Are There Too Many Wargs?
The question is pretty simple, and the answer is too: yes. Taking the latest figures from the Black Appendage we can see that wargs make up approximately 30% of all active creeps across all servers. Let that figure sink in for a moment. Around a third of all creep players are playing as a warg.
When we look at how the other classes compare the next most popular is the Reaver with around 20% of players. Remember that the Reaver is the ‘default’ creep class in that it is free to play. Would it be as popular if it weren’t free? What about the freeps? Across all servers the Hunter is the most popular freep class, but the Hunter only make sup 20% or so of freep players. That’s a far cry from the 30% the warg enjoys.
Looking at the classes as a whole we see that each side has a few that are very popular, with some taking a ‘middle of the road’ share of the playerbase and some that are barely registering at all. The clear stand out class in this mixture is the warg, however, since it is heads and tails above all other classes in terms of popularity.
Why All The Wargs?
The obvious question to ask here is why? Some might say that it is the warg’s stealth abilities that make it so popular. After all who doesn’t like to creep around unnoticed and gank people before they even know what has happened? That appears to be a pretty good argument on the face of it, but hold on, if stealth makes the warg popular what about Burglars? Currently Burglars account for roughly 15% of the freep playerbase in the Ettens. That’s about half as much as the warg. If stealth were the driving factor shouldn’t Burglars be equally as popular?
In fact I do believe stealth is the driving factor for the warg’s popularity, but not for the reasons given above. If you look at the other creep classes three are languishing around the 8-10% mark (Weavers, Defilers and Warleaders) whilst two are hovering around 18-20% (Reaver and Blackarrow). The Reaver is a free class, which might explain its popularity, and despite recent nerfs the Blackarrow is in a reasonably good position in terms of gameplay.
Creeps start out very weak. A rank 0 creep does bugger all damage, has few skills, and is about as tough as paper underwear. In other words they die a lot. With few, if any, survival skills at low ranks is it any wonder new creep players might choose the one creep class that does have some reasonable survival mechanism at low ranks? The warg’s stealth might not be great at lower ranks, but it does at least mean a new player can wander around the map without being blown to pieces as much as a rank 0 spider.
This theory is borne out by the freep class distribution. If we look at the freep classes the difference in their share of the Ettenmoors’ playerbase is not all that varied with a few notable exceptions. Now not all freep classes are made equal in terms of effectiveness in PvMP, but they do all at least have one area where they are very good. For example, a new Hunter to the Moors may not be super tough, but they do still pack enough of a punch to get their kills effectively. A new Lore-master in PvMP may not have the gear and stats to survive every attack, but he does still have enough CC and damage to get his renown or be effective in a group/raid. In other words what I am saying is that a fresh faced level 75 freep, whilst not super strong, is strong enough to be viable from the get go.
A fresh faced creep on the other hand is in a pretty sorry state. With little going for them many players may decide to roll a warg and gain some measure of defence through stealth and I think we see this in the frankly ludicrous 30% of the playerbase that chooses to play as a warg.
So What’s The Answer?
I think there is a very simply means for the population imbalance to be addressed. The other creep classes need a bit more oomph from the start. That doesn’t mean buffing them to the high heavens, it simply means making sure they at least have a chance to survive and/or get a few kills. I don’t think that is the case at the moment, and after some testing with non-warg creep classes that opinion has been reinforced for me.
A more balanced population creep side is better for everyone, wargs included. Hopefully with the updates coming to the Weaver we will start to see that imbalance being addressed. Let us hope the other creep classes receive similar updates.