For this third pro-file, I spoke to a really skilled member of Granularity Gaming, Arkanishu.
Real Name: Kristian Erdmann
Location: Leverkusen, Germany
Age: 23 years old.
How long have you been playing?
Since the end November 2014.
What other games do you currently play?
I play chess and some online poker, no other video games though.
Do you play those with any other Prismata players?
I once played a chess game against crash, but except that, no.
I won of course 😀
Which do you like more, Chess or Prismata?
I prefer Prismata, because you don’t have to study openings so much there. I’m too lazy to do that in chess so I usually just play crazy gambit openings.
Prismata in general
How did you find out about the game?
Some guy shared a promotion video of Prismata on Facebook. After I watched it I really wanted to play it and got a key on the same day.
What got you excited about playing?
The fact that its a game without rng and no pay2win. I was playing Hearthstone before and I was getting sick of it.
Do you think this game is a lot harder to get into than Hearthstone because of that?
I think Prismata is just more complicated, because there are so many options and as a beginner you have no idea which of them are the best.
Overall where do you see the future of Prismata going?
Hard to say. I think the biggest problem of Prismata is attracting casual players, but if Lunarch can manage to do that I think Prismata will be very successful. At least I hope so.
Do you have any ideas for attracting casual players that Lunarch hasn’t already said they are going to do?
No, I think Lunarch has good plans for that, like adding retention features, better tutorials and more variety of game modes.
How did you go about sorting that out as a beginner?
I did the tutorials and then just started playing on the ladder. I was losing a lot at the beginning but I learned from my opponents and just tried to copy what they were doing at the beginning. Watching streams also helped.
Any stream in particular?
I really enjoyed crash’s stream, and still do.
Do you stream yourself?
Yeah, I started streaming a few months ago.
Do you record or just stream live?
I just stream live.
Any particular reason not to have recording on?
I usually have song requests open on my stream so if I saved my recordings in twitch most of it would be muted. Also I don´t think that many people would watch it, maybe I’ll do it if Prismata gets bigger.
Do you get people watching your stream telling you what the “correct” move is?
There sometimes are people who point out mistakes that I´m making, but I think it got less recently. Probably just not making that many mistakes anymore 😀 I find it very helpful if it comes from other experienced players
Any noteworthy players you’ve learned from besides crash?
I learned a lot from aetherllama, and in general I think I learned a lot from discussions with other players.
Where do you usually talk with them?
To my teammates I talk on Skype, but I’m also very active in global chat and in twitch chats.
You’re part of the Granular Gaming team correct?
Who all is part of that?
Aetherllama, Crash, silverspawn, Hatharo, Temron and I.
What’s it like playing as part of a team vs solo?
It’s really helpful to have a good team to practice with, especially because we have very different play styles in our team so we can learn from each other.
Do you guys have regular practice sessions or just play randomly whenever you’re online?
We do a practice tournament once a week that we also stream on our teams twitch channel. Sometimes we just practice when we are online.
Does someone provide commentary for that?
We are all in a Skype call, and all members who aren’t currently playing discuss the game while the players have Skype muted. After the game we also give some feedback to the players.
How are you feeling about the Masters League?
This season I´m doing really well so far, and I´m in the lead in my group right now. But I think I got into the easiest group, timex is probably my strongest opponent there. In the playoffs it will get harder.
Do you like the format?
Yeah, I really like it, celerity has done a great job setting this up.
Would you want to play Prismata professionally if it got to an eSports level?
Sure, that would be amazing 😀 Of course it will be very hard to stay at the stop if Prismata gets big. Right now there are not that many players.
Do you think the game has the depth to stay competitive at that level without RNG or execution challenge?
I think it does. Every set is different from each other, so you can’t just solve Prismata. And I think Lunarch will add more and more challenging units as the players get better.
How do you think Granular Gaming fares as a team right now?
I think we have a really good team, probably the best team in prismata right now.
Better than Vanguard?
Vanguard is a good team too, but I think we are better.
Are your team mates dodging a match or is there something else up?
Some of my teammates dislike the behavior of some Vanguard members and don’t want to play a match against them at the moment.
Do you think its good that so many members from both teams are facing each other in the masters league then?
Sure, that’s completely fine. I don’t think teams matter in masters league, you’re on your own there.
Is Granular open to new members or trainee’s?
Right now we don’t plan to get more members or trainees.
Do you use the replay system much?
I started analyzing most of my games about a month ago because I felt like I wasn’t improving fast enough anymore from just playing. I think its important that you figure out why you lost a game and what you could’ve done better. Sometimes it’s obvious and you know that you made a mistake right after you ended your turn, but sometimes its really hard to tell.
