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Clan Spotlight: [Otter] 3/10

Дата: 10.03.2014 18:59:19
Quemapueblos: Another fortnight has passed, and that means it's time for another Clan Spotlight. This time around, we have a look at Ottercratic Teutonic Theocrats of the Eternal Reich, the clan that somehow found an acronym to spell out [OTTER] for their Clan tag. This clan has shown that they have what it takes to be an elite Clan Wars Clan, and we celebrate their one-year birthday by putting them in the Spotlight. This is the extended version of the interview, you can view the abridged version on the portal.   Allurai – Commander, I do everything that is not actually fighting people in tanks and recruiting   Huck_ - Deputy Commander, basically yells at everybody to focus fire in battle
QUESTIONS:   When and how did your Clan form? Huck_ - Some of the senior officers in [PBKAC] wanted to start a sister clan and at the same time GSA and Black Berets were going through some internal issues. So it ended up being good timing and those three clans pulled some people together and went from there.   Allurai – Yeah, our first birthday is March 11th.   How would you describe the environment in your community? Allurai – Slightly organized chaos. Have you seen our TeamSpeak?   Huck_ - Yeah, we are pretty belligerent. For the most part we have a lot of guys who like to fight.   How is your Clan structured? How do you delegate roles? Huck_ – Well, that's you Allurai. You are the dictator so it starts with you.   Allurai– OTTER has generally just followed in the footsteps of Ziddy (PBKAC) and each OTTER CO has put their own spin on the "Benevolent Dictator" approach. This is where the Commander is solely in charge of clan direction/decision making and is responsible for everything the clan does to function and exist. I delegate some stuff out, specifically recruitment to other people because it is a massive time sink, but I do all the diplomacy, plan all the chip movements, organize who turns up to which battles, etc. As long as I keep the DC's up to date on my plans, the clan runs itself on the days I'm not there.   Hyp - With that kind of structure do you find members asking for more say in what goes on?   Allurai – Yes and no. For the most part, we find that a system in which the whole group has a discussion, works out what's going on and then has a vote just doesn't work at all. We find that one person, one direction and everyone else working to implement their plan just makes for a much happier narrative for the Clan to operate in.   What is the dynamic between the Petco Clans? Allurai – There is sort of actually two groups of Clans. There are Kitties, Otter, Badgr and Foxey. Then the rest and that is run by KingAlphyn and his crew.   Hyp - What is the difference between the two groups?   Allurai– I think it's sort of that benevolent dictator approach that I was talking about. The four clans in our group are basically run by an individual and a bunch of people that implement their plan. Whereas their Clans are more of a democracy and there have been some diplomatic clashes in the past but we all live on the same TeamSpeak server. You know, a dysfunctional family.   Hyp - So you consider yourselves two halves of one group?   Allurai – Sure. One of the big things was that Alphyn was very clear that he was never going to take direction from some of the other groups that maybe prefer to be a little tighter knit and because of that there has always been friction. At this point it's like, "yep, well they are going to do their own thing." They really are. A bit of misconception from the outside really. I was talking with Chai the other day and they asked "What's up with PUPEH?" and I said whoa don't talk to me about them. I don't know.   What is involved in the recruiting process of OTTER? Allurai – I guess Gabe is probably our main guy. He will look at their stats, mostly Tier X damage just to see what sort of average damage they do in game of Tier X's. From there, we look at other aggregate statistics, like win rate and WN8 in order to gauge what level the player is at. If we like what we see then we will invite them to platoon with us and after a couple of hours of platooning with our guys, we will say yay or nay. There is a lot of stat padding going on and that does affect some statistics, but you can't fake being good while platooning with players that know what they are looking at.   Huck_ – We have always been very heavily looking at tier X stats just because it is what you spend the majority of time doing in Clan Wars.   What do you consider to be your clan's greatest achievement? Huck_ – I'd say fighting in the Purple Dawn War. We were only a month old fighting against Havok, SIMP and really good Clans that were much better than us on paper. Kind of coming together under pressure is what made our Clan stick and melded all these different parts together while the fire was going on.   What are your goals for your Clan's future? Allurai – We don't really have any sort of long term goal. The Clan Wars map is very fluid and dynamic and changes pretty frequently with people pulling off and going other places. In between all that we have our own chaos of people wanting Gold versus people who are wanting to fight that we balance on a knife's edge by farming for a little bit and building up a treasury then going out and fighting people and continuing to be able to do full Gold payouts while we are away. Then coming back and farming Gold.   