Interview with Ryan van Buiten aka Hydra
Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:44 PM
On Saturday the 18th of September I contacted Ryan over the hydramist.tv forum. At that point I expected a long wait for an answer, but susprisingly only one day later he contacted me over Skype. We chatted shortly and agreed on the terms for the interview. Among other things this included the promise not to publish anything before getting the OK from Ryan and also having the interview reviewed by a professional corrector in order to ensure the quality, as I am no native speaker. My hope was to find some time to do the interview directly, but Ryan would stop writing over Skype shortly after. So I sent him a mail with ten introductory questions, which he answered over Skype on Tuesday morning at 7am.
[07:00:27] ryan: excuse any spelling/grammar mistakes
[07:00:34] ryan: its late and i just replied to about 50 guide emails
[07:00:35] ryan: >.<
Hildegard: Hello and welcome to the "Forscherliga Interview" Ryan. First of all thank you for the fast reply to the interview request. I guess you get quite a lot of messages per day. Wouldn't you need an assistant by now?
Ryan van Buiten: Sometimes the volume of messages gets a little overwhelming, while i'm streaming for example. But i like to think that ive become fairly efficient in dealing with requests/questions/messages in general over the last few years.
Hildegard: Is being Hydra a job or still fun and games?
Ryan van Buiten: A bit of both, you're allowed to enjoy your 'job' right?
Hildegard: It is said that you learn to know someone best by eating together with him. So what did you eat today?
Ryan van Buiten: coco pops... lots of coco pops
Hildegard: I know few things about your background. Do you study and if not, how do you earn your money?
Ryan van Buiten: Im on a year break from studying right now, partly so that i can spend more time working on Hydramist and partly so i can figure out what i want to do at uni - if anyone feels like hiring me for some sweet ass job, email me!! (im awesome at all things!! <3)
Hildegard: Do you think that the MMO genre is viable for E-sports?
Ryan van Buiten: yes but blizzard (or any other developer making mmo's) have to change their business model from "MONEY MONEY MONEY", to, "we care about our games again"
Hildegard: What is the question you got asked most in interviews?
Ryan van Buiten: That very question
Hildegard: How does your coaching work? For an example, if I would want to be trained by you - what would be the next steps?
Ryan van Buiten: We exchange a few emails, mainly for me to ascertain that you arnt a psycho or anything and then for me to find out what you want and hope to gain from the coaching. Then we talk some on msn/skype. You decide whether you want to stream or send me fraps and we organise a time to do an hour (you pay up front). Firstly i look at your ui to make sure everything is in order (a surprising amount of people forget stuff like class coloured nameplates for example). Then i watch you play some games and highlight your mistakes and good points (bit by bit so as not to
overwhelm you with info).
Hildegard: Do you think the reason why you did not get rank 1 in season 9 is because Blizzard was annoyed by your arenarating-add?
Ryan van Buiten: I did not get rank 1 in season 9 because blizzard no longer cares about wow
Obviously these questions did not get me to far, yet. So I replied and sent him twenty more questions, which he did not reply to for more than ten days.
[07:19:09] ryan: hey
[07:19:14] ryan: sorry ive been super busy recently
[07:19:26] Hildegard: Good morning Ryan, I noticed.
[07:19:49] ryan: i can try and finish the rest of ur questions now/tomorrow if u post em here
Five days later I receive a text file from Ryan, containing answers to about 70% of my questions.
Hildegard: As hydramist.tv is growing you start to become a business man. Do you have knowledge about accounting, taxes and laws?
Ryan van Buiten:a limited working knowdledge though i know a lot of people so if i run into anything im not sure about i have people at my disposal who i can ask/confirm things with
Hildegard: Did you ever talk to a business or finance consultant about hydramist.tv?
Ryan van Buiten: no
Hildegard: Did you have a look at skill-capped, basically your main competitor on coaching WoW-players? If so, what do you think about that site and their concept?
