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  SM4RTASS Interview

Name: Anton Kolomiets
ESO2 Nickname/Famous nicknames: SM4RTASS / Psycho_Mani4c
Age: 20
City: Almere (near Amsterdam), The Netherlands


Hoy, can you shortly introduce yourself?


Hi, I'm (a) SM4RTASS and at the moment I have nothing better to do, so I decided to fill out this interview for Ser3NiTy :)


Can you tell us your history in the video games? Especially in the Age of series.


I started the age of series with AOK, playing DM. Switched over to AOM as soon as it came out, and now moving along to AOE3.
I wasn't too active earlier. Used to play UT99 and TacOps at the time of AOK, and CS Source at the time of AOM. Getting more active now at AOE3.


Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us more about the first time you played AOE 3.


The first one was the demo. Played only a couple of games to see how it would run on my pc, and to check out the graphics and suck. As soon as I got the full game, the first thing I did, were these 20v20 tests in the editor, to find out what counters what best.


After more than one month after his release, do you think that this game feels like a real Age of game? Are you satisfied with the game or  is it a bad surprise for you?


I'm very satisfied with the game. I like the differences in units and civs (unlike in AOK). The first 3 minutes aren't as boring, now you can manage to shoot your hunt towards TC, get treasures etc.


Favorite civilization and why?


I'd say the French because of their versatility. There's nothing they can't boom. Rush, Boom, Mercs, TP's, it's all possible. A very close second are the Spanish because of their war dogs and XP bonus.


Favorite strategy and why?


Spanish fast fortress with Mercantilism. Spanish get shipments faster so with mercantilism you can get 4-5 shipments as soon as you reach fortress. With those you can get an army of 13 hussars, 10 lancers and 10 rodelero's out in no time.


Favorite map and why?


Yukon. Most treasures, very good for Spanish and their wardogs.


Mercs were a big problem in AOM/TT…What do you think of the new mercenaries in AOE3? And what is your favorite merc unit?


First of all I don't think mercs were a problem in AOM/TT. Second of all it's not really a comparison, since these mercs cost a card AND resources AND a lot of pop space. I think they're a nice addittion. The best merc imo are the black riders. They annihilate cavalry and do very good vs. infantry when managed correctly.


In a general way, what do you think of the balance?


Balances are reasonable, but some maps need tweaking. I'd say Great Plains with Native American Treaties is kind of overpowered. Also abus guns need a slight nerf.


Your point of view of ESO2, the online servers?


Dramatic. The first month was a drama. First the server crashed as soon as we reached 2000 people. Then it went down on 3000 all the time. We've had some major issues with XP not working, and HC's not levelling. That seems over now. The interface is really bad, the chat lags. It's impossible to find team games for 2v2/3v3 when you have regular partners, through quick search. The Game Browser stinks, there should be more restrictions on map types, number of players etc... You can't see who's in a game, who's busy and so on. Expert chat is flooded with noobs. And I could go on for a while here. I think this is one of the worst online gaming platforms I have ever seen.


Are you optimist about AOE3’s future (Tournaments, cash, sponsors, online people…)?


The people I met so far are nice. Tournaments should be hosted soon. Some already are. I don't really care about cash prizes, because I don't think I have the time / patience to compete at that level. I'm just gaming for fun.


If you could add one feature into the game or change a thing, what would you do and why?


As mentioned above, I'd really like a more advanced online user interface and platform.


Opposite way, if you could remove a feature or something?


Remove viewing decks/cards from opponents ingame. In my opinion it spoils a great strategic aspect.


What do you think about the international community? And the French one?


No idea so far.


How long do you play per day (or week)?


Around 1-2 hours per day. More in weekends (like 5 hours).


What is your opinion about the recorded games feature?


It sucks. First of all games should be auto recorded. Second of all it shouldn't lag like 20 seconds in a game when you record. Third of all the naming should be in a date-time-player1-vs-player2-map-winner-gametype fashion. Not just "record game 1". Watching recs is also bad. You can't see who gets what upgrades, who is creating which units, and who is getting which shipments. Sure this reduces the copy of build orders, but that's not what I'm watching the recorded games for. It's to improve, and this puts a limitation on that.


Who’s your favorite international player? And French player?


In AOM I liked watching games from Hope_. Especially his hoplite kamikaze strategies. I didn't really care for Isis lamage, but then again, I wasn't playing AOM a lot.


Can you give the us some tips you use while you are playing?


Use hotkeys and control groups. This saves you a lot of time. Also try to get a mouse speed as high as possible, while you can still select everything you need normally. This way you save time and can micro more units. Be adaptive. Don't decide to make 1 type of unit and stick with it, but adapt to whatever your opponent is making. And last but not least, raid non stop.


Hotkeys are a very important aspect of the game and the speed for a player. Can you tell us how you set upped your hotkeys?


I always have my left hand on the asdfqwezxcv123 part.
The asdwer are for units creations. The 123 obviously for the control groups. The bottom row of zxcvb is for quick building finding with ctrl+z etc.


W3 and Starcraft have professional players. What do you think about that progaming aspect of the game? What do you think about the future of that progaming in a general way?


I think it will become a lot bigger. Tourneys as the WCG will become more regular, and more shows will be on TV showing players playing real time. It will be a real new section of TV entertainment with loads of possibilities.


Your personal purpose in the next weeks or months in AOE3?


Get a lot of experience playing with my 2v2 ally "Driki". Maybe there will be some 2v2 tournament in the future, we want to prepare for that.


Little game, word association. I give you a word; you have to tell me quickly another one, just what you think.


AOE 3? Strategy
ES?  Bad
Ottomans? Overpowered
French? Coureurs
HC concept? Shipments
Amazonia? Monitors
Skill? Luck
Pgm? Wtf?
Patch? Not yet
Iamgrunt? 4-0 for him
Sanctuary? Rec games


Final step, do you have something special to say to the crowd?


Game on. Also when you watch a rec game of mine, I appreciate it when you drop a quick line to let me know what you thought about the game and whether you'd like to see more, or if I should stop posting :)


Thx a lot, take care.