Interview with Reverend of Death

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well, for starters, I actually am a card-carrying Reverend, having become an ordained minister online through the Universal Life Church. And I have a strong interest in philosophy, one that often has me pondering the topic of death and how people, including myself, think about it. Such was the genesis of “ReverendOfDeath” as an IGN for War Robots. I am in my mid-fifties, retired, married with cats, and child-free by choice. I have a Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Computer Science, and spent my career in the world of software development. I have worn many hats over the years: software developer, designer, architect, team lead, project manager, and (in my final dozen or so years) as a consultant helping software companies apply for innovation grants and R&D tax credits.

What sort of hobbies do you have?

My hobbies include model railroading, model rocketry, drumming (mostly 80’s rock), and reading (mostly science fiction / fantasy, but more recently general fiction, philosophy, and anything about boating [mis]adventures). But lately most of my free time is devoted to outdoor activities: kayaking, canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, and as much backcountry camping as I can squeeze in, even in the dead of a northern Ontario winter.

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

A friend of mine (known by some here as WingyDingy) kept talking about this amazing robot game he was playing. Knowing my compulsive, addictive nature I had refrained from trying it for a long time. But in the fall of 2016 I finally relented, and I loaded it onto my wife’s iPad. I got totally hooked on its sci-fi nature, its decent graphics, its intuitive interface and its quick 10-minutes-at-a-time battles. One day, after playing literally 16 straight hours of War Robots, I was told to go buy my own iPad so my wife could have hers back.

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

The smooth, engaging game play makes it easy to get into right from the start. The 10-minute limit in battle time keeps games from getting tedious. The sheer variety of players, maps, robots and weapons keeps it fresh and interesting by making sure every match is unique. And hey, it’s about piloting giant robots with fancy weaponry, so what’s not to like? As a huge fan of David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers sci-fi books, this is right up my alley.

What platform and device do you play on?

I play on iOS, on an iPad. For a while I had a second account I was playing on my iPhone, but as someone who needs reading glasses now, I found that screen a little too small, so I play only on my iPad now.

What level are you at at the moment?

I am currently in Diamond III, sometimes popping up into Diamond II but rarely staying there for long. I have some winged trophies in my profile from some time spent up in Champion League, but that was an example of the journey being its own reward. Getting to Champ was a fun challenge, but I did not enjoy the grind of staying there, especially after the introduction of modules, pilots and weapons that undermine the value of specialized abilities. To me, what is the point of a stealth ability when a QR module can just see through it? What is the point of a dash ability when a stray bullet can just freeze you out in the open? What is the point of engaging in a one-on-one battle that you have gauged you can win, only to then find your opponent can self-heal mid-skirmish and outlast you?

What’s your hangar like?

After modules came out, I was ready to abandon the game altogether. It was no longer the War Robots game that I had fallen in love with. But then I had an epiphany. I still enjoyed “Six Pack”, which harkened back to the good old days, back to around Christmas 2016 and the pre-Dash era, when the Wild West bots had been the last new thing introduced. So I made the decision to sell off any robot and weapon I had that was not Six Pack compliant. I kept nothing that was newer than the Wild West bots, and I kept nothing that was higher than level 6. With the resulting wealth of silver I bought and/or built and/or upgraded enough gear to populate five hangars of Six Pack gear. The Six Pack rules recently allowed Bolts and Gusts into the mix, and I am really enjoying playing an Aphid Bolt and Gust Stalkers. My most-used hangar these days looks like this:

What are your favourite bots?

I have the most fun playing small, light, fast bots, as I have always had a penchant for beacon capping. I am not a damage whore, but rather I prefer to employ tactics and strategy to help me stay alive so I can turn and hold beacons for the win. Interestingly, my winningest hangar these days is actually this one, with five Ecu Cossack beacon cappers and a Kid Titan:

I get a huge kick out of winning a game as top pilot running this hangar of mainly weaponless bots, like this recent game on Carrier:

What are your favourite weapons?

I can’t say I really have any favourites, it depends on the scenario: the bot, the map, the strategy, my place in a squad, and so on. That said, I have always preferred missiles and rockets over ballistic and energy weapons, I suppose.

Do you have a favourite map?

Overall I prefer the tighter maps with good opportunities for cover, maps like Moon, Dead City, Power Plant and Carrier. Being someone who likes light bots and beacon capping, I find the more open maps like Canyon, Springfield, Dreadnought and Yamantau less fun, but at the same time interestingly challenging. In the middle, I find maps like Shenzhen, Valley, Rome and Castle have a good mix of both characteristics, making them always fun to play.

How often do you play?

Pretty much daily, if I am home. Some days it might be just one game, depending in how busy I am, but most days I would say I play for somewhere between one and two hours in total.

Do you squad?

Only rarely. The current matchmaker penalizes squads by placing them against higher-league opponents, so squad matches always seem so unbalanced. But since I no longer care what league level I am at, I am always happy to squad with someone who is similarly unconcerned about their league points.

What would you change in the game if you could?

I am not sure we can ever go back. But I will say that I really miss the old matchmaker, which was based mainly on loaded hangar strength. Then, you could load whatever you found fun, and you could squad with anyone you liked, and your team would be matched amongst and against similarly matched players based in what you were sporting at the moment. I could also do without modules and pilots, as they have eliminated the ability to strategize based on predictable strengths and abilities of your opponents.

Why did you join our discord server?

Not only was it understood as a condition of membership in Aurora Nova, I had been introduced to Discord and online voice chat while in my previous clan, so I was already familiar with how much it enriches the whole gaming experience. The forum channels and the voice chat opportunities certainly help foster a closeness with my clan mates that has made Discord almost a more important part of my War Robots involvement than the game app itself.

What do you like/dislike about our discord community?

What is there to dislike? Our Discord community has resulted in relationships that I consider to be true friendships, even despite having actually met very few of my clan mates in person.

Why do you play War Robots?

In my philosophical meanderings I have come to realize that my goal in life is no more complicated than to have fun, and to find ways to be happy or at the very least content, ideally while attempting to minimize any negative impact that my doing so has on others. Playing computer games is as valuable a use of my time as anything else would be, and I have fun doing it, and I am hurting no one else in the process, so ... why not play War Robots?

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