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interview The Wurm Chronicles...Resurrected?
Slickshot posted a topic in Town Square------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Welcome everyone to The Wurm Chronicles! It is my hope that this new development will bring people in the community a little closer together with a stronger bond by allowing us to dig deeper into the lives, attitudes, inspirations and hopes of others by way of good ol' fashion conversation. These interviews are legitimate, and the responses from the interviewees have not been altered by myself, except for the occasional period or question mark where one was intended. Moving forward I hope to interview more staff members as well as players, no matter how popular or unknown they are. I'll keep you all updated on who the next interviewee is when those details become available to me. So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy! --------------------------------------- Index of Interviews --------------------------------------- The next guest for The Wurm Chronicles will be: CA, Zenity! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Interview with Head Game Master, Enki! Introduction: Slickshot: Hello Enki, thank you for joining me for this interview and welcome to the first edition of The Wurm Chronicles! Enki: Thank you, I would have been here sooner but I had to make a few "insurance" stops along the way in case this was a trap. Slickshot: I hope that life insurance policy pays well! Let's start with a few basics to warm up shall we? Enki: Alright, just don't ask me about my age and we will get along quite well. Personal Segment: Slickshot: Alright first question; you are indeed Enki right, the real deal, the man himself? Enki: Yes! I am the Enki. That one over there in fact. The one unique Enki amongst several hundred other cyber Enkis. Slickshot: Enkis, plural. Must be a species I've never heard of! Jokes aside, how old are you Enki? Enki: ...Hmmm, how do I answer this... Well, I do not know. Truthfully! I do not. I have been hit by lightning is what I usually tell people who ask me about my age, which is true, though I do not know if I even knew my age when that incident occurred as I cannot recall ever needing to know it to begin with. I can narrow it down some as I was not born during this century and I can be fairly certain I was in fact born in a previous century to this one, assuming I was actually born at all. Which century though is any ones guess. Slickshot: Ok, so you're mysteriously aged. I can dig that. What country do you hail from? Enki: I never really looked, but most of our hail in the United States is imported from China these days. Slickshot: Unfortunately that's true. Hopefully it's safe to assume you're a working man; what kind of work do you do for a living? Enki: I trained myself as a computer technician, unfortunately most of my work involves anything but computers these days which I guess technically makes me a real life jack of all trades. This has had the unfortunate effect of people constantly mistaking me for some kind of genius as people bring me everything from clocks to computers, chainsaws to heavy machinery, and more to repair. No Mr. Musk I am not going to Mars! There are no women over there! No women, no colonizing! Slickshot: Ah a jack of all trades you say? I too, have a variety of work experience, and consider myself a jack as well! In your free time away from work and Wurm Online, do you enjoy any hobbies? Enki: Define 'free time'? Is this one of those fancy foreign phrases? Like I told Rolf when he mentioned this strange thing he had called a 'vacation' , my only dictionary is from 1917 and does not include these particular vernaculars, so all I could do was wish him a speedy recovery. Let's see, hobbies... well, I do try to eat once in a while, and I do have this unfortunate habit of drinking water at least once a day. I even try that sleeping fad everyone keeps talking about, but I must be doing it wrong as I seem to lose track of time when I try and the next thing I know it's time to do more work. As for actual hobbies, I do like to bid on and collect anime. Original anime, not Americanized for children type stuff, but original as the writers and artists intended anime. I would like to collect manga too, but not with these local environmental conditions. Don't laugh... I have found more artistic and social value in the ideas and stories put to anime than that portrayed in the stuff hanging in museums. Slickshot: Nothing wrong with liking classic work. In fact, I believe there are quite a few players in this community who share your love for original anime as well. You fit right in. Alright so we've shed a little bit of light on the mystery behind the man; is there anything else you'd like to share about your life outside of Wurm? Enki: Life outside of Wurm? I have been shot(x2), stabbed(x3), poisoned(x3), paralyzed(x1), electrocuted(x??? lost count), set on fire(x2), hit by lightning(x1), run over(x1), run into(x1), and much much more... Wurm is kind of my Life away from that hell waiting for me outside the door. I live in a strange hellish place called Tornado Alley. Oklahoma to be precise. The tornadoes used to be plenty bad enough, but no, that wasn't good enough for old mother nature, now we got super tornadoes, unholy winds, enough lightning to power the world for centuries, and droughts with temps reaching well over 120F in the fields. It gets even better, this year we get extreme flooding! On top of all of that, below actually, we now have earthquakes gradually climbing in severity. We now get regular quakes over 3.8. I would move, but I really can't think of a more stable place to live. Though that second Earth like planet that astronomers are talking about I might consider depending on the weather...or the women.. Sorry Texans, I know you are suffering just as much as us up here, and sometimes even worse! Oklahoma is a great place to live.