Categorizing LOTRO Forum Participants
So you're playing the LOTRO meta-game called LOTRO Forums, welcome! Here's a handy little guide to your fellow forum participants. As you might imagine, not all forum posters are the same. They differ in their interests, and their motivations, in their tone and in their techniques. Here are some of the personalities:
-- The Hapless. It is possible that the vast majority of us began "forum life" as one of the Hapless. These good folks just want to do something in game, but have no idea how. In desperation, they turn to the rest of us. Muahaha! I mean, sure, we can help! [credit Polymachos for this nice category addition]
-- The Tutors. These kind people seem to live in the forums just to help the Hapless. They go out of their way to provide answers to forum questions about the game (or how to rescue a kitten from a tree, or anything else that might crop up). [credit Polymachos for this nice category addition]
-- The Thorough. Known for their wall-of-text posts, these typically well-meaning forum inhabitants seem to have maps in their brains. Unfortunately, their X, Y, and Z axes are not always lined up. They are firm in thier beliefs and will defend them to the proverbial forum-death. They at times have difficulty admitting that they are wrong, but when they do they put saints to shame with their sudden humility. The Thorough are not afraid to tackle controversial topics, but sometimes get swept away in the heat of the moment. [credit Mar-Evayave for this nice category addition]
-- The Professors. Often viewed as a subset of the Thorough, these fine people can explain in seemingly endless detail the mechanics of stats and mitigations, perform endless damage or healing parses, and then debate the formulae used to calculate the exact effect of any skill/stat change in game. Their sheer gaming mechanics genius confuses and confounds the rest of us; we are simply glad to benefit from their insights. [credit Calta for this nice category addition]
-- The Analogeyser. These posters often reach a realization in longer discussions that nobody understands the topic besides themselves. Thankfully, these good folks feel compelled to explain the complexities using analogies they themselves often have to think through. Their posts commonly illuminate the topic using similes riddled with the word "like." On rare occasion, they dive into the less understandable metaphor, and then the fireworks really kick in, the fount of their knowledge erupting like a geyser to spout an indecipherable meaning upon their audience. [thanks to Rufkin for this nice addition -- I confess, I didn't understand it at first, but his use of analogies helped ever so much]
-- The Factual. Factuals, a.k.a. Fact-Checkers, take everything with a huge grain of salt. In fact, it's a salt truck. They doubt every post, every statement, unless backed up with hard evidence. The Factual cordially detest hearsay and assumptions and will quickly dismiss anyone using the word "fact" loosely. [thanks to Lethal for this nice new category]
-- The Professionals. These folks can hardly be playing the game, as constantly as they post... the suspicion is that, for most of them, playing the game is a thing of the past, they're more into the meta-game that is the Forum. You can recognize the Professionals in two ways: first, their posts number in the tens of thousands (!!!); and second, you will find them posting in just about every single sub-forum: if it's active, they'll be there!
-- The Hall of Famers. HoFers on the surface appear very much like Pros, but don't be fooled. They're not in it for the give-and-take...they're just trying to achieve a record number of posts. You can distinguish Hall of Famers by big post counts and tiny-little-short comments. After all, if you're in the race to 500,000 posts, you can't waste time actually using a lot of words for just '1' count; that would be silly!
-- The Magpies. There are some curious (and often adorable, if distracting) people who seem attracted to a single sentence or comment within a thread, like a magpie to a shiny object. Once aroused, these Forum denizens swoop in to grasp the thought, then chat about it merrily, completely oblivious to the broader thread topic flowing around them. [credit Calta for this nice category addition]
-- The Groupies. These are posters who only show up in a thread after Sapience or another Community Team member or Dev does. Groupies tend to enter the forums only through the "dev tracker" and rarely see any thread that doesn't crop up in that list. Once in a particular thread, Groupies stand out by trying to interact in some pleasing manner with the dev/CT member in question. Offering pie, telling them about a new song s/he wrote for them, or something else soft and fuzzy like that. Sometimes Groupies go bad, turning into...
-- The Stalkers. Like Groupies, Stalkers are found following another person from thread to thread. Unlike Groupies, Stalkers have malicious intent. They harass their target (often Sapience or a dev), badgering them for something. Some even badger for a ban...which is too often the outcome for this category of forum members.
-- The Reporters. At first, Reporters may seem to be Groupies or Stalkers. They tend to follow members of Turbine Team from thread to thread, and try to interact primarily with the CT/Dev they've followed. But their motivation is neither to love on (Groupies) nor harass (Stalkers) the Turbine employee...rather, they're trying to get the answer to a question. One which may not have anything directly to do with the currently-used thread! These are sneaky and persistent fellows, some call them Paparazzi.
