Hello Rikoll, let's start with some brief introduction. What is your full name, how old are you and since when do you play QuakeWorld? Also, were there any interruptions in your QuakeWorld career?
Hello there! My full name is Håkon Rikoll
Solberg and I'm 25 years old. Would say I started to play QuakeWorld the autumn 2007, so played for a bit over 2 years now. Also had a short period of playing it during 1997-98, for about a year and a half, but that was never too serious. But I guess you could say I had a 9 year break before returning to the best multiplayer game ever!Which game(s) did you play before you seriously started with QuakeWorld?
My first serious attempt at gaming, was a game called Elasto Mania. Its a 2d motorbike game were the goal is to go drive to "checkpoints" (shown as apples) and drive to finish (a flower) a fast as possible. I was the world champ there with most world records and best total time on all the tracks together at the same time during a period, and had a World Record on one map until June 2009 even though I hadn't touched it for quite a while. My nick back then was zyntifox
, and theres some info on the game @ moposite.com
if anyone's interested. I put this game away quite long time ago even though i play 5-10 min once in a while still.
My second serious attempt at gaming was Counter Strike. Was in a quite good Norwegian clan at the time, numbering #2 on the Clanbase ladder for quite a while. Even though I never reached world class level here, I played at a quite high level but the game got boring quickly.
My third serious attempt was (facepalm) World of Warcraft. Played an undead rogue, and actually enjoyed the competitive arena part of the game for quite a while. Was in 2 top teams during season 1 of the arena, and won the Netherdrake (a flying mount only members in the top 0.5% of the teams in their respective group (2v2 / 3v3 / 5v5)) in the 2v2 and 5v5 ladder. Shortly after this, WoW started to bore me as well and I sold my account for a decent amount of euros when season 2 started.
Could also mention chess, as its been a hobby throughout my life. Haven't played active for some years now, and never reached anything close to IM / GM level. Peaked at 1970 rating in normal games, and 1550 in blitz games. I'm probably much lower now
. Thats it I think. Quite long reply since my gaming career is quite long!I am sure you have prepared yourself before QHLAN 13 by practicing more or less. Is it true that in last months you've been playing quite a lot of games? By looking at your current stats I noticed that you (still?) duel a lot lately, is that a continuation of a longer trend?
I've always been interested in duels, and it is my favorite of 1on1/2on2/4on4/ffa/etc. The mind games where you try to figure out your opponent, as well doing your best to make sure the opponent doesn't get inside your head is really fascinating. When I play computer games I always strive to become better, since I find the development part and getting deeper understanding of the game actually more entertaining than playing the game itself. So yeah, I've played a lot of duels in the past and I guess I'll stick around and play duels a bit longer.Was this your first QHLAN? What were your expectations before QHLAN 13? Did you expect to win the duel tournament? What do you think was the main reason that you won it?
Yes this was my first QHLAN. I expected to meet a bunch of great people and spend a lot of time playing QW with no interruptions from my girlfriend or friends. I did not expect to win the duel tournament, but I knew I had a chance. The main reason for me winning it I think was my ability to stay focused throughout all of the games and not underestimating any of my opponents.How do you like the Warzon Trophy? How do you feel taking it away from LocKtar? He was very eager to get it. I saw you two playing duels not so long ago and you both seemed to take it somehow seriously. Any even a little drama involved maybe? ;-)
The Warzon Trophy is truly amazing! A memory for life (lol
) and a nice achievement token for all the time I've put into the game the last two years. I'm sure that LocKtar is happy with the one he already got, but, who wouldn't want two of those babies? I love playing duels with LocKtar and to be honest, he always seems to take the games versus me slightly more serious than when playing others? Could just be my imagination, but my guess is that it is a result of my own gaming style. Even though there is some whine (mostly from me) when the two of us play, I don't think theres much drama involved. It's just two competitive people doing their best to beat each other in a game they both love.I also remember seeing you playing against Milton and some other highly skilled players before the QHLAN. How important for you is to play against top players? Some pro-gaming guides claim that it is also important to play against players who are clearly on lower skill than you. What do you think about it all, what do you prefer and what did give you the most valuable experience for the QHLAN duel tournament?
