Award The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

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IC News travels slowly in Mizahar. Fortunately there is a constant stream of news from around campfires, from caravan to caravan and from merchants to merchants. Within this forum lies the best of the best of this talk. Also, within this forum, OOC news from the staff and players can be found. This forum requires all posts to be 'approved' by a Founder before they are displayed. So if you post within, be patient. Your post did display - it simply will not show to everyone until approved as actual 'news'. Please keep all Introductions, Status Updates, and various other discussions in their appropriate forums and leave this area for game news!

The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Gossamer on September 5th, 2019, 3:12 am

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!


Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Contributor for the season of Fall 519 is Mayhem! Mayhem has been with Mizahar off and on for years and is one of our fantastic AS’s helping rebuild the city of Syilras and is also known as the intrepid Ines/Rimshot in chat. Please join me in congratulating Mayhem on earning this award. Her Interview is below!


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The Interview!


1. A few months ago you got a wild hair and single handedly updated the wiki for multiple cities. You rallied several other people to join you and now we have some activity in the wiki again. What motivated you to do this? Can you talk about your mindset and why you did it? Was it hard?

I don't remember if I saw this before or after the idea popped into my head, but in the chat someone mentioned to a new player to read the codex of the city instead of the wiki page. This felt bad to me. Not anything the helpful person did or the new player or anything, but just the idea that there's this huge wiki that new players will look at first, but all of the interesting tidbits and important information is in the forums - somewhere I don't think anyone would look until they already chose a city. That seemed like a lot of missed opportunities. Some cities were really outdated, with only a fraction of the information in the lore as in the codexes. I really just wanted to start making it more newbie friendly. It was a bit frustrating for me to realize that STs had been updating and writing codexes but not updating the city pages.

It wasn't really difficult. For the most part it was just copy and pasting, with some formatting and decisions to make on the order of the information. I think I did Ravok in one night. Everything that's in a codex can be in the wiki.


2. Can you talk a little about what kinds of things you love to experience in a thread? What really turns on your creative juices when you run into it? This can be from an ST position, a Character Position, or even from a reader standpoint… or better yet all three!

I love stubborn characters as a general rule. Especially when they're stubborn in a totally dysfunctional way and start throwing wrenches into everything. Characters that ooze personality and very drastic personality traits are exciting too. I also love cute, fun, and/or friendly characters being tossed into dark situations. It's no fun to read or write if a character is bubbly and living and idyllic life forever and ever, just like it's no fun if a character is always dark and moody and their lives are always sucky.


3. I’d really like to know what Mizahar means to you. I’ve heard all kinds of answers to this question, but its always been an important one to me. And it is very telling as to why you are here. So why are you here?

I wrote on Miz a lot as a teen. I've tried and failed to join or play on other RP sites in between my times on Mizahar and I've always lost interest in almost no time after starting. Usually even before one post. Maybe I'm weird, but Miz has always felt the most approachable. I really really love Miz and I did it dirty when I was younger, and now I want to give back.

4. Let’s dig out some dirt. You’ve been known to play multiple characters on Mizahar. What motivates you to create so many pcs and play them? Most of them were not crafted then dropped, but instead played. I’d like to hear the mindset behind that sort of activity.

I really think I'd get really invested in an idea and make the character and then after a month or two of a lot of playing I'd lose momentum. I had (and do still have, though to a lesser degree) difficulty plotting, especially character development, and a hard time soloing. Because of that, it was a lot easier to just play a character a ton and then drop them in favor of someone new. This is absolutely terrible to do, I realize that now. Since I have a character embargo now and I can only play Ines, I'm being forced to develop and play her. Since knowing I can't make any new characters, though, my alt itch has largely subsided and I instead find ways to incorporate my ideas into her.


5. Do you feel the Weekly or Weekend Challenges add to the productivity of PCs? What other kinds of things can staff or even individual players do to get people writing more and invested more in their plot lines?

I think the weekly/weekend challenges are fun prompts into threading something you normally wouldn't. Unfortunately I haven't been able to partake in challenges that weren't just about finishing up job threads, but the past ones before that looked great. They give neat rewards that can prompt further threads, too!

I think to ST in general you need some amount of skill in reading the room (or forum, in this case). Seasonal quests should be able to incorporate all or most of your players, depending on forum size. Thought-provoking and leading questions in the registries can definitely help with that, too. If you know your players and their characters you know how to make those characters flourish.

From a player to player standpoint, I think it's important to not just focus on your own plots, but to also ask people about their ideas for their own characters and finding ways to join in. Then both of your characters get development and you get to be a part of things you might have never considered before.


6. You recently stepped up to being an AS. What do you personally get out of being a full-fledged Assistant Storyteller verses perhaps contributing in other ways like Art or Grading? Talk about what you really like about being an AS!

STing is fun! I like preparing stuff and plots so much, and being an ST gives so much room to do things for other people that you wouldn't really be able to do with your own PCs. I know GSTs can run threads for people, too, but being an ST is like all the fun parts of art, developing, plotting, and grading (grading is both fun and not fun to me...depends on my mood) in one. Plus it helps to look more official when you're trying to help someone and they don't want to believe you. More than that, though, it means that anyone can join in on my hard work when Syliras is opened and that's really exciting to me.


7. As an AS, you selected (after much debate) Syliras as your project. What motivated you to select Syliras even though there was so much work involved?

It was very hard for me to decide, and I know you know that because I was debating it for actual days even after already applying. Maybe it was the amount of work that attracted me to the city. It's also a city that I see as kind of iconic in Miz, because so many newbies over the year pick it as their first city. I also think that its true style and intent has been sanded off over the years and in its current state it seems more like Zeltiva lite but with knights instead of academics. I also really like the overall theme of the city. It's a city trying (and succeeding) to be a bastion of peace and safety in Mizahar. People are well fed and secure, and while the main policing force is the Knighthood, they can't be corrupt because the Windoak would pick them out. Not that any of the general populace knows that. There's also a ton of room for bad guys sneaking past their defenses or big changes shaking up the status quo.