Ryan van Buiten: we're anything but competing with them, we have an entirely different business model. we offer top quality content free to our users while they charge for their 'content'
Hildegard: Your videos do not only show high-skilled arena play but also have an arty touch during the interludes. By whom did you get influenced, which video producers or movie makers are you looking up to?
Ryan van Buiten: i usually try to do my own thing, though i am quite partial to british cult films and low budget stuff, i guess guy ritchie is one of my favorite directors among others.
Hildegard: Can you cook delicious food to impress friends and more importantly women?
Ryan van Buiten: i have 525/525 cooking irl
Hildegard: Do you sometimes get immoral offers from female or even male players?
Ryan van Buiten: ofc i get the classic 'hydra have my babies' all the time lol, i should hope they arn't serious - i normally reply with a 'soz m8 i'm not bent'.
Hildegard: Do you hide your web-personality in real life?
Ryan van Buiten: hell yes u get stabbed for that shit in the uk
Hildegard: What did you study at university?
Ryan van Buiten: computer science/cgi
Hildegard: Did you design the Hydra snake logo?
Ryan van Buiten: the hydra snake logo from hydra 7 is an ouroboros, it represents self reflexivity in the sense of something or someone constantly recreating themself. (it basically represents my constant desire to improve at everything)
Hildegard: Are there graphic designers or artists whose work you follow or admire?
Ryan van Buiten: i don't really know any in particular
Hildegard: The most interesting person you got to know this year is...?
Ryan van Buiten: they know who they are
Hildegard: If I’m informed correctly about 1% of the English population played oW at some point. Do you get recognized in public sometimes?
Ryan van Buiten: once or twice(i denied it)
Hildegard: What would you like to do in five years?
Ryan van Buiten: own a pirate ship
Hildegard: You started playing WoW with heavy addon usage but later played on tournaments and live without any addons at all. Was this hard to cope with?
Ryan van Buiten: i slowly decreased the number of addons i used during practice sessions, it has an impact at first but you get used to it.
Hildegard: My favourite arena match of all times is Round 2 of the MLG Raleigh 2010 Loaded Black vs Dignitas series. What is your favorite match of all times?
Ryan van Buiten: the uncasted friendly matches vs them at iem finals (6-4 to us)
Hildegard: Most top WoW players use bots, switch Realm Pools to get Rank1 and basically shit on fair play. You however attack players often for doing such things, but used an arenarating add in your last movie. Did you change your attitude towards these things?
Ryan van Buiten: stop wintrading, stop mmr abusing, stop gcd hacking, anything else goes
Hildegard: Do you think playing other accounts for money is legitimate in a moral sense?
Ryan van Buiten: i like money
Hildegard: StarCraft is often used as an example for an perfect E-Sport, that has a much better community than WoW, high standards regarding fair play and with Day a person that creates views like no other person in E-Sports outside of Korea before. Do you think such a community could be build in a MMO?
Ryan van Buiten: wow had a chance to be huge, blizzard unforunately got taken over by activision at the wrong time and changed their business model to - we dont give a fuck about the playerbase, give us your money. then wotlk came and the rest is history.
Hildegard: Where you shocked, when you learned that Kalimist lost the probably second most valuable WoW Account by using an archeology bot? How did you react?
Ryan van Buiten: 'told you so'
Hildegard: Kalimist and you seemed to be the perfect team but except Flýn you never have found a fitting third. Flýn however was not reliable. Is there a mage in Europe that could replace Flýn skill-wise?
Ryan van Buiten: atm raiku but the game is completely screwed up now so it doesnt really matter who u play with now as long as they do damage.
Hildegard: Many consider you to be the best WoW player, but you never won or even attended (unsure about that) the BlizzCon. Is it because RMP was never at its peak, when the qualifiers started or couldn’t you manage to find the fitting third.
Ryan van Buiten: unfortunate circumstances etc first blizzcon i played priest hunter druid and our druid was a bit lacking, then lost first round as rmp 2 years because of bad luck/lack of practice. lost this year due to lack of team (priest worst class in the game, awesome)
Hildegard: Most artists are very sensitive about criticism. How does it feels if the trolls start commenting on your movies?
