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.
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