8. Syliras needs a gut job and has been misunderstood in the past. Why do you think this happened and what can you do to prevent it?

I think it happened because, on the outside, Syliras seems like a generic medieval city. Past STs wanted to add anything they thought was cool rather than what made sense with the theme, which is closed off but with open arms. There is no Syliran navy, only Zeltiva has a navy, and there are only a handful of docks at most allowing them to export some food because they have an abundance. There's also a lot of people, and there are a lot of shop locations that should be in the bazaar rather than scattered in the city. Everything is inside except for very few open-air locations, and everything is controlled by the knights for the safety of everyone. I know I can prevent this from happening because if I take the first locations and figure out how they all work together, I can have a set of guidelines defining how anything new could fit in.


9. You are a beautifully flawed person. You haven’t always been a perfect player, and you’ve been in trouble before on Miz. I’m not trying to out you. But I’d like to hear about your perspective from someone that bucked the rules to someone that fessed up and moved on… how did that impact your play here and how does it feel as a writer/staffer/contributor to be someone who’s grown and changed and yet still holding on?

When I was younger I had a bad habit of joining for a few months then leaving, either by boredom or because school or other outside factors made me busy. Then I'd come back, and instead of going back to my old characters, I felt bad and so I'd pretend to be someone entirely else. I did this when I first joined with Ines, too, in 2017. 2017 was a crazy year for me which involved new jobs, moving across the country, getting married, etc, so I guess I felt like I had good enough excuses when I came back to keep playing Ines. Then I restarted Ines entirely and slowly realized that no one was upset I had left, they were just happy I was back, even if they never spoke to me before. So I fessed up. I have a really bad memory of my high school years and don't remember most of my individual characters, but I remembered one, Lucian Hill, and asked Goss to look up any other connected accounts/IPs/emails to that one. She found a ton, and they were unretired. In the past I had also been "caught" with too many PCs, so this time my punishment is only being able to play Ines. I think I mentioned earlier in the interview that this boundary has helped me a lot in playing her.

Nowadays I think I'm honestly busier than I was when I played in high school, but I also have some deep-seated devotion to Mizahar and I know I can help with things. I'm still learning how to not ask for permission for everything with Syliras, but I'm getting better at it. Revealing my iffy history as a player ended up not being so bad, too. I was convinced somehow that everyone would hate me for it, but that's not the case. It feels good.


10. Can you tell us a bit about some of your favorite interactions with PC verses ST or PC verses PC? Post some links if you can!

Oh gosh, I don't know. In Looking for the Antswer it was very fun to see Kamilla fight off a creeper and then watch Ines hit on her only a few posts later. Is this just supposed to be for me?? I'm bad at reading other people's threads and can't think of anything off the top of my head. Anyone who reads this, send me your favorite threads!


11. Soap box time. You know the routine. Talk about anything you’d like to talk about.
[thread=76942]Help me update the lore![/thread] Post there with what you want to do or if you have any questions, and feel free to DM me with anything you're unsure about or if you just want to help out with a few things. Also, volunteer to ST if you think you can handle it! Sunberth and Zeltiva are both still open but without an ST and there are other cities that would be fun to see open, too. Or post in your city's development threads, apply for grader status (and grade), Guest ST...the possibilities are endless, and you get what you put in.

Thank you for having me as the featured contributor this season! I'm not a huge fan of big interviews and questions like this but I tried my best. :P

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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Madeira Craven on September 5th, 2019, 3:34 am

Congratulations! What an amazing interview! And what a redemptive story arc. :p

But really, this was incredibly eye opening. You'll be an awesome AS! Best of luck. <3
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Solstice on September 5th, 2019, 3:36 am


Congrats on the feature Mayhem! You've been doing a remarkable job with the wiki and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do as a ST. The feature is well deserved.
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Luminescence on September 5th, 2019, 3:51 am

Congrats Mayehm! :D This is well deserved; you've put in a huge amount of work recently between helping to update the wiki and now applying to be a ST, so thank you for that. I'm excited to have you on the team and to see what you'll do with Syliras; it's certainly a big project!
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Calla Davin on September 5th, 2019, 4:23 am

Congratulations Mayhem! You always bring a smile to my face when I see you in chat. Whether it's adorable ratty (and now dog!) pics or your relentless goofball attitude, something entertaining and uplifting is coming out of you. It's nice to see a fellow Miz misfit try and succeed. Keep up the good work!

Edit: You brought me the saving grace that is Unsplash, so thanks for that also! :lol:
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Rohka on September 6th, 2019, 3:17 am

Grats Mayhem!!! Lovely interview and your perspective on STing is inspiring - thanks for being a positive presence and for your absolute honesty about writing :) You're definitely not weird btw---Miz has always felt approachable to me too.

Good luck and I'm so excited for all of the awesomeness coming up for Syliras! :D
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Jehu on September 6th, 2019, 1:19 pm

Congratulations Mayhem. As someone also guilty of Miza abandonment, I appreciate both the Founder's willingness to take back their prodigals, and the humility in which you have approached this return. It seems it has made you a better writer and a great contributor to this site!
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The Featured Contributor For Fall 519 Is...

Postby Mayhem on September 7th, 2019, 10:28 pm

Thank you, everyone! I forgot to subscribe to this thread so I didn't see any of this until today. <3
I am currently updating & redoing Syliras. The city is still closed while I am doing this. I will post an announcement when I am done.
Thank you :)
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