This month our Player Spotlight focuses on Illyriad’s currently #1 top ranked player, ScottFitz. As a long time Illy player, forum participant and helpful global chatter, Scott’s positive impact on the game has been noted by his peers who nominated him for this spotlight. We all wish to congratulate Scott and thank him for his continued contributions to the culture of Illyriad. Learn more about the Player Spotlight program at our website and nominate players by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now on with the interview!
What brought you to Illyriad and how long have you been playing?
I literally stumbled upon Illy two years ago in April of 2010. I had been trying out a few other games in Illy’s genre (but not in Illy’s league) and only lasted a few days, at best, with any of those, Then I happened upon Illy and fell in love. That was back before, biomes, geography, water or even NPCs, but it was still far superior to anything I had seen. And it has continued to get better. I am excitedly looking forward to the next two years, and the next two.
Have you played many other online games or been active in other online communities?
Nope. Just dabbled with a few gravely inferior predecessors to Illy, but never enough to get involved in what passes for a community there. Most online games fail to interest me beyond a few hours or days.
Any hidden talents or interesting hobbies outside of gaming?
I have been an actively DMing D&D games for the past 35 years, I am an amateur entomologist with a passion for eusocial aculeate Hymenoptera, and I have a deep interest in pre-classical anatolian and levantine history. My nerd credentials are fairly unassailable. IRL I work as a graphic artist in an ad agency so I am also a Photoshop pro and an expert on email marketing.
What keeps you playing Illyriad?
I love the underlying mechanics of the game, and by that I mean the fact that everything is delicately balanced. More is not necessarily better. Balancing tax rate, food consumption, population, army size, army composition, troop replacement rate and such are not straightforward propositions. I am constantly tweaking and fine tuning my towns and armies. Also, many of the mechanics are unclear. The glorious dearth of documentation on many of the aspects of the game foster guesswork, experimentation, reliance on intuition, and many fruitful discussions and arguments in GC, AC and on the forums.
What’s your favorite aspect of the game?
Well, naturally I love the community. We, the community, elevate an already excellently conceived and executed game into something truly spectacular, I have made real friends here and I deeply care for and respect most of my fellow players. There is a depth of interaction here that is rarely approached online, and sometimes not even out in the real world. I also love the persistent, sandbox concept. There is no endgame, no closure — I hate closure. We are all free to play as we see fit – I despise orthodoxy. I dearly love the graphic look and feel of the game. And, I actually love the pace! Everything requires patience and planning. Strategy and diplomacy win out always. It is possibly to step away for a few days or even weeks and come back to your towns intact, or relatively intact (not that I have ever put that theory to the test of course). Plus as a bonus, the slower pace helps keep trolls away; they get bored after a bit and go off to torment puppies or set things on fire, or whatever trolls do when they are not trying to rile up GC.
What’s your proudest achievement in game so far?
Mostly my interactions with the community. I like to think I have built somewhat of a reputation for credibility and integrity, and I am very proud of the role I have played in helping resolve several significant diplomatic situations. And I am very proud of my part in helping to set the tone within my alliance. It is a very comfortable cohesive place to be. Without any bias whatsoever, I can safely say that mCrow is clearly the best alliance! I also a a bit proud of getting a town back up to legendary size from exodus in just over a week (with plenty of help from my alliance)
What are you most looking forward to for the future of Illyriad?
Re-tooling all of my towns when the next update is released.
What area of the game do you think needs the most improvement?
Communications. Private chat, friend lists, other chat channels, improved alliance forums and a few more email enhancements would add the most. But beyond that, just more of the same, Illy is nearly perfect as is, and is getting more so steadily.
What advice would you give a new player in Illyriad?
Focus on economics before military. Build up a strong town before building an army. Go into global chat and ask questions and get to know people. Visit the forums and the wiki. Read the guides. Do not join an alliance in haste. If you find yourself in conflict with another player, talk first to that player, then if that does not work, talk to that player’s alliance. If there is still a problem, either move, or find an alliance to help you. Mostly have fun and take your time.