Fun with Number Crunchin’

Last week I found a couple of web sites that really peaked my interest.  In fact, I kind of wish I’d known about them prior to the 3.1 patch.  One has been around quite awhile: WarcraftRealms.  This site collects population statistics for all servers and you can filter based on a number of criteria.  What does this have to do with crafting?  Well if you’re a crafter, it helps to know what classes are more popular than others.  I mean, you could use your personal observations if you like.  But for those who prefer facts and figures, you can check WarcraftRealms instead.

For example, on my server (Llane) I can see that on the Alliance side the most popular classes are Death Knights and Paladins.  Personally, I didn’t realize that Pallies were the #2 class, so this is new info to me.  Also, it shows that Hunters are the #3 class, followed by Druids at #4.  I probably would have guessed Mages or Warriors being ahead of Druids or Pallies.  Clearly this can be handy to know if you want to increase your sales or just target your goods more effectively.

Where things get really fun is if you throw my next find into the mix: WoWPopular.  This site is fairly new and has taken on the Herculean task of crawling the Armory and compiling statistics on gear popularity.  They are paring the number of profiles down to some secret formula they deem “the best players” in five categories such as PVE, PVP, etc.  When you use the site you can turn a number of filters on and off, including playstyle, to find all sorts of fun information.  In addition to non-crafty things like spec and gear, you can focus in on areas like glyphs, enchants and gems.  To me, this is a potential treasure-trove of information for crafters like us!

The big caveat being that they select the “best” for their data pool and don’t give much information on how that process works.  But if you’re willing to overlook that and accept the information as useful anyway, you can find out some interesting stuff.  I’m sure we could all easily guess that the Runed, Bold and Delicate are the most popular red gems.  But did you know that the Rigid Autumn’s Glow and the Brilliant Autumn’s Glow are the two most popular yellow gems?  I sure didn’t.  Not only that, both of those cuts are more popular than any orange gem!  Here I always thought the orange gems were generally more popular, boy was I wrong.  I also didn’t know that the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond was the most popular meta gem.  As I said, there’s a lot of interesting information to be gleaned from this as a crafter.

Just to get the ball rolling, here’s what they currently have as the Top Ten Gems for all playstyles and classes:

1. Runed Scarlet Ruby
2. Solid Sky Sapphire
3. Bold Scarlet Ruby
4. Rigid Autumn’s Glow
5. Delicate Scarlet Ruby
6. Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
7. Brilliant Autumn’s Glow
8. Potent Monarch Topaz
9. Balanced Twilight Opal
10. Smooth Autumn’s Glow

By all means, go play around with these sites and see what you think.  I think it’s pretty useful to know which classes are the most popular and what gems/enchants/glyphs those classes are using.  So try setting up your own lists of “most popular” items and see if it helps you focus your efforts on more marketable items.  If we get enough interest in this sort of number crunching, I could add a new feature to the blog to create “Top Ten” lists for various crafted items based on this data.  I’m just throwing it out there as a resource, but if it gets a strong thumbs up from the peeps we can try to work it into our normal rotation.


**UPDATE** I’ve received an email from a reader indicating that WarcraftRealms may be associated with Gold Sellers.  This information is not confirmed, but it may be tied to their add-ons.  This should not affect your use of the site, but you might not want to install their mods until we know more.  Thank you.

6 Responses to “Fun with Number Crunchin’”

  1. David Says:

    Thanks for the link to WoWPopular.

    The formula we use to find the ‘best’ players to scan on our site is to scan all level 80 players of the top guilds and top arenas in each realm (based on the gear level of the players). The idea is that players in the top guilds know what they are doing in terms of enchants, gems, glyphs etc.

    It’s not perfect, but in our tests, it seems to be pretty accurate. Particularly when there is a relatively small selection of gear for your playstyle (there are only a few choices in each slot in naxx for instance).

    The best talent builds are a little harder to calculate because the most popular builds are usually those popularised by sites like WoWWiki and there is a lag between when a build gains in popularity, and when you see it high on the talent build lists. An example of this was the recent disease-less Death Knight build that was popular before Blizzard nerfed it. It took a few weeks from when it was first mentioned on the blogs for the build to become popular enough to be high up on the list.

    So while the lists aren’t perfect, they are still very useful – particularly for your use which is finding the best item to craft. Note that sometimes the enchant/gem with the highest stat is not always the most popular. For example, the +63 spell power to weapon enchant is not the most popular even though it is the best enchant for spell casters. The +50 is more popular because of the lower profession level to create it, and the much more reasonable mat cost. Expect to see similar variances when the WotLK epic gems are released.

  2. kaliope Says:

    Hi David, thanks for stopping by and giving us more information about your filtering process! So far no word from the readers… you guys aren’t out enjoying the summer weather are you?? Usually by now we’d have at least a little bickering =)

    Or perhaps they went over to WoWPopular to play and didn’t come back… rofl!

  3. Rhom Says:

    That gem list looks about right to me, although I had to find it out through trial and error, so I would guess these guys are pretty on when it comes to their data :)

    I’ve been looking for a site like this too since I’m pretty new to the JC business and am trying to decide what cuts to buy next. Thanks for the tip, this will help a lot!

  4. bldavis59 Says:

    No, not all of us have jumped ship Kaliope!

    I cannot wait to check out the mail/leather gear for popularity though

    I hope it will give me some idea as to wat to make on my LW/Skin main (currently idled at 423 with 3 stacks of heavy Borean leather :( )

    Thank you for the sites and as always a wonderful post!


  5. Solidstate Says:

    (note – question below relates only to PvE)

    David, I’m not sure I understand your answer. You say you look at “top guilds” but then you mention gear level. So which is it?
    To me what would make sense is to look only at a character who has at least one item from Ulduar-25, maybe past FL (who is sometimes PuG-ed), or one tem from Ulduar-25 badges. This would filter out all casual raiders and most alts (since very few guilds at this stage would take alts into Ulduar 25man raids).

    Of course, one could also argue that this entire method of looking only at a subset of the player population is skewed. Maybe “Runed Scarlet Ruby” is the most popular gem among raiders but “el-chipo gem” is 5x more popular among the general population? For those interested in crafting and AH sales, I am not sure it is interesting to know what only raiders care about. It seems to me it would be more interesting to know what ALL players buy.

    On a personal note, I with there were more fun/nice stuff for Alchemists. Last interesting item I know of is the Alchemist Stones and those quickly became obsolete once I started raiding. Sure it’s nice to be able to make my own flasks and pots and to have 2-hour flasks but still, JCs, Inscribers and Blacksmiths seem to get so much more out of their professions, especially now with new epic gems coming in 3.2.

  6. kaliope Says:

    Solid: I think part of the reason for the vagueness is to protect the specific calculations that are used. I would suspect that an average of iLevel is more likely to be used as a filter instead of the “one item” approach you describe. As you say, anyone can get lucky and get into a pug, but no one can get lucky with an average iLvl in the top 10% of all players.

    Also, the Raiders vs Others issue is tuned with the playstyle flag which has four other options: PVP, Crafted, Mob and Quest. This flag allows you to zero in on subsets of players. No system is perfect of course, but I think he’s done a reasonable job of using gear to categorize players. The only other way I can think to improve the rankings would be to add achievements into the mix. If you somehow built a formula that compares their gear to their achievements, you might be able create a more comprehensive picture of the person. Whether that would significantly change the popularity rankings, I don’t know.

    But I understand why he takes a percentage of the players instead of all players, there are simply too many of them. Crawling the Armory for millions of profiles and then filtering all that data on the fly would be a PITA. As I say, no system is perfect but I like what he’s trying to do.

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