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Posts with tag bartle

Bartle, gender, and the demographics of WoW's classes

A little while back the gamerDNA blog did a nice breakdown of how WAR classes correlate with how gamers do on the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, a widely used test that can break down exactly what type of player you are (Achiever, Explorer, Socializer, or Killer). It was such an interesting writeup that I hoped they'd do it with WoW classes, and apparently I wasn't the only one -- they've got a new post up now examining which classes in Azeroth align with which types of players.

They throw gender into the mix as well -- turns out that while the classes have generally the same percentage of players (not surprising, given that gameplay dictates the classes should be fairly balanced), things start to break up when you add gender to the mix. Priests and Warriors seem to have the biggest separation: according to their data (obtained via the profiles on their site), most Priests are played by females, and most Warriors are played by men. Paladins as well tend to be male, though not as much as Warriors, and Druids tend to be female, though not as much as Priests. Women also tend to prefer the elven races (Blood and Night), while guys apparently prefer Orcs and Dwarves (which helps my -- sexist, I admit -- theory from way back on the WoW Insider Show that the Dwarven starting area appeals to guys more than women).

The Bartle breakdown is interesting, too -- Killers prefer Rogues (duh), Warriors tend to be Achievers, and Hunters have the slight Explorer edge, but in general, the classes have a fairly even distribution across the board. All of the different roles can be filled by all the classes, which speaks to the way Blizzard has built the classes -- you can really solo, PvP, or group up with any of them. WAR's differences were distinct, but in WoW, Blizzard has done their best to make it so that whatever Bartle type you are, you can log in with any class and do what you want. gamerDNA promises more research here (including a Horde and Alliance breakdown), and we can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, Classes

Breakfast Topic: You're in charge

Richard Bartle (who also blogs over at Terra Nova) gained notoriety among WoW players this week for saying that if Blizzard put him in charge, he'd shut the game down for good. His point was not that he's angry at WoW, but that if players suddenly woke up without it, they'd move on to other, more interesting and varied virtual worlds. WoW is the 800 lb. gorilla in MMO gaming (and in some cases, videogaming) right now, and if Bartle could do one thing with that gorilla, he'd get it out of the picture, so other games would have a chance to shine brighter.

Yesterday on Terra Nova, he asked players the same question he was asked, and today, we'll ask it to you. If Blizzard called you up this afternoon, and said "Boy, we really love the way you're playing this game, and we want to put you in charge," what would you do? And not just in terms of the game world (although I'd love to finally buff Shamans), but in terms of the game business itself. Would you start working on a sequel, or make plans to push out expansions every six months instead of every year? Would you combine the realms together, or create an hourly payment plan instead of a monthly one?

Or would you shut the whole thing down and let players have a chance to play something else (or get back to their lives)? If you were in charge, what would you do?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Richard Bartle's famous last words


Just yesterday we were discussing an interview in the Guardian Unlimited with Richard Bartle, the well-known co-creator of the MUD. I found the interview to give us a fascinating perspective on the genre from someone who was there when it was just beginning, but at the end he made a comment about World of Warcraft which are what's making all the headlines. The Guardian Unlimited introduced the article under this title:

"I'd close World of Warcraft!" MUD creator Richard Bartle on the state of virtual worlds.

While anyone who reads the rest of the article will walk away understanding the point Bartle's attempting to make -- that the millions of people playing World of Warcraft should give other games a chance, because by having all MMO players congregate in a single game, we miss out on potential new and innovative game development -- but how many people stopped reading at the headline? Today Bartle comments on his personal blog about his thinking when answering the question:

The question used the word "major." So, what major virtual worlds are there? Well, there's WoW, and ... er ... some in Korea? Whereas 5 years ago we had several major virtual worlds (UO, EQ, AC, DAOC, AO, ...), now they're all minor compared to WoW. WoW has done a fantastic job of engaging with players, giving them a great experience, and educating them in the ways of virtual worlds. If it weren't for WoW, ... Hmm. Actually, now WoW has done all that, if it were to disappear overnight then it would be a huge boost to the rest of the industry.

It's not a totally unreasonable line of thought, but with a headline like that... Bartle wonders how many people will think that he "actually want[s] to close down WoW, and start sticking pins in their Bartle voodoo dolls as a result."

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews

The Guardian Unlimited interviews Richard Bartle


If you aren't familiar with the name Richard Bartle, you should be. He was one of the creators of the first Multi-User Dungeons back in 1978 -- the text-based precursors to modern MMOs. (Before you ask, yes, MUDs still exist, for players with the patience to read.) And Bartle shares his unique perspective to the genre with us in this interview with the Guardian Unlimited:

...[today's] virtual worlds are not as sophisticated. Yes, they have the 3D graphics, but what you can do in them as a player isn't as sophisticated as what you can do in a textual world. This means players don't have as many tools and abilities available to them within the world to enhance the experience of others.

And of World of Warcraft, Bartle says:

...I'd close it. I just want better virtual worlds. Sacrificing one of the best so its players have to seek out alternatives would be a sure-fire way to ensure that unknown gems got the chance they deserved, and that new games were developed to push back the boundaries.

Filed under: Interviews

Test your WoW quotient

tehkittyboy over on the WoW LJ passes along this WoW Purity Test. I'm not usually one for taking these online tests, but considering it had to do with WoW, I went ahead and filled it out. Just like all of these quizzes (in the great tradition of Cosmo quizzes), it's silly, but you end up with a number that you can feel good (or bad?) about. In my case: 35%. Which sounds low, but then again, maybe it's a good thing that I don't have 60 days /played on one character.

And if you're after something a little more serious, Curse points us to this slightly more academic gamer psychology test on GuildCafe. It's based on the Bartle Test, a famous test about 10 years old meant to categorize online game players into four different groups: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers. The test was originally created for players of MUDs (if you remember those), but it's now been updated for MMORPG players. According to this test, I am an SAEK, which means I'm more interested in socializing and achieving than finding new places ingame and killing other players. Is that why my WoW Purity score is so low? Who knows.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor

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