I’m going to preface this interview a little bit. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Nok at PAX 2009 in Seattle along with Dor of Stratics and a bunch of other folks I had worked with from other sites past and present. Nok will have a different interview in the future regarding the GameXBars and a few other topics, but this topic is just to get to know him better, about what he’s doing wtih UOForums/EOGamer and his experiences in UO. It is a delightful read and I hope you enjoy it as well.
Moniker used on site?
Where did your nickname come from?
An old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons character I had back in the 80’s & 90’s while playing with some friends called the ACES.
Where are you from?
Los Angeles, California.
What did you do prior to joining UOForums?
Same I as do now, browse countless fan sites looking for those have something to offer to the communities they serve.
Why did you join UOForums?
UOF is unique. It has a pretty open, friendly and knowledgeable membership. It is also well managed, moderated and organized.
What are your responsibilities with UOForums/EOGamer?
To help promote the UOForums Partner Site Program… sort of a liaison and sounding board between fan sites in the community.
What are your goals for UOForums/EOGamer?
To see UOF/EOG grow not only in membership, but also a center point in the UO and MMO communities.
What MMOs do you play?
What console/non-MMOs do you play?
I don’t have a modern console… I’m a pretty dedicated PC gamer. Non-MMO games? Assassin’s Creed, Blur, Civilization V, DiRT, Dragon Age, and a few Facebook puzzle games.
What is your favorite play style? Why?
Usually PvM and RP, I enjoy the camaraderie, and role playing with live players. I love PvP sometimes, but not big on the smack talk and immaturity that unfortunately comes with a few people sometimes.
What is your favorite MMO? Why?
Ultima Online. Notice any hesitation there? UO just has a depth, breadth & freedom that most other MMOs still have yet to match. I do like LOTRO, WAR, and WoW too. Although while playing the beta, SWTOR has gotten me very interested in playing it.
What’s your favorite console? Why?
None. Too proprietary, too over-priced, lacks upgrade-ability and value. The current modern consoles average about 6 years old; and Microsoft, Nintendo & Sony won’t commit to new consoles even being in the design stages… so they release new controllers. A decent PC gaming rig will smoke the current consoles. If I had the money for a console, I would put my money toward a new PC component instead (more faster RAM, a SSD, better video, etc.)
What’s your favorite non-MMO game? Why?
Currently, the Mass Effect 3 demo… makes me break into a sweat. Also anything that runs on my 3 multi-monitor Eyefinity setup.
What was the first game you played?
Did I mention I am 51?! Chutes & Ladders or Operation. Oh, you meant video game… Atari Pong System in 1975.
What is your favorite game genre?
Role playing… the bigger and more epic, the better.
What do you look for in games?
Great story, exploration, surprises, and smart humor. NCSoft’s shuttered F2P (before F2P became popular) game Dungeon Runners is still the funniest game I’ve ever played… the NPC dialog was hilarious with top notch celebrity impersonations (like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Connery and others had me falling off my chair).
What is your “claim to fame”?
In gaming? Publisher of GameXbar.
Hobbies outside of gaming?
Cars (’08 G6 GXP & ’67 Camaro RS), film/music/tech buff, outdoors… getting out & off the grid once in a while.
If you were to design your “perfect” MMO, what would it be like?
I don’t believe there is that much storage on the Internet to answer that. Ack! *gag-cough-choke* Okay, okay… you can stop throttling my neck now Kayhynn! Kingdoms Of Amalar: Reckoning-looking, a World of Warcraft-sized population using a GameXbar, the Star Wars: The Old Republic community team, a dev team headhunted from Bethesda, BioWare, Blizzard, CCP, Codemasters and others… all focused on a Ultima Online 2. Yup, total fantasy.
Anything else you want to share with us?
For those of you that still play/played UO, please answer these as well:
When did you start playing Ultima Online?
March of 1998. I bought UO when it launched, but I didn’t sign up because the idea of paying a subscription to play a game was new. But by March some local friends talked me into it… I was hooked.
What is your fondest memory from the game? (this can be a guild event, EM event, something unique that happened, whatever is something you still remember to this day)?
Told this story many times, but here it goes. Those same friends that got me playing UO took me to the guild house in Southern Yew to help me train Nok as a swordsman. So there I am swinging away on a bear while they kept me healed up. The battle is epic, swinging, parrying, swinging, the running, the screaming like a girl, trying not to panic… I finally almost had the bear’s health down to it’s last few points, but so was I. I knew I had it, just a few more swings. Next thing you know… they heal the bear (you could do that at one time), I died, and they busted up laughing. Evil dawgs, they totally set me up for it.
How long have you played UO?
14 years… until just recently.
What is your main shard you play on and why?
Baja… from beginning to end. It was the shard I started on and developed some great friendships.
What’s your favorite character build?
Kind of a tie between my warrior, and my mage/fisher.
Do you have any interesting character names? If so, what are they and how did they come about?
Pershing, named after one of my grandfathers… an old family name.
If you could get the devs to change one thing in the game, what would it be?
In the actual game? The guild system need modernizing. Outside but for the game? The community program.
Why do you still play this game?
Unfortunately I don’t. I recently closed my accounts.
If you had one piece of advise to offer new players, what would it be?
If you’ve played other MMOs, leave your expectations at the door. If you’ve never played a MMO before… ask, create, do, explore, fail, mine, swing, tame, let your imagination carry you away in the multiverse that is Ultima. Outside the game, explore the community fan sites… if you ask for it, the community will help. UO players are as dedicated as the game is big, they are the game’s best resource.