Current Issue: Vol. 7-1 (03/09/2009)



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WoW Character Class Demographics




Bloody hell. So what, Druids just have no motivation? :) I'd be interested in seeing an analysis of the primary drivers of the individual classes, ranked by importance.

Posted by: Gregory Block on August 7, 2005 12:14 PM

It's very interesting to read what I already suspected. Most of my female friends play Priests or Druids! My male friends play all classes. I hadn't noticed any trend with them.

What conclusions can we draw from gender differences in class selection?

Perhaps women enjoy helping others and are more content to take a supporting role while men prefer doing or taking damage?

Perhaps most women prefer not to be involved in hand-to-hand combat?

[WoW 27 M] ;)

Posted by: Dave on August 11, 2005 10:09 PM

One thing i have noticed, that most definetly fits all previously stated trends--

Shamans seemn to be VERY un-interested in appearance/color-coordination, and conversely, they are the most competitive class by far: A full .5 above mages...

Posted by: Ariamaki on August 15, 2005 9:55 AM

druids are motivated by everything except achievement

Posted by: a druid on August 16, 2005 7:37 AM

Wouldn't the server you play on also make a difference? A RP server would automatically mean more socializing - perhaps giving you more freedom of the character you choose? PvP would be more about getting player kills and would then perhaps "limit" the choice to the class and race that seem to cause the most damage?

Posted by: C.B. on August 17, 2005 9:02 AM

I think that if the players of Priest were examined more closely you would have found two distinct demographics. Those who prefer to spec Shadow are not the same people who prefer to spec Holy/Disc. The within-class variance is significant, I believe.

Posted by: Dellaster on September 25, 2005 11:04 AM

Hey Nick, I see you are keeping up the great work. I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but I think just avatar appearance alone has a huge impact on what classes people pick, especially for women. For instance, if one class in a game has female character models that are relatively homely, those will very rarely be chosen compared to others in most cases. Contrarily, female character models that are very attractive are usually the most popular. The same is true, in my experience with male character models to a lesser extent.

Anyways, I'll just get back to reading your site now, ehehehe....

Posted by: Alistair on October 6, 2005 6:11 AM

Druids are often played as either melee/DPS or healers. I wouldn't be surprised if there were an unusually high standard deviation in their statistics, especially in areas where rogues and priests are polar opposites (because druids contain strong elements of both of these classes.)

Posted by: Eve on October 12, 2005 11:59 PM

Hi Nick

Your first graph show that Hunter and Warlocks are classes most played by the elderly part of the players. What I know of WoW is that these two classes is the most singleplayer minded. Have you thought of the link between age and picking class, which is less based for group and support as priest, or warrior? Something like if the players who are hunters or warlocks play more for themselves and have far less interest to be in a guild?

Posted by: Garston on January 7, 2006 2:40 AM

i have been playing game a month and i have found that most of the high lvl players are much higher lvl than the rest of us....but most of them are my previous guildleader...i asked the guild for 30s to help my alt(my main is broke) and he kicks me out of guild.

Posted by: Vic(Klael;Draka;RP) on January 19, 2006 11:34 AM

Bah, if I get WoW (the simplisticpness seems kinda like a deterrent)) I'm playing Druid and I'm a pvp kinda person

Posted by: Raz on January 25, 2006 7:24 PM

About the poster who thinks that females prefer attractive avatars: I submit that it's MALES playing females who prefer attractive avatars. Females want interesting avatars, and perhaps not ones that look cruel or mean. Real-life females are more likely than males to pick avatars that are not sexually attractive. However, you may be right in that they shy away from what they might consider ugly. Personally, I've been unwilling to play undead primarily because I found the starting area depressing and most avatar choices hard to look at. And also, their storyline casts them as duplicitous and disrespectful of their allies. And, well, unable to get over emotions about their own deaths and get on with their un-lives. ;-)

Posted by: Shukar on March 16, 2006 1:32 PM

I dunno aboot this. I'm a chick and I like playing a warrior. I like being aggressive. Meh. Who knows.

Posted by: CG on April 12, 2006 12:51 PM

I kinda agree with alistair, reading the listing of the most picked classes by females, hunters, priests and druids were the ones with the biggest gap between males/females.
All of them are NE classes. It would be interesting to see if that trend of class picking between hordies/allies is the same. I could bet that trend is more an Ally thing.

