This week, the Daily Scarab interviews Yendor, known to many as “the paint guy.” We chatted with Yendor not about paint, but instead about his role as an Elder in the large Guild ZFree, large-scale project organisation, and the chaos of an early Tale.
TDS: How long have you been playing and do you remember how you came to first play ATITD?
Yendor: I started playing in late T2, and ended up at the Red Sea Refuge. I was extremely fortunate to have FaceAnkh and Esme as mentors. I played the last bit of T2, all of T3, and then returned in T6. I returned as soon as I learned that Pluribus had bought the game from Teppy, which was about six months after the deal was complete.
TDS: You are an Oracle of Architecture in T7 your profile notes you’ve achieved that in previous Tales, too. You led the Architecture monument in T3, which is a massive commitment. What is it that you find appealing about this discipline?
Yendor: Architecture is one with very specific goals. I don’t have to wonder about what type of relic I will dig up, or the possibility of players voting me out – complete the task to earn a pass! I also like coordinating regional projects so things like Test of Life appeal to me. Even the competitive tests like Obelisk are straightforward competition with minimal backstabby betrayals.
TDS: What are your favourite tests from other disciplines? And what aspects of ATITD do you enjoy most?
Yendor: I also like Worship tests. I have a lot of admiration for the people who organize the Festival events, and its fun getting a ritual correct.
As far as what I like about ATITD the most? Suppose I teach someone how to pass the Test of Octect’s Ghost. So they know about, for example, how to mine silver, how to make glass rods, how to prospect marble, good methods to trade for crystals, all that good stuff.
My favorite part of ATITD? The test of Safari is completely different and has nothing in common with those. And Messenger is completely different from either of those. ATITD has a wider variety of things to do than any other MMORPG I’ve played. And it needs player knowledge and skill, not just grinding out mashing buttons.
TDS: You’re an elder in zFree in RP. For those of us who joined later, how are large Guilds like zFree organised at the beginning of a tale?
Yendor: The beginning of the tale is a busy time for everyone, but it poses a special challenge to zFree because we have so many players. We need to, for example, make sure our glass-making compound is separated from the flax-growing fields so they don’t pollute them (for a single player, it’s not that bad to do glass-works for a day, herbing for a day, then come back to do flax after the pollution dies down. That doesn’t work if you have people doing all of the above all the time). So we need a *big* space for all of our buildings, access to pretty much every resource in the game, and an organized plan from day 1 about, for example, where we will put the metal tanks several months before they can be built.
Both Ruby and I had the full-tale prepaid package; that allowed us to log in early. We were a bit surprised that the map had changed so much between the beta test and live, and even worse, our old camp site had been nuked so badly the damage was visible on the minimap (check out the fuzz west of RP’s UArt — those are random sand clumps dropped in the middle of our old camp). So we frantically ran around looking for a spot with clay and silt, and flat spaces to grow flax, but also sand where we could put a glass compound, and it needed to be near the Nile for papyrus, and near a CS or expedition site for ease of travel, and an altar for Festivals, and…) We finally found a good spot just as our hour head start was out of time and the one-year prepays started logging on. So we spent the next few hours building compounds just to claim space and mark territory.
Once Ruby and I had the site picked out, actually building the guild was very expensive, but all of the zFree elders came together and it was a big group effort. We had to decide how large to become and how quickly to grow. We started at 21 people so Ruby could unlock the Leadership discipline. Then we spent an entire day making bricks and boards (remember: this is on wood planes and flimsy brick racks) to grow to 50 people — and during that time, 75 people applied to join. So we spent another full day making bricks and boards to grow to 100 people — and during this time 50 more people (total of 125) had applied. At that point we had done nothing other than make a guild hall, so we had to close membership to anyone who had not already been part of zFree or lived in the area.
Oh, and by the way, until the guild hall was built, we coordinated though private chat or even in main. Hectic times!