All of the recent discussion surrounding what people are planning for their Worgen and Goblin characters got me to thinking about the ingame races that just don't get that kind of love. It's no secret that certain race/class combinations are underplayed (witness, for example, the ingame hell of finding a Dwarf or Orc rogue for Turkey Lurkey), but some races are just massively underplayed, period. If Warcraft Realms is at least ballpark accurate, then Humans are roughly 5 times as popular as Gnomes, Dwarves, and Trolls at 80. Draenei are twice as popular at 80 as Gnomes and Dwarves, and Blood Elves have a chokehold on the Hordeside population. Zardoz's Armory Data Mining (fast becoming one of my favorite WoW sites) did a breakdown on class, race, and gender populations as of November 4th, and the results are pretty illuminating. In case you're wondering, Dwarves, Orcs, and Tauren are the least likely to be female, and Draenei, Blood Elves, and Night Elves the most likely (although Draenei are the only race in the game to have a female majority). The most played combination in the game is the Blood Elf paladin, and the least-played are the Dwarf rogue (I for one am shocked) and the Troll warrior.
So my question is -- if you don't play an underplayed race/sex combo, why don't you play them? For me, the breaker is usually the animations; a lot of the animations on the more underplayed race/sex combinations are just grindingly dull. The male Tauren warrior, for example (a hugely popular combination) always seems very dynamic, smashing their shields into someone's face with a great slashing special attack. The female Troll warrior, by contrast (a hugely unpopular combination), just kind of...ineffectually pokes at things. I tried to play one for a bit and finally shelved her just because it didn't feel like she was actually doing anything. Then again, I also have a huge herd of female Tauren characters, who are just as unpopular and have an incredibly boring casting animation, so I could be completely off-base. However, it does seem like there are consistent patterns to what most people are willing to play, and I'm curious to hear why people don't like the less-popular combinations.