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Rise of the Witch King

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Ab3r` Spotlight

By Motoma - 13th January 2019 - 13:43 PM

Greetings everyone! After an incredibly long break, we are finally bringing back our Spotlight series for ROTWK. In the coming months, we will be focusing in on some of the most recognized 2.02 figures and getting to know them a little bit better with a series of interviews.

First up, we have our resident casserole-loving, tea sipping Brit: Ab3r`

1. GameReplays: Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions today. Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

Aber`: I'm 27 and live a fairly standard life for a guy in his late 20's in London, I'm a career driven guy who is a huge fan of football and golf, I have a fairly eclectic music taste and attend a lot of music festivals.

2. GameReplays : Tell us a bit about your online gaming history?

Aber`: Like most people, I've played Call of Duty and FIFA online when I was younger but I always had a passion for strategy games like CnC, Football Manager, AoE and TW and thats all I really play at the moment. I started playing AoE2 and I've played the BFME franchise ever since they were released.

3. GameReplays: What is your favorite game?

Aber`: Its a close call between Football Manager and RotWK but RotWK edges it!

4. GameReplays : So, how did you first get started with the BFME franchise and RotWK in particular?

Aber`: I got BFME1 for Christmas when I was 13, the campaign was amazing and my brother and I used to play loads of AI games. I got both BFME2 and RotWK when they were released and played both online straight away, getting involved in clanwars when RotWK came out.

There was a point when the BTP for BFME2 was more balanced than 2.02 so I did move to BFME2 clanwars for a few years around 2008/9 but I'm firmly back in the RotWK camp now.

5. GameReplays: You're known to be quite an old-timer that was here in the founding days of 2.02. Do you have any interesting stories from back then? In what way was the community different?

Ab3r`: Yeah I'm probably one of the longest serving online players of RotWK, there was probably a lot more drama back then relating to clanwars, I feel the average age was a lot lower to what it is now. People were constantly falling out in the community, getting kicked from clans, joining rival clans or airing their dirty laundry in public in the gamereplays clan forums!

Probably one of the best anecdotes from the old days is when 2.01 and previous EA patches were launched, clanwars was actually linked to EA and the developers of the game would often ask the clanwars players for guidance on balance updates, there were periods when warg sentries and lindons were banned from clanwars because they were so OP.

Basically when 2.01 was released I remember the overriding public reaction was that balance nirvana had been reached, but all that had happened is a long list of suggestions had been sent to EA, no testing, nothing and obviously that patch is a joke in comparison to the current user patch.

6. GameReplays: What is it about RotWK that has kept you playing for many years?

Aber`: I had a few years away from the game and one day stumbled across Destroyer's youtube channel and it piqued my interest, I've been back on the scene for around 2 years now. I've always had a love for LOTR, from my dad reading me the books when I was a kid and watching the movies as they came out, couple that with my favourite game format and what more could a guy want from a game?

7. GameReplays: What lead to you becoming part of D's inner circle, what is that dynamic like?

Aber`: When I (was) first spamming games, I used to see his rooms open and as I mentioned before, stumbling across his videos was what initially brought me back to RotWK, so I would join and these rooms would fill up fast. At first I remember being on the opposition team and in classic Destroyer style the odds were stacked against the enemy team, but I always played out of my skin to win (you won't see many of these games on YouTube of course!) and one day Destroyer, Belenos and Saints decided they'd had enough of me playing against them.

Now sitting on the other team, you really can't take these games too seriously, they're all about trying stupid stuff and having a laugh when you play, very different to the streams I host myself which is a nice contrast for me. After a while of playing 4v4 games and mocking Thran we've become mates, Destroyer obviously has his own community within RotWK and I always watch the streams, the rooms fill up instantly which is great, one of the questions that pops up on the stream is if Belenos and I would 1v1 on stream, but I don't think there needs to a show match to prove who would win a series, deep down we all know I'd win.

8. GameReplays: How did it feel to play BfME2 when you had your "noob" time and what is the difference to your current status as a player?

