MMOs are the source of numerous data sets, most of which I find to be infinitely fascinating. The vast majority of this data is typically only tracked internally by developers, with small snapshots occasionally made public in instances where it would serve a specific purpose for the greatest number of players.
A perfect example of a commonly discussed or distributed MMO data set is competitive leaderboards, but there are many more. For instance PlayerScore, another site on the Ten Ton Hammer network, tracks character data in a number of areas for World of Warcraft players.
While the popularity and overall relevance of these data sets as a discussion topic tends to vary depending on the title, one of the most universally discussed topics in MMOs is class – or in the case of guild wars 2 gold, profession – popularity. Interestingly enough, game communities begin honing in on this particular data set even before new games are released, and that is absolutely the case so far for Guild Wars 2, with choice for playable race coming in as a close second.
Until Guild Wars 2 is released, we won’t really have an accurate data set for which profession is most popular, and only if ArenaNet is willing to make that information public. However, that hasn’t stopped the community from attempting to discern which profession will prove to be most popular come launch day. A common method of compiling this data is through the use of polls, but depending on which website you visit the results tend to differ.
For example, according to the poll here on NecroBator the most popular GW2 profession currently is the necromancer, receiving 100% of the popular vote!
This got me thinking of other ways we could analyze profession popularity prior to launch. Originally, I set out to compile data on equivalent class popularity in live games dating back to 1998, but only a handful of developers have ever made those details public. That also wouldn’t necessarily account for things like the endgame focus for players which could be anything from raiding, to PvP, to raising virtual chickens, and everything in between.
But there is one universal element to the list of known professions that we can historically analyze: their name. For this experiment, I turned to the Google Ngram Viewer to track historical relevance for each of the seven currently known profession names in buy gw2 gold. While this won’t necessarily indicate how popular each will prove to be in the live game, the results are still interesting for a number of reasons.
Think of it this way; the more popular the game becomes, the more likely it is that there will be people who know nothing about the professions but will then begin to research them. In many cases, the easiest place to start will be based on reaction to the profession names.
While previous MMO experiences will play a large role here, we shouldn’t overlook cultural relevance as an influencing factor. The data below is based purely on cultural relevance of the profession names over time, and provides some interesting insights into which professions would prove to be most popular if all a new player had to go by was its name before choosing which they wanted their character to be.
Remember that the data presented here is only going to account for cultural relevance based on instances of the terms being used in books, so does not factor in all cultural influences. Nor should you assume that it will directly translate into profession popularity in the live game. But if nothing else, it sheds some light on how much profession names alone can help influence our decision.