Due to inclement weather and an increased workload for a lot of our members this interview is running a little bit late; but to make up for it you get THREE
interviews this month! Don't say I never did anything for you. Your September Members of the Month are Jon
!How and when did you find the site?Jon:
I found the site in September 2008 when I was looking at stuff about driving on the old Bungie.net forums. I believe I stumbled upon the Halo3Wheelmen group on Bungie.net and there was a link to the site from there. I signed up to join my fellow Warthog fans and dragged Tom along a while later.Mauro:
I found this site about 5 years ago, but I had known about the Wheelmen for maybe longer, as Sarge and me where friends from a Rocket Race group back in the Halo 3 days. However, I didn't become active until about 6 months ago, as I was part of another Halo Community, but it unfortunately lost sight of one of its core statements and I decided to leave and find better, greener pastures.Tims:
I first heard about the Wheelmen when the site was featured on Bungie.net's front page; I had my Xbox 360 for about a year before that but I only had Xbox Live for about 3 months. I didn't really have real life friends who played or if they did played as much as I did and there was a big skill gap even at the beginning, so it made it frustrating to try to play anything that wasn't casual. I checked B.Net pretty frequently back in the day so when I saw this site I checked it out, decided that it was something that interested me, and the rest is history.What got you into Halo?Jon:
My friend Michael had an original Xbox and Halo 2 back in 2004-2005 and we used to play splitscreen multiplayer for hours. His favorite thing to play was Snipers and Rockets where everyone had invis. Screen cheating was rampant as I'm sure you can all imagine. A couple years later when I heard Halo 3 was coming I knew I had to get it. Mauro:
I started Halo, way back with the very first one. At the time, I worked for a retail computer store known as CompUSA, which had a Mac Pro. Every day on my break I would go and see what was new and discovered Halo and the first campaign mission, which I played over and over till I had it memorized.
Since then, I bought it for PC, and soon after when Xbox lunched and continued my love for Halo.Tims:
Growing up I had a Gamecube and a PS2, so I could play pretty much anything I wanted except Xbox exclusives. The funny thing is that you always want what you can't have, so when Halo 3 came out for the first 6 months I was just watching multiplayer on YouTube just so I could see what the fuss was about. I remember watching Anoj's Top 10 series and sort of living vicariously through that. Eventually my parents got me an Xbox 360, but no Xbox Live, so I did everything I could offline; Solo Legendary Campaign, all the skulls, campaign scoring achievements etc. Then when I finally got Xbox Live I dove into Halo and never looked back (I even remember my first game; Lone Wolves / Slayer on Foundry).What's your preferred playstyle?Jon:
I used to always play very defensively. I didn't like playing too aggressive because I wasn't confident in my abilities. As I have played more Arena in Halo 5 and attempted to improve my gameplay I have slowly started to prefer a more versatile playstyle. I try to move with my team and play aggressive when needed instead of sitting in the back and trying to provide long range support. My biggest hindrance is still my tendency to overthink situations instead of pushing aggressively to keep the enemy team off balance. Mauro:
My play style has change a lot during all this years playing Halo and each subsequent title. Although, for the most time I have been a competitive type, I'm also a completitionist. I have completed every achievement in a Halo game (MCC not included).Tims:
I've always been an aggressive player in every type of game I've played. I believe that to improve you have to push your limits, and by playing aggressively you're constantly pushing them. I also like to play smart and be clever, but you find that sometimes the most clever thing you can do is the most simple (like running straight at someone and outshooting them
). Keep in mind there's a balance between confidence and cockiness. Where did your gamertag come from?Jon:
Well, old grandpa and grandma Hart named their son John back in the year 1960. When he was eventually grown he had himself a son and named him Jonathan Lewis Henry Hart on account of granddaddy Hart being called Lewis and some other relative being called Henry and Jonathan was like calling me Jr. without looking like a complete asshole. So at some point a man named Bill Gates started a compan... and that's how my gamertag came to be. Mauro:
Mauro Fire, well... That's simple. Mauro is my middle name, a shorted version. Fire, is more of a state of mind, meaning that I'm always passionate about everything I do and will see everything to its end.Tims:
Well I've had a few tags over the years, so I'll do a quick rundown. The original tag was ProAznsoul; this was because at the time when you created and XBL account you had to choose a "gamer zone", "Pro" being one of them. Lacking inspiration, I threw it in there. "Azn" is like the edgy middle school 1337 way of spelling Asian. "soul" derives from an anime I had watched prior to this, "Soul Eater". So on a nondescript in December of 2008 I was too excited to actually play and didn't care for the gamertag; thus ProAznsoul was born.
