Interview with Selthios
Recently I was able to track Selthios down between running quest and training some of the new player helpers. Selthios is a level 35 (total 142) god who works as Quest Manager, Master Quest Designer, Real-Houses and Clan, New Player Help Trainer, and various other departments. The following is what he was willing to answer for me.
Eloria:: What was your first job as a god?
Selthios:: I was hired as an NHPR god, (Newbie Help Program Representative) which is now called NPH god, which was back in 2000. I took up a position of Quest Assistant a few months after that, Zeier was retiring at the time and Kalithon was taking over, a short time later Kalithon got purged and Alteneos took over. During that time I started writing some quests and making changes within the department, in 2002 I took over the department and have been the manager since. I was also a WOM Assistant for over a year during that time and opened a couple zones. I am still active as an NPH god and was the co-leader of clan 50 for a while. Helping players has always been something I have enjoyed.
Eloria:: How long have you been playing Medievia and what is your favourite client of choice?
Selthios:: I've been playing since 1998, I started with a client called Pueblo which is still quite nifty, just lacks stuff like scripting. I used mm2k for a while when it came out but when I started working with quests I moved to mm console and used that for many years, right now I use Zmud for my god window as it is easier to read prays and do all the work stuff but I still run mm console for my mortal since I wrote tons of scripts for it and have them all setup the way I like. I see people bashing mm console all the time but in reality it can do anything you could really need, sometimes it just comes down to figuring out how to do something.
Eloria:: What made you change your name from Janifrenis to Selthios?
Selthios:: Well, I thought of the name in about 20 seconds while sitting outside of Thanos after Ikuska told me I was hired, people kept thinking I was a chick so I had it changed, Kostia actually thought up the new name. I tried changing back to Janifrenis the other month but it would cause too many problems when I discipline people.
Eloria:: How much fun did you have with creating the Maze of Vagenhor?
Selthios:: It had its ups and downs, technically it isnít finished though. I started making it as a real zone, then I stopped and started making it into a zone quest (zone quests have now been a 5 year project) and now I am working on getting it up to par and opened. I am not a great builder, the rooms had been sitting with a dozen or so denied since 2003 until the other day, now I just have 6 rooms denied. I make tons of spelling and grammar mistakes it isnít funny, I am sure everyone has seen a spelling mistake in a new quests when I have been testing.
Eloria:: What is it like mentoring and assisting in the training department?
Selthios:: Itís hard, most of the gods we train are quest gods since that is the department that hires the most. (Building would be more but they are 128 and donít get god training unless they get 132). I've been a god trainer since 2001 so it has been a while, most of the rules we tell people are simple common sense things like donít use the history command without a valid reason. Since basically everything you do is logged itís easy to spot when people break them. Its good being a mentor even if people donít come back with many questions, having someone there to help is a good safety net. I have people I donít remember training asking me questions and thanking me, itís a good feeling.
Eloria:: What does some of your job as manager of the Quest System entail?
Selthios:: Itís hard to explain, it depends on what project I am working on or what needs work. I spent several years focusing on designing and am now focusing more on project work, projects like z574, z295, revamping quest auction items (which is now done) or zone quests. Most of my projects span a few years depending on outside circumstances, z574 took 2 1/2 years, zone quests have been in progress since 2001, and things just take time. When Zenzer coded his ZS module I jumped onboard and have been making procs with it for quests since, itís a slow process since I kept needing new functions coded so I could push the boundaries more and more and even slower now that Zenzer is gone. I am working on revamping/finishing HellQuest at the moment, which entails me making 4 new zones and revamping the current HellQuest zone which was moved from the quest zone to its own zone, that means mapping out a few hundred rooms and making mobiles/objects for the whole thing. As manager I also review quest god applications and look at activity levels of my staff. I canít remember all the quest gods that have been purged while I have been manager, I am sure I have hired/fired more gods than any other department. I am likely the only person to have their clan leaderís god purged. No one has really taken anything Iíve done badly, the worst case I had was I gagged someone and they removed me from the clan. One of the things I think I have done as a god is be fair, I enforce the rules no matter who is involved, I have been in clans with some big egos and they all knew when it came down to it I would freeze them if it was warranted. I was accused of bias once, a player telepathed me when I was in link accusing me of being bias for DoF, a clan I have never been in and was actually cpking against most days at that time. I've seen players accuse gods of bias because their mortal is in clan X when I know for a fact the god would never enroll in that clan.
