[Part 2] The Psychology of Players and Community That Drives Great MMOs : Gamer Types

This post is a continuation of the previous post. If you don’t get what I am talking about, do refer back to the previous post. :3

As mentioned in the previous post, there are 4 gamer types. The Achiever, Explorer, Socializer and Killer. Do mind that not all players will fall strictly into these 4 categories. Do read this post with an open mind as it is written leisurely and it is not meant to criticize anybody’s play style. 🙂

The Achiever

They will try to solo a raid boss just solely because they can enter a dungeon alone with their +10 shiny gears.

The Achievers are what we ‘normal’ and more ‘down-to-earth’ players known as ‘hard-core gamers’. Achievers strive for perfection and social status in MMOs. They are the ones that reaches the level 100 cap after 3 days, deprived of sleep. They are also the ones where you will see in the gaming headlines that features “Server’s First, YYY Has Completed XXX Dungeon/Killed XXX Boss”. They explore for the rewards not for discovery; they socialize with other players in order to get information that will enable them to gain more leverage on the game. In a PvP-centric MMO, they will kill only because it offers them points or when people stand in their way. Unlike the killers though, they don’t gain pleasure from killing other players.

Achievers usually say things like :

“Sure, I don’t mind running that dungeon with you, since I need gears there as well; plus the EXP is great.” <– not a gesture of good will in case you didn’t notice. It was for the reward lol. They will not waste their time helping if there is no benefit for them.

“Only 10k more marks to go!” <– figures that makes other players faint from the sheer amount, but you seem to be OK with it lol

If you find yourself thinking or saying something along these lines, chances are you are a Achiever.

The Explorer

“Who needs gears when you have skills?”, usually said by Explorers. A contrasting view for the Achievers which often put them at odds with the Explorers.

The Explorers are the theory-crafters or geeks of the MMO world. They are usually the ones that gets thrilled by knowing a skill/spell’s damage formula. Players whose goal is  discovering bugs also fall into the Explorer sub-type. Do you feel an incredible urge to jump down a crevice when you see one (only to be stopped by an invincible wall)? Then you might be an Explorer. Unlike the Achiever,  you don’t mind being the last in the server to be below the level cap as long as you can experience the game and discover new things. The Explorers are usually geeks in the game that seemingly knows everything going on in the game. They are also usually the one the first to answer when you ask game-related questions in the guild.  To the Explorer, be it lore, maps or skills, once they are dead set on exploring on something, everything else is secondary.

It might look similar to the Achiever, but to the Achiever the Explorer is freaking pathetic because he spends all his time focusing things in game that is not worth chasing after (map completion for example, unless map completion offers great reward; the Achiever will usually not care about it) while the Explorer sees the Achiever as a pitiful deluded zealot that is so obsess in his pursuit that he neglects the other aspect of the game.

Also unlike the Achiever and Killer, the Explorer doesn’t usually kill other players on sight. They kill with the motive to hone their skill or to test out a new combo to see its’ effectiveness. After all, for the Explorer, all they really care is exploring that uncharted area on the map and they hate it if the victim they killed; comes back with vengeance and disturbs their progress.

The Socializer


To the Socializer, the MMO is merely a backdrop and a bridge for gamers to reach out to each others. Socializers aim to forge friendships and bonds in game.

Socializers sees communication and relationship above everything in game. The Socializers are usually the most empathetic and friendly gamers you will find in game. They are always the one who strikes up conversation, asking “How is your day?” or “How is your work?” and stuffs like that. They don’t play a game for achievements or for explorations,  but for social communication and bonding. They don’t rush contents and they prefer to work with a bunch of other players to go through game contents together. Their aim in game is to forge ‘unbreakable bonds of friendship’. Killing another player is usually only resorted by the Socializer when they really have no choice but to kill. To them, killing is the biggest taboo, and they HATE killing or hurting another player unless they are in a situation where they have to defend a dear friend from getting hurt.

Little wonder why other players call them ‘care-bears’ or ‘casuals’. Not to mention that they are usually fodders for Killers.

The Killer


Killers usually prefer playing classes that has stealth and has a very high killing potential like Assassins. This away they will be able to do as they want and elude vengeful grasp of other players.

Last but not least is the killer. Everybody knows the Killer and the Killer goes by many names; griever, pk-er, that son of a bitch, bastard, mothaf*cker…etc (you get the idea). Their reputation precedes them because Killers are sick and twisted individuals who gain pleasure from dominating other players and causing them grief. Psychologically, to the Killer, the game is a medium for them to exert their strength and domination when they couldn’t in real life. So it kinda relieve the Killer’s suppressed desire to dominate when they killed other players. Even while socializing, their tendencies as a Killer shows. They mock their victims in game and call them names to taunt them. The knowledge that someone somewhere is feeling hurt and angered but unable to do anything in game; invigorates the a Killer.

Now that all is said and done. Do you identify yourself with any of the sub-types? If you don’t, then you might a special case; so be proud with your originality. =P In the next post, I will writing on how these 4 sub-types balance each other out, why each sub-type is important to the game and generally why it’s never a good idea to design a game aiming at a sub-type.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s