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Offline Archon Thane

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Star Citizen Racing League: Rakkas Kane Interview
« on: June 18, 2016, 01:29:14 PM »
Star Citizen, the expansive space sim current in development by Cloud Imperium Games, strives to set itself apart from other games by providing a world in which every gamer has a place.  Even in its alpha stages, thrill seeking pilots are taking to the skies in a competitive racing league where millisecond's can mean the difference in victory or defeat.  Today we sat down with Rakkas Kane to get a small glimpse into what the Star Citizen racing leagues is all about, and how he has clawed his way up the leaderboards into the prestigious top 100 racers.

Could you start out by giving us a little background on yourself as a gamer.  What about games like Star Citizen pulls you in and continues to thrill you?

I've always been a fan of large scale games, and the more freedom the better. I also love anything to do with space. The idea of getting to travel the universe, was always my favorite type of fiction. Books movies games, I got drawn into Eve really early, and fell in love with the crazy possibilities. I loved how it could be more about skill as a person than skill as a gamer. Social fun taken to a new level, I hope that Star Citizen is going to give us what I really always wanted from Eve. The skill based dogfighting, and combo of FPS and ships is amazing. The feeling of truly being able to do what you want, I think could be available in Star Citizen like no game before. So many roles and skills that are needed, there really should be a place for everyone. That's more exciting than anything else, that some one could be a ship engineer in this game, that you could never touch a HOTAS and that would be ok. Because you could be a space marine. All those possibilities are phenomenal. Plus you know, I'm a crackhead for flying fast and so far Star Citizen has provided the best space flight I've ever played.

Space ships and speed seem to be a recurring theme with you as a gamer.  Is there a particular reasoning for this? I.e. The thrill, the challenge, etc.

Probably a bit of both, I was a hardcore adrenaline junkie IRL for years, always doing dumb shit that made me go fast, riding skateboards down big hills, jumping off waterfalls. It probable stems from the same place, usually fast = small and easy to kill if you fuck up. I love the challenge of being the underdog no one anticipates. Being able to be able to ruin their day. Eve was possibly the pinnacle of that fun, I hope Star Citizen can come close. I expect that it will from what I've seen so far, the interceptor runs circles around these big ships currently in game, and they are all small compared to the targets I want to be hunting.

Racing and video games have gone hand in hand for decades, and the idea of a space racing is nothing new. What about Star Citizen in particular has drawn you in and pushed you to be such a competitor in the racing leagues?

Its the first game that has gotten close to what true 6 degree flight should be. Its got all the right feelings. Its hard to explain, the way the ships handle feels so good, and its really a test of skill. Its unlike any other racing I've done. To have to think about pitch, yaw, roll, how to go into the next turn to avoid blackout, how to cycle back and forth between pitches and rolling to ride the red out/blackout wave back and forth. Its a lot of info to process, and easy to push harder because its so skill based. Plus I like seeing the Mockers name (and my own) in lights on the leaderboards.
{As of this writing Rakkas currently holds the 17th  spot on the overall leaderboards, with The Mockers organization at 6th.}

Recently you breeched the top 100 on the racing leaderboards for Star Citizen, a momentous accomplishment.  Since seconds and milliseconds? now stand between you and the very top of the boards, what are you doing to cut your times and continue pushing your skills to the max?

Constantly trying new lines, trying to use boost and afterburner to the maximum, tiny degrees make huge changes. So trying the same turn in a new way at a new speed changes the entire race and lots of practice in general learning your ship is huge when it slides, when you need to turn hard vs ease into a turn. The way that the physics are working, there are tons of options to play with as far as lines go and the gates are so far apart that the choices of where to go are probably the biggest change. Then its just shaving those inches, getting a millimeter closer to that building to not waste time. All without slamming fill force into it is a fine line.

As a member of The Mockers for many years, has representing the organization in such a big way affected you? If so how have you adapted to this change?

