Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gameplay stylings.

What type of gamer are you?

I have been thinking about different playstyles that you see when it comes to MMORPGs, and decided it might make an interesting post. If not… hell, it’s a content filler :p

Here is some gamer-types that I can fling off my mind. Which category do you fit into? And are there any other types you think you can make?

Power Gamer:
This category of gamer tries to squeeze the highest amount of efficiency from their character. They are not necessarily the best geared, but they will look at the most efficient way of squeezing every last drop of goodness out of their gear that seems feasible. When they get a new ability their thoughts lay in “how do I make the most efficient use of this”, or “How can I modify a spell/attack rotation to accommodate this, if it’s any good”. They are not afraid to completely ignore an ability if it doesn’t help them get the biggest numbers, or efficiency. They can naturally pick up most classes quickly and learn how to get the most out of it. These are the people you want around you at all times, assuming they don’t try to tell you how to play, or disrespect you if your not one of their clique.

Tries to get the highest DPS they can, and/or the highest DPM when you don’t want to go all out.
Healers: These are the people that are not afraid to let you drop to 25% health if they feel they can confidently give you one big heal and have the most mana regen time possible. When the rest of the raid is going OOM they are probably the ones taking over whilst you take a break.
Tank: These are the people that can tank half a dozen mobs at once with a warrior, never lose aggro unless an idiot is in the group and always have their best abilities on cooldown, or available when needed. The best warrior tanks in the game are likely in this category as it is a fairly tough class to play, and a hell of a task to master.
Similar to the Power Gamer, but perhaps less of a natural at squeezing the best from their gear, they are likely to be constantly seeking the best upgrades and gear enhancements they can find, and trying to get the biggest numbers they can, although it may not always be for the best.

Expect big numbers, but at the risk of pulling aggro or going out of mana.
Healers: Perhaps they like to keep everyone at max health, or top the healing meters by cutting off that poor druids hots?
Tanks: Not to be classist, but your likely to find a druid under this catergory. Huge health, and armour numbers. Likely to be found with stupidly high stats, but not necessarily a whole lot of skill. The gear compensates for lack of ability – a fantastic tank to be sure, but when things go wrong, they may not be able to make the snap judgment’s required to save a wipe.

Casual gamer:
This type of gamer may have a good grasp on the basics, but does not do their all to max their abilities. They may not use cooldowns when ready, or at all, they might not optimize their gear. There is nothing wrong with this, it is often a case of “altitus”, restricted play hours or just lack of practice that makes them not bash them cooldowns as soon as they are ready, or use abilities in the right situations. (For example, I know a good warrior – but on a pull they use their taunt, instead of reserving it for when they lose aggro to get it back. May seem like a good idea (sticks the target to you) but could be used better.)

DPS: They may be doing less damage than their gear disctates is possible, or not be able to cope when the going gets tough.
Healer: May be inefficient with their cast rotations resulting in early OOM, or may handle the situation ineffectively, for example, trying to heal a whole raid instead of a designated set of targets.
Tank: Adequate for most situations, especially with a good group makeup, but not likely to make MT in a raiding guild.

The rucksack:
For lack of a better title, this is the gamer that regardless of their gear or experience tends to need carried everywhere. They don’t bother to optimize their gear (or don’t know how) it is often a case that they don’t see the point because they are going for better gear, don’t have the experience or just cant handle the mental work required in doing so. The best example I have hear is a hunter that badgers the guild constantly to get into Kara runs, and when he is in is often /afk, or does significantly lower DPS than he should. He has better gear than most of the raid, but has zero enchants, and refuses to get them because he is “waiting on upgrades” this results in irritation for the RL, constant badgering and guilting of them makes them not want to take him, and when he does come – he doesn’t pull his weight. The leaders are too scared to tell him straight in case of scandal. *sigh* We all know someone(s) like this.

DPS: regardless of gearing, will not do the damage expected, or will not be able to manage what they do dish out pulling aggro, attacking the wrong target, using wrong abilities (for example, AOE against a group of elites that the tank is struggling to hold) and generally causing more harm than good.
Healer: you’ve seen them. The Circle of healing priest that spams heals for the first 30s then is out of mana and begging for an innervate. This is a prime example.
Tank: Yeah… You wont get far.
Im sure there are many more groupings we can devide into, and this list seems a little extreme, but I was just thinking of people I have grouped with – be they in PuG’s or raids, and thought about how they might be classified.

It would be rude of me to ask such a question without answering myself, so here is my response:

I see myself as a semi-Power Gamer. I dont min/max my gear, although I try to get it optimised as best I can for a reasonable price, I seem to be able to take any class and play them with at least a reasonable degree of skill, and always seem to get more DPS than my gear + spec would predict. Im far from perfect, and I know this – and I strive to learn and pickup new skills and try them out. I know a warrior that can tank pretty much anything, little groups, big groups, tough targets, is well geared and optimized for the position. As another blogger once quoted "He's Wowwiki on Vent". Knows the game inside out.

I know a damn good druid tank, but in many situations does standard bear tanking tactics instead of using the other abilities such as cast-pulls like hurricane to tank groups. Same with another warrior - he has often main tanked raids, but cant hold aggro against multiple mobs.

I know many many casual gamers, they spend much of their time dead, and lack much of the knowledge of the game, but they give it their all and generally do ok. They are happy with their lot and play for fun, and are usually good to group up with, and often, are eager to learn more.

Of course, we all know the rucksacks. These are the gamers you go out of your way to avoid working with – at least once you give up trying to help them. *flutters eyelids* It is not always their fault, just their attitude may seem like one of “I cant be bothered, you do the work and give me the lootz!”

Remember, as long as your having fun, how can your class be bad!


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