Huck_ – Basically, what Allurai said plus we would like to get Toronto back from the Kitties.   Allurai – Yeah that's important actually. Why don't you tell the history of that just so the world can know.   Huck_ – Well the Kitties kind of agreed to sit on Toronto while we went and fought a war. It's 8 months later and they are still sitting on Toronto so we'd kind of like it back.   Allurai – After Kitties lost it for themselves, we had to take it back for them but it was ransacked so we couldn't get anything from it. Then they wanted it back, sooooo maybe soon.   Do you remember your first Clan Wars Battle and what the battle was like? Huck_ – Oh, absolutely. We started in March 2013, right when Europe was closing. I remember we were fighting Nuked over in France and then they closed Europe. We came over to America and got thrown right into the war. The first night of Tank Locking we had 5 battles and locked 57 tanks, so we really got thrown right into the fire.   Do you think having players who had experience in Clan Wars and in other Clans when you began helped you get started? Huck_ – Yeah, I mean that is a difference between OTTER and a lot of the other Clans that are starting up. We had a lot of guys with a lot of Clan Wars Experience. You know DunxtonChexton and Onesh0t were DCs over in the kitties and we really brought over a lot of the "A teams" from GSA and Black Berets.  So we had a lot of guys who were used to playing Clan Wars at a very high level every night. That definitely helped us hit the ground running and make a difference starting out versus starting from scratch.   What advice do you have for a Clan that is starting from scratch? Allurai – One of my peeves about new Clans starting out is quite often their leadership has no experience of being within a Clan that's been on the map before. This holds back a lot of clans and gets a lot of soldiers frustrated because people are trying to jump into the "running a Clan business" before they understand what running a Clan actually entails. I consider running a clan like playing high stakes Texas Hold'em but the chips you're gambling and bluffing for is your personal time and sanity.   Huck_ – It's all about playing the game. The newer Clans should be in Landing Zones every night. They should be running Tank Companies when they are not in landing zones building that cohesion. That really is the most important thing, finding 15 guys that play well together. If you can, you will end up on the map somewhere.   What advice would you give yourself about running a Clan if you could go back to when you started? Allurai – I've been lucky because I have only been in Otter for 4 months at this point. It was pretty bad because I joined Otter after having left PBKAC and then went AFK for 2.5 months. I am a little new on the whole Otter side of this stuff. As far as running a Clan goes, I went back and learned a whole bunch from Templars. Just sort of learning by doing but then jumping in as head of Otter was great because instead of having a bunch of yellow and green players, I've got a whole bunch of blue and purple players. Now all a sudden, all these tools sets for field commanding are available. I can do a really aggressive flanking maneuver because I have medium drivers that really know what they are doing. So the most learning I have been doing recently is learning to call with better players, but all the diplo and chip movement stuff I learned well before I got here.   Huck_ – For me, I was the former Commander and if I had to do it all over again, I would go into it with a better understanding of time commitment that is involved. It is definitely a commitment to run a successful Clan. We probably spend 4 or 5 hours a night online and maybe an hour playing tanks. Probably the other thing is to not reinvent the wheel. I learned about half way through to start going to the people that really knew the game and had done it for a long time. Guys like Ziddy, loz and Yankee. So instead of reinventing the wheel do what the really good Clans do. Mimic how they handle situations and it makes it a lot easier I've found.   What prior clan leadership decision do you regret the most? Allurai– Oh my God I so do. Get this. This is how terrible at the game I used to be. When Rebellion, which was -G- subclan at the time, was breaking up and splitting off, I turned down an invitation to -G- to… go… to… Templars… Probably the worst decision of my tanks career.   Quemapueblos - Why do you think you chose that path?   Allurai – Ignorance. At the time, I would have much rather been a field commander in what I believed to be a good Clan than just a soldier in G. So dove head first into that with no idea of what I was doing. You know, going straight into leading a Clan that we then had to struggle to build and fight for to keep on the map. Blah Blah Blah and a big part of that was I didn't know what I was doing. Sure I came out after that, like a year later, knowing what I was doing but man was I burnt out from the game at that point.   Hypnotik - Do you think if had gone to G that you would be prepared for leading Otter?   Allurai – That's the thing. Probably not. I would just be a field caller. I'd probably be happier.   Quemapueblos - Any regrets Huck?   Huck_ – It's been good times and I really don't have regrets. We have fought nonstop for the last year and it's been a great time.   