Many of you will already know who Conradical is, if you don’t know him by name you’ll most likely have seen his face or heard his voice. He’s a multi-rank 1 US player who has commentated a few events, most notably the recent regionals. As World of Warcraft seems to be creeping back towards the tournament scene, casters will more and more become the face and voice of the community if WoW is to ever really progress into an e-Sport, and I think it’s a good idea to have everyone introduced to their possible new face/voice! He was kind enough to give me some time to talk with him after a few technical issues with skype and recording, and a brief discussion about the origin of my accent (I’m Scottish, but I don’t sound that Scottish, but I kinda do, apparently) the interview commenced, and I’ve written out the transcript for you all to learn a bit more about our WoW-caster.
Mwi: My first request of you, Conrad, is for you to draw a picture of your character in paint. It can capture anything you like, contain whoever you want, be creative!
Conrad: Haha, okay, I’ll find a way to work on that throughout the interview. That’s a good idea, I like it. (See above for the end product)
Mwi: Thank you! So, Conrad, who are you?
Conrad: My name is Alexander Conrad Hall, I am better known in the internet world as Conradical, but most people will call me Conrad and I am 21 years old.
Mwi: What do you do?
Conrad: I have a job, and I plan on possibly returning to school depending on how a few things pan out, I may be returning to school in January but I’m not currently a student. And then of course I do commentating.
Mwi: What do you study, or plan on studying?
Conrad: When I go back to school – If I go back to school – I would probably study criminal justice. I’ve always been very interested in the law and stuff like that, and I may end up going to law school afterwards.
Mwi: How was life as a little conradical?
Conrad: Haha – Well, little Conrad loved baseball, until I was 13 or something like that and got pretty bored, and around that time I picked up Counterstrike, I played that not competitively in the sense of like, going to tournaments and stuff like that, but I was involved in CAL league and I played with my brother and a few real life friends and it was a lot of fun. And then World of Warcraft came out and I started playing that when I was like 14 – at least that’s when I really started playing it.
Mwi: When you’re not no-lifing it up playing WoW or other games, what do you find yourself doing?
Conrad: Uh, same thing as everyone else really. I enjoy quality TV shows, spending time with friends – I’m very close with my family and I love them a lot so spending time with them is just as fun as anything else. Video games are my main activity, I don’t really play many sports or anything like that.
Mwi: So you’re very close to your family – do you have any brothers or sisters or does Conrad just really love his mommy?
Conrad: Yeah, I have one older brother who is 23, and a younger sister who is just about to turn 18.
Mwi: What other games do you play?
Conrad: I very much enjoy Starcraft 2, I love that esports scene. I watch the GSL regularly. I also play League of Legends a little bit – I’m awful at it though. But I enjoy those tournaments and some of their streams aswell. I also like FPS games like Counter Strike: GO. But, man, it’s good but not as good as 1.6.
Mwi: I’m not so convinced about that, I think CS:GO is pretty good, but maybe I just wasn’t part of the Counter Strike scene before Source came out.
Conrad: Well, yeah, it’s a little different style. I’m not saying I dislike CS:GO, because I definitely enjoy it, it’s very fun to, y’know, hop on with a friend, join a pub and let the trash talk pursue, haha, cause, y’know everyone loves a good trash talk in First Person Shooters. But, 1.6 was just more fun because I was a younger kid and I REALLY enjoyed the trash talking.
Mwi: Haha, yeah, I know what you mean, it’s kind of like MOBAs in that aspect. There’s always a good trash talk to be done in League of Legends or an FPS.
Conrad: Oh, I’m not allowed to trash talk in MOBAs – you have to have some skill to be able to trash talk and I am the WORST MOBA player in the entire world for sure.
Mwi: Trust me, skill is not a requirement of trash talk in MOBAs.
Mwi: How did you get into casting?
Conrad: Well, my very first experience was on one of the Arena Tournament level 80 servers. I casted for them one weekend and it was pretty fun but I was very bad at it, especially because the UI, it wasn’t my favourite, it didn’t show very things that I think are very important, but I tried my best, even though I didn’t do too great of a job. That was in October of 2011.
