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Occupational Preferences

Respondents were asked to rank the appeal of 4 non-combat oriented professions. The 4 chosen professions are likely to be instantiated in many upcoming games, so it’s interesting to see how different people are drawn to them.

• A farmer or shepherd that grows crops and breeds livestock on a large plot of land. Provides base resources for crafters.
• A geologist or miner that explores different areas to locate and mine precious ores and gems for crafters and gems for spells.
• A fashion designer or stylist that provides other players with fashionable clothing, hair styles and personal flair.
• An elected governor of a town or city managing taxes and resources, and the approval and construction of new structures.

All differences shown below are significant at p<.001. The appeal column is the average rating on an 8-point scale across all respondents. This gives a rough indicator of appeal relative to each profession.

Posted on November 3, 2003 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


Do you have the actual gender breakdown of these?

Posted by: Raph on November 4, 2003 9:36 AM

I think that for the most part these roles should exist in the game and in great quantity, since the heroes of the land played by the characters should only compose a small percentage of the population. But these jobs should be played by NPCs, and should only be available to players who explicitly desire to play them. I think for most people the role would be too monotonous.

Then again, so's camping. Suum cuique pulchrum est.

Posted by: Kory Johnson on November 4, 2003 7:08 PM

Raph - the following are the means (on the 8-point scales) for men and women. The following are all p

Farmer: M=3.53, F=4.16 (t-value=-4.9)
Fashion: M=3.27, F=4.73 (t-value=-10.8)
Governor: M=4.48, F=3.16 (t-value=9.4)

Posted by: Nick Yee on November 4, 2003 8:33 PM

While K. Johnson contends that noncombat roles such as politicians, fashion and cosmetic artists etc are monotonous, I feel that they lend appeal and releif from a genre (mmorpgs) choked with the same, monotonous kill-loot-repeat with option to camp. In my view playing an agriculural farmer is no less exciting than playing a loot farmer.

It may be that traditional games have yet to iron out a good balance and remove the monotonous grind of farming experience and still lean too far towards confusing tedium with challenge. Even in huge hit games like WoW, there is far too much grind involved as you progress up the level ladder. Granted, they offer a huge and appreciated array of quests, but this is simply replacing one type of grind for another, and more often than not, the quests involve far too much of the kill-loot-repeat snorefest that got old over five years ago in older, more groundbreaking games.

Posted by: Azhrarn on December 22, 2005 10:38 PM

The difference between farming loot and farming wheat is simple and important to most people. When I kill some monster I will probably get some small amount of money and/or some useless items that I can sell for a small amount of money but I *might* get something tremendous that I've never seen before and will make me the envy of all my friends. When I harvest some wheat I might get some wheat or I might get um... nope... no mystery. I *will* get some wheat.

That's not to say that wheat farming is pointless, dull and appealing to no-one. I have played a small MMORPG (with the emphasis on RP) where I was a farmer and fisherman who found the steady growth of crops immensely satisfying. But it is a fundamentally different type of grinding.

Posted by: Toby on March 26, 2007 8:22 AM
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