I talked about class representation recently on the Hunting Party Podcast, and I wanted to put some of the numbers up here on the WHU as well.
Basically, with the changes to the class (and others), I wanted to see how we’re doing. Are we being left out of high-level raids? Did the changes to minimum range affect our PvP viability? These questions and more.
In a nutshell, everything is fine. Hunters are well-represented in some areas, middle of the road or slightly below average in others. So there’s no cause for alarm. But let’s take a look at the specifics. Most of this data was taken from World of Wargraphs, while some anecdotes were pulled from WoW Insider posts that datamined this information.
Here’s the list (level 90 only):
- Paladins – 11.8%
- Hunters – 11.3
- Druids – 10.7
- Death Knights – 10.4
- Warriors – 9.8
- Priests – 9.7
- Mages – 9.2
- Shamans – 8.2
- Warlocks – 7.4
- Rogues – 6.0
- Monks – 5.6
We can see from this that hunters are very well-represented at level 90. This doesn’t differentiate between PvE, PvP, gear, etc. It includes all level 90s and paladins followed by hunters is a pretty historically consistent representation. We’ve been a historically popular spec, and that shows no signs of stopping.
The big change between Cataclysm and MoP was with Rogues, who experienced a big drop in numbers. A popular theory for this is the rise of Arms Warriors in PvP. Rogues have traditionally been a strong PvP class with many PvPers choosing to play Rogue. The theory is that they’re following the trends, and going with the stronger class at the moment.
Interestingly, we’re one of only three classes that have a higher percentage of representation than we did at this point in Cataclysm (we would expect most to go down slightly because of the introduction of Monks). The other two are Warlocks and Warriors.
Let me say first that total raiders (i.e. those with ANY boss kill) are pretty predictable. There’s no big outliers, and the percentages tend to loosely follow the overall numbers above. But the worry isn’t being left out of casual raids, but progression raiding. As such, this list is raiders who have downed two or more heroic level bosses. This will give us an idea of what the top players are gravitating toward.
The top spec for each class is included in brackets:
- Priests – 12.1% (Shadow, #1 overall)
- Paladins – 12.0 (Holy, though more than any class, Pallys have very equal distribution of all three specs)
- Druids – 11.6 (Restoration)
- Shamans – 10.3 (Elemental, #2 overall)
- Mages – 8.7 (Arcane)
- Warriors – 8.7 (Fury)
- Death Knights – 8.6 (Blood)
- Hunters – 8.1 (Beastmastery)
- Warlocks – 7.7 (Affliction)
- Rogues – 6.1 (Assassination)
- Monks – 6.0 (Windwalker)
Relative to their overall numbers, the top performers seem to be Priests and Shamans. No single class can say they’re in dire need of more representation (given total # of 90s for each class). Hunters can’t really complain, but I’d also expect our numbers to be higher given the fact that we’re the “bring ALL the buffs” class. It’s hard to justify this as proof that we need a buff, but given what we know about class dps at the moment, I think it’s safe to say a small bump couldn’t hurt us.
BM and SV are near each other in distribution. MM is the lowest single spec of any class, with almost no representation whatsoever (0.1%)
There’s good and bad news here. The bad is that our total representation is fairly low. The good is that hunters are in a LOT of the top 3v3 comps in arena, which we wouldn’t expect given our total percentage. Meaning, we have great synergy with certain other classes/specs, but might lag a little behind overall.
Only includes players with 2200 arena rating or higher:
- Warriors – 15.4% (Arms, easily the #1 spec overall)
- Paladin – 11.7 (Holy)
- Druids – 11.7 (Restoration)
- Mages – 10.1 (Frost)
- Priests – 9.7 (Shadow)
- Shamans – 9.7 (Restoration)
- Death Knights – 9.5 (Frost)
- Warlocks – 7.7 (Destruction)
- Hunters – 7.2 (Beastmastery)
- Rogues – 4.8 (Subtlety)
- Monks – 2.7 (Windwalker)
The big winner here is Warriors. They’re everywhere in top arena comps. However, the #1 3v3 comp is Arms/Holy Pally/BM Hunter, and the gap between it and the #2 comp isn’t even close (it’s seriously absurd…if anyone knows why this comp is so damn effective, let me know in the comments). So Hunters have something going for them. But it looks like, overall, we’re not well-represented, which means in a “random” comp we’re not going to be as effective as many classes. This is driven home when our presence in the top comps at 3v3 completely disappears when you look at 2v2 and 5v5.
The hidden winners are Holy Paladins and Restoration Shamans. The overall numbers don’t show it, because arena numbers are heavily biased toward 3v3, but in 2v2, the BIG winners are Holy Pally and Resto Shaman.
The big losers are Rogues, a traditionally strong PvP class, and Monks, who have a horribly low percentage even given their relatively low overall numbers.
- Hunters are doing ok, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for small buffs to both PvE and PvP (based solely on representation numbers).
- BM Hunters have amazing synergy with particular 3v3 arena comps. Especially, but not limited to, Arms Warrior/Holy Paladin/BM Hunter in 3v3.
- Shadow Priests have not had a “bad” tier or expansion that I can remember (dating back to the beginning of Wrath). I love my hunter, and I know you all do too, but I really believe S-Priests have had less “bad times” to deal with historically than literally any other spec. Lucky bastards.
- If you’re an Arms Warrior in PvP, expect a nerf bat. I don’t read up on other classes to know whether or not it’s coming in 5.2, but their utter domination of the top arena comps is probably going to take a hit at some point in the near future. The same might be said of Holy Paladins and Resto Shamans, whose dominance in 2v2 dwarfs even Arms in 3v3.
- We remain one of the most popular classes overall. Which makes sense; we’re awesome!