Ex-GM Snuggles was interviewed by our ex-staff member Zanko.
TibiaNews: Hello GM Snuggles, and thank you for taking this interview.
GM Snuggles: Anytime!! ~snuggles~ Uhh...who are you again?
TibiaNews: TibiaNews! And here at TibiaNews we have a few different traditions, some perfectly normal…and some which have led mobs after us with burning torches and pitchforks. Yet we do not break tradition, so here I am with the typical opening question. How did you discover Tibia?
GM Snuggles: Well I originally discovered Tibia through my best friend. We were playing a different game together and then we found this more (interesting) game. Took a bit of time to actually fully migrate over but once we got hooked, we met and found some very interesting people to keep us here!
TibiaNews: Well what about the man wearing the blue cape, anything you would like to tell us about yourself?
GM Snuggles: Well for one, its no longer fully blue!!! It has gold now too!!
Anyways, I am a pretty funny, and humous guy! Graduated top of my class at the Rookgaard Acadamy, from there I battled the monsters on the main continent, guiding as many young'ns as I possibly could for about 1.5 years. Then I heard a calling from above (actually it was someone yelling at me to enter Tibia's alternate universe) where I was strapped into a chair and we told to join the elite group of Gamemasters or be killed!! Or that was what a friend told me, I forget which. Anyways at that point I was given the powers to not only help good people, but get rid of the icky-poo ones aswell!!
TibiaNews: How long have you been a gamemaster? When did you first gain the position?
GM Snuggles: I've been a Gamemaster for a bit over a wonderful (and horrifying!!) 3 years. I first gained it...uhh....~checks notes~ Hmm...I forget when but it was before the 2005 Winter update!
TibiaNews: What about when you gained the blue cape. How did that happen, how did you feel?
GM Snuggles: Well I mentioned earlier, I was called forth to join Tibia's Alternate Universe, also known as a Test Server. Actually it was more like yelled than called....and I think a lynching was mentioned if I didn't....Anywho, we were gathered and were given the option of being killed for seeing to much or join the Gamemaster Ranks....So after I joined, there was a waiting list to see if I had enough approved credit to purchase the pudgie blue costume! I didn't but Craban floated me a loan =P
During the whole process I was pretty nervous, especially about messing up on the first week! I am just glad I didn't make the classic mistake of broadcasting somethign that was SUPPOSED to be in a specific channel xD
TibiaNews: What about your first day as a gamemaster, how was it? Exciting, scary?
GM Snuggles: It was both exciting and exhausting, but not really that scary. I knew that if I messed up, Craban would have just thonked me in the head and fix it for me ^^
But even with that in mind, I tried to not mess up as much as possible!! There was also soo many reports and botters to banish that I could barely keep up...that is one thing that hasn't changed in all these years.
TibiaNews: Has being a gamemaster affected your Tibian life a great deal, or just a little bit?
GM Snuggles: Hmm...Personally, its never really affected me. I set time away on my day to play Tibia and I've set time away to also run around like a chicken with my head cut off and then I have time to patrol these worlds. Only difference it has made, was that I've been able to gather many more friends that I would have otherwise (and not just one trying to pretend to be my friend because of my status).
TibiaNews: Was becoming a gamemaster ever a goal or aspiration?
GM Snuggles: Nope. I enjoyed helping people, which was the only reason I became a Tutor in the first place (yellow text gets ignored too much), I was actually quite shocked when I was asked to be a Gamemaster to be honest. Actually when Gamemasters were being chosen from the Tutor rank, I actually was quite annoyed about the people who were making posts and trying to do what they could to be a Gamemaster I never stopped doing what I normally do, nor change how I do things (unless there was a proceedure change that made me change who and why I did things).
TibiaNews: GM Snuggles doesn’t come up on the gamemaster list. Was there any reason you didn’t want people seeing which gamemaster on the list was GM Snuggles?
GM Snuggles: Well, originally, botters used to scan the online lists for Gamemasters, if they found one online on their world, they would instantly log or some other shutdown feature. There was also those players and Tutors that stalked Gamemasters, this was another way to hide from it. Also, it hides my original personality. Each one of my "special" Gamemaster characters has their own little personality. After all, Tibia is a MMORPG. What better way to Roleplay if not by making characters with their own little quirks ^^.
TibiaNews: Can you think of any things which could really help when it comes to GMing. Or do you think that you’ve got the tools you need when it comes to fighting against the cheaters (eg: botters) of today?
GM Snuggles: Well there are lots of things that could help, and we have our own Proposal thread on our internal board that we post our ideas for both Tibia and for rule enforcement there. Not all ideas are plauseable, but they can inspire other ideas and one day they will hopefully be implimented. There will always be some tool we need as technology advances though.
TibiaNews: There are obviously not enough GMs to deal with today’s cheaters, but do you think CipSoft is right in being as careful as they are when it comes to recruitment.
GM Snuggles: Absolutely!
