MTG Player Types and You

  • Magic the Gathering is a relatively popular collectable trading card game, popular enough for their designers to post articles on their design philosophy. I recently had a reason to reread the player type articles by Mark Rosewater, and thought I'd ask around here.

    What player type are you? What characters are your favorite? Do you like the "Current Meta"? If you could change one thing about the game, what would it be?

    There are 3 types of "players" - Timmy, Johnny, and Spike:

    Timmy - You like big moments. You don't care if you win or lose, as long as the game was "epic." You love the moment. You like champions with game changing, instantaneous abilities. You play Ziggs because of "bouncing explosions." You say "Fore" in all chat while initiating with Malphite. You play to have fun.

    Johnny - You like carefully laid plans. You love playing against the established metagame, because you know that "it has to have an exploitable weekness." You send Tryndamere mid as an AP, because "they won't expect it." It doesn't matter if you lose 8 out of 10 games that way, those 2 you win are worth it just for the metaphorical look in your opponents eyes. You play any champion, but don't really believe that they have roles. You'll put any champion in any lane, and have a unique build for them. You play to feel creative.

    Spike - You like winning. "FotM" is simply an insult that the loser says to the winner. You follow the patch notes, and quickly adjust to nerfs and buffs, changing playstyles as needed. You will play any role, and prefer the role that has the largest outcome on the game. You will adhere to the "best metagame." You build is the same for every champion: You rush your most effective early game item for your role, and then counter build to maintain your advantage. You play to win.


    In addition, there are 2 feelings that a player goes for when playing - Vorthos and Melvin:

    Vorthos - You like the whole package. You will choose a champion based on their artwork, or their voice clip, or even their in game dance. The setting, the mood, and the lore are what you enjoy the most. You will push your friends into buying all the commando skins, and you may even find yourself saying "DEMACIA!" outside of the game. You play Diana because your opponents picked Leona. You play for the immersion.

    Melvin - You like the interconnectivity of a champion. When abilities allow for interesting effects, you are all in. You like ward hopping, because of the smart, hidden utility. You love the fact that Olaf has spell vamp on vicious strikes to mitigate the cost of Reckless Swing. Ryze's ability to turn mana to damage, causing an entirely different build path for him that most mages, makes you excited. You play for the beauty of design.

    Since they are hard to see why they are related, think of Vorthos and Melvin this way: Vorthos doesn't care how disjointed a kit seems, as long as the message of the character comes through. Melvin doesn't care how disjointed a character seems, as long as the theme of the kit is clear. If you'll notice, it is possible to be both, although it tends to be very rare. The mix is called Melthos.

    As for me, I'm a pretty solid mix of Johnny and Timmy, and a pretty strong Vorthos. My first "Main" was Jax, because "he's the champ," and he was a good fit because I can tweak how I build him almost infinitely. I also love the beating of the people with the lamppost.

    Here's my stab at profiling a few rioters. Maybe you guys can pop your head in and let me know how off base I am.

    Morello: He loves big moments, and has a high competitive streak. This puts him solidly between a Timmy and a Spike. In addition, he dislikes moves that are difficult to read and understand, even if they are thematically appropriate, making him a strong Melvin. Timmy-Spike, Melvin (Edit: I guess I'll call myself "close" on this one)

    CertainlyT: Judging mainly from the design of Darius, who seems to epitomize big moment and winning, we can conclude that he is another Timmy-Spike, like Morello. However, he's also the one that put extra damage on the axe head, which is a pretty Vorthos move. Timmy-Spike, Vorthos

    Xypherous: The champions he has designed tend to be technical, with interacting options and a high level of combo-ability. I'd say he's a pretty solid Johnny. Based on his comments about Riven, it seems like he regrets not having enough time to tinker with her kit, but doesn't seem to regret that that may have impacted her as a character. This leads me to believe that he is a Melvin. Johnny, Melvin

    IronStylus: The "happy go lucky" attitude, and a great desire to have fun, is characteristic of a pure Timmy. His love affair with Leona and Diana is pure Vorthos. Timmy, Vorthos

    Phreak: While his love of winning shows him to be a solid spike, his love of Teemo shows him to be a Vorthos. However, many of his comments on balance are indicative of a Melvin. It is possible to be both, although it is a rarer phenomenon. Spike, Melthos

    So how about you, GD? Where do you fall?

    Timmy, Johnny, and Spike
    Melvin and Vorthos

    Confirmed Reds:
    Quote:
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    Originally Posted by JesterCapp View Post
    I love Rumble because I can rush forward and bully people, feeling rewarded for going "all in" and hitting all my buttons. I love the giant devastation of his ultimate. I love Ziggs for the reasons you mentioned, and love Singed for the epic escapes while enemies drop like flies behind me. I have literally stood up from my chair and clapped during a Karthus ult. I am a Timmy.

