WHA Class Poll – lots of WAAAGH!

spreadsheet from greenskin.comI’ve been waiting to comment on the Warhammer Alliance class poll because I was hoping to see a drastic change after a week.  Given that the poll has been up almost six days now and the current trends are staying firmly in place I guess now is as good a time as ever to say “I saw this coming“.

I’m not a number cruncher (ugh I hate math) so I’ll leave that side of things to Snafzg and his great google spreadsheet, but it’s easy to see that Destruction is currently leading the polls against Order with a commanding lead.  Before I go into the why’s and all that, let me first say that this poll is not representative of how things will play out at release, nor is it anything more than an optional poll presented to registered users at one specific fansite.   Take it with a grain of salt and accept everything you hear as theorycrafting.  Understood?  Good!

As I have said before, Destruction has the most character!  There are guys with the ability to mutate their arms into freaking crab-like claws, Goblins screaming infamous phrases like “WAAAGH!”, and scantily clad Dark Elf womens.  Destruction has squigs which are basically little balls of hell with teeth waiting to bite or explode at their master’s will.  Order has white lions with…stuff that lions have… and attachment to their masters and … other lion stuff.  Those are just a few examples of many that make Destruction far more appealing, in my opinion, to the average gamer looking to decide his race/class based on looks and superficial appeal.  Looking at how the classes have been marketed and presented to the public, does anyone else feel a slight lean toward Destruction?  In an interview a while back the devs described the High Elf area as “fairyland” and then went on to describe the Dark Elf fortreses of destruction as homes to hordes of Dark Elves.  Which sounds more appealing to you?

Destruction vs. OrderLooking at the poll this morning it appears that the Shaman class is popular.  This is my class of choice as well, which always makes me feel uncomfortable knowing it’s going to be popular.  However, there may be more at work here.  Massively recently revealed a lot about the classes in Warhammer Online and that Shaman was right at the front of the pack with what I feel to be the most informative and interesting insight.  We have not known much about how Shaman will play ever since Mythic took the servers down last year for an extended period of time.   The same can be said for a lot of the other classes.  Mythic has been testing High Elves vs. Dark Elves for a long time and only recently widened their testing to include Greenskins and other races.  The poll clearly shows that the classes that have been witheld until recently are showing popularity.

This isn’t going to change my mind any.  I’m still going to play Destruction and I’m still going to play the Shaman.  And I still think we’re going to see the race/classes even out more at retail,  with at most a slight Destruction lead.  This poll, and others like it, are proof positive that population imbalances CAN exist.

Hopefully Mythic will develop or reveal their plans to encourage balanced populations.  I’ll add that topic to my list of questions for E3!

  • I’m kind of torn personally… stuck in a Catch22! On one hand, I reeeeeeeeally want to play a Gobbo shaman at release. On the other, I reeeeeeeeally don’t want to play in any realm that has a population advantage.

    I’m kinda screwed unless the populations end up balanced or Order has an advantage. Otherwise, I’m just not going to have a great time playing this game…

  • If destruction gets to crowded I’m sure there will be hard core guilds that switch to Order just so they can conform to being unconformist.

  • I agree about the Massively article on shamans. I am totally dedicated to going Order but that article made ME want to play a shaman. I think as more info comes out on more classes,the votes may change somewhat.

    Plus. people who think they’ll go healer don’t always enjoy healing, so I’m sure Chaos will be glad on some skilled shaman out there as some give it up around level 20.

  • Updated Spreadsheet including Archetype breakdowns:


    I agree that this isn’t exactly the way things will pan out at release, but I think the poll raises some interesting questions:

    1) What’s wrong with the Squig Herder? Greenskins are the most popular race; Destruction is more popular than Order; Ranged DPS is more popular than Melee DPS overall; So why is the Squig Herder the second least popular Destruction Class (and why is it less popular than the White Lion)?

    2) What’s wrong with the Archemage? High Elves are the most popular Order race; Healers are the most popular archetype overall; Shaman (who have a similar mechanic) are the most popular class overall; So why is the Archmage the second least popular Order Class (and why is it the least popular Order healer)?

    Final Note: I really hope Mythic can follow through on their promises regarding Healer playstyle. The fact that Healers are currently the post popular archetype (in the poll) despite the fact that leveling a Healer is a miserable experience in virtually every existing MMO is shocking. Obviously, Mythic has the right idea and the fans are excited about playing a different kind of healer.

  • I think there will always be an imbalance because of the marketing and the coolness factor, this might be small at first but if you get more population that goes onto one side you will definitely have a problem on your hands. Which will mean RvR will get affected, and those unfair situations will probably be more common.