Ryan van Buiten: come at me bro (i make the movies for me/mates, not for anyone else. Hydra 1-5 were never even seen by more than like 10 people before hydra5 got leaked by cherez and everyone went apeshit for some reason)
Hildegard: Do you think that people will remember you in twenty years?
Ryan van Buiten: i should hope not
The first note I took was to tell my corrector to not change Ryan's writing style. The short forms, somewhere between lazy, 1995-fashioned and militaristic define his style pretty well and tell more than most answers. He is in his early twenties and answers questions like someone annoyed by the media for decades. He chooses to what he replies, ignores large parts of questions and makes it hard to follow up. When I tell him that the interview would be better, if we had some direct question to answer to question time he simply ignores that. When I ask him to review a game to show his coaching skills, like Day does, he would not reply. Selective perception surely is one of his skills.
[19:36:08] ryan: some of the questions were dumb so i didnt answer them seriously
Hildegard: Hydra X, your upcoming movie release is played on the private arena tournament server. Why is playing a private server more attractive than live?
Ryan van Buiten: live is boring
Hildegard: Did you consider legal consequences of the notions hydramist.tv does for the private server arena-tournament.com, that is product piracy from a legal standpoint and so in legal terms what you do could be seen as paid promotion of copyright violations.
Ryan van Buiten: if blizzard has a proble with the server then they will take it down, i'm just publicising something i enjoy playing on and want to see more people on. no contract or money is involved.
Hildegard: Do you think Blizzard will react, like other industries did before (music, film, even porn) and bring their own costumers to trial?
Ryan van Buiten: pretty sure if blizzard cared about their game enough to do that, then it wouldn't be shit
Hildegard: You mentioned before, that you create your movies for yourself and your friends. Doesn't this contradict your signature on the hydramist.tv forums: "they said i was a fucking psycho... but look at me now, all up in the interwebs"?
Ryan van Buiten: like it says, i'm a psycho - there are bound to be some inconsistencies
Hildegard: Social acceptance for WoW is pretty low outside the community itself. What do you tell people when they ask what you are doing at the moment or how you earn your
Ryan van Buiten: i tell them im a porn star
Hildegard: What is your motivation behind coaching players, answering the same questions over and over and operating the hydramist.tv website?
Ryan van Buiten: advanced coaching costs money, answering simple questions costs nothing
Hildegard: Do you await thank and recognition for what you are doing?
Ryan van Buiten: yes, wheres my fucking money?
Hildegard: Do you think you can find a profession where you excel in the same way you do now while playing a computer game?
Ryan van Buiten: i excel in all things i can be bothered putting effort into, being good at something is easy, being interested enough in something to put the time to get good is the hard part.
Still nothing more than the tough guy talking. I am mostly interested in the weak spots of persons and the distinctions they make. He blocks anything that could show the guy behind the keyboard. Still the message he sends to Blizzard with doing Hydra X on the arena tournament private server is something they cannot ignore. And standing there with your real name and not being afraid of Activision's lawyers is kind of impressive.
Next morning, after reading the whole interview again I find nothing new to add and decide to sendRyan this version, with only some questions cut out.
Hildegard: Is there anything you would like to add or change Ryan? If not I will have the whole text corrected and send it to you after that.
Then it happened. Well, better to say four weeks later it happened. Ryan returned from BlizzCon, I wrote him over Skype at seven in the morning, actually the best time to talk to him, as it seems. Ryan responds right away and then we finally talk. Once he talks about what he thinks, about his moves and tricks in the arena another Ryan appears. Not cocky, not arrogant but enthusiastic. The chat has movement, he can't stop, hits enter constantly, while his thoughts move and I can feel the earnestness. At this moment he is truly himself.
Hildegard:: Well, thank you for the interview Ryan, I wish you all the best and will be waiting for Hydra X.
