Player Spotlight: Garthen

This month’s Player Spotlight focuses on a familiar presence in GC, on the forums and one of the leaders of the snuggly-est alliance in game, Garthen. Nominated by his fellow players, and appreciated by the dev team, we would like to thank Garthen for all that he brings to Illyriad. Learn more about the Player Spotlight program at our website and nominate players by sending an email to 

GM Luna

Garthen's RL Avatar

What brought you to Illyriad and how long have you been playing?

I found Illy through a Facebook ad. Best thing Facebook has ever done for me! I’ve been playing since June, 2011.


Have you played many other online games or been active in other online communities?

I’ve tried a few other free-to-play MMO’s, and if I even got past the first few minutes, I never lasted more than a few weeks. They were either boring or just left a bad taste in my mouth. I certainly have never participated in a game community the way I have with Illy.


Any hidden talents or interesting hobbies outside of gaming?

I’m a professional musician, actor and singer… writer, singer/songwriter, composer, etc. I also like to exercise, play basketball and read, sci-fi/fantasy and spirituality being my favorite genres. As I get older, I’ve gotten more interested in Geopolitics, Economics and History. Is a pipe, turtleneck sweater and abundant ear hair the next stage?…


What keeps you playing Illyriad?

I love the balance and depth of the game, that every choice has a counterbalance to it, and I can choose how much to interact with any aspect of the game without necessarily “falling behind” overall. There is very little that is “required” in the game, which allows players of all persuasions to find enjoyment. The light-hearted approach the devs have infused alongside their passion adds little moments of surprise and delight, even an occasional lol. With this sort of tone set, I enjoy what we have and look forward to what’s coming.


What’s your favorite aspect of the game?

My favorite aspect is that I don’t have a favorite aspect! Seriously, though, there are two parts to my answer, one of which leads to the other.

Firstly, I’m most drawn to works that have an integrity to them, and Illy is the first game of its type I’ve found where such an integrity permeates all aspects, from the original graphics/artwork, to the fleshed-out descriptions and histories, to the intricate battle mechanics. And naturally, I look forward to seeing all of this expanded upon. This integrity is also reflected in the approach to such things as Prestige, which has been set up so there is no way to gain a significant advantage in game solely by spending money. If only the real world worked like that…

Secondly, Illy seems to attract a certain kind of player; no matter what their area of passion is in game –trade, military, diplomacy, hugging…– the majority of players I’ve met are a little brighter, a little kinder, a little more aware. There is a great variety of experiences, interests and passions amongst the Illy community, and chatting in GC can go from uber-silly to educational to entertainingly combative in a wink. Without this great community, I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time in Illy.


What’s your proudest achievement in game so far?

Being a part of my alliance, HugCr. I was the second person that Fluffy invited to the alliance (after Ryelle), and I’m still there nearly 18 months later! HugCr is the epitome of “community” to me, and has been a source of kindness, endless laughs, and support whenever it’s been needed. I’m humbled to admit how many of my alliance mates, past and present, I consider real friends, though I may never meet them face to face.


What are you most looking forward to for the future of Illyriad?

Hmm, can I say “everything”? Or maybe “anything”? I’d love to see Factions go fully live, preferably along with the implementation of Faction quests; new magic schools would be sweet, preferably along with the implementation of Spell Components, so trade really takes off and I can start selling some of these slowly-rotting rare herbs..

Oh, and the next Tourney can never come soon enough!


What area of the game do you think needs the most improvement?

I feel the game (and the community, in particular) would benefit from the incorporation of a “third-party” instigator for conflict and competition between players. Sure, we have tourneys, but those are few and far between, and are “grand” events. I’m talking about something casual, optional and always available. This would give a constant supply of the fun-and-competition-without-hard-feelings that we all appreciate so much during tourneys. GM Stormcrow mentioned to me at one point that this concept might be introduced with Faction Quests. I. Would. Love. This.

As an add-on, I’d be interested to see the active part of the battle system fleshed out a bit, and the ability to modify or add to field orders would be a great development. At this point, it’s all pretty much “send and wait”, with the one possible post-sending option (besides sending reinforcements, etc.) being the use of a Messenger to recall the units.


What advice would you give a new player in Illyriad?

Don’t be shy! We don’t bite 🙂 Well, the orcs bite, they’re actually quite fond of elf ears…

Whether you are shy or not, please come say hi in Global Chat for a round welcome and probably more than a couple welcome caravans! Much of the community (besides a few meddlesome rogues :p ) has a tendency to help new players, both with resources and advice. You can also find a certain amount of security in GC, as we don’t take kindly to people picking on newbies!

As an addendum, there’s no need to rush into an alliance; you can consider GC your alliance in your first few days, so take your time and get the lay of the land a bit before making a commitment to a group. There are many great alliances that cater to various playing styles.

Beyond that, I think it’s important to pace yourself and absorb Illy in stages, or layers. The game has been developed to be enjoyable at any pace you desire, so don’t feel forced to learn or explore aspects to which you don’t feel drawn. Learning step by step is the best way to become accustomed to the vast array of options and possibilities in the game. Illy is a game; have some fun!!

2 thoughts on “Player Spotlight: Garthen”

  1. Great interview ! I agree, the next tourney can’t come soon enough 🙂
    BTW, my husband wears turtlenecks and smokes a pipe . . . what does that mean? LOL !!
    Garthen is such a friendly, warm, and conscientious player! Great choice for player of the month!

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