Music Option "Images":
About the Interviewee: In this installment we take a look at one of the AVA's founding players,
Thibor, the original 'Master of Funk', who has recently undergone many changes, a online game change (Quake), a name change (Essobie), and a sex change (just kidding).
SSS: Soo whaat got you interested in I'76?
ppINT Thibor: heh heh... easy. Great box. And I got to open it at work before I bought it.
ppINT Thibor: played the music non stop for 3 weeks.
SSS: Did you play any other games before that?
ppINT Thibor: you mean on the internet or in general?
ppINT Thibor: In general... of COURSE I did... on the internet... sadly I played many an online game.
ppINT Thibor: Netmech being the first one I got crazy into...
ppINT Thibor: then Descent and Descent 2.
ppINT Thibor: still play those by the way...
SSS: So Netmech is put out by Activision.. is it similar to the I'76 experience?
ppINT Thibor: More than you can imagine. You basically have the same initial vehicle design strategies to begin with, then it is your toy against thiers in multiplayer. Lots of design goes a long way. Sometimes futher than piloting skill... just like in i76
SSS: So it's your opinion 'car design first' 'driver skill later' is an integral part of I'76?
ppINT Thibor: I stand by the opinion that a game of I'76 OR netmech is about 80% pregame design, 20% in
car/mech piloting that win. An outclassed vehicle for a situation will never overcome... once you pass the
possibility that both drivers are adequitly skilled.
SSS: So how long have you been playing I'76 anyways?
ppINT Thibor: Since day 2 of national release. I picked it up on like a Friday I think... and took it to Toxy's
house that weekend. We played on a LAN for like 14 hours straight. He bought his the Monday after. :)
SSS: When did you realize there was going to be alot of internet play?
ppINT Thibor: Hmmm...
ppINT Thibor: Probably when I saw that Activision was giving it away for free. Lots of people popped on that
week that it started... and me and Toxy had already been into Internet games before... and with all the
practice on each othere... well... we pretty much got called cheaters early on. hee hee
SSS: So how did you get invloved with the AVA thing?
ppINT Thibor: That is an interesting story... the whole time me and Toxy were playing, we realized that the
better car won most of the games... without any hope of overcoming... got boring real fast. We started
playing with the same car... or at least the same car with similar weapon choices. We then found Chase's
page and went CRAZY. I made a stupid spreadsheet in Excel to help with the prices... and me and Tox played
with priced cars on our LAN... after we saw all the people already "signed up" (remember... Chase actually
had ALL of our emails... my god...) we got right into it...
ppINT Thibor: shortly after... he opened the doors to anyone... and that is when the ladder started.
ppINT Thibor: I was in the first match!
ppINT Thibor: :)
ppINT Thibor: I lost to Kyriel. :(
SSS: Ah.. so is this when your group, the Hollow Points, started up?
ppINT Thibor: hmm... hard to say. The Hollow Points was originally just an experiement with Frontpage 97...
but yeah... after I saw that there were going to be actual "chapters" of the AVA, I figured why not lead one
ppINT Thibor: Toxy wasn't even a member until I already had like 4 guys... crazy huh?
SSS: Well, at least he kept to his senses for a bit.. ;)
ppINT Thibor: actually... his computer was fried for a time... he wasn't on the net much for the first days.
ppINT Thibor: heh heh
SSS: So did you start running into hackers around this time?
ppINT Thibor: I ran into hackers my FIRST day on the net.
SSS: Ah. what happened there?
ppINT Thibor: One big ass tank comes up and shoots this huge gun at me... I was such a newbie, I thought I had overlooked "TANK" on the car list for multiplayer!
SSS: (Interviewer Laughs) you DID, except you should have been looking for KNAT. =)
SSS: So what did you do whne this husge tank came at you?
ppINT Thibor: egad... that, as you know, didn't come out for ever.
ppINT Thibor: I blew it up, of course...
ppINT Thibor: I don't think it had armor hacked yet...
SSS: so how did you discover the fire weakness
ppINT Thibor: you mean for hacks or against anyone that I could shoot with the .45?
ppINT Thibor: heh heh
ppINT Thibor: I just put two and two together...
ppINT Thibor: If they are hacking armor, then I will just get them "fire red" and shoot them dead.
SSS: Oh that is a very good rhyme.
SSS: did you go to college for that?
ppINT Thibor: geez... I hate rhyming on accident.
ppINT Thibor: LAFF.
SSS: So you played on the AVA Ladder for how long?
ppINT Thibor: oh man... you'd know better than me... I dunno... I think I had what... 20 games?
ppINT Thibor: not sure... not on dates.
SSS: So you mentioned the pricing for the AVA ruleset.. can you elaborate on all the tweaks that occured over time, an why?
ppINT Thibor: Hah hah... sure...
ppINT Thibor: Mortars... mortars mortars... once I learned how good they were, I used them every chance I got... and with the first price list.. .you are talking WPs all around. I was slaughtering people left and right. I even went so far as to dis people on the message board (that chase had at the time) that wanted to change the price of them... I was like... "they don't kill me that great... what is wrong with you?"