    The other side of Ziggs that I love is his Satchel Charge. That is probably my favorite ability in League of Legends. It's an escape, a CC, a kiting tool, secondary damage, a peel, almost anything you need. It feels smart and rewarding to use right, and somehow fits in with the kit/ art of a mad hexplosives expert. I do love ward-hopping, and miss the days I could use a ward to block a blitz grab or rammus powerball. I am a Melvin.

    Call me Timmy Melvin. Cheers!
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    Originally Posted by Morello View Post
    As a designer, I think you're right - I have some Timmy influence to make sure things "pop" and feel good.

    As a player though, I'm a hardline Johnny. I play blue almost entirely, and play for the 3 untapped blue mana, 4 cards in hand, and watching you sweat your 8/8 crreature play for fear of a counterspell. I'll sit like that with no counterspells in hand and just feel REALLY good, even if I lose :P
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    Originally Posted by RiotAmes View Post
    Timmy-Melvin is the closest choice, but I feel like I have to make compromises. I definitely enjoy the big plays, but what I like the most is enabling my team to succeed. I often play in the support role because of it. Most of my work at Riot reflects this as well.
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  • Good Lord this is an awesome thread idea. Nicely done!
    (Also, as my name alludes, Ice Age Rioter reporting in!)

    I love Rumble because I can rush forward and bully people, feeling rewarded for going "all in" and hitting all my buttons. I love the giant devastation of his ultimate. I love Ziggs for the reasons you mentioned, and love Singed for the epic escapes while enemies drop like flies behind me. I have literally stood up from my chair and clapped during a Karthus ult. I am a Timmy.

    The other side of Ziggs that I love is his Satchel Charge. That is probably my favorite ability in League of Legends. It's an escape, a CC, a kiting tool, secondary damage, a peel, almost anything you need. It feels smart and rewarding to use right, and somehow fits in with the kit/ art of a mad hexplosives expert. I do love ward-hopping, and miss the days I could use a ward to block a blitz grab or rammus powerball. I am a Melvin.

    Call me Timmy Melvin. Cheers!
  • Quote:
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    Originally Posted by BedderDanu View Post
    Awesome! Red Success! Cheers

    Huh, interesting tangent. Do you think your Timmy-Melvin comes out in your animation, or do you find that that almost "lives separately" from your "player personality?"
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    Actually, I animate rarely these days and should get my forum title updated. These days I'm a technical artist focusing on character rigs and writing tools for the animation team.

    That said, the question still stands regarding how my player type influences what I do for Riot... I do very much love clever mechanics and big heroic moments. When I give feedback on champions I playtest, it's generally in the form of, "I loved the moments this ability creates" or, "this ability offered clever counter-play." That said, those aren't uncommon things to comment on, so... maybe I'm just reading into it too much. :P

    One concrete example though... I actually helped design Fizz's ultimate, which I feel is a pretty explosive Timmy ultimate. It also, however, offers some subtle movement counterplay for the target to minimize damage to his team, and has some secondary zoning utility for the caster... so I'm pretty fond of it on all fronts.
  • As a designer, I think you're right - I have some Timmy influence to make sure things "pop" and feel good.

    As a player though, I'm a hardline Johnny. I play blue almost entirely, and play for the 3 untapped blue mana, 4 cards in hand, and watching you sweat your 8/8 crreature play for fear of a counterspell. I'll sit like that with no counterspells in hand and just feel REALLY good, even if I lose :P
  • Timmy-Melvin is the closest choice, but I feel like I have to make compromises. I definitely enjoy the big plays, but what I like the most is enabling my team to succeed. I often play in the support role because of it. Most of my work at Riot reflects this as well.
  • Quote:
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    Originally Posted by ElixiaLorn View Post
    ...you are everything that I hate Q_Q

    I'm sorry Morello. I don't love you anymore.
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    Hehe

    It's really funny because my design philosophy really mismatches my playstyle in games. In fact, I actually love a lot of games I think have glaring design flaws and while I like the idea of counterplay for crafting a game (ie League), I don't give two ****s about it if I get to make you have no fun as a player in other games

    It's an odd transition where you kind of become a "professional" (and I can't begin tell you how loosely I'm using this word here) - you have to remove your own preferences from your work as much as you can and just to analyze and break down stuff. Making stuff for me as the primary audience would be a bad, bad direction for League overall!
  • Quote:
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    Originally Posted by BedderDanu View Post
    the further you are from Timmy and the closer you are to Spike. and plying support to win is very spike-like.
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    I see where you're coming from. I never go into a game with the desire to lose- even if we're doing something weird, I still want it to be good enough to win. Same for Riot, although the definition of 'winning' changes. Interesting bit of observation!