Ain’t it pretty? That, my friends, is the shift between a normal server (That is, PVE or PVP) and a role-playing server (RP or PVP/RP) in terms of which races are played, courtesy of Warcraft Census. Since I couldn’t get the actual values up there, here they are in a nice chart.
What can we make of this?
First off, there’s pretty much zero difference here in almost all cases. If you don’t believe me, go and crunch the numbers for the difference between PVE and PVP style servers; where humans are a massive 8.43% less popular in PVP servers than on PVE ones. That’s a statistically significant number. These really aren’t. The most important truth of all these numbers is: We play what most people on PVE servers play.
To my mind, this means this: We play the races we play for probably the same reasons. That is, we think this race looks cool. We like the racials on this one. We enjoy the starting zone more for that one. Lore? C’mon. How many non-RPers pay attention to lore? Role-play possibilities? They don’t care about those.
Folks, like it or not, we’re as shallow (or deep) as everyone else. We are not special snowflakes.
That said, for what it’s worth, there are a few myths we can bust here.
- Myth: Alliance are the role-play faction, Horde are the PVP faction. Absolutely not. Moving away from vanilla PVE or PVP style servers, RP servers actually reported a 1.17% shift toward the Horde. Yes, more role-players play Alliance than Horde, but that’s because more Alliance are played overall. They’re just in line with the standard. You can argue that PVE is Alliance, and PVP Horde, but the statistics don’t lie: Role-players prefer the Horde more than standard PVE players. Myth busted!
- Myth: All role-players are ERPing perverts who want to play sexy Blood Elves. Like it or not, these numbers don’t refute the myth. The big winners of the set were the Blood Elves, who drew an extra 2.43% among role-players. It’s not a massive leap, but it’s notable. For one reason or another, Blood Elves resonate among role-players. Myth plausible.
- Myth: Role-players don’t like playing ugly races, they only want to play tall, pretty races. Meh. True, tall, attractive races like the Draenei, Humans, Night Elves and Blood Elves all recorded gains. The ‘ugly’ races like orcs and undead had losses, and the short race of dwarves had the biggest shift of the set, either positive or negative, at -3.62%. Gnomes came out more or less dead even, but that may be because they’re short but cute. Upsetting the apple cart, however, are the trolls: They’re an ugly bunch, but had a positive gain. That said, pretty much anything under 1% isn’t even worth considering. The real takeaway here would be: Role-players like elves. They don’t like dwarves. The rest is just noise. Myth plausible, but shakey.
OK, but what about classes? Glad you asked, but really, if the race numbers were underwhelming, wait until you see the class ones.
It doesn’t quite look it, but those numbers are on the same scale as the races. As you can see, there is no difference between the numbers for Death Knights, both hovering at around 17%. And nothing recorded a statistically signifigant shift.
OK, your turn, folks. I’m verklempt. Discuss amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. Death Knights are neither dead, nor knights. Discuss.
(Or, alternatively, discuss these numbers.)