Posted by: Luiz on July 16, 2006 12:13 AM

Based on data I had frum CensusPlus,Alliance side most common classes by pure number are rogues,hunters and warrios and least common were warlocks. Race wise , the most common race was NE and least common were dwarfs. This I think because you can't play a mage/warlock as a dwarf (making players who don't want to play a human to pick a gnome). I think it is important here when interpreting data, to not allow oneself to be misguided by gender stereotypes as far as women are concerned. My gf plays a warrior for example, and different women play different classes. I wa struck by the fatc that a large percentage of women chose to play the hunter class, but if you keep in mind that this class is currently pretty strong in WoW, it would make sense for males or females to pcik this class.

Posted by: Inithiel on July 18, 2006 1:35 AM

Sorry, also wanted to add something: I wonder why 24% of women vs 17% of men chose a hunter while 11% of women chose a rogue vs 17% of men. Women focusing on survivability/soloing vs men focusing on damage dealing? The fact that you get a pet? Because the Priest stats 19% for women 11% for men makes sense as women are generally socialized into working and dealing with things through group dynamics, thus chooce/enjoy playing a supportive role while men are socialized into taking independant, more center stage roles.

Posted by: Inithiel on July 18, 2006 1:43 AM

I concur with Eve and Dellastar that it's hard to get conclusive data on some classes because they can be spec'ed so differently. Druids particularly, in the data, seem really murky, falling in the middle on everything. Race is a big issue too. What type of person is more likely to play a night elf/tauren? The druid class will be stacked with that demographic as much for race as for class reasons.

Posted by: Sara on July 18, 2006 10:24 PM

I feel that there should have been a bit more focus on the age - class links? It would be interesting to see why the younger people tended to choose the classes they did.

On a side note, I'm a girl and my first character was a rogue. Mainly because I thought that class suited my personality best. XP Besides, I hate being a priest - they're a bit too fragile and rely too much on teamwork and require too much socialising (which takes up a whole lot of time) imho.

Posted by: Mifuyuu on July 30, 2006 6:41 AM

I think including even the basic breakdown of gender for Horde to Alliance would be interesting. Do the class choices also vary by side (for those that are available on both)? I also noticed the sample of women is fairly low.

I actually find myself more drawn to the 'mixed' classes, which isn't really mentioned in the study. I like having something that has at least a bit of healing, or some interesting mechanic with it other than a variety of attacks.
If I'm going to be playing alone, my favorites are Hunter or Druid.
If I'm going to be teaming and know I'll be playing with friends regularly, Paladin, Druid, or Priest.
I made a Priest on a server my friends ended up not playing on, and was bored by her since teaming didn't seem very frequent at low levels. I've tried Rogue, Warlock, and Shaman but those havn't stuck yet and I didn't want to alt too much.
The closest to what I consider my 'typical' game types are Hunter and Priest. I love bow weapons and pets- basically ranged aggro control, and I also like to be a primary healer. Is this contrary?

Posted by: Kitsune on August 22, 2006 10:05 AM


My first character and main of mains is a tauren shaman (L 60). I picked a tauren because a couple of friends were starting horde characters, and anyways it just tickled my funny bone to be able to have a fantasy RPG character who looks like a COW, complete with spots (I'll admit I think the tauren are kind of cute). I'm not a role player, but I kind of liked the lore behind the tauren also.

I picked a shaman because it looked fun being able to do a little bit of everything in the game. Plus my husband had just rolled a druid (always one of my favorite D and D races) and mages and warlocks (who both looked interesting) weren't available to the tauren race. I have a 60 alliance human warlock whom I play with part time on a different server. I started that toon because some friends wanted to try alliance and our regular server was down. But I grew attached to the character mainly because playing a warlock was so fun and very different from a shaman (and there weren't many warlocks back then...I'd tried a hunter but got tired of no one needing them in groups).

