Preferred Class Type

In part of the data from the most recent phase, we saw that 20% of players said that class type was the most important aspect of their character creation process, but it turns out that 67% (N = 1731) of respondents also said that they had a class type they preferred to play across games. This disparity is likely due to a general leaning towards a certain class type but it may fall as a secondary factor (i.e., they pick race first, but class type still matters to them). To get at what these class preferences were, I asked players to describe their class preference in an open-ended format. Of course, if we only asked players about preferences in their current games, we'd be constrained by those available classes (and not to mention the complication of specs). To get around this, I asked players whether there was a class type they preferred across MMOs.

500 of these responses were then coded. The main difficulty that emerged in coding these responses was that players described their preferences at different levels of abstraction. For some players, they only cared that it was a class that could cast spells. For others, only that it was a mage class. And for others, they really only wanted high DPS glass cannons. To give the best sense of what players said, I'll show here the codes at the specific level of abstraction that players used in their responses and try to group them in as coherent a way as possible (although hybrids make this difficult).

Given the large number of codes and the limited number of coded responses, I did not look into age or gender differences as the cell sizes would have been too small to be reliable.

Note: Be careful of interpreting this table as saying that healers are most popular. It's more that people conceptualize healers with fewer levels of abstraction. The rows in this table are at different levels of abstraction. In other words, the people who chose "Melee", "Tank", "DPS Melee", "Paladin", and "Melee Hybrid" would probably have all chosen the Warrior class if forced to choose one of the four classic RPG archtypes.