MDI Team Spotlight: Paint for Fem

Hello and welcome to the third RaiderIO MDI Team Spotlight! My name is Rory aka Cirra and I'll be guest writing this week whilst Vitaminpee , takes a well deserved break!

This week, I interviewed Fem, Mewo, Sjeletyven, Berru, and Rickyymartin from team Paint for Fem. Paint for Fem is a newly formed team with big dreams, currently sitting at the rank #6 spot in the West. They are looking to make some waves in the upcoming West Cup #3 and secure themselves a place at Blizzcon later this year.

We’ll be covering everything from Risk vs Reward to Razdunk vs Remakes and how exactly does one “Paint for Fem”??? Enjoy!

Big shoutout to Ricky for answering these questions as it is his birthday this weekend, Happy Birthday Ricky. Please check out the links at the bottom of this article to follow their Twitch streams and watch their team progress live!

MDI Team Spotlight Series

If you like this interview, check out our other MDI Team Spotlights:

“I mean, there is not really anything you can do about it. Rules are rules, and you just gotta try to deal with it. I personally wanted to throw my PC out the window, but I just sat in my chair being sad, mad, and disappointed." —Ricky

Cirra: Hi! Can you please tell us a little more about yourself?

Fem: Uhm, my name is Max, I live in Stockholm, Sweden, and I think I am 24… Outside of WoW, I don’t really do much. I work with delivering stuff whenever I am not studying to become a teacher at University.

Mewo: My name is Michael. I’m 24 years old and I live in Stockholm,Sweden. Besides playing this game way too much, I work as a director/photographer and dancer. As a dancer you may have seen me on TV shows like Swedish Idol and Eurovision but nowadays I mainly work behind the camera, directing music videos and commercials.

Sjele: My real name is Sivert and I’m 27 years old living in Oslo, Norway. Since I started streaming full time, World of Warcraft has been most of my life, but I do enjoy making music and going to concerts when I can fit it into my relentless WoW schedule.

Berru: My name is André, I’m 25 years old, and I'm from Sweden. The rest is a big mystery.

Ricky: Hello! I am Daniel and I'm 25 years old. I'm from Norway and I currently work as a mechanic in the oil industry. Outside of WoW, I sleep, party, work, and dream about playing keys again.

Cirra: First question, “Paint for Fem”... Great name! But where does it come from?

Fem: We were doing drunk keys back in early BFA and someone was trying to tell me what route we should take, but I didn’t understand. So, they made a MDT route with the name “Paint For Fem”, and then it kinda stuck to us going into Keystone Masters. Then when we had to make a name for the MDI, we just used “Paint For Fem”.

Sjele: The name originated with the inception of the Mythic Dungeon Tools. In this addon you can create paths through dungeons, separate pulls, see trash %, but most importantly you can Paint. Paint for Fem. So he understands.

Berru: I’d love to know as well actually!

Ricky: It came from Fem being a bit wasted when we were doing some keys one evening, so we had to draw all over the MDT route to get him to understand where to go. We saved the route as “Paint for Fem” and the name stuck.

Cirra: Your team is a very unique blend of players all with very different merits and backgrounds. For example, you’ve got Sjele who has had previous MDI experience having placed 3rd in the MDI 2018 and played in the Blizzcon tournament that same year. You also have Berru, who is currently the Rank #1 DPS player for score on live servers, and Fem, who has basically lived in these dungeons since Beta was released.

How does the array of your playstyles and backgrounds affect the way you guys make competitive MDI strats? Do your differences cause more conflict or do your differing approaches help you generate new ideas?

Fem: As you said, we’ve got a lot of great minds working together for the routing. Basically, I lay down an initial route and then we work on it and improve it together in order to go as fast as possible. But in general, you just want to do as big of a pull as possible so you kind of throw things at the wall and see what sticks. But with the limited time of having to do 6 dungeons in 48 hours prior to the cup, we kind of focus a bit more on dungeons that we are very likely to play rather than having a set plan for all of them.

