Interview to Lord_Patito by Huehuecoyotl

Lord_patito

Administrator
Staff member
Note: Huehuecoyotl comes from AOE II community, so the interview has a lot to do with AOE II aswell. Of course, we spoke about AOE IV


Welcome, Lord Patito. In 2 years you have gone from posting balance change suggestions on AoEZone to being one of the most powerful tournament admins in the Age of Empires scene. Today I will ask you both questions about you in person, your career in general, and things I wonder about AoE 4, from the point of view of someone who is mostly just into AoE 2.
Some fan questions are included too.

It’s funny you remember I am a balance-change junkie. I’m not planning to stop that behaviour. Long live balance suggestions! 11


PART A: INTRODUCTION:

A1: Please first introduce yourself quickly: How would you describe yourself in 3 sentences?
I am a chill, sociable guy, who admires the little things in life, like dogs, trees, a good cup of coffee or a beautiful song. I love to learn different subjects, from languages to science, history and more. I’m 32 years old and I live with Lady Swan since 2019.

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A2: What does your username “Lord Patito” mean and why did you pick it?
Patito means duckling. I like the oxymoron of a big title like lord and a harmless thing like a duckling. Plus, ducks are really adaptable animals. They can swim, fly, and walk. And they’re fearsome warriors.

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A3: When and how did you get in Age of Empires? Which titles did you play?
Back in 1997 or 1998. I started with AoE I. One of my friends from elementary school had it. I never did, but got AoE II around 2000. I loved (and I still love) AoK. Used to play SimCity mode, like everyone else, 11. I have played a little bit of AoM, but no AoE III. And of course nowadays I play AoE IV (and some AoE I).
A4: As a player, how much do you play, what type of games, and at which level do you play?
Low Elo Legend for life! 11. Besides AoE, I play some retro games (I have both the Mini SNES and Mini Sega Genesis). Besides that, I love cute cooperative games, like Overcooked 2 or Unravel 2. I play those with Lady Swan. Also I play a little bit of Super Smash Brothers, LoL and Dota. Finally, I really like Mortal Kombat and the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
A5: How did you become a tournament admin and which tournaments have you been an admin for?
Two years ago I was on AoEZone, and I saw the post from Cusu, looking for someone to write articles and coordinate show-matches for an upcoming project (Deepwaters). I got the gig, and the rest is history.
I’ve been admin for both editions of Terra Nova, for the World Desert Championship, Collection Cup, Empire Wars Duo 2, N4C qualifiers, Outback Octagon and every AoE IV tournament hosted by Elite Gaming Channel so far (I hope I am not forgetting anything :p). Oh yeah, of course. I was the secondary admin of Red Bull Wololo: Legacy .

A6: So how exactly did you become an AoE 4 admin?
Nili offered me the role of admin for Genesis, the first Aoe IV tournament. I accepted and then he introduced me to Pesti (Thanks, Nili!).
Why do you think Nili chose you? Did you know each other (well) before already?
Well, I was at a good moment in my career. I had just been the admin in Empire Wars Duos 2, so I guess I was the logical option after Chrazini, who didn’t want the gig.

