Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Sister Frances

Posted by Randolph Carter on March 15, 2009

MMO community connection

No Prisoners No Mercy

Chapter 1: Introduction

What is your name (your online persona/alter-ego, what have you)?

My REAL name is Frances Kosac or Sr. Frances. I have a lvl 72 Warlock in WoW named “Feathana” she is Alliance. I have 2 Horde  characters, one a Troll priest named “Zaharia” lvl 63, and my VERY favorite lately is a Blood Elf Death Knight named “Vahlkyrie”. I have lots of characters I rolled up in Warhammer, but I accidentally let the subscription laps, and I just never renewed it. So, I don’t really play War any more.

What is your connection to the gaming/blogging/podcasting community (your chance to plug yourself here)?

Mostly, I got hooked on WoW from Sr. Julie. At first, I thought her “gaming” was silly, stupid, and kind of weird…but she was showing me her character in WoW and I was SO impressed with the graphics, that when she said to me to “roll up a character and try it for a while” I did, that was my warlock “Feathana”…it’s taken me about 2 years to get her to lvl 72, but by golly I got there. Then Sr. Julie wanted to do a Podcast, and I had done some Theatre in High School, and studied music in College, so I thought, “Why not? It could be fun!” And it turned out to be…lots of fun! : ) Then after we started podcasting, Warhammer came out, and we both were SO excited about it…but it has kind of turned out to be a disappointment.

Please take a minute and describe what your blog/podcast is about.

Our Podcast started out, being about Age of Conan…we called it “Age of CoNuns” But AoC turned out to be such a disappointment after level 21 that we both just left the game, and the podcast, and focused our energies on No Prisoners No Mercy. The name came from Sr. Julie, and I recommended we use the audio clip from the movie “300” where Leonitis screams it just before going into battle with the Persians….”No prisoners…no mercy!” I thought it was a good title, so we went with that. So, when it started out, it was just a Sr. Julie podcast…the first episode it JUST her, doing a whole show of “I’m mad as hell…”. Then she asked me to come on her show for the 2nd show, and I did, I had a pretty good time, and it just grew. Sr. Julie asked me if I wanted to be a “permanent” co-host, and I said “sure, why not?” and it started to grow. After those first few episodes, we were both SO completely SICK of WoW endgame…I even wrote that “rap” song about it, hoping War would bring some relief. Well, it did, for about a couple or three months, but then, wham…fell flat. Then Wrath of the Lich King came out…and Julie immediately had to try it out…and I got back into WoW because of it, and now we both love WoW again, because Blizzard actually FIXED almost everything about endgame that was broke…I sure wish Warhammer would do that!

So, with our podcast we are both always thinking of ways to make things entertaining, clever names/titles etc. She is a very good writer, and I do some writing myself, but mostly I’m the visual creative person. So, I’m the one who did our logo on Virgin Worlds with the two of us holding rulers…that was Julie’s idea, and I implemented it. So, I think we just work well together, whatever I don’t think of…she does, and whatever she doesn’t think of…I do. I think that’s why we are so appealing to people, it’s the interaction between the two of us. Even when I listen to our podcasts after they are done, I still laugh when I hear some things…like my laugh…always makes me laugh! Kind of silly…but it does!

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Chicago, lived all my life in Des Plaines, minus the 5 years I lived in the city of Chicago because I worked downtown. I used to think Des Plaines, IL was a “no where” place…but now…I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else (except maybe somewhere a little warmer…I’m SOOO sick of winter)!

Where do you live now?

Des Plaines, Illinois – and the only way I’d leave is if I REALLY felt a “calling” to go somewhere else. And that somewhere else better be warm…is all I gotta say!

Your level (age) is somewhere in the range of (pick one): 10-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90

How old do I sound?

What do you do for a living?

I am a nun, a freelance web designer and graphic designer, and I volunteer for an organization called “True Life In God” or TLIG for short.

If you could reroll your career, what would you be?

I actually love being a web designer/graphic designer. I like doing visual creative things…but I also have a great desire to help people, which I may yet do in the future.

List five random things most people don’t know about you.

  • I really like Bruce Willis as an actor, and if I were younger, thinner, and not a nun, I’d like to meet him.
  • I’d like to learn how to be a massage therapist.
  • I have a dream that one day I will actually compete in a triathalon.
  • I’d love to help the whole entire world feel God the way I do (there is no comparison).
  • I want to learn to speak Chinese.

Feel free to discuss any family you have here.

I have one blood brother, who lives in Atlanta, GA. I have lots, and lots of cousins. There were 8 brothers/sisters in my mom’s family, and 8 brothers/sisters in my dad’s family…that makes for A LOT of cousins! MY family is Sr. Julie, and our mission, which is The Sisters of Embracement.

