GMs: Where are they now?
TibiaNews: To get started, could you tell the Tibian community a little bit about yourself?
Arya Firethorn: Well, hi! I’m Arya Firethorn, formerly known as GM Arya on <world>. I won’t actually be telling too much about myself here as I never went public as a GM ;)
Dragonas: Well, I'm a guy from the United States in my mid 20s. I guess that is a little, eh?
Xane Doombringer: I'm just your average 20 something year old who spends too much time at his computer.
Laylee: Let's see, i am a single parent who likes video games a little bit too much. I currently study to be an auxiliary nurse which has taken much of my time recently.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Male, mid 20's, from Europe.
Ryrik: Not too much to say, I'm 20 years old male student from Europe and I've been playing Tibia since 2003.
Incangel: I'm a little hyper, I love brigadeiro (a Brazilian kind of sweet made with chocolate), I don't go out much, I prefer the quietness of a home with movies, games or friends.
Rebel: I don't tell my age but I am old. I'm a grandmother and live in Texas.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I'm your average young adult student from the United States (New York, baby!) who is in love with music.
Exilya: Nothing to tell really, a boring nerd who likes games too much :D
TibiaNews: How did you first find Tibia?
Arya Firethorn: I had a family member who played. I was still fairly new to the internet back then so I was kind of intrigued with the idea of an online roleplaying game. Decided to test it a bit, and that “bit” turned in to more than 7 years quite rapidly, hehe.
Dragonas: When I first got access to the internet back in 2001, I found Tibia while looking for some online games to play.
Xane Doombringer: A friend of mine downloaded the game on his computer and I watched him play for a few days before deciding to go home and make my own account.
Laylee: My brother was playing the game and i was wondering what it was. I gave it a try but got fed up with trying to log in (at the time, there was no queues and you had to re-enter your account information each time it failed) I cursed out, paid premiumm .... and got hooked.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Way back in the days some friends found the game. I can't remember how they found it, but they began to play it. At first, I wasn't impressed but soon I created my first character and got stuck.
Ryrik: Me and a friend were chatting one day and she told me about this game. I looked at the website but didn't pay much attention to it then, it wasn't until later I actually downloaded it to try it out.
Incangel: A friend introduced me to Tibia in 2003. I got so amazed because it was an online game with people running via dial-up connection!
Rebel: I was playing Starcraft and a friend told me about a new game, so I started playing and became addicted.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I was over my friend's house and he was showing me some weird game, Runescape to be exact. I watched him play this weird 3D game and thought the graphics looked horrible and the concept just seemed stupid. After he saw my disappointment in that game, he showed me Tibia. After that I went home and created my account and my first character on Amera. :)
Exilya: Someone on another game told me about it.
TibiaNews: How was your first day as a Tibian? Did you do any generic 'newb' things, such as fall in a hole without a rope?
Arya Firethorn: My first day was mostly spent trying to figure out all the controls. After some time I went on a little rat hunt, nearly got killed, and went back to the surface. Luckily, there was a helpful player there offering me a green potion to help cure my wounds! I’m sure you can guess what happened next… :p
Dragonas: I think some of my first experiences were dying to a rat in the Rookgaard sewer after becoming lost. I took like a two week break from the game after that.
Xane Doombringer: I don't remember my first day but I do remember getting PK'd at level 8 after finally making it to main...and then I called for a GM but the pk's had thrown my body into the water by east trolls in Thais so there was no evidence (Note: it was illegal to kill low levels back then!)
Laylee: Well.... it did take me a couple of weeks to finally found out where to click when using a ladder... directly clicking it was not working :(
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: At the time I didn't speak much English. I tried to figure out the controls, killed some rats and begged for money and equipment in the Thais depot. It was exciting days.
Ryrik: God... I can't even remember to be honest. I'm certain it was a day full of panicking beneath ladders and various rat deaths. What I do remember was me and my friend choosing different servers and we couldn't figure out why we couldn't see each others.
Incangel: I honestly don't remember, but I remember that I took 2 months to leave Rookgaard lol
Rebel: Just roamed around in Thais sewers was no rook then.A few weeks later I did fall down a hole with a beholder and lost all my items.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I did, actually! I was roaming Rookgaard and fell in a rope with bugs (you know, that cave past the level 2 thing that now has ladders? Yeah, back then there were no ladders). I kept offering to pay people to rope me up, but no one did. Unfortunate for CipSoft, but lucky for me, there was a huge hacking of the servers and reset the servers to the day before I got stuck in the hole. Imagine that's how I got out.
Exilya: Went to the wrong server to start with, couldn't use ladders next.
TibiaNews: What made you want to help the community and become a tutor?
Arya Firethorn: Ever since I figured out how to open the Help channel, I had been reading every single word in that channel. After some time I noticed I could even answer some questions there. “Some questions” turned into lots of questions and in the end a friend told me I should take the tutor test. I didn’t make it on my first try though… But in the end, I got my orange crayon!
Dragonas: I always tried to be as helpful as possible in game, so it only seemed natural to try and join the tutor team.
Xane Doombringer: I noticed I was able to help newer players because I had played for so long so I decided to take the exam.
Laylee: I saw Eleonore and Franklin Noname both being tutors and started to feel interrested in helping. I did so as a player for a while, before succeeding the tutor test.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I was first asked to become a counsellor. I had no idea that I would be asked and thus I was surprised. I was very active at the time and I had lot's of experience and knowledge about the game so it felt natural to accept, hoping that I could be some sort of assistance to the community.
Ryrik: Hm, no reason. I just generally like to help people and when I understood the concept of tutors I liked the idea. I guess I wanted to help others gain the same pleasurable experience out of the game that I've had.
Incangel: I have always given a hand or two to people in general. I guess that doing that in a game was a natural step for me :)
Rebel: Never was a tutor until I was removed as a GM.
Aestyn/Thuddy: My close-knit group of friends at the time were all becoming tutors, so I thought I'd give it a try and become one as well.
Exilya: I know how it feels to need help and not find it.
TibiaNews: When becoming a tutor, did you have any idea that you'd ever be a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: Not at all. Back then, I barely knew what gamemasters were o.o
Dragonas: Not really, no. I did have a few gamemasters in my guild at the time, so I had some idea of what the job entailed. I really didn't have much desire to take on the cape after seeing what they went through.
Xane Doombringer: When I first became a tutor...absolutely not.
Laylee: I will not lie and say it was never my intention. I think that somewhere, deep inside, I did want to be one. Didn't expect it would actually happen but since I was already a moderator elsewhere, I felt like I could help.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I have been a gamemaster - twice. The first time I had no idea that I would become one. The second time, I had began playing after a long break and after months of playing I decided to apply for the position again. But from here on I will respond to the questions when I first was appointed.
Ryrik: Nope. Not a clue.
Incangel: No, not at all.
Aestyn/Thuddy: Like Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil, I've been a gamemaster - twice. The first time (becoming one as Thuddy), I had no idea that I'd be one. The second time, I re-applied after becoming active from inactivity. Like Faerin, I'll also respond to the questions when I was first appointed.
TibiaNews: How were you asked to become a gamemaster? Was it formal? Did the HGM at the time just pop up and say "gz, u r gm now?"
