90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels

D&D Beyond has released some more data mined from usage of its platform. A couple of weeks ago, it published some stats on the most viewed D&D adventures, from Dragon Heist and Strahd all the way down to Rise of Tiamat. This time, it's a look at player characters by tier of play.

D&D Beyond has released some more data mined from usage of its platform. A couple of weeks ago, it published some stats on the most viewed D&D adventures, from Dragon Heist and Strahd all the way down to Rise of Tiamat. This time, it's a look at player characters by tier of play.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 10.06.23.png



Tier 1 is levels 1-4, Tier 2 is levels 5-10, Tier 3 is levels 11-16, and Tier 4 is levels 17-20.

Tier 1 contains the most characters created on the platform (as you would expect), followed in order by Tiers 2-4. About 90% of games do not make it past the 10th level mark, as the developer notes.



Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 10.09.43.png



This chart shows that the fighter is the most common class at all tiers, followed by the rogue. At third place it switches up a bit - the wizard becomes more popular in Tiers 3-4 than in Tiers 1-2, while the cleric and ranger both have a strong presence at lower levels but drop off at higher levels.

You can find the report in the latest DDB development video below.


[video=youtube;4tuIrGLKSik]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tuIrGLKSik[/video]​
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The results are congruent with what WotC has been saying about high level play for years, hence their focus on publishing Tier 1 & 2 AP material.

Wizard's haven't made their percentages known, so it's not useful as a way to vet this data except in gross shape. That we can confirm matches up. "Yeah, more low level play than anything else".
 

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They might go over it in the video linked above, but D&DB has ways to differentiate PCs being played and test cases when they analyze the data. This is likely already correcting for test characters.

I’d be interested in looking into that since otherwise “number of characters = number of games” is a massively false premise. I’m also kinda skeptical of how accurate they could be in actual usage since I have many characters I created in DDB for games, but never used DDB in game for them - either they were PbP online, or imported to Roll20, or printed as PDFs for a one shot. Their usage would not look much different than a test character. Plus I also have multiple characters in some campaigns.

Shifting to anecdotal data of my own usage (but specific numbers to illustrate my point), I have 56 characters in DDB. 30 have never been played. 5 were NPCs (for 2 games) that I generated in DDB because I wanted them detailed. I have 3 characters that were PbP, only 1 of which was lasted long enough for me to go back and level my character, the other 2 I created, copied over to Paizo boards for reference and never accessed on DDB again. I have 8 that were part of a single one-shot (printed as PDFs for players) so were again created once and never accessed again (and therefore possibly looking just like a “test character”, many of which I also printed PDFs of). I have 4 characters I actively use in DDB during game for a campaign with just my wife that has stopped but will be picked up again later. I have 2 characters for a Dragon Heist game I’m playing with my wife while the other is paused. Another few characters from games that ended. Plus my PC from my main, regular group (level 11 and looking good for full 20) isn’t even in DDB because he’s a 3pp class.

So (if I added things right scrolling back and forth):
- 56 characters
- 45ish I only created and either never accessed again or accessed rarely, but only 2/3 were “test characters” never used
- 16 are PCs used in 6 games (or 21 & 8 with NPCs)
- 6 that I actively used DDB in game (from only 2 games)
- longest running PC isn’t even in DDB

I’m not sure the situations I’m in are really rare. Thinking of everyone I play with (in person on online), # of DDB characters and # of games, have very little relation at all.


So even thinking about usage stats they would have on the back end (and as a full time web app programmer, I can think of many), I don’t know how you could pull any reliable metric of “# of games” from DDB characters. Putting on my other hat as a PhD student, I see FAR too many confounding variables to be able to draw that conclusion with any confidence.

It is still interesting data about characters, of course, and I enjoy DDB’s data results. I just think trying to map that to data about games relies on a lot of unsupported assumptions.
 
