There is a webpage with all the stats for people who signed up for the challenge and I like crunching numbers so I figured it could be interesting to take a look at a few metrics to see how classes have actually fared thus far when played by people who are actively participating in the challenge to see who is actually lagging behind the pack. Note that it is possible to delete a dead character and start a new one with the same name so I'd imagine there are some low level characters that died and were subsequently replaced so they don't exist in the data anymore.
|Class||Number||% of Total||Best Living||Best Dead||61-70||71-80||81-85||61+ %|
I decided to manually pull out the information above. The total number of each class in the database and the percentage of total. I found the highest level character of each class that are still alive and the highest level that was dead. I counted the number of people in each of the expansion level ranges since those feel like they should be real breakpoints. Finally I worked out how many of each class hit at least level 61 as a percentage of all characters of that class.
Hunters are clearly the best. Someone's actually managed to hit level 85 on an ironman hunter! 40% of all characters loaded into the challenge have been hunters. In terms of sheer number of players that hit at least 61 they have a massive lead but that should be expected when they have 40% of the total. As the last column shows, though, they are busting through that threshold at a better rate than any other class.
Warlock is the only other class to break through the 71 barrier. He made it all the way to 78 before dying which is actually the best of any dead character. Warlocks have the second best success rate as well. They aren't super popular with paladins and druids both clocking in more total characters.
Warrior actually doesn't seem to be doing too poorly. It's had a couple characters break the 61 mark and one even got as high as 68. Looking at the names (Ironpossible and Possibleiron) I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the same guy who did both characters. I tried to armoury the second one but it's already a level 18 night elf priest.
I worry that the sample size for a lot of these are two small. Is warrior actually ok or is that one guy just godly at playing an undergeared warrior? Since it's just one guy there's also the possibility that he's found a way to skirt the rules without getting caught by the system. I'd like to think not, but the point is with just one guy doing well with warrior we can't have a lot of confidence. Contrast that with hunter which has had 45 characters break the level 61 barrier! We can be a lot more sure that a hunter can handle outlands content.
I feel bad for the shamans. Worst in both best living and best dead character. It's been a while since I've played a shaman and I know they made a lot of totem changes but I would have thought both totems and weapon enchants would be a big help to this sort of challenge.
Priests seem similarly bad and I can't even think of what a priest could have going for it. Without talents I'd think their heals would end up really inefficient and I don't know how they'd even kill anything. Shadow word pain and wand? Are there even white wands? (The answer is yes, as I looked up an armoury profile for a level 64 mage and he has on a ilvl 35 wand. Which does less damage than his staff.)
When I first heard of the challenge I was leaning towards trying it with a hunter. I've always liked hunters, my first character was a hunter, and they seemed like they were probably the best. Having someone actually complete the challenge on a hunter greatly diminishes that desire. I'd rather be the first person to get shaman to level 44 than the second to get hunter to 85! I was thinking that mage could actually be fun. Frost bolt to slow enemies and kite them around while getting mana back. Actually casting polymorph. I think if the challenge was to level up with no gear/talents I'd give that a shot. But doing it without dying? I don't know that I trust myself to play a mage safely enough to do it without dying... Rogue or hunter may actually be my only hope since I may well be too reckless to survive without vanish or feign death.
I donno. I think I am going to give it a spin and I think I'll probably end up starting a shaman since they've done the worst so far. Assuming I can make a character with doctor or dr in the name, anyway!