Slickshot

The Wurm Chronicles...Resurrected?

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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!

 

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Index of Interviews

Spoiler

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The next guest for The Wurm Chronicles will be:

CA,

Zenity!

 

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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)

Edited by Slickshot
Changed the title

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My first thought upon starting to read this was: Is this a complete fabrication dredged up by your imagination? An interview with an individual of this significance within Wurm that just pops up out of the blue is what makes me question this whole post. (this being before you edited your header to clarify that the interview was in fact legitimate) A very mysterious figure with godlike Wurm powers, being all the imagery that I had of Enki previously.


 


Setting aside all the levity of the "personal" frontage portion, when the "Wurm Segment" emerged I found my interest perking up into the possibility that this Enki individual was in fact who he was represented to be. Then in the "Wurm Staff Segment" my prying eyes (=Ayes=) of interest broadened into a fascination on various viewpoints covered with an insight that seemed to actually have experienced a deeper delve into that Wurm only ventured to by a few of the godlike powers that move subtly through the game, unnoticed by all but the inner circle of conspirers of those rarefied parts.


 


Of particular interest I found this statement, since I myself have always viewed Wurm as a grand laissez faire social experiment of world building, this being why too many restrictive protective measures might dampen the possibilities of a more creative outcome: " 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.


 


Indeed, Wurm does have unique standards attributed to it which to the more casual eye might not be so apparent; thus, to have this Enki comment further on them down to the ending of this interview was quite fascinating indeed. How you were able to pull off this interview and lure this Enki out more into the open to comment with such discernment of experience, I have no idea; but, in the end I must commend you for this most interesting presentation on such a casual, delving and revealing basis. Well done!


 


=Ayes=


Edited by Ayes

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Stay tuned in for more to come. :)

Edited by Slickshot

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If you do more, please talk less yourself :P If it's an interview with Enki, people wanna read Enki, not you :D


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If you do more, please talk less yourself :P If it's an interview with Enki, people wanna read Enki, not you :D

Sorry friend, but there needs to be real communication, not just me tossing him questions to talk to himself about. That's just the way interviews work.

It is an interview afterall; not a questionnaire.

Edited by Slickshot

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Sorry friend, but there needs to be real communication, not just me tossing him questions to talk to himself about. That's just the way interviews work.

It is an interview afterall; not a questionnaire.

I enjoyed the format you used. Anyone who only wants to see what Enki said, can just read what Enki said. Thank you for putting this together and transcribing it for us, it was an interesting read. Though now I am immensely curious about some of these caving tricks. 

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I enjoyed the format you used. Anyone who only wants to see what Enki said, can just read what Enki said. Thank you for putting this together and transcribing it for us, it was an interesting read. Though now I am immensely curious about some of these caving tricks.

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This interview is in fact genuine.


 


Just in case anyone had any doubts about me having any sanity left, I hope this settles it.


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I loved the interview! Thank you so much, it was a nice read and quite witty  :)


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Cool Glad to see something like this and this shows i read it Enki lol


[22:12:11] <Knightstar> if your here Enki i read the interview pretty cool helps give you a voice and let people see you have a sence of humor


Edited by Knightstar

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The infmous Enki sense of humour. The first time I remember coming across it was when he responded to my successful application to become a PA: "I have some bad news and some worse news." :D


 


I still always panic slightly when he says 'I need to speak to you' only to find out he's asking my opinion on something.


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The infmous Enki sense of humour. The first time I remember coming across it was when he responded to my successful application to become a PA: "I have some bad news and some worse news." :D

 

I still always panic slightly when he says 'I need to speak to you' only to find out he's asking my opinion on something.

Sounds like some good history!

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The infmous Enki sense of humour. The first time I remember coming across it was when he responded to my successful application to become a PA: "I have some bad news and some worse news." :D

 

I still always panic slightly when he says 'I need to speak to you' only to find out he's asking my opinion on something

Got to know him a bit when i was a CA/CM

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This interview is in fact genuine.

Just in case anyone had any doubts about me having any sanity left, I hope this settles it.

"Anyone" was indeed wondering, about both aspects. Thank you for the double entendre and with that perhaps I leave you wondering as well.