(avoid if possible) So yeah, Wurm is more umm..more 'safe' than life outside. Wurm Segment Slickshot: What you're telling me is to avoid being any kind of friend or acquaintance with you because you're bad luck? Good old Tornado Alley is the place to be. I've lived much of my life in Kansas, so I'm familiar with the blatantly ridiculous weather changes. I'm glad you've found safety in the sometimes volatile community of Wurm, and speaking of such...Let's talk a bit more about this wonderful game we all share in common. Are you ready for the hard questions!? Enki: Do I need a lawyer present? Will there be ice-cream if I pass? Slickshot: A lawyer can be provided if necessary. If you pass you won't go to prison, and that's worth about as much as ice cream I believe? When did you first start playing Wurm Online? Enki: I have every log and action from the beginning archived, and according to my archives I began playing in April 2005, though some of my files have dates in 2004, which I think might be in error. Computers were not as smart back then and some even had a hard time keeping time. Slickshot: Oh my you've been here since the beginning! I consider myself a veteran of this game, having started over 6 years ago, so that must make you an ancient elder of the Wurm ways by comparison. And if you had to call one server home, which server would that be? Enki: As a player I would say Chaos. I am a big supporter of PVP and enjoy it a lot, it can be a lot of fun, especially if you are mentally tough enough to accept that you can lose a lot during PVP activity. As a Game Master, I would say Golden Valley. I spend a lot of time running tests and overseeing a lot of background activity from there. Plus it is a good place to be just in case I accidentally ban everyone... again... Slickshot: Oh wow, we could probably have a full interview just talking about the banning incident, but maybe another day we'll get you on record for that. Do you have any fond memories from your early days through the portal? Enki: Well, I think so... Keep in mind, I was hit by lightning during my time in Wurm so my memory is a bit on the hit and miss side. In fact I have been writing a novel about it in order to try and jog my memory. The founding of the first Kyara on one of the beta maps. The raid on The Shroud when the guards were released and chased everyone all over the map for days on end. The introduction of tree types. (that was the hardest I had laughed in a long time).... There are a lot of memories, and I have met a lot of people, and lost a lot of people. A surprising number of people over the years have passed on, and often we built memorials to them. It actually bothers me that I can no longer remember them all. Slickshot: I can only imagine how incredible it is for you to still be here today as part of the community after so much has changed over the years. As mentioned I've been around a long time, but not long enough to have experienced the first tree types. What a laugh that would have been I'm sure! As far as losing people goes, it truly is a sad fact of life. I've had neighbors near Storm's End that have ceased playing in recent years and I've wondered if they moved on with life or passed away. I suppose I'll never know. Sorry for your losses, in any case. With all of your experience and time put-in, surely you have at least one proud achievement you'd like to brag about? No worries, a humble brag is acceptable every now and then. Enki: Oh yes, yes there is... As a player, It was something I worked a long time for over several maps. My arch-nemesis, the first generation arachnids, had conspired against me to make my artifact hunts a virtual living hell, but eventually I became the first person in normal post gold release game play to hold every artifact in my inventory at the same time. In the end it took a team of people to make that happen, and I am thankful for the opportunity they gave me to complete that one task. Once I was chosen by the Moderation team as a team member my ability to play at the level that I could accomplish that task had diminished significantly, but the others from Kyara and other villages made it possible for me to complete it and take a screenshot of the moment. Wurm Staff Segment Slickshot: If you have that screenshot we'd all love to see it, as that is very impressive indeed! Apart from being a player, you're also a staff member. In fact, players probably most often associate you with being the Head Game Master. Would you mind if I poke and prod a little through your history as a staff member serving this community? Enki: I have nothing to hide so I suppose not. In fact I (Classified) with (Redacted) and I often (Censored) with them. Should you find any skeletons in there let me know, I could use a few replacement parts. Slickshot: Ah, so the zombie apocalypse IS coming soon, noted. What was your first staff position for Wurm Online? Enki: My first position as a volunteer was Chat Moderator. In fact my very first action was to have everybody muted. If you gotta make enemies, do it right! Slickshot: Sage wisdom right there, folks. Did it take you long to become the Head Game Master after making many enemies? Enki: I am not sure if it did or not? I think I am the third Head Game Master for the Wurm Online project following Unforgiven and Oracle unless there was another in the alpha stage I did not know about? I no longer remember exactly when I was chosen to succeed as Head Game Master, I do not think it was too long ago, and I am sure Rolf won't be making that mistake again, as I think he mistook me for someone highly intelligent and wise when sadly I was probably just afk, but I am glad I was able to step up when needed by Oracle and Rolf. Slickshot: I do remember Oracle as being the Head GM for quite a while. Regardless of being afk or not, you've done quite well...for the most part anyway. As a community we can sometimes be a bit rough around the edges, but I feel we all have a shared passion for this game that binds us even during periods of frustration. With that being said I can only imagine the kind of stress, as well as joy that comes from being the leader of the GM team and being