7DD co-leader The Chef (yes, he’s an actual head Chef in a restaurant) has been doing a “behind the avatar” interviews about Seven Days members. Apparently people requested he interview me; not sure why, maybe people hadn’t gotten their ******** quota for the day. I’m posting here because…I dunno, a few people asked me to…also I’m traveling for work, had a few beer, and was bored. So I thought I’d cut and paste from Discord to MS Word to here…wow am I lame…
Full disclosure - I added some clarifications to some of my answers after the fact.
Today I interview Dante, elder in 7 Days Departed and known for not holding back on his opinion.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A. Well… I currently live in the Chicago area, although we sold our house (close in early June) and are building new construction in the Ann Arbor Michigan area. I have 2 kids, who are 6 and 8 years old. I currently work for a large technology company doing difficult network designs and helping our sales teams with any technical “sticky bits”. Before that my friends and I started a consulting company in college when we were 19 that we ran and grew for 13 years before selling and merging the company. That company is still around today (Netrix LLC).
Q. What did you consult in?
A. Technology consulting. Back in the day it was Cisco, Microsoft, Novell. I’m a Cisco CCIE Emeritus. Which means I’ve had my certification so long and reached the point in my career where certifications don’t matter.
Q. You’re building your own house at the moment! What’s the best part about doing that?
A. Getting to pick out all the features and finishes that we want, like a pot filler above the stove and a cool built-in shoe rack and coat hook area coming in from the garage. And finally getting an on-suite master bathroom!
Q. And the worst part?
A. Well if you don’t stay on top of the builder, you can get sub-par work depending on their contractors. So I have my own inspector doing weekly visits and i have to spend a lot of time supervising. Also dealing with all the financial aspects. My wife is handling all the moving logistics and all the utilities. We also have to live with my in-laws for 2 months, but luckily my father in law is a great cook and has 1200 bottles of wine.
Q. What would you say to someone who is planning on building his or her own house?
A. Don’t get caught up by the advertising saying “houses starting at $375,000”. That will literally include nothing. Also, everyone I’ve known that has stayed on top of the builder and been involved in detail has ended up wih a quality house. If you don’t, you get what they give you and you won’t find out about issues until after your 12 month warranty is over.
Q. It’s time to talk E&P, who is your favorite hero an why?
A. Hmmm… probably Alberich because he’s so unique. I was totally wrong in that I initially thought that he sucked (good call by me!) Also Azlar because he was my first ever max 80 and who doesn’t love a fire-breathing lion.
Q. Do you have a hero you regret spending mats on?
A. Not on my main account. I’ve been pretty lucky with my pulls there and the choices I made on who to ascend when I just started this game. On my alt, I want the orbs back I spend on Li Xiu. She is ok on defense, but terrible offensively. I mean, she’s better than Hu Tao, but I’ll take Chao any day!
Q. Speaking of your beginning in E&P, what advice would you give to new players who are still exploring the game?
A. New players - read the wiki, read the non-bitching and moaning parts of the forum. And even if you never spend another dime, the $5 starter pack makes it so much more fun. At least do that if you like the game even a little. And find a good alliance. I stayed too long in my starter alliance with casual people who had a different goal from me. But that’s some people’s goal. So find out what you want and then make sure your alliance fits that. So “good alliance” doesn’t mean top 100 or anything, just that the alliance goals fit with what you want from the game.
Q. What’s your best E&P memory?
A. Well… in game the first time I got A on a titan in 7dd. Close second is the first pirates event. I only had my main team of 4* at 3/60 and 2/60 for Richard. I didn’t realize I couldn’t use Richard and had to power level the Grimm I just gotten. He only got to 2/22. So I was running intermediate with 4x 60 and a 2/22. The first time i did the stage ten bosses, they crushed me. I mean CRUSHED, even with two gem resurrections. I went on an epic rant on forums and basically was told “you suck, try a different way. What battle items are you using?? I was like “what are battle items?” So I regrouped, took a breath, did some planning, and took it down. That let me ascend two of my guys to 70.
(You read that right people! Even Dante was once a forum complainer!!)
But out of game, probably how much everyone had my back when my uncle died over Thanksgiving. I know a bunch of people in 7D family have had issues in RL like job loss, divorce, and worse, and it’s nice place to come for support.
Q. Definitely! Which kinda answers one of my questions, but let me ask it anyway… What is your favorite thing about the 7D family?
A. That’s pretty much it right there, supporting each other. Also, at least for 7dd, we have fewer rules and it seems than some other top alliances have. Basically the rules are “don’t be a douchebag” and “try to get 70k titan damage on 3 hits on the 10 stars”. That’s it.
FYI - It’s definitely not Anchor’s YouTube streaming. I mean he wants us to stop cursing in chat for god’s sake. Heathen. (shots fired!! I hope all 6 of his Youtube followers don’t get mad!)
Q. What’s your ultimate goal in the game?
A. Really just to have fun. I mean part of that includes enhancing my team. But from an accomplishment standpoint that’s really it. I mean I’m in the long running number 1 alliance, I’ve hit number 1 ranking, etc. I like giving back too (both on Discord and the forums), though sometimes it comes across as “I know better than you”. Sorry about that, it’s not really meant that way (even if in some cases it’s true… ). But I really don’t want new or intermediate players to get sucked into the forum negativity. Also, I’m a collector so really I want to collect all the heroes but I refuse to get caught up in the event 5s pulling nonsense anymore, so that’s off the table (screw you Panther and Arthur and Kestral and all the rest of you!)
Q. What changes would you like to see in E&P?
A.Wow. I don’t think the forum has that much storage…but being able to have some sort of value for purchased once you have most of the standard heroes. That’s a fine line because if you guaranteed purchases, then it becomes p2w, but at the same time, there’s little reason for me to buy heroes other than a gotta have HotM or maybe new events with new 4s. One good thing would be to allow HotM from epic troop summons - that way end game players can still get value if they want to spend because 3-4 star troops are still useful.
I’d also get the alliance war matching fixed ASAP and allow alliances (and possibly players) to opt out. But figuring some way to have end game players still get spending value balancing not going p2w is probably the toughest.
I’d also like to see past HotM into tc20 after x months, where x = 6, 9 or 12 months. Otherwise there will be power creep that f2p can’t overcome and that will be a problem 9-12 months from now.
I’d also change the raid from elo to something with a smaller cup win/loss range and make more ham and iron incentive to keep cups up. [note this interview occurred before the 1.12 went live]
I think those things along with season 2 will set things up nicely for a while in conjunction with higher titans.
Q. What’s your guilty pleasure in life?
A. Guilty pleasure. Besides wine? And dessert bread? Probably sci-fi and fantasy shows. Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica etc. And going to gaming conventions…
Q. Can you share with us a fun anecdote about yourself?
A. So after the dot com crash in 2000 our business was slow and I probably played 2000 hours a year of poker for a few years. Good for a down payment on our first condo. I was playing a good 60 hours a week of live games. If I had less than $5,000 cash in my pocket, I felt light, since you never knew when a game would break out. I have quite a few others, but I’d like to be employable and the Internet is forever…so you only get the PG-13 versions. But if you’re ever in the Ann Arbor Michigan area after mid-July, look me up and we can chat in person
Chef - I want to thank Dante for his time and this interview! I hope you all have a fun read!