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Letters from Midgard

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Interview Spotlight: GM Kuma

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GM Cherri

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Welcome! This series of blogs will feature TalonRO's GMs interviewing each other about their history with Ragnarok Online! Todays entry will be myself, interviewing GM Kuma!

Kuma: Hello, world.

Cherri: Hello! So, GM Kuma, the beary punny king of tRO, what first got you started in Ragnarok Online?

Kuma: Oh, golly. I was really young, so this may not be entirely accurate... and it's boring. But honestly, there just weren't a lot of online games available at the time! Ragnarok Online came to international beta around the time I first got a computer, and I just got hooked.

Cherri: Yeah? So it was your first online game? Do you remember what class you tried first? Were you really into it at the time or was it fairly casual stuff?

Kuma: Oh, ahaha, I should clarify. Not my first online game... that honor belongs to Runescape, followed by Tibia (if ANYONE even remembers that exists!). Ragnarok was just the first one that... doesn't embarrass me to admit I played.

I went for Mage first, which became Wizard. It was a long time before the second set of classes came out, so I never really tried them in international. And it was definitely an obsession for a long time... when you're a kid in a tiny town, there's not a lot else to do.

Cherri: Fair enough. So when did you move onto private servers? I know a lot of people were pretty on and off with RO, was that you?

Kuma: A couple of years after iRO came out of beta, I quit for a brief time. After that, I joined a private server of like... 50 players. Very high rate server, and I really enjoyed getting to play around with all of the classes quickly. I got hooked on that sort of power...

And then a different sort of power when the administrator of the server chatted me up, and we bonded, and he let me become a GM on that server. THE ABSOLUTE POWER! NO RESTRICTIONS! He was not a great administrator, admittedly, just letting people on and giving them all the power. But it was enjoyable.

After that server died (fairly soon, as the administrator just disappeared), and except for one or two brief tries with servers containing third jobs, I took a long hiatus. I only came back to Ragnarok several years ago, here on TalonRO.

Cherri: Oh nice! So that was what, around 4 years ago? Same as me I think. And how long were you here before becoming a GM? What sort of stuff did you do in that time?

Kuma: Yes, I think we started on the server around the same time. You were probably here a little earlier, honestly. I'm a tiny cub compared to most of the people still around on the server.

I was only around a little less than a year before joining the GM team. In that time, I hung out with a lot of unsavory characters, hit 99 on a character for the first time on a low rate server (on iRO I probably hit like 85, honestly), and mostly spent my time slamming my fist on insta-cast MEs in abbey03.

Cherri: So you went the sort of classic TalonRO meta. And you became a GM with a group of others, myself included. What was it like learning to be a GM back then? Compared to your days in the past as a GM on that small server.

Kuma: I learned NOTHING as a GM back before TalonRO. Being a GM on a server of 50 people with high rates gave me no insight into anything. In actuality, if not for my real experience arranging events and managing people, I would have been completely dead as a new GM here.

I learned a lot of things very quickly, though. With my personality and the background with GM commands, it was surprisingly easy to get the hang of events.

It helped that I had GM Howl as a mentor, who really was the number one reason I wanted to become a GM in the first place. And GM Ashe, bless her, who supported me in the process. I can't leave her out.

And it helped that all the folks I joined with, yourself included, were all about helping each other out.

As an aside, that horrible "Diamonds" song by Rihanna. I cannot listen to it without thinking of GM training in that tiny quiz room. My Significant Otter had it on repeat for a solid two hours during a GM training session. Didn't dampen the experience any, I guess. But that song.

Cherri: Bahaha, that song. I seem to recall suffering through new contacts for our first training session. Nightmarish stuff. But you've been a GM for 4 years now! That's pretty awesome! Before we finish up, any stand out moments in that time?

Kuma: Hmm! I don't think so. I don't have any real "I screwed up" moments from those early days that I can call back for comedic effect. I never had any real issues that weren't immediately recoverable. All in all, it was lucky how smoothly it went.

Cherri: Awesome :D I think we're all good then! Thanks for taking the time to tell me all about you and RO today!

PS. GM Kuma would officially like to add that he is GM Howl's eternal waifu, and the rest of you are out of luck.

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