Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag statistics

What are WoW players searching for on Google?

Image
Google is the world's largest search engine by a massive margin, enjoying a nearly 70% market share. Google processes over a billion searches every day -- searches for everything from the fate of Firefly to where to buy RPG dice to the answer to the Kirk vs. Picard debate. It even handles searches for non-geeky stuff. And of course, some percentage of those billion daily searches are WoW searches.

Google has a tremendous amount of data about exactly what WoW players are looking for online -- and if there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's WoW data. With the search data that Google makes available, we can get a unique look into how WoW-related searches have changed over time with the changing popularity of the game and what kinds of topics WoW players are searching for more than others. The Google-eye view is a unique insight into the online interest and discussions of World of Warcraft.

Read more →

Insider Trader: Beat the RNG making Darkmoon cards

Insider Trader is a column about professions by Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, who also writes Gold Capped about how to make money using the auction house. Email Basil your questions.

We've all heard someone say something to the effect of "I don't make Darkmoon cards because I don't have enough gold to beat the random number generator." What do they mean? Here's the situation: Darkmoon Cards of Destruction are craftable by maximum-skill scribes, and they award a completely random card. There are 32 possible cards they can give you in four different "suits" of eight, and if you match up a whole suit, you can create one of four Darkmoon decks. These decks start a quest that, when turned in at the Darkmoon Faire, provide one of the best trinkets in the game.

The Darkmoon greatness decks last expansion "outlived their iLvl" in the sense that since they were so perfectly itemized for quite a few classes that they would reward their owners with better performance than later-tier trinkets, especially token-bought trinkets. Looking at the new decks, they are almost as perfectly itemized, so I suspect that they will provide their owners many months of use before they get overshadowed by some new drop. What this means is that everyone wants one of these, and they're very expensive to make and thus very rare.

Read more →

Filed under: Economy, Insider Trader (Professions), Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: 8,785,350

While preparing for the raid yesterday, the subject moved from the new Cataclysm info that was announced to statistics -- specifically the statistics tab of the achievements panel. One of our warlocks stated that the Battle for the Undercity ruined his statistics, because his highest hit dealt was over 800k, something that was possible due only to buffs received during the encounter. But then something odd happened. He mentioned his highest heal cast was for 8,785,350hp -- a very odd number for a warlock.

Stranger still, after checking my statistics, I noticed my largest heal cast was for exactly the same number -- and I'm a rogue! One by one people in vent started checking their statistics, and a good two thirds of the raid had the same exact number. 8,785,350. And it didn't seem to matter what class -- plate wearers and cloth casters both had it. It took a while, but we finally managed to figure out the mystery of 8,785,350 and what it meant. So what's your highest heal cast? Is it the magical 8,785,350, or some other amount? How often do you check out your statistics panel, and have you noticed any other strange coincidences with your fellow players?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for tanking death knights

We've known for a while that Cataclysm was going to feature some extensive changes to the stat and gear systems, and while we'd gotten bits and pieces of the whole picture before, the blues recently posted a massive breakdown of many of the changes. Death knight tanks will see a few things affect them as well, such as the complete removal of defense and a change to the workings of parry. Without further ado, let's break down the major changes that affect death knight tanking.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Everything I know about magic I learned from Rydia


When I was growing up, I was a total Final Fantasy geek. I can still remember the thrill I got when I first started playing Final Fantasy II (Final Fantasy IV to you purists).

I never paid much attention to stats aside from the basics back then -- there was no reason to. When I did take a look under the hood, though, what I found was easy to understand. Cecil beat stuff down with a sword, so he had a high amount of strength. Rosa was better at healing things than Cecil, because she had more will than he did. Rydia blew things away with black magic and summons, so she was loaded up with wisdom.

When I eventually got around to playing World of Warcraft, I went into it with a lot of preconceptions from my Final Fantasy days. This healing priest? Spirit. Makes total sense, that's a healer stat. When it was time to use the darker side of the priestly art, it was time to look for gear with intellect. It made logical sense from a Final Fantasy standpoint. And just like in Final Fantasy, the most important thing to pay attention to was how well a piece of armor protects you from attack. Right? RIGHT?!

