Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Timmy, Johnny, and Spike in Eve

Time and again, the debate about seeking good fights vs playing to win comes up on the official forums, r/eve and individual blogs. Both sides accuse each other of playing the game the wrong way, taking it too seriously, being mad and butthurt, you name it.

I wanted to look at it from a different perspective.

Wizards of the Coast, the developers of awesome card game Magic: the Gathering, have identified three major types of players in their audience - Timmy, Johnny and Spike.

Let me just quote MaRo's blog and add my comments:

Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it’s important to Johnny that he’s using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity. Johnny likes a challenge. Johnny enjoys winning with cards that no one else wants to use. He likes making decks that win in innovative ways. What sets Johnny apart from the other profiles is that Johnny enjoys deckbuilding as much as (or more than) he enjoys playing. Johnny loves the cool interactions of the cards. He loves combo decks. Johnny is happiest when he’s exploring uncharted territory.

Like Timmy (mentioned below), Johnny cares more about the quality of his wins than the quantity. For example, let's say Johnny builds a new deck that has a neat but difficult way to win. He plays ten games and manages to get his deck to do its thing… once. Johnny walks away happy.

This one is very easy to translate into Eve. Garmon, Kil2, Matari Exodus guys, people who use creative setups, handicap themselves with "honour" rules such as not blobbing and not using ECM, are willing to spend hours looking for that one perfect fight.

Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenalin rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.

Spike cares more about the quantity of wins than the quality. For example, Spike plays ten games and wins nine of them. If Spike feels he should have won the tenth, he walks away unhappy.

This guy represents the opposite end of the spectrum. "IF YOUR IN A FAIR FIGHT YOUR DOING IT WRONG!!!1111LOL." We all know them, rolling with Falcons/cynos up their sleeve or at the very least a reinforcement fleet one jump out.

Timmy is what we in R&D call the "power gamer." Timmy likes to win big. He doesn’t want to eke out a last minute victory. Timmy wants to smash his opponents. He likes his cards to be impressive, and he enjoys playing big creatures and big spells.
...What sets Timmy apart from the other two profiles is that Timmy is motivated by fun. He plays Magic because it’s enjoyable. Timmy is very social. An important part of the game is sitting around with his friends.
Timmy cares more about the quality of his win than the quantity of his wins. For example, Timmy sits down and plays ten games. He only wins three games out of ten but the three he wins, he dominates his opponent. Timmy had fun. Timmy walks away happy.

Now who is this guy in Eve? At first, I'm tempted to say this describes "elite PVP" groups like PL and R&K but these guys are not happy to win one out of ten fights. Does this describe people like Gevlon who want to do "stuff that matters", namely win and hold sovereignty? Or is it about people who fly pimped-out battleships or solo in supercaps? Unlike Magic though, Eve is unforgiving to such players.

In a later blog, MaRo breaks down the archetype further, explaining that Timmies can be:
  • power gamers (looking for domination)
  • social gamers (obvious one)
  • diversity gamers (trying out new stuff all the time)
  • adrenalin gamers (pretty obvious as well)
Check out the blog for breakdowns of other types.

MaRo also describes hybrid types such as Timmy/Spike or Spike/Timmy (which better matches my impression of PL/R&K and the like), Johhny/Spike or Spike/Johnny (the EFT warrior who insists that his build is better than all the rest), Timmy/Johnny or Johnny/Timmy (erm, DHB Wildcat?) and, finally, Timmy/Johnny/Spike, the guy who wants "to play big cards, have innovative decks, and yet still win as much as possible".

What do you, hardly-ever-commenting readers, think?