able to assist the player base. What would you say the experience has been like for you? Enki: Our community here is quite a challenging bunch. Wurm Online itself is an environment dissimilar to any other game and it has its own set of challenges both mechanical and social. Most people will not be able to appreciate just how much we deal with as moderators and masters on a daily basis. This does create a level of stress that may not be present in any other gaming community that I am aware of, but we recognize that Wurm is different and should not be run by the standards of other properties. As Head Game Master I spend most of my time delivering bad news to people rather than the outcomes they hope for, so I do get the brunt of the complaints and verbal abuse. That is simply part of the task that I have volunteered to undertake. I am at the same time impressed by how international and varied our community is. I have encountered people from many walks of life in most countries via Wurm and have had a mostly positive experience when dealing with everyone. As far as joy in the Head Game Master role? Just as there is a satisfying feeling when you accomplish an in game task like building a large structure or massive terraforming project, there is satisfaction in being able to successfully help each person when they need your assistance. I would say the best part of our Game Master role is being able to collate information and see the Developers correct the issues in their patches knowing that we have played a part in getting the issues addressed. As Head Game Master it is really no different, although there is one iota of joy, sick and twisted it may be, when I get to sneak up on some unsuspecting person in a deep dark mine and make myself appear instantly in a flash of fire and light. Some of the reactions can be absolutely priceless! Perhaps unrepeatable in polite society, but priceless. Slickshot: Well it's certainly a relief to know that you're not a maniac with permissions on a power trip, because that could so easily be a major bummer fest. I'll try to keep my eyes peeled for you when I'm lurking about in my mine, but I feel as if the effort would be lost on me, as I usually alt-tab mine.] Without naming any names, do you think you could tell us a short story about one of the more memorable support tickets you've handled? Enki: Memorable? That is a very disturbing way of putting it. We have handled so many issues that it is not easy to choose one. Our tickets have ranged from the normal and informational, to the bizarre and surreal. As a team we are well aware that our community has its normal share of issues on a personal level and sometimes some of the more extreme cases do crop up. From time to time someone will argue that they have mental issues which prevent them from following the adopted rules and should be allowed to continue with their rule breaking behavior. One in particular was spouting racism and told me that there was nothing they could do about it, so I did something about it. Another memorable incident which was actually rather hilarious (you had to be there) was a young player trying to weasel his way out of being banned by claiming his relative did the crime, and he actually kept logging in avatars to pretend to be his own mother, brother, a cousin and so on. In the end it was his lack of networking knowledge that quickly brought about our ban-hammer. There have even been some really disturbed individuals who will go so low as to claim they have committed suicide only to be caught in the lie fairly quickly after. These are issues that do not ever sit well with us and lies and deception towards the moderation team is a very certain way to have us show you the door. Slickshot: It certainly appears as if you've had your hands full over the years directing your team and answering support tickets, as well as dealing with a few crazies here and there. I've seen my fair share of ridiculous behavior, and all I can say is thank God for the ignore feature and support tickets! In recent times we've seen some pretty magnificent - if long awaited - features added to the game that have really solidified Wurm as being quite the exceptional sandbox experience. You've been behind the scenes for quite a while now, but certainly many of these updates have been surprising or exciting for you as well. I'd love to get a few of your own opinions on the recent updates and the features still to come. Enki: Let me start off by stating that when I was first introduced to Wurm Online the game was still not far out of its infancy. Most models were still the infamous '? bags' and a lot of activities were very basic. No gravity, no caves, no spiders, lots of instant death. I was fascinated with watching Rolf and his team develop Wurm. They talked to us players a lot in game and we could watch the progress as things were added and improved. We as players were always providing feedback to the Developers to help them balance things out. Watching Wurm Online develop was always a wonderful draw to me, but it is the challenge of Wurm Online's open world that really kept me hooked all these years. No other game has ever kept my attention like this. That said, Wurm Online is a far far superior property than it was when I began. Even though starting the game is easier now than it used to be, there are so many new features and additions that while it is great for players, it is very stressful and at times overwhelming for us mods as we too must learn how these things work and interact. That leaves us pretty much on the same level as any player when an issue arises. We often do not know the answer immediately, but we will find out as we document the matter for the developers. There is a lot of discovery involved in Wurm Online and that is wonderful in my opinion. For example; long after the addition of the cave system most people overlook some of the basic yet important facts about them that affect the way they behave, surely I am not the only one to have learned of some of their secret behaviors? There are items in game that