Q: Can you give a little background on yourself, who you are and what you do?
I am Chris Kluwe
, and I play video games. A LOT of video games. I also play tabletop miniatures (Warmachine) and bass in a band called Tripping Icarus. Occasionally, in order to finance these hobbies, I have been known to punt the football for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
Q: Obvious question: Horde or Alliance? Favorite class and race?
Horde. Alliance is filled with dumbs and baddies. My favorite character (which is my main and pretty much only character) is a troll rogue named Loate.
Q: Them's fighting words--it's OK, I'm Horde as well so I won't say anything. What kind of gaming experience do you have? When did you get started?
I started gaming when I was 4 years old when my parents bought me a Nintendo Entertainment System so I'd stop bugging them. I was stuck at home for a week after I split my toe open at Sea World and they needed something to occupy me. Thus began a nonstop stream of gaming that's included Genesis, SNES, Dreamcast, Playstation 1 2 and 3, Xbox and 360, and a succession of gaming PC's. I play every genre of game except for sports. I'm terrible at sports games.
Q: How did you first get into WoW? When did you start playing?
I first got into WoW during vanilla, about 3 months in, after one of my friends kept bugging me to play. I'm no stranger to MMO's (this will probably answer question 8 also) as I started with Ultima Online, moved on to Everquest, then Asheron's Call, Jumpgate, Anarchy Online, DaoC, etc. etc. It's fair to say that I've played about 90% of the MMO's that have come out in the U.S.
Q: Asheron's Call was awesome. Anyway, what was your highest level of PvE progression? Were you a 5-man player or did you actually make time for raiding?
I was initially in a guild with some friends called Order of the Nine (on Kil'Jaeden), which we then merged with another guild to form Astrum Brumalis in order to get enough people for vanilla raiding. We made it about halfway through BWL before BC came out, and that was when I decided to try hardcore raiding. I joined The Flying Hellfish
at the start of BC and for a while we were 9th US Horde in progression. I've seen my share of eye lazers, flame crashes, and assorted tests of player ineptitude :)
Q: Looks like the Hellfish are still doing very well in Firelands and are working on Heroic Ragnaros! So now that we discovered you were a PvE hero, how involved were you in PvP? What was your best "trash talk" out there in the battlefield?
I've been pretty involved in PvP since the start of the game, mainly world PvP at first back when Tarren Mill/Southshore was the only game in town. Once battlegrounds came out I got exalted in all 3 reputations (which was a complete pain in the ass back then, especially WSG) and then started doing Arenas when those came out. My best arena season was probably season 2 where two friends of mine and I ran Rogue Mage Priest and got to duelist; we didn't have quite enough time to spend playing in order to hit gladiator. Also, warriors can suck my nuts in the arena, especially geared warriors back then. Faceroll some more you champions of shouting.
Q: Spoken like a true TBC pvper--you gotta love the warriors who used two healers in 3's back then. Have you ever used a PvP line on the football field?
Not really, I try to avoid trash talking in most cases, since you never know who you're going to be playing with down the line. There's also not a whole lot of opportunities for punters to talk smack on the field if we're doing our jobs properly. "Yeah, you take that ball out on the five yard line and you like it, biyotch!" See what I mean?
Q: So besides WoW, what other games do you enjoy? What MMORPGs have you played?
I covered other MMO's in question 3, and as for other games I'm a big fan of RPG's, strategy games, RTS's, FPS's, Diablo and assorted clones, fighters, and puzzle games. Like I said earlier, I'll play just about anything other than sports games.
Q: Speaking of games, I hear you have a thing for League of Legends. We just ran a contest for that and a surprising amount of WoW players also play LoL. What's your favorite Champion?
My favorite champion is Vayne, even after they toned her down a bit (she was hideously overpowered when Riot first introduced her and I loved it, especially because you could see it just by reading her abilities). She's a great harasser early game if you learn the radius of her roll properly, and if you can get a couple kills she starts wrecking face. Also, percent based true damage is all sorts of stupid.
Q: Is killing dragons something any of your teammates do? I'll go get coffee sometimes, hear people discussing a PvP build--have you ever been preparing for a real life game and heard people talk about a virtual one?
