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Myers-Briggz-Blizz Part 2:

October 3, 2011

Dear Reader,

Continuing with our last correspondence, we’re going to be taking a look at the various Myers-Briggs types and how they might interact with WoW.  Additionally, I’ll try to pull in some various NPCs and place them in their type, but I must warn you, first.  I’m no Rades, who I consider to be one of the foremost scholars of WoW lore.  I’ll be plugging along as best I can with an everyman’s knowledge, so if there’s obvious omissions or mistakes, please don’t be too surprised.

I’ll be using the Kiersey Temperments, as well, for simple labeling’s sake, though the two theories are not officially linked, and, as a revision, I’ll be making this a five part series, as I’m sick, have “real” job work to do, and am sincerely too exhausted to do more than 4 at at time (for now!).  Once again, I’ll be using Wikipedia to refresh myself (it’s been 10 years since I was in college – good lord) and for some specific vocabulary.

Inspector (ISTJ)

Inspector seems like a misnomer, to me, though I understand why it was chosen.  Watchman, perhaps, or guardian seems more appropriate, though I see how guardian and protector (the next temperment) would be too similar.  Inspectors, dear reader, keep watch over systems.  They believe in organizations, though only after careful scrutiny (inspection, one might say).  They are players of their word, and their word is law.  The guy who says he’ll stay for the three “other” bosses after downing Rajh and actually does is an inspector; they would never break their word.

In game, inspectors would be excellent dungeon mates; they’d do the boss mechanics, even if the mechanics had been nerfed to the point of irrelevance.  They’d know all the systems in the dungeons, be it trash pull mechanics, boss strategies, or where quests are turned in.  They’d work to make sure others knew it, too, and followed through.  The guy telling you not to stand in fire even though you’re doing A’lar in T12 gear is probably an inspector; in his view, not doing the fight mechanics is blasphemy against the game system.

In game, one of the most important characters in the current story line is an inspector.  Thrall believes in the systems of the world working.  He believes in the elements, so much so he’s willing to throw off his role of power and seek a solution.  He leads because others need him to, not because he particularly wants to.  He’s angry at Garrosh for what happened to Cairne, but understands it was done in a systematic way, so nothing should be done about it.  Thrall is an inspector.

Protector (ISFJ)

Protectors are very aptly named.  Protectors want nothing more than to help others.  They often go into charitable or healing roles (the game connection here becomes obvious).  Protectors do what others don’t want to because they know it has to be done, and doing it gives them pleasure through helping others.  Family is very important to protectors, as are rules; protectors dislike a lot of rules flux.  The guy in your guild who’s super loyal and friendly but is also always against changing the guild rules is probably a protector.

In game, protectors are excellent dungeon mates.  They’ll likely play a tank or healer, the roles that others try to avoid due to pressure, stress, or scrutiny.  They probably won’t say a word during the dungeon unless it’s a word of warning, and they may come off as uptight, snobby, or distant, but it’s only because they’re frequently shy.  Good guild leaders (who probably are not protectors) often like to have protectors close to them in the higher ranks to run fence-mending operations, take care of the guild bank, or handle any other somewhat unpleasant task.

On Azeroth, there are many protectors, but the one who strikes me the most is Prince Anduin.  He takes great pride in the work he does helping others, but it troubles him all the same because he knows his father wants him to be strong like he was.  He treasures the heirlooms passed to him, and passes them on reverentially when he must (see Fearbreaker – oh some real lore from me!).  He doesn’t really want to lead, but will when the time comes because he must.  Anduin is a protector.

Counselor (INFJ)

Counselors value the harmony of things.  They’re excellent listeners who work to bridge gaps between people.  They consult with opposing forces to find areas of cooperation.  They are frequently private individuals who nonetheless are able to understand complex social situations.  The guy who says nothing during a run except “Let’s just finish,” to stop some pointless argument in a pug is probably a Counselor.

Counselor players are extremely helpful in a guild.  Since they want to see harmony, they can frequently keep a cool head when others are battling it out, looking for common ground for the opposing sides to work from.  They work with people individually to solve problems, acting as an intermediary to prevent new fights from flaring up.  The guy in your guild who you complain to when you want something changed is probably a counselor.

There are many powerful examples of counselors in the game: Cairne and Jaina pop to mind as opposing faction examples.  Jaina is the one human Thrall knows he can trust because of her loyalty to the harmony of people.  When she learns of Moira Bronzebeard’s return and attempt to take Anduin hostage (from Anduin, which goes to show that Moira wasn’t so good at it), she’s willing to listen and seek a solution that benefits everyone, since Moria is the rightful heir.  She and Anduin work to put Varian at peace with his son’s capture when Varian seeks revenge.  Jaina is a counselor.

Mastermind (INTJ)

Masterminds are thinkers.  They think long and hard about ideas – any ideas – and decide which is the best for their situation.  They are very open minded in this way; solutions that may seem unacceptable to others may work for a mastermind because the outcome is what matters.  They believe that you can’t argue with results.  They avoid leadership when possible, but will step up and take the reins if it becomes obvious that they are the best person for the job.  However, it can be dangerous to have a mastermind in control because personal costs are often not a factor in their decision making process.  The guy in your guild who discusses what needs to improve to down a boss but doesn’t realize he’s upsetting the people who made the mistakes with his bluntness is probably a mastermind.

Mastermind players are necessary to have around, but can be burdensome at times.  They will know all the information about every fight and share it with anyone who they feel needs to know.  They can seem intrusive and presumptuous, inspecting a stranger’s gear in a pug and critiquing the gemming or enchants, but they also can’t see the problem, since they’re simply looking for the most efficient way to succeed.

