August 17, 2004
A few weeks ago, Selthios and I had the very distinct pleasure of getting to interview the Goddess Fayla. Fayla is a level 144 Medievia staff member and the Director of Political Development. In addition to being the first immortal to hold this this position, she is also a programmer, the builder training manager, a building mentor, and a world builder. I hope you enjoy the opportunity of getting to know this great goddess on a more personal basis - I know the 'Slinger team certainly did!
Selthios: How long have you been playing Medievia, and what initially got you started?
Fayla: I started playing in August, 2001 because I wanted something that would occupy my time, but not be as addicting as EverQuest. Silly me.
Selthios: Was Medievia your first MUD?
Fayla: I had played a couple role playing MUSHes, but Medievia was the first one I really got into.
Kimetan: I take it youíre also a player of MMORPGís such as EverQuestódo you prefer one format (MUD or MMORPG) over the other?
Fayla: I like them both for different reasons. Iíve played a lot of different MMORPGs, but I keep coming back to Medievia. I usually play them right when theyíve been released, but I end up getting frustrated with class/race unbalances or fundamental economy flaws because the game was rushed out the door. Medieviaís had over a decade of experience working out those issues, and I appreciate that. That being said, Iím lucky enough to be in the World of Warcraft beta, and am having a great time with that right now.
Selthios: What were your first impressions about Medievia?
Fayla: How wonderful the people are. I was enrolled into a clan as a level 14 single, and they taught me the game and became my friends. And to this day, Iím still in that clan. They are the reason Iíve played this game for so long.
Kimetan: It sounds like youíve found a real home in your clan!
Selthios: Is your opinion of Medievia the same now as it was back when you first created your first character?
Fayla: I now realize how lucky I was to find such a great group of people to play with right off the bat.
Selthios: How long had you played before you became a God?
Fayla: About eight months.
Kimetan: Wow Ė thatís a very impressive, very short span of time. After only eight months in the game, what prompted you to apply to become a Medievia staff member?
Fayla: I originally applied to be a builder fairly soon after I started playing the game, as I thought it would be fun. I was a single class player at the time. Well, I never heard anything and I just sort of forgot about it. Then, six months later, I got an email from Ikuska saying sheíd like to hire me. I was almost a hero by that point.
Selthios: What did you think of Medieviaís gods before you came on staff?
Fayla: I felt fairly intimidated by them. Not that they were mean or anything. I guess I saw them as these great important people.
Selthios: What is your impression of Gods now that you are one of them?
Fayla: Well, Iím not intimidated anymore! I see how hard everyone works to make this game that we all love great, and Iím proud of everything that the godstaff has accomplished.
Selthios: What was your initial reaction to becoming a goddess?
Fayla: I was ecstatic. Funny story, the same day I found out that I was going to be hired as a builder, I also found out that I had won a free trip to London. I wasnít sure which one I was more excited about.
Kimetan: How did you handle the daunting task of creating a zone completely from scratch?
Fayla: Well, I was all ready to go when I was first hired. I thought I was going to have my zone done in a month. But I write v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. And I went through some writerís block. And I graduated from college, got my first real job, and moved to another state. But eventually, I managed to pull it together and finish it about 8 months after I started. It was worth the effort.
Kimetan: What type of help and support did you receive along the way (e.g. help from a mentor, WRE, other god, etc.)?
Fayla: Miatrylle was my ZE, and she was very encouraging.
Kimetan: So you were hired as a World Builder, so I can assume you were first a level 32 (128). How did you progress all the way to level 35 (144)?
Fayla: I donít know. Those 148ís are crazy! Letís seeÖ Yeah, I started as a level 32. Right before I finished my zone, I got up the nerve to send an email to Ozy applying for a coding position. I really thought I had no chance in hell, but surprisingly enough I was actually hired. So that put me at 35, which was a big jump. I coded my little heart out. A little less than a year later, Ikuska asked me to head up the builder training department, and I was promoted to 142. Then, a few months after that, Vryce asked me head up the new position of director of political development, which put me at 144 where Iím at right now.
