Wings Over Atreia: Passing the personality test

As you readers know, last month I embarked on my trek to acquire some shiny new gold gear in Aion, setting my sights on Miragent armor. Of course, all of you who have already walked this path know that it takes quite a bit of doing, and as I am on task three... well, you knew there was no way I would complete it in just one week and be able to finish the series! So in the interim, we have the chance to take a small break and delve into another topic -- one that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

For any who has read up on the staff (isn't it fun being nosy!), you know that the social dynamics of gaming fascinates me. Oh, they alternately make me shake my head, LOL, and even groan, but I am enthralled just the same. Like a train wreck that rivets your attention, the social aspects of MMOs allow me to sit back and watch with detached awe, wondering how in the Seraphim Lords some things can actually transpire. I mean, did someone really just do that?! Indeed, the personalities that emerge whenever you gather a group of people together truly intrigues me, and I'd like to share with you some that I have seen running rampant in Aion.

Grab your Rorschach test and blot your way past the cut to check out these gaming personalities. Have a chuckle seeing where your friends and legion-mates (or maybe even you) fall. Any resemblance to actual gamers, past or present, is definitely intended!
Any time you get a group of people together, you get an interesting mix of personalities, and getting gamers together creates even more. While game legend Bartle gave us the Bartle test, which classifies players into categories for gaming style preferences, my focus is specifically on personality types. The following list certainly isn't exhaustive; however, it summarizes a number of the more... shall we say, colorful?... traits that we encounter throughout our travels in MMOs in general, and Atreia in particular. Gamers can go through cycles where they exhibit none, one, or multiple of these at various times.

The Drama Queen

I know, everyone could see this category coming a mile away; it can certainly support a whole article on its own (and it will, if you tune in next week). While it may need no introduction, I am going to do it anyway, because this is my article, and I can! The drama queen -- and sorry gentlemen, you can be one, too -- is defined primarily by his or her need for attention and by the method of obtaining said attention. These people are highly emotional, consistently overreacting to or greatly exaggerating the importance of trivial or benign events. These folks can also be called the MeMes, as everything has to revolve around them. And I really do mean everything. A tell-tale sign of a drama queen: You know every detail of that person's personal matters that are best discussed only in a qualified therapist's office.

The Lich King

This type of player simply drains the life out of you. OK, so all you table-toppers know that a lich doesn't actually drain life, but the title was just so much better than Wight King or Wraith King. By draining, I mean these players are totally needy: they can't/won't do anything for themselves; they never learn (or pay attention to and put in practice instruction given); and they rely on everyone else to take care of them. Google must be too advanced a tool for these players, just like the search feature on all major sites. Either that, or they are simply too lazy to do for themselves and have found that this method gets results. Their neediness and clingy-ness literally suck your will to live and game right through the keyboard.

The Almighty

No matter his level, no matter his class, this player knows everything! How many of you have been rolling along, when suddenly someone of a completely different class starts telling you exactly what you need to do to play your character? Of course, sometimes we seek and appreciate a pointer or two from others, but this personality smothers you with unsolicited (and often incorrect) advice. Which, of course, he insists you are utterly stupid not to take. There is no telling this personality that he may be in error. Oh, I pity the fool who tries to use reason with this type.

Amusingly, the let-me-tell-you-how-it-is isn't even relegated to just game mechanics! No, this character will "instruct" you on the proper way to roleplay, the proper settings for your computer, the proper technique for sitting in your chair... the list goes on.

The Oliver

More fully known as the Oliver Twist, these players embrace the motto, "Please sir, can I have some more?" In a single word, this player is the beggar, asking everyone to give him things. Free armor, extra kinah -- nothing is too brazen a request. This group doesn't want to work for anything they have; they want it handed to them. Never mind that you had to work your wings off to scrimp enough to just level-up your essence tapping -- to an oliver, you are simple a cash cow to be milked.

The Count

Yes, as in vampire, as in totally blood-thirsty. Need I say more? These players chant the mantra "red is dead." It doesn't matter if they are in an alliance of level 50s -- they will veer out of their way to kill a lone level 20. And brag about it. Maniacal laughter is optional.

The Klepto

This title is pretty self-explanatory -- these gamers are the ninja-looters. Alternatively known as vacuums, they are out for themselves, no matter what. Here's an example: My group and I were short one person for a T-labs run, so we advertised and invited another into our midst. During the run, this person wouldn't respond to us and was playing a bit erratically, and we suspected that he was not your average player. After rampant stories of possible bots joining groups just to ninja the loot, we discussed and changed loot settings to master looter on bosses, giving loot to whatever class needed it, or using /roll to greed items. Things went without a hitch at the first boss. However, at the second, our "friend" apparently decided this method wasn't acceptable, ignored requests to move with the rest of the group out into the hall, and instead hovered over the boss just waiting for the leader to stand up so the loot would became available. Finally, he moved back; we all rolled, and the instant he lost the greed item, he left group.

The vacuum is one who rushes to grab every quest item possible for himself, regardless of whoever in the group also needs the items. These people are really obvious in Dark Poeta, where you collect drana and dragel samples, although they also appear elsewhere.

The Cheese

Would you like some whine with that? These players are the ones who make you turn off LFG or even legion chat channels as well as leave vent -- they whine and complain about everything. They whine about not having a group, then whine about their group; they whine about not getting loot, then about the loot they got, then about not having the right loot, or enough loot, and so on. Nothing is ever fair -- the game, the world, the very aether is against them. And you hear about it. Constantly. iPods may be the craze, but I hear my share of broken records in Aion.

The Sailor

There are just some players who cannot seem to form a coherent sentence without adding an expletive every other word. These players don't whine about things, they bellow. And they typically like to rant and rave publicly. Things may not be fair to them, and by *%&$ golly gee, everyone is going to know. Now, I can understand getting miffed when something goes wrong, and especially at injustices. I even promote expressing yourself... but an hour-long tirade against people? Attempts at public shaming via text in an MMO are really not likely to net any results. Even lengthy diatribes on game mechanics make people roll their eyes and check sailors off as unstable. Honestly, there reaches a point at which intelligence is measured by how long you can go before uttering something the filter blocks. There truly is a plethora of words out there to use -- do we really need to hear the same four?

The Charlie

Not all gaming types are annoying. In fact, sometimes you want to have some personalities around, either for their comedic nature, or because it simply helps move things along. The charlie is one such character that can truly can be helpful; when everyone is arguing about what to do and where to go, this gamer will agree to whatever just to shut everyone up! Yes, FINE! Let's go to candy mountain. Just, let's go. Now.

The Nympho

This personality deserved a category of its own, even though many who exhibit this characteristic might also fit into the drama queen category at times. Simply put, this player likes to flirt. This includes those who are just friendly (or as some would say -- overly friendly) and ranges to those who just can't seem to get enough. Like the charlie, this personality isn't inherently negative; the real problem comes when the subtle or blatant on-screen/off-screen romances spill into and disrupt the lives of others, both in-game and out.

Variety is the spice of life, but too much just plain burns, or leaves a terrible aftertaste. As with most of these personality types, any enabling behaviors on the part of other players simply reinforce the trait (though in some cases, maybe that is the goal). In effect, we sometimes perpetuate these very personalities by breaking down, giving in, or playing along. Everyone knows that if you feed a troll, he lingers; sometimes, it is best to just ignore him. Express some tough love to your fellow Atreians. Just say no, and enjoy a bit less dramatic gaming. Well, either that, or just shut off all chat channels (except your PvP radar, of course), leave Ventrilo, and relax in the blessed peace. But then, whom can you get to come rez you?

This article was originally published on Massively.