Your weekly TA Community Interview slot is back and raring to go after a two week hiatus. I was going through a flat move with my girlfriend, and now officially have a games room! I think you’ll agree with me that it was two weeks well spent!
Back to the matter in hand though, and we’ll be kicking off the next round of interviews by talking to Weerwolff
(aka Nikki Wolff). I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of people and things we learn this time round, so let’s get straight to it!
____________________________________DavieMarshall: Hi Weerwolff. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and complete this interview.
Weerwolff: Hi Davie. You're more then welcome, happy to talk to you and thank you for having me here. And an extra thanks to Jack Gotti
for this surprise they cooped up by nominating me.D: So, the Gamertag, what’s the inspiration behind it?
W: Well actually I had a recent change of Gamertag, inspired by several changes in my life...some good and some not so good. Just had a divorce behind me, former employer that kicked many (me included) out and some health issues, so all of that made the last year pretty rough in total.
But I went on, got my new place where I moved in recently, found a new job...and a good friend of mine has turned in to more then a friend ;) So all and all things are going better by the day and I am becoming myself again more every day. And that is where the Gamertag steps in... "Weer" means again in my language as in: I am again the Wolff I used to be. Also my 2 sides are nicely caught by the "Werewolf" aspect of the Gamertag. Phew, long answer for the first question...hope the readers will not be too bored to continue :PD: So this is part of a ‘fresh beginning’? Congratulations are of course in order, and we all wish you the best in your new job, home and love life. Can I ask what kind of work are you involved in now?
W: I am the assistant of the CEO of our company, so I help her with several issues (not yet fetching slippers and papers :) ). The company it self deals with retail products (mainly metal) from China we get from our plants there.D: And how long did it take for you to get your new home sorted? I was made to jump through endless legal hoops recently when I moved, and pay endless amounts of administration fees. In fact the whole process still isn’t finished two weeks later.
W: Well, that was amazing, luck was really at my side there. I got priority for renting as I have a little one under 6. Actually the first place I really applied for I got out of 65 others! And 3 bedrooms give the 2 of us all the room we need :)D: Though it’s earlier than usual, we should talk about gaming set ups as the opportunity presents itself, have you managed to get one sorted that you’d be happy to share with us?
W: Yeah gladly! As I could now finally make the whole place dedicated to my gaming passion (my ex was anti-gaming...) I have it all focussed on my hobby. I am saving up for a bigger TV, but priority was getting the place organized so that meant both precious Black boxes (old 120gb Elite & new Slim 250gb) together in the livingroom and not 1 stored in cardboard box under the bed for the LAN parties. All the retail games are close at hand now and not stored away in the basement. And most important, the little one has her Elite and TV under her castle bed for easy access ;) D: Looking at your profile I spy the Netherlands flag flying atop your profile page. It’s our first visit to The Netherlands as part of our Community Interviews. Whereabouts do you live?
W: I live in a great town in Gelderland, not too big and not too small in a very nice a green area. D: And if I were to come visit you, what kinds of sights and places could we go and see?
W: Well, as all is pretty close to each other in The Netherlands I would show you around the whole country lol. So not only the big fun cities as Amsterdam and Utrecht with the typical nightlife, but also the historical places and the nice nature (dunes, forrest, beaches etc) we have here.D: Do you have many hobbies or activities that you enjoy away from your Xbox?
W: My biggest hobby is my little girl, then comes gaming for sure. As I can now share my gaming passion with someone I love it means gaming takes up a bit more time then before. When Jack and I each are at our own place we come together and talk about the day so that makes gaming a source of communication as well :) The little one has been taken by the gaming virus as well...she loves to game and has the potential to turn into a XboxJunkie as well.
I do fit in time with friends that do not share the game passion lol...next to that watching movies and listening to music will fill my evenings.D: That’s fantastic. I think you’re the first interviewee we’ve had who’s in the process of bringing their daughter up with games! How old is she, and what kinds of things does she enjoy playing?
