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Archfiend Interviewing Saurons Pets
I did an interview via ICQ chat with the greatest Orc player in Utopia's history. We discussed SP's history, why defenses have become so insanely high, and account trading among other things.

First off, let's get your name, age, and location.
Saurons Pets, Toralf Hallen, 30y, Stockholm, Sweden.

How long have you been playing Utopia?
Since the short beta in late Oct 1998.

A lot of top players have come and gone since then, how have you managed to continue to play at a high level while so many others have quit the game?
I am not a quitter.

So you will be playing Utopia forever then? (=
Lol, no I wont. Every round could be the last.

Does it ever get stale or become a chore for you play?
I still enjoy it. When I run into troubles I don't think I deserve I fight it out. Once the opposition have surrendered it is usually a bit stale, hopefully it ain't too long to the reset then.

What if they don't surrender? (=
Lol... Then they die. Always did, and always will. So far I lost no war and I will keep it that way.

So dying doesn't mean you lost the war (=
Of course not. Nobody with any understanding of Utopia would say that. I died twice (round 2 and 3) but both times up to 48 hours after I killed my enemy. That they hang around and make people keep hitting you and there's nothing you can do much about. Killing in Utopia is easy. Winning is another thing.

Ya know, it was funny how I met you back in round 1.. you sent me a message (all role played) asking me to join your secret Orc alliance. We role played back and forth talking and later I asked some peeps if they heard of it and everyone had heard of the secret Orc alliance (=
Ho ho ho... it wasn't so secret... I wrote to all the big orcs (bigger than me) and asked if they would like to lead us according to strongest rule principle... all said no. Funniest part was in the endgame when I passed Niitaka in the last days and he sent me a letter:

"Now you strongest, now you rule!" =)

I was really proud and happy to receive that... I never thought I would even enter the top list.

You were always very large.
Yes. Me and my best friend GorskaGar went the 40 homes 40 plazas... and I had 20k hammers in the end =) lol and about 210k ogres.

Which age was your favorite age as far as the rules were concerned?
Hmm... 1st one I think... and 5th was good too... before and after the worst thief era... The thief has always been the hardest problem to a good warrior. I know. I had perhaps 5k thieves and 0 guilds.

Ho ho ho I think I ended the round with 7 or 8 wizards?

I never used them. The CBs always fizzled so usually I just sent a bunch of ogres when I hit =) So I learned to "read" a province on its acres and NW. This and this size usually had this and this defense... double it and smack! worked every time =)

100k points of defense was also rare the first age too (=
No tog, no stealing =) jupp... as I said, went with about 20 k hammers only on almost 10 k acres lol... 6 dpa...Back then the "I have a big offense. You wanna try me? *evil grin*" That worked... never since... pretty funny

Heheheh... newbies remember Saurons Pets is an expert. Please do not try 6 dpa at home (=
Lol...more like 60 now =) It is all Mehuls fault by the way.

How so?
He changed buildings every round to make way for a more varied building order flora. and kept increasing offense capacity. That has forced people to defend against huge offenses... with worse and worse means... like Guard stations going from + 30% def to less and less. It is possible to defend. But only with a few races... OR at the expense of offensive troops. Which leads to people using their diminishing offense on smaller and smaller targets. So that they have to start worrying about people that are twice their size or more. What do they do? Get even more defense. It is the steadily increasing offenses that are in fact pushing the defenses up. Mehul and many with him haven't understood this so their solutions are always "create more offense!" and it gets even worse. Defense is priority number one, offense come after that. and then you have no resources left. I have been playing too long not to see this evolution.

You are truly one of the most accomplished players in Utopian history. Can you give a quick synopsis of your career. Maybe a sentence for each age including your rank or what happened?
1st Created Barduvian Hordes and asked all the big Orcs to join. I made biggest Orc and finished 7th.

2nd Renamed BH to Barduvian alliance and won our first war with CD, hence recognition and fame. Saurons Pets died refusing to go into vacation. Was "given" (it wasn't seen very bad back then) Skypia a dwarf and finished 20th.

3rd The Barduvian Alliance grew to the biggest aliances in Utopian history, killing of 10 major attempts to break us. Saurons Pets finally died. No position.

4th Barduvian Alliance laid to rest in order to play an ordinary round. Still ended up in a major war and crushed 666. Survived but not very big =)

5th Created Corma with old Barduvians and changed name and race for the first time since Orc had been made totally unplayable. Ended 1st in fame With Gandalf White and 2nd in the NW joke. Brought Corma Narya to a 2nd position in kingdom rankings

What race was Gandalf White? Avian?

