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Community Spotlight - DatWut

19/07/2019 04:03 PM

Hey DatWut, could you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Alexander Schulz (I prefer being called Alex though), I am 26 years old and from Germany.

I have been actively playing The Crew since the first of January 2016 after purchasing the game with all its available DLCs (Season Pass/Car Packs + Wild Run) during a sale.

What was your first experience with The Crew?

My first experience was the trial version of The Crew 1 which I tried in October 2015. I had just gotten my new PC and wanted to try out a few newer games which my old one could not run. I stumbled upon The Crew on Steam and decided I could give it a go because I liked racing games since I was a kid (I grew up with them, so to say). Back during the trial while I played it, I was like "Eh, I guess this game's alright, gonna pick it up when it's on a sale", but I never thought I would get as involved into the games as I am now. Like I thought I would get through the story, buy a few cars I like, customise them, drive them for a bit and then probably be done with the game. I didn't care much about the multiplayer aspect back then, because I didn't know The Crew was an always-online multiplayer racing game (this is what happens when you blindly go into games and play them instead of reading up about them and what they offer). Since I did not know much about the game and didn't fully understand its tuning system back then, I kept switching around my cars during the early parts of the game and kept failing missions, but a friend of mine and I played together occasionally and he helped me get through the missions I had trouble with and he also explained a few things about the game to me, such as the Perk Points system. The more I played, the more hooked up I got. I was nearly done with the story when I finally fully grasped the tuning system and how it worked and this is where I would say my journey really began.

I completed the story, participated in my first Summit in January and wanted to keep going for more. I kept grinding to buy the cars I wanted or needed and levelled most of them up manually (exceptions were cars I either did not find visually appealing or did not like the handling of). I figured out my own route for skill test and deliberately finished these on Gold to get a Level 45 Gold part instead of having Smart Loot only give me a small level-boost for my car, by manually levelling my cars I probably artificially extended my own playtime, but this is what you do when you like a game, right?

But to summarise, my feelings for The Crew 1 have gone from a first impression that was "It's an alright game" to "I will sink a lot of my free time into this" (and quite frankly, I did).

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You’re pretty active around the TC community and some may even recognise you as one of our forum moderators. When did you first join the TC community?

My first interactions with the community happened on the German Ubisoft-forums in January 2016. I was getting an error code when I wanted to connect to the game, so I noted the error code, googled it and found my way onto the forums where I just participated in an ongoing thread about the same issue I had.

Later the same year, the German team was looking for new moderators on the forum. And even though I had not met all the criteria (I had not even been on the forums for a year, nor have I had that many posts) I decided to "apply" for the role and was actually accepted.

In January of 2017, I also became a moderator on the English forums after asking Ubi-Gaidheal if the team could need some assistance.

The Crew community is quite large and spans across many different social media platforms, where are people most likely going to find you? (Forums, Discord, Reddit, Facebook) What do you like the most about that community?

I am mostly active on the forums (German and English) and the community Discord. I also browse The Crew Social on a daily basis, but don't participate there as much.

You can also find me in the official streams (both CM Let's Plays as well as Live from IVT streams).

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You previously participated in a community workshop with The Crew and was invited to the Ubisoft studio in Paris to get an early view on The Crew: Calling All Units, how was that?

That was an absolutely amazing experience. I remember that one evening I went onto the English forums like any other day, but I saw that I had received a new private message from Ubi-Gaidheal (who was the Community Manager for The Crew back then). The title read "Fan meet with developers" and for whatever reason I did not fully realise what that would mean. Only as I was reading through the message I finally understood what I was getting invited into.

The event itself was a one of a kind experience for me. It was really nice to meet all these other engaged players (such as BlackLotusLV who has been featured in a previous Community Spotlight) and talk to them, get hands-on with the upcoming expansion for the game, talk to the developers and give feedback. This event has really given me the feeling that I contributed to something bigger and that my feedback on the forums has not gone unnoticed.

During the The Crew, You also had the chance to visit a couple of events, tell us a bit about them?

