Playing with Census Stats (for Priests)
As I mentioned in another post, there’s an interesting volunteer site out there that’s doing census work on WoW. Right now they’re a long way from being definitive — the number of players they have is significantly short of the number Blizzard claims, which is further supported by the number of servers for which they have very few census reports. That said, given the trends between servers – the fact that the ratios tend to be similar as servers are ‘well reported’ – we can reason that the PROPORTIONS are reasonably accurate. There are some interesting tidbits in the details that I thought would amuse.
First interesting tidbit is general. On PVE servers, there are about 2 Alliance to every Horde. On PVP servers the ratio is darn close to even (the Horde tend to be slightly more numerous but the difference is small enough to be ‘margin of error’ for any given server.) Oh – RP makes no difference.
On to priest-specific insights. First is the really amazing item given all the angst over Fear Ward. The number one Alliance priest race is human. The general ratio is 1 dwarf priest for every 1 draenai priest for every 4.5 Night Elf priests for every 6 human priests. Now in the general population the top two races are human and NE (in that order), but the H and NE priests are over-represented in relation. In fact, priest is the least popular choice for draenai, and only rogues are less popular for dwarves. (There are, on average, 2.5 dwarven priests for every dwarven rogue. Heck, there are about 2 Gnome Warriors for every dwarven rogue.)
Over on the horde side, well over half the players choose Blood Elf and Undead. However, blood elves choose to be paladins in overwhelming numbers (about 30% of the six class choices go here). Thus undead priests outnumber Blood Elf priests by about 8:5. Which lets me mention that there are about 2 troll priests to that same ratio. (Another amusing aside – the least common Horde position is Troll Warrior. There is about one troll warrior for every Dwarf rogue. Make of it what you will.)
From all of this – plus a few other observations I’ll not belabor – I have some tentative conclusions.
A large proportion of alliance players chooses their race on looks/feel – humans are not typically believed to have the BEST stats, but are the most frequent choice of race. A large proportion of Horde players choose based upon what common wisdom says are the best racial stats.
There is a ‘common wisdom’ argument that the least popular class for a race and race for a class are going to have the larger proportion of better players – simply due to willingness to differ from the herd. I’d be tempted to make observations, except GENERALLY when one of the two new races can be a class, they’re the ‘low number’ choice (being heavy in the class for which they’re the only one eligible). Recognizing that fact, we have some standout race-class combinations that SHOULD tend to be good players — for when you’re trying to choose for pugs, you understand.
For the alliance, the standouts are the aforementioned Dwarven Rogue and Gnome Warrior. For Horde, the Orc Rogue and Warlock stand out, as do just about any Troll except the Hunter. Well, troll Mages and Shaman come close to being ‘common’ enough to have what we might consider a normal proportion of bad players, so let’s narrow it. Troll Priests, Rogues, and Warriors are few and far between.
All this is strictly in fun at this point. If you’re wanting to be DIFFERENT, you have some guidelines. What it does do, however, is put a severe crimp in the argument of how important fear ward is to the alliance. As in… there are about
15 [SIX. Mea culpa, I was looking at a different chart using my own correlation numbers, and crossreference apples with oranges. SIX ]undead players for every alliance player who has fear ward — dwarf and draenai priests combined.