-- The Disillusioned. There are those among us who, for a variety of reasons, are losing their love of playing the game--which can be very different from losing love for the game itself! Some bemoan that LOTRO has "passed its glory days," others see themselves as having "grown beyond" the game, but for whatever reason they feel disillusionment more and more strongly as time passes. They often doggedly keep playing, in hopes of rekindling the romance, or at least to enjoy whatever elements of it they still find fun while they can. Caution! The risk of evolving into the Jaded rises sharply once one is Disillusioned. [credit podgie_bear for this nice category addition]
-- The Jaded. Largely comprised of former LOTRO players, this sad crew tend to come back to the forums now and then to gloat about how great Xxxx game is and how vindicated they are that LOTRO is doing so awfully terribly poorly, or to vent at a particular "arch enemy" from days of old, or something to that effect.
-- The Pugilists. Just here to fight. Will argue with anyone. About anything. Subject not important, only the chance to show someone a good, metaphorical, knuckle sandwich.
-- The Trolls. There aren't many, esp. compared to some other game forums, but there are a few absolutely devoted trolls who love to step in from time to time just to spin things up. Some have such good hearts (in spite of their trolling nature) and good senses of humour that we forgive them their trollishness and embrace their unique perspective (TSK, being the ultimate example, of course). Others have a harsher edge, less evident kindness, and are far more difficult to appreciate. Some are outright boors. Luckily, as mentioned, it's a small band.
-- The Crows. These gamers are worshipped by all, have their own fan club, and rightly so-- because they are awesomesauce! At least, that's all true in their own minds. Just a glance at their post history reveals an abundance of crowing and self-admiration. Crows reveal themselves through the use of such terms as, "challenge mode is just too easy," or "I did that solo in just five minutes," or the perennial favorite, "You are all n00bs!" The rest of us do not deserve the grace of their presence in these forums, but they still keep coming back anyway. [credit AnnatarsGift for this nice category addition]
-- The Tin Hats. Conspiracy theorists seem to abound in all walks of life these days; LOTRO forums are no exception. [credit Whiteberry_Laurelin for this nice category addition]
-- The Lurkers. These quiet folks have been here for years reading the forums. They might have a forum account, or might not; if they do, these individuals can be identified by a terribly low post count combined with an extremely old join date. [credit mcflyvii, a self-confessed lurker, for this nice category addition]
-- The Workers. These forum members are at work during the day, which is just about the only time they ever read the forums. And though they are at work, they just can't get LOTRO out of their heads. Most of their forum time is spent either searching for pro-tips (builds, strategies, secrets, etc.) or occasionally posting in a thread they find humorous. [credit mcflyvii for this nice category addition]
-- The Moms. These fine people (men and women alike) want everyone to follow the rules, keep their hands to themselves, and be nice! Sometimes the peacemaker, sometimes the disciplinarian, always eager to show forum mates where self-improvement is possible (after all, if they don't tell you, how will you learn?!?). Now go wash out your mouth with soap and off to your room! [credit Whart for this nice addition]
-- The Tree Herders. These old timers remember the first days, when LOTRO was newly made. They took their first steps in beta or even alpha testing; Tom Bombadil is but a wee babe in their eyes! Some even remember the ancient acronym, MEO (for Middle Earth Online). Tree Herders tend to speak slowly, but history rolls off their words like a dense fog off the Withywindle. [credit AnnatarsGift for this nice category addition]
-- The Casuals. This category covers just about the rest of us. We each tend to have our own two or three (or four or five or six...) favorite sub-fora, which we check out frequently. We post when we find something that interests us, and tend to keep coming back to check out a thread often after we've gotten engaged. We like to see people respond to our ideas, and generally try not to take things the wrong way (although most of us have, at one time or another, and let things go a little too far).
-- The Turbine Team. Led by Sapience as our Community Manager, this category naturally includes anyone on Turbine Staff who engages in the forums. This group waxes and wanes; these days, Rowan (Executive Producer) and MadeofLions (Senior Dev, probably has an even cooler title I'm just not aware of) are the most frequent Turbine Team members posting, alongside Sapience, of course.
-- The NDA'd. Members of the Palantir Preview Program, any closed beta, the players' council, or any other group with privileged information about the game, who read the forums but are afraid to comment for fear of letting anything slip that they are not allowed to share. [credit Crell_1 for this nice addition]
-- The Turbine Team Wannabes. Some folks just seem to want to be on the inside of Turbine's walls looking out, or at least their forum posts sound that way. [credit Whiteberry_Laurelin for this nice category addition]
All charted out! http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/...Categories.png
EDITED to include many nice additions suggested by folks in the thread; thanks, gang.