In 2017, I was invited to attend E3 as a Ubisoft Star Player for The Crew, which was a really big honor for me. Prior to this, I had no idea what being a Star Player meant, let alone had I heard of it to be honest. But the Star Player experience is one of the greatest things anyone within any Ubisoft-community could imagine. It is Ubisoft's way to honor their active community members, may it be streamers, YouTubers, artwork-artists, people who participate on the forums/social media, etc. by inviting them to a gaming event (E3, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, etc.) and filling a couple of days with a tight schedule full of activities based around the games you enjoy.

During my E3 experience, I got to see the Ubisoft conference and The Crew 2's presentation live and I even got interviewed afterwards to give my first impressions of The Crew 2 based on the trailer I saw (parts of that interview are on Ubisoft's official YouTube channel). Being a Star Player also means to get hands-on with the new games early on before all others, talk to the developers and give feedback so that adjustments can be made. For example, I was able to free roam New York with various cars and bikes, play some Jet Sprint, Street Race and PowerBoat events against the other Star Players and later on talk to some of the developers to give direct feedback and suggest a few things.

One particular moment I remember from my play session: I was playing with a bike and kept trying to pull wheelies because I wanted to see how the rider was animated and moved. The developer who was sitting next to me told me to try a stoppie. At first I refused to, but then I gave in and tried it. By accident I steered to a side while the bike was standing on its front wheel, and to my surprise I could spin while on the front wheel. Curious if this was intended or not, I tried it again, and again, and again. Until I nailed it. I had a literal jaw-drop from that, because this was never possible in The Crew 1 (and it still is possible in The Crew 2, but only with Motocross/Super moto bikes).

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Later in 2017, I have received a message from one of The Crew 2's Com Devs (Ubi-Gaidheal never cutting me any slack), asking if I was planning to attend Gamescom. I said that I had no such plans as of yet, but would be interested. He has then organised a trade visitor ticket for me. I had a chance to explore Gamescom for my first time ever, meet the new Star Players (I met MindaugasXLTU who had been a Star Player for The Crew then), get a chance to talk to some of the developers again and get hands-on with The Crew 2 again. This time around, I was allowed to play Drift, Motocross and Alpha GP and I can tell you, it's interesting to see how much the handling of vehicles has changed between Gamescom and the release of the game, especially that of Alpha GP.

You’re a PC gamer right? Tell us a bit about your set-up?

First off I must admit that despite the fact that I do play on PC, I am not much of a hardware and tech-guy. I bought my PC as a prebuilt back in October of 2015 after starting my new job. It has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX960 GPU and an INTEL i7-4790. This is about everything I remember about my PC's specs.

I play with a dual monitor setup and usually keep an eye on Discord running on the second screen and I play The Crew 2 with a wired Xbox One controller for PC. I couldn't imagine playing a racing game with a keyboard anymore nowadays.

Outside of The Crew 2, what type of hobbies do you enjoy?

Nothing out of the ordinary here. I like riding my mountain bike, listening to music, hanging out with friends, chatting on Discord, going to the gym or just taking my car for a spin.

What's your dream car? And why?

This is a tough question. There are several cars I like for various reasons, such as the Corvette C7 or the 2015 Mustang. Both of these are just visually appealing and sound amazing in my opinion. Then there's also track toys like the KTM X-Bow or the Caterham R500 which just look very unique and outstanding from other "normal" cars.

Though there is one car I prefer over all of them: the McLaren F1. Ever since I saw it in Need for Speed: High Stakes I was fascinated by the fact that the driver is sitting in the middle of the car. Whenever a game gives me the option to pick a McLaren F1, I will do so. In The Crew 1 it was my first Performance car I have gotten, and in The Crew 2 it is my most driven car overall with nearly 12.000km on the clock.

Thank you, DatWut! It's a pleasure to have you featured in our Community Spotlight. Remember to stop by and check out This Week in TC2 for all the latest news and events in The Crew 2. We'll see you on the road!