In 10 words or less. You have 15 seconds — come on, chop chop! “Sensitive literary snob gourmand likes people but not too close.” But hey, who cares? What I want to know about is you as a gamer, specifically as an MMO gamer. I’ve had a couple of days to think about this, and I’m going to try it this way.
3 things you love doing/experiencing in MMOs, 3 things you can take or leave, and 3 things you dislike in MMOs. Yes, these things tend to change somewhat over time and depending on circumstance, but I’m going to try to tease out the essentials of the experiences. I’m hoping it’ll give us a broad picture of what we’re like as gamers. It may not, and I may have to resort to sniffling pathetically or even handing out free T-shirts, but we’re not there yet. Feel free to explain your classifications; I could have limited the terms to use in order to get more “real data” but I’m partly trying to demonstrate that we’re all individuals playing these games, and besides there are plenty of much better classification sites out there (like Bartle’s well-known gamer type test, of course).
3 things I like: socialising* — harvesting — fluff**
3 things I can take or leave: crafting (it really depends on the system) — PvP/RvR — grouping
3 things I dislike: big dungeons (especially indoor ones) — zones — pillar-to-post quests***
* While I like to play solo, I don’t always like to play in a social vacuum. Good social systems (chat, friends lists, tell/online notification, etc) make a big difference in my enjoyment of a game over time. I try not to confuse sociable with group-centric — they really aren’t the same thing.
** That’s a huge category by itself and includes many things like non-combat appearance outfits, housing/decorating, mounts, companion pets, and so on.
*** You know the ones — where Bob sends you to A to do one thing, then you go back to him and he sends you back to A to do something you could have done the first time around, but you do it anyway and go back to Bob who sends you back to A again (or nearby), by which time what you really want to do is just kill Bob and be done with it. Basic quest-archetyping requires a giver and a return to the giver for the most part, but somehow some quests will make you grind your teeth while others will seem okay. The ones that make you grind your teeth as you trot back to Bob for the 15th time are the ones I’m talking about.
Looking at how many times I’ve had to edit that simple list — to refine a preference, to explain it, to move them around (I moved grouping down to “take or leave” because I don’t really hate it, I just don’t always like it and instead I added “zones” because I really do detest loading screens and every time I see one, my immersion dies a little) — I suspect I won’t be the only one. There seems to be no way to allow folks to edit their comments directly without actually becoming authors on the site, which is way too much foofery all round, so feel free to just add/edit as you see fit — or mail me and I’ll be glad to do it. (Did I just add myself to every p3nile enhancement list out there with that mailto link? Ruh roh.)
In connection with the previous couple of guilds as social systems-related posts (here and here specifically), I’m wondering if what we want from guilds is determined by what we prefer as players; well, I’m reasonably sure it is, but we’ll see. For instance, I suspect achievement-oriented players will be the most uncomfortable with the single char/multiple guild idea, because to them the idea of belonging to more than one in-game group at once (especially with a single character) will imply that allegiances and responsibilities necessarily suffer — in other words, achievement-oriented players may also prefer exclusivity in guild terms, for fairly sensible reasons. Conversely, social-oriented players will tend to prefer any system that promotes more rather than less networking. I’m not sure about killer-oriented types because I score so low in it, but I think it may be related to achievement-orientation in terms of what that player type expects from guilds and in-game social groupings. (If you’re a K, do tell!)
I just took the Bartle test again and, unsurprisingly, it hasn’t really changed much from the first time I took it in 2000, though I think back then the E and S values were swapped; either way there’s only a few percentage points between them.