Selthios: When you first began playing Medievia, did you have any influences or heroes that you looked up to?
Fayla: Yep, one hero in particular really made a difference. Kyldor taught me everything I know.
Kimetan: How did you first meet him?
Fayla: I was wondering around the cleric quarter in Med City, and he stopped to see if I needed any help. I thought he was asking me to help HIM, so a very confusing conversation occurred and somehow I managed to get enrolled into his clan.
Selthios: All newbies have embarrassing moments, can you tell us one or two of yours?
Fayla: When I heroed, I thought I still had to get another 1,000 eggs to actually become a hero. I didnít know it was automatic upon becoming level 31. It wasnít until the next day in a lair that someone pointed out I already had a hero flag.
Selthios: When you finally realized you had become a hero, was it everything you thought it would be?
Fayla: Personally, I like getting to hero more than being a hero.
Kimetan: Why is that?
Fayla: Well, autoquests are one of my favorite parts of the game, so thatís one good reason.
Selthios: As a player, what would you say have been the most important aspect of Medievia to you?
Fayla: The people.
Selthios: What would you say has been your most memorable Medievia event?
Fayla: Seeing my zone (Sceptrum Ishachi) open after many months of hard work.
Kimetan: Do you have plans for any other zones in the works?
Fayla: Iím working on Corte di Rosa (zone 544), though by ďworkingĒ I mean writing about one room every four months. Politics and my coding projects just keep me too busy.
Kimetan: What feature or event are you most looking forward to in Medievia V?
Fayla: No one event in particular. Iím looking forward to getting out of this transitional period and seeing all the plans for Med V come together.
Selthios: Being a goddess means responsibility, hard work and devotion. You don't get paid so why do you do it?
Fayla: Iíve always wanted to do game programming and design. I just love the fact that I can do both here, and hundreds of players use what Iíve helped create every day. And, I love this game. I love being able to help make it better.
Selthios: How would you describe your average day as the Director of Political Development to a player?
Fayla: Answering politics email. Working on whatever coding project is currently on my plate. Helping out any of my building mentorees that have questions. General lurking in my god office.
Selthios: Can you tell us a little about the jobs you are currently working on?
Fayla: Well, I just finished up automated herobattles, and I always have a consistent flow of work from politics projects and zone procs.
Selthios: Do you have any projects for you planned in the future that you can tell us about?
Fayla: Nothing too grand at the moment, as like I said, I just finished a big project. Jeez, a little breathing room, please!
Kimetan: Okay, okay Ė weíll back off! I know everyone seems to really be enjoying the new automated herobattles Ė I had a chance to try them out, and even though I got my butt handed to me, I noticed theyíre so much easier to set up. Fantastic job!
Selthios: As a goddess you must have to answer the same questions over and over, how do you deal with things like that?
Fayla: I try to be as professional as possible.
Kimetan: How do you handle situations where players are clearly trying to push your patience?
Fayla: See above. Sometimes itís not easy, and when players are rude to me, it does upset me. I question why Iím spending my free time taking crap from someone I donít even know. But I try to never let that show in my dialog. It doesnít accomplish anything. And I hope that eventually, if I treat someone with respect, maybe after they calm down from whatever situation theyíre upset about, and theyíll appreciate it. I have yet to figure out if itís true or not.
Selthios: Can you share an interesting, funny, or quirky story with us?
Fayla: I once was testing some new code, and went to restart the test port. Doh! Wrong MudMaster window. I restarted the real game with no warning. And of course the restart echoed to the whole game ďFayla has restarted the game,Ē or whatever it says, so everyone knew it was me.
Kimetan: Oh my! How much grief did you take for that?
Fayla: Imm got pretty ugly, though luckily after they saw that the reset came with a new baby ruby dragon and a couple of blues, the rumbling got quieter.
Selthios: As a goddess, do you have any advice to players who may be reading this?
Fayla: ďThe godsĒ arenít out to get you. They donít hate you. There is no conspiracy against you.