Arya Firethorn: I was contacted with a “Hey, do you have a moment?”. After the initial shock we had a little chat, and I was told I could apply to become a gamemaster if I wanted to :P :)
Dragonas: I was asked by Craban in game if I was interested in applying. After a bit of chatting I agreed to apply and about a month later I became a part of the team.
Xane Doombringer: I had just killed a player (for a legitimate reason, don't worry!) and was suddenly (coincidentally) messaged by Alguzara. I was so scared I thought I had done something horribly wrong :P
Laylee: I was manasitting (...as always) in Port Hope when Craban messaged me, asking if I was busy. I was sure it was an investigation for a bot report. Since I manasit at the same place all the time and refuse to talk to people that just comes up and say "hi botter!", it was not rare that I ended up being reported.
At least.. i think...
well actually, i still have the conversation... at that time, you didn't talk to a cipsoft worker everyday... :P
Channel saved at Wed Jul 12 17:12:11 2006
16:59 Valentia: hi ^^
17:00 GM Craban on Astera: How are you doing lately?
17:00 Valentia: great thanks you , and yourself?
17:01 GM Craban on Astera: Well, I am chasing people like you around at the moment
17:01 GM Craban on Astera: just before midnight here
17:01 GM Craban on Astera: :-)
17:01 Valentia: ~runs away~ o.o
17:01 Valentia: oh wait.. you got a speed bonus a while ago.. ~stops~
17:03 GM Craban on Astera: hehe
17:03 GM Craban on Astera: well, I'll get straight to things
17:04 GM Craban on Astera: I have noticed your very good work and your very analytic way of addressing things
17:04 GM Craban on Astera: for example your post about luring back in january
17:04 Valentia: that sure takes me back a while ago o.o
17:04 GM Craban on Astera: hehe
17:05 GM Craban on Astera: well, I don't forget things
17:05 GM Craban on Astera: Anyways we are currently planning to extend our team of helpers
17:05 GM Craban on Astera: with a few new gamemasters, and we think that you would fit in
17:05 GM Craban on Astera: Are you interested in applying?
Well, at that point my brother was already in my bedroom, cause I yelled to him that a GM was talking to me, out of nowhere. I just started screaming :P
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I was contacted by Solkrin who asked me whether I wanted to apply for the position. I accepted and a few days later I got an e-mail were I was asked to apply. Among other things, I was asked on how I would react in different scenarios as a gamemaster.
Ryrik: HGM Manina messaged me one day as I was sitting outside my house, relaxing, talking to friends. She asked me if I knew who she was before continuing on with asking if I'd like to apply to become a gamemaster. After I had accepted, there was a whole bunch of procedures I had to go through before it was finally official. :)
Incangel: <laughs> I remember it was Alguzara pming me, asking if I had a minute, saying that some GMs noticed my work as a Tutor and that I was among the names of the new possible appointed GMs and asked if I would like to join them. I was shaking, I remember I took a couple of minutes to reply :P I was at the roof of my house in Svargrond!
Rebel: Steve sent me an e-mail and asked me. I kept the e-mail all those years until last year and I forget the pw to that e-mail address.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I was on test server and Craban teleported Trithaithus, Vauban, Xadam, Renjiro Braveheart and I to the Isle of Solitude, and then asked us all at the same time. After we celebrated with beer/wine casks. :p
Exilya: Craban messaged me when I was killing a wyvern and asked if I'd be interested in applying.
TibiaNews: When you were first asked, were you scared, thought it was a joke, etc.?
Arya Firethorn: My first thought, when being contacted by a CipSoft member, was “o.o did I do something wrong?”. Later, when she popped the question, I was just shocked. I just stared at the screen for a few minutes until I was asked if everything was okay, haha.
Dragonas: It was a bit of a surprise to be sure. The gamemaster team was always a very select group, so it was nice knowing that CIP thought me qualified to take on the responsibilities that come with being a member of the team.
Xane Doombringer: As stated above, I was terrified that I was in trouble for something...but fear quickly changed to joy.
Laylee: Honestly surprised, but happy too :) After that, I started to wonder what if I didn't answer everything correctly...
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I was nervous, but not scared.
Ryrik: I can't say I thought it was either of those, I had noticed Manina on the server earlier and had even spoken to her once before. It was more of a "Oh, you wanted me? :D" feeling to it all. :P
Incangel: I was shaking!
Aestyn/Thuddy: I didn't think it was a joke, but I was really nervous about the recruitment process.
Exilya: I was afraid they might not think I was good enough.
TibiaNews: How was the recruitment process like when joining? Did you ever get to help recruit anyone before gamemasters were removed?
Arya Firethorn: I think there were two recruitment rounds after I joined the team. So yes, we got to help a bit with that :)
Dragonas: The recruitment was fairly simple in my case. I sent in an application that answered some questions and asked for opinions on how I would deal with different scenarios. A few weeks later I was contacted again and informed that I had been accepted.
We were occasionally asked for our opinions on potential new GMs, but for the most part I think things were handled a little differently than they were in the earlier years.
Xane Doombringer: I tried! :(
Laylee: We did have a say in who could join and not, based on personal experience with those players. After the candidates were selected, there would be mentors within the current team, to help the newcommers with questions.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: We did have some input in that. Names were collected and once it was agreed whom could apply for position we awaited their applications. We had the chance to discuss the applicants until a decission was made. I can remember at least two recruitments were I took part.
Ryrik: Can't really say much about the recruitment process, I liked the way it worked and what I had to do before I was accepted. It all made sense to me. As I was one of the last gamemasters to ever be appointed, I never helped in the recruitment process.
Incangel: I was given some guidelines to read, there was a party at GM Island with CMs and GMs, and cake ;) I participated in other recruitment processes and I liked to be able to give my view when it comes to help choosing people to help even more this game.
Rebel: Yes two of my counsellors became GMs.
Aestyn/Thuddy: The recruitment process was stressful for me. The scenarios were not that bad to answer, but I tried to be a perfectionist with it and wanted to make sure everything was right before sending it in. Being a gamemaster for nearly five years, I was able to help a few times with recruitments and give my "two cents" on it, if you will.
Exilya: By the time I became a GM we were allowed to nominate players, I nominated a couple.
TibiaNews: Did you tell anyone during the recruitment process that you were asked? If so, what did they say?
Arya Firethorn: I only told a few very close friends, and their response was pretty much “Hah! I knew it! Congrats!”. Guess they were expecting it way more than I was :p
Dragonas: Well, I was guildmates with 3 or 4 GMs at the time of my recruitment, so I did mention it to them. Of course I am sure they probably already knew, but it was nice to get some advice from some people who had already gone through the process.
Xane Doombringer: I told a RL of mine. He thought I was joking.
Laylee: I think I was told it was better not to talk about it.... but it was already too late ^^ " My closest friends knew of it right away.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: No.
Ryrik: No one knew about me before I was actually accepted and appointed, and even then I could probably count the people with my fingers on one hand, and still have fingers left over!
Incangel: A few friends and they congratulated me.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I told a few close friends of mine, the first being Excessus, who already knew that I had been asked. Sneaky man.
Exilya: I told my Tibia husband, he was happy for me.
TibiaNews: How was your first day becoming a gamemaster? What was it like?