 

Happy Trails

=Ayes=

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What a great interview this was! I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. I can't wait to see more of the upcoming interviews! 


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*Updated the O.P. to reflect the next upcoming guest*


Edited by Slickshot

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There are items in game that have functions yet to be discovered.

 

 

Time to investigate what the spoon is capable of

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Time to investigate what the spoon is capable of

There is no spoon. It is only yourself in reflection that bends.

 

=Ayes=

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Time to investigate what the spoon is capable of

There is no spoon...

Whalp,looks like I didnt refresh the page fast enough =P

Edited by Arronicus

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There is no spoon...

Whalp,looks like I didnt refresh the page fast enough =P

You had the page open for over 3 hours??? :P

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You had the page open for over 3 hours??? :P

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You had the page open for over 3 hours??? :P

More than that. I tend to leave particular tabs open for much of the day, I just put the computer in sleep while I go out and do stuff, and it doesn't refresh upon coming out of sleep.

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Interview with

Deputy Public Relations Officer,

Docterchese!

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

 

 

Slickshot:  Welcome everyone to the second issue of The Wurm Chronicles, and let me just start by saying the Docter is in!  That's right, if you have any ailments or injuries have no fear, Docterchese is here!  Alright I think I've laid the 'cheese' on a little too thick.  What do you think Doc?

 

Docterchese:  You can never have too much cheese. Never.

 

Slickshot:  Mmmm...grilled cheese! Alrighty, let's dive right in Doc.  You have a tough act to follow with Enki coming before you, but I think you're up to the task!

 

 

 

Personal Segment:

 

 

Slickshot:  If I asked you your age, what number would you reply with?

 

Docterchese:  I'd tell you that my age is the only real solution to the function f(x)= x^3 -10x^2 -127x -306.

 

Slickshot:  Oh, I understand, you're either infinitely old or infinitely young; perfect answer! How about where you're from; what flag do you salute?

 

Docterchese:  I'm from the UK, but I wouldn't really say that I like to salute the flag. I feel like the UK (having once been the British Empire, covering a quarter of the world's entire landmass, larger than any other empire of any other country) still thinks it's important in the world. It's not! We're a country of 65 million people in a world of 7 billion, and the only thing going for us (and many European countries) is our past. Eventually, the past really is just the past, and we'll find ourselves very irrelevant unless we accept that Europe is small and that our little island is even smaller. So I don't salute any flag really but am a fan of the human race on a whole. And in that paragraph I've probably been far too political already...

talk related.

 

Slickshot:  Interesting thought process there.  I've never thought of the UK as being nearly irrelevant before, however I'm an American and supposedly we don't think about anything anyway! I'm going to assume you're not really a Doctor outside of Wurm, and especially not a Doctor of Cheese, so if you aren't a medically inclined dairy professional what is it that you do for a living?

 

Docterchese:  I'll know whether or not I'm going to be a doctor in less than a week when I get exam results back (which means I'm 18, just in case you didn't find the real solution to the function I made.) If I get good results then I'm going to go and do a Masters in Physics with Astronomy, hopefully going on to a doctorate after that and living up to my MMO name! But if that fails my back-up would be sound engineering, which is just as fun but without the title swag.

 

Slickshot:  Quite the mighty reach you have, and very impressive goals if I do say so myself.  Also, one need not worry about title swag when you have such a title as D-PRO.  I mean come on, that's as real as it gets! I know all the ladies at home are wondering if you're a married or taken man, so let's just get that question out of the way early on shall we?

 

Docterchese:  Neither! It's a little known fact that I'm female, or more specifically, I'm a transgender woman. Little known because when I started playing Wurm, it wasn't something I'd openly admit to because "aaahhh I'm weird and don't fit in, let's play games a lot to try and keep myself happy anyway"... but I've developed a lot as a person in the last 4 years (as most young people would anyway, the difference between 14 and 18 is a big one) so I don't mind being open anymore. It doesn't seem to bother people anyway - we're all just here to play Wurm ultimately. It's nice really, to be able to play MMOs (and specifically, one with a good community) and have the worries of real life fade away.