Aber`: The biggest learning curve for me was getting into clanwars, I always thought I was a decent "open player" as it was known on the servers but the first 3 months of clanwars included a lot of losses! I think now I'm able to look back at losses and pinpoint moments that turned the game, why I lost, what I could do better etc, the introduction of stuff like twitch really helps, I often stream 1v1 games and there will be much better plays than myself watching my POV suggesting things to try differently.

9. GameReplays : Now, how about the factions, which is your favorite?

Aber`: In the current patch Dwarves have the most diversity, there a number of different starts that work with them and when used properly they feel unstoppable. They also have a satisfying feeling when you're able to execute certain build orders as them, it sometimes feels like a cheap win when you play as Isen at the moment.

10. GameReplays : You generally play random, so, can you tell us your favorite match-up to play?

Aber`: In 1v1 I enjoy niche match ups where you can use an unconventional starts that pay off, Solas taught be a pretty cool MotW vs Gobs one that involves a fast forward statue that is fun to play.

11. GameReplays : Most competitive players prefer to play on Fords of Isen II or Buckland, how about yourself?

Aber`: FoI2 is always a staple, when I was a clanwars player I only played 2v2 and I must have played thousands of Buckland games which has somewhat killed my love of the map, I really enjoy 2v2 games on Plains of Rohan now. I'm also known for my love of the custom map Oceans.

12. GameReplays : What do you think is the one change that would bring back the most old players and attract newer ones?

Aber`: A competitive ladder would be nice, but in such a small community that would split it. I think better coverage of the games via twitch and youtube, just spreading the word that RotWK is alive and 2.02 is still being furthered.

13. GameReplays : What do you like (or dislike?) the most about the RotWK community?

Aber`: There seem to be more new players than ever and a lot talk about wanting to improve and become good players but only ever play 4v4, if you want to improve and get better the quickest way is play 1v1 games, look at DJ Premier and how quickly he has risen through the ranks, you don't get that good that fast from just playing big games.

14. GameReplays : If you were to meet any RotWK player(s) in real life who would they be and why?

Aber`: Oh King Thran for sure, mainly because I would probably never be able to meet him with him living in Iran and he's a unique character.

15. GameReplays : Who are the best players you've ever played with or against?

Aber`: Its a close call between Solas and JuanRing, both are amazing players a lot of people give Solas the edge but I think you have to consider how rubbish PC's and internet connections were over 10 years ago when Juan was playing.

16. GameReplays : In your opinion, who has the potential to improve themselves to be one of the best?

Aber`: DJ has improved so much in the last couple years but the race for expert between him and Haku is interesting. I'm always impressed by Haku's non-hotkey style of play. I think if Haku started to use hotkeys he would become worse initially but in the long term it would make him a great player.

17. GameReplays : If you could give other RotWK players only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Aber`: Play smaller games, don't be afraid to rack up some losses and ask for help! The better players generally want more better players to play against and really forthcoming with advice.

18. GameReplays : When you're not gaming, what do you do in your everyday life?

Aber`: I work pretty long hours, I always go to a lot of music nights with my mates, mainly techno stuff.

19. GameReplays : Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Aber`: Well I'd be in my early 30's so probably not playing this game as much as I do now, but I'm sure I'll always have a craving to play a few RotWK games ever now and then.

20. GameReplays : We have one question from who is arguably your number one fan, the one and only Thran. He would like to know if it's true that you lost to Alex?

Aber`: Well the diplomatic answer is that I'm a fairly inconsistent 1v1 player, so while hosting my 1v1 stream I've lost to quite a few players that I would say I'm better than so its entirely possible. The non diplomatic answer would be Thran is a little Grima so don't listen to him.

21. GameReplays : Thanks again for answering these questions, is there anything you'd like to add?

Aber`: No worries, it was fun. Only that if you want to get back into this game or have only played offline and want to try gameranger than just do it, the vast majority of the community are decent welcoming people! Oh and of course ThranIsGob.

Follow Aber`on Twitch HERE

With that, we have come to the end of our interview and the first of what we hope to be many Spotlights for ROTWK to come! Thank you for reading and if you would like to see any of your favourite player or community member interviewed, do give us your thoughts at the comment section below.

Till next time!

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