About the Interviewee: One of the longest playing I'76 enthusiasts, King Rod is the leader of Clan Rod, in this interview we discuss
his tactics for mocking SuiCyco if he drives a flying bus, the ultimate anti-hack weapon, and his obessesion with Rods.
King Rod [CR]
Music Option "Walk Don't Run":
SSS: So where did you get the name "King Rod"?
King Rod: Actually, when I started with i76, it just popped into my mind as a cool, hot rod, 70s kind of name, and it stuck.
SSS: So when you formed your group, "Clan Rod", did people pick on you because it was the same as your handle?
King Rod: No, not at all. In fact, Clan Rod started out as a real spur of the moment thing. I was in a game, and hacks had just started to become prevalent, and I thought that a group of cool players would be an asset. So, in a game with Rondude and some others, I suggested it, and some liked it, others weren't interested. The whole "Rod" thing is really based on hot rods, which is how cars were defined in the 70s, and not me trying to impose my name per se, into the gang.
SSS: O.K., cool. So how long have you and Clan Rod, been playing I'76?
King Rod: Since about the second day after the game was released.
SSS: So you remember when the first hacks and gangs started to sprout up...
King Rod: Oh yeah. The first "hacks" of course were the tank and copters, which at that time were all flying trucks.
SSS: What was your reaction to both of these at the time? (Gangs, and hacking.)
King Rod: Well, hacking, I really hated. The first time I encountered multi-turret cars I was really shocked. I watched them tear up all the competition and at the time I thought they would ruin the game. There was no booting ability then, as you know. The gangs are a mixed bag. I think it is a great idea, especially in a game based around cars in the 70s, when car gangs were really out there. Of course, some gangs sprouted up with the intention of defaming and impersonating "Big name" players and that isn't cool.
SSS: So what did you do when a multi-turreted car would enter your game, before the boot option/upgrade was availiabe to you and your friends?
King Rod: Mock him.
SSS: Mock him?
King Rod: Yeah - we couldn't beat them, generally. At that time the armor hacks were coming into vogue as well, so we would come up with as many original insults and challenges to his manhood and gaming ability as we could.
SSS: (Interviewer Laughs)
SSS: So could you sound a few staple mocks off for us?
SSS: Here I come into your game, flying bus with 5 turrets...
King Rod: Sure. "Hey guys, here comes SuiCyco again, hacked as usual..."
King Rod: "I think he has no room for his cock in that bus, so many guns on it already."
King Rod: "What's the matter, Sui? Feeling a bit of inferiority complex?" "Come back unhacked, ya loser and I'll strip naked and beat you down with my member!"
King Rod: That sort of thing, although I admit it is hard to do here - every situation begged a different insulting style.
SSS: Ah, very interesting. heh heh. So in regard to Clan Rod, I seem to remember your group plays on the main server most of the time, what is it like playing "in the thick of it"?
King Rod: It is always a lot of fun... a lot of diversity, with different types dropping in all the time. We always have a blast booting hackers. I remember once, we invited all the members of a big hacker gang to our game, to demonstrate the ultimate anti-hack weapon. Well, they all came, and were all booted, some as many as five times before they got the hint. Playing on the main server did mean putting up with a lot of hackers though. For a long time, that was practically all that was out there; it was about a 7-1 ratio of hacked to unhacked. The boot solved all that - once Activision took away their power to ruin games, they have faded considerably.
SSS: So when you started to agressively fight hackers, did they attempt any sort of retaliation?
King Rod: Oh yeah, of course, but they all proved to be paper tigers. I mean, who are these guys really? They are not adults, generally, and not terribly mature. They are mainly powerless kids who use the anonymity of the web to try to exert power they don't have. It makes them feel good. Also, I suspect most of them have small penises.
SSS: So it's your opinion that malicious hex editing leads to a reduction in genitalia surface area?
King Rod: No, I think that the fact that they have small dicks leads to malicious hex editing.
King Rod: Among other things.
SSS: An interesting thoery. Which leads me to my next question, your ongoing war against Sublime.
SSS: What started that and what was the problem..
King Rod: No longer ongoing. Sublime made the mistake of posting public obscenities against some of my friends. And that, I don't tolerate.
SSS: So did you and Sublime come to an agreement?
