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Shive is a legend to Star Citizen fans that follow the competitive racing scene of Arena Commander. He’s currently #1 on the leaderboards for Old Vanderval and Rikkord Memoiral Highway, #2 on Defford Link and has remained undefeated on Old Vanderval for over 20 races.At one point the pilot dominated all 3 tracks. In addition to his own personal accolades he’s helped mentor new and existing Star Citizens in Test Squadron and has helped the organization secure the #1 spot across all 3 racetracks.

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Some might be surprised to learn that GOD_Shive, as he goes by these days (not his idea), hasn’t ever really seen himself as a racer. Shive explains, “Sure as I kid I was all over games like Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing, F-zero X, Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, Need For Speed Underground, but some of those are nearly 2 decades old now and I haven’t played many since.”

“Star Citizen gave that flashback to n64 Star Fox for me, as silly as it may sound – because that’s all I had to compare it with. So I originally I wanted it to be the Star Fox of dogfighting. I don’t think I had any other deeper thoughts, maybe I hoped the game would have been a little bit more “gamey” than it is now.”

While Shive might not identify as a racer, he’s always identified himself as a competitive gamer. “Star Citizen was sort of a personal quest to try a new type of game and to see if I could climb to the top in that. I don’t think I ever touched a single-player game other than maybe Starcraft II’s campaign. I’ve only been interested in competitive games. I was in a 200 man “gladiator only”-guild in WoW. Gladiator means you had to be in at least top 0.5%”

Ironically the competitive nature of that guild is what eventually led Shive to Test Squadron early in the organization’s history.

“The guild’s members were competing against each other for top spots and there was a lot of salt getting thrown around. There were so much drama. So, wanting to escape that bad experience when I searched for a different organization. I thought it would be funny to join an organization that was the polar opposite. I had a little 3 man organization before I joined Test, who back then was 290 or so members strong.”

Shive was initially surprised with the amount of time he was spending in Arena Commander as well as shocked by his performance.

“I honestly had no idea that I would spend as much time playing as I did, and also never thought I’d sit as solidly among the top spots as I have. I think the average player was supposed to be 38 years old, it’s people who really like sims, so it never struck me as a super competitive community. I suspect in the future when this game becomes even bigger on content, and there’s an influx of new fresh blood that things will probably change.”

And in that future you might find Shive putting his pilot skills to use elsewhere in the persistent universe of Star Citizen. “I tell people that I want to try everything. I’m actually excited to try something like smuggling, especially while the mechanic is new – I imagine it’ll be quite the rush. I don’t see myself grinding through mining or trade though, but I want to try it.”

Fans shouldn’t worry however that this legend is retiring from the sport that made him famous anytime soon.

“Right now I just want to explore the world they make, then later pick up racing again if it looks doable. As far as racing in the PU? Hmm, I really… don’t know… It’s something I’m excited for, or perhaps I’m rather anxious. I think I’ve died on a racetrack thousands of times that it’s hard to imagine how it will be even possible without flying at grandma-speed – no offense to any grandmas out there reading!”

Shive looks back fondly on the friendly rivalries he’s had in Star Citizen since first taking a top leaderboard position back on patch V1.0.1 Trials B.”Eiyron was way ahead of me on the leaderboard, and taught me quite a bit back then, and I flew with him a lot. We traded ideas, tested line/routes together and turning techniques…ways to manipulate the g-force-mechanic and what not. Flew neck and neck with him through-out that patch. It brings up a lot of good memories Loved it.”

Once he got first place on Old Vanderval he immediately looked for the next challenge, Rikkord Memorial and then Defford Link.

“Patches after that has always been with a little bit less heart, because you’re trying to get a rank you’ve already been at before. That makes it a little bit scary whenever new blood comes in, because I know they’ll be trying hard, and if I let up, I’ll be overtaken. The rivals have had many names through the patches. Sleepy, Vance, Z_7, Sheauthyme. I think my all time biggest rival must have been Z_7. ”

One of those rivalries helped to lay the foundation of what is now Team Rocket, the official racing team of Test Squadron.