If there was no top players, or top players didn't want to play me anymore, I'd stop immediately. So yeah, very important for me to match myself versus the best. I disagree with the part that it is important to play lesser skilled opponents. From my experience, I only end up developing "false" routine and tactics that often just works versus weaker opponents. On the other hand, I doubt you ending up being a poorer player by playing weaker opponents. But the effect you get from a duel session with a top player compared to a weaker than yourself is much greater considering improving as a competitive player, no matter what level you're currently on. Constantly playing top duelers throughout my relative short career of being a QW player, is the one and only reason I had a chance to win that tournament, and the only reason I won it in the end.How ofter do you observe matches? Do you watch demos? Do you watch your own demos from your own point of view? Some believe it's a good way to improve, what do you think about it? Who is your biggest current inspiration in QuakeWorld (as for duels)?
I don't often observe matches. Casual games seems to bore me somewhat. It often just ends up with one player raping the other, the other player giving up and rushing until he in the end gets a kill but is way too far behind to make the game interesting. Tournament matches on the other hand, can be really thrilling. The avenger vs locktar games from last ownage (both semi-final and the grand final) were awesome to watch. I do watch casual games now and then, but it mostly just ends up with me doing some cleaning / other house duties while checking the score now and then. I do however watch demos. Specially demos from tournaments in the past, or tournament demos including myself. I very rarely watch my own POV then, but rather the strongest opponent if 2v2 / 4v4, or the other player if 1v1. I usually knows what I was thinking, and find it much more rewarding to see and learn from the other player strengths and weaknesses.
If I would have to mention one player that inspires me to improve, it would have to be Milton. His ability to combine offensive and defensive play, his movement, aim and speed is not matched by anyone today and has never been executed better by any player in the past (from demos I've seen. Probably some griffin / dag fans would disagree here).What is the main difference for you between an online tournament and a LAN tournament? Which one suites you better and why?
The main difference is that on a LAN everyone is playing on the best conditions possible (12 ms). Online tournaments are played on different terms, with usually one player having the ping advantage, which in my opinion kinda ruins the concept for a tournament. The best deal, at least now with ezQuake ability to increase the ms, would be to force every player to play with the same ping up to a certain point. That point would be 51 in my opinion, since most European players can get that to most European servers. If you're not playing on the same terms, are you really playing the same game?From all the things we just talked about, what would you recommend the most to those who want to become good in QuakeWorld dueling?
Practice, practice, practice. Whine if you want, but never give up. Don't believe in the term luck. Luck has nothing to do with it. Richard Wiseman has some nice science read on this (even though its mostly on daily life issues). Be honored if a top player wants to play you, act decently and try to control your emo-rage when he rapes you (yeah can be hard, I know
). Analyze your mistakes, and do your best to improve them next time around. Watching some top players play can also help a bit, but I think your time is better spent playing 10 minutes yourself than watching a demo.Which map is your favorite duel map and why? What is the key factor for you in that map?
DM4 or ZTNDM3. Lets take DM4 since most people who have heard about me probably associate me with that map. What most people seem to do wrong here, is that they're impatience. Playing a predictive +forward game vs someone decent here, is gonna be your downfall for sure. Never rush in with boomstick / ga vs a ra + lg and rl dude. Try to get him off balance. Make him follow you into ssg if possible. This specially applies if you're in lead. If you're under, take note when he grabbed the red, so you can die with a decent chance of spawning it without being spammed to death by grenades from above because you died before the armor actually was up. Sometimes you probably have to waste some time and frags to get there, but if you play cautious consistently you will have your shot sooner or later. Theres no shame in camping ssg either, not matter what other "top" players want you to believe. If going out is your certain death, better to wait there. You got all you need there. Health, rockets and chance for both cells and armor. If your enemy makes the mistake of going to grab an armor, its your queue to go out and take over the control. Timing is a big factor on this map.You started with QW in autumn 2007 and won major LAN at the very beginning of 2010. That's pretty impressive to me. People who started playing QW in last 3 years are a minority, like only a fifth of the scene. You dedicated lots of your time to this old game and you also claim QW is best multiplayer game ever. Why? What's so good about it? Typically people say speed, but as you fancy duels with tension and in your favorite map you like to wait out for your opportunity, it can't be the speed. What factor is so special to you? What would you recommend to emphasize when showing this game to people who never played it? Can the same thing that attracted you possibly attract more new people to the game, if properly "advertised"?
