2010-03-08: Interview With EM Dudley Lightfinger
Interview With EM Dudley Lightfinger
Lord Gareth: When did you start playing Ultima Online?
EM Dudley: I started playing UO in January of 1999. A friend of mine recommended that I start playing this amazingly awesome new video game where you can do pretty much anything you want. Trusting fully in the opinions of my fellow gamer, I went to Babbage's and found Ultima Online: The Second Age sitting in a purple-ish box on the shelf. I remember asking the sales associate if it also included the first age. I remember logging in for the first time, watching the lid of a large wooden chest open as Stones played over my speakers. I created my character and clicked the giant red button that read Enter Britannia The moment was almost surreal. I spent the next few weeks making bows and selling them for a modest amount of coin. The adventures continued to grow from there, I found a guild, had a lot of fun with that. Over the years I've definitely been an on and off again player, but never had the heart to leave Britannia completely.
Lord Gareth: What are some of your favorite things to do in game as a player?
EM Dudley: By far role-playing. UO offers limitless possibilities on how we can interact with one another and being able to essentially use what is static to develop a dynamic scenario was always the most fun for me.
Lord Gareth: Going from player to EM what is the one thing you can do/create as an EM that is the most fun for you to do?
EM Dudley: I spent a lot of time doing essentially the same job as an EM as a player, simply without the robe and the magical abilities. There's a lot of ability in game to create pretty jaw dropping quests and scenarios, with the EM program though the limits are bound only by our creativity. That's one of the beautiful things about UOanything is possible.
Lord Gareth: What is the difference between being an EM and the Head EM of a shard?
EM Dudley: All EMs are equal on any given shard, and we all bow to the awesome power of Mesanna J If you are referring to the transition from when EM Tailspin retired it was definitely a new experience. We were all a bit green at that point (pun intended), and stepping up to take the reins of Chesapeake after being a floater was definitely a bit nerve wracking, my how far we've come.
Lord Gareth: Many players seem to enjoy EM Event items. Some players like the items for museums, keepsakes, or to make a profit. What kind of EM Event Items do you like to create for players to obtain?
EM Dudley: I like to create items for events that somehow tie into the story/scenario. I'm also a big fan of trying to make items that make sense from the mob/situation they are received.
Lord Gareth: Chesapeake players seem to be very outspoken when it comes to EM events, whether it is positive or negative. Tatania Karthina of PaxOku would like to know how you learned to have such patience for the community.
EM Dudley: One of my favorite books of all time is The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which if you know from reading the book has the words Don't Panic written in large friendly letters across its cover. This has become my mantra, and no matter the situation I try not to panic. I guess this is where my patience comes from. I also understand that people have very strong opinions on what transpires within the realm, which I'm actually very happy aboutat least I know you care J
Lord Gareth: Different off shard players and Chesapeake players have seen the reports of your epic Sea Battles. In light of the problems that were experienced in the battles of the seas, we were hoping these had been corrected now and that there would be regularly scheduled Sea Battles. Is there a possibility of that?
EM Dudley: Yes! Utilizing the Ocean was one of my major goals when I became an EM. In terms of what is in store for the futureyou'll just have to stay toon'd!
Lord Gareth: The townships and teleport hub seem to be a major focus on Chesapeake right now. Can you take us into your mind for a moment and explain how you came up with the recognition process?
EM Dudley: As many of you know I am a firm believer that any reward should be earned and not a mere byproduct of desire. The recognition of player townships, and the subsequent construction of banners, to me at least, was one of the greatest rewards any one group or person could attain. Timing seemed to be on my side in this case, we had a new Queen and a realm torn by recent war. The role-play just seemed to fit.
Lord Gareth: Sticking on the township subject what are some of your favorite things player run towns are doing at this point? What would you like to see them do more of? And what advice would you give to those who have just started out building a player run town?
EM Dudley: I'm really enjoying how some townships are taking initiative and continuing the story. Sure I can stand (or sit really) here and dictate how the scenario is going to play out, but that's not much fun for you, the player. The Township process has allowed a distinct recognition of a discrete group of players, fostering interaction with the Crown (me). Along these lines I can tailor the story based on how you (the townships) respond to various decisions. This was an idea that Tailspin and I came up with in our early days on Chesapeake with no real notion of what direction it would takesort of choose your destiny thing. So far I'm very pleased with the results and look forward to what we can accomplish together.
Lord Gareth: The storylines on the shard seem to be leaving allot of room for players to interact in. How would players go about contacting RP characters like Commander Drake Foxx for information they may have that is a part of a RP story?
EM Dudley: I touched on this briefly in our discussion following the last Township Summit. I obviously cannot be available 24/7 to host interaction with the various RPCs. There are a few different outlets I'm investigating to better foster that interaction for when I can't be around. Part of it may include interaction with town crier types while I am away, and then the real RPC when I'm available. I'm also looking at hosting various office hours for some RPCs so we can all get together on a regular basis.
Lord Gareth: Can you give us a break down of what type of situations and projects we should be contacting RP characters for such as Andrea Kildare, Drake Foxx, Balandar etc?
EM Dudley: As you know Andrea Kildare is the Royal Surveyorso anything that might require building/demolition/excavation would be something you'd address with her office. Drake Foxx is the Commander of the Royal Guard, so military and security issues would be his domain. Lord Balandar is the resident Mage, so matters of the Arcane would be for him. Tavalia Zodok is the face of the crown, so pleas to her majesty would be done through her. On the darker side of things, it seems Scarlet Von Trinsic stands against the establishment and would be served with opportunities to cause headaches for the others.
Lord Gareth: When taking part in a RP storyline how should players interact with the character EM Dudley?
EM Dudley: EM Dudley as a character is my face as an Event Moderator; RPCs on the other hand have their own personalities and will never understand or reply to anything out of character. I try to minimize Dudley's involvement as much as possible, but sometimes I need to be Dudley for various reasons. I guess it's safe to assume that if I'm on Dudley the event has concluded and it's open season for questions/interaction. Oh, I also use Dudley for 99% of Contests because it's just easier to ref them as Dudley.
Lord Gareth: We have noticed you rarely if ever go Out Of Character (OOC). During the last event players requested for the RP character to speak in the global chat. Will this be something you will do during events?
EM Dudley: As an RPC I will never break character, that would defeat the entire point. As for the use of Global Chat I will use it to announce important points in the progression of the event. I won't, however, jeopardize the integrity of the puzzle or plot of the event by answering questions that would ruin it for others, or provide those in chat an unfair advantage.
Lord Gareth: Digging in to the past when the township recognition was being discussed there was another big discussion about runes being locked down in Luna. Has this project been abandoned or is it still on the table?
EM Dudley: The teleportation hub I think stemmed from this idea, and seeing how it is going to be built at the Fair the need for rune books seems redundant.
Lord Gareth: Dudley, sometimes it seems you cannot spell? Are you as illiterate as UO makes you out to be? (Submitted by EM Dudley)
EM Dudley: That's a fine question Dudley. Sometimes my brain works a lot faster than my fingers, also UO does not have spellcheck and I've always been an atroshus spellercomes with the territory I suppose J
Lord Gareth: Thank you, EM Dudley for taking time out of your busy schedule. We know you have much to do but we have one final important question. It takes Mr. Owl 3 licks to get the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop. How many licks does it take the great candy eating EM Dudley to reach the center?
EM Dudley: There is no tootsie pop. Deep, I know.