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Motivations Assessment

The following assessment is out-dated and remains only on the site for archival purposes. An up-to-date version of the assessment is available here.

The following assessment gives you your approximate percentile rank in 5 motivational factors based on a sample of 2500 MMORPG player responses. At the end of the assessment, a visual representation of your motivations will be generated for you (similar to the one shown on the right).

For the following statements, indicate how well each describes your in-game attitudes and preferences. There are 25 statements altogether. Make sure you complete every item on this questionnaire before you click submit. This assessment is drawn from data in the Facets study.

1) I have meaningful conversations with other players in MMORPGs.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

2) I like to be immersed in a fantasy world.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

3) I like to taunt or annoy other players.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

4) I try to optimize my XP gain as much as possible.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

5) I like to be part of a group or team effort.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

6) I have learned things about myself from playing MMORPGs.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

7) I like to try out new roles and/or personalities with my characters.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

8) I like to dominate other players.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

9) I like to feel powerful in the game.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

10) I enjoy being part of a guild.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

11) I have made some good friends in MMORPGs.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

12) I like the feeling of being part of a story.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

13) I like to manipulate other players to my own benefit.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

14) It is important to me to get the best gear available.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

15) I tend to be very loyal to the guilds I am in.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

16) I talk to my friends in MMORPGs about my personal issues.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

17) I enjoy the sense of "being someone else" temporarily.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

18) I enjoy scamming other people out of their money or gear.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

19) I am very achievement-driven in the game.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

20) I have a great respect for group and guild leaders.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

21) Friends in these games have offered me support when I had a RL problem or crisis.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

22) I enjoy making up stories and histories for my character.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

23) I always get my revenge on players who piss me off.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

24) Leveling my character as quickly as possible is my top priority.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

25) I prefer team victories over individual achievements in the game.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

Posted on November 3, 2003 | Comments (29) | TrackBack (2)


Man manipulation is that much of a grief tactic huh. I think manipulation could also be part of being a leader.

To me it is essential if not completely obvious and it wouldn't make you a griefer.

There are other reasons which are benificial to the community even though they may be self centered.

Posted by: jon on November 4, 2003 4:51 AM

I have a problem with this.. Just because I'm slightly anti-social and prefer to do things by myself, such as exploring and xping, it should not affect my grief score.

I have yet to grief a player either actively or passively in a mmorpg. I'll admit that I do manipulate people, like crafters, by tipping them unnecessarily in order to get better prices from them in the future, but that alone shouldn't have been enough to bump my grief score up into the 70s..

To me, it just seems as though there's an assumed relationship between self achievement and preferred anti-grouping behaviors and griefing, and I strongly disagree with this.

Posted by: john on November 4, 2003 5:46 AM

Manipulation, Griefing, PKing or TKing--whatever you want to call it, is a bad thing. Each of us pay money to play this game. As long as you come into the game with the idea that you are going to have fun, that is what it is all about. Entering this world with the intent to deprive someone else of something, is malevolent and disrespectful.

Posted by: Phil on November 4, 2003 6:51 AM

This questionnaire seems a little slanted. I spend much of my game time exploring places and skills on my own, and I enjoy crafting ingame. I don't see evidence of these aspects of gaming being addressed in the questionnaire. For someone who doesn't use a game as a surrogate social life, almost all of the questions have to be answered negatively. Most of my scores were extremely low.

Posted by: Kat on November 4, 2003 7:19 AM

You don't get a 70 on griefing by overtipping. I got a 75% on achieving and a 5% on griefing. You don't have to abuse or manipulate people to get ahead.

Posted by: Thad on November 4, 2003 8:00 AM

I consider myself a highly ethical and principled player and I don't tolerate fools, abuse or manipulation.

I'm generous and consistently well-intended. Being a mature player (mid-30s), I don't have an axe to grind by influencing others.

Still, my grief score was over 90%.

The problem for me is not that it registered so highly, but rather the term chosen to describe that trait. Perhaps "influence" or some other neutral term would be more appropriate.

