The first installment of ESO By The Numbers dealt strictly with the raw data that we received in response to our survey that was conducted at the end of April. Once again, our sample size was quite extraordinary, consisting of 1,074 responses. In this article, I’ll break out the data to investigate the frequency of responses alliance by alliance. I believe that the numbers reported are very interesting,and worth being looked at and analyzed to see what observations can be gleamed from them.
Based on the comments that we received for our past article, I think that there is a strong chance that we will develop another survey as we get closer to launch. Once again, if you have any questions or comments about what you would like to see with the data, please leave a comment below, or feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].
On one hand, it’s amusing that the race that is behind the Aldmeri Dominion was the highest represented race within the Alliance, it was also intriguing to see that the three races are relatively balanced (and when compared to the other two Alliances, the Aldmeri Dominion is the most ‘balanced’ Alliance when it comes to race representation).
Atropos and I were rather shocked to see the utter disparity between the number of people in the AD who want to be Nightblades, and the number who want to be Dragonknights. 30 responses is the fewest number recieved for any class for any faction. I think a large portion of this aversion may stem from “Dragonknights” being associated with Nords in the minds of many fans, despite their availability to all 3 alliances. The most recent TES installment of Skyrim made the tension between Altmer and Nords particularly manifest, so for some Aldmeri players, choosing the Dragonknight class feel like a bit of a betrayal. Similarly, 149 responses was the highest number observed for any class for any faction (and it goes without saying that no other class in any other Alliance comes close to representing the class choice of 46% of the population). Rounding out the list, the Sorcerer comes in at second, and my personal class choice, the Templar, comes in third (although both of these classes combined still don’t equal the popularity of Nightblades).
Both Bosmer and Khajiit seem naturally predisposed towards the Nightblade class, although the class comes in 3rd for the Altmer, who seem to heavily lean towards the more “magicka-based” classes of Sorcerer and Templar. Interestingly enough, Khajiit is the most popular choice for players wanting to play a Dragonknight in the Aldmeri Dominion.
The overall choices seem to fit what the general consensus feels about the AD races. Both Bosmer and Khajiit have a reputation in the Elder Scrolls series for being a bit more stealthy, or ‘rogue-ish’ than the Altmer, and unsurprisingly, players wanting to go Nightblade flock to these two races. Altmer have always been a race in-touch with the arcane elements of the TES series, and again, we see that the two classes that seem to be more associated with the arcane than not are the two most popular classes for Altmer.
Some additional facts that may be of interest: Altmer Sorcerer is the number one race choice for the Sorcerer class out of all three factions. Additionally, Bosmer are the most popular racial choice for Nightblades, while Bosmer are also the least popular choice for Dragonknights if you compare the data across the three factions.
|Solo PvE||65.21%||Solo PvP||41.93%|
|Small Group PvE||69.25%||Small Group PvP||58.70%|
|Large Group PvE||53.73%||Large Group PvP||58.07%|
The Aldmeri Dominion seems to be a strong Alliance in term of group-based play (in both PvE and PvP), both in Small Groups (4-man) and Large Groups (raiding). Out of the three Alliances, the AD is ranked second in each of the PvE categories. For PvP, the Dominion ranks second in Solo PvP, and Small Group PvP, but takes the top spot for the number of people who want to experience Large Group PvP.
Crafters may find a good home in the Dominion, as the 53.42% of Dominion members interested in crafting tops out both other Alliances. The AD also ranks dead last in the Exploration, but pulls into first for those interested in completing Achievements. Roleplaying is also popular in the AD, as the AD ranks 2nd after the Ebonheart Pact (but only by 0.31%).
The first thing that everyone should immediately notice about this table is how utterly imbalanced the racial numbers are within the Daggerfall Covenant. While the DC, interestingly enough, has the fewest number of players who cannot decide a race, players who do know what they want to play as are all picking Bretons. The Breton race is, in terms of percentages, the most dominant race of any of the Alliances. It starts to beg the question: why are people not interested in Orcs or Redguards? I can theorize that Orcs may not appeal to many players based on appearance, but Redguards are a relatively normal human race, and those tend to be quite popular in MMOs.
When it comes to what classes people are most interested in playing, the Daggerfall Covenant is actually the most balanced of the three factions. Unlike the Aldmeri Dominion, Nightblades are not taking over the entire faction, but are rather ranked third behind the Templar and the Dragonknight. The Sorcerer rounds things up in fourth, which surprised me, especially after seeing how dominant Bretons were for the Daggerfall. Unsurprisingly, the Templar has the most traction within the Daggerfall Covenant, as it’s class design is fairly symbolic of the alliance as a whole.
When I first examined these numbers, the first thing that jumped out at me was how utterly imbalanced the class choices for Orc players are. Players who want to play an Orc are heavily favoring the Dragonknight and Templar classes, whereas the class spread for Bretons and Redguard are actually more balanced, with two small exceptions that I find interesting. Firstly, Breton’s don’t seem to be choosing the Dragonknight class anywhere near as often as they are for the other three classes, and secondly, the Sorcerer class is not a popular choice for players who want to roll Redguards.
