Hello everyone, US forum’s local “reporter”, Jdtherocker, interviewed The_Chieftain (US server’s local tank guru and developer, counterpart of the EU’s Challenger) – here is the text :) And here’s the Chieftain with his epic hat! 1. What got you started playing world of tanks? Like many people who date back to the ancient days, a link on a forum website. (Tank-related, in my case, of course.) This was before WoT had an advertising infrastructure, or had appeared at its first E3. The post advertised it as a fun game with ‘some’ realism. Ever since then all my other hobbies have fallen by the wayside. Although I am ordinarily a hard-core simulator person, I had no trouble with adjusting to the more arcade style of WoT, and as a lot of the individual tank tactics still worked, I remained moderately successful and hung around. And who doesn’t like to play with tanks? 2. What was your first experience on the forums like as being part of the staff? I’m not sure I remember. I was working for a few weeks before we felt ready to announce the “Chieftain” persona, and the idea of The Hatch. (Granted, some of it was just waiting on artwork!). I had a couple of personal goals and a few ground rules. Initially, the idea wasn’t to become some form of ‘WoT Celebrity’, it was to create interesting content which would appeal to the tank enthusiast (and be linked to on other sites, a form of viral marketing, I guess) and to interact with the players as someone who knows their breech from their muzzle. So, anything I put out had to be 100% accurate, as there’s always some wise guy on the internet willing to sharpshoot you (Of course, the definition of ‘accurate’ is ‘cannot be disproven…’). If inaccurate, and proven so, then admit it immediately. Nothing worse to than to have one’s credibility destroyed. The other, a more personal goal, was to come up with tidbits of information which were interesting, but not particularly well known. Frankly, the world didn’t need another guy writing about Patton in the Battle of the Bulge or how awesome (or not) the Tiger tank was, and there’s plenty of other things I feel as a tank enthusiast that need better exposure to the world. So, the initial post was “Introducing the Chieftain’s Hatch,” just letting the community know I was out here. As the community was quite small then, it wasn’t exactly a major ripple in the pond of the internet, and interactions were always civil. A positive start to proceedings. 3. What’s your favorite part about doing the chieftain’s hatch then? I like teaching (It fuels my ego). WG discovered me giving a tour of the local tank museum, so that should give an example :) . I also strongly dislike all those myths that perpetuate, so am most happy to run articles which attack common perception (as long as they are substantiated by documentation), see the Patton (“The Truth as we know it”), Tank Destroyer (“Can Openers, America’s Successful Failure”) or M4 gun articles (“US Guns, German Armor, Parts 1, 2″) as examples in point. I am also most fortunate to be working for a company which supports these endeavours, especially when it comes to things like financing time just spent digging in the archives. Of course, I am primarily looking for information for game implementation (eg armor values, vehicle variants etc), but the way the archives are configured (see “US National Archives” article) one never knows what one is going to discover. Being able by complete accident to find answers to long-standing questions such as ‘OK, just who came up with the “General names for US vehicles?’ (“What’s in a name” article) (jd’s note: part 2 can be found here) and publish the information for the world at large, and not worrying about if the information is commercially successful enough to sell books, is very satisfying. I feel I’m providing a service to the armour community as a whole, not just players of WoT, and introducing WoT players a bit more into the history of the vehicles that they’re playing. I know that modellers are also using the Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch video series as a reference too :) 4. Which of the many articles you wrote (which any reader should check out (shameless plug)) are you the most proud of? Operation Think Tank, but it’s not an article. It’s a four-hour epic piece of tank knowledge disbursement from the best in the business which I really think needs more visibility than it’s gotten. I think the “What’s in a Name” pair has given me most personal satisfaction as they are instances of digging in and finding for public view things which have apparently been lost to us. Similar to the T16 articles. I may also re-visit the Can Openers, just as it’s a personal gripe of mine. That said, the ones which tend to get the most interaction are more the Op-Eds, things like “A Military Christmas” or “Non-Tankers”. Possibly because they’re subjects to which the players can more easily relate. 5. Whats the hardest part (could be interest wise) about writing the articles? Digging up the information or sitting down and typing it out? Actually, deciding what it is I’m going to write about. I have a couple of personal limitations to start with: If I’m going to write a history thing, not an op-ed, I need to have some reasonable source materials to start with. Secondly, something a bit original or different. I mentioned earlier I don’t like parroting the common stuff. Bovington’s director told me that when they decide to try something new, such as the Haynes manuals, they try it with the Tiger first. If it doesn’t make it as a commercial success with Tiger, there’s no point in trying other vehicles. Similarly, every model manufacturer seems to have a model kit available of every single variant and sub-variant of Tiger, depending on if it was the day before the driver bent the headlight guard or afterwards. (But try to find a reasonable kit of M103). That sort of thing annoys the hell out of me, and since there is no ‘commercial’ criterion for what I do, it’s just down to what’s interesting and hasn’t been done before too often. Once I have the assets arrayed for me to choose from laid out in front of me, I then make a selection from that, unless there is some other reason for me to go on a tangent, such as ‘Becoming an Old War Vet’ or ‘Maneuver Conference’ Finally, actually finding the time Continue reading →

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