Speaking of word choice, question #18 asks asks about scamming. I felt this was poorly the negative connotations may measure something far more abstract than what the question would seem to suggest. What is "scamming?"

But then again, I don't know much about how to write objective studies.

Posted by: Terale on November 4, 2003 8:33 AM

I wonder why my post turned out looking like haiku.

Posted by: Terale on November 4, 2003 8:34 AM

Being a psychology major and sociology minor (reversing these for my post-graduate work) I think your questions need some work.

I came out as 35% grief and 25% group. This makes no sense, as I put the absolute highest degree of "disagree" to all grief questions, and just above center for most group questions.

This scale also didn't seem to accurately gauge exploration or social factors that weren't power oriented.

I think also that you are basing achievement and item gain on an (EQ) player deprivation / achievement model. There are ways to gain items other than by preventing other players from getting them. Also, in newer games, this model no longer exists and items can be gained without forced competition with other players.

I think you need to re-work the questions gauging individual motivation, social or group motivation, and exploration separately. This limited number of questions obviously doesn't gauge as accurately as the 4 factor tests people commonly see. (I think those gauge exploration, achiever, social, and um... I forget the last.)

It is an interesting idea to change the formula to 6 factors, but your test is obsiously lacking from my and other results.

Posted by: Lyxa on November 4, 2003 8:52 AM

It's strange...I answer the questions truthfully(based on my fluctuating online experience), i seem to be very low on the friend factors, and though every question that seemed to tie in with "griefing" was answered negatively(except perhaps #23, i was somewhere in the middle), i still managed to rack up a 35% griefing rating...
I've always found the surveys here to be a little vague, but for an explorer & exp. optimizer who will group when he gets the chance, but usually tends to wander alone, who tries to help other players(especially a struggling crafter in a field i've had experience with)whenever he gets the chance, has had few "great" guild experiences, but remains loyal to his guild and guildmates despite possible issues with the leadership, or the guild in general, and has made a few "good" friends here and there, but doesn't like to bring his personal issues into the game world, ending up with a 35% grief rating kinda stinks..

Posted by: Cystocot on November 4, 2003 9:18 AM

I'm often described as a casual player (I wouldnt agree), and further I'm often described as a carebear (I again wouldn't agree). And yet, this gives me a grief score of 85%. Possibly because I prefer to work alone, but that's more a fear of commitment than disdain for other players. How can a griefer operate without ever actively interacting with other players?

Posted by: Aethelgrin on November 4, 2003 9:33 AM

As usual, I score high on explorer, immersion, and grief. However, I never grief players, I just have a very, very low opinion of them.
The current player base is responsible for ruining many otherwise good games. Its a terrible shame. I cant stand the absolute morons that flock to these environments.
Just shows how terribly stupid, apathetic, and messed up people are on average these days. Being old enough to remember times when it wasnt so bad, I find reason to complain.
Its too late to get out the old painted sandwich boards that say 'the end is nigh' and ring a bell in the streets. The end is here, and nobody cares.
So all the mmorpg players out there can go to hell with the games you've ruined, because I dont play them anymore.
When a developer designs one that filters you out, I will log back in. But until then, I'm playing single player and FPS games.
If you've read this whole comment, you have a longer attention span than 99.9% of the carbon units out there, and I congratulate you on your patience.

Posted by: M. Munn on November 4, 2003 11:39 AM

Keep in mind that if you score 50% on Griefing than you are right around average among a large sample of players. Like some people have mentioned, the Grief scale is actually untied with the other scales. The questions from the Social and Achievement scale don't affect your Grief score. Having said that, I have noticed that some people have mentioned that they score higher on Grief than they should ... I wonder if #13 is where people are getting that unfair bump. But yeah, this is definitely still something very much in the works.