  • I’m very much loyal to the Dwarfen race. I’ll be kicking your weak Shaman butts. He’s probably just really flashy and that’s why he sounds so appealing when presented (Read the thing about the foot). It’s easy for those Mythic guys to get you excited over flashy things because they have an…interesting way of describing useless shit.
    Those Witch Hunters probably kick ass.
    You’ll see me on the Order side of things.

  • I suspect it’ll be much like WoW. The more hard core/PvP crowd prefers Destruction, the more casual prefers Order. With WAR’s PvP focus that will definitely shift the scales in favor of Destruction. Though, many people who don’t follow a game in development (and vote on a poll on a fansite months before release) tend to go for the good guys.

  • WoW’s model won’t work for WAR. The Horde, initially (pre-blood elves), was a series of avatars based upon foreign/colonized peoples (to the point that the orcs are kept in camps). It also had very, very few “pretty” options. The Alliance was very Euro-centric, so players related to that. It’d be interesting to see how WoW would shape up if it had released with Blood Elves. But there you are.

    WAR doesn’t do this. Its destruction side is not nobel, but it is euro-centric. (haven’t heard voice acting, but that’s my guess). It’s also a lot more overtly badass (demons > technology). So who knows.

    Personally, I don’t think the poll reflects what the game will turn into. It’s on one site, talking about a game in closed beta releasing, at best, in four months. Those interested/participating are hardly indicative of server pops.

  • I am curious to see how much raw population will help in the long run. The advantage is only in open RvR and keeps. And that is only one part of the pie. Scenarios, which will be balanced in number, also make a good portion.

    I think the winners will be the more Organized side. And numbers is kind of a determent to organization. More people means more chances for mistakes.

  • This is a fun poll, yup, for sure. And almost completely meaningless. There’s waaaay too many unknown factors — we haven’t heard what steps Mythic is taking for population balance, we haven’t heard in-depth info for a lot of the classes, most players haven’t gotten their hands on the game yet, this demographic is far too specialized, and we haven’t heard from the vast majority of players that will be entering WAR — the ones who don’t know much about it (if at all) yet.

    So it’s fun to pick it apart, but there’s no call for getting upset over perceived imbalances or career superiority. We just don’t know yet.

  • I think the math in that chart is busted.

    The % for Destruction equals 178.65% and 121.35% for Order I think.

    It should look more like this I think:
    Greenskin Dwarfs
    34.56% 32.54%
    Chaos Empire
    34.28% 33.36%
    Dark Elf High Elf
    31.16% 34.10%

  • No Nat those percentages are how many percent are playing Greenskins compared to Dwarves etc, not how many percentage of Destruction are playing each race.

    I think it’s interesting, when statistics are publishes, how people can respond to them. Some people may choose Destruction purely on the basis they want to win stuff all the time ingame. Whereas I, now, am leaning towards a Dwarf Engineer or Runepriest, purely because, whilst not outnumbered in the 300 sense of the word, I think the challenge of being the ‘underdog’ would be fun, and I think it would put more influence of the skill of me, and my compatriots, and the victory, when it comes, would taste all the more sweeter 😛

  • I never thought to ask before… In the Warhammer lore, are Destruction and Order equal in strength?

    In the Star Wars universe, the Rebellion and the Empire are absolutely not equal. The Empire is clearly stronger. They have more money, more soldiers, better technology. The Rebellion’s greatest assets are morale (a cause to fight for) and terrain familiarity (grassroots assets).

    Yet SOE said to hell with fidelity to the lore, and they made the two sides equal. They were more faithful to the lore early on… but even then, Rebels outnumbered Stormtroopers 3-to-1 on some servers (which was fine with me, an Imperial soldier).

    But the Warhammer lore has always centered around gaming, right? So are the two sides, Destruction and Order, meant to be equal? Or will Mythic be abandoning some major aspects of the lore?

  • I think in the Warhammer universe, as in most fantasy universes, the bad guys are STRONG but not so much that they overpower the good guys.

    While the Warhammer universe is traditionally very grim and the bad guys do frequently win battles and cause terrible havoc, they never dominate the Order. It’s a desperate and tight struggle.

    A perfect situation for the best MMO EVAR!

  • Yeah, like the rest, I’m not so sure about those numbers. The whole thing seems pretty subjective, and I agree that the numbers will change as more and more coverage is done on the currently more-neglected classes. I wrote some more about this on my own blog ^^.

    I’m tired of waiting for this game. Dying to play it. I wish I had mind powers to force them to let me into the beta.

  • I’m not too surprised by the results and still 3 to 5 months to go.Order will be the underdog and I like that,as others said Bad guys always lead and bring havoc but they never win the final battle.

    I`ll be there to smash Destruction heads with my Warhammer, after all the game is named after Ghal Maraz which is a weapon from Order…and this is the sign of your Dooooom

    /For the Empire

  • Not sure I agree Chaos has the most character. The Empire is pretty interesting as far as ‘traditional’ good guys go. The Dwarves also have a lot of neat toys and have good character (when compared to Dwarves in other games). Good and Evil is blurred in the Warhammer Universe, which I like 🙂

  • Thanks Gordo,

    That makes sense – I should have picked up on that.