The true beauty of QW is in its brutality and rawness. The fast rockets with huge splash, the insanely powerful LG with pushback and limited range and the super-tactical grenade launcher. Combine this with the movement in QW with direction shifts midair, and you have an insanely dynamic game compared to most other games who seem to take the more static, sniper-friendly approach. All this makes QuakeWorld much more merciless than other FPS games. One tiny mistake, like firing your rocket a hundred of a second too late or early, can lose you the game. This makes it even more important to think ahead of your opponent, and in my opinion favor the more defensive player who take no risks. Of course, skills can overwhelm tactics if the gap is big enough and I know myself I'll probably never be at the skill-level of the best players at the moment as long as they keep playing. I do feel that its a huge difference of being defensive and being passive / apathetic about your game. People in this community seems to talk a lot about "cs'ing" when one player is defensive and waiting the other out. Lets take DM4 as an example again: Who is really the more "cs-like" player of the one camping big expecting the one in lead to march out of RA into his LG, or the one in lead who's holding RA until his opponent takes some initiative himself? For me the answer is obvious.
Back on topic again. I wouldn't really recommend showing slow, intense duels for new players who seems interested in this game. Even though that was the thing that attracted me, I consider myself to be quite weird and extreme when it comes to competitive gaming. I would probably focus more on the "fun" part of the game: careless FFA, some 2on2 / 1on1 with players like themselves, and maybe some mixes. Let them find out themselves which path they want to take once they've learned the basics of the game. And again, new recruits is the only hope for a surviving scene. Act nice, don't yell at people for doing things that maybe have taken you 5-10 years to learn properly. The ones playing now will not play forever, and its naive to think that old stars will return. New ones have to be born.A small jump back to QHLAN. What do you think about QHLAN in general and the QHLAN 14 proposal? Do you think it's possible to attract new (and young) players if the event is done close to other games' LANs? Do you plan to come to the future QHLANs to defend your duel crown? :-)
QHLAN 13 was a great experience for me even before the tournaments started. Sure there could have been more players, but it was some obvious reasons for why it was abit few this year as pointed out in different threads on the forums. The plans for QHLAN 14 is ambitious, but clearly achievable. It all boils down to if the players in this community still cares about LANing and meeting those players they spend several hours a month playing with on different servers. Its nothing wrong with not wanting to show up either, and as pointed out in some discussion somewhere whatever excuse you have for not showing up is good enough. Its just a game.
Attracting new players to the game should be easy, but will take time and dedication. If someone took initative and created a newbie tournament during these LAN events for the non-QWers, I am sure we would get a couple of new players each event. It would also require some support for the interested players, since QW is not the easiest (nor hardest) game to set up.
As for me defending "my duel crown", yes I will probably try. Hopefully though I would have much less chance (probably close to 0) than I had on QHLAN 13 because all the big names would show up. Imagine a tournament with LocKtar, Locust, Mutilator, Gamer, Marklar, Mawe, Scenic, Avenger, Reppie, ParadokS, Bulat, Xpr, Arnette and of course Milton showing up. Gaming history would be made immediately, and I'm sure the appeal would be much wider than just our community. Just a dream I guess though.I noticed some of your comments under the Steelseries Xai Review. Which mouse do you think suits you or would suit you best? What sensitivity do you actually use now and why? Anything else you would pick from your current gaming setup as potentially "special"?
Ah the mouse. Have used 5 different since I started with QW. IE3.0, MX518, Lachesis, DA and G9x in that order with G9x being the latest and current. All of them except Lachesis are really good mice. I've actually the latest days really started to enjoy playing with the G9x. It is probably pretty close to whats perfect for me, with its light weight, high DPI and small grip. My sensitivity is now about 4.5cm / 360 degrees, recently lowered by about 1 cm to be able to handle my new mouse properly. The reason for this choice is for me to be totally independent on arm movement no matter what situation I'm in, and it is still low enough for me to keep my aim very steady at one static point while strafing.What about the Norwegian QuakeWorld scene? You had a great return in 2009, including Nations cup appearance. How does it look now? What are all the other big names doing at the moment? I noticed three of you signed up for the Clanwarz Poland tournament. How do you see your chances there?
The norwegian scene looks quite grim at the moment. Most of them are busy with real life stuff like studies, work, other hobbies etc. Think TCO is playing the unmentionable. Maybe a new nations cup would inspire him and some more to return? Arnette is around now and then, but is probably a bit busy with studies and working out? Played some duels with him recently, and he still got it. PreMortem is up for a game now and then, and he is still a really good 4on4 player. We already played vs fusion in the polish league. Lost 3-0 but what to expect vs a lineup of Valla, Skillah, Moltas, Squeeze, Tom and Slabi. All top notch players backed up by div0 Valla! Think we're gonna struggle to not end last in this league, but I'll be optimistic and say 4th place in front of Hard Guns Dealers!Thanks for your time and patience to answer all the questions and good luck in Clanwarz Poland! I hope we will see you on servers as often as we did until now.