Mewo: I think it’s affecting us both in a positive and negative way. Since we are a relatively new team still trying to find our synergy, we do occasionally run into situations where we disagree on how to tackle a certain pull or problem. This is my first tournament of any kind when it comes to gaming, so in that sense I have to trust some of my teammates that have a lot more experience than me. I’m still trying to adjust and adapt to the MDI format and the competitive scene. We do have a lot of opinions in our team when it comes to problem solving, and I guess that’s the negative part. While we do have a bunch of potentially good ideas, it can take a lot of time (time that we usually don’t have) to try them out and figure out the best one. But at the end of the day, I feel like we usually compromise and end up with something that works for everyone.

Sjele: I’m very happy with the mix of personalities we have. Some are more experienced than others, but our love for the game and respect for each other is what binds us together as a team. Fem falls over without knowing why, Mewo has the reverse “one heal” where he says “just press defensive”, Ricky stands in every frontal known to man, Berru’s grill (yes the barbeque grill kind) isn’t always working. Me, I’m obviously perfect in every way with no way of improving, except for constantly suggesting to CC mobs affected by the tides emissary.

Berru: I think we complete each other pretty well as you mentioned and we do have different “backgrounds”. We have taken the strengths from each and everyone's playstyle and managed to get a good mix out of it. In my opinion, the most fortunate thing in this mix is that we all can play a role in the team that we are comfortable with.

Ricky: Our process tends to start with Fem making a route for us and then we work on it together while running through. Then, the rest of the players come up with input and changes so that certain pulls are actually doable with the composition we are deciding to run in that dungeon. Our differences cause conflict here and there, but 9/10 times they’ve been good for generating new ideas and changes to some of the pulls.

Cirra: I know it’s a tough subject, but let’s rip the plaster off and talk about it… The Motherlode!!! At the midway point of the dungeon, you had about an 11% trash count lead plus a whole minute extra leeway due to deaths on the side of Abrakeydabra. This lead carried on throughout the 2nd half until you hit the final boss. In your own words what happened during the Mogul Razdunk encounter? What is your perspective on remakes? How do you handle the upset from situations like the one in this clip where the stakes are really high?

Fem: Yikes, just watching that clip makes me kind of sad. Going into the series against Abrakeydabra, we kind of knew that we had to win Waycrest and Underrot because of the fact that we only had an hour practice in Motherlode and Abrakeydabra had already shown that they were capable of doing Motherlode very quickly. They had like an ~18:30 ML time in one of their earlier games, so we went in with the mentality of “win the first two maps or full YOLO Motherlode”. So we had that YOLO mindset and just had fun with the Motherlode. We did some stupid stuff in there and so did Abrakeydabra, but ultimately they made more mistakes than us and we would have won.

Regarding the reset of the boss, none of the 5 players on the team has ever had that happen to them in any key ever during BFA. Between the 5 of us there are a lot of Motherlode runs and it’s just sad that it can happen. Personally, I was not even aware of that bug being a possibility, but others have told me afterwards that it has happened to them and apparently it has been happening since the BFA Beta, so I guess we should have known about it:

During the intermission, the boss spawns three circles that spawn the totems which “are bigger than they look” as I always say when they come down. This lead to all of us dodging towards the entrance and then the Venture Co. Skyscorcher jumped out of the arena. When it happened, we were all just kind of “Uhm wtf?” since we had never personally seen this happen before, but I just told the guys to focus up, play and do the boss again since I saw that Abrakeydabra was also on the boss and we did in fact have 60 seconds worth of deaths so there was a remote possibility of catching up.

Regarding remakes, the rules are very clear and I do agree with the call of not having a remake for us there based on those rules. The rules clearly state that if a dungeon is completable, no remakes will be given. The same thing happened for Method EU and their Tol Dagor in the grand final. Now, personally, I’d like it if there was some sort of jury or something that could make a call on the spot whether or not to offer a remake. However, as the rules clearly state the calls on remakes I am 100% supportive of Blizzard’s call. It happened, we should have known, and the game clearly should not work that way but it does, and ultimately it is up to the players to play around it.

Sjele: On the last boss in the Motherlode against Abrakeydabra we were ahead, not because we were playing amazingly. They had given us the game with a full team wipe and 20 deaths total. They were clearly the better Motherlode team as they had proven earlier in the tournament, so we were relying on their mistakes for us to have a chance. Fortunately for us, this happened to be the case and it looked like a safe win going into the intermission on Mogul Razdunk. Two of the three pillars that spawned in the intermission “pushed” us towards the entrance of the dungeon. With perfect timing and precision, one of the intermission adds jumped perfectly out of the arena even though none of us are outside and resets the boss. This is obviously frustrating, but if that would constitute a remake, it opens up too many loopholes. I'd like for there to be less bugs in the game, but for now, all we can do is learn every single bug and how it interacts with anything we can do in the dungeon to either use it to our advantage (like snapping), or avoid it altogether.