And then, I, well, long story short is I was practicing for WCG with Talbadar and Diziet, in November 2011, and my team mates that I got rank 1 with in season 9 weren’t happy with the amount of time I was dedicating to practicing for WCG because they wanted to push rank 1, so… A few things happened here and there and they ended up kicking me off the team at the very end of season 10. So, I went to Korea and played in WCG… We came 5th out of 5. It wasn’t the best showing but there are totally a few excuses I have available to use but, I think Shadow Play is a comp that requires a lot of synergy, I mean that’s why Team EG did so well with it as we saw at the North American regionals, and not having too much practice beforehand it definitely shows. Although Talbadar and Diziet are both outstanding players, you can tell that there’s not the same synergy between them and Talbadar and Cdew, and y’know, Azael – one of the best warlocks who I had to replace, it just wasn’t the best showing.
But anyways, I came back from WCG Korea, and I didn’t have a real solid team for anything really so I contacted Novoz, who is one of the North American Online staff members and I told him “Hey, I’d love to be involved with the tournament in some way, but I don’t have a team to play so if you need like an extra member of staff to help set stuff up or I’d even like to commentate because I did that once and it was fun even though I didn’t do the best job.” and he said they were pretty good on commentators as they had Hoodrych and Vhell and then a few weeks later it went from “We’re good on commentators” to “Maybe we can fit you in for a day” and then that turned into “We’d like to have you commentate”. The plan was originally just to have me commentate for the first weekend, but that turned into 6 out of the 7 days as either Hoodrych or Vhell or both would have something come up last minute. That was their second tournament, and my next commentating gig was with North American Online 3, and then a few people who had random tournaments pop up would ask me to commentate or ask me and Azael to commentate and we’d try and get the other person involved in commentating somehow. Mostly people want Azael though, and then Azael loves commentating with me so he asks to bring me and people are okay with that, and then it just grew from there where I started casting other tournaments too.
Mwi: SC2 casters get a lot of praise and are big figure heads of the community, do you feel like WoW casters deserve similar praise and recognition?
Conrad: I think we get what we deserve. When it comes to a public figure at least, I think most of the time they get what they deserve. If I do a crappy job commentating, if people don’t like my personality then they can feel free to express that. Yeah, Twitch trolls can get kind of annoying when they’re just spamming “You suck” or something like that, but the actual constructive criticism we always take to heart, like “Yeah, that’s good, I’ll try improve on that for next time.”
It’s a little rough sometimes, especially if it’s a super negative day where I mess up a few times and people really give me a hard time for it, it’s not nearly as fun to commentate.But I don’t feel like I deserve any more credit than I currently get.
I think if World of Warcraft gets bigger, then commentators will get more air time, so they’ll be able to show a little more of their personality, they’ll be able to show that they sort of deserve to be commentating, I guess? I think it really has to be on the commentator themselves to make people like them and get the praise that they want. If you look at Tastosis and Day 9 [From Starcraft 2] they’re amazing, they’re so fun to watch even if you don’t play Starcraft. I only started playing because I was watching a GSL that a friend had linked me when it was live and they made a few really funny jokes and they really entertained the crowd. I was looking at the game and I was like “damn this game looks fun” even though I’d never played the original Starcraft or Warcraft or anything like that, I wanted to start playing so I could learn the game more and understand what was going on and now I’m a Gold League superstar hahaha. But the point is that Day 9, Tastless and Artosis are amazing at what they do and I think it’d be really cool if World of Warcraft commentators could get to that point.
Mwi: Haha, Gold league is fairly impressive I guess…
Conrad: Hahahaha No, gold league is like the 1500 of Starcraft 2
Mwi: Oh Conrad, don’t be hard on yourself, Gold league’s gotta be higher than 1500 – wait, no, I forgot you play US ladder. Yeah, you’re kind of a scrub.
Mwi: Back to casting – what did you think of the US regionals?
Conrad: The actual event itself, being there in person was amazing, I think it was the best weekend of my life, it was so much fun. All the players were having an outstanding time and Curse treated us almost royally, they were so nice to us they accomodated anything we needed.
When it came to actual games, I was so happy it was the last tournament of Cataclysm, because they were some of the best games I’ve ever seen. Every single time I saw Snutz, Venruki and Kollektiv play it was shocking how much better Venruki had got at fire and how well he worked with his team mates, it was very impressive to watch. And then Team EG of course because it’s a comp that I believe wasn’t the best, but their individual play and their synergy together made it come in first place, it was always fun to watch. Some of their games were so on edge for me, I was just hanging on the end of my seat in that little booth wondering if they were gonna live.