Posted by: Nick Yee on November 4, 2003 12:35 PM

This questionnaire did winkle out the keys to my game play...immersion and low intensity. All my scores were low, 15%, except IMM which was 55%. I play only occassionly and keep asking myself why I bother playing at all. Scores like the ones I got capture my overall disconnection to the game. What keeps luring me back,if only for a little while, is the exploration of new lands, seeing new vistas,monsters and cities. Leveling and gear are mild rewards,interacting with other players is often more trouble than it's worth, and the entire kill or be killed underpining of the game has always left me cold. Obviously I should just go back to Zork.

Posted by: ToveJ on November 4, 2003 12:46 PM

I think this survey shows a lack of knowledge about the games in general (ironically). For instance, I've seen guilds fail because the GM failed to exert ENOUGH control and manipulation over his/her member. Yet, the GM's motivations were in the best interest of the guild as a whole... Hence, a bit more "griefing" in his profile would have benifited all involved.
The survey also assumes that all characters are equally capable at all roles. I've come across some pure support characters that were real [censored], yet because of the nature of their character- were totally group dependant.
I've also got a character that's sole purpose is to farm cash... he never groups, and in fact no one wants to group w/ him... But he only exists to supply the other characters w/ freedom of choice (wealth). The other characters are all group focused... So that scews my scores toward individual achievement, even though the ultimate goal is to create better grouping members...

Posted by: DoerIdid on November 4, 2003 2:09 PM

I think this is one of the more accurate tests I've taken. I'm not just a skilled gamer, but one that also enjoys role-play. It was nice to see a test that more accurately represented questions to identify RPers. We're often the most over looked and under utilized playstyles in the MMORPG world, and yet had it not been for true RPGs like D&D and MUDs, games like EQ would not exist. More players would RP if RP was rewarded the same as combat driven players. Until game designers figure that out, we will continue to see the shooter style of play be the primary style in MMORPGs.

Posted by: Arminya on November 4, 2003 4:17 PM

By not including exploration as a motivation, the results are skewed by default since the points have to go *somewhere*. With this assessment, its possible to get a 35% grief score by answering all of the grief assessment questions with one of the two most strong negative answers. That doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: Steve on November 4, 2003 4:51 PM

Steve - the points don't "have to go somewhere". You can score 5% on every factor. The assessment doesn't assume those numbers have to add up to anything.

Posted by: Nick Yee on November 4, 2003 7:01 PM

It suprised me to find that, whilst my marks for Achievement and Immersion were as high as I expected, my Grief score was also very high.. perhaps the word 'grief' in this survey is using a different definition to the one I understand. 'Grief', to my understanding, means all those irritating and annoying habits and activities which cause other players 'grief', ie: 'Sorrow, trouble or annoyance (Oxford dictionary) all those habits and activities which I deliberately do NOT perform - and which I expect the majority of other players do NOT perform deliberately but cause accidentally.

So why the high score? Did I change my opinion just for this survey - definately NOT, or has this survey got some sort of agenda? Do the survey writers wish to create some sort of 'evidence' to back a prejudiced belief that 'grief' is a motivating factor in mmorpg players?

Posted by: Phil on November 5, 2003 2:58 AM

I think you guys are clearly griefers. You're griefing this survey.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist that clever jest.)

Posted by: Voltaire on November 5, 2003 3:23 PM

Actually, it was #8 that tripped me up in the griefing score. I misinterpreted the connotation. You may want to reconsider the wording and/or it's pertinence to griefing. Saying "The Raiders dominated the 49ers the whole game" is not the same as "The Raiders griefed the 49ers the whole game". i.e. The desire to win soundly is not the same as the desire to grief.

Posted by: sw on November 10, 2003 7:32 AM

I will post here because I always get an error when I send the form.

Relationship 15%... I have found many friends in MMORPGs but I keep my real life out of the game as much as possible. I even met a few people with whom I played. So if relationship is all about shipping real life into the game it is fine. If it means you make new friends in games and like to talk to people (ingame talk) it is just plain wrong.

