They're also the three classes that even have an option of not using magic, at all (Monk has one non-caster sub-class, but it's still using magic, as Ki is explicitly magical in 5e). I guess a further test would be sub-class: Are there a lot of Totem Barbarians, EKs, & ATs, or a lot of Champions, Berserkers, and Assassins?Of the four most popular classes, three are noncasters (meaning they don't have spellcasting as part of the base class, though they might have a caster subclass). Considering there are only four noncaster classes in the game, that's pretty substantial.
That was the 4e Druid ("XOMG! That Druid! Let's cut it up into three pieces, so that no one Druid PC gets more than one Cool Thing to do, yeah, that'll learn 'em!"). The pendulum's swung back the other way.I'm surprised to see Druid so underplayed. Too weak due to design-level over-reaction to CoDzilla in 3e, maybe?
No, it's just never been a popular concept. Too 'tree hugger,' maybe, or too obscure?
I mean, I didn't start playing Druids because I saw it and went "awesome! a class for the ancient-Celtic priest/judge/seer history knows next to nothing about!" No, I read "the Druid is what the ancient Celtic Druids might have become had they survived..." in the PH, got curious, and that grew into a fascination with Cletic mythology. It also turned out to be a pretty amazing class in 1e, in certain ways - some of which are (finally) back in 5e.
Clerics were more obligatory in 1e, and armor a more decided advantage. Could have had something to do with the Cleric ranking.Long-term data from our own 1e games shows closer to a 40-25-15-15-5 split Fighter-Cleric-Thief-MU-Other.