Arya Firethorn: The first day mostly involved a LOT of reading. So much documentation to go through! Of course I also got to make my first banishment, a poor little botter on Rookgaard. Then, while picking the reason for the banishment… I lost my connection. When I finally relogged, the botter was already banished, so we had to find another one before I could make my first banishment.
Dragonas: It was kind of hectic. As with all new recruits, there was an initiation of sorts where you would make your first banishment and announce it via broadcast. The first blue spam wave was memorable..hehe.
Xane Doombringer: Absolutely overwhelming. I had so much new to learn and so many people I didn't want to disappoint. It was definitely exciting though.
Laylee: Stressful, I was scared to do something wrong. Some events/mistakes did happen afterwards, but i was quickly told about the right/wrong of it.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I was very excited. I felt like a bird who yet didn't know how to fly. My mentor (SGM Flattery) were explaining it all to me. I remember my first week, I basically only dealt with namelocks and gameplay related questions.
Ryrik: First day was pretty confusing, the first thing that I did after being accepted was making my first gamemaster character and teleporting to the Island of Solitude where a bunch of other gamemasters were already waiting to congratulate me, along with HGM Manina. They then made me do my first banishment and broadcast (upon which I got spammed to death by a blue wall of messages.... thanks alot!). After that, I made all my other characters on all of the worlds and followed my mentors around, learning how to deal with various situations.
Incangel: It was fun with a welcoming party and then selecting some illegal soul to ban from trade channel and broadcasting it and being immediately flooded with pms :P
Rebel: Was just like another day nothing special.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I remember as soon as Craban had given me the cape, I made my GM char, "GM Thunder Lucky" and "GM Thuddy" simultaneously, and then found someone misbehaving (can't quite remember what they were doing) and Craban made me broadcast the message. I was on my home server at the time - Calmera, so Game-Chat went nuts with people saying "omg he's a gm! grats!" I guess it wasn't a surprise to them that I'd become a GM one day. But, luckily, I had become a GM right around server save, so right after the broadcast, and the flood of messages, server save happened! But, the day had only just begun. I was a lame-o and took off from school (it was the day before Thanksgiving, so who cares!?) and everyone from the team helped me out that day. Between Issalia, Borr, Exce, Dazetih, and Tyrell - so many had been helpful and were there if I had ever needed them. It was quite fun the first day having so much support and going to a new position where everyone was there for each other.
Exilya: Quite lonely and intimidating, I was just thrown in at the deep end.
TibiaNews: Nearly ten months later, what do you think CipSoft could've done in order to keep gamemasters instead of removing them?
Arya Firethorn: That’s a hard question. The thing is that we, the voluntary gamemasters, were external , and it’s always difficult to manage external people. Whether or not the accusations were true, we were accused a lot of being corrupt, and having customers claim that your rule enforcement system is flawed is obviously not very good for your company. The only solution I can think of now would have been to make us all sign a legal contract to become (voluntary) employees of CipSoft, but I’m sure that would have brought a lot of legal issues with it as well. And it would still require manpower at CipSoft to manage such a large group of volunteers. Unfortunately the gamemaster team was not that effective either – we simply could not deal with all rule violations due to our relatively small numbers, and also because of the low success rate (GM alarms, etc). So in that regard an automatic system made much more sense.
Dragonas: I've always been rather open about my feelings on this subject. I don't believe the volunteer gamemaster team was given a fair shot to handle the problems that existed. We were handicapped with limited abilities and even more limited support. It just seems like a shame, because for all the complaints about us I think most players would prefer to have some form of enforcement in game rather than just a half hearted automated solution to every problem. Here we sit 10 months later, and the botter detection is obviously a failure. Imagine how many of these botters could be caught with a few GMs running around cleaning up spawns? It just seems like a process that was not well thought out.
Xane Doombringer: CIP should have let us work with the system. They kept looking at it as a "one or the other" situation. There were a lot of things I didn't agree with (and still don't) but hey...it's their game and not mine I guess.
Laylee: Simply help us more than see us as the biggest of two evils. When you have helpers, you help them help you. I have quite a closed and angry point of view on what happened and it is not a pretty one. Even almost a year later, I still hold to that point of view.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I never wanted us to be kept just to be kept. I think many of us wouldn't hesitate to hang up the blue cape and bury the ban-hammer if we were no longer needed. To me however it seems that things have only gotten worse since the removal of the gamemaster position. I defientely say we were removed way too soon and with no real replacement. What they could have done would be letting us work side-by-side with their automatted tools, at least until they were efficient enough.
Ryrik: I'm not sure, in the end it wasn't likely a viable system but I don't like the idea of automatizing rule enforcement. A big thing about gamemasters was that we had the ability to cruise around the worlds and act as role models, we could forward matters that the public told us about and so forth, something which the new system can't. If I have to say something they could have done to keep us, we could have used more tools to our disposal. But as I said, it wouldn't have been viable with the restrictions we also had to have.
Incangel: Turning them into some "advisory counselors," that would help processing reports and directing the ones they couldn't work on anymore to CipSoft, while replying to others that we would still be able to.
Rebel: No comment.
Aestyn/Thuddy: Instead of getting rid of us right away, I sort of wish that CipSoft had the new ideas implemented already. We were told that we were more or less useless for the botters and cheaters, and with new implementations of the reporting features (for comments and whatnot), we became more and more useless as time went on. I think we could've had more tools and more support from CipSoft to help us and give us one last go before we were removed.
Exilya: I'm not sure how to answer that.
TibiaNews: Do you think they had known since 2008 that they were going to remove gamemasters by not giving them the proper tools needed to fight cheaters, or even since the introduction of the automatic bot bans?
Arya Firethorn: To be honest I think the removal of GMs must have been on the agenda for much longer than that, as for the reasons I mentioned above, having external people with “power” over your customers is always a risk. I also believe that is part of the reason that we never had proper tools to fight cheaters – many of these tools would require access to private information of players, or other tools that would give us more “power”.
Dragonas: I think it is fairly obvious that getting rid of us was the plan for quite sometime. You can see that from the fact they stopped recruiting new members and gradually stopped supporting our investigations on several fronts, from botting, to abuse, to the massive account sharing problem. I always said that I would be fine with them getting rid of us if they had a viable alternative in place to take over for us. I don't think that anyone could argue that alternative was ever put in place. What we are now left with are half hearted forms of automation and a reporting system that is deeply flawed.
Xane Doombringer: I believe the higher ups surely had a vision of their future plans...but I don't know how long the other CIP personnel knew before they told us.
Laylee: Yes, I do. The outbursts from the GM team were getting more and more frequent. It was a matter of time before we were let go. It was apparent when we weren't recruiting anymore, when out ideas were shut down for a bunload of reasons, when we were refused to use our GM made tools (by the GM team) as proves while still being told there was no time for Cip to make us any.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Not sure. But I had a feeling for a long time that they felt tired of us. Maybe we had too many (different) opinions about things, I don't know. Our tools were not enough and bit by bit we were rendered useless due to stricter and stricter restrictions on what we could investigate. By cutting one wing at the time we sank slower, as if we were slowly fading away.
Ryrik: I wasn't a gamemaster by 2008, but I think it has always been rather apparent that it was going to happen sooner or later.
