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[ version 3.0 July 2001 - site est. May 2001 ]

contenthead.gif (1088 bytes) MAIN NEWS PAGE
contenthead.gif (1088 bytes)  the GAMES
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  REVIEWS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  ANARCHY ONLINE: THE MISSION
contenthead.gif (1088 bytes)  FEATURES
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  COLUMNS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  DG RUMBLE
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  DG: THE COMIC
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  INTERVIEWS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  TOP FIVE GAMES
contenthead.gif (1088 bytes) DG LINKS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  DG LINKTOBERFEST
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  WEB COMIC LINKS
contenthead.gif (1088 bytes)  TOP SITES

  Lum the Mad

  Maggie the Jackcat's

contenthead.gif (1088 bytes)  the USUAL SUSPECTS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  CONTESTS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  FORUMS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  GUESTBOOK
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  JOIN THE DG TEAM
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  SHOP DG!

arrow.gif (869 bytes)  EMAIL FENRIS
arrow.gif (869 bytes)  EMAIL STRYKER

All site related info and text is 2001 J. Meinzer and J. Uchman unless otherwise noted. Games and their prospective logos, slogans and images are their prospective companies.  Die Avalanche die, you too Patrick Roy.   Lobster Sticks to magnet.  So soft and smooth, just like you.

                           ...the First Lady of Asheron's Call

Maggie's wonderful leggings!

    Maggie was one of the first people we wanted to interview for the site, based on her zeal for the game and her professional touch.   Maggie took time out of her busy schedule (real life + website + AC + job = one busy lady!) to answer some of our questions relating to her life, her interests and of course, a good dose of Asheron's Call.   Lets take a look at our interview with Maggie the Jackcat...

DOUBLEGOLD :  Was AC your first experience with an online MMORPG? If not, tell us about your previous experience.

MAGGIE THE JACKCAT: No. My first online MMORPG was Ultima Online. I used to play Backgammon and Chess on the Zone way back when with a friend of mine. He told me about this cool new online game and we both signed up. I played for about a year and a half before leaving. Although there were a lot of things I liked about the game, it eventually stopped being fun for me. It was just a little too much like work sometimes! The skill decay was a drag for a casual player and the PK situation at the time was pretty bad.

DG: Did you take part in AC Beta and if so, please tell us about your first character and how the experience was.

MAGGIE:  Yes! I started in Beta 0. I had signed up on the web somewhere. Frankly, I didn't have a clue how I managed to get in. I finally decided it was because my computer system was so god-awful and they needed to test the low end. My first character was absolutely pitiful. I got LOST in the Tutorial dungeon (in those days, you entered the game already inside the dungeon and there were no helpful big green arrows pointing the way). White rats were everywhere; they squeaked and squeaked and jumped at you worse than sticky, and wouldn't go away!! I hacked dutifully away at them with my practice sword, thinking to myself, "I just don't really get this game." I was eventually rescued (PITIFUL), and led to the surface... where it was *raining*! I could hardly believe it! My world changed forever as I was overtaken by the wonders of Dereth.

    Beta was just as fun as you may have heard. Everything was new and waiting to be discovered. I tried to play a mage, but had to give it up because I didn't have the patience to figure out the spells. "Taper Rotation" was a term that was guarded with the utmost secrecy. Level 25 players were "High Level." The end of the world was both awesome and hilarious as PK altars appeared in the center of towns and a comet of fearsome destruction blazed through the sky. Beta was like the first heady rush of a new love affair. I still love the game, but now it's a deeper, more complex love, with a richer appreciation of its depths, along with an acknowledgement of its flaws.

DG: From what I understand, the infamous Ned Cleversun was your first vassal. How did this union come about?

MAGGIE:  During one of the Beta phases they did an "Invite a friend" thing. I invited my friend Ned Cleversun. Since I had already been playing a while and knew the game better, he became my vassal. I taught him everything he knows. ;-)

the infamous Ned Cleversun...coolest vassal ever!
1130 deaths and counting...

DG: Let us in on a secret. does Ned intentionally go out of his way to get killed? Or is it just natural talent?

