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.
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.
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.