Music Option "Baby Elephant Walk":
About the Interviewee: EMP Ironside, often spoken highly for his kind demeanor in
the face of gooberness, and his skill in combat, takes a little time out of his day to go over
the grill and awnser some tough questions such as "Why are there fish parts in your gang?"
and "Where do you get your hair done?".
SSS: So you are the leader of "The Empire" one of the longest running 'gangs' in I'76, correct?
Ironside: Yes, I suppose.
Ironside: Let me explain: I am one of the founders
Ironside: and the current leader.
Ironside: And it's just "Empire"
SSS: Oh, sorry. So when did Empire start, was it before the AVA came into existence, or after?
Ironside: It was after. Empire came into being from the ashes of one of the first AVA disputes.
Ironside: Me and Torino were both a part of a group called the Avengers.
Ironside: The leader was a twerp and was banned from the AVA forever after mailbombing Chase.
Ironside: So me and Torino jumped ship and formed Empire.
SSS: And where is Torino now?
Ironside: This all happened like within the first two weeks of the AVA's existence.
Ironside: Torino's back in school, and pretty much done with I76 as the game stands now.
Ironside: Real life concerns, boredom. He may return with the next expansion.
SSS: What are your plans for Empire?
Ironside: To remain one of the premier AVA groups. We hope to continue to recruit quality duelists, maintain a healthy attitude, and remain a political. We might hold a tourney or two as well. =)
Ironside: (er, that should be 'remain apolitical')
SSS: Of course.
SSS: So do you have any preffered weapons or cars?
Ironside: My favorite car is the Courchelle. Nice weapon layout, good armor, good accel, good maneuverability. And a kick ass paint job. Preffered weapons are the slugthrowers. I love .50s. Unfortunately, competition matches rarely let me use them. It's morts or missiles or die I'm afraid.
SSS: Why do you feel that guns are not useful in competition, yet enjoy using them so much?
Ironside: I like the dogfight feel of the guns. But they are not highly useful against the weapons you see in competition matches. 30mm can be useful, but you just can't beat the area effect of morts, or the accuracy of Neins. There are exceptions, of course. Arenas can be favorable to their use, but not often.
SSS: Your often regarded as "The friendliest ass kicker in I'76", how do you maintain such a good attitude in the face of the often childish behavior one can encounter in on-line gaming?
Ironside: Oh boy. Self aggrandization time. I'm pretty empathic. I follow the ethic of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I don't like getting attitude from others, so I tend not to exude it myself. I try to see all sides of an argument, and remain silent until I have a good feel for the situation. And people are pretty cool in I76 for the most part. And a sense of humor helps. I bitch at times, but that's normal frustration. =)
SSS: Well back to the area of weapons and cars. Any paticular combinations that your enemies release upon you, that give you bad dreams?
Ironside: You minx you, Sui. My hatred of mortars is legendary. I hates 'em. I hates 'em, I hates 'em, I hates 'em. I can deal with any other combo of weapons, but these babies are tough to beat, IMHO. I've argued my points before in many forums, so I won't repeat them here ad nauseum. In short: parabolic arc, area effect, multiple system damage.
SSS: Ah yes, the infamous "mortar death from above", well, as I am sure you have heard, a release of the 'Top Ten Players' just came out, but those are from the opinions of the newer cats. Who goes on the list of an old-schooler like yourself?
Ironside: If I had to choose, most of the top ten would be populated with the crrent top ten of the AVA Combat Ladder. Those duelists have proven their meddle and have stood the test of time as well as combat. But some duelists aren't on the ladder, or are better than their rank might suggest. Thibor, Strike Ace, Vic Ferrari, Shadowly1 are all duelist (or racers) are are good players. And fun players. That's important too.
SSS: So if i remember correctly, Empire was one of the first gangs to join the Honor Guard, and also one of the first to leave. How do you account for this unusual turn of events?
