When a new game launches, the early adopters rush to make long-dreamed-of characters, and they choose the classes that sounded awesome on paper or in the demos. After that first mad rush, though, people tend to fall back on the archetype that they’ve always played.
For example, I am always a melee class. I don’t twiddle buttons, I don’t use magic, and I absolutely do not do anything that requires me to execute anything based on timing or reflexes. In fact, I don’t particularly like weapons. Weapons wear out, and get dropped by accident or by intoxication. Everquest had a monk class. I still miss that character. But in the absence of monkish goodness, gimme a sword and a board and a few specials based on a stun, and I’m good.
Now that WAR has been out for a few weeks, people are starting to settle into their real classes, not their hype-driven options. Classes that looked awesome in the demos may not work as advertised, and classes that seemed less than thrilling are hella fun to play. We here at GamerDNA were wondering – is there any pattern to what people choose to play? If there is, the people developing the MMO of tomorrow might glean something useful – and the rest of us can use this to talk trash on message boards. And after all, isn’t that the point of an MMO?
I’m kidding. Mostly. But seriously, let’s see what Bartle scores and a player’s gender might have to say about how you play. All of today’s data is derived from GamerDNA members who both took the Bartle and play WAR.
First, let’s look at the overall class distribution:
Pretty even, really, with pie segments ranging from 8% (Swordmaster) to 1% (the poor Squig Herder, which was absolutely the coolest character if you just looked at the concept art). Eleven classes have 5-6% of the population.
By the way, I know this is the chart all the board warriors really want to see:
It’s not totally cut and dried, but it does seem to show Order classes either have a lot of players or fewer, while Destruction is more evenly spread among the classes. In terms of the total, Destruction has 49% of the players, and Order has 51%. I would expect this number to tilt even further towards Order in the days to come. This is because of a little quirk of human nature – everyone goes to roll the freak characters, but eventually the majority will roll – and stick with – humans/”good guys.” But who knows, maybe WAR will break that mold.
Okay, that’s the general population. How does gender play into class choice?
Well. THAT’S interesting.
Before I ran the chart, I’d have said that women are stereotypically perceived as playing support roles – the healer to her boyfriend’s tank, as it were. I’d also have said that women make class choices just as men do. The only area in which women actually do have a preference is in the gender of their avatar. Women rarely choose male avatars, whereas men will often choose a female avatar if only to watch shapely female buttocks for the extended periods of time typical of MMOs.
The latter is proven out by the chart – Witch Elf, a female avatar only class, has more women playing than men, but men are still represented. Chosen, a male avatar only class, does not have a statistically significant number of women playing it.
WAR’s marketing of the classes (and to be fair, hewing closely to the lore established by Games Workshop) was more gender-oriented than usual for an MMO. That seems to be playing out in the class selections. Certainly no one thinks “delicate feminine beauty” when they hear “Black Orc.”
The Sorceress, in GW lore, is a female only class, and although Mythic ultimately made it available to both male and female avatars, it is considered female by hardcore Warhammer fans. Also, the sorceress is the most smoking hot character in the game. And women do like to be pretty when they’re online!
Along the “pretty” lines, I’m told that the Archmage is the most lovely and delicate fantasy figure without the crazed sexuality of the sorceress, making it the top choice of traditionalists.
And it’s a healer. Maybe I was wrong about support classes being a stereotype – or maybe it’s a stereotype because it’s based in truth?
All right, now, let’s see if Bartle can predict anything. Here’s the breakdown by “top” aspect:
In other words, if you are a K***, you are a killer for the purposes of this chart, and if you are an S***, you’re a socializer. In my opinion, the dominance of the explorer type simply reflects the fact that the product was recently released, and explorers prefer to play games before every inch has been spoilered to death. The killer preponderance was to be expected given the game’s theme.
But the 11% score representing achievers is a real opportunity for Mythic. By emphasizing the Tome mechanics, and leaderboard scores, there’s no reason achiever types shouldn’t see some marketing directed at their preferences.
How about class choice?
I can’t draw conclusions about the achievers and the socializers with the certainty that I can with killers and explorers, but I did find it interesting that even with a limited sample size, there were classes that people who identify themselves primarily as achievers simply don’t play.
The most fascinating thing about this chart is that there are four definite standout classes for the four types – Killers/Black Orcs, Explorers/Disciples, Socializers/Warrior Priests, and Achievers/Zealots.
I think… I think we here at GamerDNA need to run this data grab with other games!
Got any explanations for these trends besides what I’ve already given you? Tell me in the comments.
Posted in the categories: Market Trends
of Warcraft Death Knight Players choose Blood Elf or Human as their Race.
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