He is one of the most successful Kanes Wrath players of 2010 with 3 Conquer Cup wins on his sleeve, so time for an interview with our member vOddy:
Trip: Hi vOddy,
how did you get in contact with the C&C Universe. What was your first game?
vOddy: My brother got the original Command & Conquer. I played it and really liked it. Then he got Red Alert. Kind of liked that too. Then I asked for Tiberian Sun for christmas, and got it from my parents.
Trip: What are your other hobbies apart from RTS gaming?
vOddy: I play the drums, and I like to listen to some music.
Trip: When you worked your way to the top of Tiberium Wars and Kanes Wrath, did you try to find your own playstyle or did you get influenced by certain players?
vOddy: Honestly, I never watched replays. I just played, analyzed what worked bad and what worked good, and thought a lot. I made up strategies, some meant to fix what I was having problems with, and some just alternate or even more effective ways to do what already worked.
Trip: Looking back now, do you think that EA getting C&C in the World Cyber Games, helped the community in the long run? Did the whole „RTS as a Sports“ slogan EA used for C&C 3 pay off in any means?
vOddy: It was great for the game and its community. However, because of a lack of support (imbalance, no new maps), the game eventually faded anyway. But that's EA's business model - many games that give little money instead of few games that give lots of money.
Trip: Some patches got delayed because of Leaderseasons and then eventually cancelled. Some released patches where pretty drastic, for example the Economy change in Kane Wrath patch 1.1 along with the removing off build radius for many structures.
How do you feel about the C&C 3/Kanes Wrath patch policy?
vOddy: The biggest problem with EA's patching was that they released too few patches. The second biggest problem was that they tried to both change the game and balance the game at the same time. This is not possible. The econoym change in 1.09, for example, was actually the biggest nerf to Scrin. Without it, Scrin vs Nod wouldn't be as broken as it is now, because of Scrin having an easier time to reach the critical mass of units that makes them effective.
Trip: You didn't switch over to Red Alert 3, even when there wasn't that many tourneys for Kanes Wrath any longer.
What are the reasons for this?
vOddy: I just thought Red Alert 3 sucked, to be honest. It's gameplay is not C&C, and the game itself (just looking at it as any game, not considering it has the name C&C) wasn't personally fun for me either.
Trip: We know that your not happy with the direction C&C 4 took.
What would have been your wishes for a new C&C?
vOddy: To be honest, it's fine for them to make a spinoff like that, if they call it something like C&C: Tactics. But to make the conclusion to the story into a game like that, just shows how little they care. It's like they took a look at StarCraft 2 and thought: " Oh crap, every serious RTS gamer will buy StarCraft II instead. let's appeal to another customer group instead! ".
I would have wanted them to wait about four years, then make the last tiberian C&C, and make it right. They should take their time, and it can be innovative, but it should still be C&C. Just because you add new things doesn't mean you have to remove old things. Also, I personally think that the artistic style is just plain ugly. I mean, look at the units... They look like something from a children's TV series.
Trip: You also got into Broodwar, do you want to see an evolution for Starcraft 2 or should the new game stick close to the orginal?
vOddy: I'd like StarCraft II to be a bigger and better StarCraft, with the races having new innovations (though still feeling like StarCraft and fitting the race) and being even more unique from each other than in StarCraft 1. However, this is not what they're doing, and I don't think they would be able to do it even if they tried. Maybe they even are trying?
Anyway, StarCraft II is going to be a good game, but it's not going to be like StarCraft. It'll be different, but it'll still be a good game, and I am still checking it out. I've always preferred C&C gameplay over StarCraft gameplay, but even I have to admit that StarCraft is just more polished. It got the patches it needed, and it's not imbalanced.
Trip: Recently you got some tournaments for Universe at War rolling. What fascinates you about that game, that suffered from beeing one of the first Games for Windows live games.
vOddy: There is so much about it that fascinates me that I'd have to write a huge wall of text in order to cover it all, so I'm just going to shallowly cover some of the things I like about it. For one, I have never seen races so diverse in any RTS. The Hierarchy seems like it's a race from another RTS game compared to the other two, while the Novus and Masari races, though not seemingly coming from different games, are excellent examples of faction diversity.
There are also lots of strategies you can do, and even more counter-strategies. The game never gets old, because there are so many possibilities and so much strategic diversity. You really have a lot of options. Which units you choose to rely on and which research tree(s) you go for almost turns your faction into a whole new race with a different playstyle, especially with the Masari, as they can change between light mode and dark mode, effecting every unit and structure on the battlefield, changing their properties, and even transforming some units from ground to air. It also gives them different special abilities.
Another example is the research mechanic. You have six research points you can spend any way you want. There are three research trees with four slots each. For example, the Novus have a tech tree that boosts your economy and gives your units health. It's a good, solid, combat tech tree. Then there's a tech tree that focuses mainly on "The Flow" (the flow is basically like pylons and their energy in StarCraft, except units can actually travel almost instantly from one flow-powered place to another, if the network is connected), and a third tree that focuses on viruses (you can infect enemy units with viruses, let the viruses spread from vehicle to vehicle, and use them for various effects).
On top of this, Novus also have "Patches". These are various buffs (or debuffs for your opponnet) that are unlocked by researching on the various tech trees. So if you have some research in the virus tech tree you could apply a patch that shuts down every infected enemy unit for a few seconds. Or you could use a patch that gives your units more health for as long as the patch is active. You can also have two active at a time after building a tech center. The possibilities are endless, and it never gets old.
Also, the game is balanced pretty well. I'd say about the level of WarCraft III's balance. If it wasn't balanced, I wouldn't be playing it.
Trip: Thanks for the interview, you shall have the last words.
vOddy: RTS is going down the drain. Thank god for Blizzard, and let's hope StarCraft II is good so that there is still some hope for this genre :P
Oh, and pick up UaW. It's less than a dollar on amazon or ebay ;)