have functions yet to be discovered. Add to that new features like multi-story structures, and bridges, and Wurm Online evolves into a massive world of creativity and discovery. No person's individual experience is ever really quite the same as another which is a very positive aspect of Wurm Online. Future of Wurm Segment Slickshot: I don't believe I could have said it better myself, bravo. I hope I can speak for us all when I say we, as players, really enjoy the input and opinions of the staff and developers, especially when it comes to improving this game. With all of the numerous minor features and a few major features added to the game recently, would you be able to pick one or two that you really liked the most? Enki: Bridges, hands down it has to be bridges (we have far fewer homeless trolls now), and of course the newer terraforming options. Slickshot: I thought you might say so. Those bridges sure are impressive, and players continue to become more creative with them and use them in unimaginable ways. Do you think the team overall has been quite innovative in their efforts to maintain and produce an even better Wurm Online year after year? Enki: A lot of people try to compare Wurm Online to other game properties and think Wurm has been slow to develop, but if you really look, Wurm has not been that slow in development and at the same time it has not benefited from a large development team like the others. The fact that Wurm Online evolves a lot of features and additions from the suggestions of the players is a big detail that should not be overlooked. In my opinion Wurm Online has continued to improve year after year. We have come through some really rough patches in the past where a vocal part of the community would deride changes, but in the end people would come around and finally realize that it really is much better than it was before the change. Slickshot: Personally, I'm grateful for the continued efforts and updates of the development team. Sure they aren't the most perfect developers in history, but they certainly keep producing results week after week. I've often felt that many players judge an update or feature too quickly without having the necessary facts to form a valid complaint, however the developers keep on plugging away and still manage to give us exactly what we need...most of the time. If there was one idea or project you'd personally like to see implemented in this game, what would it be? Enki: I have a few ideas. I would like to see the basic raft changed into an actual sail-able vessel. Harpoons or nets added to ships for deep sea fishing. The water wheel for some advanced smithing or even more complex food production. Aqueducts powered by waterwheels or animals. I am unsure my ideas would fit well with the overall time period of Wurm Online, but I really would like to see rafts removed as a general storage container and made into a sail-able vessel especially for newer members, even if limited to not being able to cross servers. Slickshot: Those are quite fantastic ideas actually, and many players I'm sure have also had those same concepts in mind. You're right, by the way, rafts are quite silly as they are and definitely fall into the "wogic" department. What is your hope for the future of Wurm Online and its incredibly loyal player base? Enki: My hope for the future of the game is the addition of more discovery. As in new lands and ways to explore and colonize that will enhance the progression and size of the world. Perhaps even some form of rotating temporary access to non standard lands with unique resources that can be harvested and brought to the main lands. I know, that sounds a bit much, but one of the most alluring parts about Wurm Online is being able to explore lands not settled or traveled by others, and some way to maintain that ability would be a real asset for the game in my opinion. Of course I do want to see the player base continue to grow and above all else I like it when our members bring in new blood simply because they enjoy Wurm. Though it would not hurt my feelings any if they recruited just to build the largest kingdoms so they could overwhelm and attack other kingdoms. Conclusion Slickshot: I've often dreamed of truly massive wars taking place between kingdoms. I'm sure that's something we can ALL get behind and support! Thank you very much Enki for giving me your time and patience today. I hope I can speak for everyone when I say how thankful we are to have you as the Head Game Master for Wurm Online. Here's wishing you well in your eagerness to support this community for as long as you are able! Close us out with a personal favorite quote, would ya? Enki: "To get more work done I added more hours to the clock. Unfortunately, it just made time fly by even faster." - Enki (HGM - Wurm Online)
We have invited Wurm Online's volunteer dev Budda to visit the labyrinth and try his hand at solving it. While we stalk him during his efforts, we get to know him and pick his brain about all things Wurm. >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqJ8Bnrqdlc
2014 Dev Q&A question submissions
Retrograde posted a topic in Town SquareHi Everyone! I'm pleased to announce we will be having an end of year developer Q&A This month! 2014 has certainly been a big year, with many updates and new features just a week away, but I'm sure you are all just as keen as I am to see what is in store for 2015. This thread will be your opportunity to provide questions which you and the player base want to ask our dev team, this thread will be open until the 9th of December. From there we will filter through the questions and provide you with a list to vote on, the top voted questions will be put forward to the dev team in an interview style report to be shared with you all. Please keep questions constructive and polite, this is a chance to gain insight to the developers procedures and plans to come so off topic posts and questions that cross the line will be removed. I look forward to working with you to find out just what's in store for next year! Regards, Retrograde