Mwi: The EU regionals, what did you think of the double shaman and such?
Conrad: Well it’s a tournament setting. Play to win for sure. One of the teams even tried triple DPS and I hate triple DPS and I hate fighting it, I think it’s the most unfun comp in the game, but I was still happy they took the tournament seriously to the point of running whatever comp they thought would win (and some would argue, losing their dignity). The double shaman warlock team, they did that too y’know, they shut down every single caster unbelievably well, they can’t really lose to any team that depends on fears because fear does not exist to them with two tremors, a dispel and so many shocks that Skenz and other warlocks had to go through to even land a fear. I mean, it’s rough for other teams, but I’m happy that those teams decided to run those comps to try and do better in the actual tournament itself.
Mwi: So you believe they really deserved to do as well as they did, don’t you worry it became about counter-comping rather than, even though they played well, outplaying the opponent? How do you think the viewers felt about it?
Conrad: As far as entertainment purposes go, I definitely agree, it wasn’t the absolute best, I perhaps would’ve preferred if they’d ran some other shaman-lock comp, perhaps WLS. Obviously only replacing the enhancement because, well a warlock and a shaman work too well together to ask them to change that. But I definitely think they deserve their win, they played the cards they were dealt. In a perfect world, of course I’d prefer a more balanced match up, and then whoever wins that gets to move on, but y’know you play with the hand you’re dealt, and you perform the best you can to pull out the win, and that’s what they were able to do. Maybe in MoP their comp won’t be that good, and they’ll have to change it up but they’re all good players and I’m not 100% sure on this but I heard they’re good at multi-classing, so they’ll probably be able to find a way to pick the right set up for the tournament in china.
Mwi: And what about those that decided to rock triple DPS? Do you think it’s a little cheap? I mean, sure sometimes you can outplay them, but sometimes crits happen that just make it impossible to beat.
Conrad: When I look at it from the bias perspective I have – that of a player that’s been on the ladder, and knows what it’s like to fight triple DPS, I know that feeling you get when you walk out of the gates, you see Ret Paladin, DK, Rogue and you stare anxiously at the paladin’s mana pool hoping it’s not 24k or whatever a ret paladin has and then get that sinking feeling of “Oh shit, I’m probably gonna die.”
I know what it’s like, and it’s awful, and for sure if there was a requirement that each team needed to have one healer and two DPS, I even think that tank specs shouldn’t be involved in the arena.
The other thing though that’s pretty cool when players at these tournaments run out of the gates and see a different comp than they expect is the reactions though. If most viewers could see the faces of the players it’d be a little more entertaining. There was one game where it was Filo, Massives and Thingtwo, and they were fighting Snutz, Venruki and Kollektiv I believe and they ran out of the gates and saw it was thugcleave instead of MLS, and you actually saw Massives run out, then stop like “…Wait…What?” and then he got globalled.
Mwi: How do you feel about the class representation there was at the regionals? As a rogue player myself, I noticed particularly there were a fair amount of big name rogues that didn’t seem to be doing that great in general.
Conrad: Obviously lock-shaman was extremely strong in Cataclysm, because of the amount of comps they can run, but in regards to the rogues I mean, there was Woundman and Ayume at the US Regionals. Talking about Woundman, Diziet and Benys, although they did really well on the ladder, and they’re all exceptional players, I don’t know how well practiced they were for playing RLS since there was a pretty long period of time between when everyone was playing on the ladder and when the tournament began. And you wanna practice against top players, you don’t just wanna ladder to practice because it won’t help you that well. So you have to find good players, that can play the classes you wanna practice against and that can be kinda tough. And then, the thug cleave, Tosan, Ayume and Karvinen, it’s funny because everyone there was pretty much under the impression that if they’d turned up with a Shaman they would’ve come in first. But unfortunately there were some issues and they had to play with Karvinen, who is in my opinion one of the best healers in the United States, I’d even go as far as saying in the world, but that comp is not nearly as powerful with a Holy Paladin.
As far as total class representation, it seemed to be a pretty decent spread, most comps were different comps.
