Last week I found a couple of web sites that really peaked my interest. In fact, I kind of wish I'd known about them prior to the 3.1 patch. One has been around quite awhile: WarcraftRealms. This site collects population statistics for all servers and you can filter based on a number of criteria. What does this have to do with crafting? Well if you're a crafter, it helps to know what classes are more popular than others. I mean, you could use your personal observations if you like. But for those who prefer facts and figures, you can check WarcraftRealms instead.
For example, on my server (Llane) I can see that on the Alliance side the most popular classes are Death Knights and Paladins. Personally, I didn't realize that Pallies were the #2 class, so this is new info to me. Also, it shows that Hunters are the #3 class, followed by Druids at #4. I probably would have guessed Mages or Warriors being ahead of Druids or Pallies. Clearly this can be handy to know if you want to increase your sales or just target your goods more effectively.
Where things get really fun is if you throw my next find into the mix: WoWPopular. This site is fairly new and has taken on the Herculean task of crawling the Armory and compiling statistics on gear popularity. They are paring the number of profiles down to some secret formula they deem "the best players" in five categories such as PVE, PVP, etc. When you use the site you can turn a number of filters on and off, including playstyle, to find all sorts of fun information. In addition to non-crafty things like spec and gear, you can focus in on areas like glyphs, enchants and gems. To me, this is a potential treasure-trove of information for crafters like us!
The big caveat being that they select the "best" for their data pool and don't give much information on how that process works. But if you're willing to overlook that and accept the information as useful anyway, you can find out some interesting stuff. I'm sure we could all easily guess that the Runed, Bold and Delicate are the most popular red gems. But did you know that the Rigid Autumn's Glow and the Brilliant Autumn's Glow are the two most popular yellow gems? I sure didn't. Not only that, both of those cuts are more popular than any orange gem! Here I always thought the orange gems were generally more popular, boy was I wrong. I also didn't know that the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond was the most popular meta gem. As I said, there's a lot of interesting information to be gleaned from this as a crafter.
Just to get the ball rolling, here's what they currently have as the Top Ten Gems for all playstyles and classes:
1. Runed Scarlet Ruby
2. Solid Sky Sapphire
3. Bold Scarlet Ruby
4. Rigid Autumn's Glow
5. Delicate Scarlet Ruby
6. Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
7. Brilliant Autumn's Glow
8. Potent Monarch Topaz
9. Balanced Twilight Opal
10. Smooth Autumn's Glow
By all means, go play around with these sites and see what you think. I think it's pretty useful to know which classes are the most popular and what gems/enchants/glyphs those classes are using. So try setting up your own lists of "most popular" items and see if it helps you focus your efforts on more marketable items. If we get enough interest in this sort of number crunching, I could add a new feature to the blog to create "Top Ten" lists for various crafted items based on this data. I'm just throwing it out there as a resource, but if it gets a strong thumbs up from the peeps we can try to work it into our normal rotation.
**UPDATE** I've received an email from a reader indicating that WarcraftRealms may be associated with Gold Sellers. This information is not confirmed, but it may be tied to their add-ons. This should not affect your use of the site, but you might not want to install their mods until we know more. Thank you.