Ricky: I do think that remakes should be made in certain situations where Blizzard’s game just flops, or if there are any clear connection issues. I did not have time to watch every game during the cups as we either played or practiced. But I do think that our Motherlode reset was a clear remake, and the same goes for Method EU vs Abrakeydabra in Tol Dagor where Naowh had huge internet connection issues. I mean, there isn’t really anything you can do about it. Rules are rules, and you’ve just gotta try to deal with it. I personally wanted to throw my PC out the window, but I just sat in my chair being sad, mad, and disappointed.

West Division Point Standings after West Cup #2

Cirra: Looking forward now to the 3rd and final West Cup, you’re in a slightly precarious position points-wise. You need a first-place finish to have a chance of making it to Blizzcon. This means being able to beat teams such as Abrakeydabra/Method EU and Method NA whilst also trying to stop No Girls Allowed and Fourty K from getting too far into the bracket, so they don’t acquire enough points to get that Blizzcon spot over you. How are you going to play it? Safe and secure hoping other teams mess up or are you going to be adjusting your strategies to something a little more high risk/high reward?

Fem: As you said, we have to win this cup. We are going in with the mentality that we are indeed doing so, and we might fail horribly, but I am confident we can and will do it. In regards to Fourty K and No Girls Allowed, it doesn’t really matter. Fourty K has not been looking good and they would need a 4th place finish in order to get over the 330 points we would end on if we win. Regarding No Girls Allowed, they would need a 2nd place finish to get 330 points and if we are indeed planning on winning the cup (which we are), we’d end on the same points and have to play a tiebreaker vs. them. The other teams are all beatable and I don’t particularly care who we play against, but I do care about how we play. We’ll put some more hours into practice for the Cup, but we just don’t have the time. If it happens, it happens. If not, there’s always next year.

Mewo: We are definitely in a scary position, not having any points from previous cups put us so far behind from the start. We are going in with the mindset to win this cup, and that will reflect on our pathing and decision making. We can’t really play “safe” anymore, so that means more high risk/high reward plays. When it comes to the other teams, I don’t really care what team we’re facing. I believe we can win, if we play at our best and manage to do what we have planned. I really feel like we haven’t had a chance to show our potential in the cup, but I hope we can change that this time around. And as I mentioned earlier, I don’t have stream open as we play. Both cause it just makes me more nervous, and because I don’t want to get distracted by anything. So as soon as we start playing, I just focus on my own shit and try to perform as best as I can. Whether I’m facing Method EU or No Girls Allowed doesn’t really make a difference to me.

Sjele: We need to win to make it to Blizzcon, so that is the goal. We don't feel like we have gotten to show our potential in the Cups so far but hoping that will change for the upcoming Cup! Every Cup is a risk/reward calculation. You dont want to go too safe or you will end up losing even if the other team messes up a few details. But if you play too recklessly, you are bound to have major time losses during dungeons. The biggest change we can do is in our practice and time management leading up to the tournament, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Ricky: We are going to play it the best way we can, hopefully that will grant us a Cup victory and take us on a plane to Blizzcon. We will definitely spend more time on important stuff, such as going through all of the dungeons instead of practicing 1 dungeon for a whole day. This next Cup, I will be playing more classes than just Monk. Regarding the other teams, I’m not really afraid of No Girls Allowed as they need a 2nd place and that's a tiebreaker if we win. Fourty K will need to get Top 4 and, sadly for them, I don't think that is happening as it looks for now. So to answer your last question, it's all in or nothing for us, so either we win or go home empty-handed.

Cirra: Speaking of strats, how much time do you spend practicing yours and does the amount differ at all during Time Trials vs Cup practice? It’s also not uncommon for teams to have a player or two who will spend hours outside of “official” practice hours going through logs/vods and trying to find ways to speed up the run, does anyone in the team fill that role?