A7: Preston asks: Why do you think you have become a good admin, not a top player, content creator or caster? What was your initial mindset in finding a role specifically as an admin? Does it correlate to your real life in any way?
Well, I am a quite sociable guy. I love to talk with people. I used to make amateur tournaments for my AoE II clan back in 2018, and when I thought about making AoE a job it was the logical option. I didn’t like the exposure of being a caster, and I’m just too bad to be a competitive player, haha.
A8: As an admin you should know the game very well so you can identify bugs, map generation errors, cheats/broken rules and many more, and thus also be able to write reasonable tournament rules. I hosted my first AoE 2 tournament 17.5 years after having played AoE 2 for the first time (AOElympics in June 2020) and more than 8 years after having started to follow the competitive AoE 2 scene, so I was already very experienced. But for being able to be an AoE 4 admin, I would need to have played a few 100 hours of the game, probably at least. How was it to be admin for a new game where a lot of things were still uncertain?
A rollercoaster, 11. It was a huge challenge. Most of the pro players had the beta, but I didn’t. Plus, making the seeding was super difficult, because there were players coming from different games (AoE II, AoE III, SC2, WC3, AoM, etc.). At a certain point I understood that making standard rules (based on what I knew, AoE II) was the best call. Besides, while I was not aware of all the bugs and issues, neither were the players. Everything was new and exciting, and that made things much easier.
A9: Are you a full-time admin now? If you are full-time admin now, I wonder how much you are allowed to share about what you earn from it. But in general in the AoE 2 scene, unless it’s for a huge tournament like RBW or KotD, admin salary is like $0-1/h. Of course you can’t pay your admin 50 % or more of the tournament budget, but it means that tournament admin is not really a job, just maximum a little money on the side. Is that different for you?
Yes, I am a full-time admin now. While I prefer not to reveal the exact amount I earn, I can say that it’s enough to have a good life. Luckily I’ve been working only in S-tier tournaments for the last year, so that allows the TO to pay me a competitive salary .
A10: Top players, tournament hosts and admins are all involved in the community differently and to a different degree. Regarding this, Preston would like to know: How important do you see community involvement in your role? Being the person who has to make controversial decisions, and with the recent history of some pushback on controversial decisions - what actions do you think have contributed to you successfully becoming arguably one of the most trusted names in the scene and how important is this from a tournament admin perspective? Are there more things you would like to work on to become a "household name" within the community and someone everyone has faith in? (I. e., community games, going live on Twitch to speak about his role, etc.).
I think a big part of my job is being involved in the community, with both players and the public. I think players trust in me because I am easy to approach, and a guy always open to discuss stuff. So it’s really easy to talk to me.
I don’t plan to go live on Twitch anytime soon, haha, although there’s always some more stuff you can do for this scene. Maybe become a better player to understand the balance better.
 
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Lord_patito

Administrator
Staff member

PART B: PERSONAL DETAILS:

Before we discuss more game-related topics, I want to know a few things about you as a person.
B1: Where do you come from and where do you live now? How do you like it there? Where would you like to live?
I am from Argentina, but I live in Nantes, France. I really like France, although I might move to a smaller (and sunnier) place. If not France, I would love to go back to Italy ♥ . Besides Argentinian, I consider myself a little Italian. My grandfather was Italian and I lived there for two years.

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Cinqueterre

B2: What’s your favourite...
Food and drink?
Food, impossible. I like a lot of foods. But if you force me to choose, I guess tagliatelle al pesto? Maybe al ragù. Drink It’s either water or coffee. Of course I love mate as well, and homemade lemonade.
Animal? (And why?)
I love animals in general. I guess besides the obvious answer (duck) I will say camels. I love goats and I love horses, and camels are a mixture of both!
Place?
Anywhere with lots of trees and not too many people.

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With the Guardian of the Swamp, shore of the Edre in Nantes

Colour?
I don’t have a favourite colour.
Movie, actor and book?
Airplane!, and Leslie Nielsen. Books, well I read a lot, but I have never read a book twice in my life (or not that I remember). I guess it could be the “Wind-up bird chronicle”, but also “A Brave New World”.
Musician/band and song (can be multiple)?
We can make a whole interview discussing this. Just to name a few: Deep Purple, Luciano Pavarotti, Funkadelic, David Bowie, Herbie Hancock, Edith Piaf…idk, you name it.
Athlete/sports team?
Racing Club de Avellaneda, but I’m not really into competitive sports. I prefer martial arts or other types of physical activities, like swimming.
B3: What do you like to cook the most (and best) and how often do you cook it?
I love to cook lots of stuff. I guess my Empanadas are quite good.

