We haven’t talked about the old Killer-Socializer-Explorer-Achiever thing in a while. Time to drag it out and beat it again…
So to start, I would self-categorize myself as almost full on Explorer. Logic:
Killer — I don’t like being killed in an MMO. And I assume that other people don’t like being killed, either. I am, when centered, a generally nice person. I don’t like to inflict pain, suffering or unhappiness on other people. (Other people would probably not say I’m a nice person because I am often not centered, and when I’m frustrated, or angry, or sad, I’m a royal son-of-a-bitch, but we generally point our introspection lens at ourselves when we are ‘neutral’.) So I don’t like PVP because I don’t like killing other people because I assume that upsets them, and I get no pleasure out of upsetting other people.
But, curiously enough, even though I don’t like being killed, I do kind of like being in danger. It really adds something to the MMO experience when you know you can be unexpectedly attacked at any moment (in days of yore you’d have to worry about that from NPCs, but that’s not often the case these days).
Point being, I don’t put my Killer quotient at zero, but it’s pretty low. I enjoy, now and then, the thrill of running through PvP areas and having to be on the lookout constantly.
Socializer — I solo almost exclusively. I don’t chat a lot; I’m *extremely* impatient with people who are intolerant, and most MMOs are full of people who are intolerant. The irony of me being intolerant of people who are intolerant is not lost on me…I wouldn’t want to talk to me, either. 🙂 I do like to swoop in and save people in trouble; that makes me feel heroic. I do like player-driven economies and the dynamic feel that lots of players brings to a game. I love people watching, in game and out. People are strange and twisted beasts and you never know what they’ll do next.
Point here being, Socializer again very low, but not quite at zero.
And now things get really interesting.
I would self-evaluate myself as being low Achiever, and high Explorer. Or I would have, until I got into a comment thread with Tipa over gaining levels. Quick summary: Tipa thinks of leveling as a chore, and she’d just assume games not have levels. She points to Eve as a game where you can go anywhere and do anything on Day 1.
Now that baffled me. It’d be like saying you don’t like ice cream! There’s nothing wrong at all with not liking ice cream, but I just find it hard to fathom. I love gaining levels, or speaking more generally, progressing a character (levels, talents, skills, traits, gear…whatever ‘increases’ to make your character more capable).
Tipa says she is an Explorer, not an Achiever, and that explains why she feels the way she does.
It took me a few days of pushing this around in my brain before I realized that I *am* an Achiever. I never thought I was because I very, very rarely make level cap. I never log in with intent to gain more levels, but when I do get them, I smile a lot. I never raid, I never stay up past a reasonable bedtime in pursuit of a goal. I don’t feel driven my Achiever-ness. But it turns out I am an Achiever.
I’m Explorer too, but that exploration has to be tempered with Achiever goals. Give me a brand new MMO where I can toggle on god mode and fly everywhere around the world and see everything the game has to offer, and I’m done with the game in a week. To me, Exploring new parts of an MMO world is the reward for Achieving new levels. [Tangent: I love Japanese RPGs, too, even though they tend to be very linear and so not very popular in the West. I love having to ‘earn’ the next bit of the story, the next area to explore. Same basic mechanics as in my MMOs.]
All of which is why I probably don’t buy into the popular “DIKU-MUD based MMOs must DIE” sentiment that is so popular these days. I don’t play for the game mechanics, I play to Explore a new world. Once I stop regularly visiting new areas in a game, I move on to another game. The mechanics are irrelevant, and in fact I might argue that I prefer them not to change much because I don’t feel like putting in the effort to learn a new set of controls. Take WoW or EQ2, strip out the geography, lore and npcs and replace those with new geography, lore and npcs and I’ll happily repurchase as a new game.
So I think if I were to self assign my Bartle archetype, it’d be something like:
(Not that Bartle results add up to 100%)
For reference, the last time I took the test I was:
How about you? Forget the test… how do you see yourself?
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After reading such a diatribe, I can at least share with you the kinds of views I play for:
Click through for 1680×1050 wallpaper versions.