W: She just turned 5 2 weeks ago but she has been infected with the virus already 2 years ago. But holding the controller and actually gaming is a different story. It started by grabbing the headset to talk to all my gaming friends around the world, then figuring out how to turn the Xbox on and off. She loved to play the guitar and drums on Rock Band
and Guitar Hero
as well. Now she actually really play games like Viva Piñata
by really moving around, looking around, selecting stuff and going to menus etc. Oh, you have nooo idea how it warms my heart to see it and how happy she can get when something succeeds. D: I bet she loves Viva Pinata and all the weird and wonderful animals within.
W: Yeah, she really does! Although she dislikes the concept of the Pinatas hunting each other and can get really sad when one gets smashed (except the sour ones of course...she hunts those lol).D: Do you game together or gently guide her in the right direction? I can’t even think if there are any parent/child friendly games available for you both to play at the same time?
W: I am always there with her to game, to monitor but also to assist. As holding the controller is still hard and I don't want her to get frustrated because something doesn't work out. Her experience should only be nice. The frustration will come when she grows up and wants to try veteran/insane/legendary modes or grinding :)D: That’s really fantastic to hear that you share time together and are introducing her to games. Do you think she’ll take after her Mom and be working on completing titles to 1000G in the future!
W: Oh yeah, she will be even worse for sure! :PD: Now, when I PM’d you to set up this interview, you told me you were (luckily!) off for several days on holiday at the moment. I’ve just had a week off work myself, but as I explained at the top of the interview, I’ve been stressed out trying to move furniture, bills and people around. I hope your time off has been a bit more relaxing!
W: Well, it is been changed around a bit, I am called into the office a few days, so 1 day off 1 on etc. So I still have some time of to be with the little one. But not much relaxing unfortunately :( But at least I have the nights to relax!D: In a ‘regular’ week, how much time would you say you manage to give lovingly to your Xbox?
W: Oh, that depends on many things, but in general I would say about 20 to 25 hours.D: How about during this week off? Have you managed to clock up a few more hours?
W: Lol, it is less as the little one has holiday and the weather was just too nice not to be outside. But I do get less sleep at night...so that does make up for it.D: Is it sometimes hard to find time for yourself with a young daughter, whether it’s for Xbox, pampering, relaxing or going out with friends?
W: Yes true, it was already before as my ex was abroad many weeks, now it is as well. I had to cancel several sessions due to her not wanting to sleep or getting down for attention while I had a session planned. Imagine getting towards the last few waves in Endure and hearing your little one cry...you will get the idea how mixed up gaming and maternal instincts can get. But she comes first and luckily the people I game with understand that. Since the divorce she goes to her dad every other weekend from Friday afternoon to Monday morning...so...all things (including gaming) actually got more easy to plan from now on.D: Do you use gaming to help you unwind at the end of a stressful day, or like me, do some titles get your rage going! Though I guess rage quitting isn’t something you’d like to promote in front of your impressionable little one!
W: Lol, both...when she is asleep I will rage for sure :) But I play many relaxing games as well. I see it like listening to music, 90% of what I play depends on my mood of the day. D: But where did it gaming begin for you? What was your first console?
W: Regarding my age (37 that is) I grew up with all Old School consoles and I played with Atari, Commodore, NES, SNES and the portable games of course ;)D: And was it gaming addiction from the off, or did it take you a little while to really get into games?
W: I must admit, maybe it is my age, but many of the games I did not remember that well. When I started playing Game Room
on Arcade I did remember few of them, but it never really got to me as much as when I started to play Halo 2
on my old Xbox.D: I can tell you’re into your achievements and putting the work into games now as a recent TA status of yours read; “Seriously 2.0: 50K...made my target...now 1 month left for the remaining 50K to reach my goal...so enough time for GOW3”. You don’t tackle achievements like that lightly! Your TA feed has been a stream of updates detailing the slog required to unlock this achievement.
W: Lol, yeah that is a recent goal I set myself, only Seriously 2.0 left and this personal hell is now forced into the treads of all other on my feed :) D: How long did it take you to reach your first fifty thousand kills for Seriously 2.0?
