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Interview

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Esch_ of Hattrick
By: Robert F. Ludwick | Game Data | 12:42pm, July 16, 2003
AREA-51 m7700
Esch_ has recently been promoted to IV in Hattrick USA. As a former web designer, he likes Nine Inch Nails and runs a movie reviewing website.

OMGN: So, how about some information about the real Esch_...

Esch_: Web Designer / Graphic Designer by trade but lost my job with a big corporation after the IT bubble burst. Unfortunately I came into the IT sector two years before it completely bottomed out. Right now I'm doing data entry to pay the bills. It's not glamorous and I'm getting paid under half what I was making before, but at least I have a job doing something. Probably next year I will change careers and go back to school for something else that's non-IT related, but not sure what as of yet.

My favorite movie of all time is Bladerunner. I listen to every style of music except country music, that stuff makes my skin crawl. Favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, U2, White Zombie, Elastica, and any band with Lucia Cifarelli in it. (Drill, KMFDM, etc) First computer was a C-64 and I've been online in one form or another since at least 1985. (yes, I've been around.) I could go on but I know I've already bored everyone already.

OMGN: When did you get to Hattrick?

Esch_: June of 2002

OMGN: What brought you here?

Esch_: I don't remember actually. I'm not that big of a soccer fan so it was probably the strategy management elements of the game that drew me here. I think I found a banner to the site on some other game that I was on at one time. I had a lot of bad luck finding games that would hold my attention for more than three months or longer. After awhile they just got boring. Hattrick is the first game I've found that isn't like that and after about the six month mark I was hooked.

OMGN: How did you choose your screename and team name? Go ahead and include details of your fanclub, arena, and anything else that you'd like to explain.

Esch_: My screenname has been something I've used for about eight years online but generally without the underscore. Esch is short for Escher, as in the artist M.C. Escher, who's one of my favorite artists besides Dali. The team name, Slaughtered Jawas, came about at work several years ago when we were trying to come up with a variety of goofy band names. Oddly enough none of us have ever been in a band so why that topic came up is still a mystery. I really can't remember if I came up with the name or not, but when I joined HT and was trying to think of a team name, this one popped out at me. I took it and ran and called my fan club "Bantha Fodder" and my arena "Sandcrawler Stadium."

After about a season of playing I decided to make a website for the team. I've had a lot of fun with it despite the fact that probably no one ever looks at it but me. I was already keeping team statistics offline anyway, so I decided to just add it to a website. I made a stadium photo that took about ten hours to compose from a variety of other images. In the fictional world of HT, the Jawas really do play on the top of their Sandcrawler and the players are real Jawas with numbers on their clothing. If you want a good laugh, visit my team site at http://walden.mvp.net/~esch/sj/ and take a look at the images. I recently finished the Jawas victory parade photo after being promoted to division IV recently. Some might say I don't have a life because of the time I put into my team site, but everyone needs a release from the daily grind in one way or another....despite the fact they're probably right.

OMGN: How do you see your team performing this upcoming season?

Esch_: It took me 3.5 seasons in division V to finally get auto promoted to division IV. Last season I ended with a 13-1-0 record, so needless to say the competition was non existent in my last series. Now I've been thrown in a very competitive series and after doing my homework on the other teams, only one or two will be easy to hold off, the rest look like they'll either be tough or impossible to beat. But as long as I can beat at least two of the teams I should be able to avoid relegation. Now that HT 6.5 has rolled out, it worries me about how I'll do simply because it's a wide open playing field with all the new additions to the game. At least everyone will be going through the same thing so that might give me the edge on the teams who haven't coped with the changes fast enough.

OMGN: Is your team performing how you thought it would, this far into its existence?

Esch_: Well to be honest I never expected this team to get off the ground with the horrible start I first had entering the game. When I started I didn't know about the forums and didn't have the opportunity to ask newbie questions related to the game. I started four matches into season 16 and made every mistake possible that you could make as a new team. It wasn't until mid-season 17 when I realized there were forums. It took me all of season 17 just to recover from season 16 and season 18 is when everything started to gel. I knew something was working right because each season I would end higher in the rankings. (8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st)

OMGN: You're very active on the USA Conferences. Why so?

Esch_: Is this your subtle way of telling me to stop talking on the conferences or else my legs will be broke by an angry dwarf with a glass eye? No? Oh, well... never mind then. I don't have a real reason why I'm active, but I think it might have something to do with that whole "payback" thing. A lot of people were very patient with me when I was a newbie and answered all my questions about the game. It's only fair that I follow that kindness and help others out if they need help. Also I'm very opinionated, so even if I wasn't trying to help I would be telling you how to do it anyway. :P

OMGN: You're a Hattrick Supporter. Would you say it is worth it to get Supporter?