Kimetan: Do you believe that is a common attitude amongst mortals?
Fayla: I see a lot of negativity and distrust. I hope we can overcome that image. Or maybe I should just turn imm off.
Kimetan: What do you, personally, try to do to help overcome that misconception?
Fayla: Be friendly and helpful, though itís getting harder now. People see my level and are sometimes intimidated by that, which is absurd. I donít bite, I swear.
Selthios: Now I'd like to ask the person behind the screen a few questions. Hopefully it will give people an opportunity to get to know you better.
Selthios: How old are you ďIRL?Ē
Selthios: What is your current profession?
Fayla: Iím a software engineer.
Selthios: Do you have any favorite hobbies or pastime, aside from Medievia, of course?
Fayla: Reading, watching movies, and traveling
Kimetan: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Fayla: That is a really hard question. It depends on my mood. I think it would have to be ďThe Royal Tenenbaums.Ē I love dark comedy, and I thought that movie was absolutely brilliant. I also love romance and I love blood and gore. Though not together, please.
Kimetan: Is there anywhere in the world that you really want to travel to, but havenít had the chance yet?
Fayla: Since my lifeís ambition is to travel the world, Iíd have to say yes. India, Nepal, Japan, China, Russia, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Holland, Sweden, New York City, BrazilÖ I could go on and on. I hope Iím lucky enough to see them all in my lifetime.
Kimetan: If you were a disk jockey, or D.J., what type of music would you refuse to play? Why?
Fayla: Country. When I was a teenager, thatís all they played on the radio in my hometown, and I just could never stand it.
Kimetan: If you ruled the (real) world for a day, what law would you pass? Why?
Fayla: A law, huh? The whole world? How does one rule the world? I have a lot of political ideas, but as a general rule I try to keep them to myself because I hate when people preach to me or shove their value system in my face, and I wouldnít want to do the same to them. So, if I had the ear of the whole world, Iíd kindly ask that they respect each other and learn from their differences.
Kimetan: Fair enough. What would you say your personal motto or slogan is that you try and live your life by?
Fayla: ďThat which does not kill you, makes you stranger.Ē Trevor Goodchild, Aeon Flux.
Selthios: If you were forced to quit Medievia this very second, what would you want people to remember about you?
Fayla: The great features I helped create.
Selthios: And what do you think people will remember about you?
Fayla: Iím the girl who denies all the politics ideas.
Selthios: If you could ask anyone on Medievia a question, what would it be and to who?
Fayla: Iíd ask the original creator of my clan about the early clan history. I wish that history wasnít lost.
Selthios: If you could interview anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Fayla: My grandfather, who past away when I was young. I want to know about his life, how he met my grandmother during WWII, how he played for minor league baseball. Again, lost history that I wish I knew.
Selthios: If you could describe yourself in just three words, what would they be?
Fayla: ďType INFP PersonalityĒ (Myers-Briggs test).
Kimetan: For our readers who arenít familiar with the Myers-Briggs test, could you break down what that means for us?
Fayla: Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving. An idealist, basically. http://keirsey.com/personality/nfip.html
Selthios: What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment in real life, so far?
Fayla: Graduating from college. Having my Bachelorís degree in computer science has made such a big difference in my life.
Kimetan: If you could have double majored in any other discipline in college, what would it be?
Fayla: English Literature
Kimetan: What is your favorite type of food?
Fayla: A fat t-bone steak. Montana beef.
Selthios: If you could have three wishes, and one of them is not to ask for more wishes, what would they be?
Fayla: 1. Peace in the world. Seriously. 2. To win the lotto so I can quit my job and travel the world. 3. That my husband and I are able to live a long and happy life together.
Selthios: Name 5 things most people donít know about you.
Selthios: Last thing Ö do you have any final statements, opinions, comments or the like?
Fayla: I love the MudSlinger!
Kimetan: And I love your answer to that question Ė hehe!
My thanks go out to Fayla for making time in her very busy schedule to sit down with the interview team, and let us get to know her a little better!
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