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WoW Character Race Demographics


 


 



Comments

I find this interesting.

I think I fit much more in the sterotypical Tauren than Hunter.

Posted by: Garcia on August 3, 2005 9:34 PM

These data make me wonder...

I think we might be looking at a biased dataset here. It could well be that younger players cooperate with the survey less eagerly then the older playerbase. I know that MMORPG's tend to have an older player basem but even so, I estimate an average age of 28 from these data... souds old.

To support this, please note the shift in the survey number of Hunters, opposed to the sensus data(+3%). Hunters have the highest average age. This doesn't seem to go for Rogues, the youngest class. However, do note the shift in Priests (-3%), being the third youngest class... And yes, I am aware of the warrior going against this theory. But even so, I think it might indicate something.

What I'd really like to see is the age spread of the surveyd population. I think there is no reference material to check the population for this bias, but it could indicate some intersting things... Those playing WoW on a regular basis know that a significant part of the player base is >18, that should be reflected by that histogram.

Also, note that Orc and Troll are the least played classes. Could this being a confounder of younger and older players avoid Orcs and Trolls respectively, rather then older player favoring those classes more? I mean, in the older third, Orc might be an average played class, while being totally ignored by the younger third of the player base and vice versa. Should be interested to see what happens if the surveyed players are placed into 3 even categories, according to age...

Posted by: Peter on August 4, 2005 9:31 AM

Peter - The age distribution for WoW looks very similar to this older posting:
http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/000194.php

As you suggest, the majority of players are older than 18. But as you also mention, we have no "perfect" reference. But the "average video gamer" is actually 30 by industry data, so this MMO survey data is actually lower than industry average.

As to your last comment, if for some reason, younger players avoid Orcs, then by definition, it is correct to say that older players prefer Orcs.

Also, by placing players into 3 age bands would make it difficult to explore real age differences ...

Posted by: Nick Yee on August 4, 2005 10:43 AM

Regarding the sex vs character race graph:

This doesn't necessarily mean Night Elves and Gnomes are more likely to be played by women so much as women are more likely to play Gnomes and Night Elves than men. Because there is a much larger male player population, there may still be more men playing Night Elves and Gnomes than women.

Posted by: Austin on August 5, 2005 10:08 AM

Another note:

I'm afraid I fail to see why young players avoiding Orcs would necessarily mean older players prefer them. Older players may simply avoid them less, yes?

Posted by: Austin on August 5, 2005 10:17 AM

They are logical equivalents.

If A dislikes X more than B. That is the same thing as saying that B likes X more than A.

Or if A is shorter than B. That is the same thing as saying B is taller than A.

Posted by: Nick Yee on August 5, 2005 10:23 AM

Well, you're right, older players seem to show a greater preference for Orcs than younger players do, but they don't necessarily prefer it over the other races. Sounds like "prefer" has a slightly more specific use in statistical analysis than it does in everyday use (in which it seems, given the context of multiple races, a statement like 'older players prefer orcs' would need some sort of qualifier).

Posted by: Austin on August 5, 2005 10:59 AM

Well given the N>1000 this data seem pretty valid (given that it was obtained in the least biased way possible) But I would like point out some data escewing factors if you are looking for simple statements like "Taurens are competetive"

It is the class-race factors that could affect the analysis.
While studying the age or traits factors (traits beeing the roleplaying,achievemnt importance etc)
one has to factor in the race-class limitations.
If rogues display a certain preference for certain game play traits does this show the inherent choices of the people chosing rogues or the traits of the people chosing Tauren (whom are not able to chose rogue).
Are Tauren less customization driven than because they are tauren or because they are unable to chose priest (who show high customization play trait).

Also wich is the primary choice people make, is it race, faction, class or an archetype? Is the Tauren Shaman a competetive likelier to be competetive because he is Tauren AND Shaman or is it because he is in fact a Tauren Shaman, a competetive acrhetype? Could it be that the large portion of these archetype scew figures for the less competetive Shaman (the troll and orc) or the less competetive Tauren (the Hunter, who fall below index)

These figures shed some interesting light on common beliefs but they might be harder to interpret than one would asume after glancing at them.

Posted by: Njald on August 14, 2005 4:07 AM

Weird, I played a dwarven hunter, I was 17 to 18 when I played, and I was super competitive. I think a lot of younger kids (younger than me), atleast on my server, played human. I can't see my self playing any class but gnome or dwarf though.

Posted by: xargon on August 14, 2005 7:29 PM

In terms of choosing dwarves they are a must for the power levellers out there. Both races are close to Ironforge, and thus finding groups for quests is 10x faster than the almost dead Kalimdor (Darnassus), and Stormwind is also fairly dead too.

