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[Column] General: RPG Personality Traits

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 22,955MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

For many players, the choice of the role into which they will fall in any MMO is as crucial as what their character looks like. In today's column, Genese Davis takes a look at three roles as defined in a recently released player survey. See what they are, how they play and which you are and then talk to us in the comments.

Gaming personality types are generally multifaceted and the dominance of one facet over the other is often situational. However, there are quite a few tests and quizzes out there that place player preferences and gaming personality types into different categories. In the Exploring MMOtivation column we took a close look at Dr. Bartle’s explorer gaming type, and mentioned how his test can determine whether a player falls into the explorer, killer, achiever or socializer category. 

Read more Genese Davis: RPG Personality Traits.




  • gr0und3dgr0und3d Why, CAPosts: 113Member
    Very interesting topic.  Reminds me of the Path system talked about in Wildstar.  Personally my "RPG gaming personality" is different with every character I create in every game.  I made a Jedi in SW:TOR and based him on my decisions if I were training to be a jedi (Self), I also made a sith whose only goal was to make Darth Sidius look like a carebear (Role Player).  I also have a trickster rogue in Neverwinter that strives to output as much dps as possbile, while maintaining utility to help the group, to show how good of a rogue I am (mastery).  I don't see how the test can categorize a player so simply.  Maybe I'm just weird....?
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member Common

    Lark your life?

    ** ** **

    I would expect to score pretty low on the Role type. Higher in the Self type but highest in the Mastery type. Maybe. I've spent very little time thinking about this particular aspect of gaming.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 3,560Member Rare
    Oh that's just ridiculous that is!

    Now we need tests to tell us what to play and how to play?

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member Common
    I very much identify with self. There is a norn look in gw2 that fits me perfect. The problem I have is that I wanted to play as human. I just cant though. The faces are all wrong and it just doesnt look like me. The norn on the other hand is perfect all the way around. Hair matches, nose, lips, eyes, stubble, shoulders, neck everything. My wife rolls her eyes at my Norn warrior because it looks just like me.

    On the flip side I have tried to roll a character that just isnt me at all and I cant make it ten minutes before know this just isnt going to work and I delete it.
  • Jerek_Jerek_ tulsa, OKPosts: 409Member

    interesting quiz.  I see forum topics pop up regularly about why people do or don't think its ok to play as the opposite gender-  the self/role/mastery concept seems to show why some people have issues with this.

    My only criticism is that the mastery player in the quiz is biased towards WoW style games.  Mastery in UO or Shadowbane terms would be very different than achievements and gear.  If there was a way to word the questions to determine mastery in a more general sense I think I would have had a very different result.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 3,560Member Rare
    Where is the quiz lol?
  • LJonteLJonte Portland Metro, ORPosts: 29Member
    Interesting, but I wish you'd spent a little more time exploring how the different gaming personality types might affect not just game play, but how players see games (and gaming issues) in other areas. Perhaps another column on the subject?

    -Lisa Jont

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member Uncommon
    Personally, I always have "what does the character want to do" at the front of my decision-making, even when I'm using that character to peruse an achievement.  I also enjoy imagining alts debating amongst themselves, each having a different opinion on a subject.  I'm startled at how uncomfortable some people get when they encounter actual role-playing.
  • ScambugScambug EUPosts: 571Member Uncommon

    I'm not exactly sure which category I fit in nor what anyone really means by 'identifying with your avatar'. Does it mean that you're delusional enough to trick your mind into thinking you and your avatar are one and the same person? Or does it mean you simply behave in the game the same way you would in real life, using the same moral code? If it's the former then I'd recommend an express visit to the nearest psychiatric hospital to whoever 'identifies' with his/her toon before it gets out of hand. If it's the latter then I guess I qualify as a self gamer more than anything else.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member Common
    Some of these comments are great. It's just a matter of preference not delusion. Just examine your own tendencies thats all.
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pie_Rat
     Does it mean that you're dillusional enough to trick your mind into thinking you and your avatar are one and the same person?

    I recommend this educational video: 

  • ScambugScambug EUPosts: 571Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Pie_Rat
     Does it mean that you're dillusional enough to trick your mind into thinking you and your avatar are one and the same person?

    I recommend this educational video: 

    LOL ! not sure i got your point but thanks for the good laugh :)

  • MondoA2JMondoA2J Henderson, NVPosts: 258Member
    Cute article...a little fluff to get us past the shytstorm of E3. lol

    MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!

  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member Uncommon

    I am both a Self and a role player.. I try to create an avatar who'd best represent me and what I represent out here in the real world.. I try to envision, not really the avatar being exactly ME, but a "living, breathing" entity of another world for which I posses and must care for..

    Luckily for me, most games allow me to design an avatar that carries at least SOME of the same visual traits as I, but even for the ones that don't I still connect on a level that tends to have me speak about the character in third person and not being possessive when doing so. So instead of saying "My character", or "My guy", I'll say "Vyeth is.." or "He is"..

    I try to give myself the idea that the character has his own conscience, but lacks the ability to act on his own..

    Wreck it Ralph is how I like to envision all video game characters... lol..


  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member

    Its crap like those tests that try to cram everyone into just a few categories that helped bring about the over simplified MMOs we have today.

    Trying to create just a few categories allows companies to start thinking that they do not need real depth to their games, or variety and THAT is the reason why so many companies cant figure out WHY their games are failing.

