More From the Mine

Not of Moira. Sorry LOTRO fans.

I hope Zardoz doesn’t end up getting sick of me linking to his posts, but data gets me all hot and heavy. WoW data is always fun, and a couple weeks ago he posted his Minority Report outlining level 80 class allocation at 3.1.1. His sampling methods are reasonable so let’s look at who is playing what.


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%


It’s actually not a bad spread, when you take out the top 2 and bottom 3. I would suppose the goal, with 10 classes, is to have each around 10% of the playerbase. That would be a great indication of balanced and interesting classes. 4 of the 10 are +/- .5% from that equal mark, with a couple glaringly high and 3 glaringly low. 

If you were a developer I wonder how they would take that info to adjust the classes (if they even thought it was needed) – Would you try to Jaxx up the Shaman/Rogue/Lock to pull from DK’s and Pallys specifically, or just work harder to make sure those classes are more fun, interesting, and useful on their own merits?

Not going to dig too far into it today, perhaps if discussion arises – just putting it out there as fun information to look at.

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Always happy to meet another person who loves their data.

    In this case, I can’t make up my mind whether these numbers represent a bug or a feature. Blizz have shown that they’re prepared to depreciate the past – maybe the pure DPS class is being written out of the game and they’re hoping nobody notices…

  2. It could definitely appear that way – Every class but Mage/Rogue/Warlock/Hunter can currently serve two functions (in PVE, at least). Dual specs just pushes people towards more “purpose”, especially since every class, if specced properly, can do even DPS.

    Thanks for stopping by – love your work =)

  3. It’s actually not a bad spread, when you take out the top 2 and bottom 3.
    Just to comment from professional work: that is not a good statistical method.

  4. Very true =) Although I was leaning to just ditching the 50% of the sample size which doesn’t line up with what the ideal results are – isn’t that how most professionals run their tests/studies these days? I suppose it is who is behind the funding! 🙂

  5. The mean and median are close enough to the presumed goal of 10% apiece. That’s close enough for government work, as my relatives love to say.

    (Never mind that the mean *is* the target, and any sample that assumes 100% of the player base is represented will spit out a perfect 10% mean. That’s just gravy; you hit the target! Special is you!)

    The data is interesting to me. I’d expect DKs to be high on the list as new shinies, but the Paladin and Druid are more significant, methinketh. I see that as an indicator that people like flexibility in their character. That Paladins are above Druids bolster that notion, as they have access to Plate armor, another layer of flexibility. They can use more gear… and have pretty exclusive claim on non-Protection Plate gear.

    Then again, I’m probably biased, since I keep harping on flexibility and choice whenever I get all game designery. Still, the data can easily support this notion… though the Mage (DPS) and Shaman (Hybrid) don’t quite fit that notion. *shrug*

  6. I’m shocked that Paladin is so high. I wonder that that reflects? Better endgame ulility than most classes?

    They always kind of bored me to tears, personally.

  7. Paladins were always super boring – I only got one to 24 before I preferred clipping my toenails (which I was able to do while playing a Paladin, oddly enough).

    I think their popularity was the change in 5 mans mostly. CC disappeared from WoW, and all Heroics/5 Mans are basically done by inserting a Paladin tank, gathering up all mobs, and AOE’ing them all dead. So they shine in AOE tanking and Main Tank healing (making them raid-necessary) so two very popular wow time sinks covered all nice.

  8. @Tesh: I am surprised Druids aren’t the highest, of utility is the sole factor. They can Tank, Melee DPS, Range DPS, and Heal – all FOUR class types wrapped up into one class. And each form does it just as well as a single serving class.

    Although, Druids and Shamans were always tied for “last” in the popularity contest. At level 70 ~7% played them. Level 80 they have seen a resurgence.

    I suspect that has to do with race limitations, as well as previously being the red-headed step child of WoW. They used to suck so bad in Vanilla UNLESS you were healing, and only then you were really only wanted to raid for one ability: Innervate. One trick pony-syndrome segregated the class even further from the playerbase

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