Saturday saw the first cash tournament in the game Ark: Survival Evolved, even though the game isn’t even released yet. The winning team of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ tourney shared a $20,000 cash prize between 2 players, Apolloz and DarkDolphin, you can read more about it here where I introduce the game mode and one of the winners, Apolloz.
Apolloz and I had a long chat about the game, the new game mode and himself, and frankly it was just too much to be able to squeeze into one article. So, here is the full interview – enjoy!
(Me): First thing I need to know: what follow links do you want me to add? I’m guessing twitch and twitter? …then on to the tourney: I didn’t know about it until I got the email notification of it going live so I know nothing about the registration / selection process. Were you invited to take part or did you have to manually enter?
(Apolloz): Yeah just Twitch/Twitter/Youtube, Twitch.tv/apolloz – Twitter.com/apolloztv – youtube.com/apollozgaming
(Apolloz): We were all invited due to knowing/playing a lot of ARK or just being a great face on twitch in the ‘survival’ genre area. As for teams, they got randomly picked out of a hat by one of the Dev’s live on stream 3 days before the event =)
(Me): That didn’t leave a lot of time to play with your new team-mate – was that something that worried you?
(Apolloz): I only played with Dolphin once for about 2-3 hours before the event, obviously since we play on Fairlight’s PVP/Streamer server together I knew who he was and how skilled he was too, but as it goes for teamwork we really had not played together before the event. In the 2-3 hours we formed a battle plan (or rough idea) of what we wanted to do which was the dino train. We wanted it with Sabers and Dimo’s rather than Dilos and Trikes but we just took what we could.
(Me): You had a lot of dinos quite early on in the game, were you both training them or did you have different roles within the team?
(Apolloz): We always set different tasks really just to progress as fast as we could. We actually thought we was really far behind since we was taming a Carno and got attacked early doors, we had to abandon it and move away. I mainly farmed arrows and dolphin worked on the berries used to form the tranq arrows, we both worked together to knock out the dinos we needed and then moved from there.
(Me): And how did you level yourself and the dino army? Was that just a case of wandering and killing everything you couldn’t train?
(Apolloz): Well in this event it played a lot differently from the main game. We all knew certain tricks used to level such as placing down a foundation and destroying it over and over for XP, a lot of teams used this including us at the start. But what was really interesting is the dynamic the devs installed that when you kill a player or their dino you gain most of there XP which played a huge factor for us when we picked off random people in the mid-game and levelled up fast.
(Me): Still on the subject of levelling, was there a key skill you put points in or were your characters pretty balanced?
(Apolloz): From our pvp experience we knew what we wanted to level. The HP was nerfed for this event but we went with a solid health and movement speed build. HP at the moment in the main game is the best build to go with a bit of melee damage and movement. But in this style and event we stacked HP and Movement.
(Me): You mentioned killing players in the mid-game, but there were other challenges dropped on you (literally) by the game master – was that an opportunity to train more or did you kill the dino drops for the XP?
(Apolloz): Well our Spino which really won us the game was from a drop haha, we killed one and tamed the other! And that was really our saving grace. It was so clutch taming it too, the circle enveloped it but seemed to do no damage to dinos but I rode into it on my raptor just to pull the spino back into the circle when it finished taming. I honestly didn’t know if I was gonna die or not there but I wanted to get that Spino for our team because I knew how important of a dino it was; especially after we saw Lirik’s T-rex munching around (we thought it was Shroomz at the time though).
(Me): So you were pretty close to the fatality barrier which passed over the Spino before it got tamed?
(Apolloz): Yup, I was hugging the edge of the barrier while calling the dino to me, luckily it was in range and followed me back into the circle. I could have easily died at that point though
(Me): was that the only ‘danger moment’ you faced until you got to the final few?
(Apolloz): Erm, the 2v2 fight early game over the Carno both of us got really low on HP and was risky, but after talking to the other team after the event they was low too. I think them 3 events was really touch and go:The Carno Fight early game, the Spino mid and then the late game.
(Me): Did you go into the match thinking about the win or did you just see it as another day, another stream?
(Apolloz): Haha, I just didn’t want to die at the start, that was my only goal xD. A lot of people were saying we were a strong team and Fairlight actually called us the winning team during the random hat pick, but I never thought I would get past the mid-game to be fair.
(Me): So at what point did you start thinking you might get into the top 3 and walk away with a prize?
(Apolloz): Too be honest I never really thought I would until we were fighting with Ralph at the end. I was just so focused on the PVP and the game – living in the moment – nothing else really mattered, not the money or winning, just the fun.
(Me): I watched the event though the main stream, and at the end you seemed quite bewildered. How long did it take before you realised you were the winners?
(Apolloz): I honestly thought Ralph could kill us at the end. He is such a strong player and I have battled with him a lot on Fairlight’s server and he mostly wins. This time he didn’t have his eagle though 😉 haha. But yeah, it just… happened and I was shocked more than anything. I’ve never won anything in my life!
(Me): $10k prize money is certainly a good first prize to win. There’s also other prizes, I think Logitech peripherals and some other things?
