September 18, 2004
Recently I had the chance to sit down and chat with the man, the myth, and the legend: Columnus. Columnus is a level 35 immortal who has been on Medievia’s staff since 1995 - a tenure that is rivaled only by Vryce's. In his seasoned career he has served as Medievia's MudSlinger Editor and as a Clan/Real-Estate God. Columnus has had the thrilling opportunity to watch Medievia grow and change from a small "hobby-like" MUD to the full-scale universe we enjoy today. I'm positive you’ll find what he had to say as interesting and exciting as I did. Happy reading!
Kimetan: How long have you been playing Medievia, and what initially got you started?
Columnus: Let's see, I started on Med in February of 1994. A friend of mine from college introduced the game to me; he was a player and god on here by the name of Achad.
Kimetan: Interesting - what was his role within Medievia?
Columnus: He was the MudSlinger editor actually. And he was my News Editor, I was the editor of my college newspaper. About a year or so later, he retired, and I took his place as the MudSlinger editor.
Kimetan: I didn't know you used to be editor of the 'Slinger?
Columnus: I was the third editor.
Kimetan: How long did you hold the position for?
Columnus: Hrm, about a year or so.
Kimetan: Was your first position in the 'Slinger department?
Columnus nods his head.
Kimetan: Where'd you move on to after your position as editor?
Columnus: Well, I retired for a time, and came back to Medievia in 1998/1999. That's when I came aboard to help Casse with clans and real-estate when Lena retired.
Columnus: It's funny how I got the name Columnus.
Kimetan: Oh yes?
Columnus: Achad had told me he was retiring, and recommended me to Vryce.
Columnus: Vryce had like a five minute chat with me and was like "OK, the job is yours. What do you want to call your god?"
Columnus: I was like, you need to know now?
Columnus: He said "Yup."
Columnus: The college newspaper I ran was called "The Temple Column," hence Columnus. Of course five minutes into having a god, some wiseass hero by the name of Boots gossips, "Whoa. They hired Christoper Columbus as a god!"
Columnus: Ahh the memories. :)
Kimetan: Ok, stepping back a bit to your Medievian roots, was Medievia your first MUD?
Kimetan: What were your first impressions of the game?
Columnus: Well, put it this way, when Achad showed me how to log on, it was about 9 pm on a Saturday night ... next thing I know, the sun was coming up on Sunday.
Kimetan: Sounds like those earlier years were just as addictive as ever!
Columnus: When I first started, I was majorly addicted. I'm not really anymore, haven't been in a few years. First two years or so I was hardcore.
Kimetan: "Uber-leet" hero and all that?
Columnus nods his head.
Kimetan: I've never had the gumption to get to that point, personally. That and CPK still makes me shake in my boots!
Columnus: I was never a big PK'er, but I had some good stats. I go back to the time of old, old, old stat equipment (e.g. 14/7 9d5 accuracy daggers).
Kimetan: How was the game different than what we're used to today?
Columnus: Completely - not even close. There was no wilderness, no combs, no breath.
Kimetan: How did the world piece itself together without the wilderness?
Columnus: Small connector zones. You could walk down the Courrain River, which Medievia City sits on, to get to different zones.
Kimetan: Is your opinion of Medievia the same now as it was back when you created your first character?
Columnus: Yes and no. It is amazingly big and multifaceted now. There's so much more to do and see and experience, but part of me misses the "little old mud" that was Med when I first started ... 50-60 people on ... fewer zones, less walking, etc. It's definitely a much bigger and more fulfilling experience here now.
Kimetan: I'm assuming the player-base knew one another on a much more intimate basis in those days?
Kimetan: Would you consider that a good or a bad thing?
Columnus: Uhm, its both really - it was fun knowing everyone, but disagreements sometimes got a little too personal.
Kimetan: How long had you played before you became a God?
Columnus: About a year and a half.
Columnus: I started my first mortal in February of '94, and got Columnus in October of '95.
Kimetan: What did you think of Medievia's gods before you came on staff?
Columnus: Well, it was a much different place then. Public relations and such didn't really matter, cursing rules were almost nonexistent, and gods yelled at players in a little bit of a more ... harsh way. Its more business-like now, much more customer oriented - which it needs to be to grow the playerbase.
Kimetan: Do you think the way things used to be relates back to the more "intimate" playerbase we were just chatting about?
Columnus: That and a difference of philosophy. It was less of a business and more of a hobby back then.
Kimetan: When you became a god, what familiar faces were around as immortals in those days?
Columnus: Well, there is really only one god that is around from when I started, and that is Vryce.
Kimetan: Oh wow! So you're a real old-timer then?
Columnus: You could say that, I was over visiting Vryce and Soleil last night and we were talking about just that.
Kimetan: Now you mentioned you retired for a period of time...
Columnus nods his head.
Kimetan: What prompted your retirement?