“At first it was a thing I wanted to start with Eiyron. TTR, Team Test Racing. Myre joined in and we were 3. We had a logo and stuff, but it was just our own little thing. Then it became a mission to fill the leaderboards with test logos, and we actually had a patch with like 13 Test players in top 25. So it grew naturally like that. So when the divisions came online on the forums Seung made the group, transferred leadership of it to me, and here we are.”

“It was made with multiple purposes in mind. Firstly it would be nice to have a place where racers could discuss. A well of racing knowledge if you will. I’d like Team Rocket to serve as a sub-community where you can find and get the help you need to grow yourself as a racer to whatever extent you want.”

Shive himself has used the community to help improve his own performance and to adapt to the recent flight model changes.

“Naturally this change is very large and has impacted me a lot. I’ve had to relearn to fly, and in fact, I’m still doing just that. The difficulty has increased once more, no doubt about that. Blackouts are massive problem right now, and even though we can already take unrealistically high amounts of Gs, it’s still really really rough”

Somehow Shive is able to balance being the best pilot in Arena Commander with working up the ranks of Star Marine and enjoying a handful of other games.

“I’ve played around with some Star Marine – love that thing. Made it to rank 12 I think? Maybe I briefly touched rank 11 one time. I’m no fps expert so am very proud of that!”

“As for other games I’m playing; it’s a bit of everything. Overwatch, magic the gathering, Redout, Civilization VI, League of Legends and lately a game in beta called Paragon. Waiting for Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords to come out, am really hyped for that. So yea, I’m all over the place genre-wise.”

“I’m really hoping Nintendo’s Switch console would bring out a new F-zero game as we haven’t seen one for many years now! (big fan of that series). Pretty sure I’d play that incessantly if that came to reality. A new Super Mario, Zelda and an F-zero game, pooh-wow what greater joy could there be beyond that, other than Star Citizen?”

So who does a legend like Shive look up to? Interestingly enough Shive’s hero isn’t someone known from the Star Citizen community. GOD_Shive looks up to a little known Norwegian speedrunner on YouTube known as CGN.

“What I really like about him is that, even though you see him live on a stream in front of one-hundred thousand people, doing a marathon speedrun (where most people use some fairly safe strategies) he still goes ‘balls to the wall’ and goes with some risky plays.”

Shive is a Test Squadron Staff Member, Test Squadron Discord Moderator, Test Gaming YouTuber and Leader of Team Rocket – Test Squadron’s official racing team.

Shive was kind enough to compile a list of tips for Star Citizen players looking to get into racing :

  • If you want to get into racing then, earn enough rec to rent an m50, or just buy it outright.
  • Once you get in, lock your weapon so they’re set to fixed, so that you have no dead-zone (if you’re using mouse and keyboard like me)
  • Take g-safe off…you’ll faint constantly, but if you don’t, then you wont be able to turn – you’ll just drift out to the side all the time. Setup your keys so you can boost and afterburn at the same time, and fly with it on at all times.
  • Learn the track. Old Vanderval only has 10 checkpoints including the start/finish line even a goldfish can handle that. You need to know where to go next as you pass through a ring without having to rely on the UI to tell you where the next ring is.
  • I’d say that you should try to fly the tracks at 50% speed, and slow down to no less than minimum 30% throttle on the toughest of turns. Using pitch rather than yaw and get used to rolling your ship. Once you get comfortable, you can try stepping the speed up a bit on the longer stretches.
  • If you want to be GOOD, you go full speed from one ring to the next, and then you slowly work your way down to a speed you can handle and take it from there. Once you’re comfortable, work it upwards from there.

*With Shive’s permission some content was edited for spelling or grammar. A full transcript of this interview is available on INN!