A Guide for the Student on the Ways and Means of the Warg and the Stalking of Prey

Are There Too Many Wargs?

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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.

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6 responses

  1. Aeled

    I think there’s an error in your math. Say that all classes were equally popular – in that case Wargs would cover 16.6% and Hunters 11.1% of the population. That would still make Wargs more popular than Hunters, see where I am going? 🙂

    Then there’s the question of how much people in total do the 30% make.

    01/03/2012 at 10:17 am

  2. Not really. There are fewer creep classes than there are freep classes so if each class were equally popular on both sides each creep class would have a proportionally higher share than each freep class. That aside, the intention here wasn’t compare creep with freep classes, more to point out that amongst the classes on each side the level of balance in terms of player share is disproportionate. Whilst there is a relative sense of balance in terms of freep player share there isn’t so much in terms of creep player share, which, as I argued, stems from some of the creep classes being less viable at lower ranks (or perhaps even in general) than others whilst the freep classes, on the whole, all have something going for them that sees the overall mix being relatively varied and not hugely dependent upon one or two classes as is the case with creep side.

    01/03/2012 at 10:38 am

    • Inga

      Another thing is that Creep classes largely depend on getting kills to progress, which probably makes DPSy classes more popular than the supporting Warleader, Defiler and partially Weaver.

      Also the few times I log in Creep side there virtually always seems to be a Wargpack, but general raids are much less frequently around (depends on servers), while they really are the only sensible way to rank your Warleader or Defiler. So besides relatively quick ranking, low rank Wargs often have more opportunity to rank up in a ‘safe’ group besides their stealth advantage.

      01/03/2012 at 12:51 pm

    • Aeled

      I’m just saying that you cannot compare 30% of Warg popularity with 20% Hunter popularity and say that Warg is more popular than Hunter (they are actually almost the same). Otherwise I agree with the post.

      01/03/2012 at 10:08 pm

  3. That isn’t what I am saying though. Not in absolute terms anyway. My point is that wargs, making up 30%+ of the creep playerbase, are more popular than any other class in relative terms. There may be more Hunters than wargs in the Moors in absolute terms, I don’t know. However, as a component of the overall make-up of their particular sides the warg is far and away the dominant component of the creep playerbase. The freep playerbase seems to have its population spread more evenly amongst the different classes than the creep playerbase.

    I am going to be interested to see if that changes after Update 6 launches and the Weaver and Reaver changes kick in.

    02/03/2012 at 9:51 am

  4. Niriuf

    I think there’s another major reason for the amount of wargs. The current balance.
    Freeps are much stronger at the moment than the Creeps on average. This also strenghtens the argument used in the article above. New creeps are even weaker compared to Freeps. We’ve had warg-ages before, either because wargs were quite strong (post-SoM) or Freeps were quite strong (spring of 2011). The last example is also the case since RoI more or less, which explains the current amount of wargs to my believe.
    With U6 wargs are potentially becoming even more numerous, because they’re buffed yet Freeps remain overall stronger. That’s speculation, of course, we’ll have to see.

    08/03/2012 at 11:12 pm

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