I'm working on a rather long post, and I find that I need to provide background information. So rather than trying to work it into the post, I'm talking about it here. Plus, it's an interesting topic in and of itself.
Dr. Richard Bartle wrote a paper, Players Who Suit Muds, back in 1990. Though taken from old-school text muds, a lot of it is still relevant today.
In his paper, Dr. Bartle divides players into four categories:
Achievers - people seek to beat the game, by amassing loot or gear or killing bosses.
Explorers - people who try and find out as much about the game as possible.
Socializers - people who's main interests are in interacting with other players.
Killers - people who seek to defeat other players.
Of course, this is a bit simplistic, as most people have elements of each of the four player types. But usually one style is dominant.
For example, I'm pretty close to pure Explorer, as I'm pretty sure most of my posts have demonstrated. I get my enjoyment from learning about the game, doing new things, and seeing what makes things tick. I do have a bit of Achiever, as I like getting new loot, but I'm pretty far down on the Socializer or Killer scale.
Also, none of these archetypes are inherently good or bad. Your awesome raid leader is an Achiever, the guy who comes up with useful new strategies or advice is an Explorer, the guildmaster who holds the guild together is a Socializer, the best PvP'er in the battleground is a Killer. Loot whores are bad Achievers, drama queens are bad Socializers, griefers are bad Killers. I'm not entirely sure what a bad Explorer would be, maybe someone who refuses to help with old content.
Dr. Bartle's paper is a very interesting read, as he describes the different types in more detail, and the effect each type has on the others. I found that I could look at the personalities and arguments in the game in a different light. Of course, since I am an Explorer, this is the kind of stuff that appeals to me. :)
So which archetype are you?