Chapter 2: Origins

What kind of games (if any) did you play as a child before you got into video gaming? Did you play with family, friends or was it more of a solo activity?

I used to play paper dolls…where we would actually draw and cut out our own dolls and paper outfits to go on top of them. Some of them got really elaborate with glitter and sequins…it was fun. The other activity I did a lot was what I call “building things”. I used to take things apart and build other things with the parts. For instance, I took apart many pairs of those old metal roller skates, the kind you had to have a “key” to tighten onto your foot..I would take those apart, and make “scooters” with the wheels. My friend and I would play for just hours riding/sitting on our scooters, being pulled by a jump rope through the back end of a bike! It was pretty funny.

What other hobbies and/or activities did you have as a child (sports, music, etc)?

I used to play piano. I took lessons for like, 9 years. I still play occasionally. I like to write music and improvise it as well.

Were you ever exposed to pen and paper role playing games? What was that experience like?

The only “pen and Paper” games I ever played were the making of those little origami “fortune telling” things, you’d ask a question, and then do the origami thing so many times, and the answer was under the flap. The other game was drawing little pictures in the corners of note pads and flipping them to make the drawing “move”. But no “role” playing games, unless make believe or pretending counts.

Did you read much as a child? If so, what did you like to read (books, comic books, etc?) Please list some favorite authors, titles, etc.

I probably read one WHOLE book in my entire life. I do not believe that I’ve ever read an entire book. I like to read parts, get the general idea, and then move onto something else. I was a big “picture book” fan. My favorites were always National Geographic…great photos!

Would you say that any of these games or books had an effect on your later appreciation of computer gaming and ultimately MMOs? Please explain.

In my case I think it totally influenced my decision to minor in photography and to major in Graphic Design in college. My career then for the next 20 years was being a graphic designer, and in the last 10 years, a web designer. I think those years a grew to appreciate how things look…and it could also be why gaming did not interest me when it was still in it’s “crude” phase. Now, I’m just BLOWN AWAY at some of the graphics I see…like in Fallout 3…wow…and some of the temples and areas in WoW…just amazing.

How were you fist introduced to video games? How old were you? What was the platform?

First video game was Pong! ( you have to be pretty old to remember that one!) THAT was my first experience! LOL . then I remember looking at that one where you blast the meteors as they come at you…you are a pixel space ship…and other space ships come by and blast you too…then the next one was in video arcades playing a dinosaur version of “mortal combat” I thought it was called “Diablo” but I think diablo was the name of one of the dinosaurs you could pick…which I ALWAYS picked and always won with! : ) Then it was play station…my favorite was one called “killing time” wow…that one was cool and interesting. Then of course, Tomb Raider 4…I like the whole solving a puzzle/riddle thing as well as kicking butt. Something they don’t have too much in WoW or any of the other MMOs’ that are out there.

Did you ever play coin-op games at the arcade? What was that experience like?

See above.

What was the first video game you can remember playing that really made an impression on you? Please explain.

See above (Killing time & then Tomb Raider).

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Play station, 3DO, and Mac computer games like Myst (I REALLY got into that one!!)

Feel free to share a story related to your gaming experience as a child.

Actually when I was a kid I mostly did dolls, paper dolls, and the scooter thing, outdoor games…like baseball and rollerskating, I didn’t actually start playing video games till I was in my late 20s.

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

Sorry, no dungeon games…my friends played D&D, but I never did.

What was your first MMO experience?

My VERY first MMO was World of Warcraft…about 3 or 4 years ago. My sister Julie had started playing it, and I was watching her over her shoulder, and I couldn’t keep watching…finally I wanted to play so bad I rolled up a couple of toons. I still have one of them…a warlock named Feathana, which I enjoyed playing until endgame before WotLK became so incredibly painful…people dissing other ppl, kicking you out for not being “keyed” or “geared” it SUCKED! So that is when I went to Warhammer, then WotLK came out, and I went back to WoW.

If possible, list all the MMOs you’ve played extensively.

Well, as I stated above, my FIRST MMO was WoW, my character is still there, she’s a level 73 or 74 Warlock human named Feathana, on the Earthen Ring server, but I’m thinking of moving her to another server so that my sister and I can have an Alliance Arena Team. Then in Warhammer, I rolled up a High Elf Warrior? the one with the sword and sheild…and the “cone head” looking helmets!! But after the first 3 tiers I got so tired of it, I left and never went back.

What is your current MMO of choice, or perhaps, what are your current MMOs of choice?

It has to be WoW. I have played a little bit of EQ2, LOTRO, and Warhammer, but I just didn’t like them as much as I like WoW…it just seems to hold my attention, even at endgame, now that they’ve gotten rid of the “keying Process”!

