With the changing of the Seasons, so comes a new fresh perspective from our monthly featured Dragon Lord! This month we focus in on NS4Ever, a player of almost 4 years (!!) who’s done it all - been on a Diamond Team, led his own team, attended the Dragons Summit - you name it! Read on for details about this Nightshade-loving Dragon Lord!
Dragon Lord Spotlight: NS4Ever
What is your current level, team, and league?
Levels 304 (and 224 on my mini), SantoDracones, Platinum 1.
How did you decide on your In-Game Name? What’s the backstory behind it?
I’ve been playing since the game started and Gold tier was the max for over a year. It was much more difficult to level back then without Atlas or even Seasons. Stealing resources from other players’ bases was often the only way to get food or wood that was needed to progress. This naturally resulted in long lists of bookmarked bases that were raided regularly. Consequently, players would often change their names to break bookmarks and avoid being abused. When I joined the mighty Diamond team SantoDracones, I felt that it was time to stop the name change game, and I chose to stick to one name forever. At that time, Seasons had begun, and Sapphire was the top tier. Kelvin was my favorite dragon before I got Ebon and Nightshade. I decided on ‘NightshadeForever’ as a permanent name, but unfortunately, it had too many characters to be valid. If anyone wanted to respond to me in chat, typing out “nightshade” was a bit tedious. So I shortened it to just “NS4ever” and it’s been that way ever since. Little did I suspect that the Sapphire dragons would be left in the dust by six other tiers and no one would even get the reference!
You’ve been a Dragon Lord for quite some time! How did you first discover War Dragons and what has the journey been like?
I first discovered War Dragons after I bought an iPad Air 2 and was looking for something that would push the graphics hardware. I did an app store search for ‘Unreal Engine’ and War Dragons was one of the top hits. I tried it out and quickly discovered that I loved flying Dragons!!
The journey has been very interesting. Initially, it was about progression and chasing the top tier. Then, it was all about having fun and joking around with teammates, which quickly turned into team unity and coordination. So many wars, (way, way too many wars) so many good players who got busy with real life one day and missed a war, never to be seen again. Atlas added a whole new dimension into the game and progress for team benefits soon became the focus. Around this time, I also took on the challenge of being team leader and guiding the team in a different direction. I created a new wiki, set team expectations, and worked on better cohesion and higher activity, all of which were slowly achieved. Unfortunately, so many chats, alliance coordination, recruitment, wars, castle defense and upkeep hassles eventually became unmanageable. A healthy balance in life is very important. The team is lucky to have other dedicated players to continue guiding them and taking care of all the behind the scenes work. I’m currently enjoying a casual game play, so the journey has come full circle in a way. It has been a great ride, or flight!
You recently attended the War Dragons Summit, a special event with the Dragons team where attendees could discuss all things War Dragons. What was your experience like attending the Summit?
The experience was amazing! I never expected to receive such an opportunity to voice so many suggestions and meet the people responsible for my favorite game. I’m not a big spender; I’m a consistent, casual player in Platinum, and so I was very curious as to why I was there, to be honest. PG even paid for a representative from Gold league to attend the Summit. Those who say only whales get input into the game are dead wrong. They really went out of their way to get a broad perspective from the players! It was so fun meeting and talking with everyone. I was blown away.
What was your favorite thing you got to experience at the Summit, or members of the Dragons team you had a chance to chat with?
All of the sessions were fun in different ways; it was great talking with Arelyna, Crisis and many others on the team. My favorite thing was probably getting all of the suggestions I’d carefully collected off my chest. I felt as if I had done everything I could to improve the experience for players.
You also had the chance to attend the Atlas launch party in San Francisco the year prior! What’s your most memorable moment from that event?
The most memorable moment for me was when I first walked in. It was so loud; there were so many huge screens, all with War Dragons being played on them, and so many different games and drinks going around. It was amazing!
So you’ve been playing for a while, you made it into a Diamond team, and now you’re the Leader of SantoDracones! What has that ‘rise to fame’ been like?
