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Author Topic: The silver medalist in NI, Era 1, Skeletan: "It's all about calculation!"  (Read 6419 times)
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« on: August 21, 2008, 12:23:08 PM »

Name: Rosen Luizov
Age: 27
Profession: Tax accauntant
Location: Gabrovo, Bulgaria
Family status: Single (An old bachelor, so he says)
Nick: Skeletan
NI, Era 1 final ranking: 2

The second place in Era 1 of NI which Skeletan won, could hardly surprise anyone who played with or against him in IO. Presenting one of the Imperia veterans, Major League player, if I may say so. Cool, prudent, extremely precise in his actions. Romantic. Huge soccer fan, Prince of seducers and, of course, on of the biggest IO critics. He had given us quite trouble each time we encounter him. But he remained one of the most important correctives. Therefore he deserves our appraisal.
And he is an excellent company and the interview with him turned out to be a joyful and enriching experience.

Oton: First of all, congratulations for the second place in NI, Era 1!
Skeletan: Thank you.
Oton: How long have you been playing IO?
Skeletan: I started in Realm 3, Era 1.
Oton: Have you played Blitz speed before?
Skeletan: Yes, I played Blitz when it started, Era 1. I keep my best memories from back then. The Era was a month long, I was lucky to meet and play with some very nice people. We formed a powerful alliance, I got a good friend - atamaje (SYLER) - he was unique player, we used to comment the game all night long, we were both free during that summer and we had lots of fun. Truly something I will never forget.
Oton: I'm asking you, because the other two players in Top 3 have never been played Blitz before...
Skeletan: I even won the first place in net worth points in that first Blitz Era... (a little bragging is in the order)
(We both smile)
Oton: Do you have to play Blitz in order to hope for a good ranking in the Nomads?
Skeletan: It's not necessary. It's all calculations. And good resource prices prediction.
Oton: In the first 10 days of the game you did not go below Top 50, but you stayed out of Top 10...
Skeletan: You can not sacrifice your economical development in the early stages of the game. I was obliged to keep up with the rest of the top players.
Oton: You passed several pillages...
Skeletan: Not too many, in fact, I think they were just 2, but, of course, I can not be sure, I'll have to look at the statistics.
Oton: Could you defend them?
Skeletan: Yes, I could.
Oton: But?
Skeletan: I cinsidered it was not rational to stop them from resource point of view (or economical, I may say). I was wrong once, but I turned out to be correct for the other one. Still - I was 50% correct.
Oton: Which are the mistakes you did not want to make during the tournament?
Skeletan: The ones I made in the last 24 hours. They were the worst mistakes ever, in fact - I could not win the first place because of them. I had all the resource I needed and - I did not have the skills to use it correctly.
Oton: Tell us about those last 24 hours...
Skeletan: First, I chose to defend the last siege, led by Xaoc. I calculated that way I could turn the lost resource in gold, as if it were 2:1 from the base. 2 hours before the attacks the market prices were very low, that was the moment I decided to fight Xaoc's armies. I had noticed that the battles are calculated by the server according to the players' current ranking position, meaning - the top players would be calculated first. I reckoned that being one of the top players I will be calculated ahead of the rest too. After the attacks, though, the market prices had douled, which meant I had lost, especially after the bad turn of events after one of the sieges.
Second, I forgot to activate the next level of Military medicine which was ready over an hour before the battles occur and I missed my advantage.
Third, upset by the prices going sky high, I stopped being rational and kept the gold, without turning it into resources, the prices went up again and I could not make a profit out of them.
Fourth, I decided to generate negative gold in one of my provinces. 5 hours and huge minus later I accidentally transported one cargo of stone to that province. And I could not save it any more. 775 000 stone loss.
Fifth, I did not know the rules of the game well. I had missed to learn more about the -5 million gold rule, after that nothing was possible. I had deluded myself that with more than -5 million gold you could still hire troops. It was not true which was a huge surprise to me. With 2 minutes left till the end I could do nothing. If I had spent all my resources in the last five minutes, for example: Hire soldiers, start my last research, I could win it all. These are the main mistakes during the last 24 hours.
Oton: Were you confident you would rank in the Top 3?
