Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Interview with CM Rejana


It’s a big pleasure to be able to interview you! Could you say something about yourself? What’s your role in CipSoft, what are your hobbies etc.?

-The pleasure is all mine!
I've been working for CipSoft since 2004, first in the Customer Support team as Alguzara, then when the Community Management department was formed, I was part of that right from the start and shaped the department together with Mirade, formerly known as Neofine. Apart from several smaller tasks, I'mmostly responsible for the fansite programme, but also polls and feedback forms, as well as ingame surveys.
My hobbies currently focus around my dog, meaning: I walk - a lot. I also do volunteer work as a paramedic, and I'm part of the crisis intervention team here in Regensburg.

Could you describe your usual day at work? Do the responsibilities at home office differ from the ones in the office in any way?
-The responsibilities do not differ whether we go to the office or work from home. For me, the workday usually starts by getting an overview of the tasks that await me on that day. While I get myself some coffee, I make a plan for myself then, where I start.
I usually begin with answering emails that are in the fansite mailbox, then I check Facebook and also Instagram. I take note of things that are important feedback for us CMs in these channels. Then - depending on what else there is to do, I check feedback forms, evaluate ingame survey results, make sure that the weekly polls and Facebook posts are set up, or work on any other project or task. Sometimes there are meetings with colleagues from other departments, too.
When Mirade and Skerio arrive at work - or rather log in - we have a daily CM Meeting, at which we exchange information on the different things we are currently working on, so that we always at least know a little bit about what's going on in case one of us gets run over by a bus, for example.
I start work really early - so often my work day is already over when it just starts for others. I usually end the work day then with a walk with my dog. That clears the head.

Is CipSoft divided into those who work on Tibia, and those who work on the other games, or do you all work somewhat together?

-There are different types of departments. There is one big Tibia team, for example, that includes people from the content team, the product management and programmers, for examle. Each game has such a core team. Then there are teams that work for more than one game. The test team is not bound to one specific game, for instance, they test things for TibiaME as well, or also internal tools. Customer Support, as well as Community Management, belong to the type of teams that are not game-bound.

Are there any best friends among the CipSoft Members or do you keep the relationships with each other rather official?
-That differs from person to person. Manina is a really good friend of mine. We have both started working for CipSoft at the same time, so we've known each other for about 18 years now! Since we are both old, however, and have other responsibilities apart from work, we do not spend lots of time together. Still, we are friends. All in all, I have really nice colleagues. With some I spend more time, with others less, but there is nobody I would avoid having a beer with and a nice private conversation.

You are one of the people who has been in CipSoft for the longest, which ex-Cipsoft employee do you miss the most?
-I've mostly kept in touch with the ex-colleagues that I had connected with on a private level. I do sometimes meet up with Ogrey, Tjured or Denson Larika, for example. I've also visited an ex-colleague in Austria already. If I need to name one person in particular, I'd say it's Chayenne. We have both not been good at keeping in touch.

Is there a chance for an active/retired Tibia player to be hired in CipSoft, or do you guys rather not do that?
-We've had quite a few colleagues in the lifetime of Tibia who were recruited from the community. The first employees CipSoft had are good example. Playing Tibia is not an obstacle for being hired by CipSoft, but it's not a qualification, either. Your CV and your work needs to speak for you when applying for a job, level doesn’t play a role.

Do you guys check the player’s proposal board regularly? What does it take for a proposal to even be taken into consideration? Do proposals with a small number of comments/signs have a chance to make it through?
-We indeed check the proposal board regularly. We do not count "signed" posts underneath the actual proposal. So yes, proposals with a small number of comments have indeed a chance to make it. The better the proposal is presented and the more it makes sense, the more likely it is for us to notice it and to forward it.

What is the biggest problem in taking care of the fansites and what do you enjoy the most?
-In my eyes, one of the biggest problems of the fansite programme is the huge value of fansite items. I have heard of situations in which the sale of a fansite item fed an entire family for a month. That is a huge responsibility for fansite admins and a very big source of conspiracy theories. Fansites should not be about having an income, they should be about fun. On the other hand, fansite items are an essential part of the fansite programme. Something very unique, and something we do not want to get rid of.
I enjoy most looking at awesome contest entries! Some contest ideas that fansite staff members have and organize are just wild. Looking at the contest contributions then is a real joy. When I spot something I like very much, I take the liberty to share it with my colleagues via our internal communication tools. Seeing what players contribute and how they enjoy crafting, or drawing and seeing how dedicated they are – and talented, too - gives meaning to our daily work.