Incangel: I think that they had the idea before the bot tools.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think the idea had been there for a while. We went through many different HGMs, and I felt like as time went on with the head gamemasters, the more and more detached they became (more than likely from CIPs directions).
Exilya: They never admitted that to us if that was the case.
TibiaNews: Not many banishments have happened on bots since the removal of gamemasters. Do you think CipSoft still has a grip on banning cheaters, or focus on other things now? If so, what?
Arya Firethorn: I don’t think they have a grip on banning cheaters right now. Instead, they seem to be focusing on minimizing the amount of violations, either by ingame design or by simply removing the rules.
Dragonas: Not to be cynical, but I think CIP probably realized how many of their players bot due to years of failing to properly deal with the issue. It just seems as if they really aren't all that interested in dealing with the problem in any meaningful way anymore. I am not sure how you could come to any other conclusion when you see that only 6,000 botters have been banned in the last 6 months +.
Maybe they have some other ideas in mind, but if they do they have not shared them with their players. At the moment, they seem content with doing a few token bans ever 2 months on the 14th. Seriously, check the news archive for yourself.
Xane Doombringer: Botting got to the point where it's taken over the game. People can bot AFK all day and never have to worry about a GM popping up on them. The automated system has since been worked around by bot makers so its no longer even a (semi) effective system. CIP says they are working on it but I can't begin to count the number of times I've heard that response.
Laylee: I will sound harsh within what I'll say, but I pretty much stopped caring about the game because of a few events that hapenned. The worse one was to be straight out told that we were not doing a good enough job compared to the "machine" . We were NOT given that chance in the first place. So how can we be compared to something automated, that got all your care and dedication, when we were the ones shunned down. Like I said before, I still hold a lot of anger on what happened...
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I am not up to date on the subject any longer.
Ryrik: I can't really comment because I have no idea how many botters were banned when gamemasters used to do it. I think the system has been doing a good job, or at least it was after that first enhancement. Nowadays it seems like the ban waves are a little too rare. Botting is still a major problem, but I can also think of a number of other ones. Those they claim to be able to solve via game design, and I hope they're right.
Incangel: Well, I am not satisfied with the cheaters I still see going unpunished. I never know what goes in Cip's mind but I don't think they've gone crazy. I believe they are somehow working on that in order to improve.
Rebel: No comment.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think that there is really no way to keep control of the botters now. It's gotten too much out of hand. Players will always cheat in a game. For what reason, I really don't know. I think they may be focusing on community aspects right now (at least if I were them - that's where my focus would be), mainly because what the community now is not what it was back a few years ago.
Exilya: Well Lil'Flashy has certainly been a high priority.
TibiaNews: What's one thing you miss about being a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: Just one? I miss so many things. The close contact with the gamemaster team (there were so many awesome people on that team), the feeling of making a difference in the gameplay experience of fair players, scaring botters with a sudden red message, Penny, our NPC on GM island and the free cake she gave us… and so much more.
Dragonas: I think the main thing is being able to have a more direct impact on the quality of the game experience. It can be frustrating to have to tell players that they should report the botter in their cave when you know full well that nothing is going to be done about it. In the past, it would have been a simple case of teleporting over and taking out the trash.
Xane Doombringer: Being able to have a bigger positive impact on the game. I used to actually be able to help people and enforce some rules...popping up in towns on a GM char and spending time with the community wasn't half bad either ;)
Laylee: The feeling of helping the players (when the reports were ended with the troublemaker being taken out) with their problem. Also being able to stand on X or Y server, "playing" with the player.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Being able to make a difference and support the community. I also enjoyed the excitement and the mystery about gamemasters. You could make people so happy by just showing up and talk to them. I guess everyone need a hero... and as far as Tibia goes I think we were heroes to many.
Ryrik: The feeling of making a difference, be it by issuing a banishment towards a rule violator or simply by socializing with the community and having fun, remembering people that it's not all about grinding levels or reaching the most dominant position on a server. What I said earlier, trying to make people get the same enjoyable experience I've had :P
Incangel: Everything. Being a GM gave me a thrill about Tibia. Almost 10 months later, I wasn't able to find that thrill again.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I miss being able to help people to the full potential. Sure, I can still help people now, but in no way does it compare to doing what I used to do while I was a gamemaster. It was so easy to put a smile on people's faces back then. Now, I'm just your ordinary player who people just call names and laugh because I "lost my cape." I also miss the great team we had when we were all gamemasters. We were all awesome. One big family.
Exilya: Everything, I loved it.
TibiaNews: What's one thing you wish you could change in the game now if you were a gamemaster still?
Arya Firethorn: The first thing I thought of was “removing cheaters”, but actually I think it’s not the cheating itself that is such a big problem. It’s the general attitude of players. It seems that people no longer understand that it’s rude to cheat on a multiplayer game as you are ruining the experience for other people, and they don’t seem to grasp the fact that getting levels or skills with illegal software is NOT an achievement to be proud of. You don’t have to laugh at others for their poor English skills, you don’t have to swear at every person you see ingame, you shouldn’t destroy ingame events. So yes, if I could change one thing, it would definitely be that attitude.
Dragonas: Just a greater sense of problems actually being solved. It seems as if there is a lot of displeasure with the way things are handled now, from the amount of time it takes to get an answer to the fact that Customer Support isn't consistent in what they ban for.
Xane Doombringer: I guess I'd have to say the situation with botters having ruined the game.
Laylee: I am out of touch with the game now. So i do not know what the current problems are.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I find the general attitude worse for every time I login. If I could say that... and sneak in the-to-me-only-getting-worse-botting-problem as the biggest issues Tibia has now, those would be the things I'd work hard to change.
Ryrik: Uh... I don't think there could have been much I could 'change' even as a gamemaster. I always did my best to get rid of all of the hackers and other nuisances as fast as I possibly could, on a daily basis, jumping from world to world doing this. There are so many these days... but I doubt me or any team of people could make a difference there. They're too many and cheating tools being used to bring new ones is just too overwhelming.
Incangel: Destructive behavior, as lurers and people blocking quest services.
Aestyn/Thuddy: If I was a gamemaster now, one thing I would attempt to change is the cyber bullying and name-calling that has been increasing throughout the past years. It seems as if people get away with really hurting people's feelings now. I'd just try to talk sense into people, I guess.
Exilya: I'd make players realise that CipSoft does care about them.
TibiaNews: It's been explicitly stated that they'd never place gamemasters in the game again, for obvious reasons. But, do you think in-game play has changed since GM removals? In what ways?
Arya Firethorn: Definitely. I won’t pretend that we made a huge difference, but I do think that the gameplay changed a little. I’ve often had people state that it was nice to get some personal attention for their problem (which I think was the real strength of the gamemaster team), even if we could not always solve it by banishing someone or helping in another way. Now that rule enforcement has become way less personal, I’ve heard many people say that they don’t even bother reporting anymore. Of course the same goes for ingame violations, as they are no longer checked (e.g. blocking an entire quest, people killing others on optional pvp worlds).
Dragonas: I think the general attitude has gotten a lot worse, especially on Optional PvP worlds. Some people tend to act a lot worse when they know there is absolutely no chance of them being punished for it. This is a very obvious and clear failing of a rule enforcement system that has no live, in game component.