Skeletan: No. But I was sure I could be in the Top 10. For the first time since I play IO, I'm using the 10 hours income, which is too expensive for a government employee like me. But I was determined to invest and my investment paid off (I'm a graduated financial specialist, after all).
Oton: Who were the players that could win it?
Skeletan: I will point immediately at Fight, he is brilliant. We communicated a lot during the game, he is extremely intelligent and very, very, very good player. I do not know the foreign players too well, never played with them, nor talked. That's it for me - my favorite was Fight, right from the start. I thank him for his advises.
Oton: Some of the players stated that the attacks we sent were too weak...
Skeletan: This is understatement. I mean - about the attacks and weather they are weak or strong. Like I said - It's all about calculation. The goal is not to fend off all attacks, at least that was not my goal, but to either stop them with less losses possible or to pass them when it is more profitable. The goal is to be on top by net worth points, at least - in this Era it was.
Oton: What would you like us to change in Nomads?
Skeletan: I can not respond immediately. But, for the record, the players were unequally conditioned. All should compete in same conditions, all the attacks should be the same for everyone and everyone should have the same income. That's why I chose my strategy out of Top 50. I used the unequal conditions to my advantage.
Oton: I suppose you had quite a headache to keep those piles of resources from the last siege attacks?
Skeletan: No, not at all, as I said earlier, all the attacks could be fend off. What was worrying me was that the IO Team would try to punish that kind of strategy by sending extremely powerful sieges in all provinces, which could cost me dearly of they were successful. But I carefully analyzed the nature of your attacks and considered this option possible only at the very end of the game, which was worth it. I turned out to be right.
Oton: When did you feel you could rank in the Top 3?
Skeletan: In the last 4 hours of the game.
Oton: Is it all really only calculations in the Nomads?
Skeletan: Well, I had some lucky moments, when i defended the first several pillages, the ones with the 0 military researches. I was lucky indeed. But I had never lost battles which I decided to defend. Not one. I had few losses, but they were planned. In fact, they are not losses to me. I won 8 pillages with minimum expenses and net worth loss.
Oton: With 29 battles lost your military points are quite a solid figure...
Skeletan: Most of them came from the last attacks' siege machinery. It is not good to loose too many troops in NI.
Oton: Were the huge barracks key to success.
Skeletan: No, I had level 15 Barracks which can not be considered very huge. But the resource piling strategy was definitely the winning one.
Oton: Yes, Iliacrush and PUHI made unbelievable "jumps" in their rankings the very last days. They even surprised us.
Skeletan: I hope I did surprise you too.
(He smiles)
Oton: Where did your opponents get it wrong?
Skeletan: I don't know. If we talk about the other two from Top 3, they had similar strategies. As far as the rest of the players, the got their strategies wrong. They simply... did not pile the resources. In fact, I expected more people to figure it out, thus I had no idea if I could win.
Oton: Can a player win the Nomads Tournament undefeated?
Skeletan: If the attacks are the same as the ones during the Era 1, I think he can. But he has to compensate with an extremely precise decisions all the time.
Oton: Will you defend your second place in the next Era?   
Skeletan: Certainly not. I think I'll take a brake. At least a month long, I have already planned my vacation and I intend to use it as rationally as I used my resources in NI.
(He smiles)
If there are more Eras after that - I would try it again.
Oton: Do you consider yourself the second best player in the whole IO?
Skeletan: No, not at all. There are many much better players than me. Besides, NI can not measure the true strength of a player, because much of the IO features do not present here. But, as something new, the NI managed to summon some of the best players in IO who were determined to prove themselves in a totally different gameplay.
Oton: Do you think you have competed with the best of the best?
Skeletan: If you are asking me about my rankings - yes, I'm feeling fine. And proud of myself.
(He smiles)
But a little disappointed as well.
Oton: Because you could be first?
Skeletan: (shyly grunts and smiles enigmatically... which says it all)
Oton: One last question - how will you spend your reward?
Skeletan: It will go, with the rest of my savings, in a deposit. When (or if) the sum is big enough, I will decide how to spend it. So far I do not have necessity to spend for anything, but for the usual rose which I buy and give to the most beautiful lady that works with me every three days.

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