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11.22.13

True Assassins of Multiplayer - WiNGSPAN TT

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Multiplayer has generated a following consisting of millions of fans. Hear from these fantastic community members about why they think Assassin's Creed is awesome. Our first interview focuses on WiNGSPAN TT, founder of Top Tier Tactics and multiplayer connoisseur.

wingspantt Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag multiplayer offers a diverse and strategically deep experience for players. One player who has done his best to outline the varied strategies of multiplayer through his popular YouTube channel is WiNGSPAN TT. We interviewed WiNGSPAN TT a professional writer, YouTuber and lover of all things Assassin's Creed to get his thoughts on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the role of strategy in gaming and why people need to think twice when talking about Caesar salad's. Watch his new multiplayer video and read the interview below.



Please introduce yourself to the adoring Assassin’s Creed fans.

Hey everyone, I’m WiNGSPANTT. Now that we’re such close friends, you can just call me Wing. I’m a professional writer and gamer from New Jersey who’s neck-deep in Assassin’s Creed multiplayer obsession. I’m also the 4th best commentator on YouTube.

How long have you been playing Assassin’s Creed Multiplayer?

I’ve been playing since the online modes were first introduced, back in Brotherhood. A lot of people were skeptical about adding multiplayer back then, but I gave it a shot and it quickly became one of my favorite online experiences (outside of certain semi-legal sub-Reddits).

What is it about Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag multiplayer that speaks to you as a player?

There are a couple things about Black Flag’s multiplayer that really roped me in. It’s unique in that there are just so few games, especially online games, that rely on a mix of action and stealth as much as this one. That’s something that’s always been a part of Assassin’s Creed as a series, but the transition to online was elegantly accomplished. 

Okay so here’s an example… So often in Black Flag MP you have this whole reverse-Turing Test thing going on where you’re trying your hardest to not do anything but blend in and look like an NPC. Your palms are dripping while someone who’s trying to murder you stops for a second, then walks right by. You kind of hyperventilate with the joy that you fooled him… then you die from the poison he slipped you! That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen anywhere else, at least not in video games.

My understanding is that you started the Top Tier Tactics website. What made you want to strike out on your own and build your own brand?

When you think of pretty much any video game blog, they’re pretty much all news & reviews places. You have a few comedy sites and community forums, but there is very little out there for detailed multiplayer strategy. Places like IGN and GameFAQs have guides, but they tend to be single-player walkthrough's. 

I wanted to write for a website that was dedicated to the evolving world of multiplayer tactics. But since they didn’t really exist, I just started my own. It began really small, and I learned a lot of coding along the way, but now it’s a place where hundreds of thousands of people come to get tips and share their thoughts. We hold tournaments, throw giveaway contests, and yeah, we still do strategy guides!

In our initial conversation you mentioned that you believed that some games lack deeper strategic elements, would you please elaborate?

While I have played competitive online games since they’ve been a thing, I find a lot of games don’t have a lot of strategic layers. In many first person shooters, especially arena/arcade shooters, your goal is to put your crosshairs over someone’s head and pull the trigger. Their brains go bye-bye and you get a point. Whoop-de-doo. In a lot of MMOs, you just grind for gear, cast spells in a certain order, rinse and repeat. Something like Assassin's Creed IV multiplayer is refreshing because every millisecond you’re making hard decisions. Deciding which way to walk is even a tough call sometimes! There’s no “right” play or “best” strategy. It’s fluid and dynamic.

Which strategic elements of Assassin’s Creed multiplayer do you enjoy most?

Manipulating the contract system in free-for-all game modes is my favorite thing. On the surface, it’s so simple: you’re trying to kill someone, someone’s trying to kill you. But figuring out who’s trying to kill you is a delicious sport, as is luring them into doing something stupid so their own killer (your grand-killer) nabs them for you. I love racking up pursuers then laying low as they sandwich themselves between me and the other players… by the time the chaos is over, the only guy left standing is my contracted target! Sometimes I’ll just shoot him for the hell of it. It makes me feel like a super-villain.

What are some of the key changes made in Assassin’s Creed IV multiplayer that you feel are improvements over previous iterations?

The biggest changes in Assassin's Creed IV that improved it over ACB, ACR, and AC3 are training, level design, and scoring. Players can learn the multiplayer easier in Black Flag due to the improved Wolfpack mode (including Discovery) and the well-paced unlock progression. Levels are pretty balanced now; they were always cool, but in ACB for instance you had maps that were pretty to look at but harder to navigate your character or camera around. Finally and most importantly, scoring is just so much better and more fair than ever before. Making bonuses multiply the base score and revamping Variety puts an emphasis on careful, tactical play and less on who can get the most kills while running around like a drug-crazed psychopath. Not that I’m judging anyone’s lifestyle.

You’ve created some great Assassin’s Creed multiplayer videos throughout the years, do you have a few favorites?

There are literally hundreds of Assassin’s Creed videos on my channel, but I do have some favorites. I had this insane match where I won in the last half second with a Teleport kill. There was a Top Tier Tactics tournament finals round where this guy had six pursuers and he managed to evade all of them and win by about 25 points. And of course I have a soft spot for my Assassin’s Creed raps, “Templar Vision” and “Animus Hack.” They were ridiculously fun to write, record, and edit. Just don’t make fun of my rapping, okay?

When creating these multiplayer videos, what kind of process do you use? Do you plan in advance, or just create content based on what you think your audience would like to see?

It’s really a mix. Usually I am looking for something vague like a match where I play defensively and win with just a few kills, or try to beat a personal high score. But really it’s hard to plan for. I record all my matches, and when there is an amazing one, I just know it will blow everyone away. I’ll then spend a lot of time on video annotations, trying to re-watch it with the mindset of someone who’s new. I try to add in tips and notes that can help low-level players catch up to what I’m saying out loud or what’s happening on screen. Then sometimes I will throw in a recipe at the end of the video because hey – food’s not gonna cook itself.

It seem's your hard work has paid off. Your Youtube channel recently reached 10,000 subscribers! What plans do you have for the channel in the future?

YouTube is always fun, though it requires having thick skin sometimes. I recently lost a lot of weight, so that’s even more challenging than before. Anyway, for the future I’m looking to create more bite-sized guides to tackle single topics. I know people have always enjoyed my in-depth full gameplay strategy, but I also know lots of viewers only have one or two minutes sometimes, and I want to give them something short and sweet. Like a virtual Twinkie, but with murder instead of cream filling.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

I’d really like people to understand that Caesar salad is not named after Julius Caesar, but was created by immigrant chef Caesar Cardini. It’s one of those misunderstandings that has just gone on far too long and is really starting to poison public culinary discourse. Oh yeah, and please check out my channel and website. Cheers!


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