The following is an interview with Touk on 9/1/03. Touk is a rowdy, surly, swashbuckling, fearless pirate captain. When he's not leading newbies to their doom in IC, he's busy getting work done with his alt, Dugmaren, who is a staff member here on Sojourn.

Y: So how and when did you get into mudding?

T: Long time ago ... in the time of the BBS, someone I was playing TradeWars2002 with introduced me to it.
T: I've always like dungeons & dragons, and that manner of thing so I got hooked

Y: To follow up, which mud was that?

Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: Sorry, - read that as introduced me mudding by showing me Sojourn

Y: What was it about Sojourn that caused you to play here over other muds?

T: I don't enjoy duris style arenas, and sojourn seemed to be the most intricate and vast mud out there.

Y: If I may, I would like to ask you four questions in regards to your alt, Dugmaren.
Y: If you would prefer that this not be discussed, I will skip ahead and there will be no mention of this.

T: I'll just politely decline answering if you hit anything you shouldn't.
Touk smiles happily.

Y: I am assuming that you started playing Sojourn as a regular player, and became a staff member at a later time. Please correct me if this is not so.
Y: Assuming this is how things happened, what was it that caused you to want to be a part of the staff? What did you want to accomplish?

T: You get to a certain point in the game where you consider yourself to have won.
T: I had many friends, had led all the zones, several of which nobody else would even attempt, a complete set of top-ranked equiment etc.
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: I enjoy creating areas & zones, had built many as a dungeon master already but hadden't played DnD in a long while. The itch to create was there, so off I went :)

Y: The credits show that you have made at least three zones for Sojourn: A'Quarthus Velg'Larn, Elemental Plane of Smoke and Muspelheim.
Y: Of the areas you have made, which one are you most proud of, and why?

T: Muspelheim, partially because it's immense, totalling 459 rooms, but mostly because I created it with many of the requests from players. Somewhere that incorporated a standard zoning area, invasions for high level equipment that was very dangerous, and secret back doors and quests that small groups could handle.
T: It was back when there was a large complaint that all zones required brute force to defeat, and there was only 1 path to the goals.
T: Thus there are 3 methods of entry to the main castle, 3 methods of entry to the secondary grids, and skilled players can navigate the entire area with a small group.
T: On top of that, ALL of the major gatehouse fights change every load, sometimes incorporating casters, sometimes extra warriors, one has reinforcements that join at certain hours. Thus if you time it right you can avoid them.
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.

Y: Do you have any projects you're working on that you could briefly describe?

Touk falls down laughing.
T: where to start
T: 1. Equipment Evaluation - we've been trying to (again at player request) make equipment rewards balanced in relation to the difficulty of the fights required to get the equipment.
T: Areas has completed the system and evaluated I believe 250 zones now, we're just waiting on some code before we can implement it.
T: 2. Choking Palace - my next zone is backwards - the mobs invade you, your goal as the player is to fend off several attack waves and keep the king alive, it will be a very difficult zone for level 50s only.
T: 3. Tiamat - with the help of Malar I've completely redone the entire zone, it's now 7 zonelets of death and destruction, I'm sure everyone will hate me mightily.
Touk throws back his head and cackles with insane glee!
T: 4. During the equipment evaluation process many quest rewards were found to be far too powerful for the difficulty of the quest. We're trying to revamp these quests so we can maintain the items, among them the more prominent quests are Torin's Mithril Hammer, The Dread Gythka of the Thri-Keen, Both Avengers - hol
T: holy & unholy, Kern's, and Erlan's
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: 5. Steam-lining the Areas Sphere so that its more friendly to new gods, and we're more efficient. We've set up weekly meetings, completed several zone-creation packages, and are more actively getting assignments done.
T: 6. Couple other things, on top of the standard supervision of over a dozen new zone builders.
T: 7. Most importantly, hitting people with random lightning.
KA-BOOOM! ZAP! Dugmaren strikes you with lightning!

You fall down laughing.

Touk whistles innocently.

Y: What is the best and worst part of being a staff member on Sojourn?

T: Best - I've got my finger in Sojourn's brain. I can talk to the forgers and co-ords about policy, combat changes, ai, classes, new spells etc.
T: Worst - politics, putting up with players that show no respect

Y: What was the lowest point in Sojourn's history?

T: Depends on the how one interprets the question - I think Sojourn has steadily been going uphill through s2, toril, and s3
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: But I'd say when Cherzra sent slanderous emails to Miax's employers, and Family

Y: *nod* That was a terrible thing to do.

T: There's something wrong if you don't realize you can just turn off your monitor. You don't take that kind of thing into real life, its completely un-called for, and way over the line.

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

T: For anyone, or me?

Y: You could answer however you would like.
Y: One or the other, or both :)

T: For anyone - I'm going to have to say as soon as Tiamat & the equipment evaluation goes live. For me.. before I was a god. Once you get some of the commands I've got, the game kind of loses it's fantasy.

Y: You are a rootin tootin pirate captain. When did you realize that this was your calling? Have you ever had a mutiny?

Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: I have a sailboat in real life, so I actually am a captain, but basically I just think pirates are cool.
T: I've had some mutiny, but very little. I always had a rule that I wouldn't write down or try to remember anybody who bothered me. I figured if I forgot why you pissed me off, it wasn't that bad in the first place.

Y: In addition to commanding pirate ships, you also like to lead zones. Which zones do you like to lead, and of those, which is your favorite to lead?

Touk smiles happily.
T: It's not the zones you lead, it's the people you lead.
Touk chuckles politely.
T: I enjoy zones where you have to use tactics, I can't stand the 'send a rogue out, and wait for a single mob to run back to group and get slaughtered' method
T: I enjoy zones that have large, hectic fights - Jotunheim invasion, Cave City, Manscorpions, etc
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: But like I said earlier - I'd have more fun if the people in my group were all laughing, telling jokes, and singing stupid song lyrics (but I was in the plane of fire luring single mobs), then I would
T: in a cool zone like cave city where half the group is AFK, the ones that are there are yelling at people, and nobodies paying attention.
Touk winks suggestively.

Y: You may have partially answered this already, but when you're recruiting people to go zoning, what kind of people are you looking for? In other words, would you select one person over another, and why.

T: The first couple people I grab are the necessities for that zone - for example an enchanter, resser, lock picker, group-healer, and secondary tank
T: Everything after that is friends, and to a small extent a class based selection so the group runs smoothly.
T: Can't go around with 8 hitters and an enchanter, or only 2 vitters etc
Touk chuckles politely.

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

Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: I enjoy martial arts (have a black belt in taekwan do), gymnastics (senior instructor, coached for provincial trampoline championships, and trying to perfect double back tucks and half-outs), have a major in biology/kinesiology, sailing, drinking strange beers, and I'm finishing an intense degree in computer scien
BEEEP! Touk is aghast the obscenities being used!
T: science

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

T: so many cliche answers
Touk chuckles politely.
T: No, I don't plan on growing up. But if I ever do all I want is to be happy. To me that means doing a little bit of everything.
Touk hands himself another beer and guzzles it down.
T: I have a hunch I'll be working for some computer firm, hopefully in management. With any luck still going to school, still practicing martial arts, and finding enough time to continue drinking strange beer with my friends.

Y: Thank you. :)


[Yarash's image]

[Yarash's image]