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Interviewer: Billiamfeng (Marathon)

I got the amazing opportunity to interview sG Zuta yesterday, after the release of the Anniversary Patch. As one of the oldest players on Age of Empires Online, Zuta is a former member of the Balance Team. This staff-selected group of players help balance competitive gameplay by looking into statistical flaws.

A strong competitive player, sG Zuta reaches out to the community by posting on the forums, streaming his gameplay, and making tutorials and commentaries on YouTube.

You can check out his useful YouTube videos here!

And you can check out his streams on Twitch.tv here!

Question: First question! Because PvP rankings have reset after the patch, have you to get ranked?

Zuta: Not at the moment, haven't played any ranked in the new patch becaue I am currently on a laptop without a mouse. xD

Question: As an AOEO player, do you care more about the ranking that's slapped on your gamercard or the fun of playing?

Zuta: Honestly, ranking means very little in this game. At least to me. I play more for the competition to push my self as a player more than anything.

Question: Obviously, you didn't begin playing an RTS game here. What was the first RTS game you've ever played?

Zuta: First RTS? AOE1. I've been playing AOE games since I was a little kid xD.

Question: RTS-wise, have you ventured much out of the AOE realm?

Zuta: I played a good bit of Empire Earth 1 and 2 when I was younger back in the days those games were popular. And, of course I've played a bit of Starcraft 1 and 2. The Age games are just better IMO.

Question: What about Age of Mythology?

Zuta: Eh, AOM never drew me in. It was kind of the oddball of the Age games for me. I kinda went straight to AOE2 and AOE3. I did eventually play it a bit, but I never really enjoyed it as much as the other games.

Question: zutazuta123, your Youtube account, has 210 subscribers. What do you percieve of the game community?

Zuta: The community, in the most part, is quite good. I think it boils down to the fact that it's moderately small. So in a sense, everyone kind of knows everyone, especially the good players, active forum goers, etc.

Question: Being such an awesome guy yourself... Do you see yourself as a role model for other players?

Zuta: A role model? Probably not, or at least not a good one lol. It's hard to be a "role mode", in the sense of being someone whom everyone likes. Most people will agree that there's always some guys who will disagree with you. For the most part, I try to be approachable helping others. I guess that counts lol.

Question: I see you've already got the Babylonians. Any first impressions?

Zuta: I think they're going to be pretty damn good. Good unit compositions, great technology, and there's a good flow to handling the civilization.

Question: What do you think of the Fertile Crescent Booster Pack and the Empire Vault?

Zuta: Got both of them with the little EP lying around. Haven't tried either of them yet.

Question: Now for the basic question: How did you get into Age of Empires Online?

Zuta: Well, the story of my introduction to this game is quite long. I worked on a fan-made mod for AOE3 to balance the game for competitive play. After the release, I was contacted by Microsoft not long after. They asked me if I would join the Balance Team for their upcoming game, Age of Empires Online. I accepted the offer and now over two years, I can say... I've been playing this game (PvP-wise) longer than any other player... in the world! ;p

Question: How did you feel as a member of the Balance Team? Did you ever make an archnemesis?

Zuta: Haha, nah. We all got along very well. I like them all. I've met some really cool people working at MGS and some of them are still good friends of mine at this day. Lots of fun and a good learning experience.

Question: The game community is pretty small compared to other RTS games. What do you think is the best approach to drawing active players in?

Zuta: In my eyes, this game has done a poor job of advertising. They really have to get out and promote this game, especially now that it's been fixed up pretty well. Continued usability fixes and a decent tournament could help as well. ;)

Question: Some people declare this game's art style as too cartoonish for an RTS. Any opinion?

Zuta: Eh, that's kind of a non-issue to me. Look at games such as League of Legends. Similar art, huge following. Games are more about the gameplay to me.

Question: Although the Babylonians have just been released... what new civilizations do you think should be implemented to this game?

Zuta: They really need something outside of the Mediterranean region. Something from South America or Asia would be nice.

Question: Anyone specific?

Zuta: Hmm... maybe China or the Aztecs? ;D

Question: Finally, any plan on what videos you'll be uploading on YouTube soon? Planning any new tutorials?

Zuta: I'm probably going to remake all my "101" videos, becaue they're kind of outdated. I'll hopefully get a few commentaries up as well, now that we have an Observer Mode.

Question: Thank you for your time! How was I as an interviewer btw. ~_~

Zuta: You did quite well ;p

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