Ryan van Buiten: ty hope its what u were after
Hildegard:: Only partially. I like the live interview like we actually do now. Regarding HydraX: I think lumber mill could be entertaining to watch.
Ryan van Buiten: u cant do anything good tho its like ppl have seen mind control used a million times its not like it takes skill or something
Hildegard:: Not just mind control, but it is small scale
Ryan van Buiten: but i mean the problem is
in wotlk playing offensive was harder than playing defensive
but it was still more beneficial to play offensive
unless you made mistakes
thats why videos were interesting
u could distinguish urself above the rest by successfully playing offensive
and raping people
now in cata playing defensive is better than playing offensive
so the easy play is better than the hard play
and there is nothing left to do that is good that impacts the game and sets u apart from the rest
doesnt matter where u are
Hildegard:: But you did everything that WotLK offered.
Ryan van Buiten: there is still more things to be discovered in wotlk
and still improvements to be made
just no1 plays it anymore
granted most of the things were discovered
but there were tons of little things
even with movement and faking movement in the meta game
that made so small of a difference most didnt even bother
Hildegard:: What exactly do you mean with “faking movement”?
Ryan van Buiten: for example priest vs mage metagame in rmp mirror mage wants to sheep priest
if possible without using deep priest can be defensive
and then fake an offensive movement when his team is doing stuff t
hen instantly go defensive again
it makes the mage commit to do something
so he either blinks to get the poly w/o los which then fails
or sometimes he can deep the priest and u can jump out of los -> no poly
ofc its all situational and not 100% but if it works
sometimes its worth it u lose nothing to do it as long as u dont get distracted from ur normal game
like if u do it when ur defensive and it doesnt work u lose the game ;p
Hildegard:: Jumping Deep Freeze works like jumping Charge in a way. Means you are stunned out of LoS?
Ryan van Buiten: yes u can look when mage has fingers and try it then
but ye thats 1 small thing
if u watch the teaser or 'best game ever' on youtube or w/e its called that best game ever is on there
Hildegard:: I watched it.
Ryan van Buiten: i play 2 poisition metagames at once perfectly vs priest and mage
but no1 understands that ;p
my movement is smoother and more deliberate than most
because its not random like most people
it all has a reason to make them go somewhere
as well as to los if u watch that clip from 2:30 until 2:40 im avoiding poly
and fear here while getting a fear on priest myself
move out from pillar slightly to get better angle to fear priest
so i can fear him earlier than if i was right at the wall
he doesnt expect it and theres some ping delay so i can always fear him first
at same time if i go too far i get poly
Hildegard:: I didn't notice that.
Ryan van Buiten: no1 will rofl
this is probably the best game i ever played like title suggests
i almost quit the game after this clip
because my aim was to play the perfect game the entire time
i played arena but there was 1-2 mistakes with global in this so too bad!
Hildegard:: Perfection is not granted easily. You were live at the BlizzCon matches in Anaheim?
This question was a stupidity on my side. Having Ryan explain moves of him is probably the most interesting thing to hear about arenas. Of course only if you play for yourself and not to impress others. Once I mentioned other players Ryan starts ranting.
Ryan van Buiten: y but i watched sc2 over wow most of the time just watched the eu teams since i am friends with them
Hildegard:: the game EG vs. DNAW was pretty intense and I liked Talbadars playstyle.
Ryan van Buiten: drudenhaus carried dnaw so hard was sad he deserved to win the event
Hildegard:: I think you enjoyed seeing Snutz loose after your history against him.
Ryan van Buiten: tbh even though we have history i hate to see koreans win with all my heart
its so bad for the game and esports in general
they were so bad and so lucky to win
infact no the hunter was rly good
Hildegard: They won despite using crusader aura mastery in the final match.
Ryan van Buiten: Snutz mls should have won the mage fucked up badly for them like all game
Hildegard:: Why don't you like Koreans? I heard you even rooted for the EU LSDs vs.Oranges RMP.
