Facets Across Games

Players from the 3 games were compared using the 5 factors extracted in Facets. When players of a game score higher or lower on a certain factor than players from the other 2 games, it can mean that the player base is more motivated by that factor. For example, EQ is the least PvP oriented of the 3 games, so it is not surprising that the EQ player base scores lowest on the Grief factor. But the lower or higher scores can also mean that the game doesn't allow for expressing that factor very well. So the holistic view is that EQ players score lower on the Grief factor because the player base as whole is less Grief-seeking, but this is probably because players who score high on Grief drifted towards other games.

I offer some hunches for the differences below, but with the proviso that these are just hunches.

UO players scored significantly higher on the Immersion factor than EQ or DAOC players (F[2,2237]=9.2, p=.001; Tukey HSD: Muo(158)=7.80, Meq(1623)=7.55, Mdaoc(459)=7.40, p=.03 and p=.001 respectively). This difference is interesting because both EQ and DAOC use a 3D graphical engine and UO doesn't, so at first it may be kind of surprising that UO players score higher on Immersion. But visual immersion is not the only kind of immersion. UO has a much more intricate and complex game system that goes beyond combat, while EQ and DAOC are weaker in the non-combat department. UO allows player construction and decoration of houses, as well as more fully-fledged mercantile system and esoteric skills (such as Botany). So in the end, the UO world may be more immersive than the EQ or DAOC worlds.

EQ players scored significantly lower on the Grief factor than UO or DAOC players (F[2,2237]=11.67, p<.001: Tukey HSD: Meq(1623)=3.28, Muo(158)=3.62, Mdaoc(459)=3.45, p=.001 and p=.02 respectively). As I mentioned before, EQ is the only of the 3 games that wasn't focused on the PvP element. DAOC positioned itself to be about large scale PvP, and non-PvP UO shards were a late-game addition. So EQ probably attracts and retains players who are score lower on the Grief factor.

DAOC players scored significantly lower on the Relationship factor than EQ or UO players (F[2.2237]=25.80, p<.001: Tukey HSD: Mdaoc(459)=6.52, Meq(1623)=6.90, Muo(158)=6.85, p=.001 and p=.02 respectively). One thing that struck me when I started to play DAOC coming from EQ was how much less downtime there was. I remember back in college that I would be able to finish my reading assignments if I read between spawns, and my colleague at work who has played both commented that she used to be able to do housework while playing EQ and not while playing DAOC. But it was during the downtimes that group members would chat, so I wonder whether this lack of free time plays into the ability of friendships to develop.

Another reason is that players who score high on Relationship are less likely to leave a game when a new game comes out because it means they would have to leave behind their friends. So it is the players who score lower on Relationship that that migrate to new games. There is also a gender bias to this. So one hypothesis is that new MMORPG's that come out attract less of the existing female player base, because female players score higher on Relationship. This seems to be true for DAOC.

DAOC players scored significantly higher on the Achievement factor than EQ or UO players (F[2,2237]=26.35, p<.001: Tukey HSD: Mdaoc(459)=7.57, Meq(1623)=7.23, Muo(158)=7.02, p<.001 for both). Equipment needs upgrades more frequently in DAOC than in EQ, and the con system makes you very aware of level differences. Levels also make much more difference in DAOC than in EQ. Maybe it's something with these two elements that push the power-leveling effect, because for a while the perception was that you had to be high-level to do RvR, and so everyone was rushing to get to a high level in DAOC. It might also be the ability to one-shot/hit enemy players in DAOC - the massive damage - that influences this. Whereas as any EQ player can tell you, sometimes green mobs can kill you, and the "massive damage feeling" is dampened.

UO players scored significantly lower on the Leadership factor then EQ or DAOC players (F[2,2237]=35.19, p<.001: Tukey HSD: Muo(158)=6.00, Meq(1623)=6.69, Mdaoc(459)=6.71, p<.001 for both). I think the large scale plane/dragons raids in EQ and the fort/relic raids in DAOC attract players who like leading a large group, whereas battles never get as complex in UO. The multi-group coordination in large scale raids, and the ability to devise tactics and persuade everyone to actually follow them - all this during lag and LD's, is an impressive feat when executed well.

Copyright, March 2002, by Nicholas Yee.