Which MMO have you spent the most time playing? How long would you say that has been?

It would have to be WoW. I’ve been playing it almost for as long as it’s been out…maybe a year less than it’s been out, so like I said, 3-4 years.

Have you reached level cap in any MMO? If so, which ones?

I reached the level cap with Feathana the warlock when 70 was the cap, but then when WotLK came out with Death Knights…I just HAD to have one! Despite the fact that I HATED that initial quest where you had to kill innocent villagers…that one bothered me, but since then my DK is level 80, she’s a Blood Elf named Vahlkyrie on Proudmoore server. I really enjoy playing her…that is when I dont’ get criticized for not having good enough gear!

Loki taps you on the shoulder one day to inform you that you have fallen victim to one of his elaborate pranks. The world you’ve been inhabiting of countless MMOs to choose from and play has merely been a dream. In reality only one MMO exists. After laughing at you for a bit he decides to take pity on you and allows you to choose which MMO will remain. Which one would you choose and why?

Wow, because it actually holds my interest.

Are there any MMOs currently in development that you are particularly interested in? Please explain.

STAR TREK ONLINE!!! Can’t wait!

Feel free to share an interesting or amusing anecdote related to your MMO gaming experience.

The “horror” story I tell is when I was playing one of my alt toons, a warrior Dreinai. She’s level 45 and in that instance that is in the Tenaris desert…Zul Faruk I guess…and I do a PUG, and one of the players in the group starts picking on me….saying I “don’t have enough hit points” and what not. You know…I was the TANK, tanks don’t have HIT points, they TAKE DAMAGE…anyway, just after the first 2 or 3 mobs are killed this chick says, “I don’t think this group has enough POLISH!” and she hearths out!!! I was FURIOUS…it took like 3 hours to get a group together, and this chick just up and quits…Sr. Julie and I immortalized her in our podcast with the song, “hip hop hell”, I think it’s in show 5 or 6. The words I wrote after doing that sucky instance, Sr. Julie had to sing it because I have white woman rhythm! (it’s a genetic defect! :)

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

I used to play about 20 hours a week. Now I think I’m down to about 7 or 8 hours a week…it depends. Some weeks I spend way more than others because of the weather. If it’s nice out, I’m going to be in the garden/yard, if it’s horrible out, I’ll be inside gaming.

When during the week are your regular play times?

I play mostly at night, after Sr. Julie gets home. I just feel like that is my “relax” time.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

I do a little of both. When I was leveling up Feathana, it was 95% alone. Once I discovered instances, then I became much more social. I joined a WHOLE bunch of guilds with dismal failure (another topic of our early podcasts). But now I’m in a guild I like, and they seem to like me. I’m more social now than I used to be.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

Just with Sister Julie! :) She’s the only one who has lasted the whole 4-5 years!!

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I mostly just do what I feel like once I’m in game. I might see in guild chat for instance, that someone is looking for Group for an instance, and if it’s one that I want to do, I’ll group up with them and do that. I’ve found though, that I get ignored a lot if I’m the one asking…I must have B.O.! lol

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I like sticking to one game…that is until I get so incredibly bored with the one game that I go to others. It’s sort of happening now with WoW…I’m getting bored.

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

I don’t have the time. One game is more than I can handle in terms of time committment.

Are you something of an altoholic?

LOL…in Warhammer, I had like 20 toons!! so, yes, there you could say Im an “alt” aholic!!! (and to comment re Sr. Julies comment below…no SHE is most definitely NOT an altaholic!!! she does ONE toon…till the bitter end!!!)

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

I used to play paper dolls…where we would actually draw and cut out our own dolls and paper outfits to go on top of them. Some of them got really elaborate with glitter and sequins…it was fun. The other activity I did a lot was what I call “building things”. I used to take things apart and build other things with the parts. For instance, I took apart many pairs of those old metal roller skates, the kind you had to have a “key” to tighten onto your foot..I would take those apart, and make “scooters” with the wheels. My friend and I would play for just hours riding/sitting on our scooters, being pulled by a jumprope through the back end of a bike! It was pretty funny.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

Well, because we do a podcast about gaming…yes I do! Sometimes we talk for just a few minutes about it, to hours….it depends on what’s going on.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

Sure. When I was first playing WoW…and playing 20 hours a week or more…that was WAY too much! But at the time, I was caring for my sick, elderly mom, and I had NO outlet other than that, so that’s how I coped. When I got tired of getting treated bad, I’d go sit and watch endless hours of TV with mom, when I got sick of TV I’d go play endless hours of WoW…it was a vicious cycle!

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

I do take breaks when the people online get insane, like they did at level 70 endgame. They are starting to get that bad again at level 80! So, like I said earlier…CAN’T WAIT FOR STAR TREK ONLINE!!!

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