Mwi: You also recently commentated the EG Raidcall tournament which came to an abrupt end because of DDoSing, what do you think of that?
Conrad: If there’s anything that’s going to kill competitive arena, it’s DDoSing for sure. I mean there were so many issues at the end of this season, I’m so glad I just sat on my rating because of it. There were so many people that were DDoSed going for rank 1 – I even heard from friends of two teams that met each other and both of them were being DDoSed. But for someone to DDoS a tournament that’s actually put on for the players, the organizers not getting anything from it at all, just trying to encourage people to make more arena tournaments out there, it’s like “why?” they’re just ruining the fun for X-thousand viewers just because you think it’s hilarious, I mean what kind of person really get’s a kick out of that? Of course everyone likes to watch ridiculous videos of people falling over on youtube and America’s funniest home videos and stuff, but there’s a difference between enjoying that and getting enjoyment from just straight up making it so someone can’t play a game, and then a whole tournament can’t continue. Of course the disconnect timer rules have to be there, because there’s too much funny business that could go on in regard to that, but the DDoSing has to stop. I mean, people in the chat really shouldn’t start spamming “DDOS LOL” or whatever, because it only encourages the person who’s doing it. If people didn’t react the way they do then maybe DDoSing would be a little smaller. But it’d probably still be there. It’s really frustrating when you’re behind the scenes and you’re seeing how hard people work to try and prevent DDoSing just so they can play a game and it still happens because some people just can’t avoid it, they can’t get a different ISP in the area they live that will give them a dynamic IP.
Mwi: Why do you think DDoSing is such a big craze in the WoW scene? I mean, we’ve spoken about Starcraft 2, I’m sure there have been instances of DDoSing in that but it doesn’t seem to be that regular or prominent. Why do you think it’s such a big deal in WoW, it’s not even like it’s only in tournaments, but it’s on the ladder almost daily.
Conrad: I think people care way too much about their titles, so they’re willing to wintrade, DDoS and have other scummy ways to get them. It’s probably mostly that red helmet on AJ, too. At least when it comes to ladder play. Everyone wants that red helmet. That’s the only reason I really go for rank 1, is for that red helmet. I don’t really wear my rank 1 titles in game that much, but I love seeing that red helmet on AJ, and once they start stacking up it becomes an addiction you just can’t stop, y’know? It’s that combined with the fact that a lot of people do sells, where they sell rating or Gladiator, or even Rank 1, and that’s when people are definitely willing to DDoS. If you know you’re going to be getting $2000 to get this guy rank 1, then you’re probably willing to DDoS together. I’m not saying every rank 1 carry or whatever is like that, but definitely some. And I think it’s ridiculous.
Mwi: What do you think of sites like Skillcapped and PvPcoach and stuff, where you have to subscribe, do you think any are particularly good, or particularly bad?
Conrad: I think my favourite site for that is probably skillcapped. They put up some stuff for free, but if you subscribe they go super in depth, covering a lot of ground. They haven’t paid me anything ever, I don’t think, so it’s not like I have to say that. But I think the most important thing you can do to get better is, once you’ve found good team mates, is stick together and just grind. Keep playing with them and just help each other improve. Don’t rage, there’s no point in shouting like “WHY DIDN’T YOU SHEEP WHEN I ASKED?”, you’ve gotta talk about it calmly and give each other tips like “Okay, I think we need to line up some sheeps out of this” or whatever. It’ll improve your mood and your play, because you’ll all listen to each other. You also have to look inwardly though, and take their feedback, analyze your own game play. You can even look at your own footage, record yourself and watch yourself play. A lot of reasonably high level players can watch a good player do something and then understand why they’ve done it, so if you get a chance to look over your own play you can be like “Ah, a really good player would’ve done this here” – you can also see how well you peel, and how aware of other things you are.
Mwi: Obviously you’re a big shot, multi-rank 1 baller at the moment, but, taking a step back in the time machine, your first WoW character, what was it?