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B4: What would you put on top of a pizza?
Not ananas, that’s for sure. I have a golden rule for pizza places: I enter and I start speaking Italian. If they answer me in Italian, I trust the pizzaiolo to give me whatever he/she considers is good.
B5: What are your hobbies besides AoE?
Singing, playing guitar, writing, chess and meditating. Also playing with dogs.
What are you singing and writing?
I play/sing mostly Blues based music. Hard Rock, Soft Rock, some Psychedelic stuff. I try to make different stuff (within the limits of my knowledge). Different modes, progressions, and different metres). I am currently writing a dystopian novel. I have almost finished writing. Now I have to start correcting stuff. Lots of work to do!
In which language are you writing and how are you intending to publish it? I used to write novels too (finished 3 and started a bunch), but in the last years I never had the time to continue, because for me it only really works if I am in the right atmosphere and can focus on it for hours. Then I could just be writing for 10 hours. With songs it’s much easier, but similarly it has been too stressful in the last 3.5 years, so I don’t feel good about anything I start writing anymore.
I am writing a novel in Spanish. I wouldn't dare to write it in any other language tbh. The songs, it depends. Some in Spanish, some in English, Some in French, some in several languages. I agree that having a nice and calm environment is key for writing and artistic work in general, so I hope you can regain said atmosphere.
And did you publish anything of those yet? Is there something you want to link?
Nothing is published yet. Still lots of work to do.
So I guess we’re just waiting for an announcement…
Let’s hope so.

B6: Which languages can you speak and which would you like to learn?
I am native in Spanish. I speak English, French and Italian. I understand Portuguese and Catalan (up to a certain extent). I would love to learn Arabic, German, Russian, Japanese and Latin.
B7: Which countries have you visited and where would you like to go? Why?
Argentina, Uruguay, most of western Europe, Dubai and Turkey. I would love to go to South-East Asia and Japan. I love their culture, their food and their history. Plus I would really love to ride an elephant, 11. Africa seems really interesting as well, both the Magreb and central Africa. Lots of animals and trees to discover.
Answering like that, do you have a favourite tree species? And I would recommend not riding an elephant. I haven’t done it, but I have read that unlike horses, it is very uncomfortable for elephants to ride them and they have to endure lots of pain while being trained for a long time before allowing a human on top of them.
Not really, I like all trees. Plus, I suck at recognizing them. Maybe that Japanese tree with pink flowers? Regarding elephants, I know it’s not the best for them, and it’s something I think about. On one hand, I would love the experience. On the other hand, I don’t like the process of taming an elephant (or any other animal) for entertainment. IDK, I think I will think about that once I’m on the same continent as those beautiful creatures.
B8: At which time of the day do you like to play and when do you usually go to sleep?
It depends. I don’t have a fixed time to play. I try to go to sleep around midnight, but more often than not that becomes 1 am.
B9: What do you plan to be doing in 5/10/20 years? What did you want to be today 5/10 years ago?
I am a very changing man, so it’s hard to say. I would love to keep learning stuff, especially meditation techniques and related stuff. Also I would like to record some songs (I never did, I don’t know why) and learn some languages. Having an economic project of my own would be great (as a side thing to being an admin, if I am lucky enough to keep being an admin). And maybe a couple of ducklings.
5 years ago I used to dream of not having a 9 to 5 job in an office, so objective achieved!
 

Lord_patito

Administrator
Staff member

PART C: YOUR FAVOURITES IN AOE:


