SMES have conducted an exclusive interviewing with one of the game’s top players, Kevin “strenx” Baeza.
Strenx comes over to ShootMania from Quake Live, where he displayed his amazing aim with the lightning gun on various occasions, especially in the famous weekly online ZOTAC Cups. But let’s not take away from his offline form as well, with a second place at QuakeCon 2011, third place at Stermy’s Ultimate Gaming Championship and a third place at the ESL Intel Extreme Masters World Championship 2011. His most fame came during his time with Fnatic, but he has also been playing strong for Millenium before that.
Now he returns to Millenium in a new game, facing new challenges. In recent months he has been a strong ambassador of ShootMania, trying to rally the Quake forces to join him in the game. He was also present at SOPA Lan last weekend, finishing on a fourth place with aL.
We have been able to interview the Frenchman about the game; what he thinks should convince others to play it, but also what he thinks should be better. Next to that we spoke about himself, his team mates and also other teams.
Hello. I have just listened to Muse – Survival, so I can’t be much happier right now.
Takes us through your thoughts of the game. What do you like most?
I really like the 3v3 elite mode, it really fits into a competitive game. You follow your mate, your cheer for them in any situations, people feel our emotion. Any situation can change the whole game, you can lead by 5-0 and lose 7-5, this is what I like the most in this game.
And what needs most improving?
From the latest alpha, your left/right movement speed is reduced. I think it is pretty bad, because it makes the game slower and looks more like a Counter-Strike type game rather than a fast one. However, it is going to be changed, this is what I’m hoping for at least.
I really believe that the strafe left/right has to keep the same. Because the game remain at least enough fast to make our dodge or our tactic. They changed this dodge to put it slower when you use left/right to a high frequency, which means that you are stuck to the floor when you try to dodge. I think that it is not a good idea because there are many situations when you can’t control your move and your aim. It is like you play your character with a mate, he uses the keyboard, and you use the mouse. In my opinion, they should keep this speed, and trying to figure out the netcode problem about it. Making the move slower is not the best idea.
The netcode still has some issues, but Nadeo are working on it. It is still an alpha so I can’t really tell what is going to happen. Maps are also a big problem, but I can’t really argue about it since it is an alpha, and we are just posting feedback in order to make the best game.
Talking about Counter-Strike, how do you think it compares to other games, like Counter-Strike and Quake?
I really feel that the more there are updates, the more it looks like Counter-Strike. I really hope that I’m wrong. I really hope so.
At the moment we mainly see Quake players, and also players from Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress 2. What do you think is needed to get players from arguably the biggest esports FPS game, Counter-Strike.
The 3v3 situation should really help, since the rounds-system looks like Counter-Strike; the urge to yell after any rounds when you win it. I just hope that the game will remain a fast paced FPS game, and not a CS-like one.
A lot of people complain about the interface of the game. Do you personally think it’s good? What needs to be better about it?
I think they should add a ladder, like on StarCraft 2. Rankings don’t really show the skill of a player, because someone can play an impossible amount of game and be first, whereas someone is 200th and is 30x better than him. They should really take the StarCraft interface into account and it is gonna be much better.
With the beta release, Nadeo have promised to release the 5 versus 5 mode, Siege. Some people, including myself, are worried it might be hard to spectate the game compared to the Elite mode. What are your thoughts on this?
I really think the same. It is going to be like a Clan Arena gametype in Quake, [not in gameplay, but that] it is going to be impossible to watch properly. In the end, I don’t think it is gonna be a competitive mode.
A lot of people have been bashing the game and saying guys like you and the other Quake pros playing the game have been bought to be positive about the game. What is your reply to this?
I really believe that ShootMania is the last hope for FPS players, so I really try to share my experience in order to make the best game for everyone.
So does that mean you also share your experience with Nadeo? Have you and other players been personally asked by Nadeo to help improve the game?
Yes, I’ve already been asked. Some improvements I have adviced have been put in the game and some not. When something is fixed, another thing need to be fixed because of it. It is like disease, you cure one, another one comes back to replace it.
Great to hear Nadeo listens to you guys. Then onto you and your team. Your team attended Cybsum, finishing on a third place. Were you happy or disappointed?
We only practiced two days before the event, and Av3k had a lot of issues with 130 ping and Cypher had 110 ping. I really don’t know what to think, but I think from this amount of training, it wasn’t bad at all. But I play the game to be first, and third is not enough for me.
What did Cypher and Av3k think about the game?
Cypher is positive about it, but I don’t know about Av3k.
Will those guys start playing in online cups as well?
I just want them to play as much as they can to be the best. If they don’t, then we can’t be the best in the future.
Colwn seem to be unbeatable at the moment. Do you think they will continue to dominate the game or do you guys have a special trick up your sleeves?
From what I have seen at SOPA Lan, they were not unbeatable, but better than any other team. Some teams like my own team, with cripton and sz and aesir, were almost able to beat them. So I won’t say they are unbeatable, but the most consistent team who can pretend to be the best at the moment.
What other teams have caught your attention in the recent online cups?
Maybe pure eSports and the Finnish guys (taimou, hymzi and darn). But the netcode is totally bugged, so I can’t say anything right now.
Finally your chance to straighten some things up. Some people said you were whining a lot in your match versus pure eSports in the IGL Cup last week. Were you?
I never whine for nothing, I whine when there is injustice in something that should not happen. As I said, the hitboxes and netcode is really bugged, and moves are slower in each situations. You can’t make a proper move. If you just let things happen, you can’t make it a good game.