
Perfect Runed Bloodstone 5658
Regal Twilight Opal 5332
Reckless Monarch Topaz 5136
Kharmaa’s Grace 5116

Let me say I’m right with you on questions about the WoW economy. The AH is one of the more inspired minigames in WoW. It’s a sort of non-zero-sum PvP where skill actually counts for something and you can’t twink your way to stardom. Even with Auctioneer, you still have to think about what the data is telling you. So, I’ve added consolidated reports to my to-do list. Anybody with other suggestions for reports that have an economic focus is welcome to leave a comment.