Xane Doombringer: Like I had said before, people at least thought twice before going AFK with their bot on all day...but not anymore. They know their bot is 99% safe from the automated system and no GM will ever pop up to check on them so botters have become much more blatant with their actions.
Laylee: I log in, very rarely, to make a rune or 2, then log off. Honestly, my studies takes a lot of place and i also moved on to another game (which i previously said I'd never touch... AH!)
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I can't really tell. I haven't played a lot since we were removed.
Ryrik: I haven't noticed much change, the rules have been loosened and consequently also players' regards to the remaining rules. They're a little too loose and people are free to do a little too much of whatever in my opinion. I just hope they'll put in solutions for e.g quest blocking and other things that stop others from actually doing many of the parts of the game.
Incangel: Yes, in a worse way. Playing in an optional pvp world I can say it got worse, really worse. People act destructively without caring anymore.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think people think that they can get away with many things now. For example, if a gamemaster had been on just monitoring a chat (help, game-chat, etc.) and someone got out of hand, all they needed was the red font to be like "hey, calm down" and there was silence. There are hackers that say their links daily in the depots, in the trade channel, etc. and nothing is being done to them because people don't want to waste their one of two reports on those players. It seems like Tibia has turned into a hack-attempt-zone rather than an actual fun roleplaying game.
Exilya: It's hard to judge, I don't have the scope I had back then.
TibiaNews: Do you ever regret becoming a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: There were a few moments where I regretted that decision. On a few occasions, I’ve banished friends of mine, including friends who knew I was a gamemaster. I have actually lost friends that way…
Overall, though, I wouldn’t want to have missed the awesome experience of being a gamemaster.
Dragonas: Sometimes. I guess most of that comes from the fact that I was not aware of how severe our limitations were. It also caused a lot of drama for me in terms of in game retaliation, but that comes with the territory.
Xane Doombringer: I only regret I hadn't become one sooner to be able to help out longer.
Laylee: No, it allowed me to make great friends, with whom i still talk to on other social media, on regular basis. Even if it is only via comments :)
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: No. But I did regret the first time that the character appointed was my playing character.
Ryrik: Not one bit. It was a great experience and have certainly impacted both my Tibian career as well as my personality. :) I'd say that, in a way, it made me grow up. ;)
Incangel: Absolutely not!
Aestyn/Thuddy: Not at all. I learned a lot and took a lot from that position.
TibiaNews: We're aware that it was stated that CipSoft wanted a position similar to a community role position after gamemasters were removed, similarly to community managers, but not to that extent. Do you feel like CipSoft was just saying that to ease the pain of being let go? Or do you think that CipSoft is still working on a "helper system?" If so, when do you anticipate its release, if ever?
Arya Firethorn: I do believe that CipSoft is still working on a helper system. I also think it doesn’t really have priority though, they seem to be quite busy with other things. I guess it might take months if not years before we hear anything about that system again, though.
Dragonas: I am honestly not sure. A lot of stuff was mentioned last year, but it has been nearly 10 months now without any word on these new community positions. They were presented in a fashion that made them seem like a coming reality, but who knows what CIP considered to be a priority. Your guess is as good as mine.
Xane Doombringer: I doubt the real decision makers ever had any intention for that. Some of the other more "hands on" CIP personnel probably truly thought it was a good idea...but they don't have the power to implement it. Therefore, it will never happen.
Laylee: I think it was just to have the pill easier to swallow.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I don't know. We'll see what happens with that.
Ryrik: There has been talk about the new helper system, but from what I've seen it has no difference to the current tutor system. I liked the idea they outlined to us before our removal but as of now it's not apparent what they want to do with it. Hopefully, they just have to work through the ideas they have to make a good, stable, new system. They seem to have a lot of things on their hands right now. I'd rather see them take their time and make something good than something made in a hurry/rush. :)
Incangel: They are creating this system, which as it seems will be just something tutor-alike. I believe it won't take too long to happen, maybe until the end of the year? :P
Aestyn/Thuddy: I thought at first that the position was real and that we'd be able to move to that next, and rather soon. We're coming up on our one year anniversary of not existing, and we really still have not heard anything about what may happen with us or what that "role model" position is. I'm not really sure what's going on, but I'm still interested in helping out.
Exilya: Well they say they are and possibly after the summer update I suppose. I'd like to be involved if they do.
TibiaNews: What is your opinion about the new "helper system," if you know anything about it?
Arya Firethorn: Well, I don’t really know anything yet, so I can’t answer that.
Dragonas: I have not heard very much about it. From the little I have heard, it basically sounds identical to the tutor system. I wouldn't mind seeing community helpers with more ability to create dynamic, flexible in-game events. I think that would be a positive thing to attract more interest in Tibia.
Xane Doombringer: Meh...
Laylee: The what? ( :P ) I do not know about it.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: No opinion yet.
Ryrik: See above!
Incangel: Well, I'm glad that there are people interested in helping with their knowledge and experience and I'll of course be one of them :)
Aestyn/Thuddy: We'll see.
Exilya: I can't really say I know anything about it.
TibiaNews: Are you still part of a helping community? A senior tutor, tutor, or a senator?
Arya Firethorn: I chose to become a senior tutor again after we were removed from our gamemaster positions. I still think it’s awesome to help out and answer questions whenever I can :).
Dragonas: While I thought about becoming a senator, I decided to stay on as a Senior Tutor. Of course, there isn't exactly a whole lot for us to do these days.
Xane Doombringer: I've chosen to be a senator.
Laylee: Senator, the old geyser club. Where i'll probably just end up rotting in. It's like a retirement house. We're pretty much all there, lined up against a wall, with someone to watch over us. Sometimes, someone gets a bit of life and stop drooling on the floor and starts a conversation. We all join in, he nurse comes in, check on everything, then leaves again. Then we go back to drooling, half alive. ya.. retirement house. (lol)
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Yes, I'm a senator.
Ryrik: I'm still a senior tutor.
Incangel: Senior Tutor.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I'm a senior tutor.
Exilya: I'm a senior tutor.
TibiaNews: Do you still actively play Tibia?
Arya Firethorn: I still log on every day, if not to play then at least to chat.
Dragonas: I do indeed.
Xane Doombringer: Here and there.
Laylee: nopes, came to the point our guild disbanded. We remade it but lost our guildhall in the process. Yay at not having warnings about this, in game, to the leader/vices... Solstice WAS the oldest guild on astera and had a date to prove it. Now it's gone, but at least the guild was remade :)
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Not actively, no.
Ryrik: I can't really say that I do, but this is for other reasons than the removal of gamemasters. Being busy in real life and other events have just slowly dragged me away from Tibia.
Incangel: Yes, though my real life is demanding a lot from me right now I'm always around somehow! Tibia is like a routine for me.
Aestyn/Thuddy: Not actively. I log on every once in a while.
Exilya: I play a little, I need a new mouse :D
TibiaNews: When you received your reward for being a gamemaster (a gamemaster doll and another choice item), what did you do with it?
