Humans, Fighters, and Life Domain Most Popular On D&D Beyond
  • Humans, Fighters, and Life Domain Most Popular On D&D Beyond


    Yet more stats published by D&D Beyond, the official licensed Dungeons & Dragons electronic tool. Recently they revealed the most commonly viewed adventures, and the most common classes by tier on their platform. This time they're looking at how often people create characters of each race, class and subclass!




    Humans are by far the most common choice, with a total of 22% of the character made on the platform. They're followd up by Half-Elves, Tieflings, and Dragonborn. Deep Gnomes are the least popular listed, with under 1%, although the developer confirms that a lot of other races hover around 0.8%, just below it.






    This is followed up by a look at classes. Fighters come first, and druids last. The "traditional" core four - fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard - make up the top four. The developer mentions that warlocks got very popular just after Xanathar's Guide, but it has returned to normal now.





    Next it's the turn of the subclasses. The lead of the cleric's Life Domain, sorcerer's Draconic Bloodline and The Fiend (despite being a less popular class) are fairly strong. They note that the Hexblade was the most popular last time they looked, but it's down to 2.8% now.

    Of course, these are characters created on the platform, not necessarily played. Lots of people create multiple character builds for fun. According to the developer, that's 8.8 million characters in total.
    Comments 105 Comments
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Barantor View Post
      I wonder how skewed the subclass information is seeing as Basic D&D is free and the champion, thief, life and evocation subclasses are in Basic?

      I do find it interesting that half elf and tiefling are more popular than elves.
      Bingo
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by guachi View Post
      The subclass numbers are useless.

      8.4% of active characters are clerics and 10.2% of active characters are life clerics. Do you see the problem here?

      The subclass data should only include PCs of level 3 or higher in at least one class so all PCs have at least one subclass.

      It's possible there is multiclassing going on here, but the data is useless without knowing that.
      Just seen this and yes. I would guess that what they did is take the total of all characters with a subclass as their divisor for the subclass chart. That would presumably be a smaller divisor than what they used for the class info since every character has a class. If that is correct we could fix their chart and calculate how many characters don't have a subclass.

      8.8 million characters, 8.4% are clerics = 739,200 clerics. If we assume all clerics are life clerics that would mean 739,200 / 10.2% = 7,247,000 Total Characters with subclasses. That actually comes out to a minimum of maybe 17.6% of all characters made on d&d beyond don't have a subclass...

      If we assume all the other cleric subclasses total maybe 5% of clerics then we get 702240 life clerics. That would come out to 21.8% of all characters not having a subclass...

      They want to base anything on a character population where nearly 1/5 of them don't even have a subclass. WOW
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      No, 10.2% of subclasses are life clerics.

      They're are useful as much use you can make of them. Which I assume is zero. But they can be interesting for discussion's sake.



      What use do you have for the data?
      I just mathed it...

      Nearly 20% of the classes in their total population of characters don't even have a subclass. What the heck is anyone supposed to make of a population of characters where that's the case?
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      The charts make no sense - Only 8.4% of all characters are clerics but 10.2% of all characters are life domain clerics? Say what??? (It's not possible to have more life domain clerics than you have clerics).
      No, but it is possible to have a higher percentage in a separate data sample that removes characters that have not reached a level appropriate to choose a subclass, which is what has happened here.

      This data is intended to provide a broad view into relative popularity between all other individual subclasses.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I just mathed it...

      Nearly 20% of the classes in their total population of characters don't even have a subclass. What the heck is anyone supposed to make of a population of characters where that's the case?
      (a) Not everybody uses subclasses.

      (b) Lots of characters are low level.

      (c) You're not supposed to make anything of it. It's just an interesting conversation.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      No, but it is possible to have a higher percentage in a separate data sample that removes characters that have not reached a level appropriate to choose a subclass, which is what has happened here.

      This data is intended to provide a broad view into relative popularity between all other individual subclasses.
      But when 20% of your character population don't have subclasses and when all clerics, warlocks, sorcerers by definition have subclasses it kind of significantly skews the results right?
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      (a) Not everybody uses subclasses.

      (b) Lots of characters are low level.