MAGGIE: He is a talented fellow, isn't he? I had my suspicions about this one, but just to clarify things, I asked him! He said that although he doesn't necessarily go out of his way to get killed, his play style is such that he often finds himself in situations where an outcome of death is more likely. He goes for the high risk/high reward strategy. He prefers hunting on the surface where it's easier to recover his (many) corpses. He rarely fights in dungeons unless he knows them extremely well. He is an Umbris killing machine.

DG: Tell us about your site. How long have you been running it, what's the best part about running it? What's the worst?

MAGGIE: I've been running the site for well over a year now. It really did start as a compilation of spread sheets I had put together for my vassal. The best part about the site is that I've gotten to meet so many people because of it. I love the letters I get and how people generously contribute to it, wanting to be a part of it. The AC community is really top notch. I don't think you'll find a nicer group of people anywhere on the web. I enjoy the work of it as well. I've always done the site for my own personal pleasure. I work long hours in a stressful job. When I play AC or work on the site, it helps me to mentally separate from the stresses of the day.

    The worst? My biggest problems have come from people lifting content from the site. And even worse, when they behave badly when they're called on it. Sometimes *very* badly!! ;-) Another negative is that I occasionally feel pressure from all the mail I get, asking for this feature, or that feature, a missing quest, and so forth. I've occasionally felt obligated, for example, to stay up late to get a patch page out. Then I am dead tired the next day at work. And cranky! That's always my cue to take a break for a few days. I don't want to spoil my fun by getting a negative attitude, or feeling that I *have* to work on the site.

DG:  The worst part about running our site is cleaning whiskey off of Stryker's keyboard.

DG: If you could change one thing about AC, what would it be?

MAGGIE:  The chat interface.

DG: I've read your letters section an noticed how certain readers are somewhat enamored with you. How does it feel to be an AC sex symbol?

MAGGIE:  There's a certain sly humor to the idea that Maggie the Jackcat is considered a sex symbol. My vassal and I have had a long running joke about how darn good-looking we are. Maggie is incredibly sexy in her sleek purple yoroi leggings, swinging her powerful sword. Ned Cleversun in a matty coat? *swoon* You may have already caught the underlying slyness to the joke. It's simply that everyone... EVERYONE in the game looks *exactly* the same (excluding faces, of course). Maggie is attractive, not because of her physical characteristics (which are completely indistinguishable from any other female character in the game), but for her more substantive qualities: intelligence, humor, kindness. All sex symbols should be so lucky. ;-)

DG: How are those wonderful purple yoroi leggings doing?

MAGGIE:  I've still got them! These days, however, I'm wearing a pair of plate legging in an attractive shade of deep purple. I outgrew the AL of the Yoroi, but just couldn't part with them. I'm a sentimental fool!

DG: What do you seen in the future for AC in terms of player base, storylines and updates in light of these new games coming out? Will it survive?

MAGGIE: Sure it will. My guess is it will still survive after AC2 (if that's what the next game turns out to be) comes out also. Even though you'll read these gloom and doom posts on various message boards, all about how AC has declined, the end is near, the sky is falling, it's obvious that the game is as healthy and vigorous and as strong as ever, and attracting new players every day. I know this because they write to me all the time!

DG: How did you come to make the contacts that you have now? Did you meet people through gameplay, or did you directly contact them in an effort to learn more?

MAGGIE:  Both, actually. I met quite a few people in the normal manner before my web site was very popular. They've remained in-game friends who will helped me gather info when a new patch rolls around. Many people write to me, asking if they can help, or they just send stuff they find on their own. Sometimes I'll hang out in the Hub the day after patch day where people go to be seen. What good is it, after all, being the first guy on the server to get the cool new quest item if no one sees you wielding it? I'll @tell people and grill them for data. Many times they're nice enough to pose for a screenshot and to answer questions for me.

DG: One of your pages best sections in my opinion is the Runway. If you had to rate one, who would you say had the BEST looking outfit out of all your runway members. They're all good I know, but if you had to pick one.

MAGGIE:  Well of course, it's me!! ;-) Hee hee. Everyone loves the Runway! I promise, I'll try to get back to updating it regularly. I actually had someone approach me once, asking to do an Interview about the stupidest things people wore on the Runway. I had to decline. I think the Runway's success comes in part from the approach I take to the section. People are *very* proud of their outfits. They've worked hard for their loot. Often a prized piece will have a great story behind it -- the first time they killed an Olthoi, a treasured gift from their Patron. They'll build their whole outfit around that one piece. On the Runway, I try to be very careful to respect the players and respect the genuine affection they have for their characters and their armor. I may poke gentle fun, but I will never make fun. What you see on the Runway is people enjoying the game.