Esch_: Absolutely! It's extremely cheap and although it doesn't give any real benefit to coaching, it does offer a plethora of statistics as well as other cosmetic features. It really makes you stand out from the crowd because you can have your logo as well as the press conferences and what not. All you have to do is skip a few fast food meals and you could pay for a year of supporter. The Devs at Hattrick do so much for this game with so little return, even if you don't use 90% of the Supporter features, at least get Supporter to support the Devs in keeping this game going!

OMGN: What federations are you in, with Supporter?

Esch_: Right now the only one I'm actively on is the HAM Users International, which is the official federation for the Hattrick Assistant Manager software.

OMGN: How many support you?

Esch_: A whopping six loyal fans. I was up to eight at one point but two dropped out under mysterious circumstances. I would love to have more people support me but looks and personality can only take you so far. You can't see my looks online and my personality is probably why those two left in the first place, sooooooo. :P

OMGN: What is your favorite Hattrick-related website?

Esch_: The Hattrix-Files site is fantastic for people wanting to learn more about the game, they did a great job with it!

OMGN: What do you think of the Hattrick 6.5 announcement?

Esch_: I absolutely love it but I am concerned with the pricing of new coaches, seems a bit overly steep to me. I love the fact you can have a player be the coach, but unfortunately I won't be able to use that feature for a couple of seasons till one or two of my guys gets higher than inadequate experience. Speaking of experience, if it's going to be a huge factor in how a player performs, then the experience system needs to be tweaked to where it's not so random when it hands out experience levels to players. It's painful to watch your starting goalie not go up a single level of experience after playing a season and a half with four cup matches under his belt but then watch your aging forward go up two levels in one season. Besides these points I think the new changes will really bring a new level of gameplay and that will take some getting use to. Before you could rely on 3-5-2 and be safe but now you have no idea what the other team is going to pull. That's great!

OMGN: How is your planning for the season coming along, now that 6.5 has been announced?

Esch_: Well my planning of the new season started mid last season when I realized I actually had a shot at promoting. I started finding suitable replacements for some of my weaker skilled players as well as finding better B-Squad players. I went into heavy debt upgrading my team but then the bonus money helped me get back even, only to have me go back into massive debt again with my stadium upgrade. It's a never ending cycle. As far as adjusting my team for 6.5, I haven't even begun to think about that yet. I think once
the new set of match orders comes into affect I'll start really thinking about what I need to do, but for the first game or two I'll just go ahead with my original plan. (if you can call it a plan)

OMGN: On to other subjects. What non-Hattrick website do you visit the most?

Esch_: Can I give a shameless plug here? I'm one of a handful of people who review movies on DVD as well as theatrical releases for this one movie review website. It's basically a bunch of friends doing it because we all love watching movies. Anyway, we just started up a couple of months ago and would really like more people to visit the site. We have about 30 something reviews up now but we're adding more almost daily. We're having a blast with the site and none of us are using our real names just to keep within the theme of the site. My name there is "Headless" and I have about four reviews of my own so far. We also have interviews with various B-Movie people on there. I did the web design for the site as well as all the webmaster related duties. Go check it out, we would appreciate it! Burial Park Reviews

OMGN: Would you suggest for Hattrick users to visit that website?

If you like movies, sure, if not, tell someone who would want to go there!

OMGN: What other online games do you play?

Esch_: Right now I only play a couple and because I'm still stuck with dialup (yes, I know), I don't get to play a lot of the cool ones out there. The games I play primarily are web based just so I can access them from work and check up on them. I'm more into the simulation strategy type games. One is called Movie Boss where you run your own movie theater and book actual movies that are out in real life and upgrade your theater with anything you can think of (arcade, stadium seating, etc.) and then the site draws the actual income for the real movies and that's how you "make money" in the game. It's a great game for setting up and visiting once or twice a week, very low maintenance.

I also do the roleplaying thing on a couple of 3rd Ed. D&D MUXs but really haven't had the chance lately to do much on those. I play a couple of other games as well but right now they escape me.

OMGN: Would you like to add anything else?

Esch_: Thanks for the interview, it was cool! Also if you're reading this part now then I apparently didn't bore you to death with my rants, so thank you for not falling asleep!

*End Of Line*
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