When I was finally accepted into the Wheelmen, I decided I didn't like the original tag now that I had the time to look it over, and I sort of didn't like being called Azn sometimes, so my 14 year old self decided I would reinvent myself and I changed my tag to H3WM Discreet. This was because I was sort of an introverted person and I was starting to become comfortable with that while growing up, so I figured that I'd embrace it.
Fast forward a little and Halo Reach dropped; we rebranded from the Halo 3 Wheelmen to just the Halo Wheelmen, and everyone was changing their tags to accommodate the new HWM prefix. While I had been Discreet for some time, everyone I knew still called me Azn and everyone I met in the meantime was confused on what to call me, so I told them to call me Azn too. Thus, HWM Azn was born.
And finally, after I ran with HWM Azn from the launch of Reach until sometime during Halo 4, I took about a 3 year hiatus from Xbox to finish up highschool. I was in a pretty intense magnet program (the IB program) and I was a Theatre kid; so on top of mountains and mountains of schoolwork and having to perform on a regualr basis, I really didn't have the time to hardcore game. By the time I returned earlier this year, I had pretty much used "Tims" (my name is Tim, in case you haven't guessed) as my name for everything, so it only made sense that I changed it here too. I guess you can say that it's part of me finally growing up and not really caring about people knowing my real name or anything like that; it's also becoming more and more common nowadays for figures in the gaming community to be known by their real names (pro gamers, youtubers, livestreamers etc.)Any favorite Halo memories?Jon:
Driving Tom to a couple Unfrigs more recently and just playing Big Team back in Halo 3. Was always a good time.Mauro:
There a too many, but a few that I can recall... Playing Halo 3 with another friend of mine called PNut. Among other things, he helped me get to 45.
Playing custom games in Halo Reach with the other community I mentioned before. Those were really fun games with a lot of laughs.
However, there is one memory above all, playing Rocket Race back in Halo 3. I had never had so much laughter from a game ever; there were several occasions when I laugh so had that I could had passed out. Laughing so hard that my head will hurt and I would see stars in my eyes.Tims:
Too many to count, honestly. My first new member Friday where I met Sarge (the first person I met in the community), playing my first game with other people I met in this community (Twisted and RHCP, they got two Invincibles in one game during a Standoff CTF game, which was really impressive to me back in the day), playing Halloween customs back in 2009, the Helljumpers originally starting out, trolling as a team of 8 rainbow colored Elites in BTB, playing Rocket Race (I also played customs with WARR sometimes), grinding BTB for countless hours, getting 45s in Lone Wolves and Team Slayer, playing ODST co-op when it released, getting all the Vidmaster achievements and unlocking Recon, trying to hunt down employees on Bungie Day in Bungie vs the World, the Halo Reach beta, playing Invasion for countless hours and pretty much being the best Invasion team around (we had like an average 95% win percentage), playing tons of different Reach playlists to complete the challenges, unlocking all of Reach's armor, grinding to get max level in Halo 4, doing that campaign Solo Legendary, finally getting back to Halo in Halo 5, grinding that campaign Solo Legendary too, the first night back where we ran into Snipedown, and just being a part of this community again.What are your other favorite gaming series?Jon:
Bioshock, Gears of War, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and Legend of ZeldaMauro:
Final Fantasy 7 and 10 where some of my favorites, also Metal Gear Solid. Skyrim is another games that I enjoyed a lot and I'm looking forward to the remastered edition for Xbox One. Tims:
Many over the years: Runescape, Overwatch, League of Legends, Mass Effect, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft.. What is your favorite food?Jon:
Absolute favorite food would probably be mashed potatoes. I could shovel mashed potatoes down my gullet all day long. Mauro:
I love food, all kinds of food, especially Hispanic food. I enjoy cooking and making several spacial and traditional meals from Colombia and other South-American cuisines.
Additionally, I also enjoy Japanise cuisine a lot, including sushi, sashimi, etc.
I'm the type that is willing to try anything at least once.Tims:
I like basic stuff; Pizza, Burgers, Fries, Chicken, Burritos, Tacos, did I mention Pizza? It'd be easier to tell you what I don't like to eat: Vegetables. I hate greens. Also being Vietnamese, there are some things I enjoy that I honestly don't even know how to spell (again, none of them being vegetables).Tell us something about yourself that we might not know!Jon:
Well, I'm not straight. I actually prefer dudes. Mauro:
Hard question... I guess some of you might not know that Im first and foremost a family man, I have an amazing wife and 3 daughters, all of which demand most of my time.