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DQDesign

Guest
[MENTION=15700]Sacrosanct[/MENTION]

neither me or DEFCON 1 are obliged to make lists of people, also if for diametrically opposite reasons.
personally, I find "proscription lists" really creepy.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
[MENTION=15700]Sacrosanct[/MENTION]

neither me or DEFCON 1 are obliged to make lists of people, also if for diametrically opposite reasons.
personally, I find "proscription lists" really creepy.

So that's a "no" then. You can't back up your claim. If you're going to accuse people of doing X behavior, you need to back it up. Otherwise don't bring it up in the first place. And people will just assume you're making up lies to fit your biases.
 

Mr. Wilson

Explorer
I'm a little skeptical of this data for a variety of reasons including self-selecting parameters and the ability to create new characters on a whim that aren't actually used in play but as a thought exercise.

With that said, I'd say I'm not shocked by the results either as this has generally been what WoTC has claimed their data revealed.
 

Mr. Wilson

Explorer
that's my thought as well. Not only players creating level 20 from the get go, but I'd suspect those people who play to level 17 don't stop until they hit level 20. If you're gonna do 95% of the race, might as well finish, right?

My last campaign lasted until the players hit level 17 (or, they would have hit level 17 after the boss fight). After fighting an Avatar of God and defeating the BBEG, their story was completed. It took about 1 1/2 years to get from level 3 to level 17 playing about 5 hours a week with the occasional missed week.
 

D

DQDesign

Guest
[MENTION=15700]Sacrosanct[/MENTION]

I prefer to be considered a liar rather than someone who separates the world into good and bad people.
a kind of approach which produced a looot of troubles in the past.
so if the price of being someone who does not put people on a list is being considered a liar, then feel free to consider me the king of liars.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Heh... I didn't feel as though I needed to name names, as almost all of us could probably rattle off a bunch off the top of our heads. ;)

And heck, I'll even do a solid by stating that I'm probably one of the ones [MENTION=6781549]DQDesign[/MENTION] would actually put down as one of the "infallible WotC" types. Because quite frankly I don't give them any more blame nor credit that what they have produced in their books. The books are their books. If their stuff is useful, I use it. And anything I don't wish to use, I don't. And if there's other stuff I wish to have that the books don't have, I make it up. Because that is literally what they keep telling me to do. Make a ruling, don't bother demanding rules. And I take them at their word and don't blame them for making that choice and repeatedly telling me of their choice. Because if I didn't like that choice in the first place, I didn't have to play 5E.

To get angry at them for not putting in a book that which I wanted but which they chose not to is ridiculous in my opinion. And I usually have no problem pointing out how ridiculous it is. Much to the chagrin of the people who have to occasionally throw me out of particular threads because I'm sometimes not subtle enough about it. ;)
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Data matches my personal experience for a variety of reasons:

1. It's hard to keep the same people on the same campaign for the years necessary to reach high level play, whether it be interest in the same old character, or people moving on or people having kids, etc.

2. D&D adventures don't support high level play. It's great running published material, but even Out of the Abyss (up to 15th) felt like they put all their creative effort on the front end (up to level 7) and kinda shrugged like "meh" on the back end. There wasn't nearly enough content to reach the recommended finale levels and the in-depth dungeons and material was heavy-loaded for starting levels.

3. Many monster manual creatures are ill designed (and somewhat dull) for high level play, having very few powers with which to challenge a very diverse party.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
[MENTION=15700]Sacrosanct[/MENTION]

I prefer to be considered a liar rather than someone who separates the world into good and bad people.
a kind of approach which produced a looot of troubles in the past.
so if the price of being someone who does not put people on a list is being considered a liar, then feel free to consider me the king of liars.

Well, you're doubling down on the hyperbole, I'll give you that. Saying who is doing what you're accusing people of is not separating them into good or bad people. Good lord. It's simply pointing out concrete examples that support your argument. There is no judgment of their character going on. And if you can't do that, then it pretty much means you should probably reevaluate your argument in the first place on grounds of merit.
 

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