In the 6th age I was Finwe and an Elf. 6th Renamed Corma due to its immense success. The 3 Corma kingdoms finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th. Waged war against the biggest cheater of all time for 10 real days. I will finally have dragged my province above 10k acres and 2 mil nw by the end of the round after a 100 province gangbang and 26 losses :)

We called it a "Grand Kingdom" and not an alliance.

So how did your kingdoms become so powerful?
We had the power of a real alliance, if not stronger - but we were "small" (only 3 kingdoms) enough not to be seen as an alliance I had the luck to get three people into mine and we made the strongest one. Teamwork. Diplomacy. and Principles. Not to mention the network of contacts :)

Next question with Utopia becoming more kingdom oriented than ever before do you think a new player has a chance to do really well without trading into a kingdom?
Yes but no player has the chance to do well his first round in that kind of game and I think they could live with that.

So basically they'd have to take a round or two to shape the kingdom?
Their second round they would themselves get the chance to form a good kingdom. One round should be enough.

What would you think about being able to select the people in your kingdom?
I have openly suggested that for a year.

I did too before I left (=
People wanna play WITH friends, not only make new ones. A combination is great, but you should have the choice I think. It would prolong the time a player is active in Utopia as well, produce more "loyal" players if you will.

I actually toyed with the idea of playing this round but I don't want to trade in (although I've gotten lots of offers) and I don't want to start with a bunch of newbies while everyone else has a strong established kingdom
First you explore the game. Then you find friends. Then you play with them. (** Editor's note: This is Utopian quote of the decade if you ask me **)

Ideally, yes (=
You are not allowed the last part so you quit earlier. I have forced the Utopia code to play with my friends anyhow.

I agree... It's possible I may never have left if I'd been allowed to play with who I wanted to. When you say you have "forced" what do you mean?
I have allowed people to enter my kingdom in violation of the Utopia code. The only violation I have accepted with open eyes by the way.

Would you say that being a top 100 player now is as much about getting aid from your kingdom as being a good player?
It has nothing to do with aid. Those that get aid are in fact not top 100 players. They are so called losers. But if you mean those that do get on the top 100 list I would say that 50 people don't belong there and 50 are there without aid. Aid is about to ruin the game totally if you ask me.

Bah... those aren't very good numbers.. what's a solution to fix that problem?
Fix the aid system. Remove it if you ask me But at least make it impossible to aid people to the top.

I agree wholeheartedly
Good =)

Tell us how the now famous newspaper article with you and Kadagar came about .
A Swedish journalist that plays thought Utopia with its 40 k players deserved some attention. So he asked for an interview and I said ok.

Everyone has seen the picture but what did the article say?
It is very short and generally deals with internet games like Utopia. And some tips and tricks on how too play.

So do you and Kadagar live near each other?
o... same city... we never met before and we are not friends :)

Oh really? Why is that?
Well he run an alliance of Swedes and I never joined thinking Barduvia was a lot better. It turned out I was right :)

Have you two ever clashed in game?
I think I smacked him earlier and most of his lieutenants, but not cause they were AV, rather cause they were good target.

lolololololololololol... The sheer coincidence of it (=
=) I did help Callista this round though when they gangbanged him... Not much left of AV as I see it... tiny ruins of a once promising project.

You're a bigger name than Kadagar...take charge of the Swedish people there and bring them into Corma (=
No... I play with Utopia friends no matter where they are located and they prove to be worthy of friendship by action rather than by nationality. I'd rather deal with good players than with people that speak my native language.

That's it SP... anything you want to promote or anyone you want to say hi to?
Lol... no I would miss out on too many.... But I can say this much... Orcs are playable in round 7... one has no other choice than to pick up the old battle hammer and whack some faeries.... Time for the Orcs to reunite :)

I see Saurons Pets returning to the Orcish race next round (=
The Trollking has returned, yes.

One last question.. where did Trollking come from?
I wanted to be the best of Orcs, and orcs are usually led by Trolls.

Ah, in Tolkien?
The King of trolls should easily have the power to lead a horde to victory.

It has allready been proven...

So it has (=
and not for the last time =) ho ho ho....Boshkaran!

- Archfiend (29-Jan-2000) - http://www.brassknuckles.net

Readers' Comments

Posts: 21
(30-Nov-2004 06:43 pm)
Funny how I've never read this before
Posts: 1
(27-Nov-2006 10:32 am)
Boulderdash! AV was not crushed and will never be.
Posts: 1
(02-Dec-2007 01:16 am)

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