Another thing that most don't know is that, I played soccer in a sub-17 division for a professional club in Colombia.Tims:
Well some of you may or may not know but I mentioned it earlier; I used to perform a lot back in highschool. I started working backstage on a set for The Phantom of the Opera (my school was one of the first in the country to be able to do the production). It's really cool because we weren't a Performing Arts school or anything, just a regular old highschool. We had tons of professionals come to our rehearsal all the time to check it out, offer advice, etc. We even had one of the actors who was Phantom on Broadway for a number of years come and work with our Phantoms (we had a lot of talents so we doublecasted). Sadly he passed away a few years ago, but it was very cool to see.
That was Spring 2011, and the following Spring our school did a production of Les Miserables; it was my first show that I performed in. I was only in the ensemble but it was an incredible experience. Here's a recording of our One Day More : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J3L7dYPmgg
Without dragging on too long, I pretty much did Theatre and Choir for the rest of my Highschool career. In my Senior year I actually made an auditioned State Honor Choir which was really cool. Also because I live in Orlando (right next to Disney World) I got to do cool Disney stuff sometimes. Every year we would perform at the Disney Candlelight show they did in the park, and on top of being able to perform at Disney on one of their stages you were also compensated 2 tickets for each performance, so as highschoolers we could go to Disney pretty much whenever we wanted. Also we got to be extras in the Disney Christmas Parade one year, and we pretty much did 15 minutes of standing and then they let us go to be able to stay in the park for 12+ hours.
The funny thing is despite all of this I'm still a pretty introverted person. I can definitely be sociable and hold conversation pretty well, but I get burned out a lot. Any advice for newer members of the community?Jon:
Stick around. You can form some strong friendships here if you take the time to let them form. Even if you get bored with Halo for a while you shouldn't leave the site. Stick around and talk to us, otherwise we'll totally talk crap about you. Mauro:
This is a really awesome community if get to know us. Be active, don't be afraid to join events or ask questions about our roles, participate in forum discussions, the chat or even social media and just be yourself.Tims:
Don't be afraid to step up and do things. If you want to do something, whether it be host events, write interviews, do previews or reviews for content, go for it! When it comes to contributing to the site and community you can never do too much. Shoutouts! Who do you guys want to shoutoutJon:
My best friend Tom even though he's a jerk. Muffin, who is also sometimes a jerk. Sarge, who is on rare occasions something that could be mistaken for a jerk but is in fact not a jerk. Sarge is actually awesome. Criporc, Swift, MC, Dragon, Witney, Monster, and others for being funny and only some of them are jerks. Ducke, who also has red hair and does computer things like a boss and likes Steven Universe. Also Brick for letting me break/work on the site and Duce for his threats of the banhammer. Fear is the best motivator.
I actually don't think you guys are jerks. Well, maybe still Tom.Mauro:
Shout to Sarge for introducing me to this great site and community. I'm glad we met back on the Rocket Race days!
Criporc for taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes in Warzone and the Containment role.
MECHA, for been an awesome dude in DnD and having fun having an Spanish only OPs team on Mondays. Hopefully we can do it again soon.
Jazzy, Cinco and Duce for helping me on our recent NFL Draft. Hopefully I won't beat you guys too hard (another attempt at smack talk)
Many other members that have provided feedback and assistance with either my game or my involvement with the community.
There have been so many people and so many moments over the years so if I forget something please don't feel bad! Shoutout to Sarge, the first person I met here (and the only person I've met IRL), to Brick and Duce for trying to keep this place afloat, to Laffy for not sinking the place (also congrats on the child!), to Jon and Ducke for doing some computer space magic, to my 4v4 buddies Muffin, Tom and Criporc, to the Helljumpers old and new over the years for helping to provide a competitive outlet, to all the Blues over the years (I hope you've had as much fun as I've had), to all the community members who step up and make a difference around here, to all the people who have stuck around over the years to be part of something through thick and thin. You guys are the reason I still play Halo at all (without you I'd probably have a successful Runescape streaming career on Twitch
So with that being said, that is it for this month's interviews. Don't forget to vote for next month's interviews when that poll comes around (and no more ties please, this is a lot of work).