Guns and guardians: Comparative cluster analysis and behavioral profiling in destiny
Behavioral profiling in digital games with persistent online worlds are vital for a variety of tasks ranging from understanding the player community to informing design and business decisions. In this paper behavioral profiles are developed for the online multiplayer shooter/role-playing game Destiny, the most expensive game to be launched to date and a unique hybrid incorporating designs from multiple traditional genres. The profiles are based on playstyle features covering a total of 41 features and over 4,800 randomly selected players at the highest level in the game. Four clustering models were applied (k-means, Gaussian mixture models, k-maxoids and Archetype Analysis) across the two primary game modes in Destiny: Player-versus-Player and Player-versus-Environment. The performance of each model is described and cross-model analysis is used to identify four to five distinct playstyles across each method, using a variety of similarity metrics. Discussion on which mod el to use in different circumstances is provided. The profiles are translated into design language and the insights they provide into the behavior of Destiny's player base described.