      (c) You're not supposed to make anything of it. It's just an interesting conversation.
      a) subclasses are not an optional rule for 5e
      b) then they should have excluded characters below level 3 from the subclass breakdown
      c) yes bad data makes interesting conversations, but it also makes pointless conversations
    1. jerryrice4949's Avatar
      jerryrice4949 -
      I must admit this information supports my belief that the Swashbuckler subclass was awful. I don’t know how they ever settled on that version but it really missed the mark.
    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      But when 20% of your character population don't have subclasses and when all clerics, warlocks, sorcerers by definition have subclasses it kind of significantly skews the results right?
      You're doing calculations without all of the data. If we were presented with the whole picture, these snapshots would likely make more sense, but alas! We only have a couple of pie charts.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      But when 20% of your character population don't have subclasses and when all clerics, warlocks, sorcerers by definition have subclasses it kind of significantly skews the results right?
      I'm not going to have time to deep dive an explanation on this, but you're not thinking of the data sets how they should be considered.

      Taking an incredibly simple example, let's go with the entire population is 100 and it is composed of only Fighters and Clerics.

      There are 70 fighters and 30 clerics. The 70 fighters choose (let's say) among 10 subclasses and (let's say) equally for the example. That means that for those 10 fighters subclasses, they each only compose 7% of the total percentage of individual subclasses.

      For the 30 clerics, let's say that 20 of those are Life Domain, and the rest are Knowledge Domain (10). This gives us a final breakdown of:

      20% Life Domain, 10% Knowledge Domain, and 10 other subclasses at 7%. Even though there are only 30 total clerics compared to the 70 total fighters, Life Domain still comprises the highest individual percentage.

      Of course mileage is going to vary on any of this. The intent is to demonstrate which subclass choices are popular comparatively. If someone chooses cleric, there's a pretty high percentage they're choosing Life, same as with Draconic sorcerer. Fighter is the most popular class overall, but they have a higher number of better-represented subclasses, therefore bringing their individual percentages lower.

      It might be more helpful to consider the rankings by class I shared back in April. (This is not updated for current, but we will provide that in the near future. I couldn't figure out how to inline this, so I tried to attach.)
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
      You're doing calculations without all of the data. If we were presented with the whole picture, these snapshots would likely make more sense, but alas! We only have a couple of pie charts.
      I'm doing calculations on the data they gave us to help fill in their huge gaps. I shouldn't have to do that. But I figure it's worth combating now before I hear on every thread for the next year how D&D Beyond says XYZ is more popular. Instead I'd rather nip that in the bud and have everyone know basing anything on these couple of D&D charts is bogus.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      I'm not going to have time to deep dive an explanation on this, but you're not thinking of the data sets how they should be considered.

      Taking an incredibly simple example, let's go with the entire population is 100 and it is composed of only Fighters and Clerics.

      There are 70 fighters and 30 clerics. The 70 fighters choose (let's say) among 10 subclasses and (let's say) equally for the example. That means that for those 10 fighters subclasses, they each only compose 7% of the total percentage of individual subclasses.

      For the 30 clerics, let's say that 20 of those are Life Domain, and the rest are Knowledge Domain (10). This gives us a final breakdown of:

      20% Life Domain, 10% Knowledge Domain, and 10 other subclasses at 7%. Even though there are only 30 total clerics compared to the 70 total fighters, Life Domain still comprises the highest individual percentage.

      Of course mileage is going to vary on any of this. The intent is to demonstrate which subclass choices are popular comparatively. If someone chooses cleric, there's a pretty high percentage they're choosing Life, same as with Draconic sorcerer. Fighter is the most popular class overall, but they have a higher number of better-represented subclasses, therefore bringing their individual percentages lower.

      It might be more helpful to consider the rankings by class I shared back in April. (This is not updated for current, but we will provide that in the near future. I couldn't figure out how to inline this, so I tried to attach.)
      Wrong, that's absolutely not what the subclass chart is showing.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I'm doing calculations on the data they gave us to help fill in their huge gaps. I shouldn't have to do that.
      You don't have to do that.
    1. Ash Mantle -
      Quote Originally Posted by jerryrice4949 View Post
      I must admit this information supports my belief that the Swashbuckler subclass was awful. I don’t know how they ever settled on that version but it really missed the mark.
      I really like the swashbuckler
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      You don't have to do that.
      I really don't have much choice in the matter. It's what I do when something doesn't make sense. They provided data that doesn't make sense so I figure it out. If they provided all their data it most likely would make sense.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ash Mantle View Post
      I really like the swashbuckler
      I think it's great too.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I really don't have much choice in the matter.
      In fact, you are the *only* person who chooses what you do.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Wrong, that's absolutely not what the subclass chart is showing.
      Yes...it is?