Arya Firethorn: The gamemaster doll is safely hidden away in my depot as one of my dearest possessions, the item I picked is currently in use by my character. ;)
Dragonas: I chose the solar axe to go along with the gamemaster doll. The doll sits in my house on Amera while I have absolutely no idea who has the axe now.
Xane Doombringer: Looked at them sit in my depot for a while.
Laylee: Kept it in my house. I like my little dolly.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I feel that the doll has a personal value to me. I sold the other item.
Ryrik: The doll is on me at all times, and so is my other reward. I see no point in selling the item, it holds a sentimental value to me.
Incangel: I sold the item and kept the doll in exhibition at my house in Svargrond :)
Aestyn/Thuddy: I kept my gamemaster doll which is on display at my house, and sold my solar axe.
Exilya: I showed the items off in my house.
TibiaNews: If you haven't already, have you sold your prized possessions handed down to you for your hard work as a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: I would never sell them! Even if I didn’t use them, they still have a great symbolic value to me.
Dragonas: I did indeed sell the solar axe for an...ahem.. undisclosed amount of money.
Xane Doombringer: Nope!
Laylee: ah no! It is hard for me to let go of a few things and those 2 rewards are part of it..... even if i dont play. Selfishness hurts :P
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: See above answer :)
Ryrik: See above.
Incangel: Sold the solar axe.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I sold the epiphany.
Exilya: Sold solar axe, will never sell my doll.
TibiaNews: Throughout the years, GMs had many head gamemasters. Who was your favorite? If you don't want to pick favorites, what was the unique characteristic that each of them had?
Arya Firethorn: I’ve served under Alguzara, Isolan and Manina. I can’t really pick a favourite as the circumstances changed a lot over the years, and it would be unfair to compare any of them to the other. What I really appreciated in all three of them is how they were always strict but just. And of course we had a few good laughs on the forums as well :).
Dragonas: I was a fan of Alguzara and Craban, mostly because it seemed as if the level of support we had decreased with the later HGMs. I think that may have been more a company philosophy on how to deal with us moreso than anything personal though.
Xane Doombringer: [answer about gamemasters, not HGMs] They were all great people to work with...Rebel was probably the most helpful to me...and Aestyn probably deserves the most recognition for his constant hard work and great attitude.
Laylee: I will say Craban was my fave. I loved how he was so serious when he had to be and yet could just be the goofiest one of the group at other times. I enjoyed working with him a lot. When Alguzara came in, i felt she was just way too soft for that position. She ended up handling it well :) Isolan tried a lot. I felt her really close to us but again, a tiny bit soft. Out of the 4 HGM, she's the one with whom i talk the most on regular basis. (well.. even if it is just through comments XD) Manina ... I dont know, maybe because she was the last one. Despite having fun with her at moments, i cannot help but feel like if we were let down. If this was not the case, then i apologise. It still felt like it though. But hey, they were all capable of handling my mood swings and clumsy lashouts... ^^ """
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Sorry, I'll just skip this question.
Ryrik: I only had one, Manina. I think she had the right mindset and attitude, I rather liked her. :)
Incangel: I really liked Alguzara and how she handled everything!
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think Alguzara had to be my favorite, but I guess it's a toss up between her and Craban. Craban had been strict with things and always had our back. I liked that about him. Alguzara was more lenient, which was fine, but always defended us no matter what; to CipSoft, to players, about bans, about topics, etc. She would jump through hoops for us. Her and Neofine made a good dynamic duo for the gamemaster team. Isolan was a sweetheart, and I think she tried her hardest. Manina, well, I'm probably bias since she was our last HGM, but I feel as if we had no support when she was our HGM. That was most likely because of the plans to remove us, but oh well.
Exilya: They each had their good qualities.
TibiaNews: Do you still keep in contact with any of the CipSoft employees?
Arya Firethorn: Not much more than before I became a gamemaster. We still have a chat every now and then though.
Dragonas: Not so much really, though I do have a small presence with them on some social media sites.
Xane Doombringer: Nope. :(
Laylee: Pretty much daily, through other social media. <3 There are a few which i like very much! :P
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Nope. Once or twice since we were removed.
Ryrik: No more than through the tutor boards. :(
Incangel: Yes, well, Facebook is a magic word :p
Aestyn/Thuddy: Through Facebook, Twitter, and through being a fansite admin, yes.
Exilya: No not really.
TibiaNews: Do you ever wish that the way CipSoft removed gamemasters was different?
Arya Firethorn: Part of me wishes they would have removed us when we still had our bot banning capabilities. The way it was now, we had to sit around for a couple of months not doing much more than banishing some of those automatic gold sellers and hackers from the public channels. It was kind of hard to see everyone complain about not getting support from a gamemaster when they wanted to report a botter, when we were not allowed to interfere with them anymore. On the other hand, we got to enjoy being part of the team for a bit longer, so I value that as well.
Dragonas: I think it was handled in a fairly poor manner. As I said earlier, it seemed like we were rushed out the door with no real alternative in place to pick up the slack. Consider an island that sits off the coast. The only way to reach said island is with an old bridge. The government decides to put in a new bridge to replace the old one. That is fine of course, but you don't blow up the old bridge before the new one is complete and leave the citizens to swim in the ocean. I believe that is what CIPsoft decided to do and in many aspects continues to do with their new rule enforcement system.
Xane Doombringer: I wish they had informed us of their plans sooner instead of leaving us in the dark for so long.
Laylee: I wish they gave us a chance to work at our best before telling us we werent "good enough" . If we were not good enough to do the job, it is because they never allowed us to. That is the biggest part of why i am still so angry about the situation.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: As I think we were too early removed in the first place I wish there had been more space for a discussion with us.
Ryrik: It all happened a little too hastily in my opinion, it came as a little bit of a shock. I felt like they removed us before they had all the "replacements" in field. I would rather have liked to see a transition period. :)
Incangel: Yes. I would have liked to see fixes for everything bad before they removed us.
Aestyn/Thuddy: Of course I wish the way they removed gamemasters was different. I feel as if it was very abrupt and they were unprepared for what was to come.
Exilya: I wish we weren't removed at all.
TibiaNews: How was the goodbye party on Isle of Solitude? Who was there?
Arya Firethorn: (Do you really want me to list all those people? Argh!) Anyhow, the party had a very surreal feel to it for me. I couldn’t really believe it would all be over shortly after. It was a nice party though, with a few speeches, lots of hugging, talking and laughing. It made the good-bye seem a little less grim
Dragonas: It was nice, if a little awkward. The funny thing is, I actually ended up on that island a day or two later through a strange bug that occurred. During the event I made a joke GM character to have some fun with. I set him to delete afterwards. A few days later, after all the GM characters had been deleted from our accounts, I noticed he was still there. I undeleted him and found myself on the Isle of Solitude when I logged in, though the character was normal and did not have any GM powers.
Xane Doombringer: It was a fun but sad party...I was table dancing in that SS I guess lol.
Laylee: Oh there was many GMs and Cipsoft employees. Sadly, i lost all my screenshots T_T ... Lots of speeches!
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: It was good to meet everyone at the same time even though it was for an awkward occassion. I wish we would have done that some other time too. Guido, Craban and some other CipSoft members were there together with a big bunch of us.
Ryrik: I was out of town and couldn't participate, it was the same way with a few of the community parties... ._.