W: Just playing the game and MP stuff got me to 5k and the extra 50k (as I am now on 55k) I got in less then a week. So I must say, this went pretty well. I do have friends that kept me company (long life the party chat!! :) ) because otherwise it would have not went this quick.D: Do you think you’re on target for wrapping it up in time for Gears of War 3?
W: I'm playing the Beta since Monday to get used to it (as it is way faster in gameplay so far) and I combine it with the grind. Wrapping up Gears of War 2
is scheduled in May.D: Going back to your initial consoles for a second, what games stand out most for you from that era? Whether it’s for being exceptionally good or bad, it doesn’t matter.
W: Well, I will skip my young years and Old School consoles and go to my first Xbox as that is to me more the true beginning of my addiction. Then I will say Halo 2
right away....it was the first Xbox game I played and OMG how I sucked at it! Lol I was asked by a few programmers at work that hooked up 2 consoles on 2 big projector screens (4 players each) to join in for a game of Halo 2
The only thing I remember from that first game was that I only saw the sky or the ground...I kept on making circles as I could not get the hang of it. They kept on calling me "Penny-Nikki" as it seemed I was looking for the pennies on the ground. That frustrated the crap out of me and next day I bought my Xbox and Halo. They guy at the store immediately told me to invert my look and that worked like magic. I practiced a bit and the next time I was asked again at work I actually amazed a few of them. Don't get me wrong, I didn't amaze them with skills...I don't have that many skills and I hold the name Nr1 Respawnqueen for a reason...but I do get a bit better and I put goals out for myself to beat.D: Bringing it back to the present day, what would your proudest gaming moments be on the Xbox 360? A particularly hard won achievement? A fantastic piece of teamwork on Xbox Live? A victory snatched from the jaws of defeat?
W: All quick movement games, like shooters, that I can beat alone, or special achievements like the VID Master ones I hold close. But also completing games that are not 1,1 ration or even just ending someones killing spree in a shooter. When I get Gears of War 2
completed I will be proud as well, as I did get them all myself...with the help of friends and boosting of course...but still I did it myself.D: I spotted Red Dead Redemption in your Trophy Case. You’ve completed the game including DLC for a whopping 2470 TA points. That must have been satisfying. Do you have a regular group of friends who help you out with online achievements?
W: Oh yeah, love the game!! Still play it for fun or to help others. I do have a regular group of friends here on TA, people we met along the way in sessions. There were more I gamed with but I decided that when there is not frequent contact on TA or while gaming it is better to part ways until the paths cross again...the ones that remain I try to help when they need my help and the other way around. D: You’ve a very respectable boosting rating of 64+ I see from your badge too. Would this mean that TA is one of those ‘invaluable’ resources that you come to rely upon for those games with a ‘dead’ online community?
W: The only one for me actually. I used to be a part of a Dutch community of gamers, OldskoolNL but this is more a community where people are more social involved and they don't really boost games. Some of them are also here but I decided to dedicate myself to TA only for boosting etc. Here I can find a partner to game or boost with for almost all games. And of course the help in guides is amazing here!!D: On a second look, I notice that your Trophy Case is full of completed games and very few, if any at all, single achievements. Does a completed game mean more to you than a couple of standalone achievements that are really tough?
W: That was just a choice, first I had the special achievements but then decided to put the completed games in only. Some single achievements I have mean WAY more then some of the completed games...but I have a tick that does not allow me to mix them up. I would love a completed games Trophy Case and one for achievements ;)D: When we talk about ‘tough’ achievements, do you consider achievements such as Seriously 2.0 to be ‘tough’ or just an almost pointless grind? After all, it’s more a test of will and patience than skill, right?