In 2012, the players had a chance to have an impact on the name of a creature (Corym). Can we expect more contests that could influence the game in the future?
-That surely is a possibility. That will have to be coordinated then between community management, content team, and product management, too. No promises here, but it can indeed happen again at one point.

As Tibia evolves, some approaches introduced by CipSoft can seem rather radical to the Tibians. Was there ever a situation, where you personally agreed with the players, but had to keep a straight face and pretend you don’t?
-Definitely. But I've also often been proven wrong then in the long run, so I'm very happy that I'm not the one having to make the decisions.

Players often let their frustrations out on forums to show their disapproval of some actions. Some players do it in an educated manner, whereas others proceed to attack, as a Community Manager and CipSoft employee, you are often the addressee of these messages. What was the most unpleasant situation you had to face as a CM?
-Hmm... there's no particular situation that comes to my mind, but I know that some posts do make me angry. If players criticize things we do, we can all deal with it. Criticism is actually very welcome. If a post is spiked with personal accusations, however, and addresses people I like, I cannot avoid getting angry about a post. Especially if the player posts in a way that suggests we are all stupid here and only the player would know the solution. Some people just overestimate their insight. In such cases I wish I could sometimes speak freely or simply click the "mute" button without having to think twice about it.

Do you keep any relationships with players, apart from the forums? Do you have any in-game friends that you talk to regularly?

-"Talk to regularly" is a bit exaggerated, but I am in touch with a few players I got to know while working for CipSoft on a "every-now-and-then" basis. It's nice to see how a teenager who used to play all day turns into a grown-up and now faces the difficulty of having a job and a family. There are players around that I've been in touch with for about 18 years now, we’ve grown up together somehow, so of course private matters are sometimes part of emails and conversations. I'm not a person to be distanced all the time, but I have to when necessary, and I can be, too.

You take care of fansites, was there ever a fansite that you truly did not like or that disappointed you along the way (monitoring phase fansites involved)?
-Being on the monitored list is not a guarantee to get into the programme. So if we dislike a site on the monitored list already, it will definitely not make it into the programme. For fansites in the programme, it’s like that: Fansite admins are free in their choices, and if an admin chooses a path that is contrary to what we would like to support, we have to end the relationship. That is sometimes connected a bit to disappointment, depending on the admin, but there are never hard feelings. It's part of the job. And many decisions can be understood on a personal level.

As a general rule, players cannot be deleted/banned based on their actions from different platforms than Tibia. There was a very famous case of the streamer Pablinn getting deleted, allegedly for advertising the sale of his account on one of his streams. The situation got turned into a very popular Tibia meme “mano, foi deletado”. Was the banishment of Pablinn an exception from the rule, or there is more to it, that the crowd is not fully aware of? Should streamers be on their toes?
-We community managers are not involved in any rule enforcement, so I'm not entirely sure what exactly lead to the banishment of Pablinn. Just a general thought: Talking about rule breaks you have committed, publicly, is never really a good idea. You never know who's watching. Even if things you say outside of Tibia are not "proof enough" for a banishment, the things you say might lead to closer looks at internal data.

Zuna and Zunera were created to be sort of test-worlds. The idea undoubtedly had potential, however it seems to have died out over the years. Are there any plans concerning these servers? And if not, is it possible that they will eventually switch into regular game worlds?
-I would strongly assume that these two game worlds will remain as they are, at least for the time being. They were experimental, and the idea behind them indeed made sense at the time. Remnants of the past. I don't know what the future brings, so I won't say there will "never" be any changes concerning Zuna and Zunera, but internally the future of these two game worlds is not a frequent topic.

Do you think there is still a place for 5th vocation in the current Tibia? If so, what would it be?
-Since I'm not part of the content team, nor product management, I can only share my personal opinion here. From a feeling, I do not see a fifth vocation in Tibia. Tibia has grown a long time with 4 vocations. A completely new vocation seems really difficult to implement without having really big and unforeseeable downsides. What feels closer to me, is options to have more diverse versions of the existing vocations. I mean allowing the player to make choices, to have more individual playing styles and characteristics.

