The Daily Grind: What kind of MMO achiever are you?

    
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Yesterday’s post on Richard Bartle’s new unplayer matrix got me thinking once again about my quibbles with the original Bartle quotient, which won’t surprise anyone here, least of all Bartle himself, who’s expressed similar sentiments about his early work (and specifically the test it subsequently spawned).

One thing that always bugged me is how your score masked why you picked what you picked — why you do what you do in the game as presented to you. That wouldn’t matter if people treated Bartle’s theories as descriptive, but developers apply them prescriptively (for example, in WildStar) and tailor games to attract achievers, indeed turning most game content into achiever content. As I wrote a few years ago, a player who explores every last inch of a game map would be an explorer in a game without achievements, but in a game like Guild Wars 2, she’s far more likely to be an achiever on a quest for achievement points. An old-school World of Warcraft PvPer was just as likely to PvP for twink gear and titles as for an actual drive to slay other players as a “killer.” And so on.

All of this is to suggest that in a world where most games reward achievers with the best stuff, most of us are achievers. Are you? And if so, what kind of MMO achiever are you — were you born to competition and leaderboards and prestige-acquisition, or do you “achieve” to meet your goals in other parts of the game, like a roleplayer who raids for the best cosmetics?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Anstalt

I am a socialising killer

I love playing with other people. I took on raid leading and guild leadership in order to facilitate the socialising part. But, I also love killing. In every game I play, I am for perfection in combat. Part of that means collecting the best loot, but mostly I focus on my actual gameplay skills. I aim for perfection in both PvE and PvP – I never achieve it because perfection is impossible, but that is where socialising comes back in: I just want to be better than other people!

Sadly, with the dumbing down of combat mechanics, the killing is less interesting. Ditto with socialising – too many solo-focused MMOs.

kjempff
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kjempff

I am a knowledge achiever, meaning I want to know as much game mechanics as possible. This can be how to optimize little details (if you do this, you cut 0.1 of your and gain that extra distance for one more ranged attack before the mob gets to you), or I want to understand the exact spell mechanics (is it a cone attack? will a wall block it, a tree, a stone? fire based? interrupts enemy and how long?), or where things are in the world traders, npc, mobs (ph), how to fight efficiently against variety of mobs. How other classes mechanics works (to optimize play), methods other players might use to play and adapting to that (never tell people how to play, just make the best of what you got to work with).
So, obviously this require the mmo to have depth and advanced mechanics (all mmos been going the opposite direction for a long time, simplifying/generalizing mechanics) and not to hide all these mechanics behind twitch style gameplay (same here, most mmos have been going shallower and hiding it behind effects and speed).

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mcsleaz

I spend most of my mmo time crafting / lifeskilling, but not lately cause I’ve been in Secret World Legends which has zero crafting.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

I am an accidental achiever. Primarily I’m an explorer, but only in the strict geographical sense (Bartle’s definition is somewhat broader). For me, exploration is not about achieving 100% map completion, it’s about discovery. It’s about finding little secrets in the world that most players will miss (because they’re not obvious) or ignore (because they offer no ‘meaningful’ reward).

Games like GW2 undermine exploration by tying it to achievements. ESO has a better understanding of the explorer mindset. Throughout Tamriel there are subtle clues in the environment that may (or may not) lead to little tableaus, interesting vistas and maybe a chest. I’ll always love ESO for that.

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MesaSage

I like to accumulate game currency through a combination of luck and skill.

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Robert Mann

I’m a mix of socializer and explorer. I want to have a really huge game world, with people to do things with, and rules to ensure that those who’s only focus is on killing me (or other players, rather than just mobs) can’t make the game too rough.

That said, I’m always closer to middle on these things. I like the other areas and activities well enough for the most part (although I HATE DETEST and WANT TO BURN TO ASHES gear and class based PvP. It just doesn’t work for me, at all. More than happy to PvP otherwise every now and then.)

Mainly, my problem is that I like depth and complexity. I don’t want some very simply thing that leaves me with nothing to master but macros or keyboard rotations. Even less if that is super simple and all that is left are red places on the ground to move out of.

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Little Bugbear

I like to do all the content and get my crafting up.

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fanggwj

I think the real takeaway is that when we take the test we are all a certain percentage of all of the categories. Even if we are in the 20-30% range for one of the categories we can be sold on content that uniquely blends or approaches an aspect you don’t typically gravitate towards. In Quake or Paladins, I am a killer. I am all about bragging rights for unique kills, saves, sacrifices or kill streaks.
In mmo’s I am an achiever and socializer. But I am an altoholic so I am more interested in achieving on a broad scale (race and class) rather than singular depth (level cap). And I am also social but a social loner who is adverse to formal commitment. (prompt, reliable and willing to contribute to the common good but allergic to long term scheduling)

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Dammit, I need an online survey to tell me what sort of MMO achiever I am. You mean I have to figure this out on my own? Also, where’s the forum flair that lets me tell everyone how I scored?

I fall within the right side of the chart. Mostly rock. Sometimes baby. Rockbaby.

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Tobasco da Gama

You know, looking at the original Bartle categories now, it’s pretty obvious that the test was written well before “theme parks” became an established part of the genre. What category do players who mainly just run through theme park story content fall into? Are they “exploring” a game’s story, or are they “achieving” the completion of a narrative?

Veldan
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Veldan

I think the categories still apply, because they’re about players, not about games. However, it’s true that in very linear themepark games it’s hard to see the categories, because people can’t really “fulfill” their player types if they’re not given more varied gameplay options.