I love flying Mockers colors, but at the same time I have my name redacted, so no one knows who is putting The Mockers up there on the boards, at least not at first glance. But it makes me happy to be able to show off a bit. The Mockers name still carries a reputation in other games. It feels only right that we have a name in the alpha of Star Citizen. Anything that we can excel at is awesome and I hope it motivates others to get into the alpha early. The fact that we have a competitive mode makes me want to practice and plan early on for when it all goes live. Gotta have a jump on it all.

What are some of the ways you prepare for a race? Do you approach each race differently or base it on track, opponent ships, etc.

At this point I am no ultra pro racer, as of yet. The different tracks have hugely different paces, but for the most part you are fighting yourself. I still need to consistently hit every line before I worry about what other people are flying. But if I see a 350R I'm going to be trying to take the craziest line I can, because my m50 slides around tight turns way better, but can get overtaken on the straight away quite quickly. Everyone has bad and good races. Sometimes taking that crazy line forces an opponent to make a bad move. That's how I beat Mi77, who was the number 1 rank at that point. He did not like to lose the lead, and pushed his line too hard trying to overtake me.

Mi77' Little rivalry brewing between you two?

Nah, he is out of my league most of the time. Pat-adama, Zilch, The Might Quinn, those are my big rivals. As well as a dude named leftstep, who's a ramming dirty c#>t of a racer. There are some fun mental games already starting, though they are still very nuanced. The community of top 100 is pretty active, so you see the same racers and start to learn little things about them. It feels very much like what F1 guys of old had, a small community that is hyper competitive, and trying to push the boundaries; slamming into walls, or gates for us, in glorious fashion.

Could you give us a brief walkthrough of what setup you use for racing controls wise? Do you find that this setup could be improved in any way?

I use a HOTAS. Most of the people I have talked to at the upper ranks are all HOTAS player. It is really hard to manage all the inputs on a HOTAS, and you have so many toggles and keys, control optimization is huge. But I think its all about personal choice. Every racer needs fast and accurate throttle control, as well as easy access to boost and afterburners. Strafes can also be useful, but can easily be overdone. My throttle hand moves off the throttle occasionally to adjust something like view, but the stick hand is glued. Not having to look at where things are is my biggest challenge, and I think its just time and muscle memory. Plus, having the track IR is also very helpful. Makes it easy to be able to look at what's coming when you are sliding sideways through a gate.

With there being several choices in ships geared towards racing, could you give us some insight into why you prefer the m50 vs say the 350r?

Looks and feel mostly, and anticipation that the 350's AB mechanics will be slightly modified. The m50 is supposed to be the ship to win the Murray Cup in lore. The 350 and m50 are made by the same company, so I hope that in the long run really getting to know my m50 will give me a leg up. It cant be flying a ship with a big comfy chair and a damn bed, I want the bare bones piece of metal with a big engine strapped to it.

For those who are looking to get into the Star Citizen racing scene, what tips or ideas can you give?

Start now!!!! You can rent the best ships with req so there is no reason to not get in and try it out. Plus its a relatively stable portion of Star Citizen at the moment. Other than that just practice, run solo on one of the courses in a drone sim, and run a couple hundred laps. Then go blast past people in pub matches.

What are looking forward to the most as Star Citizen continues to develop an expand?

Full persistence, I am ready for it all to start, but I know its a ways off. Its exciting to see all these little pieces coming together. But I don't want to do racing in a sim, I want a Murray Cup event with people watching and money on the line! The best person on the leaderboards can have a bad race, so I'm ready for it to be live, and with similar skilled people. I feel bad that I get people with me posting a 3 minute lap and they don't get to finish the race because I pulled 3, 50 second laps in a row. That's probably the biggest barrier, and why solo practice makes such a big difference.

Awesome, thank you for sitting down with us and I know everyone will be watching to see you break into the top 10 soon. 

For more information on The Mockers as well as more insight into Star Citizen as we get closer and closer to launch visit us at

This is Archon Thane signing out, I'll see you in the verse.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 03:52:57 PM by Bastet »