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Breakfast Topic: The effect of nerfs and buffs

A question for the readership this morning (well, two) -- is a recent nerf to a specific class a strong incentive against playing it for you? Conversely, does a buff to a class make you more likely to play it?

Blizzard's observed in the past that there's often a correlation between the perception of a class as overpowered and the number of people who choose to play it (witness the proliferation of rogues in classic WoW, for example), so it seems fair to say that at least a portion of the player base's class choice is impacted by the conclusion they reach on design decisions. Then again, my own experience in-game -- and the pattern of comment votes here on WoW.com concerning class changes -- leads me to believe that yo-yoing between classes based on which one is doing "best" at any given time is not the overwhelming trend. The Warcraft Census' numbers on class population also seem to be evening out, slowly but surely, from a little bit over 6 months ago (which was itself an improvement over very lopsided numbers in favor of death knights and paladins shortly after Wrath went live). This would seem to suggest that, over the long term, people continue to play the class they like most for reasons that survive design changes. Or is it just that each character represents such a significant time investment that most people don't think it's worth it to switch mains?

I'm sure that arena and PvP as a whole wind up driving a portion of this, but what impact do class nerfs and buffs really have? If your main was ever nerfed, did you wind up playing a different toon, or did it just not matter that much to you? If your main was buffed, was it genuinely more fun to play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Math problem: Average winning roll

Here's a question that occurred to me while I was walking home from the subway recently: What's the average winning roll in a five-man group, assuming everyone rolls? That is, if you randomly chose five numbers between one and 100, what is the expected value of the highest one?

I know a bit of statistics, but I really don't know how to begin getting at that one. However, I do know how to write a script that will calculate the answer. (Yes, these numbers are only pseudorandom, but I did some limited testing with real random numbers (from random.org) and the results were the same. Besides, I'm pretty sure Ruby's Mersenne twister pseudorandom generator is good enough for testing distributions like this.) The average winning roll out of a group of five people is 82.8 83.8 83.3 (tested over many, many repetitions). Now can any mathemagicians tell me why?

The graph above, in case it isn't clear, is average winning roll on the y-axis vs number of people rolling on the x-axis, tested over 100,000 trials for each group (the relatively small sample size is why the first point is not right at 50, and probably why the curve is a little wobbly).

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

WoW Rookie: Primary stats for beginners

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Theorycrafters and experienced players, go away – no really, /shoo! Today's WoW Rookie is for brand new players or players who are embarking on a new alt with absolutely no idea which end is up. The topic: what stats should you look for on gear as you level up? With XP and levels moving so quickly these days, it's not a topic that bears deep reflection or rooting through gear lists online in search of exceptional pieces. Any time you devote to researching and going after specific gear will be rendered moot by equal time spent questing – ding, better gear at your disposal! Still, concentrating on the right set of primary stats gives you a solid foundation for steady, predictable game play and supports experimentation with different spells, specs and tactics.

The early levels (and by that, we mean "vanilla" WoW up through level 60) are all about basic stats (also known as "attributes"): agility, intelligence, spirit, stamina and strength. As you level, you may run across the occasional piece of gear that boasts a fancy attribute like spellpower or attack power. Consider it extra flavoring; you'll meet veteran players who swear by the stuff, but it's not mandatory. Equip the piece if the basic stats are also solid, and carry on. Most early pieces that boast more interesting stats were added later in the game's evolution. The basics remain the fuel for your pre-60 leveling fire.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, Features, Leveling, WoW Rookie

Arcane Brilliance: What Cataclysm will mean to Mages, part 2


Welcome to the latest edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column and internet meeting place for IHATEWARLOCKS. If you can't remember what that acronym stands for, you can check last week's column, about two paragraphs from the end. If you can't be bothered, it doesn't matter. The name says it all, really.