The Banshee Queen, Sylvanas, is a mastermind.  We can see it clearly in the Gilneas introduction, where she has carefully crafted an assault against the worgen through strategy and careful planning.  When ordered not to use the plague, though, she ignores her superiors and does what, to her mind, is most efficient.  She dislikes being overseen by someone she considers an idiot and simply takes her mantle of leadership back up, deciding to do what she thinks is best.  Sylvanas is a mastermind.

As you can see, dear reader, each of these roles has positive qualities, but each can create problems, as well.  Whether it’s inspectors defending a broken system, protectors shielding corrupt family or friends, counselors butting in to business that’s not theirs, or masterminds considering lives simply a resource, there is room for trouble in each.  That said, next time you’re in a frustrating pug, try to see things from the other fellow’s point of view; they may be doing what they think is right.  Unless, of course, it’s this guy


Stubborn (and ill)


12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2011 11:06 am

    *hugs* hope you feel better soon 🙂

    I absolutely love this post 🙂
    I’m so very geekish about MBTI – I always labelled my workmates before they did the test to see if I could guess what they’d come out as (yes I was only ever wrong once, and that was because I had someone as an I who was actually an E)

    Can’t wait for more 🙂

    • October 3, 2011 4:09 pm

      I’ve done the same with some of my buddies and a few of my brighter students (when I thought they were mature enough to understand the implications). I have no idea how often I’ve been wrong, though it’s probably quite often, but it’s still a fun activity.

  2. October 3, 2011 6:15 pm

    I think I’d be a INTJ, but not really ballsy enough to call myself a Mastermind. many years ago I took the test, and a few folks laughed about me being a judger – as I expect they knew that from the very start. Great idea for a post, especially the way the interactions are framed in guild.

    • October 4, 2011 6:09 pm

      Thanks, one reason I’m doing this is to try to frame some of the “negative” guild interactions we have in a way that will help people see the other guy’s point of view. Maybe if I’d been better at that when I was younger I’d be more comfortably settled now (guild wise). As for not calling yourself a mastermind, well, I think that makes perfect sense. Masterminds don’t really want to lead, so they wouldn’t want to advertise their masterfulness. Don’t worry; it’ll be our secret (;

  3. October 4, 2011 1:44 pm

    Both posts are fantastic. Really interesting reading. When I was last tested I was INTJ but I’m really the anti-Mastermind in WoW! I probably need to be retested!

    • October 4, 2011 6:07 pm

      In the reading I mentioned from the first day about how the various letters interact, there was a lot of complicated stuff (complicated to me, at any rate) about dominance of various dichotomies. It may very well be that your dominant trait is your I(ntrovert), meaning that while you’re a mastermind, you’re still very shy about it.

      As for me being the Inspector, I’m really not terribly surprised. I’m a teacher, after all, so clearly I buy into some system, though I’ve “inspected” the current ed. system in America and find it stinks, so I do my own thing.

  4. Mangara permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:20 pm

    Great posts!

    Are you aware of the survey on these personality types that was performed last year? One of the conclusions was that the Mastermind (INTJ) was by far the most common personality type, making up almost 25% of the respondents. It was even more prevalent among the members of Paragon, at nearly half of their members. The results and analysis can be found in these two posts:

    • October 4, 2011 5:43 pm

      Actually, no, I wasn’t. I find it both fascinating as well as somewhat predictable that the top guilds would be fillied with like-minded people. Masterminds generally make up a much smaller percentage of the population, but WoW raiding, particularly with some excellence, may be self-selecting in a way. Thanks for the links!

  5. October 12, 2011 12:50 pm

    *cough* right…. I always forget my type, but Issy reminds me unfailingly. And I think you’ve got the “in game” relations down uncomfortably well.

    “they’d do the boss mechanics, even if the mechanics had been nerfed to the point of irrelevance” … “The guy telling you not to stand in fire even though you’re doing A’lar in T12 gear is probably an inspector; in his view, not doing the fight mechanics is blasphemy against the game system”

    Um. Yes.

    That’s right.

    There is no reason to slack now, just because the mechanics no longer kill anyone. It’s valuable learning experience for the next hard fight.

    Totally true that.

    • October 12, 2011 3:15 pm

      You and I sir are of one mind. I still want to CC on Moroes when we do tribute runs, much to the amusement of those with me. And I also fully agree that the practice with the mechanics are key, especially when the mechanics are mirrored in current content. It seems to me that virtually every raid boss has a majority of their abilities practicable on heroic bosses somewhere, so even if you don’t “need” to avoid the shockwave, you might as well. Blizz has turned the game into such a slot machine that everyone wants to hurry to the next lever pull rather than play, which is what’s sucked a lot of the life out of the game.

    • Kaels permalink
      October 17, 2011 4:15 pm

      But when you play old encounters perfectly by the script, they’re dull and predictable and they don’t really teach you anything you shouldn’t already have known (i.e. how not to stand in scary-looking glowing stuff). And your healers are bored to tears.

      I think it’s a lot more interesting to figure out just how far you can push things – what do you really have to do, and what can you heal through or negate with your situational utilities? That gives you real, useful practice and comes much closer to approximating the difficulty of current-content encounters.

      Chalk that up to me being an IXTP, I suppose.

    • October 17, 2011 6:00 pm

      I’d argue that they’re both practice but for opposite things. Some groups need the practice of following mechanics, whereas others need practice with spontaneity, which is more like what you describe. Both, I think, are crucial to running a successful raid, because no one ever does exactly the right thing at exactly the right time in every single encounter.

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