How We Find The Most Popular Talent Builds
To find the most popular talent builds, the system scans both the US and EU WoW armory sites to find the talent points, glyphs, gear, enchants, and gems chosen by characters. It then sorts those according class, spec and playstyle and collates the results.
We don’t just look at any old character though! We record just the best players in all parts of the game (according to their gear).
Doesn’t this just show what the masses have chosen, and not what’s best?
Actually, no. Because there are a limited number of choices, the collective mind of all players usually migrates to the best, most accessible option for players. What’s ‘best’ (top tier raid gear, or top arena gear) is not attainable for most players so it is usually shown a little futher down the list. The same goes for enchants and gems. Enchant Weapon – Exceptional Spellpower is the most popular spell power enchant for a weapon, but it is not the best.
The best is Enchant Weapon – Mighty Spellpower. This comes second on the list even though it gives an extra 13 spell power. Why is it not the most popular? Because the mats are relatively expensive compared to it’s cheaper cousin and most people cannot justify the expense for a small gain.
Zardoz from Armory Data Mine explains the reasoning wonderfully in his post about median vs average.
While we’re looking at gear, we also record each character’s playstyle (where most of their gear has come from) because most items (in particular gear, and the talent spec) can change between PvE and PvP. You can use this as a filter to find the most appropriate build for you.