C1: After RBW Legacy this probably has a lot fewer options, but who would you like to meet once, who you have not met? One AoE player and one other person.
AoE Player: Vinchester or Slam. Other person: Either Haruki Murakami or Alejandro Dolina.
Would you share why the last two?
For me Murakami and Dolina are the two faces of the same coin. Basically the same writer, but one is Argentinian and the other Japanese. They have a particular vision on reality, both simplistic and magical at the same time. And that is clearly reflected in their writings. These everyday characters describe human nature in a quite sensible and carnal yet highly philosophical style.
C2: Do you have an AoE idol?
DauT. Not only as a player, but as a role model.
C3: What is your favourite civilisation, map and unit? [1 for AoE 2, 1 for AoE 4]
AoE II: Burmese, Team Islands, Battle Elephants.
AoE IV: Holy Roman Empire, Wetlands/Frisian Marshes, Archers
.
C3a: In AoE 2, what is your favourite custom-made random map?
HyperRandom by Zetnus!
C4: What is your favourite in-game sound? [1 for AoE 2, 1 for AoE 4]
AoE II: Wololooooooooooooo (I know it’s just a taunt, but I use the mod for that).
AoE IV: The sheep sound that sounds every time our observer enters a game during an EGC stream.

C5: Which addition to AoE II: DE (compared to Voobly/HD versions) do you like the most and the least? What do you think the game is still missing which is reasonable to add?
Addition, idk, but I think the balance is a million times better. On Voobly you had 5 viable civs. And some civs were useless (Turks, Khmer, Vietnamese). What is missing? Regional monks.
C6: Which 4 players would you like to see in a team (can include currently inactive players)?
Rubenstock, vivi, Biry and Lyx. Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaosssssssss.
C7: Make ranking of the current best 10 players in AoE 2 and AoE 4, based on RM 1v1 skills.
Uff. A tough one.
AoE II: Top 3 Is still Viper, Hera, Liereyy. Then the other 7, without a clear order: Mr Yo, TaToH, Nicov, Vinchester, JorDan, DauT, Villese. But it is really hard. Capoch, ACCM, Sitaux, Dogao can clearly be top 10 as well.
AoE IV: MarineLord and Beastyqt are top 2. Then from 3 to 5 it’s DeMuslim, TheMista and Bee. The rest I will say Puppypaw, Wam, Lucifron, Vortix and Kasva. Again, some other players can make it into the top 10, like Capoch, for example. And after their performances in RBW: Legacy, I am looking forward to see what both RecoN and IamMagic can do.

C8: Who would win a AoE 2 Nations Cup in 2023?
Now that Hera is Argentinian, Argentina of course.
C9: What is the funniest moment in your life you experienced because of AoE?
I had lots of good times in Germany. Living with Locoser and Pablito_AoE was hilarious! One moment I recall was me having a glass of red wine while wearing my beret. Suddenly Sitaux looked at me and said “dude, you’re so f***ing French”, 11.
C10: Which was your favourite AoE tournament you experienced?
ECL, I think. Although RBW V was incredible.
C11: Do you have any favourite or most memorable games or matches? [AoE 2 and AoE 4]
AoE IV would be Kasva vs. TaToH, game 3 in Genesis. Kasva held in the Feudal Age for an eternity, being the aggressor, while TaToH was in the Castle Age. We all thought Kasva was done, but he finally managed to win. Was nuts! Also it was the first time that I experienced how possible it is to win Feudal vs. Castle in AoE IV, and I was really surprised.
In AoE II, it was a game from the ECL, 2v2. I think it was Nicov-MbL vs. Viper-TaToH. MbL was Persians, and TyranT was winning, until Nicov started slinging MbL, and aM won with Elite War Elephants. Crazy stuff!

C11: If you had to decide on a 15-map map pool for a tournament (RM), which maps would you include? You can make lists for AoE 2, AoE 4, 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, up to you.
AoE II 3v3/ 4v4: Arabia, Team Islands, Beachfight, Bog Islands/Mangrove Flood, Mediterranean, Pag (adapted to 4v4 if needed), Black Forest, Hideout, Gold Rush, Gorge, Valley, Colosseum, Socotra, Nomad, Donut.
AoE IV 1v1: Dry Arabia. Frisian Marshes, Golden Heights, Woodwall, The Pit, Mediterranean, Holy Island, Kawasan, Basin, Coastal, Golden Swamp, Prairie, Scandinavia, Hideout, French Pass.