Ironside: Heh. Soapbox time? At the time the Honor Guard was formed, it meant something. At the time, the AVA was suffering from credibility problems (some would say that to be true now, too...). The Honor Guard was supposed to be a seal of approval kind of thing. I took the same stance as Thibor. He felt that the thing was a shakey orginzation at best and that while he was part of it, he had felt it had the potential to go sour very easily. I agreed. And it did. The HG became a militant group and much more political than I or the rest of Empire felt confortable with. So we split rather than become associated with the "bad seed HG". Funny thing was, we took a month to get our resignation to them, so we jumped when the excrement *hit* the cooling appliance, not before, as we intended. But we did get out.
SSS: If you had a chance to do it over, would you (and Empire) have done anything differently?
Ironside: Ya know, I think I can honestly say that no, we wouldn't have. I am very proud of what we have done, and the fact that we have thought before we have lept. Individual members may have strayed at one time or another, but that dirty laundery won't be aired by me. No, I am very happy with how Empire has done.
SSS: As I am sure many others are too. (Interviewer grins) So you are propably the most battle scarred AVA ladder combat veteran around! Any suggestions for the new or aspiring Ladder inductees?
Ironside: Don't let the competition get to you - ever. You will win, you will lose. There will be your good days and your bad. But to even the odds you can do a few things. One, know you arenas. Different terrain dictates different vehicles and weapons. Two, know your opponents. I don't do this often enough, and I have 5 losses to prove it. And three, keep a positive attitude. Learn from your losses, don't obsess over them. Other than that, always wear a condom and eat all of your vegetables.
SSS: Any maps you favor in paticular?
Ironside: I love the Elimination map - small and fun. For some reason I also like the Airbase. Lots of fun terrain to roam around. Crimson's 'Bouncy' map is a great deal of fun too. Wish I could say I liked Yoda's Commode, Sui, but it's still too dark for my tastes. =)
SSS: Well, I'm sure the fact that the Empire is littered with the Dark Side has something to do with that last comment. So what sort of skills does a driver need to posses to be good enough for Empire?
Ironside: I think most important is the attitude. We look at prospects, and a duelist has to be pretty good or show potential. Then we look at how they play and that's the deciding factor. If we get fragged by a good shot, we like to make sure we tell the other guy that. It is a game after all, and we want our members to realize that. A healthy aversion to politiking helps too. And we'll even let in Finns, too.
SSS: From fish? I've heard from Bandit AVA that fish can't even talk!
SSS: So how can they fight for the Empire?
Ironside: Fish, I dunno. Hey, if they can jockey a car, and they're good, and they don't smeel to bad, I have nothing against fish driver for Empire. But I meant Finns. From Finland. You know. Finland. Finland. Finland. The country were I want to be. Your forests so plenty, your treetops so tall... Oh. Sorry. Lost it a bit there.
SSS: Ah, I understand. I too, have a deep love for the Finnish women.
SSS: Which views do you prefer using in combat and racing inn I'76?
Ironside: I'm a F1 purist for combat. For racing the F2 view can be useful. F6 is good for getting that initial look at the opponent. I'd love to use the virtual cockpit view - there's a nice feature in that that's basically an interior F5 view. But the fram rates online are just not good enough. So F1 'HUD' view is the way I duel.
Ironside: Oops. Make 'F5' 'F4' and 'F6' F5'
SSS: And finally, imagine this: You engine is shot to hell, no suspension, and the brakes linnes are cut. You've got three flat tires, no trunk, no hood, and you lost the passenger side about 10 minutes ago. Just then, your opponent appears over the horizon. You check you ammo, it's just about dry and most of your weapons are molten slag anyways. You pull out your binoculars. Yep, it's a Manta, with 2 Aim Niens, 1 front mortar, and a 50 caliber turret, bearing down on you at about 80 miles an hour. What do you do?
SSS: That's it? "sigh"?
Ironside: It's funnier that way. =) I suppose I'd hope my burial plot is paid up, too.
SSS: No jumping out of the car, .45 in hand, in a last ditch, hail Mary attempt to save the "Nein Iron"?
SSS: All our reader's are going to think you've gone soft!
Ironside: The 'irony' of the situation is too amusing to do anything else.
SSS: (Interviewr Groans and throws a pencil at interviewee)
Ironside: How about 'Ctrl-Alt-X'?
SSS: I'm going to cut this interview short before you start telling me your using hack-76 to 'protect yourself from all those nasty bullets!'.
Ironside: Ow! Beast!