Researchers study ArcheAge's beta wipe for real-world apocalypse behavior
In a recent study, a research team looked at a massive amount of data -- over 270 million player records -- from the conclusion of ArcheAge's beta. The purpose was to try to get a feel for human behavior during "end times" and draw possible parallels to what might happen in our world. While there was some anarchy and nasty behavior, the study notes that a majority of people mostly played out their remaining time in the social sphere. Quests and other progression paths were abandoned, while more players simply grouped up for fun and to take on interesting challenges.
The report's conclusions are fascinating: "We have provided additional empirical evidence in favor of the emergence of pro-social behavior. Our findings that the sentiment of social grouping specific chat channels trend towards 'happier' as the end times approach is a first indication of this pro-social behavior: existing social relationships are likely being strengthened. Further, we saw that players that stayed until the end of the world exhibited peaks in the number of small temporary groupings: new social relationships are being formed."
By the way, the title of this report is simply awesome: "I Would Not Plant Apple Trees If The World Will Be Wiped: Analyzing Hundreds of Millions of Behavioral Records of Players During An MMORPG Best Test."