Taking the Breton Dragonknight and Redguard Sorcerer numbers into account, as well as the massive numbers of Orcs wanting to go Dragonknight or Templar rather than Nightblade or Sorcerer, further lends evidence towards the hypothesis that a lot of class/race choices are being made based on what racial traits these three races tended to have in past Elder Scrolls games. Bretons, for example, are strong mages, so it is no surprise that they are the dominant racial choice for Sorcerers.
While Bretons are actually the most popular choice for the Templar class over the three Alliances, the Orcs have the distinct priviledge of being the race that is attracting the fewest number of players for the Nightblade and Sorcerer classes. Players who seek to play unique combinations may be tempted by these facts.
|Solo PvE||61.73%||Solo PvP||40.84%|
|Small Group PvE||74.28%||Small Group PvP||58.20%|
|Large Group PvE||55.95%||Large Group PvP||54.98%|
The Daggerfall Covenant has the distinction of being the Alliance that has the highest percentages of players who are interested in both Small Group PvE and Large Group PvE, however, for Solo PvE, the Covenant has the smallest number of people interested in it. Looking at this, I believe that as it stands now, the Daggerfall Covenant is going to be a good home for anyone interested in group-based PvE. For PvP, the DC had the smallest numbers out of the three Alliances in terms of Solo PvP and Small Group PvP, but was actually rated 2nd for Large PvP. Comparing the PvP numbers with the PvE numbers leads me to believe that the Covenant is going to be the more PvE-friendly faction.
For the other activities that are listed, Daggerfall is ranked 2nd in the percentage of players interested in crafting, 1st for players who want to explore, dead last for role-players, and 2nd for those who love to go out and earn achievements.
The results here are nothing all that surprising. I think it was a safe bet to say that Dunmer and Nords were going to be much more popular than Argonians due to TES III: Morrowind and TES V: Skyrim. Interestingly enough, the percentage of people choosing Argonians is the smallest percentage of any racial choice in all three Alliances (losing out to the Orcs of Daggerfall by slightly over a percentage point).
Though not as imbalanced as the numbers for the Aldmeri Dominion, the numbers for the class choices for Ebonheart players are nowhere near as balanced as the choices for the Daggerfall Covenant. A majority of EP players seem to flock towards the Nightblade and Dragonknight classes, but leave the Templar class far, far behind (Dragonknghts and Nightblades are about double the numbers of Templars). When comparing the numbers to the numbers of others Alliances, Templars in the Ebonheart Pact look to be as rare as a Dragonknight in the Aldmeri Dominion. It was somewhat surprising to not see Dragonknight top the charts for the Ebonheart Pact, as many players seem to associate them strongly with the faction whose sigil bears the dragon.
By now, it feels like we should be used to seeing Nightblade as a dominant class for any race, and in the Ebonheart Pact, things are no different. Argonian and Dunmer players chose Nightblade over any other class, though Sorcerer was a serious candidate for second place for Dunmer players. Nords, on the other hand, must have really enjoyed Skyrim, as Dragonknight is far and away the most popular class choice for that race, with the Nightblade coming in last place.
Nords are clearly the most popular choice for the Dragonknight race when comparing across alliances, while Argonians are the least popular choice for the Templar class.
|Solo PvE||65.65%||Solo PvP||42.66%|
|Small Group PvE||68.42%||Small Group PvP||58.20%|
|Large Group PvE||46.54%||Large Group PvP||52.63%|
The Ebonheart Pact is unique in that the numbers of players that enjoy Solo PvE are large, but for Small Group and Large Group PvE, a minority of players reported that they were interested in participating in those activities. On the PvP front, group-based PvP activities are much more appealing to EP players than Solo PvP. What these numbers tell me is that the EP is probably the most casual of the three factions when it comes to PvE-based activities, but in PvP, the EP prefers to go out in Cyrodiil and conquer obstacles in a more cooperative style.
In terms of the other activities, Ebonheart is the most popular Alliance when it comes to roleplaying, but the least poplar of the three Alliances when it comes to both crafting and completing achievements. Despite already seeing over 50% of the Ebonheart territories in both Morrowind and Skyrim, a huge majority of Pact players are looking forward to exploring in-game (though I would assume many are interested in finally getting a good look at Black Marsh).
This concludes the second part of our report on the results of our survey, and I hope that the numbers provide a good bit of thought-provoking discussion over the days, weeks, and even months to come. Are these numbers indicative of how the factions will truly play out when ESO launches? Not exactly, but I think it’s enough to give everyone some food for thought. Depending on the types of questions we receive in response to this (and the first) article, we may do a third article if there is sufficient demand. I would love to hear what you think about these numbers, so feel free to post comments with your questions, your comments, or even your own analysis of what you think these numbers mean.