SSS: Well, last time I checked, you were totally FOR upping mortar prices... what changed your tune?
ppINT Thibor: I did a lot of tearing heads... and soon, I realized that a change in mortar prices would be a good thing... I mean... after everyone catches on to which weapon is the best, they all start to use it.... and use it they did!
There wasn't a ladder match played that I didn't win because I had more mortars than the other guy... and soon everyone had as many, if not more, than me. Time to change the rules for yours truly (HAA HAA)... seriously though...
they really were WAY too low. At the second revision, they like doubled and everyone freeked out. I didn't... I just made cars with less shit and the same mortars... and I kept winning. Laff...
(Ed Note: AVA Pricelist 2.0 had WP mortars at 1200 each!)
SSS: Tearing heads?
ppINT Thibor: ah... Tearing heads. v. To kill people without remorse or forgiveness... to utterly destroy... and then ask for seconds.
ppINT Thibor: heh heh
ppINT Thibor: did I just say that?
SSS: eh, not bad, not bad...
SSS: So your whole stategy was to make cheaper and cheaper cars, but keep the armament on them?
ppINT Thibor: oh yeah... most of the time the first thing was to cut out the effectiveness of OTHER people's mortars... usually by picking cars with more armor than most (60 aps and up)...then putting like NO engine, susp, or anything... Then put as much firepower as I could fit on there. This is the internet, where big bangs do better than itty bitty pows. I did keep 16" on all tires though. Can't beat a good turn radius.
SSS: Any favorite cars to go along with your WP's? ;)
ppINT Thibor: heh heh... back when you could AFFORD WP's you mean?
ppINT Thibor: at that time, the Manta was the car for me... at least for ladder matches...
ppINT Thibor: fast, and LOTS of hardpoint.
ppINT Thibor: I'm such a cheeseball.
SSS: yes, yes you are.
ppINT Thibor: heh heh... but you love me though, right?
ppINT Thibor: heh heh
SSS: So how do you fair, being hit by the slings and arrows of anit-mantaism?
ppINT Thibor: now I like the Royale best... 60 aaps... and fire. That is about all I stick with.
ppINT Thibor: bah... anti-anything that comes in the game is ridiculous. The problem with it is that Activision
did leave a few things in the game that really aren't suited for Internet play... (Cluster Bombs)
SSS: whats wrong with cluster bombs?
ppINT Thibor: Nothing if it is one on one... but you drop into a game with 4 people with lag...
and the only one that gets hits is the guy dropping crap all over the place. Then you have to concentrate on killing him... or dodging him... which ever the case...
SSS: So you have a real beef with Activision.. what is it? One week you hate the game, the next you love it..!
ppINT Thibor: It is simple really... Activision has great insight as to what we want to play... but when it comes to interface and multiplayer options... they just bite horribly.
SSS: any examples or instances you would care to point out?
ppINT Thibor: um...
ppINT Thibor: how long IS this interview supposed to be, anyway? Do you have till tomarrow?
ppINT Thibor: heh heh...
ppINT Thibor: For instance... I can't put Acceleration and Brake on the keyboard if I'm using a joystick. And Activision doesn't care or won't comment on why.
SSS: I mean, I have heard you talk all sorts of good things about Jedi Knight multiplayer setup, but the way I see it, JK multiplayer has its problems also. For instance, the 'Host' cant leave the game, if he/she does, the game DIES. Now I think that is a gross oversight...
ppINT Thibor: Oh so true... I long for the day that JK has a dedicated server patch (which is supposed to be in the works...) but all games have problems...
ppINT Thibor: Activision games just have MORE. heh heh
(Ed Note: SuiCyco leaves to get an Ice Cream cone and takes a detour road on the way back)
SSS: you know my car has a 1/4 mile time under 15 seconds?
ppINT Thibor: no.... I didn't know that.
SSS: and 0-60 in 6.2?
SSS: maybe 6.3... It's not really for drag racing.
ppINT Thibor: Even more ignorance from this end...
ppINT Thibor: :)
SSS: Oh ya that's right, you don't care to know much about cars..
SSS: O.K. on with the interview
ppINT Thibor: I know how to drive them to work...
ppINT Thibor: heh heh
SSS: So, how is it you became so interested in a CAR game?
ppINT Thibor: This game was a combat simulator to me before it was a car game... but I did a bit of playing Car Wars as a teen... (not so long ago...) I even played Autoduel on the C64 for cripes sakes.
SSS: What I mean to say is, how could you be into car games and drive a Geo Metro?
ppINT Thibor: laff.
ppINT Thibor: um... the attraction of a better reality?
ppINT Thibor: Most of the I'76 cars I drive handle about as good as my Metro anyway...
SSS: Thank God they look better!!! (Interviewer Laughs, ICQ Breaks in Response)