Trends

If anyone’s ever scrolled to the bottom of this blog, they’ll see a little section of links marked ‘Gunblogs’. It’s mostly there because I tend to use this place as a sort of persistent bookmark collection, and shooting is one of my interests. One of the side effects, though, is that I tend to load up on a healthy dose of ‘lets see what it actually says’ when I see statistics being paraded around.

Lovingly stolen from the best

Here’s where we get back to being WoW-related. This chart’s from an article on WoWInsider bemoaning the lack of raiding warlocks. It raises some good points about other classes as well, and there’s no question that ‘locks aren’t the most popular class in the world. I’d even go so far as to say that given the sample used – players with ilvl over 400 and no PvP gear – locks may be overrated simply because of the class’ high skill cap and background knowledge issues.

What I’m talking about, though, is small things that make me go ‘huh’ when I look at the lists. For a start… look at the melee DPS specs. Combat rogues are grossly ahead, a given in a tier with a class-exclusive legendary and where a number of the fights cater to their mechanics. Otherwise, though… enhancement shaman, fury warriors and assassination rogues all have numbers lower than any ‘lock spec, with unholy dks edging in at the same numbers as affliction warlocks. Yet they’re not quite as low as the frost mage and non-survival hunter counts. Seems like melee have a lot of spec loyalty compared to ranged.

Feral presents a problem. In Mists we’ll see the guardian tree take over tanking duty, but for the moment we can’t actually separate out who’s doing what. If we assume bears are about on par with warrior tanks, though, we end up looking at a number of cats pretty close to the low ‘lock specs again. Which is surprisingly high, frankly, given how unfriendly a number of fights are for the spec. Maybe they’re respeccing per-boss?

Which leads into a thought on the methodology of the data gathering. Spec is, as far as I know, determined by whatever the player logged out on at the time.

Also, my guild has been 4/8hc in DS for weeks and a number of us (including me) are still below 400 ilvl, simply because of poor drops. Meanwhile any rogue who can get to the second stage of the legendary quest – which at this point is any rogue who bothered to show up for a couple of bosses a week – has got ilvl 400+ weapons bolstering their claim to relevance.

It is statistically improbable that such a wall of text has not resulted in this reaction

Anyway… back to the data. Holy priests are, unsurprisingly, the lowest representation healing spec. It’s kind of sad, given that they’re really strong in normal mode, but my own experience has shown that the wipe-prevention ability of discipline’s barrier and mitigation beats out any benefit of better straight healing in HC. Being able to go into an AoE phase with the entire goddamn raid bubbled also helps. And I can do that even with my paltry 2700 spirit, because disc simply scales better than holy. End of story.

Retribution paladins, despite being eclipsed by their holy radiance addled brethren, are actually seeing some pretty good numbers. I’d put that down to the potency of burst in DS, but I’m guessing that part of it is also the smoothness that the 2-piece t13 adds to the rotation. That one extra holy power generator just makes a paladin’s quality of life so much better. Playing without it feels almost unnatural at the moment. Last I saw this was baseline in the beta for Mists, along with a number of other HP changes.

Speaking of burst, though, DS rewards burst like a doting parent rewards their mewling offspring’s hideous crayon scrawls. That makes balance’s numbers a bit of a surprise… though I’ve heard tell that balance druids are a special breed, possibly decanted from vats somewhere in the deep bowels of a land dominated by the iron grip of graphing calculators and slide rules.

Anyway, feel free to disagree vehemently. As I said at the top, I’m familiar with personal bias making figures seem more like ideas, and I like to think I’ve been pretty clear on my biases here, but I’d also like to see what comes up in other people’s heads.

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10 comments
  1. The only real issue I have with it is the ‘ilevel over 400’ that they used. Granted, more people are raiding heroic DS than ever raided heroic mode in any previous tier, but it leaves out a large population that are only clearing normal.

    • Leit said:

      Mmm… my thinking is that it purposely excludes guys wearing full valour or raid finder tier. Depending on the data available, it might be hard to exclude guys who’re not raiding beyond ezmode.

      What I would have preferred is if they could have filtered by at least one HC boss down. That may not be possible with the API, though. Wouldn’t know.

      (also, Morchok HC is a bit of a joke at the moment)

      • Yep, that is exactly the group I was thinking of. In both of my guilds we are clearing the place on normal, plus H Morchok … but it leaves us a couple points shy of 400. (both of my pallies are sitting at 398 lol)

      • Leit said:

        Heh. My priest is hovering at 397, despite a couple of heroic pieces. We keep getting the same loot every week (except for one notable incident where the HC axe dropped but our DK tank somehow forgot to roll on it, and it’s never dropped again) so the slots just never fill in. :\

        If we do ever get another paladin healer then we’ll have mainhands, bracers and boots to spare, at least…

  2. I like that flowchart!

    While none of this chart refers to players like me (my item level is somewhere around 330-something, and that’s something of an achievement), I wonder if there’s some sort of tendency for a person who rolls, say, a combat rogue, to also choose another popular class such as the survival hunter.

    I ponder this because going by the diagram above (which is admittedly silly to do), I seem to have a tendency to choose the unloved. Unholy DK, beast mastery hunter, enhancement shaman, and I just rolled a frost mage …

    • Leit said:

      I… have flowcharting issues. So, so many issues. :D

      Oddly enough, Combat rogues were a rarity before t13. If you go and take a look in MMO-Champion’s posts from back in the day, you’ll see that rogues were sitting at around the same (low) popularity as ‘locks in t11 and t12, if not worse off. The legendary was, when it was announced, hailed as the incipient resurrection of the class. It would seem to have had the expected effect.

      Back to the point, it’s more likely that the kind of person who pushes HC progression will choose the flavour of the month spec for mathematical reasons, and thus would indeed play popular specs by choice across their characters.

      BM’s unsatisfying for me due to the pet mechanics (gah why am I chained to this useless idiotic buggy AI), but Enhance is enormous fun and frost is the most interactive mage spec, without devolving into frantic meter-watching like fire. That said, I can’t play a mage for beans. If you’re not playing the top-level progression game, I’d say you’ve got the right specs. Just comes down to more people investing in the (largely raiding-based) endgame.

      • Maybe I’m just used to it by now (my huntard is 85), but the only thing that annoys me is how pets can’t seem to jump off places, and must instead find the long way around, pulling everything possible in the process.

        This is the reason I went Beast Mastery (I can’t bring myself to type BM):

        http://www.wow-petopia.com/family/devilsaur.html

        My own t-rex!

        Or maybe I just like classes where I can be silly. Getting hyper-efficient/damage obsessed seems rather contrary to the purpose of a game.

      • Leit said:

        Heh.
        http://www.wow-petopia.com/look/jormungarlarvablue.html

        Beast mastery: come for the hulking freaks of nature. Stay for the AoE damage. :D

        I’ve seen pets run off and despawn in dungeons. I’ve seen them circle the platform/room for no readily apparent reason on Ultraxion and Magmaw. I’ve seen them get completely confused and simply stop attacking anything. I’ve had pets refuse to switch targets despite macroing it into my shots. I’ve had my pet bar completely disappear. And the worst sin of BM itself: I can’t stand the ‘your pet is not in range’ message for Kill Command, basically any time anything is moving.

        (all these moments will be lost, like tears in rain. time to die…)

    • Leit said:

      Uh… it’s my party and I’ll ramble incoherently if I want to? >.<

      • Coherence is way overrated.

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