What makes a good field commander? Allurai – Hundreds of games of Tank Company calling experience. Because of the way Tank Companies work with random side and random map, you have to take a very well-rounded team so that you can be effective on most maps. You can't take a whole bunch of TDs to some maps because you are chewed out on areas of maps where there is a middle point that whoever captures first has a good chance to win. If you bring a whole bunch of slow tanks, you are never going to do well on that type of map. So you have to bring this well rounded team and look at the other team's composition and figure out what they are roughly capable of doing in each map, then arrange your guys and attack and defend or set traps and bait people in.   Huck_ – I agree. It all begins and ends with Tank Companies for me. A lot of the more experienced callers on the server came from Tank Companies and that is kind of lost now. I think a lot of the younger callers bring their tournament experience, which is good in some ways but bad in others. You really see this proliferation of flex calling right now which I think has filtered down from tournaments. It works really well in the 7 on 7 situation and there are some guys in G and in SIMP that can do it really well but for the most part if you are going against a really experienced caller with a good plan, good vision control and good map control, it is really difficult to make the flex work.   Allurai -  A well-rounded team going into any map makes you learn the map - the common areas where everyone goes and the generalized strategies. It also teaches what you can and can't do when you have a mobility advantage on your opponent. If they can move around the map faster than you can then at some point if you keep moving you are going to be isolated and get trapped. It's a lot of pushing forward and pulling back and relocating, scouting people out and that's a lost art that you don't get from tournaments because they don't have enough high tier tanks to do it. In the 7/42 format, you have 5 Tier VIIIs and you don't really want to risk 20% of your force going to die just by checking a flank. In a 15 on 15 Tier X battle, losing 1 tank and going down to 14 isn't that big of a deal in the whole scheme of things. You get a lot more of that experience when you have more tanks to play with. They are two very different beasts.   Can you tell whose calling the other side of the battle? Allurai – It's very hard to pick that up off the enemy especially when there is Fog of War and you don't know who you are playing in Clan Wars. You might be able to make a guess at the end of the game as to who it was based on the people that were in it and roughly what they did but it is very hard to tell on a night to night basis when they have multiple field commanders. That is one of our strengths. I know we get a lot on the offensive; that we can attack on particular maps like Highway or Erlenberg, Prokhorovka or Malinovka and Murovanka. Huck and I have completely different approaches to how we would attack those maps and because of that, it is very nerve-wracking for a Clan that has one field commander that's having to defend against each of us. We take turn every night just breaking it down and throwing different things at them.   Huck_ – I think that is definitely one of the advantages of OTTER having been drawn from different Clans with very different calling styles as opposed to a Havok or a SIMP, Clans have a very distinctive calling style because they have all kind of grown up in that environment and learned the mechanics of the games from the same group. For the most, other Clans we play have a very similar style regardless of who the caller is. Whereas Otter is different is that regard because of our backgrounds being so different we bring very different perspectives depending on whose calling.   Allurai – We have a pool of about six field commanders we can pull from and because of that, while we throw different people at them each night and are doing different things, we often have the other field callers in the battle as well so they are gaining experience on what the enemy team does do. They see a lot more and can figure out a lot more while you are watching a game rather than while you are calling it. I could do an attack on Highway and do whatever and end of losing but Huck was in that battle watching. He can say then "Alright I see how that defender did that defense and how they flexed and what not. If I knew they were going to do something like that, I would be using my attack to push instead of here. Delay it by a minute and we will catch them all out in the open while they flex back or something." So we get the other field commanders watching and preparing counter-strategies while we are still getting the first initial fights in the war done. That is why you'll see the bigger Clans usually lose a couple of battles when they start the war but then will ramp up and end up crushing people because after a couple of battles on each map you just figure out what the opposing Clan is doing and what their styles. Huck_ – Otter has lost the first battle in every war we ever fought and we won every war we ever fought.   Do you have a favorite map or line up that you prefer to play in Clan Wars? Huck_ – In general, I like to be aggressive with autoloaders, deny a portion of the map, and make them respond to what I am doing. If the other team goes the other direction or you lose another spot on the map then that is the sacrifice you are making.   