The Character Creation Process
I would like to thank Sam Natale for helping with the coding of this data set.
How do people decide what character to create? Do they always pick certain character classes? Do they carefully read through class descriptions before deciding? Do they go by their gut reaction? To get players to talk about the process they use, I asked respondents to imagine that they had just joined a new MMO and were about to start a new character. I asked them to describe the process they used to create their first character and in particular what factors were most important to them in this process. We then took the open-ended responses and came up with a set of codes and then coded through 500 responses. Below is the distribution of codes, in descending order, along with examples of what players said.
Class Type (20%) – Players in this category have a certain class type they prefer and will always go for that type when it is available.
It would be a druid caster, preferably of the healing specialty but magic DPS would work as well. [WoW, M, 41]
First and foremost I'd look at Ranged Damage Dealers, mostly mages. Look for the one that looks like it'll do the most base damage as well as being unique to its origins (IE the Herald of Xotli in Age of Conan). [Age of Conan, M, 21]
Class Abilities (17%) – Players in this category look for particular aspects of character classes that are often independent of class types. This may be the most overpowered class, the class that is most challenging to play, or the class with the most crowd control abilities. In a sense, these players are trying to maximize for a factor that is sometimes but not necessarily tied to particular classes.
I look for the race/class with the least magic and the most 'toys'. That usually ends up being the ranger or hunter class. [Pirates of the Burning Sea, M, 38]
I try to discover sort of character is good at both group and solo play, capable enough to solo without dying _TOO_ often and with at least one attribute that's desirable for groups. This is usually a combination of race and class. [EQ, F, 61]
Race Aesthetic (11%) – Players in this category look through the available races and pick the race that most interests them as their first decision.
I first look for the race I like the look of best (generally something pretty), then look for the healer class or a ranger/pet class. I pick one or the other depending on class abilities given by the particular game. My characters are always female (as I am in RL). [EQ, F, 50]
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