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1:32pm on Thursday, 10th February, 2011:

Not Getting Player Types


OK, that's the third game I've seen in two weeks that uses my player types model as a character class system.

Ask yourself this: if someone is an explorer, and they look at four character classes corresponding roughly to achiever, explorer, socialiser and killer, which character class will they choose? The answer is: all four of them. They'll try out each and every one of those character classes. They're explorers: they explore game systems. What did you think they explored?

What would achievers pick? Well, they'd look at the rewards on offer for each of the classes. They'd pick the one that gave them the best rewards. They wouldn't care which one it was, they'd take it. None of the other player types would even regard the "rewards" associated with classes as a factor. Why would they? They're not achievers!

What would killers pick? They'd pick the class that gave them the best opportunity to be annoying. It could be any of them. Consensual player-versus-player has its moments, but life as a killer is so much sweeter when people can't meaningfully fight back.

What would socialisers pick? Actually, in all three cases I'm thinking of, they probably would pick the socialiser-targeted class — but only because from their perspective it's the least bad. It's the only one where you get to socialise, but you only get to socialise with other socialisers in it.

Player types apply to the whole virtual world, not merely to some neatly-defined system-within-the-world.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).