Group affiliation 15%... One of the most important issues I disagree in is group leaders. I do not kneel down and praise someone just because he is a group leader nor do I think guilds/clans need a leader. The team effort is much more important. A group of people with the same interest are able to survive without a leader. Anyways guilds and groups are nice and I am always in a guild and play in groups but sometimes it is just fun to play solo.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 9, 2003 7:13 AM

Number 13 threw me off a bit too. Does it mean that you are more powerful than the other guy, or that you control him in some way?

Posted by: XB-70 on December 10, 2003 1:38 AM

I have some issues with the Grief assessment, in that there may be some difference of opinion on the definition of this, based on the game and the player. For instance, in daoc, it is one of the primary objectives to "kill enemy players on the battlefield." Does following the purpose of the game make someone a griefer? Dominating other players. Well, this can be tricky. Some people simply prefer to lead rather than follow, does this make them a griefer? Manipulating other players for their own gains. Again, tricky. I know myself as well as countless other people, only group together when it is a requirement for them to achieve their goals. So in essence, we are "using" these people, but we *also* are being used. Does this make them/us griefers?

Posted by: on January 18, 2004 7:46 AM

Yeah, I think the Grief factor should be labeled "competitveness" instead which better captures PvP issues while still measuring the factors that lead to griefing - where low Competitiveness are the people who don't PvP, mild Competitveness might lead to griefing.

Posted by: Nick Yee on January 18, 2004 12:41 PM

Errr...what is this word griefed? Do you mean grieved? some how it strikes the same chord in me as unpossible!

Posted by: Mark Brierley on January 25, 2004 2:18 AM

The survey seems to be weighted heavily toward a high Grief result. One would think that picking the middle-of-the-road response on each question should have yielded an even distribution between all scales, but doing that gave me a significant spike on the Grief scale.

To me, a grief player is one who derives enjoyment of the game from depriving others of their enjoyment of the game. It is a form of harrassment. Begging for buffs, teleports, gear, powerleveling is not grief playing unless it is done specifically to annoy. Kill stealing, ninja looting, and fraud are basically theft and also are not grief playing unless done for the annoyance value.

Frequently the grief player is taking advantage of a consequence-free environment to cause grief. Competitiveness generally only comes into the issue where the grief player must have a higher level or better gear to beat down his victims. The introduction of consequences for one's behavior always significantly reduces grief playing behavior.

Competitve players have a strong desire to win. Grief players have a strong desire to make other players lose, even if they have to take a hit to make it happen.

Posted by: Charles Baucum on January 28, 2004 8:03 AM

Remember that a 50% means that you are average among the respondents. So having a 50% Grief means you are perfectly normal.

Secondly, scoring middle-of-the-road does not get you 50% on everything because the responses from the sample of 2500 players were not normally distributed around the midpoint, nor is there any reason they should be in the real world.

Posted by: Nick Yee on January 28, 2004 12:19 PM

I play alot of mmorpgs and I test a lot of batas for them. but I don't realy agree on this test it said I had and 85% on greif wich I don't agree on I am not one of those assholes that kill steal wich pisses me off and I don't scam people. Acualy I am usely I am the one who gets kill staled so I the other player that did that to get revenge. also it said i'm not social but I am good at role playing well in any you should not be thinking on life problems you should be thinking about the game not bitching about your day went because, I don't care. See I play D and D alot and I am a dungons master and when I make up a game I try to stay away from real world events it spolies the role play. So thats all I wanted to tell you.

Posted by: tim on January 10, 2005 7:37 AM

Sorry for my bad english
The question : I like to manipulate other players to my own benefit.
Can be realy treacherous, cause i made a lots of manipulation, not to gain something but to have the job be done.
And I think it make my Grief came up, and it's realy stange because i'm a nice peaceful girl
So the 45% grief I take puzzle me (also the 55% relationship but peharps after all)
A little error in Group Affiiliation (the 2 i) on the result.

Posted by: jorille on March 22, 2005 11:12 AM
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