Ladder Class Distribution in Diablo II: Resurrected - Sorceress, Paladin, and Everyone Else
04.05.2022 в 11:09
With over 500,000 characters currently counted on all four Ladders since its introduction on April 28th, it's interesting to look at how the class distributions break down for the Ladders. This poses the question: has the meta for Ladder changed?
Short answer: no, at least in not in Normal (non-Hardcore) ladders. Sorceresses and Paladins have always dominated the S-tier and A-tier of Ladder recommendation lists, and it appears that, in Normal ladders at least, this is totally true. Curiously, there is more diversity in the Hardcore ladders, where you would expect players to stick to more tried-and-true builds. While Sorceress and Paladin remain popular there, there does appear to be some small movement in the meta.
For this class analysis, we only counted Level 20+ characters currently on the first week of Ladder Season 1. This eliminates mule characters, and only includes characters who have at least gotten past Act 1 and Andariel, which represents at least minimum commitment to Ladder.
Overall Character Distribution Across the Four Ladders
By far, the most popular Ladder is the Expansion Normal-- to no one's surprise.
# Over 20
Coming on the heels of the major 2.4 patch with big changes to class balance, will this translate to big changes in Ladder? Although there is a small possible shift in Hardcore with the introduction of the Summon Druid, it appears that what was dominant in Ladder before remains dominant, even after all the changes. Unfortunately, it isn't possible to inspect characters on the D2:R ladder, so we don't know exactly what impact the 2.4 changes had overall. Some people may be choosing to play Hydra Sorceress or FoH Paladin that might have picked a different spec, but one thing is clear: Sorceress and Paladin remain on top.
Class Distribution on Expansion Normal Ladder
There were 403,044 characters on the Normal Expansion server above level 20 on our survey, with 211,959 Sorceresses and 97,952 Paladins taking up over three-quarters of the character slots at 77.4% of the total population.
Necromancers were the top of the "and the rest" category with 5.2% (20,888). Druids (20,170) slightly edged out Amazons (5.0% 19,988) for fourth place, though both came out to 5% of the total, with Barbarians at 4.1% (16.334) coming in sixth and Assassins coming in last at 3.9% (15,753). The biggest difference was the gap between Amazons and Barbarians, with Necromancer, Druid, and Amazon pulling very similar numbers.
With early Magic Find being so important to long-term Ladder success, it's no real surprise that Sorceresses and Paladins would remain top choices. Nothing in the meta changed here.
Class Distribution on Expansion Hardcore Ladder
The Hardcore Expansion server was a much smaller percentage overall, but still second most populous with 27,567 characters over level 20. What's interesting here is how much more evenly distributed the classes become:
Sorceresses are a very risky choice for Hardcore, given their squishiness, but they were still the top pick with 8,103 (29.4%). Like with Normal, Paladins came in second with 5,936 (21.5%), although it was much closer on Hardcore than on Normal.
What signals a possible change for the meta is that Druids came in third with 3.496 (12.7%), which may represent the popularity of the Summon Druid build and its reputation as being a safer build for Hardcore. It's along the same lines of the Summonmancer, a perennial Hardcore favorite, which is in the same range with the Necromancer at 3.133 (11.4%). The tough Barbarian trails these builds at 3,021 (11%), and again, to no one's surprise, the Amazon and Assassin pull in sixth and seventh, with 1,977 and 1,901 characters respectively.
Since there was no 2.4 in Classic and none of the class balance changes made it to that server, we would not expect to see much change in the class distributions from years gone by. These are here as much for comparison purposes, and perhaps to encourage some people to take on a new challenge.
Class Distribution on Classic Normal Ladder
These are interesting to look at, even if the entire 20+ population of the Classic Normal Ladder (8,022) is almost half of the least popular
on the Expansion Normal server. There are no Assassins or Druids on Classic, so this will skew the distribution -- but even so, the distribution on Normal Classic is dramatically one-sided:
The fact that more than 3/4 of the players on Classic are playing Sorceresses (6,148) probably has to do with one factor: the ability to teleport. Classic players have no access to the most popular Teleport items Enigma or Naj's Puzzler. If you want to Teleport, you pretty much need to roll Sorceress. Paladins account for 14.2% (1142), dropping dramatically to 5.5% Barbarians (442), Necromancers at 2.8% (225), and Amazons at 0.8% (65) - the last such a small sliver the name wouldn't even appear on the chart.
Class Distribution on Classic Hardcore Ladder
With a mere 552 players on the Classic Hardcore ladder who are over level 20+ (and some already dead), it's definitely the place to go if you are certain of your hardcore skills and you want to be a big fish in a small pond.
Like what we saw on the Expansion Hardcore ladder, the Sorceress loses her total dominance due to her squishiness, even though a few intrepid players are willing to take on the challenge (195 characters for 35.3%). Barbarians (151, 27.4%) and Paladins (129, 23.4%) remain the top runners-up, trailed by Necromancers (49, 8.9%) and Amazons (28, 5.1%).
What was most popular remains popular on Ladder. While some builds may be favored now over others, the classes that work best on the Ladder are still its rulers. More daring souls may decide to take on new challenges and new builds, but those who are truly competitive will stick with the tried and true favorites, and largely succeed. Sorceress remains firmly dominant; evidence of this is that Sorceress remains the most popular build even in Hardcore, where the danger of running a very squishy class is outweighed by the potential rewards. Although I did not count them, there were far more grey names (dead characters) in the Sorceress hardcore ladders than appeared in lists with hardier builds.
While it's clear that some of the recent Patch 2.4 changes have improved some builds, it didn't knock the Sorceress or Paladin off the pedestal of being the premier Magic Find classes in Diablo II, and thus the most popular classes for Ladder.
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