Allurai – I am very good at breaking turtles. That is sort of my strength, when a team gives away vision control of the map in order to have complex firing areas, I am very good at breaking them out reasonably quickly. That usually means city maps, Himmelsdorf in particular. I love how many different lanes you can get into for shots and peek or hide for the relatively small size of the map. It is so fun just flexing tanks around. As for make-up, city maps tend to prefer heavier tanks and autoloaders. Anything you can use to mitigate damage because it is usually one big brawl. If have a couple of tanks that can take a few extra shots within that first 40 seconds of firing you are more likely to get more damage done and more tanks killed. You push forward and pull back if you don't think you are going to win. However, I am much more at home with my style of calling on open maps, where mediums are very effective. Murovanka or Sand River. If you understand how vision works and dominance you can have on the map with vision and lack of vision then you can control so much more in a game. I find a lot more of the one side fights I have are on open maps. It's basically autoloaders as support fire for mediums or TDs as soak force for me these days. Autoloaders are pretty key.   Have you played any of the maps that were changed in patch 8.11 in Clan Wars yet? How have the changes affected strategies on those maps? Allurai – Well, we played on Northwest a bunch [in the CW Map Exhibition] and you may have heard about that.   Huck_ – CanadianImpact gets most of the credit for that. Him and xsoldier1007 did all the calling. These two up and coming field commanders really put the exhibition teams and strats together and did a great job with it.   If you could change one element of Clan Wars, what would you do to give your Clan an unfair advantage? Allurai - Let us have 200 chips instead of 100, while still maintaining 100 in the Clan. Then the game would be about who can field 4 teams instead of who can field 2 teams - we can field 4 teams, it'd be great. It would just mean we could hold twice as many provinces and still have enough chips to fight all the riots. Anything you can give me to get OTTER more fights would be an advantage.   Huck_ - Yeah, our attendance is really strong, so anything that would play to that.   What upcoming game change do you think will alter gameplay the most? Havok physics, turret blowoffs, destructible buildings, etc... ? Huck_ - I think there's always an adjustment period, but the better clans are better clans. When Tier X mediums came out, there was an adjustment period where it was a little bit chaotic until the meta changed with strategies and team compositions. Any change introduced I don't think will change the status quo, but there will just be an adjustment period where it takes a little bit of time for the game to catch up to the changes.   Allurai - I think maybe one change that will throw a big spanner in the works, and probably not for the better, but maybe, will be the circular draw distance. That'll be pretty big, but some maps that exist currently rely on that lack of east-west and north-south draw distance to be viable. Once you're going to have people sort of camping positions to set up the big cross-fires that will now be available, I think the game will slow down even more and favor alpha and stationary play much more than medium play. I am looking forward to this and also not looking forward to this at the same time.   Who do you think will be the top 5 for Campaign 3? Huck_ - Can [-G-] get all 5 positions? Well, G will be right there, SIMP when they set their minds to it, I think Relic. And then there's a few fighting it out for 4/5th spots. Obviously Havok and Vilin are fighting it out right now and are both wildcards; I'd say CHAI is right there as well.   Do you have any interesting traditions that are unique to your clan? Huck_ - We actually have a TeamSpeak icon that started out with us giving the MVP of Clan Wars for the night - somebody that carried the clan.  That kinda changed over the course of the year, many people accumulated over the months, and we still give out the MVP award as a Gold bonus for excellence in Clan Wars. That's what Otter's always been about - Clan Wars and who performs under pressure to get us the win, so it's kind of a big deal to be recognized in front of the Clan for your performance.   Allurai - Clan Wars is serious business.   Huck_ - The other tradition is we try to encourage our battle callers to be the first to die, and preferably with 0 damage done.   Any shout outs to friends/allies that make your lives easier? Allurai - I suppose I'd better mention Nemesis79 [-G-]   Huck_ - I think the Kitties are generally terrible, but Ziddy is a great commander, and he deserves a lot of respect for helping the various Otter commanders throughout the year. We've had 4 commanders at this point.   Allurai - That loops back into what we said at the start - that we have one guy that is in charge, what he says goes and everyone works to that plan. When he's had enough, someone else takes Commander and they go and do that thing.   Any last comments? Allurai - I think the main thing is that we want to thank our sub-clan PBKAC and sub-clan BADGR, and our parent clan FOXEY that have made us into the clan that we are today.  

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