 

Slickshot:  My apologies for assuming you were male, that was just foolish of me.  If I had seen how beautiful you were I doubt I would have made such assumptions.  In any case I'm glad to hear that you fit in quite well in our little niche community, even if some of us are complete crazies.  Ha! What does a Doc such as you do in her free time?

 

Docterchese:  I have quite a few hobbies, ranging from playing games (who would've guessed!) to being a part-time professional Netflix/YouTube watcher, to playing the guitar and sound engineering - the latter of which is really interesting (and might end up being my career... exam results!) I mainly do sound for theatre productions (all volunteer work so far.) There's a real adrenaline rush to juggling 12 radio microphones and a band in a musical, with songs and dialogue - and then having a microphone drop out, and having to switch on and adjust backup microphones, while talking on a radio to someone backstage and planning how they're going to run onstage and change the battery in the 10 second blackout at the end of scene 6, while still keeping everything else sounding perfect. It's difficult, stressful and complicated, but you get a massive sense of achievement when everything goes well.

 

Slickshot:  Whew, what a doozy.  I'm entirely uncertain how to respond to that as my life is quite the snooze fest, however I now feel confident that you could be a circus clown with a chainsaw juggling act if your career plans ever fell through, so that's comforting.

 

 

 

Wurm Segment:

 

 

Slickshot:  I've read a bit of your profile information, but for the sake of good conversation would you care to share some details about yourself as a player?

 

Docterchese:  I currently have one account, my main, the well-spelled Docterchese. I've also had a couple of vynora priests over the years and a mag too, although I recently went one-account because I get burnt out relatively easily when trying to play on 3 accounts at once after a busy day IRL. I don't think playing a game (or casting those 40 pickaxes) should ever feel like a chore. My account doesn't have any particularly amazing skills, but I am currently grinding to 90 mining (the joy!) and have a long-term goal of wanting to have a high skill in dairy food making. It's horrible to grind though because there are no impable items - you have to get all of your skill from making things, of which the milk required to make things requires maintaining a lot of cows too. I'll have 90 dairy food making someday though. Maybe. (Possibly.)

 

Slickshot:  Okay, okay, so you're truly trying to live up to your name it seems; a doctor by day, and a dairy farmer by night.  You truly will be a doctor of cheese when you're finished!  Cheese dreams aside, when did you first start playing Wurm?

 

Docterchese:  I've played Wurm for just under 4 years now (since the start of October 2011,) so I'm an old-ish player of the game. I first started playing when I was looking for a new game to play in a school break once, and by chance, remembered reading an article in a copy of PC Gamer about a sandbox MMO with terraforming that looked cool. I looked it up and that's where my Wurm Online playing began.

 

Slickshot:  Oh alright, so you're like an intermediate veteran then?  I've always had an interest in how people came to find Wurm, as I myself found it by word-of-mouth from my brother who frequented /v/ from 4chan, whose residents were professional griefers!  Sorry to ramble.  Have you taken any extended breaks since your first days through the portal 4 years ago?

 

Docterchese:  I've never actually taken a break of longer than 2 weeks in nearly the entire 4 years that I've played the game. I put it down to never forcing myself to play - so even though I might not play loads (my account has ~125 days on it after almost 4 years, which as far as I know isn't all that high for an account of that age) I only ever log in when I want to and for my own enjoyment. It is a game, after all!

 

Slickshot:  I understand where you're coming from, and to me anyone over 100 days of total playtime is pretty committed!  I am pretty impressed by your resolve to maintain such an active life in-game, as I myself have taken a few breaks here and there over the years.  I have to admit that I snooped through your profile a bit on the forums and I see that you play on Chaos.  Is that your favorite server, and if so how come?

 

Docterchese:  I wouldn't really say that I have a favorite server as such. I've lived on a bit over half of the servers on Freedom in my time and they all have their own qualities - like the big forests in south-west Deliverance, the huge desert on Exodus, the steppe on Celebration or the big size of Independence, with its towering mountains and a near decade of player history. I moved to Chaos a bit under 2 years ago looking for PvP as another element to the game. I also made a lot of friends who I live with in-game, so don't have any reason to move on (even though I don't actually PvP much but still live on a PvP server.)

