Today we are going to have an interesting conversation with a Wasteland legend! Welcome Commander Taras Borgia! So let’s start!
TB : Thank you Keera, glad to be with you.
1. You are one of the oldest TD players. You know how the Wasteland began to evolve.
How did you find out about Total Domination and what made you stay in the Wasteland?
TB : It was the end of August 2011, I had created my Facebook profile recently under the pressure of friends.
I was on Facebook when an ad for TD popped up. I clicked on it and tried the game.
At this time there were no tutorial levels for players to complete, so it was necessary to click on stuff to figure out what was where and its utility; that was a kind of a puzzle! Since I love puzzles, my curiosity was aroused.
I loved the mathematical aspect of the game. My first math experience had to do with Raids. You couldn’t take Resources from Sectors if their levels were below half the capacity of their Banks or Warehouses. This process is a bit complicated, but again it’s a kind of puzzle.
Then my attention was brought to the rules of the battles, the way you and your enemies lose troops. At that moment I became addicted.
I then started to interact with the players, my close neighbors. Most of them spoke English, and they were from all over the world. I hadn’t spoken English for ages, so I found this situation funny and motivating. I really love to meet different people, learning about their perspectives on things, their lifestyles, and their views or opinions on this or that.
At last, I guess what brought me to stay definitively in the Wasteland were all the actions it was possible to take in the game as a team. I still remember a night in the Wolverine Clan (my first Clan), where we had set up a trap in a Sector of one of our members. We were waiting for the victim, having a discussion in the chat, and finally, the guy came and lost a huge army! it was great to share this moment with my Clanmates.
2. Nowadays, there are a lot of tips in articles, forums and other sources dedicated to helping newbies find some information about strategy and Sector development in Total Domination. What did you do to form your own strategy when you started in the game without any of this guidance?
TB : Indeed, when I started the game, there wasn’t much guidance, so I made a lot of decisions about how to upgrade my Sector that I wouldn’t make today with the experience I now have.
Nevertheless, I came to quickly understand that my progression rate would be closely linked to the Resources I spent, so since the beginning my main strategy was to raid.
Another aspect of my strategy at that time was to respect players of levels higher than mine and not to challenge them.
At this time, there also weren’t Infestations or Mercenary Operations, so the level of players was really proportional to the strength of their armies and their experience in combat (I think I needed 3 months to reach level 40, while nowadays you only need about 10 days for this). So it was easy to know who to avoid, and who you could fight. Today, I’d rather check the stats of a player in order to know who I’m dealing with.
Finally, I noticed that every time I played while upset, I made mistakes, so I decided to always take the time needed to calm down before doing anything I would regret after. This is a great game for teaching patience, I think. My main strategy from the beginning was to be patient. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.
3. Various people have various approaches to gameplay. You always achieve your goals while having fun. Is this a character trait of yours, or just your attitude to games?
TB : Indeed, I think a game should be something fun. When I share with the game community an achievement that requires a lot of skill, team coordination, or patience, I like to do it simply and easily. The technical details are not important in the end, only the meaning of what we do is important to me. I think a good story should always be easy to tell. But like everyone I can be upset, and when I am I don’t write anything, so, of course, you always read the reports or posts I’ve written when I am in a good mood.
4. I know that you are good with math and have great strategy skills. What was your first remarkable achievement in Total Domination and how did your skills help you to gain it?
TB : I guess my first achievement was gained by my first Clan, when the Emitters went out. I already had figured out the most economical way to destroy enemy troops, which ended up helping my Clan a lot when it came to capturing Emitters in the easiest way possible. Emitters first appeared in October or November of 2011 and you have to remember that at this time capturing an Emitter from Morgana was really difficult when taking into account the level of most players, the size of their armies, and so on. As a result, getting a new Emitter was a huge sacrifice for the players involved.
5. What other game achievements are you proud of? I mean, the ones that can be classified with a “Great job, Taras Borgia!”
TB : In 4 action-packed years of TD gaming a lot of things happened… it’s difficult to name all of them.
- I discovered the 150k raid.
-With the help of math, I made some models of battles at Sectors, Deposits and Emitters, and created tools based on them.
-The previous Clan I had led, United Eagles, was a Clan of only 40 players ranked in the top 20.
- I was the advisor of the Schlak Brothers, during the 10 months they held first place in the Rankings. I like to think I had something to do with that.
- Dark Wrath was the first Clan in the Wasteland to get the Raider badge. It happened on the 26th of December, 2012, despite us having very few players in our ranks.
- Dark Wrath got the level 10 Overlords badge in 4 hours with only 4 players. Very few Clans have this badge, and we are the only non-Emitter Clan to have gotten it out of the several vying to get it at that time.
- Dark Wrath destroyed the Emitters of big Clans renowned for being impossible to take down.
- Claiming the first spot in the Hall of Fame for raids among other players who all mean something to me. That’s a place you just can’t buy.
By the way, I will jump at the opportunity to give my respect to all my raiders, friends, enemies, or players still unknown to me - they are all the best players to me.
Overall though, the achievement I am the most proud of is certainly the team I created. Dark Wrath is a very small Clan, but any experienced player knows that you shouldn’t judge us by our size.
6. Let’s talk more about Clans. Currently you are the Clan Leader of Dark Wrath. How does your Clan interact and how do you achieve your Clan goals? Maybe you can give some tips about leading a Clan to our Commanders.