Fem: I imagine that we spend significantly less time practicing than most teams. During Time Trials, we have about 20ish hours of play to spread throughout the 5 days. We are yet to actually do all 5 runs in all of the 3 dungeons for each Time Trials weekend, since we’ve ran always run out of time. In terms of Cup practice, Blizzard hasn’t really given us much choice. We have a 48-hour time window before Cup starts and we play as much as possible during that time, but often times it just isn’t enough to get good practice in all dungeons. We also don’t play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which definitely impacts us negatively, but we do as much as possible in the timeframe we have to work with.

Mewo: One of our issues has definitely been time. Not having as much practice time as other teams has definitely reflected in our decision making. We have not been able to commit as much time to certain dungeons and pulls which have kind of forced us into playing a bit more safe than I would have liked. When it comes to strategy I have to give that to Fem and Sjele. Me, Berru and Ricky obviously also contribute but those two often spend hours going through routes and tactics making sure that everything is prepared for practice hours. I always record my own gameplay, so I often find myself going through vods after our sessions to see how I can improve or how we as a team can overcome something that we found was challenging.

Sjele: Most of the strategy and pathing is done by me and Fem. That is not to say that Mewo, Ricky and Berru don’t contribute because they most definitely do, but It's not uncommon for me and Fem to spend many hours on theorycrafting new strategies outside of practices, like on what to copy and what to innovate so that we can make the most out of the time when we have all 5 of our players together practicing.

Berru: We practice as much as we feel is needed to be comfortable with what we wanna do in each dungeon. The “real” keys and practice keys does not differ much timewise. If we manage to play clean, that is. Yeah, Fem spends loads of time outside of practice theorycrafting and looking at what others are doing. BIG shoutout to fem. We wouldn’t be half as good as we are if he didn’t put in that time.

Cirra: One thing I really wanted to highlight is the versatility you have comp-wise. Sjele in particular throughout his MDI career has played Death Knight, Demon Hunter, Hunter, Mage, Rogue and Warlock. Whereas most players will stick to only one or two classes. As a team and as individuals, how do you decide when to invest practice time into an off-meta pick which might not even be used?

Fem: I mean we all have a basic understanding of what each class does and what they bring to the table, so often it’s like “Would X be good here?” and so we try it out. I’m also an avid /who’er on the tournament realm to check what other teams are doing and try to figure out why and whether their comps can be applied to what we are doing.

Mewo: We do indeed have the advantage of being able to play a lot of classes. We usually just talk about it before we enter a dungeon, sometimes we try some off meta picks to see if they work and you kinda get a feeling for if it’s working quite fast. I myself have every healer prepared, in case we decide to roll with anything else than my main pick which is the resto druid.

Sjele: I want to give my team the best possible chance of winning and that includes learning new classes. I don't see myself as an exceptional mechanical player, but I’m mostly happy with my performance on the classes I’ve picked up. Outside of what I have played in the Cups and time trials, I’ve spent countless hours on the tournament server learning new classes like Shadow Priest just in case they happen to be used in some specific scenario.

Cirra: Something that has caused a lot of players difficulty this Summer season has been progression and the World First Race. On top of that Warcraft Classic was released a few days ago. How would you say Queen Azshara’s Eternal Palace and the launch of Classic have affected you as a team? Has it been hard to get everyone together to practice with all these distractions going on?

Fem: I quit raiding because of work and MDI. Sjele raids with Future and has had to prioritize raid over Mythic+ every now and then. Same thing goes for Berru and Mewo, since they’ve both had to raid because they are important to their raid teams. Ricky just recently joined Mewo’s guild so he’s kinda benched! It hasn’t really been hard to get people to practice for MDI; in the end we all want the same thing.

Mewo: Yeah that has definitely been somewhat of a challenge. I raid 3 days a week, and that usually collides with our practice times. I’m also an officer and main healer in my guild and having to put so much focus into MDI while also handling officer duties and preparing for raids has definitely been hard. Overall I feel like we have been able to work around our raid schedules quite well though.

Sjele: Raiding has definitely put a limitation on our practice hours and I don't like having to choose. I want to progress raid and I want to do MDI, but I understand that the timing has to be like this for logistics to work out for events like Blizzcon.

Berru: Luckily it hasn’t affected us much at all. We have lost around 5 hours of practice time thru the entire season due to raiding time conflicts. Everyone has been very flexible and has put MDI on high priority.