 

Slickshot:  You moved to a pvp server to experience that environment, but you don't actually partake?  That is quite peculiar.  Also, bravo on your travels, as I have yet to sail anywhere from Inde except to Deli. You mentioned having made a lot of friends in-game; do you still talk and play together regularly?

 

Docterchese:  Sadly I'm not in touch with any of the people I started playing with, of which I'd be surprised if they still played anyway since it was such a long time ago. I'm generally quite bad at keeping in touch with people too. Also, I guess that I was a 14/15 year old nuisance to Deene, the mayor of Sheriff (the first town I lived in,) so we've been out of touch for over 3 years anyway... unsurprisingly. I'm sorry :(

 

I have a lot of good friends on Chaos though who I've known for a bit under 2 years now. It's nice to have a lot of longer friendships in-game, which is a by-product of happening to live in a village/kingdom with a lot of long-term players who probably decided they want to stick around in Wurm before I even started playing.

 

Slickshot:  You definitely can't argue against history.  People come and go in Wurm, and it's unfortunate to lose most of them, however we have the benefit of meeting some pretty cool people along the way for sure!  Speaking of Chaos, I know you don't really partake much in pvp much, but could you tell us a few stories of your early pvp experiences!?

 

Docterchese:  I guess there was that time I nearly got my first (and actually, only... I suck) solo kill on iirc Shyana at a Hunt of the Ancients. She was already wounded (probably from animals) and I was about 10 tiles behind her, on my own, gaining fast. But then I hit the local of the starter town, Hunter's Lodge, and panicked at the 4 or so new white names in local. Turns out, they were just harmless new players at the starter town (not Jenn Kellon's trap force ready to munch cheese for dinner) and the fact I didn't recognise any names of actual enemy players after around a week on the server cost me the kill. Derp.

 

I also managed to do an entire HotA on my own once. I thought I was really good!! I tried doing it again, a few days later... and died to Norad, who probably knew I was likely to be alone after my previous solo attempt. Derp.

 

Slickshot:  So your lack of confidence and your over-confidence have both ruined the day for you.  Perhaps sticking to the sidelines and playing the Doc is exactly what you're meant to do after-all!  I mean no insult, of course.

 

 

 

Staff Segment:

 

 

Slickshot:  Before we talk about your position as a staff member, let me just say how great it is to have a D Pro hanging around the Chronicles!  I know I've mentioned that title before, and I'll certainly do it again, so let's just go ahead and have fun with it!

 

Docterchese:  I'm not just a Pra or a Pro, I'm a D-Pro.

 

Slickshot:  Haha that's the spirit!  In case anyone else is confused, D-PRO stands for Deputy Public Relations Officer.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but this isn't your first time as staff, is it?

 

Docterchese:  I was a Public Relations Assistant a while ago before Johan joined the team. Johan was awesome, but being full-time, he was more than able to do everything on his own! So since I was quite busy IRL at the time I left the team. I came back a year later though after Johan left since there was PR to do and I had more time to spend on things.

 

Slickshot:  We're glad to have you back, although I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we all miss our Red Baron.  Fond memories and sadness aside, it would seem as if you're in quite the unique situation, what with being a PRO and having privileged information coming through you before hitting the player base.  Are you ever excited to see what the Devs are working on before anyone else gets the sneak peek?

 

Docterchese:  Contrary to popular belief, we rarely get information that is withheld from the playerbase for any extended period of time. We normally find out about new things and features on the same day that players do. There's quite a short turnaround between the devs having something to show and us immediately putting it out to the playerbase. It's essential for an MMO though - Wurm has been in continuous development for a whole 12 years. MMOs rely on retaining players and having a constant churn to replace people who do inevitably leave the game, while constantly improving the game enough to make that possible. As such, we try to keep the connection between the players and developers as tight as possible, so as many players as possible feel positive about the game's development and feel like there's lots going on (of which we hope you agree there is. We only just released bridges. Bridges! In Wurm!)

 

Slickshot:  So you're probably just about as giddy as we are when it comes to new updates!  Those devs, love 'em or hate 'em, always keep us on our toes! Could you tell us a little about the process of writing the weekly news?  You know, stuff like if the Devs come to you with updates or if you have to track them down, and when during the week do you start compiling information into the newsletter?  This is the question of the interview I've been waiting patiently for, by the way, so do spill!