Conrad: Haha sure, I can probably tell you pretty much every character cause I’m a nerd like that. But my first was an undead mage that I only got to level 26 it was named Annix, it was a lot of fun but my CAL league team wanted me to get back to practicing so I stopped playing it. But when my CAL season ended, I started playing a hunter named Avandre on Dragonmaw and I started being more involved in the PVP there, everyone thought I was the best hunter on the server – and you’re not wrong guys, I definitely was! But I’ve always been pretty good at video games as long as they’re not MOBAs or RTS, but I played a lot back then, I duelled all the time and I even made a PvP video. Not only that but I also had Ashjre’thul, the crossbow that dropped from Chromaggus and it made PvP so much more fun for me because… I just one shot people and it was ridiculous. I eventually made friends with an undead, well, at the time it was a mage named Joeh and then that person later deleted their mage and made a shadowpriest. I was friends with them for about a year and a half or so til TBC came out. But when TBC came out I got hacked and it was too much of a hassle to get my account back, and I was just like “forget it”. But this Joeh, I kept in contact with. At the end of season 1 they asked me to come back and play a warlock. Eventually I did, and I started playing with them, and they told me to stop calling them “she”, I had to call them Noxn or say “He”, because they didn’t want attention just for being a girl. Noxn turned out to be THE best player in TBC. I don’t think there’s anyone out there that can deny that much, even comparing her videos to current players it’s like “Damn, she was onto something way back when.”
Mwi: Do you remember looking up to anyone as a “noob”, walking past someone in tier 3 and demanding to be their friend or something?
Conrad: I’ve never really had a moment like that, I don’t think, but certainly I looked up to Noxn. After I stopped playing and came back, I had obviously lost some skill, and the way I got better was basically by thinking “What can I do to let Noxn set something up?” so I was always spending my time trying to peel for her and make sure I was throwing out the right CC.
Mwi: So was that when you really felt you started becoming a good player, or did you feel that way back in Vanilla when you were one-shotting people on your hunter?
Conrad: Haha, well I think I was better than most players in Vanilla because I could hop on just about any class and perform well. I was the only hunter on the server that could beat this one warrior on the server who was really good, and I was also the only rogue that could beat that guy. I think back in season 3 I really felt like I was one of the best players in the game, applying pressure and being aware and setting up burst as an SL/SL warlock.
Mwi: Wait wait wait, bursting as an SL/SL Warlock? What part of the 20+ minute matches that eventually resulted in the other teams healer going OOM involved burst?
Conrad: Oh, I totally didn’t, this is what I would do. Okay. I’d always get a nightfall proc, throw up an immolate, have all my other DoTs up already, I’d start channeling incinerate, then my next global was the shadowbolt from the nightfall proc, then a searing pain and drain life. That’s a lot of damage back then.
Mwi: I guess that sounds a little more complex than the majority of SL/SL Warlocks I came across…
Conrad: Oh, you mean drain mana? Hahahaha.
Mwi: Yes, drain mana! Okay, Conrad – you’ve played with a lot of big name players, but who was kind of the first big name player you met and played with, how did you find them?
Conrad: The first was Noxn, but the next was Reckful. I trash talked Reckful like mad back then. Back then when I was young I loved trash talk. Back then he had a warglaive, and whenever I lost to him I would blame that. But nowadays all the top players really know each other and we just kind of play around with each other.
Mwi: That’s all well and good, but how does someone who is playing at a reasonable level really make sure they’re playing with people of a similar level and further themselves?
Conrad: There are a lot of things you can try, I mean you can try using trade chat but everyone lies in trade chat but I would highly suggest websites like teamfind.com – I used them to find some partners and everyone on there is looking to improve and find a good solid team, they’re not just trying to get carried for a week or something.
Mwi: Best person you’ve played with?
Conrad: In TBC definitely Noxn, in WotLK my Season 8 team mates, Noxn too probably on her druid, and for Cataclysm… Talbadar, Cdew.. I dunno, I’ve played with a tonne of top players in Cataclysm. My biggest learning experience though was with Talbadar, he really helped me out as a player, he’s really aware of everything. Talking strats and playing games with him was really cool.
Mwi: Funniest person you’ve played with?
Conrad: Bombtrax, he’s a really fun dude. I played with him in season 8, he had a deathbringer’s will and every time he got the strength buff that turned you into a Taunka he’d yell “TAUNKA BAAAAAAAAAAABY”, it didn’t matter what was going on, if our druid had died or was dying, or if anything else important was happening, he’d just scream that. And as soon as we’d face a warrior team, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “Warriors” but every team that had a warrior, as soon as the gates open he’d just start going “Waaaarriors come out to plaaaaayay!” and he’d chant that from start to finish of the game. I got rank 1 with him last season and I’ll probably play with him in MoP, but he’s one of the funniest people to play with for sure.