My strongest motivations in this game are teamwork, exploration, achievement and socialization while I am in-between on game mechanics and customization and a bit lower on competitiveness and quite low on role playing (My 2 60s are on regular PVE servers and I only pvp now and again, though it is fun, my shaman is specced primarily as a healer for raiding). I think I buck a lot of trends in this game seeing that I am female and fortysomething. But maybe the fact that my shammie is resto specced makes me a bit like a priest. I've never had any luck leveling a priestvery far though in horde or alliance.

Posted by: Erica on September 5, 2006 12:15 AM

Maybe you could chart nerfs and buffages using some old graphs?

What say ye to picking a really weak class in the hopes that a patch makes it the best class in the game?

Posted by: Steo on October 14, 2006 4:04 PM

The poor mages get left out socially... I guess it's our fault. Anti-social ones we are. (Or in my case, just too MMO-inexperienced.)

I'm surprised there aren't more females playing mages. I would have thought that would be a class more appealing to girls. Not sure why, just seems to me like it would be...

Personally, I always shyed away from warrior type classes for a few reasons. I like intelligence based characters. And often magic offers the most power in terms of pure damage (I haven't played WOW enough to know if it's the case there as well.), so it's usually worth giving up the physical strength for it. I also just never liked waving weapons around... not when there are fire spells.

Fire spells aside, maybe a few of those reasons could also apply to girls playing more druids.

Posted by: Mimi on November 1, 2006 9:11 PM

I just wanted to say I found this very information interesting. I had no idea there were sites like this. Now I have awesome data to help with my paper on MMORPGs. Thank you.

Also, Iím a woman and I have an lvl 60 NightElf Warrior. I love my warrior. :) I have just started getting truly involved in PvP. It surprised me seeing the data in front of me of the class type women choose most often, but thinking about the players I know, it does make sense.

I've learned more about the game I love from read the comments. You all are awesome, again, thanks.

Posted by: Abi on November 13, 2006 11:10 AM

As a 27 year old female rogue player I found this data to be very interesting and would really like to learn more about this specific topic. Is there any chance to make more in depth psychological study into why people choose the class they choose? Some parts are already obvious through this specific study but it would be wonderful to learn more. =)

Posted by: Cinae on December 5, 2006 8:23 AM

I personaly like hunters the best becasue I like to solo and pvp. Like you guys said- hunters aren't good for pvp but good for soloing. There very good at pvp because well lets say that a lvl 60 mage versus a lvl 60 hunter and his lvl 60 pet. Who do you think is gonna win? Hunter of course- his pet will be disturbing his spells because he's very strong and holding aggro while I'm shootin him and while I'm barely gettin hit. Some other classes have advantages but I think hunters are over all the best.

Posted by: (creating a another hunter but dont no name when I get back to Town) on January 1, 2007 11:41 PM

I find the gender/class things very interesting. I'm female and I will admit that my first lvl 60 char was a druid. The char I play all the time now, is my warrior. I have noticed that there are very few female warriors but I have met some in other guilds. We've brought up some talk about how females make very good tanks because there is less ego and need to make the damage charts. It would be interesting to see how warriors break down by gender and by build (protection vs fury).

Posted by: Shmoo on January 3, 2007 1:41 PM

certainly wouldn't have thought the hunter class would have joint highest in both males and female players. Would have thought warrior/rogue would be at top.
LOL rogue are youngest players, perhaps that explains why they constantly whine about the game. (World Of Roguecraft is advisable watch ;P)

Posted by: PBX on January 6, 2007 12:22 PM

I know a lot of people who often choose ranged characters as their first toon. Gives them that distance to work with while learning the game. Thought it might have evened out a little by now.

They are also recognised as fast to level.

Posted by: mkl on January 7, 2007 4:28 PM

I am new to this wonderful game (25) and picking a class took a little time. I love AD@D games and always played evil mages(Metalhead) but I always needed a priest. So for WoW after reading about the classes I decided to go Undead Shawdow Priest, its a dark and different class...

Posted by: coffinshock on January 9, 2007 10:55 AM

As an older female (40+) player, I found your statistics interesting. I have a lvl 44 mage and am now working on a lvl 20 paladin. I have a lvl 14 rogue as well. I can relate to some of your stats. I do miss not having any ranged abilities as a paladin but i wanted to try something w/ more "tank" type abilities & decent armor. My husband (50+) has a lvl 44 druid and is now working on a lvl 20 warlock. You can probably tell that we play together! It would be interesting to see stats on couples who play WOW.