 

Docterchese:  All news posts are computer generated, so there's nothing to say on them really. (trolololololol.)

 

It starts with a planning thread on the top secret PR sub-forum every week, where we spend a bit of time planning out what will be in the news post and probably pre-writing community segments, like the weekly screenshot. Then, on a Thursday evening, we e-mail developers to ask if they've got anything that can be shared with the players for the week, and also if there are any development announcements to make. We also e-mail Enki (the Head GM who I'm sure you're familiar with) and Marni (the Head of the Wiki) as they sometimes have things they'd like announced too, ranging from treasure hunts to volunteer position openings.

 

It's then time to write the post, which takes around 1-2 hours (including making a header image and optimizing any included pictures.) As it stands at the moment, I write most of the development and news segments, while the PRAs contribute community news (like the Screenshot of the Week and the more recent weekly Bridge feature we've been doing.) Wossoo then likes to check it over, and lastly it gets posted.

 

Slickshot:  Very interesting process!  I'm glad to see you guys putting those PRAs to work, and even more so to know that Wossoo doesn't just pass all the responsibilities off on you!  On the down low, how horrible is it working for Wossoo?  Ha, jokes, don't answer that!  But really, is working with Wossoo and the other volunteer officers a pretty good gig?

 

Docterchese:  It's horrible! Almost every day, Wossoo goes on about wanting to make the PR Team into some kind of Democratic People's Republic of the Public Relations Commune of Wurm Online! (Which isn't remotely true, but is a reference I hope some Elevation players will get...)

 

Wossoo is great. It's his IRL to discuss, but he does PR-style things for a living, and as a plus he's actually really good at them! He's a great asset to the team and is like a best friend really along with MaxC (who started as a PRA like me but is now a server admin.) I've known them both for over 3 years now. Everyone on the team is good fun, there's a sense of humor everywhere and it makes volunteering for Wurm not feel like a chore.

 

Slickshot:  It's certainly refreshing to know the staff isn't comprised of robots that just hand down orders and steal candy from everyone.  I don't want to rain on Wossoo's parade, but we still miss Johan...okay okay, I'm done! So if you had to choose one responsibility of your position that you like the most, what would it be?

 

Docterchese:  It's probably totally counter-intuitive, but crisis management. In a similar way to how I enjoy doing live sound engineering and having to juggle lots of things in a stressful environment, the times I most enjoy PR are when it's the most challenging. Thankfully/unfortunately major incidents are rare, and the only thing that really comes to mind is when we had to change the price of premium a couple of years ago. Rolf came into IRC and told us the news - I dropped everything I was doing IRL, and after 2 hours, between a few of us we'd prepared a team briefing and an e-mail to be sent out to players. Thanks to our speed, it could be announced almost immediately, giving players 2 weeks of notice before the price change - which was about the best scenario we could've gotten out of the situation. It was worth it for the homework; I had to rush to finish the following morning!

 

Slickshot:  That specific issue has been quite the conversation piece ever since it came to fruition.  I'm actually quite glad you brought that up specifically, as it might help to relieve some of the aggravation people are still feeling so long afterward.  It certainly doesn't answer questions as to why, but it does help to understand the efforts of the team to handle such a situation as delicately as possible given the circumstances.  Good job on that, by the way.

 

 

 

Future of Wurm Segment:

 

 

Slickshot:  With frustrations melted and this being the wonderfully diverse and complicated game that it is, I think we all hope for a prolonged and prosperous future for Wurm Online.  With that being said, there must be changes coming up that you're excited for and excited for the community to experience.  I know you said you don't get much from the devs, but I'm assuming, of course, that you aren't completely and totally in the dark about upcoming features?  Or perhaps I'm terrible at listening?

 

Docterchese:  As above, we actually get very little from devs until it has to be announced. We do have a better idea of the overall direction of development, but there's very little reason to ever keep anything from the players. It's a small team developing a game for a small community, and keeping everyone in touch as well as possible helps with player retention. We want players to have as much faith in the development of the game as possible, which is easier to do when we actually tell you things! Hence the weekly updates.

 

Slickshot:  So there aren't any upcoming features you might be able to give us tiny, intriguing, exciting details about?