If you could bring back to Tibia something from 2010, what would it be?
-Puh... pinning this to a year is hard... I do remember several years back before runes were sold via NPCs, that I really enjoyed staying at my house all day, chatting with friends or even strangers in game, and making tons of money with my druid by making and selling runes. (all really handmade!). From the top of my head I can't say if that was in 2010, or even before that. Then I don't know if I really miss that, or if I just miss the time when I was like 12 years younger and did allow myself to stay online all day.

The majority of the Tibians eventually get Tibia-related dreams. Sometimes it’s the real World mixed with Tibian elements, and sometimes the dream’s habitat is purely Tibia. Have you ever had any Tibian dream?
-Oh definitely! For example the concept of backpack in a backpack in a backpack in a backpack... really influenced my dreams. When I first got to know Tibia, this was my favorite thing. Clean up your house just by stuffing everything into one bag. I often wished that I could do that in real life when my parents came for a visit.
I also had a really traumatic experience in Tibia that influenced my dreams... I was exploring the desert when I was pretty new to Tibia. You probably can guess what happened: I fell into a hole that you could not rope yourself back up from. And of course I had no clue about the paths down there... Then I met a "huge" fire elemental. At least in my perception it was huge, the entire screen lit up for me. Of course I died. I clearly had a blurred sense of reality back then with all the adrenaline in my system. It took years before I had the courage to face a fire elemental again. To my surprise the fight was easy, and the fire elemental actually rather small. Tibia can be a real stressor. :p

Do you still play Tibia actively? Can you guys play in your working hours?
-I do log in from time to time, I also have a house, but I would not call it playing actively. I have a hunting round I've been on for years now, and I don't really dare to go anywhere else. When a character of mine dies in Tibia, it falls into a great depression and never logs in again. So I have to start over. (Don’t ask, just a personal obsession somehow…)
I've now been on the same character for 4 years, so that's the time frame I've been on the same hunting round – not dying. That’s not actively playing.
We CMs are allowed to play during working hours if time allows it. There are other departments, however, that have to spend time ingame during working hours, since it's way more important for them to be familiar with the game mechanics and playing styles.

What’s the game feature you like the most, and which feature is your least favorite?
-It took me a while to get used to mounts. I always dismounted when I started fighting a monster. I have actually grown to love them, though. Mounts, as well as outfits, pretty much the things that you can personalize your character with are my favorite, I’d say. In other games I can spend hours just "designing" the character I play with.
The feature I like least is PvP. I don't like player vs player combat in any games, and I never grew to like it in Tibia, either.

If you had to advertise Tibia in just one sentence, what would it be?
-One thing Tibia does best is stir up emotions - tough fights against monsters, heated arguments with
fellow community members, difficult quests and mysteries, huge losses if you don't pay attention. Don't play if you can't take it.

Alguzara or Rejana?
-Rejana

Will there be more unicorns in Tibia? Luna needs company!
-Luna, the unique-orn. ;o) - Honestly, no idea.

Do you have any objectives for 2022?
-...survive the pandemic.

What’s your favorite article on TibiaGoals? :>
-I like a lot that TibiaGoals does not shy away from difficult topics. Articles in which you talk about cyberbullying, and also safety in virtual environments, especially for girls belong to my favorites. Such articles usually trigger a "oh, wow" in me when you ask for a newsticker.
I also like articles, though, that use statistics. While I usually feel that the samples you have for them would probably not stand a scientific analysis, they do instigate discussions of interesting topics and make people think about the prejudices they are having.
 

Oh, I just noticed that was the last question already! If I may, I would like to use this opportunity to say "hi" to all visitors of TibiaGoals! And a big thank you to the TibiaGoals team for having me for this interview! A big thank you as well for all the fun and entertainment you bring to the Tibia community. Awesome ideas, lots of passion! TibiaGoals rocks! :o)

6 comments:

  1. Great questions asked. Good job

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  2. Best interview with a cip member so far

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  3. FANSITE ITEN BLACKMARKET
    Rejana Please adress this SITUATION urgently
    many fansite adms are selling their own fansite itens every morth on advertiding chanels on tibia (!!!)

    how is it possible? so you get an item for free, and profit from it?

    how is it fair for a regular player to see?

    please control these itens!!

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  4. I really like the idea of interviewing CipSoft members
    Hope you guys can do more great interviews like this one
    Keep up the good work :)
    Greetings from Brazil o/

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  5. She is so sweet!
    Loved the interview, good job, TibiaGoals :)

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