Purple is the lady's colour

DG: I've supplied an image of my AC character Elhajah al-Haj. Now is there any doubt in your mind that he is the sexiest man in Dereth?

MAGGIE:  There's no doubt in my mind that *you* think he's sexiest man in Dereth. (j/k!) He's a fine looking fellow, indeed. But in my eyes no one is as attractive as my wonderful vassal, Ned Cleversun.

DG:  Dayyum, shot down!!

DG: Who would win in a fight between Ken Troop and Brad McQuaid (EQ lead dev)?

MAGGIE:  In a battle of wit and words, I'd give it to Troop, hands down. He's got wicked parentheticals. In a real fight? I don't have a clue. What levels are they? ;-)

DG:  I'm not sure, but knowing McQuaid he probably can't fight for himself and will run to Jeff Butler for help.

DG: How much does running the website dig into your real life time? We know you don't get much time to play AC these days, but does the site afford you much free time in your home?

MAGGIE:  I try to only work on the web site, or play AC for that matter, a few nights a week, as a way to keep it both balanced with my other life duties and do-able long term. When I first started playing the game I spent *way* too much time in Dereth and played almost every day. I've always tended to be somewhat obsessive when I pick up new hobbies or interests. Usually by this time, I'd be on to the next best thing. AC has really had some longevity for me and has held my interest a remarkably long time.

    I've also made some very deliberate decisions about the site which have enabled me to keep it manageable and maintainable. It's not a news site which would require daily attention. There are no boards (too time consuming, too much of a headache, and a need for constant vigilance). I have no staff to manage, only a loose network of generous contributors. The site is directly controlled by me alone. No conflicts to manage or solve because my opinion is the only one that matters! ;-)

    The hardest decision I made about the site was to decide that I didn't have to answer all the email I get. I tried for months to keep up with it and it just got to be a constant stress. The Inbox got more full every day. One friend finally wrote to me, in response to this terribly apologetic email I had sent, sorry for the length of time it had taken me to respond to her. She said, "if it's a choice between writing to me, or updating your site, then please, update the site." So that's the choice I've made. I know I run the risk of offending some of my visitors, but it was the only way I could retain my sanity! I try to always recognize my contributors, and express my deep appreciation for the letters and screenshots, and to get everything they send me up on the site eventually, even if the delay is sometimes lengthy.

DG: Will theJackcat.com be around when AC2 hits the shelves?

MAGGIE:  If I'm still having fun, it's quite likely to be.

DG: Some questions more directed at you personally. What's your favorite movie?

MAGGIE: I'm a big movie person. I could never pick just one. Here's a few favorites: Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, An Affair to Remember (Deborah Kerr version), Roman Holiday, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Star Wars.

DG: Favorite foods?

MAGGIE:  Chocolate, Coca Cola, Good steak cooked rare to medium rare, Potatoes (any form), black bean soup, roasted vegetables, crab cakes, tuna on the grill, plums, Captain Crunch.

DG: Tell us your most warm and fuzzy memory of AC?

MAGGIE:  I've got lots and lots of warm and fuzzy AC memories: the first time Ned Cleversun and I went hunting together, corpse rescues, quest adventures with various Allegiances. One of my very favorite fun nights ever was the time Danier took Ned Cleversun and me PK-ing.

When PKs go bad...

DG:   What's the official word on CoD?

MAGGIE:  No official comment.

DG: Finally, tell us something about yourself that no one would believe in a million years.

MAGGIE:  I could tell you... but then I'd have to kill you. ;)

DG: Nevermind then...

Our thanks again to Maggie for her wonderful interview, and for being very very patient with us when we feared for sure she was going to call the police on us.   Maggie is one of those great people who make Asheron's Call one of the best community oriented games out there, and even though myself and Stryker have left the game for more... anarchic worlds, we still hold very fond memories of the game and will definitely be here for the AC players in a news oriented fashion.  For more information on Maggie, visit her kick ass, fabulous site here.

(fenris - june 12, 2001)