The rise to fame is what drove my early progress. Reaching new dragon tiers and see my attack power double each time, thinking about base layouts and defense power, and seeing what kind of league bonus was possible during events are all examples of my focus when I first started playing. Getting into a Diamond team required a real commitment of time and money to get enough egg tokens and speedups to be competitive. When I first joined a Diamond team, the first thing that hit me was how well coordinated the team was. Before and during wars, everyone knew their part and was there to do it. Officers were on 24/7, team chat never stopped, if anyone had a sensible question, it was answered within a minute or two. I seriously wondered if people were taking stimulants to be on ALL THE TIME.
It takes a strong leadership team to hold a competitive team together. After some leadership changes, Santo fell through Sapphire and down to Platinum. I took over leadership of the team during this period of unrest. Creating a different team culture and expectations, writing a wiki, enforcing rules, and fostering new momentum was a completely different challenge. It was a second wind for the game. I got serious about an alt account and the fun of progression enhanced my enjoyment of the game. With these changes we bottomed out at Platinum 4 before climbing back to Platinum 1 now. Recruiting and guiding the team to be more cohesive has allowed us back into a top 200 globally rank in team influence. A sense of accomplishment from leaving the team better off then when I took over is what I have from those experiences.
More recently, I have stepped down as leader of Santo to have more balance with my other hobbies. In the amount of time it took my main account to go from beginning-Emerald to end-Obsidian tier, my alt went up ten tiers to Emerald with almost identical event scores and activity on both accounts. I’ve come full circle to simply being a consistent, casual player having fun flying new dragons every once in a while. For me, that has always been the core game and is better than ever with infrastructure bonuses, the new beasts, balloon mission upgrades, bounty harbor improvements, and Temple Raid. The development team has always done an excellent job with balance to get one full priced dragon every season in a very enjoyable manner. Well done, guys!
What kind of goals did you work towards when climbing the ranks?
There are so many things that contribute to a strong team. Here are a few:
Consistency and communication
Understanding war protocol / Running effective waves
Guiding base layout and development
Acquiring millions of shards to boost Gear is extremely important
Flying skill and proper set up for a follower on a run
Defending every attack
Using defensive boosts effectively
Babysitting for hours and hours so that everyone has a follower and can take out those last bases.
How do you manage the team and coordinate among its many members?
The Line app is essential for sharing screenshots, spreadsheets and strategies. Separate chat channels in-game along with @group or @officer mentions are essential. Also, having some sort of organizational tool dedicated to War Dragons To-Dos outside of everything else is also very helpful.
When you’re not playing War Dragons, what else do you love to do in your free time?
I enjoy writing a trilogy of Sci-Fi novels, painting and handling graphic design, working on my vegetable garden, and developing educational software. It keeps me busy!
If you could pick a theme for new dragons, what would it be and why?
I’ve got a few ideas!
First, have a new class of dragon like the Battle Mage archer Dragon! It isn’t quite a Warrior with 30% more health, and isn’t really a Hunter with only half the ammo. But, with Hunter spells like Hunters Mark and a Sorcerer attack when ammo runs out, this new class would be totally kick-ass! Hunters can be tap heavy and not a lot of fun to fly, whereas Sorcerers are elegant and Warriors are easy. Seeker Shots gives the ability to drill into random targets already in the game. Having a tap attack to target towers is incredulity useful in some situations, especially with limited ammo. This new dragon class could draw from spells of all three types and become the best of each in a super fun new play style!
Secondly, a dragon on dragon combat (Mortal Kombat-esque) could be a really fun and interesting addition to the game. Instead of the dragon flying through the base, have it in a static arena (like the den) with the 180 degree view of the opposing dragon somewhere. Replace the resist button for a claw attack and then the rest is just spell timing. You could even have strength equalized between dragons. Seeing Draco take out Destar would definitely bring joy to my heart.
Finally, I’d really love to see a kind of spectral dragon, something with transparency in the model. Think Nier that you can partially see through so that the aura effect is the main component visually. Aura effects on Kirin and Axi are spectacular. A theme that highlights new kinds of effects and auras instead of the dragon model itself would be excellent.
Lastly… which of these dragons is your favorite aesthetically: Deci, Axi, Oni, Enki, or Huli?
Our Dragon Lord Spotlights feature a stand out player in War Dragons to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to our community. If you would like to nominate a fellow player for this honor, please let us know by sending us a message on Twitter @wardragonsgame and briefly tell us why you think they would be great to feature!
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