    “I hope we shall its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLPosts: 23,957Member Epic
    I don't even have to take the test to know I fall heavily into the self category.

    On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - Screw off-grid PVE boosting changes

    Pouring on extra "Salt" for 2017

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 580Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jtcgs
    Its crap like those tests that try to cram everyone into just a few categories that helped bring about the over simplified MMOs we have today. Trying to create just a few categories allows companies to start thinking that they do not need real depth to their games, or variety and THAT is the reason why so many companies cant figure out WHY their games are failing.

    In the end it's all about trying to understand the player more so they can craft a game that they enjoy more.  When you have millions and millions of players you cannot craft a game for every type of player that possibly exists.  You have to break players down into groups, decide on who your market it, and where the focus of the game lies.  Actually it is when games try to please everybody they fail because they end up being unfocused and pleasing nobody.   If you look at Wildstar this is exactly what they are doing with Paths, and that game has depth coming out it's ass.

  • GurpslordGurpslord Hutchinson, MNPosts: 350Member

    I duno, I took this quiz and it told me I was 40% self, 30% RP and 30% achievement based.  The self thing I could've told anyone from the get go, I do try to identify with my toons in each game because that makes the game world itself so much fun, after that tho it's about what I can do in the game to get better at what I do.  I have -never- role played, never want to, never intend to.  I'm the guy that leaves the backstory box blank and you'll see me avoid RP hubs like they contained an awkward plague.

    Tests like this, to me are more like the tests that tell you which FF7 character you are or which Dragonball Character you are.  They're basically meaningless things.  Anyone taking it seriously needs to seriously evaluate themselves.

  • outfctrloutfctrl Jacksonville, FLPosts: 3,619Member Uncommon
    When I pick a character I look at the role I want to play in the game and adjust as needed to fill that role.  Normally, I like to start a healer so I pick one that would fit that class.  I never look at RL characteristics because I am trying to escape it.


  • RhinotonesRhinotones BenowaPosts: 246Member Uncommon

    I'm not surprised you ranked predominately in the self category. The cover of your novel strongly resembles you. Is it a safe bet that there's other similarities besides physical with your main character Kaylie Ames?


    Thank you for the article. Any chance of sharing the link with people who have requested it here?


    Edit: I note that your profile has not logged on to this site since the start of April so I'm not sure if you send through these columns for the MMORPG staff to upload. If that is the case then it's disappointing that the author does not show an interest in the discussions generated here.


    Edit 2: link to quiz.

    p.s. 80% Mastery, 10% Self, 10% Role when I did the test.

  • TithenonTithenon Everett, WAPosts: 113Member Uncommon

    Even though I've been a role-player for the past three decades, I scored HIGH on Self (55%), followed by Role (25%) and Mastery (20%).


    What's the use of mastering anything if there's no story behind it?  I am presently playing ONLY Lord of the Rings Online, and I believe my answers are based more on how the MMORPG is constructed than an overall thought process.  I love certain characters -three of which I am presently playing in LotRO-, but I cannot actually role-play them because there are no real role-playing opportunities, whether from the game or the community.  If I had a game that at least tried to fit role-playing into it -I'm thinking ESO will actually do a lot of that, if my experiences in Oblivion were any indication-, then I'm sure my role would be much higher, likely 50%, shoving Self and Mastery lower.


    Perhaps some control questions could be introduced for that quiz, such as "Does the inherent environment of the game have an effect on how you play that game?"  Perhaps there could even be a multiple choice question about role-playing, exploring, crafting, and other elements typical to most MMOs.  I understand no one wants the quiz to be huge, but I have to say that several of those questions simply did not have any manner of satisfactory answers for me; nothing fit, so I made the best choices I could.  I would definitely love to have a more accurate quiz, though.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 3,560Member Rare

    80 Role/20 Self here.

    I didn't really need a test to tell me that lol.

    What the tests on net lack is the selector bar from selectsmart tests. That slider below the question that allows you to tell how important the question is to you(fully important gives 2x points from question and non-important gives 0,25-if any at all). This way you can be judged justly, not only by the mass weight of your questions.

    Of course, the fact that the questions are telegraphed is a big problem as well.

    Then there are tests that reportedly "test" your Keirsey-Briggs type and then they have like two choices(even a nooby booby knows that tests need at least one negative, one neutral and one positive choice-in other words an odd number of choices is a MUST).

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon
    I think this explains the players who just cannot play as the opposite gender and those who have no problem doing so. Are you a self player? You would want to play your own gender. Are you a mastery player? Then the toon is just a tool and gender is meaningless. Are you a role-player? Than you may be comfortable playing either gender ( or not), depending on your ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 292Member Uncommon

    The social gaming market has gone a ways beyond the Bartle Test, and probably a lot of the MMO companies have too.  There isn't a gamer test for it, but you might want to look at an article I wrote for Gamasutra a while back for an idea of what the marketing folks are thinking when they shape games for you these days.

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 1,994Member Uncommon

    Other than marketing and the gaming companies themselves (to tailor games/ads to bring more players in), why would anyone care about and/or want yet another psychological test?

    You play as you play. The fact that 'a'  test defines you as primarily 'self' means...nothing. It lends no insight to you other than 'I have been defined as 'Self' so lets get back to being self in game'.


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