Ryan van Buiten: because everyone is deluded enough to think koreans are better at games no, they are not koreans have a better practice environment that is all on average
Hildegard:: Even for WoW?
Ryan van Buiten: for everything they have a better attitude and thus a better environment
and i played against orange's rmp on 2 occasions beating them on both and doing better than them in both tournaments
the mage was good wont deny this
the first rogue they played with was good
satz was bad just some idiot stacking pve gear and 1shotting stuff making them look good
i played against this phd that won blizzcon at iem global finals too
they played beastcleave there too (with dk)
and they did the same thing zerged stuff down
its sad to see a team like this can be viable
Hildegard:: I think their RMP was good to find ways to beat comps others did not beat regulary, while being generally worse in RMP mirrors. They would have lost their first tournament if Orange would not have done his 1v2.
Ryan van Buiten: true but i mean my friernd redhot was at the event
the only reason he pulled off the 1v2 was because the other priest was afk celebrating
and had to run back to his pc when the mage was getting 1shot by 9999 procs
Hildegard:: The fire blast absorb was the winning thing in the end.
Ryan van Buiten: but i mean : at the early events including the 1v2 that mage was not good they better than flyn probs
Hildegard:: Did you talk to him when you met at the tournaments?
Ryan van Buiten: he couldnt speak good english rly
we did a 2v2 vs them tho me and flyn vs him and his priest
well it was after a 3v3 both rogues died and he had imp burn and i didnt and we still
won this was at iem we played 6-4 vs them
Hildegard:: These games where not recorded.
Ryan van Buiten: yea no1 saw em except 2gd watching on spec client
'these are the best games i ever saw' lol he said to me afterward while were out drinking
Hildegard:: This is kind of missing in WoW: The ability to do matches against opponents all over the world. Would be pretty interesting to see your team play against Korean and US teams like in SC:2.
Ryan van Buiten: yea
Hildegard:: What do you think about the new talent trees? Less meta game, more direct balance?
Ryan van Buiten: whole new expansion looks a joke but i will be writing a blog on that probably today anyway
Hildegard:: Thank you for the interview Ryan.
If not for this last hour of talking I probably would have seen him as one of the many interchangeable though guy wannabes roaming the internet. But reading this small passage in which Ryan talks about his moves and his positional play changed this. In that half page you could read why Ryan van Buiten is Hydra and is commonly accepted as one if not the most skilled player to ever play this game. The reason is his search for perfection, his will to fight and try and repeat and not give up. He hides this pretty well, but once excitement kicks in he is a lot more impressive than I imagined. It is however nothing for the masses. It is for those that enjoy to see the glimpse of perfection and find it from time to time in his moves.
Hydra X: Teaser: http://www.youtube.c...u/0/L05S3uRL-_g
Hydra 9: http://www.youtube.c.../15/cY4pgtfU4WM
Hydramist movie section: http://hydramist.tv/movies/
Best game ever played: http://www.youtube.c...u/3/cOAgZ6pec5o
MLG Raleigh 2010 Loaded Black vs Dignitas series: http://tv.majorleagu...ack-vs-dignitas
Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:00 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:15 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:30 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:47 PM
I lol'd IRL
Hildegard: What would you like to do in five years?
Ryan van Buiten: own a pirate ship
^ Season 8 LSD Resto Druid
lol i got gladiator and use s to backpedal all the time. Why make backing up more complex than in needs to be. Just because people make fun of you backpedalling, doesn't make them better players.
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:26 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:28 PM
i love hydra, he really doesnt give a fuck about anything
besides getting stabbed ofc
Hildegard: Do you hide your web-personality in real life?
Ryan van Buiten: hell yes u get stabbed for that shit in the uk
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:30 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:48 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:52 PM
Skip to 3:00 for the part where Kajn wins.
Also, good read, thanks for posting it here on AJ. =)
Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:54 PM
Posted 25 November 2011 - 01:58 AM
Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:03 AM
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