Columnus: Well, that's a very long, dramatic story. In a nutshell, I had a really bad day (ANNOUNCEMENT 103).
Kimetan: Oh ... I don't think I've ever read that one before.
Columnus: Yeah, its quite a story.
Columnus: Basically, i talked over things with Vryce and retired - Columnus remained. I spent about a year on another mud as a player and a god, then quit mudding altogether.
Kimetan: What was your experience like on the other MUD you worked on?
Columnus: It was ok ... it wasn't Med, but it was fine for a time.
Kimetan: Fair enough.
Columnus: In the end, I got bored of it and quit.
Kimetan: What was your role there?
Columnus: I was the newspaper editor and clan/real-estate god.
Kimetan: How do you enjoy your position as clan/real-estate god?
Columnus: I do, its nice to be able to work here still. I've been here a long time, and its nice to be able to contribute. The real-estate part of the job has been delegated to Selthios, I only deal with clans now. With Casse gone, Miatrylle is helping me out with clans, she is also the clantown goddess.
Kimetan: Has Casse retired?
Columnus: I suppose ... she just vanished. I've not heard or seen from her in months.
Kimetan: I hope all is well.
Kimetan: If you were forced to quit Medievia this very second, what would you want people to remember about you?
Columnus: Well, that I was tough, but I tried to be as fair as possible.
Kimetan: And what do you think people will remember about you?
Columnus: Hard to say really. I'm sure there is a sizable contingent of players that wouldn't mind seeing me go, but I'd like to hope there are a few that didn't mind having me around.
Kimetan: All newbies have embarrassing moments, can you tell us one or two of yours?
Columnus: Haha - well, back in the day gossip used to be a global channel, and you could use the abbreviation go to use it. Back when V first started talking about the catacombs and what they were going to be, some hero gossiped type GO CATACOMBS for a sneak preview of the newest zone in Medievia! So this idiot types it, along with about twenty others, and all you see is about twenty Septian has gossiped "CATACOMBS" from all different players.
Columnus: The other funny story is I was being xp'ed in the Mystical Forest by clannies and I got hit by lightning three times in two minutes.
Kimetan: How on earth did you manage to get hit by that much lightning?
Columnus: Luck? :P
Kimetan: Was it weather generated or god generated? Cause I've gotten a few blasts ... but they were god-made...
Columnus: Weather. My clannies couldn't type, they were laughing so hard IRL. We all nearly died because they couldn't even cast recall they were laughing so hard.
Kimetan: As a player, what would you say has been the most important aspect of Medievia to you?
Columnus: As a player? Probably my involvement with clan 6, The Knights Templar. My mortal has basically been in the clan for most of the ten years I've played here.
Kimetan: That's impressive!
Columnus: I was once the leader and twice the co-leader of the clan.
Kimetan: What about as a god?
Columnus: Its interesting being a part of the transition of the game once again. I was a part of the transition from Med 3 to Med 4, and now we are moving into Med 5.
Kimetan: Now if I recall correctly, wasn't the transition from 3 to 4 a little bumpier for the playerbase?
Columnus: Yes, in fact, the mud I worked on after leaving here was founded as a direct result of Med 3 becoming Med 4. The mud was founded by a large group of players who quit here after the change over.
Kimetan: What were their disagreements with?
Columnus: Well, many of them quit before the change over. Some didn't like breath, others didn't like the wilderness. It wasn't one thing specifically ... it was change in general. People get comfortable ... they don't want to see things changed.
Kimetan: Very true.
Columnus: You have some of that here now. I've not always agreed with every change here, but many of them work out - those that don't get fixed.
Kimetan: Others just end up going the way of the dodo, I suppose (e.g. Kingdoms).
Columnus nods his head.
Columnus: Right. Kingdoms problem was it was too successful.
Kimetan: How so?
Columnus: It got people so worked up, it spilled into RL.
Columnus: People started threatening others ... emotions ran over.
Kimetan: Good word!
Columnus nods his head.
Kimetan: What would you say has been your most memorable Medievia event?
Columnus sits down and thinks deeply about the problem.
Columnus: You me other than me raining millions of gold worth of eq all over the mud?
Kimetan: Sure - haha. Let's think "legal memorable moments."
Columnus: Probably either the day the combs opened or the day I became a 140 - both were neat in their own way. Oh, I was the first person ever to complete a trade run!
Kimetan: What type of values did you earn on that one?
Columnus: Let's put it this way: I didn't trade again for three years.
Kimetan: What feature or event are you most looking forward to in Medievia V?
Columnus: I'm really curious to see how clanships work.
Kimetan: It seems as though a lot of players are anxious for their arrival.
Columnus: One of my favorite old computer games was "Pirates 2," where you could have sea battles. Give 'em a broadside laddies! Arrr!
Kimetan: I definitely need to work on my pirate accent before ships debut.
