Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why Thalen Doesn't PvP

Talking about collecting yesterday got me thinking about the activities I gravitate to in games, and the things I tend to avoid.  As the post title implies, PvP is pretty high on the list of activities I avoid.  It's a bit hyperbolic to claim I don't PvP at all, but given a choice I'll pretty much go with PvE content over PvP everytime unless there's a pretty compelling carrot dangled in front of me.  Why is that, though?  I've thought about it a bit, and I think the best way to explain it is to take a look at my Bartle Quotient

For those who aren't aware, Richard Bartle is one of the creators of the first MUD, and thus one of the pioneers of online gaming.  He researched the personality traits of online gamers and divided them into four main groups: Explorers, Achievers, Socializers, and Killers.  The test I linked to tries to gauge which of those groups you best fit in, and how strong your leanings are toward each.  I test as an EASK, with Explorer way ahead and Killer as a distant fourth.

The most obviously applicable trait to PvPing is Killer.  That's what it means after all, your interest in fighting and defeating other players.  It's just not that strong in me, all told.  That's not to say I don't get competitive; I absolutely do.  But I need more of a goal than the defeat of another player to keep interest for very long.  

The fact that Explorer and Achiever are my number one and two traits is part of it too.  If you think about it, those two are pretty much the single-player traits; the ones that pertain to personal growth.  You may group with others to explore places you can't reach alone, or to fight monsters that can't be soloed, but ultimately the grouping is a means to those ends.  I enjoy grouping with friends, and I'm definitely more social nowadays than I used to be, but ultimately I want to be able to go at my own pace and do my own thing.  I'm more likely to hang out in voice chat and talk with people while I'm off soloing than to actively seek a group.

None of this is to say that I actively avoid group play; far from it.  I raided actively for years in WoW, and I doubt I would have still been playing by Burning Crusade if not for having a guild of friends and my original raid to keep me coming back.  And then during Burning Crusade Belghast lured my real-life friends and I into House Stalwart, and from then on it was those connections that kept me around.

So how about you?  Does PvP get your blood pumping or leave you cold?  Would you rather be playing in a group or running off on your own?  


  1. Despite what the most hardcore PvPers experience, I don't find it to be interesting at all. It's the most predictable of all gameplay modes in my opinion, and you gain absolutely nothing from it except the thrill of a kill -- which everyone ca do, so it's not a unique feeling. And it's something everyone is already doing, so it has no novelty.

    I havent taken this test in years. I think I'll have another go. In the past I tested as Explorer, but I dont remember what the others were.

  2. I'm also quite low on the Killer percentage, and for good reason. Explorer seems to suit me best!


  3. I seriously think that the Killer primary people are getting some kind of adrenaline or dopamine hit from their brains that the rest of us aren't, when they kill someone.

    Conversely, I can sit and stare at a glorious view of a virtual landscape for minutes on end, while my brain is likely going crazy releasing good feeling stuff up there.

    1. I've often thought that it's something similar to the introvert / extrovert dichotomy, where neither can truly understand where the other is coming from because the difference is at such a fundamental level. Intellectually I understand that fans of PvP must be having a great time, but it's just not there for me.

  4. Great posting! I score high on Killer but that doesnt mean im a ganker. I rather play in warfronts and the rest of the time socialize and explore the world. im too impatient to be a hoarder or achiever im afraid :O)