October 2002 -Gonfor

"Today I interviewed Gonfor. I must admit that I am an admirer of Gonfor. I find him to be a thoughful, decent fellow. That said, I never that sort of thing interfere with a good interview." ~Lochdale

Lochdale: Well I am here with the Player of Gonfor, well know as a regular commenter on ElvenRunes ("ER"). Gonfor, why comment on ER so much?
Gonfor: well, if someone takes the time to post a log for others to read, I feel compelled to take at least a little time to respond and let them know what I think. I do try to be constructive... and it provides a nice break from the work I do on a day-to-day basis
Do you think there is too much flaming on ER or is it simply a result of numerous personalities?
Gonfor: I definitely feel there is too much flaming on ER... it's troublesome to see the same people flame each other time after time after time.
Troublesome to whom? also, how does one stop it? Would you like to see censorship on ER?
Gonfor: well, it's anti-productive to see the same people make derogatory comments about the same group of people all the time. Ccensorship probably would not solve the problem
any suggestions then?
Gonfor: I do feel that it might be better for the ER community if certain people who have proven themselves incapable of participating in a civilized conversation lost the privlege of posting there. If the same person time-after-time flames other people, maybe it's time for banishment
that is a very subjective issue. There are certain people I do not like but that does not mean I should censor them. For example, Devastator comments a lot and tends to annoy a lot of people, but is that so bad that he should be bansited?
Gonfor: I disagree...I feel it's a community platform that is run by a group of volunteers--if those volunteers feel someone is bringing the community down, I feel they are entitled to making the decision to exclude that person. After all, it'stheir time, money, and effort that support the community--they should have a say in what goes on there...hey, I'm getting a distinct feeling of deja vu here.

Interesting, paranoia can save you sometimes. Moving on, how long have you played MUME and how did you find it?

Gonfor: was it 99? or 98?
How did you find MUME?
Gonfor: oh, er...1999. A guy I went to HS with and later roomed with in college introduced me to the game. He said stop by and check it out...I was interested in Tolkein.
Were you always interested in Tolkien and have you played other muds?
Gonfor: This is the only mud I've ever played--the Tolkien focus is what drew me to this one...I've always had an interest in Tolkien. btw, if my response seems a little delayed, bear with me... my daughter is here and asking lots of question so... I'm doing 2 interviews.
Do you think MUME sticks to Tolkien closely enough or has it sort of lost the plot?
Gonfor: I think it has remained very true to Tolkien. it's hard to recreate plot but I believe they've made a concerted effort to recreate it here
You are currently a builder on the mud, how has this changed your perspective of the game?
Gonfor: I have a lot more respect for the people who have built the game over the years. I know it seems like it's an easy task, in some ways, it could be, however, building is taken very seriously here you can't simply throw together a zone it requires lots of planning and thought...it also requires lots of approval by other people experienced in building.
How difficult was it for you to find work on the MUD? I have heard complaints that it is next to impossible to get good jobs? Is it skill or politics that will land you the best project.
Gonfor: I found it easy to get work. I asked everyone for work... I mean everyone and I wasn't picky over the work...I'd do anything to help.
So you got work via your persistence and accesability as oppossed to skill or politics?
Gonfor: I proofed zones, corrected typos, wrote help files, wrote object descriptions...anything to learn a little more about the game and to try and give something back to the game (even though that sounds corny).
not at all, I consider my role on Elvenrunes as adding to the game somewhat
Gonfor: well, I don't possess a lot of programming talent-- we're not dealing with Axelesque skill here. I simply made myself available to do the work and asked often for it.
Gonfor, what is your favourite thing about this MUD? (Has building replaced playing)?
Gonfor: Can I answer quickly about politics? then I'll get to the latter question. I often spammed a certain ainur board with political thoughts--interestingly, I often did work for people who were at the exact opposite end of the political spectrum. I don't think my political slant hurt me with any of them. My favourite thing about the MUD is the people I've met over the years.
I meant politics in the Shakespearean sense, of friendship and alliances, not actually real life politcal beefs.
Gonfor: Laugh. I've always thought that politics (literally) often times formed the basis for alliances and friendships here. It's hard to separate them it seems.
Interesting, why change existing zones? If they are in good shape why change them for the sake of change? ABR is an excellent example of this.
Gonfor: Well, I did some proofing on ABR once. Have you ever stopped to read some of the desc there? It was atrocious...many rooms had the same descriptions. The rooms often contained force emotions.
Room descriptions are one thing but changing the entire format of a zone seems whimsical and arbitrary, particularly a zone as popular as ABR
Gonfor: For example, would an orc tremble at the sight of darkness?
I am not a builder, but is it not possible to correct the zone within its current framework?
Gonfor: well, I've always felt the layout of a zone like ABR did not even remotely mimmick what you'd see in real life. Too many areas for the fast linked to simply spam down the slower linked players. If they change it to a more wide-open format like the Vale, I'd be perfectly happy. Of course, I'm in a distinct minority there...but you asked why change it? Well, MUME is a constantly evolving game, it can't evolve without change.
That may well be true but there seems to be plenty of areas/directions to grow in, change for the sake of change is not growth, its simply meddlesome.
Gonfor: well, visions for the game change over time. The vision that existed when ABR was first created may not fit with today's vision. Therefore, it requires change.
I don't give that argument much merit but let us move on, do you playerkill much?
Gonfor: Well, I play a game that the management created--I enjoy that game. Why not trust their future decisions? I didn't mind their past ones.
Chuckle, good answer my friend. How important, in your mind, is link?
Gonfor: I rarely pk. In fact, lately I've played rarely. Link is important to me but less so now that there exist more zones that are open and require less dependence on link. It doesn't take an uberlink to get away from an opponent in the Vale.
So zones such as Vale are fairer with regard to the slower-linked player.
Gonfor: In my opinion, yes...I think they decrease the importance of link--after all, you can't get spammed down in a bottleneck if the bottleneck doesn't exist.
Time for some quick questions, are you ready?
Gonfor: Yes.
Least favourite thing about MUME?
Gonfor: Phier
You'll be first against the wall come the Republican revolution..oh sorry, did I say that outloud? MUME in 5 years, where is it?
Gonfor: Mume will still be around in 5 years...better, larger, and more open zones with a player base as large as today
Labs, should they be banned or at least limited to playing on the same side?
Gonfor: Labs, should they be banned or at least limited to playing on the same side?
How long will you continue to MUME or is your goal to become part of the management?
Gonfor: You asked if building was replacing playing earlier...I never answered...I feel RL pressures are replacing playing. I'll continue playing the game as long as it's fun for me...I have no greater goals of advancing among the management as I don't have the spare time I would need to become part of the management. It requires more time than I'm willing to commit. I like playing the game and would have to sacrifice playing entirely to push for advancement amoung the ainur. I'm simply not willing to do that right now.
You are a target for a fair share of flame on ER, does that bother you at all?
Gonfor: Not at all. Most of the flamers don't know me. How can I be bothered by the criticisms of people I don't even know? 'Harsh words from people I know could hurt but those are rare....except maybe political fights with Lochdale.
I don't think of them as fights, rather as your education! Well this has been an interesting interview. In fact, you are the first interviewee who has not admitted to a crime during that interview! Any parting words?
Gonfor: Sic Semper Tyrannus!
Lochdale: That will confuse Devastator to no end. Thank you for your time Gonfor, it has been a pleasure.

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