[MUD-Dev] Player Types (Was Re: Anarchy Online)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Mon Aug 6 16:12:33 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


"Hanz, Rob" wrote:

> This brings up an interesting point, and one of my pet peeves with
> the "Bartle Types" in general (short version: I don't think you
> can truly understand the Bartle types without having played
> MUDII).

I also have several pet peeves when it comes to classification
etc. The prime being that it maps too closely to classic MUD
activities/commands rather than necessarily motivation. That is too
simplistic to guide design. (but a start it is)

(the activities being: pvp/attack, xp, chat, walk/look/quest)

> Is it possible that instead of 'killer', the appropriate label for
> that category should be 'competitor'?  This would give us a nice

I don't think it is.  It isn't a requirement for a killer to really
compete.  He could be quite happy being the almighty with God-like
powers nuking ants.  It isn't a requirement that killers attack
other players either, they might as well help them or organize them.
Killers may be the ones that enjoy being the protector of the realm
or those that enjoy shoving other people's faces down in the mud,
etc.

As I read the paper, the killer uses other people for his own
activity, and is motivated by that.  He is not peer with these
people, the goal is not mutual interaction.  It is unidirectional.
The pleasure is not in fighting something more challenging than
NPCs, but in nailing a "real player" to the ground.

In psychology I think you often might classify the killer as having
high nPower (need for power), and the Socialiser as having high
nAffiliation (need for affiliation). I don't quite remember, but I
think this dates back to Freud... Hmm... All the prime
activities/types except chat seems to be oriented towards
control... Ack.

Btw, in practice, killers are known to cooperate/organize
themselves!  Although maybe in a somewhat unidirectional manner?  As
in, maximizing power and avoiding humiliation, rather than a desire
to get affiliated with regular players. "Hey, if we agree not to
attack eachother then we can wipe out this MUD without ruining the
fun for eachother".  Actually I am not really sure about their
cooperative motivation, but the desire to not have solid competition
(50% chance to loose) is not entirely unlikely given the massmurder
mentality...  (they probably find anything less than a 90% chance to
win to be unsatisfactory)

What you probably would want to do is to replace world with
environment.  I.e. competitors are those that want to win as in
gaining the highest score (achievers), whether that covers PvP or
not is not all that important. True killers won't enjoy a world
without PvP or will have to find other ways to get to the meat.
Having a high formal score doesn't mean squat.  Killing 10 guys in a
row and see those lame loosers whine does. They probably would enjoy
that pinky jar though...

Well, my interpretation anyway.  I'd like to see comments. :)

--
Ola  -  http://www.notam.uio.no/~olagr/
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