An Interview with Ariella

This week, the Daily Scarab sat down with one of ATITD’s best known citizens: Demi-Pharaoh, researcher and tech donations driver Ariella. Over a cozy brazier-side chat, we covered a wide range of technical and social aspects of life in Egypt, including how she met her real-life spouse in T4!

TDS: How long have you been playing and do you remember how you first came to join ATITD?

Ariella: I started on the first day of Tale 2 because a friend from another game said I would like this one. He was right!

TDS: You are probably best know for your seeds (I would *marry* my Ariella #376 flax seeds if I could) but what aspect of the game or activities do you actually enjoy the most? What are your favourite tests?

Ariella: The social aspect of a more mature, nicer bunch of people. The non-violence is relaxing to play in. Many systems in this game require intelligence instead of reactions. Making wiki guides are great fun!

My favorite tests are the art tests because they can be an outlet for creativity. I wish there was a sculpture test since I have seen a huge diversity of art in some of the sculptures and events.

TDS: You are heavily involved in advancing tech and opening research but not all players understand why this is important and what they ultimately get out of this. Can you give us a quick rundown of why you are so committed to this?

Ariella: I found the entire genetic system to be the most fascinating after trying just about every feature of the game. Unlike the other techs, the genetic techs need to be opened in every region because each region will release unique flora or can be used separately. Concerning releases… sea lilies, roses, veggies, vines and wheat. Molecular Balance tech only needs to be opened in one region.

Mutagenics need to be opened in every region possible because at each University of Thought a unique mutagen recipe is given out. Every tale we become bottlenecked on the moss needed for certain mutagenic regions. Mutagenic recipes usually require two-three attribute mosses with 3 negative attributes (those attributes cannot be found in the moss) which complicates the moss need further.

An example is the third mutagenic recipe that we are now bottlenecked on:

  • Green, Spongy, Striped moss + 2 Acorn’s Cap and 5 Neferteri’s Crown shrooms.
  • Cannot have Phosphorescent, Reticulated or Slimy in this moss but it can have any other attribute. Calico, Green, Spongy, Striped would be fine or Crackly, Fuzzy, Green, Spongy, Striped would work too.

In Tale 7 we have noticed that the attribute Striped seems to be rarer than other attributes. One of the tests also calls for specific mosses.

A common question is “What do I get out of helping to donate to these genetic techs other than a warm, fuzzy feeling?. I don’t care about flowers!”

Different strains of wheat can mean more crossbreeding to make wheat better for growing.

Mutagens are a powerhouse to make ‘building’ with individual genes possible. We can switch out single genes from certain locations in the genome to ‘build’ a gene set (a series of 1-4 genes that control 1 aspect of the flora). The more mutagens, the more ability to ‘build’ the flora into what you want.

Don’t you like better flax?

For instance, Xenobotany (roses) will ask for 4 types of sea lilies. Typically three types will be easy and one will be difficult if not impossible. Without a nice toolbox of varied mutagens it will be impossible to use crossbreeding alone to ‘build’ the needed sea lily to get the rose released.

Roses are used in three tests, one of which is the beloved Test of Festivals. Another is Test of the Formal Garden and I forget the third test. They are also used in perfume or chemistry.

A large toolbox of mutagens will give the possibility of improved flax, wheat and veggies that is extremely difficult to do with only crossbreeding or impossible or too time consuming because of the generations of crossbreeding needed.

TDS: Can you give some tips on how players who are not big into research or rich in resources to contribute can best help?

Ariella: This is where helping get out techs is difficult to explain! The ability to encourage donating is a skill that improves with each tale. Players hate being nagged. I hate nagging. They want the shortest list of nagging possible. Therefore I try to keep the donation lists short and concise. List the region, the specific technology, the University, the list of materials (mats) and a donation warehouse.

Unfortunately, new players and those not having much time may think they are unable to help when the reality is that donating the materials that make the specific materials listed is as important and easier. So now I try to list some of the associated materials, such as thermometers where glass pipes (or soda & lime or limestone/wood/tinder) and quicksilver(or charcoal/red sand) are just as good. Rotten fish, cobra skins and wood to make the fertilizer to make the Lily bulbs for Cross Breeding is just as helpful.

Interestingly, I tried having a wiki page for people to look at for the associated base materials and I found people were less likely to click the link to look at that list than they were to check their chest with only a chat list given. So I have slowly started listing some base mats with the chat nag list.

TDS: You are a DP, and your spouse Pascalito also became a DP in the last round of elections. That is certainly one way to resolve the “the spouse of a Demi-Pharaoh also has access to the ban stick” issue! How did you two get together and what’s it like being an Egyptian power couple?

Ariella: We first met at the very end of Tale 4 when Pascalito handed me ribbons at the end-of-Tale wood pile burning. I didn’t know at the time who had handed me those ribbons!

In Tale 5 I needed help getting ore. I hate to mine! Someone suggested I put up a chat with Pascalito because he would find mines for me. I found out he was very helpful not only with mines, but quarries, cooking, you name it! And it was great fun chatting with him.

Then after awhile we found out that we were both single and about the same age.
Coincidentally, I had made plans to visit my college friends in England and I found out Pascalito lived in Belgium which was an easy chunnel ride to get to. His English was so good that I had never suspected he was not from the USA.

We met in person and I met his parents. He decided that he would come visit me in the USA and meet my sons. After that he got a visa to come over for longer and we were married! On Halloween! Because of visa visiting restraints it happened that we needed to set the wedding date before a certain day and family and friends could come on October 31st. At first we didn’t even realize that it was Halloween. I guess I was following in my parents footsteps by marrying on a holiday. My parents were married on April Fool’s Day!

TDS: Who are you in real life?

Ariella: I own a window cleaning business that specializes in residences. I have five employees, one of which is my youngest son. I have two sons who live just 15 minutes away and who have 4 children between them with more to come I think 🙂

I live in the country and have huge flower beds, two vegetable gardens and a small orchard of sweet cherries, pears, apples, peaches and apricots.

My hobbies are woodworking/inlay, drawing and watercolor painting. Pascal is wanting to learn how to build guitars with me (I have a Master Woodworking degree). Check out Grit Laskin in Canada; he was one of my inlay teachers and gives me tips on building guitars too.

Pets have been a big part of my life. My favorite pet was Raja a huge blue Maine Coon cat. We have two dogs, Maya a bernedoodle and Dora a goldendoodle.

Thank you, Ariella, for being willing to share so much for this interview, and for the time, expertise and leadership you share with Egypt.

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