April 8, 2009
I’ve got a test page up for my BG twink reports. Check it out here. I’m still mucking around with various parameters – especially the selection criteria for toons in the sample, and the filtering to hide the long tail of odd individual choices that seems to appear in every aspect of WoW.
On that last point, the danger is that some important twink items are likely to be difficult to obtain, and therefore less popular, so I’m reluctant to do too much filtering of the results. The most popular choices may not be the best choices here.
The results do match the various guides on the net for twinking warlocks so I’m reasonably happy with progress to date. The thing that concerns me is that the sample size is very small – even with a million characters in my database, by the time I try and select a sample of the most powerful BG toons at each x9 level, I’m down to a hundred or so. That’s not a lot.
For that reason I nearly decided not to show any percentage popularity measures – the exact numbers just aren’t all that meaningful. But some choices are clearly a lot more popular than others and it seemed important to report that.
Anyway, any feedback would be good, especially if you have a twinked 19 warlock. If you think the report misses important details, I’m happy to hear that too. Make your argument calmly and I’ll take it into consideration. This type of report is an experiment and it just may not work so well because of the small sample size.
April 2, 2009
Just to complete the picture, here is a set of battleground class performance charts for each of the x9 BG levels plus level 80. The y-axis now shows average deaths per game and not the inverse, so the sweet spot of high-kills-low-deaths is in the bottom right hand corner of the chart.
The sample consists of all players at each level who have played 100 or more BGs. The data is from patch 3.0.9.
There’s a lot of interesting things to note in those charts, especially when you compare the same class at different levels. Some are effective at all levels, others appear to change roles as they level up.
If you want the executive summary, these are the points that strike me:
- DKs are OP
- Rogues aren’t, even though people think they are
- Warriors are fragile, despite all that armour
- Warlocks are still a force in PvP as long as you don’t mind dying a lot
- Baby Paladins may be easy meat but the adult of the species sure isn’t
- Hunters seem to be the consistent high performer, but that is probably because they just play the same role (of ranged attacker) at every level
Do exercise some caution when interpreting these results. In particular remember:
- Some classes have fewer attacking players and therefore a lower average kill rate just because they have a healing tree. Other classes may spend a lot of time CC-ing instead of attacking.
- Some BGs have objectives that conflict with straight PvP. For example in Warsong Gulch, the classes that spend most time running the flag will have a lower kill rate because of that.
- This is data aggregated across every BG accessible at the level. There may be specific features of individual BGs that make certain classes more effective there, despite these charts.
March 20, 2009
I’ve been having a bit of fun with the battleground stats data from the Armoury. There are plenty of good strategy guides on the net for each battleground, but it’s interesting to see how well the strategy is reflected in the data. A good chart really is worth a thousand words…
Warsong Gulch is our example here. You probably know that there are a number of traps in what seems like a simple game. Trap number one is to be on a team where everyone wants to run to the middle of the field and have a big punch-up while the flag carriers run by unchallenged.
The following charts are for level 19 characters who have played at least 100 games, so we’re not talking about noobs here. But you can still see all the nuances of the game in the data.
For a start, teamwork and focus on the flags rather than on scoring kills is vital to winning. So, if we chart games won to killing blows struck by individuals, we don’t find a strong correlation. You can help to win by doing other things than killing – CC-ing, running interference, guarding the flag rooms.
Being able to drop the opponent does have one important role: getting the flag back when the other side is running with it. We can chart flags-returned to killing blows, and we get a stronger correlation:
But again, capturing the flag from the other side is about skills other than fighting and the data proves that. In fact, this is my favourite chart since the whole ding an sich of the game is in there. The best characters at capturing the flag are generally those with lower killing blow scores. They’re too busy running and hiding to be killing. So you get a gentle negative correlation as the chart shows:
The purpose of this exercise is to see if these indicators can be used to pick out twinks from the data. I’m confident that they can. So, the next chart shows deaths per game vs games won, and suggests what we all know – that the character with the best gear and enchants stays upright for longer. They spend less time running back from the spawn point and more time on-target.
Dead toons don’t win games – it’s not rocket science.
One interesting point is that there is a poor correlation between deaths per game and killing blows per game, which surprises me. I would have thought that twinked characters both killed more and died less. Perhaps there is a kamikaze style of player that kills a lot and dies a lot, and a more um… tactical… toon that can dish it out without getting too much in return.
One final point – if you look carefully at the last chart, you will see the bane of the armoury data miner – the annoying little outlier that makes all our averages skew away from the median. That character circled on the bottom right of the chart is one lean mean killin’ machine, a real leader of the pack. Here’s his armoury profile – check him out. He’s a twink, no surprise there, but he doesn’t seem out of the general range of twink stats. To me, he is a reminder that skill does play a part in the game too. Mind you, he played nearly 900 games to get that good.