You asked for it many times and we deliver. Meet a legendary thief with 0,25B of gems in his pocket! You know him as Michael and he kindly agreed to answer our questions. We're glad to publish interview with top-1 player 1 day before the 1st anniversary of King of Thieves. Enjoy the longread!
Chervey: You're the current top-1 player with 240M+ rating points. How long did it take to get that high?
Michael: It is a bit fuzzy, but I believe I began playing King of Thieves in late February of 2015. I mostly played for fun and such. I remember Muscat was the top player in the game at the time. When I compared my gem count to his, I remember thinking that I would never be able to reach those heights.
Chervey: Muscat had 9M gems in April 2015. It was twice more than his closest rival Gohabsgo had... Have you ever imagined yourself on the top?
Michael: No, it was not a goal at the time. I really embraced the idea of making as many perfect gems as I could. Although I have the highest gem count and the most King of King's league crowns this is not my most cherished achievement in the game.
Chervey: Just for the record, how many kok crowns have you won?
Michael: 5 in total.
Chervey: That sounds hardcore. Ok, if the top position and all your crowns are not your source of inspiration, then what is?
Michael: Doing the impossible. Making 13 Perfect - 2 Semi-Perfect (13P-2S pre-vault storage) and sharing many memorable moments with my guild mates is what drove me to the top. I overtook No Name in mid-October and have not relinquished the lead since.
Chervey: Haha, not a single interview can avoid mentioning of No Name. Let's imagine he makes his way back to the top. What do you think, will it be possible to compete with him? Taking into consideration that he's stepped away willingly from 1st position and now he's got almost 100M gems.
Michael: Now that would be a very interesting storyline, to see No Name climb his way back to the top. lol, this might come off harsh... but would not a better question be, is it possible for No Name to compete with me if he managed to re-climb the ranks. No name is a very fierce competitor and can battle with the best of the best in a round. However, KoT is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Long-term there are only a handful of players in the game that show high level consistency each round and they happen to be my dear friends Evil, Zedoop and Claudia.
Chervey: That is a mystery for me, by the way: how you three marathoners manage to stay in one guild? Dracur, Zedoop and you... All of you are great leaders. Why don't you go separate ways in your own guilds? Is it not too overcrowded in Mishlo for top-3 players?
Michael: Honestly, the thought has never crossed my mind and probably not theirs either. We have grown to be good friends. Zedoop gave me the opportunity to join the most feared guild in all of KoT back in June at a mere 2M gem count. I was ranked 20th in the guild and I remember worrying a bit that I was not up to expectations. Yes, if we ever separated each of us would probably have good guilds; however, together we have an unstoppable force. We each have our roles in the guild.
Chervey: So, you share duties, don't you?
Michael: In some sense, our main focus is on what is best for the guild... Zedoop is a great organizer, mentor, and leader. Evil, I think of as the enforcer and he can really pump players up to reach their best. And myself... well, I am very much in the public eye of KoT, so I guess that helps us attract top talents. Overcrowded...no. And Claudia, we still want you too.
Chervey: Has Mishlo ever invited Claudia to join?
Michael: In general, most top players have received some interest from MISHLO...naturally, all guilds hope to attract the best in KoT to their guild. It is also about whether a player is a good fit for the guild. To make a strong guild it takes a team of 25 working together.
Chervey: Ok, I bet that thousands of guys would like to learn more about you in real life. What would you like to tell that people about yourself? Who is Mr. Michael away from KoT in broad lines?
Michael: Perhaps to some people's amazement. I am not some mega rich person, I do not live in my parent's basement, and I do not work for or get kickbacks from Zeptolab, not really a computer person so no clue how to cheat the system. I am from Wisconsin, USA, close to 30 years old, big into cars, and live a healthy lifestyle. I went to college for accounting, hold a master's degree in business, and I am the financial controller for a decently sized manufacturing company. My fiancé and I live together; we like to travel a little, get together with family and friends, and spend time making memories.
Chervey: You're a respected member of the core community. It's always interesting to know what people like you think about the game. What features would you like to see the most?
Michael: Great question Chervey. As you know, I really like this game and I have seen many great improvements already. My suggestions would be small. The Style-a-Thief machine can be a little vicious. Having the option to use a specified number of ingredients to get a specific outfit would probably make many thieves happy. Another, upgrade would be for thieves to be able to organize their gems within the gem vault. Sometimes we like to show off our collections and currently it is getting a bit messy. A topic Yuhan and I brought to your attention is the storage costs to seal gems is a bit high. Lastly, as thieves continue to store gems, it is getting problematic to take a picture of our collection. Perhaps a way address this is to do a "full screen" view of the vault. Right now, I am on my 14th row of the vault with many merged gems from the pre-vault days. That is more than a couple wishes
Chervey: Let's imagine that you're a noob once again Like me for that matter. What should one do to become a high-end player?
Michael: Well, all of us were noobs at one point. What I do, is focus on jumps or setups in the game that I am weak at. To get better, you must practice. In a majority of bases, there is a key trap, if disabled makes the base much easier. I will be the first to admit, that I cannot do every jump perfectly with a blindfold on while eating a sandwich. My goal when attacking a base is to eliminate what I am weakest at to improve my chances of stealing the gem. Perhaps, an idea that would help new players learn jumps is to have a section in the game to learn the jumps. I really like the video tutorials some players like Berndt Toast, Symedia, and Ash have complied. In summary, new players need to set realistic expectations, find themselves a good guild, and continue to upgrade traps. As mentioned many times, patience and determination are key factors finding those gold gems we all desire. Practicing layouts and learning jumps, understanding your own weaknesses and weak points in bases is what ultimately gets you more gem steals.