By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), Master of the Illusion of Work
For those that don’t know, I make a living off video games. As such I’m surrounded by gamers and, with Skyrim as popular as it is and has been in the last half decade, I have had first hand experience seeing many different types of people play the game many types of ways. You would think with a game as diverse and open as Skyrim, people would eventually go back and test out new things. Yet… unless they were particularly making a strong effort, I found that even in subsequent playthroughs, most people would return to playing the game exactly how they did the first time.
The strange part about this is… the same types of personalities seemed to play the same type of characters in game. It was uncanny. Putting the two together, I recognized the extremely subtle personality test offered to gamers through Skryim. And as per wife’s request, I’m here to break down the (drum roll)
PERSONALITIES OF SKYRIM
The Triforce of Personality
For starters, let’s break down the overarching personalities identified through Skyrim in the three classes set in stone (literally).
Warriors are a particularly rare breed, at least in my circle of friends. Warriors tend to be quite extroverted in their social circles, and are used to thinking fast on their feet. They enjoy being the center of attention in any group setting. Within the warrior set of personalities are three noticeable branches.
The Heavy Hand
Players that focus primarily on two-handed weapons tend to be the blunt type. They crave the limelight of being the center of attention, and typically don’t care how they get it. I honestly find these types a bit rough to get along with… perhaps illusionists and heavy hands approach the world in far too different of a manner, though they certainly bring an undeniable energy to any setting they find themselves in. The defining characteristic of this type is their A-type forward nature when achieving goals. They’re extremely passionate people, and know how to find the shortest route from point A to B to get something done.
The Light Footed
One handed weapon users are a little less forward than their heavy handed brethren, but not all that different in their goals. They tend to wait and watch a scenario, figure out the hole that their personal intellectual prowess fits in, and then steal the center spotlight away from whoever currently has it with an interesting interjection. They also tend to skip about the room, mingling with multiple groups of people. For them it is the hunt for attention, not the extended keeping of it, that is most important.
On the lesser touched side of the warrior class of person is the metal workers that dabble in blacksmithing. These rare souls still strive to be the center of attention, but often it is through a showcase of their works, not necessarily their outgoing nature. Braggarts or high standing societies, the crafter is typically in control of the flow of any social event, or even went as far as planning it to begin with. They often know everyone’s name at the event, and make it their business to know which ways their most important guests lean on particular key issues of the day.
Mages are hard to pin down in terms of personality… intentionally so. They tend to be much deeper thinkers, and are weary of letting others get too close to them. A mage enjoys social settings as much as the next adventurer, but will typically drive the conversation to be about those they are meeting, while keeping their own secrets and mysteries to themselves. That said, mages tend to have a close circle of friends they trust completely, and love to wax poetic philosophy with them… knowing that they are on an intellectual level to understand and counterbalance the conversation properly. While these overarching themes are common among mages, their personalities are as varied as the elements in how they do so.
Much like their Heavy Handed warriors, the elementals are boisterous and, primarily, passionate about their specialty. Much like choosing to specialize in fire, ice, or lightning in game, elementals tend to master a craft in real life, and then preach the glory of it to anyone who will listen. Emphasis on preach, as their chosen craft is cared for and adorned as an aura around elemental mages like a true religion.
Speaking from personal experience on this one, the rare mages that enjoy alteration and illusion magic tend to be the mind ninjas of any social group. They carefully observe, learn all they can, and engage in social settings like a pianist weaving a powerful symphony. These social chameleons may appear as entirely different people in different social settings, crafting their persona to maximize their influence at any one time.
Conjuring Soul Masters
A truly rare breed of mage, those that delve into the depths of conjuration and restoration share as many similarities with mages as they do with thieves. While as crafty as their elemental and alteration brethren, they often lack the confidence or are just simply too introverted to act on the possibilities of this culture. As such they are intense people watchers, and ideal witnesses you can trust in recalling any memory of event. On that note of memories, conjurers tend to never forget slights made against them and tend to use their close circle to plot some nasty indirect revenge. Restorationists on the other hand just tend to brood on things till their mood sours.
Much like their Skyrim counterparts slink in the shadows, the thief avoids social interaction at all costs. They hate the spotlight, hate being put on the spot, and are happy with the quiet corner of any social outing, if their obligations will allow it. And while they can make due with cordial structured conversation in a work setting or standard interaction in their daily lives, they will go far out of their way, expending vast amounts of energy, to avoid direct confrontation. Yet there is still much that differentiates one thief from the next.
The Sharpshooting Alchemist
This is the kind of person that goes full deer in the headlights in intense social situations. They will hate you forever if you draw them into the spotlight in a group they are unfamiliar with. That said, they are incredibly skillful people when behind closed doors and allowed to work at their own pace. They have a steady hand and are often artsy, or in a skilled profession that rewards their steadiness. They have much pride in their area of expertise and try to avoid anything that isn’t their area of expertise. They also tend to get quite aggressive as a defensive mechanism should you try to force your ideas upon them when they aren’t ready to listen. Sharpshooters just want to prance through the world collecting butterflies in their personal bubble, and don’t want a damn thing to do with the dragons burning the world down in the distance.
The Sneak Thief
These sneaky thieves, masters of backstabbing with daggers, are a sort of inverse of the light foot. Sharing much in common with conjurers and restorationists, they have an amazing eye for detail and know how to use the environment around them to maximize… or minimize… their presence as they see fit. While uncomfortable in social settings, they do not simply shut them out like sharpshooters. Rather they learn all that is going on around them, including the strengths and weaknesses of those regularly in their vicinity. Crossing a sneak thief is the fastest way to be made a fool, as they know just the short quip to bring you down in front of others, before they make their elegant but hasty escape. It’s best to leave the sneak thief alone to their own devises, or stay on their good side!
The Treasure Hunter
Unlike most of these personalities, this was a harder group to identify initially. That’s because this group tends to disguise their true nature by dumping their perk points elsewhere. But their playstyle gives them away. Treasure Hunters will buy every lockpick for sale in every town they visit. They’ll spend an hour fiddling with a confusing treasure map in hopes of finding the ultimate treasure. They’ll mod their game or recruit multiple followers to load every damn iron battleaxe and drauger helmet on to drain the local merchant of their last dime, wearing their highest stated speech amulets and enchanted gear while they do it to ensure maximum profit in the process!
There’s no way around it. Treasure Hunters are hoarders. They live for the sentimental, and have eagle eyes to spot something valuable where others don’t see it. Whether this skill is put to use in the business world recruiting talent, or just bargain hunting for the ultimate find in local garage sales, the Treasure Hunter will stand above their piers in their chosen hobby. Their houses will also often have tons of knickknacks that they simply can’t live without! Don’t mistake them for the gloating crafter that is proud of their many possessions however. Treasure Hunters are extremely modest people that are content with their personal satisfaction, as well as extremely harsh critics of their own work.
Interestingly enough, many of my closest friends are far too complex to be defined by a single class in this personality test. While one class certainly tends to represent their dominant personality style, you tend to see sub-classes of personality, or even complex personality shifts depending on someone’s situation!
For instance, in social groups where I’m completely in the dark and feeling like an outsider, I tend to revert from an illusionist into a cloistered up sneak thief. My wife is primarily a Sharpshooter, but she has an uncontrollable nature of curiosity that strikes without warning, making her into a rapid treasure hunter (best represented when she is actually playing Skyrim and forced to travel between towns!). Our friend that lurks this blog is a clear cut Elementalist… until he gets three or so beers in him! Once his inhibitions are down, he evolves into a Crafter!
What personality are you? Do you have comments or additional observations you’d like to make? Let us know in the comments below!