Since the first day of w92, POP! Family attracted the attention of almost every player of the new world! In this interview I am aiming to inform the insomniacs of the external forum about this much debated family! The conversation due to its length will be divided into two parts, with the first being the serious and longer one , while the latter will be shorter and mostly for fun! Without further ado, let me present you ChrisIIHoppy the leader of POP! and P0P! and POP!! and P0P!! .
1) Well Chris, if someone checks your various accounts' twstats, he will see that you are quite an experienced player. How would you describe tribalwars in two sentences to a new player and what is the top feature of this game for you?
Tribalwars is a game of strategy, skill, politics and manipulation. Once you learn the basic techniques, playing tribal wars is easy: manoeuvring yourself or your tribe through the different stages of the game is the interesting and challenging element for most.
2) What were your plans and what your goals before starting w92, how are they changed one week after the opening and how optimistic are you about POP!'s future?
Over the years, I have often mass recruited at the start of worlds for different reasons. In earlier worlds, it would sometimes be for fun and to cause trouble, or as a semi-serious attempt to stand up to premade tribes.
Since returning to TW after a 4.5 year break, I created POP! family on world 90 as I had fallen out of contact with all of my old friends. With nowhere decent to join immediately, I mass recruited a couple of tribes worth of people and began my dictatorship. 80-160 players were under my command with no delegation, a little bit of direction but no guidance. I had no expectation of any kind of success. I used the tribes to identify decent players or players with potential to rebuild my contacts list. During the word, I also reconnected with old friends who I am working with on this world and w91.
With the release of world 92 and a (semi-)trustworthy group of skilled players working with me, and no PP reserves to play competitively from the start, we decided to devote ourselves to a good cause: giving inexperienced players an opportunity to do well. The initial plan was to find a good amount of players who would participate in a tribe, offering activity, communication and a willingness to learn. The goal is to expand our core group of players capable of winning a world: whether it is this world or the next.
Realistically, there are opportunities for success in the southeast. Success of any kind is not an expectation, however. We are still simply aiming to give newer players the chance to learn and experience different situations in the games' early stages. I am optimistic that many of our members will have a future in the world; be it with POP! or in a future world winning tribe.
3) Without clearly admitting that POP! is not on this world to win, you are lowering the expectations. POP! managed to recruit, among others, experienced and active players, who (would be fair to assume) usually aim high. Are all the members fully aware of POP!'s plan?
I believe POP! members are aware of all that I have discussed to this point. Some of our more experienced players are doing some PP farming, playing on other worlds, etc. For some, the focus is entirely on w92 and they will have the support of a 180+ member strong tribe. As the world progresses, POP! will consist only of members in the South East areas who have pure focus on w92, with a playing attitude of which teamwork and enjoyment are the only elements.
At this stage it is always unclear what tribes are sticking around; what tribes are going to fall apart. It could be that POP! fall apart in the next couple of weeks. Over a week of survival for a 200 member tribe isn't too bad...
One way or another, all of our active tribe members who apply themselves to the tribe and the world will have success. Deciding a measure of success before tribes have settled down a little is the difficult part.
4) Let us discuss about your 15 players that are away from your core. Do you have any scenario on your mind, where these players can actively help the tribe?
POP! have no ambitions to start branches anywhere other than the south east. Most of our members outside of the south-east and away from our tribe have already started over or moved to other tribes, and that will continue as players finish pp farming in the core continents or do whatever else they need to do.
5) Honestly, why do you think so many players chose POP! in the beginning? What can POP offer to them at this point, and what can they provide to the team?
For the first 5 to 6 days, POP! was a purely mass recruitment family. It was a case of constantly sending out invitations from all who applied or inviting to the other branches when the first branch was full. Players at that time will have only joined because they saw their neighbors in a high ranking tribe. Believe it or not, plenty of good players and players with potential will accept those invitations. Of course, many spies will too.
Recruitment is a constant task for any tribe with ambitions to maintain an active member-base. We have started a process of switching from mass-recruitment to selective-recruitment, which has had some success over the past couple of days as we look to secure at-risk existing members and expand into the rest of the south-east.
POP! offers a supremely experienced, resilient council who are able to organise a mass of members. Our obvious strength will be support due to the density of our villages in K55, while our willingness to recruit inexperienced players to teach may be another plus point. We have already identified many players who can be an active part of a top tribe due to their communication, activity and willingness to learn. This is not all 180+ members, of course, but it is certainly a good amount of players who will help make w92 interesting.
6) As of this morning (Sunday 5/2), POP! counts 186 members, with less than 20% of them being in the top500 plunderers. Considering that farming is the main aspect (at least for the early stages) of the game, and the fact that one of your tribe's goal is to "teach" the game, do you think you are doing something wrong? How many of these 186 members do you reckon will be with you for a considerable amount of time?
I believe that the leadership team has offered adequate support, guides and advice to all members who have shown a desire to improve their game. Farming statistics are a key method of measuring a member or potential recruits' activity, and players who do not show effort cannot be kept in the family long term. Maybe we have not been strict enough. Maybe we should boot our lowest farming member every day to offer some motivation.
Based on yesterday's statistics, POP family had 29 members in the top 500 for Plunderers. This is not enough, and something we are constantly encouraging our members to improve on. For comparisons sake, 28 have 37 of their members in top 500 plunderers, while M E A have only 27.
While many members at this time have not shown great statistics for farming, they have shown their willingness to learn, activity and communication. At present, I am happy with the progress of 80+ players, with many others still with chances to prove themselves to the tribe.
7) Looking at the "Tribe ranking for the continent 55", one could easily see that 28 is your main antagonist in this region. What is your opinion about them (previous encounters, members, leadership)? Is there any other tribe on K55 that you have spotted?