When I was growing up, way back at the dawn of time, in the late eighties, I didn't have access to a lot of games. It wasn't like it is now, where I have an unplayed backlog of quality electronic entertainment so deep my house reeks of shrinkwrap and unfulfilled potential. No, back then, I remember saving my pennies for an entire summer with an eye on getting a new game, then going to the game store and having a choice between Lufia and 7th Saga. I chose 7th Saga (mostly because you could be a robot in that one), and even though time hasn't been particularly kind to that game, it still holds a special place in my heart. You know why? Because I played it. I played the crap out of it, and when I finished it, I started over and played it again. And the next time I saved up enough money for another game, or tricked a relative into buying one for me, I snagged Lufia, and repeated the process.

With the really great games--the Chrono Triggers, the Secrets of Mana, the Shining Forces--I played them so many times I came to the point where my fondest wish was that I could discover a way to excise them from my brain...to selectively forget I'd ever played them so I could plug them back in and experience their unique joys afresh. Yes, back in the late eighties and early nineties, we were pretty starved for games. But the ones we had, we loved.

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing really, just thought I'd share. Ok fine. Read on, I promise I'll find a flimsy way to tie it in to the actual subject of this week's column.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm, Archaeology

Which class gets invited as what?


Veritable Avarice, a new blog on moneymaking in WoW, took a break from financial discussion and looked at class representation in tank, DPS, and healing roles by filtering and comparing data available from WoW Popular. Spec population was then checked against class population data available from Warcraft Realm's census and three live realms. Data differences, according to VA, weren't statistically relevant, and he/she is pretty sure that the numbers are at least a ballpark representation of which class is most likely to be filling a particular role within a group.

I play a Druid, so that's really what I feel comfortable commenting on here. While I can't speak to the ultimate accuracy of the numbers, I do a lot of pugging and have to admit that VA's data seems pretty close to what I've seen on my own server. The tank numbers are also consistent with a few things Ghostcrawler's mentioned recently concerning the overwhelming population advantage still held by Warrior tanks, although I wonder whether the Feral statistics are somewhat inflated here by the overlap between Bear and Cat specs. Feral tanks have all but vanished from 5-mans on my server, and it's not uncommon for me to get comments from healers that I'm the first Bear they've healed in months. Less surprising is the representation advantage held by Druid healers. Trees are insanely good in Ulduar, and between this, the rise of the Death Knight, and the de-suckaging of the Protection Warrior spec, that probably accounts for the gradual disappearance of the Bear. Also thought-provoking is just how few Druids hold a share of the DPS pie.

I'd love to hear from members of other classes on the data and how closely it dovetails into their own experience. There's a quick note for Warrior players (or anyone interested in the DPS graph) past the cut, as there's a small mistake on the relevant graph.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes

Officers' Quarters: A scheduling headache

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

One of the big annoyances of raiding is finding the right schedule. This time of year is particularly bad for many guilds, as last week's Officers' Quarters column proved. Students of all ages have finals. Working adults are traveling more often or spending more time away from the PC. When you have a small crew, the loss of even one person for a few weeks can mean all your raids are put on hold. This week, one officer wants to know how to figure out a raiding schedule despite some uncooperative individuals.

Dear Scott,

I am the co-leader of a casual 10-man raiding guild on Lightning Hoof. Despite only raiding once a week, we've managed to down ten of the bosses in Ulduar and we're proud of that accomplishment. Lately though, it has been almost impossible to get everyone together on the same night to work on progression. Quite a few of our raiders have school or work requirements, and it is very difficult to time every one's lives around raiding. We try our hardest, and for a good while it was working out perfectly. Lately though, I feel that our raiders are beginning to demand the raid schedule be built around them, rather than trying to make time in their own week to come. Since we are such a small guild, it happens quite often that when one person can't/doesn't show, we are not able to raid. This then wastes the entire night, and it becomes almost impossible to re-schedule.

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The rise and fall of class popularity


While writing the most recent Shifting Perspectives column and browsing old records on Druid population statistics, I started to wonder about the various factors that play a role in how popular a class becomes. While Blizzard and Blizzard alone has the exact numbers on who's playing what, various fan sites have honed data collection strategies over the years and amassed a pretty impressive pile of numbers. This only got easier when the Armory launched in spring 2007, and by now I'd be surprised if players weren't at least broadly accurate about overall trends. If we can trust what we see, how we do best explain fluctuations in class popularity? Has Arena success (or the lack thereof) been as influential as we think? Is class population an accurate, albeit crude, guide to the overall "quality" of a class at any given moment -- or just a guide to the perceived "quality?" I'd be interested to hear what people think.

