Types of Players


The photo of Belgrazer has absolutely nothing to do with this post…  I just felt like I needed some image to break up what would otherwise be a wall of text post.  Yesterday I made a post about the emotional labor it takes to be an organizer in a guild.  Then Scop and I went back and forth with a series of comments.  Firstly I don’t want it to come off like I was specifically making a post about him, or specifically directing my commentary at him.  He got to be the guinea pig because he happened to be the person responding.  The thing is…  I do get his down in the weeds point of view as a member wanting other members to respond.  It has just been in my personal experience that this doesn’t really happen unless someone is out there prodding folks into action.  One of the weird offshoots of this conversation happened in the private slack that the AggroChat podcast crew discuss things on.  Tamrielo a long time friend and similarly long in the tooth leader and organizer and I started talking about the various personalities we encountered.  I made the flippant comment that if I was pressed to do so… I could create a list of pretty much every personality I had encountered through leading guilds and raids…  and then walked away from the conversation to enter a meeting filled afternoon.  When I got out of said meetings he had done just that.  We went back and forth on a few of the points and there were a few cases I felt he had missed, but all in all he was pretty damned spot on. You can now find a revised list over on his blog that I feel is pretty close to whatever I would have cobbled together myself.  I don’t want to copy large sections of his post, but I do want to share the general bullet point list of types of folks we encountered.

  • The Socialite
  • The Drill Sergeant
  • Chill AF
  • Things Explainer
  • The Ninja
  • Side Projects
  • The Collector
  • The Griefer
  • The Devotee
  • What’s Going On Lately
  • I Got Mine
  • You Need Yours
  • My Dude
  • The Hiker and The Backpack
  • I’m Here, Now What?
  • Ready To Go
  • The Downer
  • The Positivity Cannon
  • Silent But Competent
  • Respect My _____

The thing is…  if I were pushed to do so I could probably rattle off names of players I have played with over the last two decades and tell you which of these traits they were focused on.  Most people are to some extent a “multi-class” of a bunch of these traits.  Similarly every single one of these has a positive version and a not so positive version.  “The Griefer” for example…  can be beneficial to a group by goading other people into reforming their habits or getting better at dealing with things at hand…  or they can just be a merciless asshole that only exists to sow the seeds of drama.  Similarly the “Things Explainer” walks a thin line between being overtly helpful when asked for assistance… and being a know-it-all that everyone wants to avoid catching the attention of.  The term “emotional labor” is a weird one but very apt and is often times brought up in terms of dealing with the emotional maintenance needed to keep a team going.  It is draining knowing that you need to treat each one of these people a specific way to get the results you actually want from them, and know that you are always walking a fine line between getting the positive version and the negative version.

The truth is over the years I have probably been at least part of each of these traits, and at this very moment in my life I have zero clue which one I actually embody anymore.  In most games I am very much “What’s Going On Lately” aka the “Content Locust”…  the person who swoops in and consumes the new content and then bounces pretty soon after that.  I think I have almost always been at least heavily multi-classes into “The Socialite” and “Chill AF” which is an odd blend but I definitely go through phases where I embody one over the other.  I am very much not a good “Things Explainer” because there are so many things I can do easily but could not necessarily tell you how to do them.  I feel like all of the traits that specifically focused on “competence” are not necessarily for me either because I mostly am just winging it the entire time I play a game.  I have “Collector” and “Side Projects” streaks but usually only after I have gobbled up all of the surface level content and am desperately trying to stay rooted in a game because my friends are playing it still.  Ultimately what I am trying to get at is that each of us have multiples of these traits blended together into the player profile that we ultimately are.  However your leaders…  the people who are out there watching for these things probably already have you pegged.  I am absolutely certain however that each person I talk to would probably slot me slightly different.  Regardless I highly suggest checking out Tams post because it contains a lot of good description of each of these types.

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