Mwi: Any funny stories about a big name in WoW that you knew back in the old days? A particularly funny “noob moment” or an embarassing revelation? Reckful used to back peddle all the time or something?
Conrad: Not really about anyone else in the old days, as Reckful was the only person I really knew back then that still plays, but there’s a video of me playing with Cdew from his stream that’s pretty hilarious. There are a few moments playing with Cdew where I just disappoint him, but this one’s recorded and reasonably well known. At one point he asks me to kick the next cast, and you clearly see my character run over, perform the kick animation and then the shaman starts casting immediately afterwards cause he faked me, and you just hear Cdew like “Goddammit Conrad…” – we fought that same team earlier, and we’re tunneling the shaman or something and Cdew asks if I have my blind, and I blind the warlock and it’s fully DRed, that’s referenced to in the video too.
Mwi: Who do you really wish you could play with?
Conrad: Most US players I have the option of playing with, but I’d love to play with Khuna and Flubbah. They’re really nice dudes, at least to me, I know there’s a lot of drama but I’d prefer to ignore that. I’ve talked to them before and they’re always pretty cool, Khuna was probably one of the best rogues in Season 11, and Flubbah is right up there with the top US shamans I’ve played with definitely.
Mwi: Favourite season and why?
Conrad: Season 4, because I was probably in my peak as far as skill goes. And I was able to mess around with a lot of stuff, like, I gemmed full haste, and it could help with stuff seeing a rogue chasing you, pressing hemo, and knowing I could get a cast off because of my haste before their GCD came down for them to kick. I had outstanding team mates that season too and could run just about any comp I wanted.
Mwi: Least favourite season and why?
Conrad: Season 11. Because of DDoSing, wintrading, stale ladders, 3 DPS, vial, cunning (even though I used it myself.)
Mwi: What do you think of all the S11 drama?
Conrad: Well, I don’t wanna get involved in the drama too much. But, as far as wintrading and DDoSing and stuff goes, I wish that they’d get banned every season, I know there’s not much proof for DDoSing really, but the wintraders definitely need banned. I don’t really care if someone played a friend’s account 5 months later in the season because they had nothing to do really or whatever, but wintrading especially has to be stopped. Fortunately, the AJ community does a good job of ridiculing people who wintrade. I mean, it’s immature, yeah, but people who wintrade for a title really shouldn’t get any credit for it.
Mwi: If blizzard granted you one wish – which can be as selfish as you like it to be – what would it be? (Ignoring perfect balance – which is every player’s wish)
Conrad: There are many answers for that, but I think the most fun one would be – hahahahaha – to be able to play a warglaived rogue back at level 70 that could also mace stun.
Mwi: One man’s dream that would be the nightmare of many others…
Mwi: What would you think of WoW as an e-Sport, would you like it to be one?
Conrad: I would love that, I love watching it and would love to see it back at MLGs and stuff. It’s really cool to see how different players react to different things. Y’know, good counter strike players that perform similar roles in the team all play the same way, but a good warlock has so many different play styles available, the same goes for every class. I’d love to see MLG take up WoW again, but, y’know, who knows if that will happen.
Mwi: Do you think WoW has the potential to be an e-Sport?
Conrad: Certainly. WoW has a huge amount of subscribers, even though everyone’s not necessarily interested in PvP. You can just tell your friend, hey, watch this tournament, if you don’t like it, turn it off. That’s what my friends did with Starcraft 2, and now I watch and play it. That’ll get people interested at least, even their PvE friends or something like that, and from there they get interested and start to understand more what’s going on.
Do you think there’s anything Blizzard really needs to do to help WoW break into an e-Sport scene?
I think there was an interview with Ghostcrawler where he said it was a good idea, but if there was something on the log in screen or whatever that was like “Hey, there’s gonna be a tournament you can watch here at this time” or whatever it would be very helpful to the overall e-Sports scene. Can you imagine the amount of clicks a link would get if it was right next to the log in window? Man, I’m so smart.
