1.) "How long have you been playing?
Although my birth announcement was featured in the 1992 View From Valehaven, my first legal event was in 1998. I guess you could say i'm pretty old by Realms standards... : )
2.) How has the game changed since you've been playing?
I think the game has had many obvious changes since I began, however , one of the more important changes to me would be the increase in female fighters over the years. Due to my affiliation, I only knew of a few established female combatants who paved the way for future Iron Maidens. (hehe). These people included but not limited to, Betty Marshall, Tanja Johnson, Angela Earle Gray, Miranda Collier-Amend, and Kristy Heighes. Though, now, with fight practices being held on college campuses, and the resurgence of the Huntress Guild thanks to Alysha Metcalf, I see women making a more dominant presence in combat.
3.) Who have you learned the most from?
Jarrod Marshall has been one of the most influential people for me in this game. He was the first one to teach me that fighting had a strong mental component. Jarrod was the first to tell me to "Never go into a fight thinking you can't win, because if you do, you've already lost". That really resonated with me, and I still think about that whenever I prep for battle grin emoticon He taught me how important respect was in the game, and from my time in Folkestone, how nations went beyond in character. My dad, Joe Fantasia, has also played a major role in developing who I am in the game today. From introducing me to the game at an early age, to conducting all of our after school backyard fight practices, to bringing me to all of my events in that large blue van with no back seats, but only a wooden bench attached to the walls of the van. (PJ Gray and Ray McGurik Jr know of what I speak). Getting to see him in combat all the time was what helped develop my liking for fighting.
4.) What was your best IC moment?
My best IC moment had to be in 2011 when I ran for Queen of Hearts during a hurricane. Malakai's introduction was as epic as it was embarrassing for me. Temorse and Phoenix were my incredible generals and Mestoph was my hard working champion. (Sorry you got stuck with that) . Karmha made my winning heraldry entry, and I remember it being one of the closest Queen of Hearts to date. Overall, I couldn't be more thankful to my entire team who supported me to make my running possible and gave me an experience that I won't ever forget, #DolphinMoonSparkleHeart heart emoticon
5.) What was your best NPC moment?
My most memorable NPC moment was during the Sunday night nightquest at Folkestone Questing 2010. There was a castle seige of epic proportions! We had a big drawbridge come down and the first thing that greeted the PC's on the other side was the Folkestone shield wall. There was non stop fighting, PC's and NPC's were flanking all sides of the castle, and I think the NPCS did a great job of intimidating the players, making them unsure of whether or not they could win. The ambiance was incredible that night. We had pyrotechnics, just the right music for the setting, and torches everywhere. It was hands down the best castle siege I have ever had the privilege of being a part of.
6.) What would you like to see changed/ developed in game?
Currently as a spellcaster, I would like to see a bigger variety of spell paths/ spells available. I'd like to see more crowd control and support magic such as buffs implemented for player use. As NPC's , we've experimented with Root effects successfully for example. In terms of buffing, like we have Enchant Armor already, a support 7th circle (to avoid rogues and other casters giving themselves free armor) could possibly be a spell giving fighters 1 additional point of armor in 1 hit location. Another buff I think would be interesting to try would be a "Shield of Thorns " spell (perhaps a 5th or 6th circle , 1-2 calls). The spell would not absorb the weapon blow. Instead, upon getting hit successfully, the person under the enchantment could call "Thorns" and then their hit location, and the attacker would recieve a mirroring effect in the same hit location.
7.) What advice would you give to new players?
To all new players : Read the Omnibus, and understand basic rules/ calls in the game. You won't feel so intimidated at an event going in with prior knowledge. Definitely attend all types of events. Every style of event has a different atmosphere to it. You won't know for sure what event type you like best until you've experienced them all, and meet people there with similar preferences.
To all new fighters: If you have the means to attend a weekly practice, do it. You're going to lose a lot. Don't get discouraged, understand that there will be people who have been fighting in the game a lot longer than you. Stick with it, because the only way to improve is to fight better people. Show your interest and initiative and don't be afraid to talk to people for advice. We have a very welcoming community, if you ask, there will be plenty of people who are willing to spar with you on the side, at a practice, or event, and help train you.
8.) What do you love most about the game?
The game is filled with diverse people. I love that I get the chance to meet people in one place with both similar, and different interests that I normally wouldn't come in contact with in my day to day life. I enjoy the fact that the game is as fun as you make it. There's always going to be times where you're at a smaller event, or an event with some down time. However, when you're surrounded by company you enjoy, there's really never a dull moment. (Also, Kelly Bonci's Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese needs to appear more at events).
9.) I'd like to nominate Kevin Weeks, Nataliya Kostenko, and Michael Zajac
10.) Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Well since I was asked my best and most memorable moments, I'd like to write quickly about one of my most embarrassing moments to date. (more to come i'm sure) . It was Queen of Hearts 2008, running team Sean Aengus. I along with Andrew Fantasia, and Kevin DeSousa (Kwartz of Folkestone) did the dance bardic entry. Andrew and I had custom "Vote for Sean" Tshirts made (play on from Vote for Pedro Shirts from Napolean Dynamite) In Folkestone colors. I made us wear these ridiculously large sunglasses that we couldn't see out of with the lights shining right in our faces. I started off trying to throw some mardi gras beads to the crowd. Due to my lack of vision, I ended up throwing them 2 feet in front of me so nobody could get them, and got booed. Our dance was hardly choreographed, and if Kwartz wasn't there to carry the performance, I don't know if I ever would've shown my face in this game again tongue emoticon . I'll never forget the dead silence after our performance and the infamous heckler, Rob Riley shouting " Thank you for stopping". To this day, I cannot listen to Weezer's Pork and Beans, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and The Time Warp without cringing to my core.