C12: Because you have gained experience working with casters, big sponsors and tournament hosts now, would you say that you have gained some influence now, would you be able to get sponsorships for your own tournament ideas now?
I hope so! Eventually, I would love to have funds to make Delirium Cup II.
C13: If everything about a tournament (budget, game, game mode, settings) were up to you and it could only be one more tournament you host, what would it be like?
I think it will be a 4v4 AoE II RM, with open, closed, water and hybrid maps. It was the thing that attracted me the most when I discovered the competitive scene, and probably one of the reasons why I am here right now. Budget… Well, as much as you want!
I don’t know how much you have seen of Return of the Clans last February-March, but I guess something like that, just as 4v4 then?
More or less, but I will never put Black Forest, Arena and Fortress in the same map pool, 11. One of those is more than enough for me. I will prefer more open/aggresive maps, or hybrid.
 

Lord_patito

Administrator
Staff member

PART D: DISCUSSION & FAN QUESTIONS:

D1: Your experience in Heidelberg.
D1.1: In Heidelberg you met a lot of people and it probably was your first LAN event as an admin? How was it in general working there?
It was indeed my first LAN ever. A great experience indeed. The working environment was amazing. RedBull’s crew are both super nice and highly professional people.
D1.2: Who did you enjoy the most meeting? Who was the most different from what you expected?
Uff, super hard to say. Lots of people were super cool. DauT, Dogao, ACCM, Capoch… The list goes on and on! The most different? Villese. On the internet he seems to be a quite cold, distant guy, but in real life he is super chill, funny and cool to hang out with.
D1.3: How was it to not only meet AoE players, casters and fans, but also Red Bull people, technicians, etc.? Did you spend some time with them or even discuss anything about the future with them, e. g. whether Red Bull will be involved in AoE 4 more or whether they would like Empire Wars in AoE 4 too?
I got to know some of the people from Red Bull and they were great! I did not discuss the future of the franchise with them, though.
D1.4: And any interesting behind the scenes things you want to share? Maybe anything that did not go completely according to plan?
Well, we had to move 1 series from the main stream to the B stream. Some people might have noticed, but Wam never got to play on the main stage, which is sad, because he’s a really nice guy.
D2: Some more questions about your admin work in general:
D2.1: AceMcClyde asks: What is the hardest part and what is your favourite part of being an admin?
Hardest part is when you have to disqualify someone, or (in case of AoE IV) when a game drops and you have to determine if it’s a restart or a win. Not having a restore function in AOE IV sucks big time.
The favourite part? I guess choosing map pools and tournament formats it’s pretty cool. Also, I like to motivate players to keep playing, and improving.

D2.2: Preston asks: What are some of the considerations you have to make that aren't thought about by most people? For example, I saw you write that a map could possibly be renamed - is that the map creators decision, or are some map names entirely changed based on what the tournament thinks they should be called? Essentially, which things are important, or even things that you just regularly come across and have to deal with, that we (as viewers) don't even know about?
Well, picking maps in AoE IV is a thought process. Finding a balance between fun to watch, competitive and not too favourable for a single civ. That and finding a balance between listening to the players advice (complaints, haha) and standing your ground about the decisions you have already made.
D2.3: DrDabston asks: Which location in the world would you choose to have a LAN at?
AoE II: Argentina or Brazil. AoE II is HUGE there. AoE IV: Canada. 3 out of the top 20 players are Canadians. Canada OP, please nerf.
What do you think, why do we have so many good Canadian players? Both in AoE 2 and AoE 4. In AoE 2 it’s probably the Fins that have the highest top player number per capita, but Canada also has a good number.
And about the LAN event in Brazil and Argentina. I agree. We don’t only have a high number of players and viewers, but also many excellent casters and hosts, so that part would be guaranteed. But would the infrastructure also be given? I don’t follow other esports, but I believe there are international events there too and many people don’t need a visa for a short stay in Brazil or Argentina, right?
Well, no offence intended but I guess during winter you can’t do much in Canada or Finland. You have to stay at home, so you better get yourself a nice 2k ELO, haha.
Regarding Argentina and Brazil: Yeah, I think that if the opportunity arrives, we could manage to get a nice infrastructure. As you said, the community is huge there, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus most nationalities don’t need a visa for those countries.

