First to Beta 100: FellBlueDodger
Introducing the first person to achieve Rank 100 in the Gears of War 4 Beta: FellBlueDodger! FellBlueDodger is a long standing member of the Gears of War community, and his time spent in the Beta propelled him to first across the Beta ranking finish line. We talked to FellBlueDodger to find out more about his Gears fandom and his time during the Beta.
Name: Kyle Martyn
Location: Florida, USA
Occupation: Security Forces in the USAF
Started playing: December 2006
Favorite Gears Game: Well...that's a tough one. It would probably be Gears 3 closely followed by Gears 2 simply because of the campaign.
Favorite character: It would literally be a tie between Hoffman and Adam Fenix and for the Locust, Theron Elite.
Favorite campaign: RAAM's shadow, without a doubt. Playing as RAAM and even as the Theron Elite was so much fun.
Favorite MP Map: Gears 1: Raven Down. Gears 2: Jacinto, Gears 3: Checkout, Judgment: Library. Gears 4 thus far: Harbor
Favorite MP game mode: Guardian, but maybe Dodgeball once Gears 4 releases.
TC: So FellBlueDodger – firstly, congratulations! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Gears of War background.
FellBlueDodger: Thank you so much! Well, I'm just another Gearhead in the Gears community. I first played Gears when I was at a Christmas party in 2006 at my friends house. He said he had this awesome new game called Gears of War. So a group of us played some 1v1 private matches against each other on the same TV. My first match I played as RAAM and I went up against a Baird. In hindsight, it was a pretty boring battle with us just Lancering at middle bridge on Canals for about 2 minutes. But it was so intense at the time and finally I was able to down him. So I walked over to him, and it told me to press X, and so my first ever kill in Gears was a curbstomp.
After that, I got an xbox 360 for Christmas and immediately went over to Gamestop to buy Gears of War. Sadly I was only 15 at the time, so I had to get one of my older friends to buy it for me.
And so I played through to campaign and continued to love the series. Went over to Versus, and I sucked...initially. By Gears 2 release I would call myself pretty good at the game. While I never went into the competitive scene, I always strived to get better at the game. I continued to play and Gears of War has always been my main game. I would take breaks to play other new games that could come out, but after I had my fill, I would always come back to Gears of War.
TC: When you started playing the Gears of War 4 Beta, did you set out with the goal to be first in the world to Rank 100?
FellBlueDodger: Oh no, not initially. But after I reached level 20 rather quickly and noticed that you continued to level up, I joked about reaching level 100. However, the friends I was playing with, Bchaps and JessLL, convinced me to go for it. For the Gears of War 4 Beta I had put in leave from work so I had nothing on my plate except the Beta.
TC: Did you optimize your play to focus on the biggest XP gains possible, or just play normally?
FellBlueDodger: Well I was lucky enough to play on Saturday during the Friends and Family portion of the Beta, and all we could play was TDM, though a group of us were able to get a Dodgeball game in. When the Early Access started that Monday more people played and we decided to play more Dodgeball. The new gametype was so much fun, that I didn't want to play TDM at all. I didn't know initially that Dodgeball gave more XP, but even if it didn't, I would still play Dodgeball.
TC: How would you describe your playstyle in Versus Multiplayer? Any tips for other Gears players out there?
FellBlueDodger: Dropshot...and more Dropshot. That was my playstyle. Overpowered? In the fun factor? Then yes, it's overpowered. I loved that weapon. There's nothing better than a cross map Dropshot kill. But enough of that, my tips in Gears 4, just like any Gears game is to play as a team. That doesn't mean don't play alone, but put yourself in a situation that best benefits the team. Control the power weapons and make the best out of firing lanes. You don't need to go in and kill someone with a gib with your Gnasher. If you feel that you have the upper hand in a Gnasher battle, you don't need to move in for a point blank shot. Remember, even if they're 4-pointed and you're at max health, they can still one shot kill you.
TC: You’re heavily involved in the Gears Community, including the community talk show ‘Tac-Com’. What drives you to be part of so many community activities?