    I’m not sure how much we can glean from this data as it is a very small sample and taken from the more ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘hardcore’ folks. I would expect the actual playerbase at launch might show different results. What is it they say that only a small percentage of players actually read forums and such for the games they play?

    We will also have the issues of multiple servers to deal with.

  • All the hardcore people that like warhammer fantasy will roll destruction and most of the wow crowd will roll Order.

    Seriously Keen are you that shortsighted ? have you forgotten wow ? I know for a fact that the white lion will be the most popular class hands down. My wife wasnt even considering the game really till i showed her that and then she went apeshit. Its the perfect “Girl Class” just like the NE hunter or NE druid in wow 🙂

    i am going squiggy for solo, and White lion for playtime with the wife.

  • I’m not too sure they will TheDog. I truly feel it’s shortsighted to say that just because WoW Hunters were the most popular that WAR White Lions will be most popular. It’s also completely theorycraft to say that WoW will roll Order for any reason. WAR is offering so many different class mechanics and intriguing reasons for going Order or Destruction that I won’t even attempt to guess where the WoW crowd will go. I’m only willing to say that I feel Destruction has much more overall appeal.

  • I think the only thing we can say with (almost) certainty is that regardless of the overall split between Order and Destruction, it really only matters on a server by server basis.

    While I think it is generally agreed upon that the Alliance outnumbers the Horde overall, there are many servers where Horde outnumbers Alliance.

    Of course, all of this would not be an issue if they had 3 or more factions.

  • People start hating so easily. He said at the beginning of the article that he is just theorycrafting and tossing out ideas.

    The Nerdrage is strong with this article.

    “OMG thats dum! UR math isn’t good! This is stoopid! Wah wah!”

  • I’d say it’s unlikely that the poll really means anything as far as retail populations. Most of the people visiting sites like that and participating in WAR polls are either 1) fairly hardcore warhammer fans and/or 2) disgruntled ex-WoW players. Group 1 has a tendency towards destruction for whatever reason (most hardcore Warhammer fans like chaos/orcs/darkelves/whatever), and group 2 would have a tendency towards destruction because it’s more un-like WoW than order is. Once the general population gets involved I think order will have a large surge of players, because most people want to play the good guys.

    In response to an earlier post, I don’t think there’s much blurring between good and evil in WAR. Order is clearly good, Destruction is clearly evil. This is not to say the Empire doesn’t do some pretty brutal things, but they do it because they have to to stave off the ever encroaching influence of Chaos. In the end, Order is trying to protect the their people and the world they live in, even if it means sacrificing individuals to the cause of the whole. Chaos, Orks, and Dark elves are all simply evil — Orks live to destroy, DE enjoy torture, slavery, and worship the god of murder, and Chaos wants to subjugate, destroy, and/or mutate all of creation.

  • I dont hate math as you and with the time i had today i made statistic from the poll info :

    I will keep updating the statistic on daily base by the change on the poll page.

    1. The 3 most popular careers :

    a. Shaman
    b. Chosen
    c. Black orc

    All 3 are destruction.

    2. Much more destruction than horde 59% vs 41%

    3. All the destruction realms have more people than order, the biggest gap at the greenskins-dwarfs 21% vs 13%.

    4. Destruction tanking classes are popular than order.

    5. Realm :

    High elves – the highest people voted for white lion, not big surprise
    Dark elves – witch elf got the lowest vote, it a unexpected for me since i thought many warcraft rogues will like the class.
    Chaos – chosen is the leading career there (everybody could foreseen that)
    Empire – I dont find anything interesting to write about it
    Dwarfs – uniform distribution there.
    Greenskins – Goblin shaman on the lead (of course).

    6. If anyone has idea for more types of graph feel free to suggest (fell free to pm ‘napox’ on warhammeralliance.com forum).

  • I’m pretty surprised by the poll, considering the lean toward Alliance in WoW. I personally can’t get excited about playing any of the Destruction races. I’ve made a few in the beta, but I always seem to log in my Order characters unless there seems to be an imbalance in numbers.

    I wonder if this poll tells us more about people who are interested in a game months before release than it will tell us about post-release customers. We’ll see in time, I guess.

    I’m leaning toward a dwarf rune priest and high elf shadow warrior. I do agree that Mythic’s done a good job making the healing classes fun to play.

    This is one place where I wish Mythic could have made three sides to the conflict. I think DAoC’s three realms allowed two weaker realms to gang up on a stronger realm, and that could vary from night to night, depending who controlled the most keeps and relics. I suppose the Warhammer license doesn’t allow for that, though.