Since I have quite a few titles things sometimes get moved around in priority, I've been working with real estate for a few years now, first I was working with Kithario on houses and later taking them over when he left and more recently stepping back a bit due to time issue and because we have several very good ZE gods who can do all that building stuff with their eyes closed whereas I always get custom messages wrong the first time. As you mentioned above I am also an NPH and NGT god trainer as well as an NPH mentor and I also train the entire quest department.
Eloria:: How long did it take to do the zone The City of Txiki Ardi that you and Aewen worked on?
Selthios:: I started working on it in late 2003, I asked Aewen to help me with the room descriptions and objects/mobiles about six months after that. It took a while to get approved actually since it isnít an XP or EQ zone, its more of a city that I can use as a storyline. The idea came about because I was pushing for each quest to have a story that made sense and linked to other quests, it never really took off since I couldnít think of many things and no one else really stepped forward to help.
Eloria:: What is you most proud achievement in your time as a god?
Selthios:: Itís hard to say, opening z574 was a proud moment. Getting DarkSun and BloodMoon2 working again was another, Restiana wrote them using a .dll file and TinTin back around 1996, I had to re-write a bunch of coding in the .dll so it was compatible with current commands and also write a mm console file for DarkSun as it didnít have one. I had help from a couple of mortals to get the .dll to initially compile since it was setup for TinTin and needed changes to run with mud master. Knowing that I have personally written or remade/rewritten over 50% of all quests is also a good feeling (ref wizlist quest_list).
Eloria:: If someone were to aspire to become a god, what advice do you have?
Selthios:: Use common sense when dealing with gods and when being a god, also have an idea what you want to do, donít just apply to one position as a stepping stone. I know I personally hate it when people try and use the quest department as a stepping stone. You can technically do a thousand more things as a quest god than you can in most departments, because of some of the projects we are working on and because of the way we set some quests up you have a very broad range of areas to work with.
Eloria:: Any misadventures you care to share with everyone or acts of randomness that occurred on your part?
Selthios:: Other than the standard restarting the main port while on test or crashing the game on several occasions or even making a typo while editing a file and preventing the game from booting for a couple hours I donít have many acts Iíd like to share.
Eloria:: What are some of your personal favourite quests in the game?
Selthios:: I love DarkSun and BloodMoon2 simply because of their complexity from a design point of view, I personally donít quest much since I donít NPK often. Trivia/Scrapple is good but I tend to only know either old trivia or stuff people donít need to know. Relic quest was fun to make but that was mainly because it was a new way to do quests. My personal favourite for enrolling/playing in other than Trivia/Scrapple would be Der Ballon ist auf Feuer.
Eloria:: What is some of the major consulting you do for the MudMaster console?
Selthios:: Not many people actually ask for specific help these days with MudMaster, I login to the MudMaster discussion board to help people there as well as in game. Many people either already know MudMaster or donít ask for help. I made a website a few years ago now with some basic scripts which still work fine from memory.
Eloria:: Do you hide things about yourself in your zones or quest?
Selthios:: Oh, all the time. I make mobiles that are to remind me of people and then go and make items of clothing I think would be cool for them. Now, I donít expect people to rush into my zones or to look at the mobiles/objects I have made and have them make sense, when I made some objects for zone 574 I made things I thought would be cool and make me think of specific things. When I bought a house a few years back and made a key for it I named it ďa sprig of lemon skyrocketĒ this was based on a plant I learnt about from a website a friend told me about. I also have music in my office, one of only two people I know to have this although the music fires as an infinite loop so I donít know if this is a good or a bad thing to have.
Eloria:: Have you ever thought of branching out from quest?
Selthios:: How far do I go before the branch breaks, Iíve been a Wom assistant, co-leader of the newbie clan, new god/NPH god/and avatar trainer, house/clan builder and Iíve built/made/designed zones/objects/mobiles and shops for quests and Iíve coded tons of ZS Procs. Iím not sure what area of the game I havenít done something with over the years, I even tried writing an AQ before I failed.
Eloria:: What is one of your favourite adventures as a god?
Selthios:: Helping people and seeing them have fun. I get a laugh out of making something new and testing it.
Eloria:: In closing, what would you like to share with everyone or say?
Selthios:: I would like to share an object I made, a vintage pink lace dress:
This dress is cut in a vintage fashion. It has white lace edging and is shaped to fit a classical figure. The silky soft fabric is made from a mixture of deep and light pink pigments. This dress hugs the female figure, accentuating its key attributes.
After dodging though some hail and brimstone to track Selthios down, I would thank him for taking the time to be interviewed. This is the Mudslinger, out for now.