      I guess this will be my last attempt to explain, this time with a question - do you see any single other cleric domain in the list on that chart?

      No being the answer, the reason is such a high percentage of clerics choose Life Domain that the total of that subset is higher than all the other individual subclasses for all the other classes. I can confirm that over 60% of clerics on DDB are Life Domain, and clerics have the most subclasses of any class. Only sorcerers exhibit more single-subclass dominance with Draconic comprising 65% of all sorcerers (sorcerers just have a good bit fewer total number of characters).

      Perhaps one other part you're missing is that the population for the subclasses chart already removes all characters without subclasses. Since it is looking only at relative subclass distribution, it only includes characters with subclasses. In other words, the subclasses chart does not use the same population as the classes chart.

      I tried here. I can assure you that we have an actual statistician that is doing this stuff (not me) and that it's what we see. You are making some pretty dogmatic assertions about datasets you haven't seen in detail.

      At the end of the day, you're right with some of your other comments - this information does not demonstrate any class or subclass is "better," more balanced, or anything else than another, no more than it used to mean when they shared World of Warcraft class or race distributions. Sometimes inferences can be made, but nothing is completely solid since we can't guarantee a character is being played versus just created (even though we attempt to do what we can there).

      I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      Yes...it is?

      I guess this will be my last attempt to explain, this time with a question - do you see any single other cleric domain in the list on that chart?

      No being the answer, the reason is such a high percentage of clerics choose Life Domain that the total of that subset is higher than all the other individual subclasses for all the other classes. I can confirm that over 60% of clerics on DDB are Life Domain, and clerics have the most subclasses of any class. Only sorcerers exhibit more single-subclass dominance with Draconic comprising 65% of all sorcerers (sorcerers just have a good bit fewer total number of characters).

      Perhaps one other part you're missing is that the population for the subclasses chart already removes all characters without subclasses. Since it is looking only at relative subclass distribution, it only includes characters with subclasses. In other words, the subclasses chart does not use the same population as the classes chart.

      I tried here. I can assure you that we have an actual statistician that is doing this stuff (not me) and that it's what we see. You are making some pretty dogmatic assertions about datasets you haven't seen in detail.

      At the end of the day, you're right with some of your other comments - this information does not demonstrate any class or subclass is "better," more balanced, or anything else than another, no more than it used to mean when they shared World of Warcraft class or race distributions. Sometimes inferences can be made, but nothing is completely solid since we can't guarantee a character is being played versus just created (even though we attempt to do what we can there).

      I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!
      I can prove you are incorrect.

      Look at the Barbarian subclasses. His highest is 5.1%. Even if you took all his subclasses you would get nowhere near 100% of barbarians accounted for which is what would need to be able to happen if you were correct. Thus you are incorrect.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I can prove you just blowing hot air.

      Look at the Barbarian subclasses. His highest is 5.1%. Even if you took all his subclasses you would get nowhere near 100% of barbarians accounted for which is what would need to be able to happen if you were correct. Thus you are incorrect.
      Again, very assertive for someone that does not have the complete picture of the data.

      For instance, I have not mentioned anything about multiclassing, which impacts this greatly. Taking the barbarian class for a couple of levels is actually very popular for multiclass characters, and those would not end up having a barbarian subclass yet. When looking at subclasses only, those barbarians would be removed from the dataset.

      We could absolutely remove any characters that are multi-class from these results, but there are pros and cons for doing so and we decided to keep them in for now.

      So, having the actual data in hand, I will assert that it is correct, but as with any analysis uses some assumptions and parameters that you do not have access to for reverse engineering.

      The goal of sharing these numbers is not to concretely establish camps out there in the community - it is an interesting exercise that could demonstrate player choices and trends.

      I do appreciate your thirst for accuracy and ensuring that no one out there is being bamboozled!
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