D3: Now during Red Bull Wololo Legacy and in general according to the words of many casters and top players, AoE 4 finally is in a decent shape and the current price of around 35 € also makes it more attractive than at 60 € a year ago. But I still have some questions about the game from the point of view of an AoE 2 player and fan.
D3.1: Since a bit more than a year I enjoy map scripting more than playing the game. So I have several questions about maps in AoE 4.
After half a year or so, we finally saw new maps enter tournament map pools, especially in the Road to Wololo series. But the actual LAN tournament had maps that were not played in the qualifiers or previous tournaments. How was that decided? Was it risky?
The decision about the maps was made mainly by Chrazini, but with my advice. While the idea of RtW was to introduce different maps, the concept of RBW: Legacy’s map pool was to have aggressive maps that made games relatively short. It was somehow risky, but I guess it was the main approach.
Why is map balance not a priority, not even in a $300k tournament? In AoE 2, admins and hosts would be criticised heavily if there was a map generation where one player has 2 forests and the opponent only 1; or if on a map where you only have one player-assigned gold, the distance and/or position is very different.
It’s funny, people assume that map balance is not a priority, while, as a matter of fact, it is. The map generation system is not as developed and resourceful as we would love. I will expect some improvements both within the map generation system but also with workarounds. Anyway, trust me: Having wacky maps is a bigger problem for me than for you, 11.
I have not looked much into map scripting in AoE 4, but I know it is very different from AoE 2. How much do you know about it from your own practical experience? Why is the balance not easy?
I think the system is more limited. AoE II map script is just coding. But AoE IV is much more complex AFAIK. To be honest, I didn’t try to learn it, but I know the way it places and creates resources is way more conditioned by other stuff in the map than its AoE II counterpart.
D3.2: We have seen some AoE 2 maps like Cross added to AoE 4, but Arena or Nomad which are 2 of the 4 most popular maps in AoE 2 were not in tournaments. Why not?
Nomad is a mod. Actually, any map can be played as nomad in AoE IV. You just need to download the tuning pack. Arena is not possible to do currently, due to the map generation system not being able to generate walls for a map. Plus, I consider Arena to be a very boring map. And if you take into account that walls are much stronger in AoE IV than in AoE II, I wouldn’t expect to see Arena in AoE IV. At least not by now.
About Nomad: If it exists, why is it not played more frequently?
About Arena or an Arena-style map, what about wooden walls?
Well, I guess that being a mod and not a map makes Nomad less popular. Plus, the start is much more asymmetrical for AoE IV civs, so that would make Nomad much more complex.
And no, despite the fact that I love Hideout in AoE II, I also wouldn’t add a similar map to AoE IV. Palisades walls are just too strong.

D3.3: Why does it seem like the different biomes are not used much? Like, why no snowy maps and why is ”Arabia” played in a temperate biome, which makes it look like central Europe or China? Why not a desert or mediterranean biome?
I don’t force players to choose biomes, so It’s just a matter of personal taste. I like the idea of different biomes being used, but I know some are more visually challenging than others, so I prefer not to enforce any of them.
D3.4: I don’t know about everything that is in game, but not used, but why don’t we see elephants, zebras, crocodiles, jaguars, etc.? Having some variety is also nice for viewers.
I guess some more animals could be added. I agree with this. Hope we see a more diverse Fauna in the future (but not ducks! Do NOT eat ducks
D3.5: About some differences in gameplay:
Do you think that AoE 4 misses them?:
  • Micro (especially ranged units)
  • Hill bonus
  • Decay of animal meat, which means that there is no “laming”
I don’t like how the arrow mechanic works in AoE IV. I think ballistics is a key part of the archer play in AoE II. Along the same lines, I think AoE II has a good hill mechanic that should be implemented in AoE IV. On the other hand, I prefer the no decay system of AoE IV. Laming sucks, and it shouldn’t be a thing.
The yellow lightning bolts and marks when placing buildings, on the map border, etc. For me they are just very disruptive, annoying. But I never heard anyone complain about them.
I guess you get used to it.
I also believe you can place buildings on top of trees without cutting them before. That’s only stragglers or not? Is that actually an issue or not?
It’s only on stragglers trees. Is not an issue for trees, but it is for shore fish.
 
