Confessions of an SOE Game Master05-27-2014
By: Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske
Get to know Ryan “Karalius” Findahl, a member of the SOE Customer Service Team, in this spotlight!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a Game Master for Dragon’s Prophet and I work to ensure that our players have the best experience with customer support as possible. This includes anything from assisting with any in-game issues a player may experience to running events in game!
I first started working for SOE in December of 2012 working as a GM for PlanetSide 2 and I have been enjoying this job ever since. I was transferred from working on PlanetSide 2 to Dragon’s Prophet during the early stages of the game and really enjoyed being a part of the RPG-style community.
How did you get into the industry?
I am a part of an Airsoft Team that hosts regular games on the second Sunday of each month and ranges from 80 to 250 players. A few of our regulars work for SOE and suggested I look into becoming a Game Master for PlanetSide 2. As it turned out, many of the game management skills I had picked up from participating as “Game Control” for Airsoft games transferred seamlessly to being a Game Master for PlanetSide 2.
Tell us what a typical workday is like for you.
At this time we are in the process of periodically play testing H1Z1 and submitting feedback on the current status of the game. Lately I have been able to start my workday with some H1Z1 chaos before returning to assisting with Dragon’s Prophet Customer Support. I could go on and on about the shenanigans that take place in our daily play tests (i.e. axe-murdering the H1Z1 Dev’s on sight) but I’ll leave it to the H1Z1 team to tell you their side of the story.
My workday depends entirely on what issues our players encounter on any given day. Most days I assist with any general game play questions any players may have, and submit any bugs that our players report. If I manage to have spare time towards the end of the day I jump in-game and socialize with our players. On rare occasions I am also able to run secret GM events! I would elaborate a bit more as to what a “Secret GM Event” would entail, but that would break the secrecy that surrounds these mystical events!
What inspires you?
First and foremost, I would have to say that the players that I interact with on a day-to-day basis inspire me to continue assisting our players in any way that we can. It always brings a smile to my face when I am in-game and I hear that I was able to brighten a player’s day. Whether by assisting with an issue, showing off the newest dragon, or running a GM event, I always aspire to give our players the best in-game experience possible.
What is your favorite thing about working at SOE?
At the risk of sounding redundant, I would have to say our community. While working with our players is certainly enjoyable, working alongside the other SOE employees and gaining a “behind-the-scenes” look as to how games are created and managed would have to be my favorite thing about working here.
We all know you aren’t supposed to pick a favorite but let’s do it anyway. Which SOE Game is your favorite?
At this time I would have to say that it’s a toss-up for me between Dragon’s Prophet and H1Z1.
Dragon’s Prophet is an MMORPG unlike any other that I have played. The ability to capture, train, and fight alongside dragon companions was and continues to be a huge draw for me. A Dragon Arena was even introduced that allows players to pit their current dragon team against another player’s team in the arena.
While H1Z1 is still in its early stages, I can say that it is an absolute blast. Throughout the majority of the H1Z1 playtests I have been able to team up with GM Vedan and effectively dispatch any obstacle, zombie, or other player that we encounter. Even though the game has not yet reached completion I can say this will turn out to be one of my favorite games.
What makes you a geek?
What makes me a geek? Oh if only I had the time to count the ways… Well to dodge the risk that this simple question results in a response that resembles the final thesis of a college graduate, I will try to keep this brief. Recently my interest in Magic: The Gathering has been rekindled and I have started attending tournaments for the Standard Format and even hosting a few Magic game nights for friends. I have been playing Magic on and off since about 2001 and I have built up quite an extensive collection over that time.
Do you have a hobby?
Even though I have slipped back into Magic: the Gathering I can say that my main hobby is Airsofting. In addition to hosting Airsoft games, the same team also participates in Airsoft Games. While we normally we play at our local fields we have driven as far as Antioch, CA to attend special events even though our members are from the San Diego/Chula Vista area.
Enjoy this screenshot from Dragon’s Prophet, one of Ryan’s favorite SOE Games!
We hope you enjoyed meeting Ryan and will join us in the future for more Spotlights!
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