“We have a 48-hour window before Cup starts and we play as much as possible during that time, but often times it just is not enough to get GOOD practice in all dungeons.” —Fem

Cirra: So we’re nearly at the end of the cup stage in the second MDI season with this format of Time Trial into Cup three times and a Global Final at the end. A lot of teams have said they are feeling the strain after 4 weeks of playing and we still have another few weeks to go! How’s the team's morale/stamina level? What format changes would you like to see implemented in future seasons to make it less stressful for competitors?

Fem: I have no idea to be honest. I think this format is fine. I know that the upcoming weeks are MDI weeks and I plan around that. The one thing I would like was if the announcement of the dates happened earlier as the 2-ish week warning we get is kind of short notice for some people. Obviously we could sort of infer the dates from the AWC schedule as well as Blizzcon schedule, but it would be nice to have an earlier announcement. Also the fact of teams from Spring season keeping their points was kind of rough, but Zorbrix has already addressed that issue and we will see some changes in the next MDI season.

Berru: We spend a lot of time together during these weeks. Mistakes happen and we are a bit fatigued. Morale shifts a fair bit and some discussions that didn’t occur in week 1 or week 2 pops up from time to time. I do think this is normal, though. This schedule is very stressful for everyone involved due to the sheer amount of hours you need to put in if you want to be able to compete and the constant pressure situation we are in does not help with easing the tension. I can’t think of a good solution for this… it might just be the training fatigue. But I think that a longer season with a mid-season break might be a good idea.

Ricky: Teams morale is still pretty good and our stamina seems fine going into the last Time Trial and Cup. Obviously we all have moments where we get annoyed at mistakes/small things that just tilt us a bit, but it's not really something you can avoid when you spend the amount of hours we do together. Regarding the format, it is a damn long challenge overall. I’m not sure to be completely honest there, as the format is fine and it just comes down to how much time you are able to put off for this happening. Would be abit nice to know the dates of the MDI further in advance though so you can plan a bit more with vacation days etc. to make sure you have more time to play during the tournament.

“I just want to say that regardless of outcome I am proud of my team and I’m glad I can share the MDI experience with such talented monkeys.” —Sjele

Cirra: And finally I thought we’d finish with something a little fun: If you could create an affix which was named after and inspired by you, what would it be called and what would it do?

Fem: The easy copout is always a kiss-curse affix, but it’s just never going to work since all the good players would be able to play around it while others would just experience the curse-side of it and think it sucks. But since it’s named after me it would have to do something based on the number 5 since Fem means five in Swedish. So I don’t know, every 5 spells you cast you gain some stupid buff and every 5 stupid buffs you gain, you get an even more stupid debuff (so basically every 25 spells). Just gotta throw some Fems in there and you’re good.

Mewo: Oh wow, this was a hard one. My idea would be to have random mobs spawn throughout the dungeon, kinda like Beguiling mobs do now but when you kill them you get either a debuff or buff. Additionally you would have to kill a certain amount of bad/good mobs in order to complete the dungeon, so in the end you would build pathing around what mobs you wanna pull and also what you would be able to do with that buff or what that debuff would prevent you from doing.

Sjele: It would be where random class-type mobs (Rogue/Druid etc.) spawn throughout the dungeon. When you kill them, you gain a one-time-use ability (for example Adrenaline Rush or Tranquility) that you have to spend within a minute of picking it up or it expires. I think this could make for some fun interactions, although it might be difficult to balance. The affix’s name? “Swaparoo”.

Berru: Paint for Fem. Fem tells you what to paint and you have to paint it to finish the key.

Ricky: I would just recreate Reaping again but add a monkey as one of the Reaping mobs. The monkey will run/roll around and spin, if you get hit by it you either receive a buff or debuff and there would be a 50/50 chance of whether it’s a buff or debuff. The buff will give you a 50% increase of a random stat, and the debuff will steal 50% from a random stat. The name would be “Rickyspinning”.


About the Author

Cirra was the captain and healer of the 2018 Mythic Dungeon Invitational team Kjell’s Angels and casted/analysed for the Mythic Dungeon International in 2019. He is the creator of Keystone Masters the first community run MDI tournament. He’s described by friends as a procrastinator and yeah I’ll write the rest of this later…