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Lord_patito

Administrator
Staff member

D3.6: Which aspect of AoE 4 do you think would be good to be added to AoE 2? E. g. a certain unit, building or technology. Climbing on top of walls probably is not reasonable, but maybe a civilisation that can pack and unpack its buildings. And I do like the stealth forest, as they add something unique to the game, and while you can hide units behind objects in AoE 2, they currently always would show up on the mini map.
I love how viable it is to do Feudal vs. Castle in AoE IV. In AoE II you have a timer to go to the next age, while in AoE IV you don’t. I don’t know if adding rams in Feudal Age or trebs in Castle Age could be done in AoE II (and tbh I wouldn’t do it), but I like how in AoE IV, it is possible to win being 1 age behind. In AoE II you only have a small time window to do so, and after that you’re dead.

D3.7: Do you think it was the right decision to make AoE 4 a copy of AoE 2 in terms of time, ages, resources and civilisations (more generally speaking)? And if there was an AoE 4 to come, what do you think it would be? Sandy Petersen said that Ensemble Studios would have made AoE 4 take place in the 19th-20th century and that probably would have happened 10+ years ago if Ensemble Studios were not dissolved.
I think it would have been a mistake to make it in the 19th-20th century. It wouldn’t have felt like Age of Empires (at least for me). AoE is the game that made a generation love ancient history, swords and armors. For tanks and machine guns we have Command and Conquer, COD, and a ton of other games. That being said, I wouldn’t have made it an exact copy from AOE II in terms of ages. Maybe a mix of AoE I and AoE II ? from classic ancient history to the 16th century? Maybe more asymmetrical? I don’t know how exactly I would have made it, but probably not exactly the same as AoE II.
D3.8: Gameplay differences (mechanics) are one aspect which makes AoE 2 and AoE 4 different, which is not the biggest problem for me. It’s just a different game, which is good. The same as AoE 3 has different gameplay mechanics. But the other very important factor are the graphics. Do you know more about why those graphics are chosen? I personally think AoE 3 from 2005 has better graphics. It won best graphics back then, which was a huge success for an RTS game. But it looks like now that is not a priority anymore? Why do you think that is the case? Maybe it would make the game too “heavy”? (It is already very heavy, as I can’t play it on my computer - I tried when the free test was recently.)
I don’t think graphics are bad. They’re just different, the art direction is different. AoE II was 22 years ago. AoE III was 17 years ago. AoE IV graphics are more in line with the graphics of some other popular games among the younger audiences. I think that it’s just we’re not kids anymore, haha.
D3.9: I heard people say that AoE 4 water balance is much better than what it used to be. But still we have games that last less than 10 minutes, with a player resigning even if it’s about $100k. In AoE 2 you are at a disadvantage if you lose water on Islands or on Baltic, but players would not straight give up and Boulder Bay has a lot of land. So why do players not just transition into land aggression or why is it not possible?
Well, in AoE II you need to transition to farms more quickly than in AoE IV. In AoE IV, fish can be your main source of food up to the Imperial Age, while in AoE II you usually need to start thinking about farms in the Castle Age. Same with berries/hunt. In AoE II you can only live on hunt/berries up to Feudal. In AoE IV, those food sources last a lot longer. The transition to farms needs a better timing in AoE IV than in AoE II. If you lose water, and you didn’t start the transition, you’re dead. As simple as that.
D3.10: Now that another big TG tournament is happening in AoE 4, do you think there is a chance of a Nations Cup at least in that game in 2023? I think it would be quite interesting as there are not a lot of big favourites if it is 4v4, except for maybe Spain and Canada, I believe. I am quite sure there would be more viewer interest than in a non-Nation-based TG event, where 3-4 of the top 10 players can play together.
Maybe. A Nations Cup is always a nice idea, but with all the international conflicts going on right now, it might not be the best moment for cheering for countries.
D3.11: Preston asks: What are your thoughts on the balance of competitive play vs. entertaining games? How do you balance what is good for competitive play and what rules pro players want for the tournament in conjunction with what is actually fun to watch for casual viewers? What are some examples of this you had to meet halfway between what is good for competitive play and what casuals want to watch?
I always balance things in terms of competitiveness. If it’s competitive, then it is entertaining.
D3.12: Anything more that you want to explain about AoE 4?
I think I have explained quite a lot, hahah.
D4: What do you think about the tournament calendar?
It will be a really good addition.
You don’t want to say more?
Not really. I just hope it happens.