Having played a Druid since the beginning of Burning Crusade and observed it going from the second least-played class at 60 to the third or fourth most-played class at 80, I have my own theories about what's influenced Druid population numbers particularly, but I need to do a little more digging before I can be sure. However, I don't know whether any of it really applies to other classes, and the meteoric rise of the Death Knight is a thought-provoking (and somewhat troubling) trend.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard moves from #47 to #1 in studio rankings

According to a recent list by Develop magazine, Blizzard has dethroned Nintendo to become the most bankable game studio in the world. I'm surprised they weren't there already, but I guess it's just this side of possible that Nintendo is hard to budge. Develop's top 100 is compiled by their editorial team and accounts for total sales, reputation within the industry, and a variety of other criteria. When all was said and done, the editors wrote, Warcraft "continues to do the sort of numbers previously reserved for crime syndicates and smaller members of the United Nations."

Nicely put, but what I find most bizarre about the list is that Blizzard jumped from #47 to #1 within the space of a year (you'll find Blizzard's 2008 listing on page 82 of a highly annoying-to-navigate Issuu archive). While part of that's due to the merge with Activision, Develop claims that Wrath of the Lich King being the fastest-selling PC game in history was the greatest contributing factor. Hang on. WoW was doing just fine even before Wrath hit, so how did Blizzard manage to get itself ranked behind do-little studios with sales of around $1-2 million per game on the 2008 list?

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Top Ulduar achievements earned thus far

The folks over at GuildOx, a guild progress and achievement ranking site, were kind enough to email us some interesting new statistics about Ulduar's achievements. As it stands a large portion of the raids are, of course, not getting encounter specific achievements the first time they go into the zone. However there are some that are getting them nonetheless.

People may wonder if guilds are getting the achievements this quickly because Ulduar is too easy. My opinion on the matter is that Ulduar itself sans hard modes won't be abnormally challenging, however when you put in the hard modes and various twists to the encounter in order to earn the achievements, Ulduar is going to become quite challenging.

The achievements that have made the list so far, like A Quick Shave where you have to kill Razorscale with her only flying into the air once, just requires a lot of DPS. That's not too hard for most geared out groups to muster.

Take a look after the break for GuildOx's list of the top five Ulduar 10 and 25 man achievements, and head over there to take a look at things overall.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Achievements

Nielsen: WoW is most played core game by 25-54 females


Here's an interesting bit of info from the Nielsen folks: over 400,000 women are playing World of Warcraft in the US, which means it's the most-played "core" game for that gender. And even more interesting, females 25 years or older make up the largest block of PC game players overall, and they account for 54.6% of all gameplay minutes in December of last year. Girls don't just play WoW -- they're quickly becoming one of it's main demographics.

You can read the report in PDF form over here -- the chart above might be the most interesting piece of information, as it shows that though males still make up a huge part of the PC gaming audience, many of them have now moved on to consoles, and women (especially older women, over 25), during the last month of last year, are making up a huge audience for PC games. Later in the report, you can see what kinds of games women are really playing: Solitare, Freecell, Minesweeper, and all of those other little attention grabbers on every PC. But among those widespread casual games is our own World of Warcraft. And while the 25-52 male audience of 675, 713 for that game still remains larger than the female audience in the same demo, the ladies aren't far behind.

Neilsen also calculated some base stats for WoW, including the fact that 1.8 million unique people played the game, and the average time of gameplay per week was 744 minutes, just over 12 hours (slightly up from last year's average). Additionally, of those who play World of Warcraft, their second most-played game was Solitaire, followed by Warcraft III. Fascinating stuff. Remember that these are statistics, so they are more general trends than anything else, but it's definitely true World of Warcraft and PC gaming in general is no longer only the domain of the male demographic.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories