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Author Topic: The Champion: "You did not surprise me at all!"  (Read 6712 times)
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« on: October 24, 2008, 15:55:11 PM »

Whatever I say about the performance of this player, it will not be enough. He did not win Era 1, so he probably decided to rub our noses big time in Era 2. And he did it. Oh, yes.

Presenting the Absolute Dominator of NI: Era 2, the player who ranked 2 accounts in 1st and 2nd place, the player who took two individual awards, the player who proved the sentence that... there are players and players. Probably one of the best I have ever seen in the realms of IO, perfect and flawless.

The player who made Nomads look pretty bad.
The only way we could crush him... was to delete him
Next time we might consider doing that.

Name: Marijo Balašković
Age: 30
Occupation: Teacher in basic school - Informatics
Location: Hrvatsko Zagorje, Croatia
Status: Married ("unfortunately" - his words), one child, who he calls Bibi (figures)
NI: Era 2 final position: 1st - account Bibi and 2nd - account Beast

I have wondered how to address him during the interview, so I decided to call him Tiger - the name which everybody knows him by in the IO Forum

Oton: First of all Congratulations on nearly perfect performance in NI: Era 2! You ARE a human being, right?
Tiger: Well, half human at least.

Oton: The other half is probably a machine?
Tiger: Maybe. Joke, I am human,  but i don't need a lot of sleep most of the days. And my secret is that I have small kid, so when he wakes up, I wake up also and train army. And thank you on congratulations, so I don't look impolite. (he smiles)

Oton: How long have you been playing IO?
Tiger: More than 1,5 years. From February 2007 when i got ADSL and Realm 9 started.

Oton: Have you played Blitz speed before?
Tiger: Nope. If you don't count NI: Era 1 or half a day when I started few eras ago, but quit. It's just 4 times faster. No big difference in NI. In IO it's much different to play Blitz.

Oton: How, in the world, were you able to manage 2 accounts and rank them 1st and 2nd?!?
Tiger: It took less time to do that than last Era to play 1 account. Like many people said, they were twin accounts. I had 2 browsers and did the same thing - trained same army, built same buildings... little more time for another account. Online at same time... It would took a lot of time to play 2 accounts with different strategy. My wife calculated that the difference between Beast and Bibi was 121 military points. And she asked me why, so I had to explain why.  At wave around 20 I had a bad luck, so nomads, attacking Beast fought till low morale, so I killed them all and Bibi's nomads ran. That's mostly the only difference. That's why Bibi had more net, because he lost less in battles usually.

Oton: Which Era was better?
Tiger: Well, it has nothing to do with gameplay. First Era was special, because it was first and I wrote with many people then, so it was more interesting than this, when I decided not to write a lot, so I could play 2 accounts and have real life. Era 1 armies were also a lot more challenging. But both were very interesting. This era I won, so it's special feeling. I will remember both for a very long time.

Oton: Most players stated that armies in Era 2 were lot more tougher? Nearly impossible to fight with?
Tiger: Armies were definitely much more tougher. But that doesn't make them more interesting. It was very difficult to defend Era 1 armies with smaller number of soldiers. I used some strange combinations to get best results. Era 2 armies were just more numerous and more balanced. So, there wasn't good army composition to defeat them. You must have all army types + big army. But 1 unit type dominated and they are my favorite. And I knew how to use them. (he smiles)

Oton: Could you fend off all the attacks?
Tiger: Yes, without any problem, but around 8 attacks before the end I had enough resources to pay upkeep (1,5 mil per hour at the end) + train army till last villager + build buildings and research researhes + big push at the end. So, I thought that attacks would get harder, so I decided to save villagers and army, so I could keep some lives till end. If i knew attacks will get weaker, I would defend. And I knew that me, losing, will make player playing Belgarion account very happy. (he smiles)

Oton: Which were your mistakes?
Tiger: Real mistakes. At the beginning I went playing basketball and soccer with friends, then we went for some beers. (few too much) So, I returned home and I lost a lot of population due to farm capacity. 2 waves before the end I wanted to save phalanx in Bibi account by relocating and I went 7 k in minus, so I lost 20 k phalanx. That's the only mistakes I did. But I was afraid that I will sleep over some attack. I even fell a sleep few times, but without consequences. My wife laughed when I woke up, turned off the mobile phone,  fell a sleep and woke up in 5 min asking who turned off my mobile alarm. So, I woke up without alarm.