Posted by: on February 6, 2007 12:35 PM

I've seen females pick both the supportive classes (priests, druids, etc) and the DD classes (mage in particular). I think sometimes you just get tired of being supportive and want to be aggressive. Being a female myself, I prefer the pet classes (hunter, warlock)--not because of the customizing though that's cool--but because I like the feeling of companionship out when I'm grinding by myself. ^^;

Posted by: mofowithyoyo on February 22, 2007 7:58 PM

Hey, I didn't play WoW for too long, I am a busy and sociable 18 year old college student. I first played with a warrior because melee is easy to learn to play with... got bored at about lvl17 then came back months later and started a Tauren Druid, and the observation about motivation holds true imo. I did not get past lvl 27 with my druid and I am also a pot smoker with almost no motivation in RL or IG. Maybe there are some deeper links to motivation... I know I just enjoyed being able to wander the map and claim to be in touch with nature, whilst moonfiring it all o' course.

Posted by: Rusty Boy on July 4, 2007 2:02 PM

Let's keep in mind that while Nick has done a compilation of information, it cannot apply to every single person that plays.

For example: Im a woman over the age of 35 (My husband gleefully reminds that it places me in a catagory father down than his, the newb), who happens to play a level 70 rogue.

I never did like being the norm. :P

Posted by: Laylla on July 4, 2007 9:04 PM

I like flexible characters. Have a 58 Paladin, but I find Shamans a lot more fun.

Posted by: Dan on July 7, 2007 6:31 PM

I am a M17 who plays a 41 Human Paladin, but the stats line up with what I've seen in the game so far and what I believed firsthand. The only female (17) that I KNOW is female that plays this game actually plays a Human Warrior (like her older brother). I am surrounded by friends that almost all play hunters (all males, one is 13, one is 17, one is 35), and I've always wondered exactly what was so attractive about a class that essentially sits back and watches the action.

Posted by: Treima on August 20, 2007 7:15 PM

Initially picked a warrior because it seemed the simplest to play. Later rolled a priest because my guild was short of priests. Tried rogue, pally, etc, main remains a warrior

Posted by: Boru on August 21, 2007 12:58 AM

Have you considered doing a new sample of this? It would be interesting to see if patch changes to roles would affect player choices nowadays.

Posted by: Dan on August 23, 2007 5:40 AM

I was just wondering what these numbers are based on? I find them unlikely due to the rather high average age of a player. Anyone know?

Posted by: Mikkel on August 26, 2007 2:19 PM

Mikkel, if you look at the responses on this site, you'll see there are a lot of 30+ that play WoW. It's not all teenagers. What I'd like to know is why Hunters are so much older than the other classes (I figure Rogues are younger than average because the importance of PvP capability seems to correlate negatively with player age), and exactly what makes them so popular, particularly Night Elf Hunters.

Posted by: Treima on August 27, 2007 6:51 PM

Super interesting topic. I know the info would be difficult, if not impossible to come by, but I'd love to know more about this.

Do kids select horde more often?
What is the least chosen class in the game?
Which is the most chosen?
Which classes do females typically select?
In BG which sides wins more? Why?

I know I'm repeating a lot of the questions asked/discussed earlier... just think it would be enlightening to know more.

peace -
Shaduin (66 NE Rogue, 32 Dranei Shaman, Anvilmar)

Posted by: James on November 7, 2007 9:34 AM

I think one thing that pushes mages away from the social aspect is "HAI MAKE ME WATER/FOOD/BISCUITS/PORTALS PLX".

Posted by: Elmo on February 25, 2008 4:32 PM

Funny that the tanking classes (warrior, druid, paladin) are all middle to low on teamwork.

Posted by: Captain Angry on March 4, 2008 9:46 AM

I have played most of the classes. I usually choose night elves for the minor hiding ability, which is useful to any class. For three years I had a female NE hunter as my main, having been advised when I started to choose "a cute girl" avatar because the teen boys in the game would be more likely to help me. I think that was good advice. She got to 64 but I got bored with her. I recently deleted that character to start a new hunter, male but still night elf. Hunters, overall, have advantages: they are both the artillery and the tank (their pets). They can break and run if the pet gets into trouble. They can deliver DPS pretty well and even melee pretty well, sort of your well-rounded character. Hunters also make excellent soloists because they ARE a group by themselves. On the casting side I only play druids, having found cloth armor frustrating to work around.

