The following is an interview with Azuth on 9/26/03. Azuth is an experienced C programmer, and one of Sojourn's most active coders. He also plays the game with a variety of unassociated mortal alts, at least one of which is high level and zonable.

Y: So how did you get into mudding? Please specify the year and name of the mud if you can.

A: was about 6-7 years ago I guess
A: started on a small mud I found on a BBS up in NY, didn't stay there long though
A: back here in St. Louis I found GrottoBBS, it had a door to Toril (I think it was called that then)
A: been here ever since

Y: There must have been something that caused you to stay on Sojourn instead of going to another mud...what was it that caused you to remain here?

A: well it had everything it needed really, I used to play TW2002 alot on GrottoBBS and this was an all new adventure to me
A: the vastness of the world I guess kept me more than anything
A: I liked to explore alot early on

Y: This GrottoBBS was a standard dialup bbs?

A: yup, and I don't miss dialup at all :P
A: was a Major BBS iirc

Y: And Sojourn was affiliated with this bbs, or it had some sort of internet connection?

A: well alot of the early BBSes had a door option
A: it was the early days of the internet
A: things like FidoNet still existed
A: so a door was really just a telent connection from the BBS out

Y: In the time that you have been here on Sojourn, what is the most interesting thing you've seen?

Azuth begins to ponder on something.
A: this is a tough one
A: honestly I think for me my first week here was it
A: I was just beginning to see how big the world really was
A: the players were so friendly and to me this was the end all of games
A: it's really all interesting to me, hard to isolate a specific instance

Y: When was Sojourn's darkest period?

A: oh that'd have to be 1 week from now
A: the split is really hard on the gods as much as I can imagine it is on the players
A: noone can predict what's going to happen, and that makes it difficult for all
A: obviously we both (the muds) want our mud to be the best it can possibly be
A: and that's all we can do really, is try

Y: When was the best time to be playing Sojourn?

A: well for me it was the early days
A: the more you learn about this mud, the less there is to explore
A: and unfortunately as a god you see a lot more and faster
A: I imagine it's similar for any player, their first year is the best

Y: You have several mortal characters that you play.
Y: What are some of the things you do with them? Do you zone?

A: I have tons of chars this wipe, I started out as a mort this wipe and I was real proud to have been pick by one of the upper guilds
A: I zoned often in that early segment, but not alot anymore
A: I found zoning to keep me to stuck with respect to time
A: it'd never fail, I'd be in a zone (deep) and something would come up in RL
A: I'm sure everyone has had that happen
A: so mostly I play the mid levels and meet new people
A: I actually LIKE to exp!
Azuth grins wickedly.

Y: What is your favorite zone, and why?

A: well you'll laugh, but I like BG
A: it's huge and has a little bit of everything in it
A: exp, eq, shops galore, places to explore and map

Y: Could you talk about what it's like being a god on Sojourn? What is a typical day for you.

A: there is no real typical day, it varies alot with my mood
A: some days I just sit up here watching what players do
A: other days I may be in the middle of an exciting project and be mostly afk working on that
A: sometimes I just chat with friends
A: something always comes up :P

Y: I always assume that gods started as normal players unless something indicates otherwise. If this is not the case for you, please let me know.
Y: What did you hope to achieve by becoming a god on Sojourn? Have you done what you wanted to do?

A: well I knew how to code this stuff the day I started playing here, however I never asked to join as a god for fear that it would ruin my player experience
A: and I loved being a player back then
A: so once I felt that I had accomplished most of what I could as a player, giving back was the next logical choice
A: As a god I'm never really done, I can add new things forever
A: the payoff for me is in people liking what I do

Y: In my experiences, multiple coders can result in problems that would not occur with a single coder. Sojourn has several coders and from my perspective I can see no coding problems.
Y: I guess this could sound cheesy, but what is your secret for working well with the other coders? How is it you don't step on each others' toes?

A: well we have some from time to time, we're human too
A: naturally we try to avoid it, but it can happen
A: I've seen projects half done just up and get written over, ya move past it after the yelling :P
Azuth giggles.
A: good modularity helps too

Y: Could you list a few of the features you have coded for Sojourn? Which coding project are you most proud of and why?

A: well I do alot of debugging for one, it's not really a project, but it can be fun
A: of the projects I have done, slots and auction are definately tops on my proudest things
A: I do alot of utility coding as well, like tools for the admins/areas and such
A: I've added some things that players might cringe at :P (things like cheat detection)

Y: Are there any projects you're working on that you can tell us about?

A: well generally (much to everyone's dismay) I usually like to keep them a surprise up until the end
A: for me it's just more rewarding that way
A: but you can go see the list that we as a team will be tackling in the near future (Miax version of the mud)

Y: Being a god can be a lot of work, especially on Sojourn I would imagine. What do the gods do here to have fun?

A: mostly kill the newbie gods
A: that are the occasional echo to a player to drive them nuts tryign to figure out what just happened

Y: As someone who would know, which is a better medium for conveying our ideas, the idea command or the ideas section of the bbs?

A: well BBS is much easier to read (normally) the flames in there really get to ya though, it's too bad too cuz it's really a good place for ideas
A: but we will be reviewing the typo/bug/idea logs more in the future, it was one of my suggestions to tackle

Y: Soon Sojourn will be divided into two muds, one hosted by Miax, and another hosted by Sheverash and Cyric.
Y: Everyone has an opinion on this. Would you share yours with us?

A: can ya be more specific about the opinion on what part?
A: there's many aspects to it, some I simply can't go into
A: it's not what I really want to happen, but it is, so I have to deal with it
A: I'll make the best of it that I can

Y: Both Miax and Sheverash have posted details on their muds, including a list of gods who will be going to each, and their sphere.
Y: Assuming you have seen these lists, do you think both sides will have enough coders for things to run smoothly?

A: well it's not always the coders that are needed, it kinda depends on the direction of the mud
A: you could run a mud with 1 admin, and never add an area or change the code
A: but more to your question, I think each side will have plenty of coding talent to survive

Y: What are some of the things you do IRL?

A: well mud has absorbed alot lately, but I love to go jetskiing in the summer
A: sadly I blew the engine and didn't get it repaired this last summer
A: but I hope to get it fixed for next season
A: other than that I code at home alot, graphics and math I love

Y: This will be the final question.
Y: Where do you see yourself in the future?

A: 1-2 yrs not much change, still coding here, 5-10 yrs, I'd like to get a real boat and start relaxing :P
A: if a game company approached me I'd be in heaven, but that's not likely to happen anytime soon

Y: Thank you :)

A: you're quite welcome


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