It's an interesting question, don't you think? As the holiday season
comes to a head, it's certainly been a question I've been mulling over
in my mind as I look back over the last year. The vast variety of
articles the target="_blank">Ten
Ton Hammer crew has written is impressive, no matter
how you look at it. The thing that's really caught my attention though
has been the number of responses we've gotten and the widely differing
opinions stated within them. Needless to say, it's gotten me wondering
why we all choose to play the games that we do.
The easy route would be to say that we play games because they're fun,
but that's too obvious (not to mention simplistic) an answer. I will
concede that, of course, we play because we find it fun, but I'm more
interested in looking at what makes different players migrate to
different play styles. The href="http://www.gamerdna.com/quizzes/bartle-test-of-gamer-psychology"
Test of Gamer Psychology is an
interesting concept, but I'm not a psychologist and since I don't have
a problem with target="_blank">torturing
a set of pixels in a game, I'm going to ignore
the test and give my own observations.
First and foremost, I think all MMOG players are social creatures by
nature. Even those who play the game as one big single player adventure
and consider themselves hermits are still social at heart. They choose
to play a game where the opportunity to interact with other people is
always a possibility, even if they choose not to. I definitely spend a
lot of my time playing solo. Despite interacting with the community
both here and in a number of games on top of occasionally going out
with friends or my wife, I'm actually a hermit by tendency. I don't
think there's anything wrong with it, and if MMOG's give people a
chance to interact with others, no matter how briefly, I say more power
style="font-style: italic;">Looks like Santa got a new
Some of us playing these games are also what Richard would call
explorers. While I'm not a fan of his test (you don't have to be a
Killer to play evil characters, Richard!), I do agree with his
assessment of this type of player. One of the reasons I love href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">Vanguard:
Saga of Heroes so much is the absolutely staggering amount of
exploration you can do. The only other game that was close to it was
Wars Galaxies. Unfortunately, we all know what happened to
Note: *cough* NGE *cough* - Sorry... had
something stuck in my throat]. In any case, I can
literally spend hours
just wandering throughout the landscape.
The first few weeks I played Vanguard, I rarely completed any of the
quests I had been given. It wasn't because they were too hard, or too
confusing, but because I'd be heading towards an objective when I'd see
something off in the vast distance I had to check out. Hidden caves,
the glow of a fire poking out of a valley in the dark of night, or even
a city on the edge of a far away cliff. I can't count how many hours I
spent just exploring for the sake of it and I loved it. I can't imagine
I'm the only one.
Some players are all about goals. Whether it is setting goals to level
at a certain pace, gain a set amount of loot, or the almighty raid
objective; I can't say I fall into this category at all, mainly because
I just don't have the time anymore. Back in the early history of
MMOG's, my list of responsibilities was far less (or so I thought) than
what it is now and I spent a disturbing amount of time playing
Even then though, I was never the raiding type. Over the
last year, there have definitely been times I wish I was, or wish I had
the time to try it out. With the new level of scripted events, the
massive size of some of the bosses, not to mention the sheer
awesomeness of the loot available to these players, I'll admit to a
small amount of envy. At this point in time though, it's just not a
possibility for me, so I'll simply keep a napkin handy to wipe up the
drool when you walk by with your Chestplate of Totally Awesome
Uberness. I think most other players fall somewhere in between the two
categories I've listed, or at least have a distinct amount of both play
styles in their hearts. Of course, there is one more category we can't
ignore, or at least, that's what every company seems to believe.
vs. Player. There, I said it. Believe it or not, I actually
don't have any problems with those that prefer this type of game play.
Initially, I thought I did, but then I discovered the joy of this game
aspect in target="_blank">Warhammer
Online. At that point, I decided rather than not
being a fan of PvP, I simply wasn't a fan of crappy PvP. Once I
accepted this, I've been at peace.
style="font-style: italic;">The Ghost of Christmas Future?
Most of these players aren't all about rubbing themselves
inappropriately while thinking about the gankfest they're going to
bestow upon some poor unsuspecting newb like all the back alley
whispering would suggest. They simply want the challenge of battling an
opponent beyond what the average MMOG's AI has been able to provide
them. The sheer unpredictability of a human is what draws them to this
style of game play and what drives them to climb that ladder to the top.
When it's all said and done, we all play games for different reasons,
but I think it's safe to say we all have a passion for gaming. Face it;
if we didn't, we wouldn't be here talking about them, or examining our
discussions over the past year. As I mentioned earlier, the sheer
amount of comments received was staggering, not to mention more varied
than the colors in a paint store. To all those that have read (and will
hopefully continue to read) the works of all the staff, I'd like to
personally say thank you. And for those special individuals that take
the time to let us know your thoughts on an article (good, bad, or
indifferent), I'd like to give you a special thank you.
We've established we're all gamers at heart, but what some people may
not realize is that the fat man at the North Pole is a huge gamer too.
In anticipation of his upcoming journey around the world, I'll leave
you with a little something special. Be careful how you behave in your
game of choice!
*Drum roll please*
10. If you were constantly surrounded by elves, you'd want a way to
kill them too.
9. He finally gets to fly something other than a flippin' reindeer.
8. Jolly St. Nick shall now be known as Olaf the Destroyer.
7. The milk and cookies aren't fattening.
6. With all those elves, he never has trouble getting a full raid
5. Gets to enter homes through a door like a normal person.
4. It's the quickest way to thin out his "Good Kids" list.
3. What else is he going to do the other 364 days a year?
2. Mrs. Claus plays a female night elf - 'nuff said.
And the number one reason Santa plays MMOG's...
1. PKing a kid is so much more satisfying than sticking coal in their