Player Motivations – More than just type of Raider

Well since the issue of classifying raides is bubbling up to the surface again as we approach another patch, WotLK 3.2, I thought I would add my 2 cents to the cacophony of nerd rage that is the casual versus hardcore discussion.

The following are several recent posts on the subject that got me onto the subject for the moment.  I have been interested in this type of topic for sometime in the more general sense of what motivates a particular player at any given time.

My previous investigations into this area always in the end loop back to Bartle’s basic player types, Explorer, Socializer, Achiever and Killer.  For reference I have linked everything below.  Check them out at your leisure I will be referring to them in the rest of this post.

Blog Topic Reference

Research Reference

One thing that have changed since I last looked into this was that the basic 4 have been expanded into 8 different categories.

The original 4 were based on the 2 metrics of Acting/Interacting and Players/World.

Acting Interacting
Players Killers Socializers
World Achievers Explorers

The new adds another axis Explicit/Implicit.

Explicit Implicit
Killers Politicians Griefers
Achievers Planners Opportunists
Socializers Networkers Friends
Explorers Scientists Hackers

Now like all generalizations these still leave something to be desired and I can think of one extra dimension to add that is relevant to the WoW discussion about casual/hardcore raiders.

The Bartle breakdown of players deals with the who, what, why, where and how people play a particular game.  The missing extra dimension that is lacking and justly so since it is not anywhere close to a binary spectrum, is when.  When do people play a game and related to time how long do they play when they play?

This gets back to the very simple questions that need to be answered when writing a story be it non-fiction or fictional; Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. This also brings about a simple solution to explain why WoW is the 600K lbs. gorilla in the room. Compared to almost every other game WoW has the widest range in total to all of those questions.

Essentially it has something for everyone.

Actually another question that just occurred to me that is relevant to MMOs and not so much with creative writing, is how many, as in “How many players were involved?”  This last question is the biggest thorn to Blizzard and the Community.

  • Some like myself prefer to solo most of the time.
  • Others like a few of my friends prefer to play in small groups, especially when leveling.
  • Still others like like 10 man raid interactions.
  • And others like Lissanna and Old School raiders like the 25 man raids.
  • If we gave the option of Old School some would still like to run around in 40 Man raids.

I would expect there are current raiders that fit into all of these group size selections and this does not consider the time quotient either.  Now when all of these are considered the solution space for anything in WoW is so large that there just is some stuff that can’t be put into the game due to it being a waste of time.  I know this and I am sure other Bloggers out there realize this as well.  However there is nothing that says that we can’t still try and help improve the game and or community.

Now the other question that needs to be asked, do people raid for the raids or do they raid because that is the only path of progression available to there general playing preferences?

I know that the only reason I would raid is because everything else I like to do in WoW does not really give you anything for it.  I will get into crafting professions and ways to reward the different player types in another post.  This one is getting a bit long.

Posted in World of Warcraft