I initially chose elves for the classes they offer, and Darnassus is possibly the best looking areas in WoW. However, after not being to find groups for quests at level 14, I scrapped my warrior and chose a paladin dwarf which is now at level 60.

Posted by: chris on August 15, 2005 4:14 AM

As a player of WoW, I have several characters that span races and classes. My favorite being a gnome rogue that is close to level 60. This is the 5th character I have created in the game and probably suits me the most of all I have created.

My first character was a NE warrior and got old by level 20. By the time my fourth (Human warlock) leveled to 40 I had interacted with several players of different race and class combinations and was better able to choose the class that best suits me: Rouge. My race choice came down to the fact that I wanted to be able to interact with real-world friends on that particular server and I did not want to repeat the same entry level quests I had completed before with my other characters, which left me as a gnome.

Is there some way to control for tenure with the game in general (across all characters created by an individual) when making assertions about motivations and preferences?

A person new to the game (or MMORPGs in general) may choose a character based on appearance or from what they have heard about its abilities rather than based on a conscious best-fit choice. By the time they have experienced more of the game, they may create a new character in that best-fit model. I would also argue that a personís in-game experiences alter their decision making process at character creation.

Posted by: Rob on August 15, 2005 8:53 AM

While certainly not empirical data, of all the WoW gamers I know (about 30)74% of them are over 30 and the rest are under 12.

This suggests to me the median age is correct, but that in my experience the game might not have the appeal to the 20-somethings that throwing out a number such as "average age of WoW players is 26" suggests.

How many under 18's responded to the survey? I know several 11 year olds who play avidly, but simply would never think to participate in a survey such as this because...well, they're 11 and 11 year olds don't seek out surveys to take while bored at work...LOL.

Posted by: MaximGatling on August 22, 2005 11:12 AM

This is an Intresting thing.You should start sharing it in forums.Excpecialy wow.allakhazam.com.

Posted by: Raneith on November 26, 2005 5:36 AM

Role Playing - Gnome, Troll - High

Everyone loves RPing a troll in any game =)

Posted by: funny guy on September 9, 2006 3:54 PM

The only reason the horde races are the bottom 3 of the Average Age chart is because there is more Night Elves than those races combined. Same with Human.

Posted by: on September 9, 2006 8:16 PM
The only reason the horde races are the bottom 3 of the Average Age chart is because there is more Night Elves than those races combined. Same with Human.

Dwarves are as "unpopular" as some of those Horde races, but Dwarves are older than Night Elves and Humans. Sample size and sample mean are two different things. I'm not sure what your reasoning is ...

Posted by: Nick Yee on September 9, 2006 8:48 PM

Im 31 And Drive Truck. Love The Game Just Dont Have The Option To Play Every Day. I Wish There Was A Weekend Guild For Gamers Like Myself. I Solo Most Of The Time Because The Ones I Game With Exceed In Levels Over Me The Next Week And Dont Need Me Due To Outleveling.

Posted by: jale ne balanced druid on October 13, 2006 1:21 AM

Nice post, about MMORPG's. I play Ultima Online myself. :)

Posted by: Giada De Laurentiis on March 31, 2008 1:17 AM

I wish these were updated, I'd like to see where Blood Elves fit in. Still interesting though.

Tyrannath, level 70 Blood Elf Paladin, Lightninghoof

Posted by: on October 15, 2008 7:21 AM

There are some really misleading statements in this survey. It looks like an interesting study, but you are jumping to conclusions that the evidence provided does not support.

For example:

"Night-Elves and Gnomes significantly more likely to be played by a female player. Orcs and the Undead are more likely to be played by a male player."

The graph presented does not show this. In order to say that given a night-elf, it is more likely to be female, you would need a graph of only night-elves and the percentage of each gender. The graph suggests the that given a female player, she is significantly more likely to play a night-elf - not vice versa. Also, certainly not gnome, as both night elves and humans are more prevalent amoung female players.

As another pointed out, given either night-elf or gnome, male might be the most prevalent gender of the player.

Another example:

"Younger players tend to prefer being Trolls and Undead, while older players prefer being Orcs and Dwarfs."

Again, the graph presented does not support these assertions. Yes, the mean age of trolls is the lowest. If the total number of trolls is very small, though, there could still be way more night-elves amoung younger players than trolls. You need to partition by age group and look within each age group to determine the most prevalent classes. It's possible that night-elves are the most popular class for all age groups - meaning younger players tend to prefer being night-elves - and because it's highly popular everywhere, the mean is greater than trolls but lower than dwarves.

What this graph says is that overall, trolls tend to be younger than night-elves, NOT that younger players prefer trolls. Or also, that younger players like trolls more than older players do - even though younger players still like another class better.

Posted by: Kastchei on December 23, 2008 10:33 AM
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