(Apolloz): To my understanding its $20k split between me and Dolphin and we get some Logitech and Gunner Optics stuff. We also get a ‘bound to account’ skin in-game (obviously the coolest thing!).
(Me): That’s the hat skin?
(Apolloz): I believe so yeah, no idea what it looks like though xD. I just wanna go swag it up on an official server with it Kappa
(Me): hopefully it looks great 🙂
(Apolloz): I am sure it will =D
(Me): How long have you been streaming games on Twitch?
(Apolloz): I have been a Twitch Partner for a year now and steaming games nearly 3 I think O.o. I am a Twitch oldie, I started up when I was at Uni, just as a cool/chill thing and never took it really serious until I got Partnership. Sadly the game I got partnership on was DayZ Mod and the viewer population dived on it, but I am glad to find my new home in ark!
(Me): Do you mind me asking how old you are? Also a bit more about you, location, just a general profile really so readers see the man behind the no-life gamer :p
(Apolloz): I am 22 =) and I am from England (somewhere in the middle-ish) =P
(Me): And you’re working full-time?
(Apolloz): I work part-time and do twitch part-ish time at the moment too, although twitch was never bringing in too much money before. I just was too passionate about it to not spend time doing it, and I will be quitting my job but getting a new one after I move in with my other half. The quitting was planned before the event but obviously now the move is easier.
(Me): You’ve had a few hours now for it all to sink in and you mentioned that you’ll be using the prize money to be able to move in with your partner. Is there anything else that you will be shopping for that was beyond your budget until winning the tourney?
(Apolloz): I think I can afford to go to TwitchCon now =D haha, and maybe a car if it will go that far. I’d love to do something supportive with it, like my charity live streams in the past, but I’ve reached a point in my life at the moment where I really need to put it to personal use.
(Me): Do you have your eye out for any more tournaments now that you have won one?
(Apolloz): Haha, I wouldn’t class myself as a ‘pro’ or anything like that. Anything that’s survival game orientated and that I might be into sure! But I just love playing the games I play and if they happen to host something awesome ill try and be there! =D
(Me): Who knows, they might host another one at TwitchCon for you.
(Apolloz): Haha. I think the Devs should personally make them maybe a twice a year event. Not too many, keep it really hyped and a big event rather than common! But the map and game mode is getting released! =D
(Me): That’s coming later this month, but there will be some changes and balancing for it from what the Dev said this morning.
(Apolloz): Yup, I think they want to make it shorter, the key thing about why Arma 3 Battle Royale (which is awesome too) was so good was that anyone could drop in just for an hour and have a quick game rather than grind for 5 hours to PVP for 1 hour. That’s what made it do so well. I’d love to host a server myself I actually hosted the 5th ever community Ark server but sadly didn’t get populated enough, but I’ll try again for this game mode =D
(Me): So moving away from the tourney itself – what is it about Ark that first interested you?
(Apolloz): I’ve always been interested in anything survival game orientated ever since DayZ Mod when that first came out like 4-5 years ago. Many indie titles too like Project Zomboid which is awesome, etc. but ARK just looked so, so, so polished compared to all the others and that they worked with the community. It was amazing and I just wanted to get involved so much, the Devs and the PR team are the most insane and down to earth people I love them, and I’d go out on a limb to call them the best Dev team out there currently.
(Me): High praise 🙂
(Apolloz): The amount of updates and community response just speaks for itself really.
(Me): What advice would you give to someone trying to break into streaming either as a complete noob or one with a few followers?
(Apolloz): Make a schedule, and keep at it. Speak to 0 viewers like you would speak to 100, or 1000. Practice just talking about what you are doing in-game and why until there is chat to feed/bounce off. And if you are really smart try, and find a timeslot in-between other streamers schedules where you might be able to get in.
(Me): Speaking of schedules, if our readers want to catch you in-game, when are you online?
(Apolloz): Hahaha! At the moment I am a bit everywhere with the move and finding a new job, but I am usually around 1-6PM GMT and a lot of the time 10:30-1am GMT
(Me): Is that on specific days or a bit random for the time being?
(Apolloz): Mostly random, the best is to follow my tweets or my stream title which usually has the next stream planned until i get myself settled in real life again!
(Me): No worries, I’ll point that out.
(Apolloz): Thanks =)
(Me): I think that’s everything – took a little longer than I anticipated but that’s down to typing the Q&A.
(Apolloz): Haha no worries bro =)
(Me): Any last words for the community?
(Apolloz): Errrrm… Support Indie devs! and Ark! =) I guess haha.
(Me): Haha. Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk to me.
(Apolloz): Its cool man no worries!
(Me): Cheers, and thanks again for the Interview.
(Apolloz): No worries man, awesome! take care ^_^
There you have it. Again, huge thank you to Ryan – AKA Apolloz – for giving so much of his time and letting us into his life for a little while. You can catch him on his social media channels, Twitch.tv – Twitter.com – youtube.com if you want to see what else he’s getting up to.