Gamemasters have the power to remove paying customers from the game. So like all businesses, they have to be selective. There are also the factor if they can handle monitoring the ones they do select, to make sure they don't make any mistakes and handle any additional problems that may arrise while they are a Gamemaster.
TibiaNews: What effects do you believe cheating has on a server's economy?
GM Snuggles: They have a big impact.
Best example was the macro farmers. They made the price of runes very cheap and easy to obtain. After they were pretty much demenished, rune prices shot up. Botters have the same effect. Many bot lower level monsters, so that they can gain as much gold as possible without bringing much supplies (if any). That gold is then put back into the market and thus causing others to be able to purchase more runes and supplies to hunt longer and more dangerous monsters for loot. Which can then be sold back again into the market. The more they do that, the more the prices will drop on many things.
TibiaNews: What effects do you believe cheating has on the community's behaviour as a whole?
GM Snuggles: Well basically it made people more hostile and a bit more rude to each other. It used to be, if a person doesn't feel like talking and they ignore someone saying "hi" to them, then they were just busy or rude. Now, about 40% of the time they are labled as botters. Other times they get their spawn taken away, attacked or forced to leave. It also makes them a bit more frustrated to see people who never actually play the game for themselves, have a great level and items in a short amount of time.
TibiaNews: Do you feel that, on average, tutors do a good job?
GM Snuggles: For the most part, yes, I do believe that Tutors do a good job. In many Worlds, the Tutors there do a Great job. Although, as a whole, they could use some improvement. But that only comes with time and experience. Eventually they will get there though =D.
TibiaNews: In your personal opinion, does the Voluntary Tutor Patrol do a good job of improving the image of the tutor community?
GM Snuggles: Unfortunately, due to my weird online times, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of them in action. However, I have heard on many worlds, they do provide a bit of a possitive influence on the world during the time that they are there.
TibiaNews: Do you believe there is too much of a focus on statement/board reports at the moment? (relates to harsh punishment, "idiot" example)
GM Snuggles: Personally, I don't believe that people should call other people that in the first place. Everyone can make mistakes, or was informed wrong. So the use of such words isn't needed. I believe that CipSoft's main goal was to make Tibia more of a friendlier place to be. After all, no one likes to be degraded and by eliminating most of the harsher words, it makes the enviroment more pleasent.
TibiaNews: Given the current negative outlook on tutors, is it feasible to demand more GMs?
GM Snuggles: The need for more Gamemasters is well known, but finding the right canidates isn't too easy. There are many factors to consider. However, its not like there isn't many people who could possibly fit the role of a Gamemaster. The Tutor community does have a bit of a negative outlook overall, but there are always a few gems out there, just waiting for their chance to shine.
TibiaNews: How would you define destructive behavior?
GM Snuggles: I would define it as something that goes above and beyond very mean behavior. Unfortunately, its a bit hard to describe because it differs from situation to situation.
TibiaNews: What makes enforcing this very broad rule so difficult? Besides how broad it is.
GM Snuggles: Mostly, cautching them in the act of doing it. Even though it is broad, once we see what they are doing, its very easy to enforce this rule if what they are doing is infact violating it.
TibiaNews: Let’s get back to Tibia, do you like the way it is developing, or do you think it is taking a step backwards instead of forward?
GM Snuggles: Tibia itself, is moving forwards, just not as quickly as many would hope. However, some minor things are still left in the past. Just to name the most popular one that hasn't changed is the server's connection (which is, for the most part, beyond CipSoft's control; but who they use for it, isn't.). Some of their balancing ideas, though, is a tad bit in the backwards step.
TibiaNews: It is well known throughout the community that you have started up a series of gamemaster reports to help Tibians understand the work of a gamemaster. What first inspired you to do that?
GM Snuggles: To behonest, it was mostly out of pure boredom. The other thing was so that people to use it and learn off of it, instead of spamming Gamemasters with questions. It also gives my personal oppinions about subjects, such as botting. I started it to also help me speak a bit better in public situations (as you can see I have improved a great deal from my first episode lol).
TibiaNews: What about the number of reports. Are you aiming for a certain number, or are you just going to keep on making them till there is nothing left to talk about?
GM Snuggles: Oh there will be always something to talk about. My current plans are just to continue making those vidoes until I retire as a Gamemaster. Even after that, I might make a few more just for fun!
TibiaNews: Another tradition of ours are ‘fast questions’. Are you ready for them?
GM Snuggles: Neva!!!! Well okie
TibiaNews: Favourite update?
GM Snuggles: A working one
TibiaNews: Favourite creature?
GM Snuggles: One that gives lots of loot
TibiaNews: Old GM outfit or new GM outfit?
GM Snuggles: New Outfit
TibiaNews: Sword, club or axe?
GM Snuggles: Sword!!
TibiaNews: Favourite outfit?
GM Snuggles: Jester!!
TibiaNews: Well look at the time! Any last words before we wrap up the interview?
GM Snuggles: Just that if you see me around, don't forget to give me a Snuggle!! ^^
TibiaNews: Thank you for your time GM Snuggles.
GM Snuggles: Thank you TibiaNews!!