 

Docterchese:  Nope! Nobody on the planet knows what the next big features for Wurm will be. I'm sure all of the devs have some things in mind, but they'll be deciding over the next few weeks and we'll probably announce something sometime in the fall. As for smaller things, everyone has seen them in the Weekly News, the most exciting of which is Tich's huge permissions overhaul.

 

Slickshot:  Let us all take a moment to bow before Tich.  Honestly, as exciting as bridges are, the permissions overhaul is HUGE and very much appreciated!  Please Tich, if you're reading this, continue to ride the momentum on this and blow our minds!  Since you don't have any specific team plans to give us, perhaps you could tell us of any ideas or features you personally would introduce to Wurm if you could?

 

Docterchese:  It'd probably have to be a brand new, stable, custom-built game engine that was perfect for Wurm and did all the things. I think a good analogy in Wurm's programming is that it's like a really, really needy partner. For instance, imagine that Wurm Online and Unreal Engine IV were dating.

 

"Look at my really nice graphics! I'm the best engine. I have really good physics, my water effects look amazing, and I'm developed by a major studio too, so I'm really stable."

 

"Yeah, but your terrain can't be modified in-game, ruling out terraforming, and you aren't built for MMOs.  Nope!" And that's where that relationship would end :(

 

But I guess Wurm married Java and LWJGL (the Light-Weight Java Game Library,) which, for all of its flaws, can be built to do all the things Wurm does. It has its limits, but at least none of its limits hit things like the ability to terraform or ability to run as a client/server structure. It can't be all that bad anyway, since the world's most sold game in the history of gaming uses Java and LWJGL...

 

Slickshot:  So you favor tech over features when given the choice?  That's respectable and quite important in the grand scheme.  I know we have many players and forum goers who can talk for weeks in threads about how to best optimize Wurm.  Quite honestly I love technology, but I'm not quite as savvy as most of the veterans around here, so I'll leave the super big words and brainy ideas up to them!  What kind of hopes or outlook do you have for Wurm's future a year from now, or 5 years from now?

 

Docterchese:  More features and a playerbase that's still as stable as it is today. Currently, we seem to hold really well at around 5k players (the server graphs on the Wurmpedia are basically my favorite thing) and that's plenty to keep a few full-time developers and continue to maintain the game's infrastructure. Of course, the team branching out and looking for more new players would be good, and remains high priority as ever - but the number one to me personally is not ever going below 5k again. After all, it's hard and somewhat pointless to ever increase player count if you don't actually sustain it in an MMO with a subscription payments model.

 

I guess personally in terms of features, I would love to see a more dynamic landscape. It would be awesome if terrain naturally re-generated where old abandoned deeds were for instance, and if actual flowing water could do a similar thing too - carving out rivers and gradually dumping said dirt around their mouth, forming new land. These would all be very slow processes of course so as to not hit anything players recently made, and would only be off-deed too, but it'd be awesome if older servers could gradually self-repair into newer land, and at the same time if players could do more with water than the fixed water table currently allows. Imagine if you could pump out water from a tunnel to allow you to mine a tunnel between an island and the mainland - it'd be awesome!

 

Slickshot:  I had honestly never imagined Wurm evolving to the point where the land creates and recreates itself, so to speak, but now that I think about it the concept is very interesting and exciting indeed.  It seems like a long stretch, however in 5 years who knows what Wurm will be like?  Even when we badger the devs endlessly they always seem to provide us with newer, bigger and better features, and certainly live up to the task and responsibility at hand.  Bravo devs.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

 

Slickshot:  This has definitely been an interesting interview Doc, and I thank you for being part of the Chronicles.  We're all waiting anxiously every Friday to see a fresh news post from you, and we hope you keep them coming!  I'd be grateful if you'd close us out with one of your favorite quotes.

 

Docterchese: <Retrograde> Oh I only just noticed your name is spelt Docterchese

(After a year of knowing me, true story.)

 

Edited by Slickshot
Fixed formatting errors.

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Worst interview ever, I dont even know if this chese is melty and stretchy, or crumbly, does she go in a salad or does she go on a pizza?


 


these are the things we need to know people!


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