Mwi: Man, that’s a really good idea. Go Conrad. I’m pretty sure you just invented that. (Conrad was quite disappointed when I informed him that games like League of Legends already do stuff like that, so we’re going to pretend he invented it, okay? Okay.) – What about the community, I mean obviously we have the issues with DDoSing and the legitimacy of PvP rewards to worry about, but is there other stuff the community needs to do to try push WoW tournaments to get more attention?
Conrad: Just showing support is always a good thing, a lot of people have been very kind towards NAO, Bleached bones, Yaspresents. And people have provided feedback, good or bad. Good feedback definitely makes people feel more encouraged though, to either play in or set up tournaments. When people are saying stuff just like “This dude sucks, why didn’t he bubble, what a noob, he doesn’t deserve to be there” or whatever, it doesn’t help. Some players just have stuff like that ruin the whole tournament for them.
Mwi: PvP Power, love it, hate it?
Conrad: I’m actually really glad PvP power is gonna be a thing. I don’t want any PvE gear involved in arena at all to be honest. I hate it when it’s like, you have this trinket that if it procs it’ll knock off a third of someone’s life bar or whatever. This’ll mean that random trinkets like that won’t be very dominant, also PvP weapons offer such a PvP power boost that they’re better than pretty much everything PvE offers for PvP. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Mwi: Well okay Mister Cunning-of-the-Cruel – But what about the changes to your main class, Warlock?
Conrad: I’m not a big fan of soul burn soul swap putting every single DoT on the target, one way to shut down a warlock was just to sit on him, but now no matter what every time a warlock has a soulshard he’ll be able to put up UA. I don’t like instant cast CC at all, either, I think there should be at least some requirement to line CC chains up rather than just “Hey, I see a shaman and I can fear him without being worried about being shocked.” Our passive survivability is pretty bad, but our cooldowns are VERY strong. Soul link can be a pretty funky mechanic which I don’t like too much, because you share health with your pet and that means you can have heals on both you and your pet. I’ve also heard you can beacon the pet or you and both recieve the 100% increase to healing or whatever. I think they need old soul link back, and to nerf the cooldowns. Unending resolve gives you aura mastery (even though you don’t have to cast) and reduced damage taken, with Dark Regen and a healthstone you can also go from like, dead to full insanely quick.
But I know that Blizzard read a lot on the warlock forums over Beta. They said warlocks weren’t doing much damage because they’d always get interrupted and they were dying too quickly, so blizzard gave them aura mastery, insta casts and a bunch of survival CDs.
Mwi: What about other classes, what do you think of them, do you think any classes particularly got shafted or anything is too strong? Hybrid healers?
Conrad: I’m glad you said that actually. Shadow priests, I was really hoping they’d only have flash heal or greater heal, because they were moving certain abilities to only certain specs, but now shadow priests can cast renew, shields and prayer of mending I think in shadow form. That is just too strong to me, especially because mana won’t be a problem really for them because of all the ways they can get mana back, and they can just bounce a prayer of mending around the whole game, throw out renews and shields which will remove a lot of pressure, which I don’t think is good.
Mwi: Okay, and to begin the round off – What streams do you watch?
Conrad: I really enjoy Reckful, all of team EG, Snutz, I enjoy watching Zilea even if it’s not exactly for the gameplay hahaha, I think he’s a good personality for streaming for sure. Those are the ones I watch most regularly when I have nothing else to do.
Mwi: What about Sodapoppin, love or hate?
Conrad: Uh… Yes. Love and hate hahaha. I think he’s really entertaining sometimes, but there are some old jokes I wish he’d move away from, but he’s definitely pretty entertaining.
Conrad will be continuing to play in MoP, he’s looking forward to playing with a lot of the usual big names as well as their alts, as well as playing with his main partners who aren’t so well known. Be sure to check out his twitter @ConradNAO if you’re interested in catching up with him/what he’s doing, and as well as that you’ll no doubt catch him in the twitch chats of the big name players! Interviewing him was a pretty fun experience, filled with a little laughter, so go support him!
Let me know what you think of this interview, and any suggestions for the future – I have a few more lined up but would be more than happy to try grab anyone I get enough requests for. I also have different ideas for the formats of the interviews that may come with time if this gets a good enough reaction (Including playing with the interviewee and recording us doing so).
With only a few days until MoP (which I will try upload some articles about), I hope everyone’s ready to level. Until next time.