PART E: OUTRO:

E1: What would you do to make the world a better place?
If alcohol suddenly disappears from the world. Like boom, one day, it ceases to exist.
I wonder what would happen to fruit when they get old then. And for cleaning and many other aspects of chemical production it would be a big problem. But in terms of being something to be consumed that could make sense.
I meant alcohol in terms of drinking it. Not the substance itself.
E2: If you were not in a relationship, and could date anyone, who would it be?
I’m so in love I can’t think of anyone else, so I guess I would just stay single. But if it is Scarlet Johansson, then I don’t mind either, 11.
E3: Choose 1 of 2 without explanation:
DauT or TheViper? Our Lord And Savior.
Arena or Islands? Islands. Arena sucks!
HyperRandom or Arabia? HyperRandom.
Aztecs or Mayans? Aztecs.
Empire Wars or Death Match? Empire Wars.
Boar or elephant? Elephant.
Cow or water buffalo? Water buffalo.
Lumberjack or gold miner? Gold miner.
2v2 or 4v4? 4v4.
Monk or monk boat? Monk.
Birch tree or acacia tree? I don’t know which is which, so, I’m gonna choose acacia, I guess.
E4: Write a poem/rap of 8 lines (or more) about something AoE-related, either in English or your native language.
I wanna run, like a Berber vil’
Like Tatar, climb up that hill
Enjoy a good life, super chill
Next to the berries, build my mill
Take my time, like a Teutonic Knight
And never take unnecessary fights
Ride wild like a Mongol scout
Explore, enjoying the good sight

E5: Do you have any questions or comments for me or the readers?
How do you turn this on?
E6: Who would you like me to interview and what should I ask them?
MembTV! Ask him if he will ever host another tournament with at least one hybrid-terrain map. I want those badabums! And Also, if we will ever see a MembTV Tournament without Black Forest, 11 (Excepto KotD) Membo Amigo te quiero :D.
I already interviewed him (plus he was interviewed by Masmorra extensively too, recently), so there actually is not that much new to be asked. So I should specify the questions as “interview someone who I did not interview before.”
Hmm, I don’t know who you interviewed but then I will say: Villese, or Gabi. Up to you .
Villese: How did he improve so much in the last year or two?
Gabi: how is it to be a highly competitive female player in a scene dominated mostly by men?

Villese I also already did. You have to read more interviews. Gabi I asked once, probably around 2 years ago. Back then it did not happen, but maybe now it has changed, as I am still interested.
This is getting hard. Well, if not Gabi, then my countryman Nova. Ask him how he good that nice accent in english haha.
Thank you for the interview and see you around for WDC 2 and TN 2?
 
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