An Interview with Rumrunner

Please tell us a little about yourself Rumrunner.

I grew up in the UK and have spent the last 20 years living in China and now Hong Kong with my wife and two kids. I work here as a lawyer, and therefore tend to be time starved - I mainly now play at weekends, but use my commute to catch up on changes in the game!

What sort of hobbies do you have?

( as above ) I enjoy sports, in particular, running (trail running - HK has an amazing network of stunning trails), scuba diving (which has a strong connection with my in game name), travelling and reading. I have always played computer games and moved from the playstation to online games after my kids used to complain of the spooky music in games like "Last of us".

What brought you to WR and when did you start playing?

My daughter suggested it to me after she saw it in an ingame advert while she was playing Minecraft. I started playing immediately before Halloween in 2016. At the time my main online gaming was in another game, which, due to the fact that the developers had not really made any significant developments to the game for a while, started to get stale, so I dropped that and started playing War Robots more in early 2017. I joined the clan around Easter 2017, initially in Serica, then Draconis and then to Audax where I stayed for a couple of years before moving to Excelsis with clan leader Luc.

What do you think attracts you to a game like WR?

The gameplay is fantastic. I played a lot of Playstation games like Call of Duty in the past, but I really enjoy the fast 6v6 gameplay. Its constantly changing which obviously has its downsides, but every game is different. Once you start investing in it (which over time I have done a fair bit!) gets its hooks into you. Now the real fun comes from squadding with clanmates in voice! We play hard, but are primarily there to have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. One of these days, we will have to start thinking of things like strategy! Currently key strategies are "kill the kid" or increasingly "someone kill the Mings!!" and "don't shoot the kill the leech!"

What platform and device do you play on?

iOS. Looking forward to the upcoming merge and to playing with our Android clanmates later this year. I play on an ipad that I got deliberately to play the game (but don't tell my wife that!).

What level are you at at the moment?

Champ. I took a long road here. I kept all my gear at level 8 for about two years, working on variety more than levelling up. Then the mechanics changed about a year ago and I found myself climbing the leagues, so went with it and started levelling my gear. Recently with the upcoming death of OE, I have been working on maxing as much OE gear as I can before the hammer hits. I love Champs to be honest. You don't see many tankers and everyone is usually going all out to win. Yes it has its downsides and imbalances, but really sharpens your game. That said, the meta is constantly moving and I have generally tried to keep up with that. I read a lot on the forum, reddit etc, and also follow several YTers to get an idea of new setups and tactics. Its part of what I love about the game - the constant changes keep it fresh for me, though I know they are a source of frustration for many.

What’s your hangar like?

This is where I went off the tracks in WR. I run 5 hangars. I got no 2 for free through the forum, and then when we couldn't choose game mode for a while added hangar 3, 4 and 5. I know pix is now offering hangars for cheap, but would caution people about that. It completely changes your resource priorities if you want to be competitive. I run five competitive hangars. I currently work on the basis of one beacon runner, one healer and mainly brawlers for all of my hangars, though I run one mainly for long maps (though with only one longer range bot). Recently since the change to the MkII system I have started levelling my main hangar to mk2, focusing on OE weapons primarily, so use that a lot more for squadding and getting as far as I can in the operations etc.

What are your favourite bots?

I love fast hit and run types of bots, so previously enjoyed Gareth, then hover, strider and now one of my favourites would be the phantom. My hangars mainly comprise meta bots. I am increasingly liking the nightingale and think that has a lot of potential in squadplay.

What are your favourite weapons?

I would say shotguns(!), but they are not long for this world with an upcoming nerf! If only all corona viruses could be dealt with so easily! I have recently levelled some wasps and like those a lot. Great at killing leeches. Now just need a SAM that can OSK the pesky maxed plasma Mings!

Do you have a favourite map and tactic?

I like the smaller maps like Moon and Dead City for the dynamic gameplay. The games on those maps are constantly changing and you can go from a commanding five beacon lead to suddenly being four or five down. I don't like the more static gameplay maps as much where its all about a single beacon, but I enjoy them all.

How often do you play?

I play a fair bit more at the weekend. I used to play a lot more, especially in the old style events (I have many koi leos), but work has got a lot busier for me in the last 18 months, so can only find time at weekends.

Do you squad?

I squad a lot. I really enjoy the squad games.

Any thoughts about squadding?

Again one of the benefits of being in champs is everyone is at a similar level in the clan, and we often get 4-6 man squads going with most or all of us on voice on discord. Even if we are meeting death squads we try to give them a fight and always have a laugh. Through squadding I have learned a lot about the game from others. I have fond memories of twelve of us in custom games walking around maps in rogs discussing tactics to prepare for six pack league games. That’s a great way to learn and I would definitely recommend six pack games.

What would you change in the game if you could?

Two things - one I think at lower levels is the matchmaking for squadding. Once you're in champs you can start to hit back against death squads, but they need a better system for matching lower level squads and dealing with disparities in levels. The other is the cost. Particularly with the introduction of titans. I know others dislike the matchmaking and constant changes, but having played other games where the developers weren't as "active" I think a degree of change is necessary to keep things fresh.

Why did you join our discord server?

I joined when I joined the clan. At the time Dredd encouraged us all on, but its changed the game for me, as has the clan. Discord is a great addition to the game, given the limits of clan chat in game. I’ve got some very confused looks at airport check in in HK discussing pilots and pilot skills with Luc over discord voice chat not long after their introduction to the game, not to mention “green crack” levels (PC) while going through security!

What do you like/dislike about our discord community?

Its great to be able to talk to other players around the world. We often have players in US, Europe, Africa, Central Asia, Far East and Australia on voice playing games together in squads. It also really helps exchange information on latest changes and tactics, and is a very supportive platform for new players to learn from others.

Why do you play War Robots?

I like killing reds! It’s a great outlet, and is constantly changing, so I enjoy the challenge that comes with that. We also have a great group of people in the clan which has been a key in keeping me here.

Interview by Boldasluv! Feb 2020

Here are Rumrunner's hangars as of feb 2020:

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