King Rod: No, talking to Sublime was like talking at a brick wall. I tried to reason with him, but he kept spouting his lies, and slander, until I realized that reason was not going to prevail. So I petitioned GeoCities, who looked at his page and gave him the boot. Then, when I learned he was taking over Covak's site, I vocally joined the outcry against that, and he was removed from duty there as well. But I do not take credit for any of that; I merely brought his own actions to bear against him.
SSS: Have you heard from him since?
King Rod: Nope.
SSS: What about his friend Smidge?
SSS: And why does he say "Hail to the king, baby!", is that reffering to you?
King Rod: Smidge is the same as Sublime - another loser using the anonymity of the web to try to make himself out to be something he is not in real life, and that's sad. I pity those guys. I guess the "Hail..." is stolen from me, but I took it from Bruce Campbell in "Army of Darkness" so I have no claim to it...it seemed cool to say after a kill.
SSS: Have you had any run-ins with ST, widely regarded as some of the best hackers of I'76?
King Rod: No, I do not associate with hackers at all.
SSS: What do you have against it exactly?
King Rod: Put simply, it destroys the game.
SSS: What about hacks that do not, such as the hacking that was done early on in the game to find out the object numbers for map objects?
King Rod: Any hacks which don't directly affect the gameplay, I can live with.
SSS: So for gameplay, Clan Rod doesn't use any standardized set of 'dueling rules'. Do you have your own set?
King Rod: No, Clan Rod prides itself on allowing anything the game itself allows in it's battles. We do have a couple of "games" we play which have strict rules, and other challenges we run in the City of Rod map, but any time straight combat is going, anything allowed by Activision goes.
SSS: So that would seem to imply that your games see alot of clusterbomb and missle launchers, along with the V-10 motor and so on.. is that how it usually is in a Clan Rod game?
King Rod: Actually, no. Our members are skilled enough to use the weaknesses of those weapons against their owners, and so we have each developed our own sets of weapon and configuration choices which work the best for each member. Testy uses heavy cannon and machineguns complemented by a rear cluster, for example. I have settled on a Manta with turreted fire-rite, a cannon, a cluster, a machine gun, and fire dropper.
SSS: So what can you tell us of your run-ins with the Humiliators, I was reading the mailbag section on their site and it seems you two have quite a competition going...
King Rod: Well, I guess the main thing with them was that I recieved some incorrect information and that led to a hastily sent e-mail to them which I never should have written. I didn't research the claims since they came from a CR member, and I should have. I have nothing against the Humiliators, I just think that they are overbearing and egotistic, but considering their roster, I am not surprised that the gang was formed.
SSS: So let's jump back for a moment to Clan Rod and the Clan Rod way.. Can Anyone join a Clan Rod game or are they pretty much private?
King Rod: No, all un-hacked players are welcome in our games. We boot unruly players, but our games are almost always open, unless we are having a member only meet. We really enjoy meeting new people and the diversity that such interaction creates.
SSS: What was your reaction to being considered one of the 'Ten Best Players of I'76'?
King Rod: I was shocked and surprised. I don't consider myself one of the ten best i76 players, and I feel that that particular poll was a measure of the most popular or well-known i76 personalities, rather than the best.
SSS: What do you think it takes to be in the top 10 if you had done the survey?
King Rod: The top 10 "best" or "best known"?
SSS: Best As players.. what are the ingredients in your opinoin?
King Rod: A lot of skill, and practice. A lot of involvement in tourneys and generally getting your name out and challenging well-known players. I do not have that ambition at all; I have always played for fun, and competition to be "the best" never enters Clan Rod games.
SSS: Any favorite I'76 Clan Rod memories?
King Rod: Sure; meeting Lord Og, who has become probably my closest "internet only" friend. We chat on ICQ on a nightly basis and play many other online games together. Also, simply the great feeling of camaraderie that comes from being in a good group of players.
SSS: So do you have any favored cars or weapons in I'76, and tactics to go with them?
King Rod: My favorite car has always been the Manta; it has a good balance of offensive weapon posts, speed, maneuverability and armor. I really do not have any single "favorite" weapon. My experience with i76 has been a never-ending search for that elusive perfect weapon config. The setup I described earlier is what I have used for the longest time. It has a good balance of weapons for taking on opponents at all ranges, which I like.
SSS: So for the newer or less experienced players, any parting words?
King Rod: Play fair. Be true to yourself. Don't be something you aren't in the real world. Play for fun.
SSS: Hail to the King, Baby! (Sorry, couldn't resist...) ;)
King Rod: Nobody can.