FellBlueDodger: It wasn't always like that. Back in the Gears 2 days, I believe in 2009 I was just a simple lurker on the forums. It wasn't until 2010 when I made an account. I wasn't a competitive player, or someone big. I was just another forumer having discussions on a number of topics. Once Gears 3 launched, I was way more active. I started helping out people with achievement hunting, especially in Horde.
I remember one time I got a random message from someone I played against in Gears 3. At first I was expecting it to be hate mail, but they actually just noted that they knew me from the forums. I was a part of the EGFC (Epic Game Forum Clan) which was just a collection of forumers that played for fun with other forumers. It was a great place to meet up with fellow Gearheads that didn't trash talk you, but simply wanted to have a good time.
When Judgment came around, that was when the community talk show known as Tac-Com started. Not even a month after it released was when the first episode was livestreamed on Twitch. Tac-Com was the idea of two people, Bchaps and Gnashes, both of whom were well known on the forums. They wanted to have their own channel/talk show since the only ones were from competitive/youtubers. They wanted to have a talk-show for the forums, by the forums.
I loved the idea, so that week I asked to be on the 2nd episode and they let me, and I've been a part ever since. Over the three years, we gave our opinions, our hopes, our frustrations, our horrible jokes to the forum community, and though our fanbase is small, we still do it because we enjoy it. It was around that time, when Bchaps and I teamed up to go looking for Judgment Easter Eggs. The first one was the Library Easter egg. We spent so much time on that map, we could probably tell you how many books there are...
Anyway, I was fooling around on the map while Bchaps was still at work or school. As you all know, to start the EE you have to throw a frag up into the crawl space at the Oneshot. I accidently found the step by firing a Torque bow up there. We had previously glitched out of the map with a ghost cam and found the piece of paper behind the small crack space in the corner so we knew it had to be a part of the EE. We also had found the Reaper room underneath the Longshot with this glitch as well.
Once we told everyone of the first step, it took less than an hour for the first group to find out the rest and fight the Reaper. It sucks that Bchaps and I weren't the ones who found all the steps, but it was fun nonetheless. We continued searching and found the Lost City Easter Egg, the Chaps gas station EE in Gears 1, and also the infamous Yellow Submarine Easter egg in Gears 3, as well as a couple smaller Easter Eggs.
What drives me to be a part of this community? Because a lot of people give us crap that we're such a negative community. Sure there are a lot of horrible people that give us a bad reputation, but the Gears community is also a hell of a lot better than people give it credit for. Almost all of my friends are from Gears of War, and they're some of the best people I've had the chance to know, and I wouldn't trade it for any other community out there.
TC: What are your plans for the Gears of War 4 launch? Will you be racing to be First to 100 again?
FellBlueDodger: Play through that campaign. That is always the first thing I do with every game. Once that is done, it's definitely checking out the new Horde mode. Maybe we'll try for first Insane Horde completition. First to level 100, or max level? I don't know, sadly duty calls and I will be deploying late in the year. However, that won't stop me from being a part of this community. It was an amazing ten years, I can't wait for the next ten years.
TC: Thanks FellBlueDodger! Getting to Level 100 in the Beta first is a massive achievement, and one we felt should be remembered. So, to enter FellBlueDodge into the chronicles of Gears community history, he will be the first ever recipient of a brand new community recognition award – Gears Honor.
Introducing Gears Honor
Gears Honor is a unique emblem for use in Gears of War 4 that can only be earned at the discretion of The Coalition.
Throughout this year and beyond launch, we’ll be awarding Gears Honor to anyone who does something exceptional in the Gears of War community – whether it’s creative work, being an outstanding contributor to the overall Gears community or because of a gameplay related feat, this special award signifies a stand out contribution or achievement in our community.
When you see this emblem in game from October 7th onwards, you’ll know you’re playing with a fan who did something special. We'll be continuing to look out for potential Gears Honorees over the coming months and beyond launch!