TB : It would be difficult to give tips because so much depends on the way you manage people and the kind of people you have to manage, which can be quite different depending on the leaders and players you choose.
In Dark Wrath, like most of the Clans on the Facebook server, we use the Facebook page for sharing information or posting for fun, and the Facebook chat for laughing when we destroy our enemies or just talking about this and that. When we have to coordinate, we can use a special chat, or dedicated chats, where the goal is divided into several tasks and numerous Clanmates are involved. So a player who has to do a task won’t be disturbed by the discussions around the other tasks he is not involved in.
I am the kind of leader who likes independent players. I give them some tips and then they do the job their way. I recruit them carefully but for the most part they are trustworthy, loyal, smart, dangerous, and I won’t have to look after them. We have some rules, mainly to respect our own friends and the friends of our Clanmates, and while my players respect those rules, they are free to do whatever they want. In Dark Wrath, the team is more important than any player, however many Crystals or troops he has or anything else.
7. By the way, I know that you have been a member of several different Clans. Can we talk a little more about these? What were the reasons for your Clan restlessness?
TB : So my real first clan was Wolverine, led by Rodney Debord (the current leader of Prize Patrol) in October 2011. I was his Deputy Clan leader. After a couple of months and some nice feats, I was a bit bored and that, along with some disagreements with Rodney, pushed me to take a break and play solo for a while.
Wolverine had a lot of Emitters at this time. The Clan had bled to have them and hold them and was well ranked. For some reason after my departure, Rodney decided to merge with Prize Patrol, giving them the whole cluster of Wolverine’s Emitters without the agreement of the players.
I was warned by Paul Labonte, another DCL of Wolverine, 2 hours before Wolverine gave up the Emitters. This idea was absurd to me after all the efforts we had made, so I created a Clan, United Eagles, to be able to go out and hit Emitters. I think it was on a Wednesday in December 2011 around 23 h UTC .
That was a challenging night of fighting between Prize Patrol (90 players) and United Eagles (just me) to try and gain the Emitters. At 5 h UTC, the guys of Prize Patrol were tired and I had to prepare for work so we came to an agreement. United Eagles would get almost all the Emitters and Prize Patrol kept only one. In the following days, most of the old players from Wolverine joined United Eagles, I reckon only 2 or 3 players joined Prize Patrol with Rodney.
I have had a great adventure with United Eagles as a leader, but leading an Emitter Clan when you have tasks to delegate is a big charge. By the way, I can say that TD taught me to delegate the duties to others. I couldn’t do my raids as well as I wanted so I decided to give the Clan to my players to focus more on my own game.
At this time I was very close to another leader, Cory Lee Kapty. He absolutely wanted me to be in his clan, King Wrath. I joined and played a bit with the Clan, doing some hits, but I wanted to be able to play more freely, so I started a new Clan I named, thanks to the friendship I had with Cory, Dark Wrath (the dark side of King Wrath). That happened in March 2012 - when the story of our Clan began.
In 3 years, I’ve left Dark Wrath several times in order to help friends (like defending the Emitter of TD-N3mesis against Regulators or doing hits on behalf of my friends), for mutating, or facilitating interaction on the Rage page. But I always come back.
8. You have the most effective unit in the game, something General Winters doesn’t even have. Tell me more about the “Chiwawa style”? What’s its origin?
TB : Chiwawa is the evolution of our Super Belly Dancer Borg who was built in the secret forge of Dark Wrath. He is always alone on the defensive side of a report where you see a big Offensive army going splat. This is the source of his legend since it seems he is so powerful that he manages to destroy huge armies all on his own. He is a perfect representative of the great work our defensive players do every day by defending our Sectors or setting up traps.
We gave up the Super Borg in January 2015 after having got the Chiwawa award.
This award was created by Chris Larson in December 2013, for rewarding those small Clans who really annoy you at your Emitters without really threatening the ranking of your Clan, but nevertheless you don’t really know how to deal with them - like a Chihuahua that bites your heel without being really dangerous.
The “Style” part comes from “Dark Wrath Style”, our slogan when we present Reports to the community, created and used for the first time in October 2012 by one of our players, Levy Muller. I guess today I will use “Chiwawa Style” for something funny, and “Dark Wrath Style” for something more serious, but that depends a lot on the mood of the moment.
9. Name 3 game features that you haven’t expected. How have they changed the whole course of Total Domination?
TB : The Infestations of course. Beyond the gambling side some players seem to enjoy, it is an additional way to build big armies. Today the requirements of the game make this a must, and in their production lines, a player wanting to get a big army should build units to keep and units for Infestations in order to get a reward.
The game clock is one of the most important things for me. With players coming from all over the world, it allows any team to speak the same language and coordinate.
The Mercenary Operations. Giving thousands of Experience Points to players every day without earning them the real way.
Nowadays even a Level 75 player can think they are a big player while their experience in combat is close to zero. So of course you have to explain again and again to the newbies that they shouldn’t challenge you. It can be bit boring sometimes…even if at other times it can be a good source of Experience Points.
10. If you met General Winters in person, what would you ask him?
TB : I think I would ask him 2 things.
First, to open the gate again and allow raids at more than 100k, so I could beat my old record and the competition surrounding raids would be back.
Then, I would ask him, with a lot of respect, for permission to have a date with you, Keera!