Finally, someone has done something worthwhile with the Armory other than make fun of people's gear and complain about invasions of privacy. Zyph of Maelstrom wrote a program that pulled random names of level 70 characters off of Allakhazam and inputted them into the Armory, and then compared their specs. He ended up with the spec information of over six thousand players.
Zyph wanted to find out three things from his study. First off, he wanted to know what percentage of a class was specialized (31 points or more) in one tree. Then he wanted to see how many people who were specialized in a tree skipped the 31- and 41-point talents of that tree, and how many took them. The results of his survey can be found beyond the cut.
Man, that's a lot of data, and you have no idea how long it took me to turn it into a table. But it's nice to have it like this, because we can compare some of the most and least popular builds and talents in WoW.
Most Popular Builds:
- Marksmanship Hunter
- Holy Paladin
- Feral Druid
Least Popular Builds:
- Survival Hunter
- Ret Pally
- Discipline Priest
Most Evenly Balanced Trees:
Most Popular 31-Point Talents:
- Shadowform (Shadow Priest)
- Trueshot Aura (Marks Hunter)
- Mortal Strike (Arms Warrior)
- Ice Barrier (Frost Mage)
Least Popular 31-Point Talents:
- Lightwell (Holy Priest)
- Wyvern Sting (Survival Hunter)
- Power Infusion (Discipline Priest)
- Dark Pact (Affliction Warlock)
Most Popular 41-Point Talents:
- Earth Shield (Resto Shaman)
- Mangle (Feral Druid)
- Vampiric Touch (Shadow Priest)
- Devastate (Prot Warrior)
Least Popular 41-Point Talents:
- Circle of Healing (Holy Priest)
- Pain Suppression (Discipline Priest)
- Slow (Arcane Mage)
- Readiness (Survival Hunter)
So what conclusions can we draw from this? I'm somewhat shocked that only one offspec/PVP spec is the most popular spec for its class -- feral druids. For most other classes, the most popular spec is the classic raid spec (except for mages, and their optimal raid spec really changes from dungeon to dungeon.) Particularly surprising is that there's more prot pallies than ret pallies at 70 -- from browsing the pally forums, you'd expect quite the opposite.
Talentwise, it looks like healing priests aren't just complaining on the forums about the worthlessness of their 31- and 41-point talents. Very few priests have even taken the 31- and 41- point Holy and Discipline talents. Part of that might be because 40-21 builds are more popular, and because the shadow tree in particular is very strong right now. Survival hunters are also lacking, both in overall popularity and in their high-level talents. And despite the problems shamans have been having lately, their 41-point talent is still the most popular of all who specialized in a build, and they're very evenly balanced between their three trees.
What do you think about this data?