Posted by: steve on May 9, 2008 7:02 AM

It's funny, but all my female friends (myself included) play warriors, rogues or hunters. I donít agree that women would naturally go for classes that help people. That just goes with the stereotype that women are primarily care givers. Yeah we give birth to the babies, but that doesnít make us fluffy, peace obsessed biddies! If anything, I think strong combat classes help women channel the rage that we all have concerning our station in the world. Oh, wait I mean ďOh I just love finding a cute character and making her a priest! I found a robe with awesome stats, but it is black and black is icky. I want to keep my purple one! I play this game because my boyfriend does! I also mean yes when I say no! Please order me around! Yay!Ē Come on! My toon is an Orc Rogue with a mohawk and multiple piercings. I gave her a nice combat/assassination build. (Although I bet you would think I would go with stealth since women are so weak and would be more comfortable in the shadows behind the men.)

Posted by: Jess on June 4, 2008 6:40 AM

uuhm, jess,
your kinda overreacting right now..
online, or offline,
both worlds have women like you, and the women you hate ^^;
it just seems that women in overal act like this,
but it doesnt say that all women do~

Posted by: Filecreator on June 12, 2008 2:42 AM

thats not entirely true!!! im a rogue and i am very social!!! i have like 43 friends in wow some are horde and i think of my self as friendly!!! rogues arent as aggressive as everyone thinks!!! we are only aggressive is battle wich makes us strong and rogues are very good teamwork!!! customization is somthing that nearly everyone excels at so thats a bit stupid!!! half those things are just all the bad players!!! wat about players like me......?????:(

Posted by: Varrok on July 7, 2008 4:09 AM

@Varrok: It's the Age-factor, my friend. The stats speak for themselves.

Anyways, I'm 17 years old and I rolled a Blood Elf Paladin on an RP server(transferred to an RPPvP server recently). Here are my motivations:

Socializing: I agree with the high rating, socializing is a big factor for me. I rolled a Pally to be able to get groups easier, to be able to support groups, buff people etc. We are a very group-friendly class.

Achievement: I'm very achievement driven when we're talking about PvP. Being a Ret Paladin, I often get looked down upon in a PvP setting. I always drive myself to beat out those millions of Arms warriors out there, just to show what I've got. In terms of PvE, I like getting new gear and accomplishing a new boss kill, but I won't devote myself to it, I'll just do it when the mood takes me. I guess I fit in with the average.

Discovery: Not sure where I fit in under this category. Probably with the average Paladin rating.

Competitiveness: Hugely disagree. I am very competitive in PvP. I'm not agressive, but I do enjoy a good, challenging duel or a fast paced and tight game of AV.

Teamwork: A big factor for me. Without teamwork(or a hunter), you won't get far in thr world. When you(say, level 62) and your friend get ganked in Hellfire by that 70 warrior, you have to use teamwork to time your rezzes to try to take him down or to escape. If you don't, he'll just keep corpse camping you until you spirit rez.

Customization: I've always liked red gear(like the Scarlet set from SM) but I can't really get any now. Pally Tier/Arena Gear is just purple and gold spandex.

Mechanics: This depends on Spec. Prot paladin's I'd say have a lot of Mechanics when tanking, then Ret Paladin's with DPSing, and at the bottom of the barrel are Holy Paladins with Flash of Light spamming. Most of the Paladin's surveyed must have been Holy. >_>

Anyways, I'm done ranting. As you can see, I fit in with the rating above in some ways but I also differ from it in a few ways too. I'm glad to be a bit more competitive than the average Paladin.

Anyways, Cheers!
Tyrannath, level 70 Blood Elf Paladin, Lightninghoof

Posted by: on October 15, 2008 7:17 AM

A comment on data presentation:

Would it be possible to show this data as bar graphs instead with listed values? Keeping the classes in the same order would be helpful as well.

I love the work you're doing. Thank you!

Posted by: Leeni on February 17, 2009 12:11 AM
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