W: Certainly not tough, just a long grind...and in a way pointless as the grind has nothing at all to do with the game anymore. And no skill whatsoever is needed...so indeed...pointless in a way...but to complete the game 100% including the DLC...I cannot resist :)D: What games achievement lists have you enjoyed most? I’m currently playing through The Sims 3, and in my opinion, EA devised a really solid achievement list for this title. It encourages you to play differently over multiple characters, explore parts of the city, and look for those extra interactions to unlock additional challenges, and in turn achievements. Can you remember any stand out titles in that respect?
W: I will say Red Dead Redemption
for me as to get all achievements you need to play the storyline, get all collectibles, play MP etc. The nice part about it that even not so skilled players like me can still finish the game 100% not like that games that require SP on veteran/insane/legendary etc.D: We know you’ve been playing, as has your daughter, ilomilo recently. Do you play a lot of Xbox Live Arcade games?
W: Oh yes, I have bought so many Arcade games and I love to play them. D: How do you think the quality of Arcade titles has fared over time? Are some as good as retail games?
W: There is much improvement in the titles and quality of the games and I see this trend continuing so that pleases me to see. As good as retail...well that depends. I have played some crappy retails games (well I was too stupid to start it on my main profile that is)...so in that case yes, several Arcade games can beat retail. But the best part of arcades is that some are so unique in their kind (like Trials HD
but also the recent ilomilo
for example)...that makes them extra nice for me.D:Speaking of recently played games, I also spotted FIFA 10. Are you a footie fan or is this for the achievements? Not that FIFA is very easy or forthcoming with it’s score...
W: Well FIFA 10
was because I had my profile on at friends and got 1 achievement....that remained to ache as I do want to get my % up. But I do love to play "footie". Last year I bought 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
just for the fun to play. These games I will never complete cause I lack the skill...but I don't care, I just love to play them. Same for the GH games...guitar and bass I play only on Easy and only singing I will move up to Medium...that will not stop me from buying new titles. Some games are just worth losing completion % on :)D: Now to the future of 2011. What games are you most excited to play that you haven’t yet managed to give a spin? Portal 2 maybe? Elder Scrolls: Skyrim?
W: Elder Scrolls
for SURE!! Loved every second of the 250 hours in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
. Really cannot wait for that one! Gears of War 3
, Battlefield: Bad Company 3
, Assassin's Creed 3
...those I look forward to very much. But these first need to be released...for now focus on getting completion on older games up.D: Will you rent these games to keep the costs down, or will you just buy them outright?
W: Here we cannot rent games sadly, so it means buying at high prices here, ordering abroad for less, waiting for sales, getting them second hand or finding a friend to borrow from after they are done. It all depends on the game and how badly I want it. The titles above will be pre-orders or/and getting them asap when they are released. It is my birthday at the end of November...so I am lucky to have many releases around that time :)D: You can't rent games over there? Well I've learned something new this interview! Do you have your eye on any games that your daughter would like in the 2011 release schedule? Perhaps the Sesame Street Kinect title? I plan to play it and I’m 24!
W: All that included fuzzy and cute animals! And yes, not only for her lol.D: Sadly, I guess now is the part where we have to say good bye! I hope it’s been an enjoyable experience taking part in a Community Interview.
W: Well, I guess people will have sore eyes from reading my ramblings, so saying goodbye will fit in quit nicely :) Thank you as well Davie, it has been fun indeed!D: Well, we wish you and your daughter the best of luck and happiness in your new home and new job here, and we’ll hand the closing section over to you! Whatever you want goes here! Thanks for talking to me!
W: Give me more chance to talk!? Are you sure?! Well, I will take the opportunity to thank all gamers I met along the way here at TA that contributed to me feeling at place here. The nice gaming sessions and fun talks, the help and support and showing that the gaming community is certainly a social environment as well! Thanks to all! And of course again a special thanks to Jack and Foxie for nominating me XOX (LYBT)...
My thanks to Weerwolff for a great interview, being friendly in her PMs throughout, and making it a fun return to the articles for me. Thanks to the community for the nomination too! Who knows, perhaps we'll see her daughter on here one day!
If you’d like to be featured in a future Community Interview, or would like to nominate a gamer on this site to be featured themselves, please send a PM to DavieMarshall