POP! and 28 have had a couple of normal early world skirmishes, as is expected. They are clearly the strongest tribe in K55 at the moment (potentially even the world, though I haven't studied the statistics for all tribes). As mentioned, 37 of their 50 members are in the top 500 for looting, which is a much better showing than the second ranked tribe in K55: M E A.
I know little about 28, really. They do not have the superstar players that you would expect to see in the top ranked start-up tribe. Their members seem active, their leadership seems active and motivated. They are constantly monitoring and strategising locally, in contact with all tribes and attempting to manipulate situations to their advantage.
I saw little future for them at the start of the world. They are making me rethink, though. (High praise)
I am disappointed that they allowed their PP players to get away with rushing nobles and making little-to-no troops -- based on The Commander's statement regarding the subject. Ragingbudha was a huge embarrassment, and I'm sure it won't be forgotten any time soon.
Otherwise, M E A are the other main tribe to look out for in the South East. They have an active member base -- however, expanding to a family tribe will give them much more to think about, demotivate players who thought they were in an 'elite' tribe and had earned their place, etc.
The third tribe to watch in the south east is Vandal. Some top players there, though I'm not sure of their intentions on the whole for this world.
CROSSalso seem an active tribe. Most of the others are proving themselves to be weak and easily manipulated by 28 and M E A, however.
8) Creating a 4-part family tribe from day 1 resulted to some remarkable "hate" on the externals. What are according to you the reasons behind that, and do you find them logical? Are you at all afraid that the attention your tribe attracted so early will be proven to be the beginning of POP!'s end?
I was amazed by the initial raft of hate on the externals. Family tribes have existed since the start of tribal wars, and the majority of players have been a part of one at some point.
It was totally irrational, and those posting negatively were made to look foolish. There are now many family tribes, with other high ranking tribes opening academies. They are not getting the same treatment.
I welcome challenges from tribes or individuals. We will take each as it comes, and endeavour to show our members that we doesn’t afraid of anything.
9) Finally, If you weren't ChrisIIHoppy the leader of POP!, would you apply to enter POP! and why?
Hypothetically, if I were an experienced player then I likely wouldn't begin to consider joining POP!. Although, most experienced players will recognise some players in POP!... so... hrmm....
Also, the high quality alternatives on this world aren't all that great right now. I'm sure tribes will emerge once nobling is common, with many top tribes falling apart. In these circumstances, I would likely join a random tribe nearby or the best of those in the vicinity, before seeing what the situation was a few weeks down the line. So, I suppose I am saying I likely would try to join POP! if I were in the area.
Part 2. 9 simple and fast questions. Chris, have you ever :
1) ... broken any rules?
Yes -- I was banned on world 8 for something.
2) ... abused your "duke"'s privilleges?
Not really -- I haven't ever dismissed a whole tribe or anything like that; or internalled a tribe member when they've set me as sitter for the weekend (shoutout to Drowngod (Russia, waitforit and maybe more on this world)
3) ... read irrelevant mails while sitting for someone?
Yes -- I've also looked at my bosses mails at work before, and found some interesting things.
4) ... tricked a tribemate for personal benefit?
Again, not really -- I'm all into that teamwork stuff.
5) ... neglected something important in real life for tw?
Yes -- I failed assignments for college 7, 8, 9 years ago due to spending too much time on big wars on old worlds.
6) ... felt "rage" on tw?
Often -- less these days as I'm supposed to be an adult now...
7) ... been a turtle?
Yes -- When I used to go for the top ranks I would be aggressive, not make a def vill til I had 6 villages or something stupid like that. World 90 I was a complete turtle due to being on the rim by players four to eight times my size and under constant attack for two months. Here, I also accept responsibility for defending new players. I have been a turtle successfully on old worlds too.
8) ... abandon a tribe for "safety"?
No -- unless it is the majority decision, I would always go down fighting. For example, w90 as I just mentioned, an option to join my attackers was offered, which I rejected.
9) ... failed to follow a tribal plan?
Yes -- life can get in the way, especially when you are old and have responsibilities (kids, or ball and chain). Some things cannot be avoided, but contingencies can be planned.
For the end, I asked from 5 people who know Chris to answer one simple question. Describe in as few words as possible ChrisIIHoppy as 1)person, 2)player and 3)leader!
1) Ive known Chris since I started playing again no w89 after a 4 or 5 years break. Since then Ive been playing with or against him. I think Chris is very approachable to everyone. If you ask him a question or want to give him some advice he will always listen (he won't always follow your advice, but I will get to that ).
2) As I player I have both played with and against him as I mentioned. I think he is very skilled but there is always room for improvement. The way he and his 1mil point tribe kept infamy (including me) away for over a month on w90 was impressive I have to admit. Sometimes he can be a bit impulsive, but I think that won't hurt in this game.
3) As a leader I he likes to have his final word on most things. You need to have very very good arguments to change his mind. In our Skype chat we always joke to not let handle Chris handle the diplomatic relations, as he always trolls other leaders to a point of no return, which I like about him haha.
He has an eye for new people to join the tribe and is always looking for improvements. He gives new people a chance and is really willing to teach people. So far the organisation of the tribe is really looking good and I think if we keep communication well with new people we won't be gone just yet !
1) Extremely trust worthy and loyal to core. Easy to talk to and understanding.
2) One of the most skilled guys I have ever met on .net, When the militias were introduced he was one the first few to have taught me the militia snipes on trains. Will defend and fight out till the end whatever the odds, unless he gets lazy
3) No idea tbh, as i have never played under his leadership.