Oton: Were you certain you could win? Was there any moment of doubt?

Tiger: At the beginning I didn't know. I only knew that nobody can beat me totally and few k networth will decide the winner at the end. After all guys accepted Belgarion would not win, I was pretty certain, but not 100%, because what happened last Era. But last 5 days, with huge advantage, a lot of resources and with certainty that nobody accepted Belgarion had huge resources, I relaxed, slept a lot and didn't even train army which I was able to train.

Oton: Besides Belgarion... Anybody else who could be a threat?
Tiger: Belgarion played for "Undefeated", so he wasn't a threat, but a lot of other players were. Ma7ee8, Aqua, TTTTT, Iliacrush with both his accounts, Feera, Elrond (because I knew them), Spanu, with whom I talked a lot and many others. Don't get offended if I didn't mention You. (he laughs) Yes, Nomads were the greatest threat.

Oton: Did we manage to surprise you at all this Era?
Tiger: Would I sound bad, if I tell you no? Big army was key to success and I always had it. I started training full time few days before others, so I hold up long enough. The only surprise was last 2 k spears, that 80 k spears on Fort siege. I was more scared of those attacks than others, expecting high researches.

Oton: You won the "Ultimate Warrior" award with Beast... 2 medals... tons of honor... is the good military background a must in order to win the Nomads?
Tiger: Well, if nomads didn't get so many medals, maybe I would get some more. (he laughs) You must know how to use battle calculator. But experience in battles comes in handy. Also farming experience. You must be complete a player with enough time. And I always liked fighting more.

Oton: Where were our mistakes this Era?
Tiger: There weren't big mistakes. All I could think about what you could change I will probably write on forum.  What I will mention wasn't mistakes, but could be better. This Era war income allowed me to get over 900k net, last era I had almost 300k. Too much war income influence. 10-20% would be Ok. Lives wasn't so good idea, because you've lost a lot of players and the rest of us lost competition. Armies were too strong in the middle of the Era, too weak at the end. These 2 things could change places. Few waves with armies which need good composition would change game dynamics. But if I look at it in general, it was good. I like the fact that each Era is different. I don't like to repeat same things each Era over and over.

Oton: Ok, Tiger. We will give you $800. What will you do with them?
Tiger: I wish to see money before i can decide. Joke. I will give 100 $ to my kid (Bibi), I already bought my wife a mobile phone in advance, hoping I will win. And the rest... What to do with the rest, my wife has new mobile, didn't you all read my message till now. (he smiles) I will take 100 $ and get a few drinks with friends and the rest I will spend on my kid and toys toys... I really got only satisfaction of victory.

Oton: Will you defend your title in the next NI Tournament? I suppose you will try with 3 accounts?
Tiger: Should I say no to make other people happy or yes to make them, well, less happy. (he laughs) I already had a permission to play, but it will depend on my free time. And I won't defend it, because I am happy and satisfied with this Era results. I will just play to see what will happen.  That's how i started this Era. Just to play. The game is very addictive and I am a kind of person who tries to do best. My best, not the best from anybody else. So, I don't compare a lot. And I think I won't play 3 accounts. But... who knows? You are giving good prizes. (he laughs)

Oton: One last question - Does the NI Tournament make you the best of the best?
Tiger: You asked all other people that question. I don't consider myself the best. Bibi is the best, of course (he smiles). There is a luck involved, even in NI. You must be good and you must be a little lucky, and have enough time. Many excellent players quit IO, who I didn't know, many don't play NI, some don't have the time. But there are limited number of people who can win NI. I am one of them. My main advantage is that I understand basics of the game. It's not just click and hope for the best. But it isn't all in winning. It's fun to play and interact with other people. And most of the good players also understand basics of game, but I knew few who scored high net, but didn't know how the game works. Others thought them to click in the right way.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 16:00:19 PM by Oton » Logged

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