Kimetan: Would you say knowing Vryce and Soleil IRL had a different impact on your Medievia experience than what most players/gods have?
Columnus: Ah, I don't know about that. I guess when I had my little incident and retired ... they knew I was going through a rough time personally, so they were more forgiving, hence allowing me to retire and keep Columnus.
Kimetan: Being a god means responsibility, hard work and devotion. You don't get paid so why do you do it?
Columnus: Well, I volunteer to do a lot of things in my real life; I do it because it's fun or rewarding. I help out here out of respect to friends.
Kimetan: Very admirable.
Kimetan: How would you describe an average day in the life of a Clan/Real-Estate god to a player?
Columnus: Uhm, its kind of an up and down thing. Some days I won't do a thing. Others, I may create two or more clans, disband others, add a few gohomes, and have a new clan item put in. For some reason, things happen in waves.
Kimetan: Sounds like the old feast or famine predicament.
Columnus: Late summer/early fall and spring are two hot times, based on college. A lot of clans die out in the spring as kids leave school and work for the summer. Vice-versa, a lot of new ones are made as the school year starts. So yes, definitely feast or famine!
Kimetan: How do you handle situations where players are clearly trying to push your patience?
Columnus: Now or six years ago? :)
An aura of heavenly light appears above Columnus's head.
Kimetan: Let's go with now...
Columnus: I just try to ignore them pushing me and explain the situation. If they still feel like pushing it, I'll go invis and refer them to the proper authority!
Kimetan: As a god, do you have any advice to players who may be reading this?
Columnus: Remember when dealing with gods, most all of us are volunteers, and are people too. We aren't "out to get you," we are just doing the best job we can!
Kimetan: Now I'd like to ask the person behind the screen a few questions!
Kimetan: How old are you IRL?
Kimetan: What is your current profession?
Columnus: My title is Director of Enrollment Management for the Fox School of Business at Temple University ... so higher education administrator.
Kimetan: What is your undergraduate degree in?
Kimetan: Any masters?
Columnus: I just started MBA in marketing.
Kimetan: How is that going?
Columnus: Two classes, one A one B+ so far, so good.
Kimetan: Sounds like a strong 3.5!
Columnus flexes his big, bulging muscles for everyone to see.
Kimetan: Do you have any favorite hobbies or pastimes, aside from Medievia, of course?
Columnus: I bartend part time, and run a trivia night. I like to hang out with friends, live music, darts, pool. I have a poker night at my place, a little Texas Hold'em!
Kimetan: What's the hardest drink to have to make?
Columnus: Anything in a blender sucks.
Kimetan: What is your favorite movie?
Columnus: Outstanding acting, combination of action/love story and humor, and the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman was unreal.
Kimetan: Is there anywhere in the world that you really want to travel to, but haven't had the chance yet?
Kimetan: Are you Irish?
Columnus: 3/4th - other is German.
Kimetan: Original or extra crispy?
Columnus: Extra crispy.
Kimetan: Ice cream or frozen yogurt?
Columnus: Ice cream.
Kimetan: Milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate?
Kimetan: If you were a disk jockey, or D.J., what type of music would you refuse to play? Why?
Columnus: I don't like newer rap for the most part. I don't mind Eminem, but the thug stuff - hard core - I dont like or get.
Kimetan: If you ruled the (real) world for a day, what law would you pass and why?
Columnus: No smoking!
Columnus: Although I like a good cigar once and a while.
Kimetan: And you bartend? How do you stand it?
Columnus: I'm used to it. However, I've lost too many loved ones to it. Two grandmothers, an aunt, a best friend's mom, and a best friend's father.
Kimetan: What would you say your personal motto or slogan is that you try and live your life by?
Columnus: Live and let live.
Kimetan: If you could describe yourself in just three words, what would they be?
Columnus: Big, loud, fun!
Kimetan: If you could have three wishes, and you cannot wish for more wishes, what would they be?
Columnus: World peace, to drop about 40 pounds and to find a really nice girl, get married and have a healthy, happy family.
Kimetan: That's five!
Columnus throws his arms up in disgust, dismissing the entire concept.
Kimetan: Name five things most people don't know about you.
Columnus: I'm the oldest of 38 first cousins.
Columnus: I'm really a big softy (a.k.a. Columnus isn't my true personality :P).
Columnus: I'm working on a book.
Kimetan: Ooh, care to divulge any details?
Columnus: I don't know if it will ever get done!
Kimetan: The Great American Novel?
Columnus: You got it.
Columnus: I play sports year round. I play softball from March to November and touch football from September to April.
Columnus: How many is that?
Columnus: My dream job would to be a sports broadcaster.
Kimetan: Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Columnus: My pleasure.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Columnus for sitting down and sharing so many of his great experiences and information about himself. I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed getting to know Columnus in the process of writing it.
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