No one currently on the team plays WoW as far as I know of. We've had a couple guys over the years that did (as well as one guy that played FF11 /boggle), but the only other sports player I know offhand that plays WoW is Adam Podlesh, the punter for the Bears. A lot of guys play games though, it's just they're more into action/adventure type games (God of War, Gears, Halo) and Madden.
Q: There are two major stigmas with gaming. First off, in order to play, you have to have no life, and secondly you're probably a geek. Meanwhile, with sports, it's the exact opposite. How have you felt about the stereotypes? Have they affected you? Do you think you're an exception or a reality given that you do both?
I think that everyone is a geek, it's just a matter of what you geek out about. For some people it's games (geeks), for some people it's sports (jocks), others have cars (gearheads), or guns (Republicans), or fishing (bored husbands), blah blah blah. I think gamers were initially characterized as having no life because you had to spend so much time learning how to program these games and figure out how to make them run, as well as games being relatively solitary activities by nature, but now that we see people who have been brought up with games (myself included) some of that stigma has gone away. I've always felt that you should be balanced in what you choose to do in life, and I think there's definitely a reality that gaming is not the sole domain of the nerds anymore. To be fair, there's still neckbeard basement dwellers out there (you know who you are) who should probably get out in the sun a little bit more and perpetuate the stereotype, but that's their choice to make, and I think people are starting to realize that the majority of gamers aren't like that.
Q: Many people I've spoken to with some degree of fame have kept their real identity a secret. Did you ever let people know you played for the NFL in any of the games you've played?
Well, I definitely played the NFL card for my Hellfish app; I really wanted to get in and I figured that would up my chances :) In most cases though I'll keep my identity to myself, but with the rise of connectivity in games (RealID, Xbox Gamertags, etc.) it's not hard to figure out who someone is if you really put your mind to it.
Q: How do you balance a professional sports career and Azeroth--and in gaming in general? How much time in your life does the NFL take up? Did you ever play seriously while the NFL season was going on?
I raided very heavily during my third and fourth year with the Vikings, probably more than I should have (my wife was not happy at some of the late nights, curse you west coast server!), but I never let it affect my job or my relationship. For me, the key is being able to prioritize and stay balanced in life - I like getting paid lots of money to do something that doesn't really take up a whole lot of my time, and I love my wife (she makes me food). Now that I have kids (2 daughters) gaming is definitely taking even more of a backseat; I still game quite a bit but I've actually moved away from MMO's so I'm able to pause or put the game down if I need to take care of something.
Q: Given that your time is limited, what is your favorite thing to do when you got a chance to log on in WoW? In any MMO?
In WoW, hanging out with my guildies and seeing new content (as well as ganking the occasional jerk who tried to disrupt dailies). I'm pretty sure that will translate to just about any MMO I play in the future.
Q: So, I know you're a manly man...but I'm a girl and this is a real big deal to me, so I have to ask. Patch 4.3 introduces the ability to change your armor into anything. It's probably been the biggest change in years. What do you think about the change? What would you be wearing?
I think that's an awesome change, especially considering all the awesome older armor sets they created and that people never used again once they outleveled the items. How your character looks is one of the biggest things in an MMO, and being able to customize that can only make the game better. I have to be honest though, I haven't logged into WoW since a month or so after Cataclysm came out; once I realized raiding boiled down to "Don't stand in the fire and get loot" I kind of got bored :) Who knows, maybe I'll come check out 4.3 and Firelands though.
Q: Just go with Blutfangrüstung--it's the best rogue set. Back to the sports themed questions: Curt Schilling may be the only other athlete that compares to you in terms of being "public" about their gaming life. Have you ever thought of starting up your own MMO studio like he has?
Heh, I have plenty of ideas for my dream MMO, but unfortunately starting an MMO studio requires slightly more funds than a punter makes in a career :) I wish Curt all the best though, he's put together a great team and it will be interesting to see if they can bring it to fruition.
Q: What game is your most wanted for 2011?
It's a tie between Skyrim and Saints Row 3. It sucks that they both come out within like 3 days of each other, because I could gladly spend a couple months playing each one.
Q: Any words of advice, parting words, or links you want to share with us?
Be balanced in what you do, and while gaming might be an important part of your life, remember that there are other important things in life too. Like shamelessly promoting my band Tripping Icarus
! You can also follow me on Twitter @ChrisWarcraft
if you're so inclined, I talk many nerdy things. Thanks for the time!