Incangel: Wow, it had even a god or two ;) And they thanked us personally, as in, going to each one of us and saying a message. Many Cip employees and I think that almost all GMs. Was fun, many cakes, we played with players too, we did our famous 'rocket' and we saw the weapons we would be given! It was sad though.
Aestyn/Thuddy: Everyone who was an anyone was there! It was sad. But I was happy to be able to be part of it.
Exilya: I was crying in real life.
TibiaNews: What do you think of the Tibia community now (in 2011) as opposed to let's say when you first became a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: I think it changed a lot… and not for the better L. I miss the days when there were more roleplayers, and more friendly people wanting to have a positive influence on the game and its community.
Dragonas: I think it has generally gotten worse. There doesn't seem to be the same level of communication that existed in the old days.
Xane Doombringer: The communities seem to have become more barbaric. Less and less people care about 'right and wrong'.
Laylee: More and more violent, the more it goes, the more it wants power, no matter the cost and no matter the friendships broken.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: It has changed drastically in many aspects. Like I said earlier... the general attitude among players has became worse and the cheating problem has reached ridiculously high levels.
Ryrik: Haha, it's been like what, two years? It hasn't changed much. ;)
Incangel: It got worse, as they have nothing to fear while acting destructively.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I feel as if there is little to no community in Tibia now. In 2005, there was so much more going on with people and their worlds compared to now.
Exilya: It's gradually grown different, I don't think communities are as close knit as they once were.
TibiaNews: If you were able to make one wish and work in the CipSoft Headquarters for one day, what would you change in the community?
Arya Firethorn: Oops, I think I already answered that at “TibiaNews: What's one thing you wish you could change in the game now if you were a gamemaster still?”
Dragonas: I would probably implement steps that make botting less attractive. Balance of power is important in any game where players can dramatically impact the enjoyment of others. High level cheaters have way too much power to dictate who can and cannot enjoy the game, even on Optional PvP worlds.
Xane Doombringer: I would go back in time and make CIP address the botting problem when it first became...and therefore prevent it from getting to the point where it is now.
Laylee: I'd put a level cap. As weird as it seems, once you are capped, power wise, you can only learn to do 2 things. Either you start having fun with others, either you keep on being destructive. The difference with how it is right now would be that others would also reach that level cap and be able to fight against you with more ease. hey.. just my point of view :P
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: When it comes to Tibia the already mentioned things are things I'd like to change. I doubt one day would be enough, even if I were wishing.
Ryrik: I don't think you can change the community directly from the office of CipSoft. :P If we could build a time machine and stop bots entirely before they got to become major issue, that's what I'd do! :D
Incangel: I would work on giving the community the feeling that they are being taken care of and cared for.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I'd make it so people had to interact with each other more, and do a lot more things togehter. I'd try to cut out the gorey details of war and whatnot, and make it so only fun wars happen. ;)
Exilya: I don't know that lol.
TibiaNews: Do you think World Quests are a way to get the community to work together? Do you think it's working?
Arya Firethorn: I think it’s working for some people at least. On the world of my playing character it has definitely brought part of the community back together. Unfortunately it also seems to have brought people together in a different way – some people seem to make it their ultimate goal to make the world fail on every single event.
Dragonas: I think they are a step in the right direction, especially the ones that actually require some teamwork amongst people of all levels. Devovorga was a nice example.
Xane Doombringer: It may be nice for a few people...but its just another opportunity to power abuse or kill people for others.
Laylee: No, they'll work for a moment, but not for long. The leading teams will get through and prevent everyone else from participating.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: World Quests is a big thumbs up as long everyone can take part.
Ryrik: I see them more as a fun activity that involves a lot of people. Most worlds that are successful in it seems to be successful just because of the high population. ;) There are a few that stand out and you can see they actually make an effort to organize it to the community. Kudos! I liked the Lightbringer event, it involved some planning, but in the end it came down to how many people that were doing it. :P
Incangel: It is a way, definitely, but I do not think it is working properly. I believe it could be much better explored.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think it's a good start for what they want to do to try and get the community back together, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how they develop over the course of time.
Exilya: No I don't.
TibiaNews: Do you think there's any hope for the future community of Tibia?
Arya Firethorn: Every trend seems to have some kind of pendulum effect. I’m hoping it will be the same for tibia. The only question is if the game will still be around by the time the pendulum starts swinging in the right direction again.
Dragonas: Sure, if some effort is made to increase community interaction.
Xane Doombringer: There are good people out there still...but sadly I see more bad than good these days.
Laylee: I believe i stopped caring. I got enough things to do on my side that i dont want to add up this stress anymore.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I guess the community will develope it's way to fit in the future as well. I'm just not sure there's place for me in that future.
Ryrik: The figures I've seen seem to indicate a loss of interest compared to a few years ago (?). Tibia has always been around though and I'm sure it's going to be around for many more years to come. :)
Incangel: I always believe in hope. "There's always a sparkle of light if you just believe", says Sharon Den Adel, from Within Temptation ;)
Aestyn/Thuddy: I hope there's hope. If not, there'd be no "Tibia" as we know it.
Exilya: It could come back.
TibiaNews: Did being GM affect some part of your life? Whether positive or negative?
Arya Firethorn: It definitely did. It changed me as a person. Learned more about cooperation, responsibility, fairness and so much more. In fact, it convinced me of the fact that I’d really like to do something in a community management position at some point in the future.
Dragonas: Well, I did improve my Spanish and Portuguese skills somewhat. All those years of being insulted by Latin players came in handy.
Xane Doombringer: It helped me further learn how to deal with responsibility.
Laylee: Both, negative cause i llost time on my real life. I am not accusing anyone for this, is was my own choice. Positive cause i got wonderful friendships and conversations out of this <3
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: The job came with both positive and negative parts. I guess I'd like to keep it that short...
Ryrik: Marginally positively, I just think it impacted me in a way that helped me evolve as a person.
Incangel: Positive. And in fact, today I deal with customers and people that like our brand too for the company I work for and I believe I achieved some community skills while being a GM ;)
Aestyn/Thuddy: I'd have to say it helped me grow up, mature, and understand a lot more about people than I ever would've imagined. It also helped me understand a few new languages, and curses in those languages. :p
Exilya: I believe it strengthened my tolerance and self control.
TibiaNews: Which is your best moment in your Tibian career as a player or a gamemaster?
Arya Firethorn: I guess that would have to be the moment that I met my first in-game friend. If I hadn’t met him, I doubt I would still be playing today.
Dragonas: I honestly can't think of just one. I shared a lot of special times with friends over many years.
Xane Doombringer: Probably the moment I transitioned from player to gamemaster.
Laylee: As a tutor. I think that was when it was at it'S best. Maybe even early GMship. The HGM (head GM) made a big part of that feeling. I loved when we felt supported. It was sadly a feeling that dimmed through time.... i am not angry at anyone in particular since i kept good contacts with almost every HGM. It is toward the company that my anger is directed to.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: I am not sure I have a best moment. I really enjoyed my first years in Tibia. I met good people and it was exciting to play.