When its hard to figure out, do you share your replay code and ask for another opinion?
Only if I can´t figure out where I went wrong, but that doesn’t happen very often.
Of all the things you’ve done to try and learn the game, what do you think has been the MOST effective?
I think the most important thing is to play a lot of games, every set is different, so it takes a long time until you get used to all the unit combos, counters and specific openings. Even if you played thousands of games you can still learn something new almost every set.
Do you think Prismata will have to keep introducing new units indefinitely to keep the game interesting?
I think its important to introduce new units from time to time, yeah.
Do you think the more units they introduce, the higher the learning curve will be to players coming into the game?
I think that would be the case, but Lunarch are working on a better experience for new players. As far as I know new players will start with a smaller unit pool in the future and then slowly unlock more units while playing..
Do you have any good tips for using the base set units well as a beginner?
Don’t buy too many splitters or gauss cannons, they’re pretty bad. Tarsiers are very efficient though.
How should beginners use engineers?
Make sure to have 2 engineers on every turn for granularity. Otherwise your opponent might be able to deny absorb.
When is it appropriate to buy more than 2?
When you buy antima comet or when you have attackers that consume energy or engineers (like electrovore or tesla). They’re also very good against chill. All chill units that freeze for more than 1 lose value when freezing engineers, so if your opponent is getting frostbites and you try to defend with walls that’s usually bad, but engineers do better.
Do you have any favorite units?
Oh yeah. My favorite units are deadeye and centrifuge. I also loved firespinner, that unit was just an april fools unit but I hope it will come back one day 😀
Was it pretty unbalanced?
I don’t think it was unbalanced. It attacked for 40, but also costed 20red to buy, so you had to get all animusses to get it out. So it almost never worked but if your opponent played too passive and when it did it was awesome 😀
I guess Resophore managed to stick around in some form.
Resophore used to be very weak, but I guess it will see more play after the last buff.
Are there any particular types of units you think the game needs at the moment?
I can’t think of any particular type, but Lunarch has been doing a great job with designing new and interesting units and I hope they keep that up.
What do you think of the embargo system?
I don’t use it, but I think its good for players that get annoyed by some units and don´t want to play with them.
Do you use the analyze tool much?
I only use it when looking at my replays, never used it while playing. Some of my teammates do that a lot, but it feels wrong to me and I prefer to calculate things on my own.
Do you do a lot of the math in your head?
Yeah, I think I’m pretty good at that. I also play chess so I’m used to calculating some turns ahead, even though it´s a bit different because chess has no math.
How many turns ahead are you planning normally in a Prismata match?
That depends on the set. If you’re on low econ you have less options and can calculate more turns ahead because of that, but if you have a big economy you can’t plan more than 1 turn ahead, at least not in detail.
Are you more of a low or high econ player?
I think I am kinda bad at high econ games compared to other top players, I do better at low and mid econ games.
Do you have any favorite openings?
I used to have some, but the units that were involved got changed so they don’t work anymore 😀
Do you prefer playing as p1 or p2?
That depends on the set, being p1 is really good in sets with good blue units, but p2 has better openings for green and red. Overall I prefer being p2.
Do you lean more towards green or red then?
I really like blue too, I usually do very well in blue sets even if I’m p2.
How do you feel about the recent chill nerf?
I’m glad that this nerf finally happened. I really like the chill mechanic and think it increases the skill cap, but frostbite was just too powerful and you had to buy them in every set, even if there were units that should counter them. Now I think it’s more balanced and you can’t just mindlessly spam frostbites to win anymore.
Is it going to affect your strategy much?
I’ll probably not buy as many frostbites anymore, obviously, but I don’t think it will affect my strategies that much.
What do you think of the 3 new breach party units?
I really like them. Borehole Patroller is not very strong in most sets, but can be really good against threatened damage or chill because it does attack and defend at the same time. Tantalum ray is a very efficient attacker, especially if the game is going to end soon, and it also can be used in breachproof strategies. The dynamo is very strong, but also complicated, I still haven’t really figured out how to use it yet.
Have you seen or tried any particularly effective combos for them?
The dynamo and tantalum ray combo very well when going breachproof, especially if there are other good breachproof units like clusterbolts or Isos.
Do you play breach proof often?
I really enjoy games where I can go for it, but usually going breachproof doesn’t work because absorbing is so important. A good reason to go breachproof is if you opponent starts massing chill.
So do you think it was good that they nerfed chill at the same time as increasing the viability of breach proof?
I don’t think it was necessary to do both at the same time, but I don´t mind it.
Any final thoughts?
Thanks to synx for recommending me for this interview, and a shoutout to my great team!
Thanks as always to these great players for spending some time sharing their thoughts!