Ryrik: There is no absolute best to me, I remember a few years ago when all of my friends were still playing and we just spent lots of time together having fun. Now they've all pretty much moved on from Tibia. :/ As a gamemaster, any moment when you caught them really bad guys had a good feeling to it. ;) I remember once when I teleported to someone just as they were being lured on in a Non-PVP server and I managed to punish all of them and save the poor soul that had almost gotten killed!
Incangel: I can't name one or two, they are just many, but the overall feeling of being able to do something against bad actions is, by far, the best thing.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I have been so out of touch that I probably can't put my finger on a "best" moment. I have too many.
Exilya: The moment I became a gamemaster.
TibiaNews: What made you want to participate in the "Live GM Chat" (if you participated in it) that was released in November 2009?
Arya Firethorn: I just love chatting ;). It was fun to answer questions there :)
Dragonas: I thought they were a nice way to connect with people in a positive way. A lot of people had these strange views of GMs, and I think the chats might have helped to clear up some preconceived notions.
Xane Doombringer: I was able to join in the end of one or two...it seemed like a fun way to interact with the community.
Laylee: Just to feel like doing something else than chasing troublemakers <3
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Sorry, didn't take part.
Ryrik: Just the aspect of socializing with the community. Showing them some appreciation too!
Incangel: It was fun, I participated a little. People are curious and I am curious with their curiosity so we fit each other ;)
Aestyn/Thuddy: I think it was a good way to show players that we are here, and we are human.
Exilya: Timezones made them difficult for me.
TibiaNews: Do you think players took a lot from that?
Arya Firethorn: I hope they did! :D
Dragonas: I think they were fun and all, but may have had more meaning if we weren't tossed out the door only 9 months later.
Xane Doombringer: I definitely think so...they wouldn't have participated if there was nothing to it.
Laylee: I do not know, but maybe the feel we were not only banning machines.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: See above answer.
Incangel: Yes, some people would believe we were unreachable and that was helpful to show we are not.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I ceratainly hope they did.
Exilya: I do.
TibiaNews: Did you attend any farewell parties for gamemasters before they were removed? What was your favorite?
Arya Firethorn: I went to a few parties, even if I was very late for one because I got stuck in traffic L. I can’t say I really had a favourite party, they were all special in their own way (how’s that for a diplomatic answer? I do mean it though)
Dragonas: I did attend a few on different servers and signed way too many goblets. Some got a bit chaotic, but all in all there were a nice send off.
Xane Doombringer: I was only really able to attend the official party on the Isle...and it was pretty fun.
Laylee: I think i attended one, but i am not sure. ( i might have mixed it with the Cip made one lol)
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: With a few GMs attending, yes. Not as big as the last one. No favourite - they were all good.
Ryrik: I only had a chance to attend one of them, the march from Carlin to the Tibianic. It was fun, thanks a lot to everyone that was there and the people that arranged it ... again! :D
Incangel: Not really, I had some time problems...
Aestyn/Thuddy: I attended one on Harmonia and Refugia, I believe it was, and then the farewell party for all of us on Isle of Solitude.
Exilya: I attended a few and loved them all, I got a dragon goblet at one although I wanted a ferumbras doll! haha
TibiaNews: Do you have any feelings towards CipSoft about the removal of gamemasters? What are they?
Arya Firethorn: I guess I’m just sad about it. I guess it was a necessary change, but I do feel it removed part of the “personal touch” CipSoft had with its community.
Dragonas: I believe that they did what they felt was best for them, but in my opinion it was a short sighted move that has resulted in a rule enforcement vacuum when it comes to the big issues. I think they would have been better served by finding some workable alternatives while they kept us in place. Their decision did not seem logical at the time and still looks odd nearly 10 months later.
I hope they are able to find some real solutions to many of these problems because, for all the disagreements I have with the way CIP chooses to handle and prioritize things, I still enjoy playing the game.
Xane Doombringer: As I said earlier...they have made several decisions which I don't agree with. I don't hold it against them as people or anything but I just feel some business decisions were made incorrectly.
Laylee: I think i said them throughout the interview. I still hold a lot of anger. Not toward the individuals working inside the company, but toward the company in itself. When you change something for something else, you have to make sure that other thing is operational. Not "we'll give it a try without any interfeerence and adjust after" . This is not the way to go when you are playing with humans, their habits (hobbies) and their money. Then again, when i give it another thought, the kick hapenned at the right moment. Classes started soon and i wouldn't have foccused on them as much as i should have, if i felt the obligation to come on to "work".
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: No, not at all. They're the captains of the boat. They make the calls and navigate the direction. Again, I think we were removed too early and with no really good replacement, but I have no hard feelings about it.
Ryrik: Nah, I think they made a valid decision. I hold no grudges towards them. I'D LIKE IT IF THEY CAME TO VISIT ME A LITTLE MORE THOUGH. :(
Incangel: No, I do not have any personal feelings. I just only believe they could do better for the community and that they could have done better before removing GMs.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I sort of wish they kept in touch with us like they said they would about the new position they'd create. I also wish that we still had our "gamemaster board," to be able to still be an awesome team together. I remember one of the last things they told us was that they'd come back to speak to us for our opinion on the new position or "helper system" they'd make. Still haven't really heard anything.
TibiaNews: Will you still be blessing the Tibia lands with your presence in years to come?
Arya Firethorn: Or cursing, we’ll see ;). But I’ll definitely be around as long as the C++ client continues to exist. I don’t know if I’ll stay if and when the final transition to Flash is made though. I guess that depends on whether or not the client is actually playable for me by then.
Dragonas: Blessing? o.0 I hope to continue playing Tibia in some fashion for awhile. I still enjoy playing and chatting with the friends I have made over the years. I think the only thing that could drive me off is a forced change to the Flash Client. That thing just doesn't appeal to me at all.
Xane Doombringer: Probably for at least another year...I may not play every day/often but as long as I have friends playing I will continue to login and talk to them.
Laylee: Sometimes, unless the last handful of friends, which dont play the other game i am on, leaves. The flash client isn't working well for them so them leaving might come soon. Time will tell.
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Who knows?
Ryrik: As mentioned, I haven't been too active lately for a bunch of reasons, but I'll still be around, checking what's going on. Maybe one day, maybe soon, I'll be more active again. Who knows!
Incangel: Only if I turn into some kind of goddess :eek!: But I think I'll always be around until the day Tibia gets too frustrating for me or if I completely lose my will to play, which never really happened since 2003.
Aestyn/Thuddy: I don't know how active I'll be, but running a Tibia fansite, I guess I have no choice. ;)
Exilya: I think so.
TibiaNews: Thank you all so much for your time. It's an honor to get to speak with you guys once again. <3
Arya Firethorn: It’s been a pleasure! It’s good to see you guys are so active (and a promoted fansite) again, congratulations :)
Xane Doombringer: Thanks! :D
Laylee: ~waves happily~ <3
Ramorien/Faerin Saron'sil: Likewise :)
Ryrik: RYRIK OUT!
Incangel: It is an honor to remember all that these questions provided me to :) Thank you!
Aestyn/Thuddy: Thank me? No, thank YOU! Oh, you are me...
Exilya: I'll always love you Thuddy <3 <3
Thank you to the "GM Memories Thread" on the tutor board for most of the pictures. Thank you to all GMs who participated in the interview to make this article possible.