Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces


Posted by Randolph Carter on August 2, 2009

MMO community connection:

Kill Ten Rats

Chapter 1: Introduction

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

Suzina is the name I carry for most of my games. It’s really just a “star-wars” version of Susan, but I ended up taking it into fantasy-based MMOs too.

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

Right now, I’m blogging for

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

KillTenRats was started in 2004 as a blog where Ethic vented about MMOs. It’s now a place where multiple bloggers share their feelings about MMOs.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I’m from Orange County, California.

Where do you live now?

I’m in Orange County to this day.

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


What do you do for a living?

I am currently unemployed. (student)

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

Uhh, maybe computer programmer?

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

  • I have lived for a brief time in Thailand and Colorado.
  • I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology.
  • I’m married
  • My longest lasting job was as a phone operator.
  • I once had ran a show on campus focused on psychology.

Feel free to discuss any family you have here.

Two older brothers, one little sister, and a husband.

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 played RPGs, pen-and-paper with my older brother. I also really enjoyed fighting-games once Street Fighter 2 came out and Mortal Kombat. In High School, I played a wide variety of console games and read EGM.

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

I hated sports and music as a kid…

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

Yes, I very much enjoyed pen-and-paper RPGs. I loved the stories that were made, and I loved my characters. I used to cry when my older brother’s friend would purposely kill my character and take my stuff. Jerk!

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.

The Hobbit was an early favorite for me. Other than the Lord of the Rings books, and RPG books, I didn’t read much. I did really enjoy the Age of Apocalypse and the Death of Superman series. I collected every issue in those story lines.

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.

Honestly, none of these affected my appreciation of MMOs, except for MUDs. I began mudding’ when I was in High School. I became a world-builder for a mud early on and I have a lot of fond memories about the experience. Muds were my first MMO if you will. I think perhaps, X-band may have influenced the way I think about MMOs as well. I used to play online with my Super Nintendo using a device which let me play over the phone line. Because you could form clans and send-email, a lot of the same drama happened between players.

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

My first memories of video game playing are on my NES. I competed in a chocolate-bar selling contest to win one of the consoles. That was awesome.

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

My favorite coin-ops were fighting games. I still love the rush of a good fight at the arcade, although those happen so rarely these days.

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

My memories are foggy… I think it depends on how you define “an impression”. But the first game to make me cry… really really cry… was Lunar the Silver Star Story for the Playstation. FFVII didn’t move me, and I still haven’t finished that game.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

NES, Super NES, Genesis, N64, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Dreamcast, Wii, … damn… is hat all of them? I guess I’m a PC gamer and Hand-held gamer on top of that, if those count.

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

When the Nintendo 64 came out, I didn’t have one yet. I stood in Toys R Us and played the demo of the game all day. The demo-system didn’t automatically reset back then. I actually got enough stars to beat the game just from my time standing there and getting stars.

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

I first started playing a mud called Vampire Wars around 1996. It was a full-PVP game with no level cap. Later on, I played another PVP focused mud called Cythera. The people I met in Cythera are still ones I’d consider my friends today, were we to ever meet. I went on to write code for that mud, and it was a very enjoyable experience. Mud Coding was probably my most early exposure to anything that resembled computer programming. There was a lot of high emotion in those communities… and I actually quit the Mud primarily because there was too much drama.

What was your first MMO experience?

My first MMO was Ultima Online. I first heard about it from my Model United Nations teacher who was hyping the game up before it released. I was accepted into the beta. Most of the time, my brother and I referred to the game as “Ultima Offline” because it was down so much. During the beta, I remember standing in line with other people to kill a rat so that I could level up my skills. Sometimes while waiting in line, someone would come by and kill the person battling the rat and run off. I remember thinking, “This game sucks!” There were some interesting memories from that time, like when Lord British died due to a bug/exploit. But overall, I really didn’t like the genre of MMOs back then. I had no interest in playing the game when it went live.

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

  • Ultima Online – just beta
  • Everquest 1 – for just a couple weeks, I played a druid and got to about level 6
  • Star Wars Galaxies – I played SWG both during beta and when it went live. When it went live, I made master Architect, and quit the next day. It was a huge let-down.
  • FFXI – I got my Monk/Red-mage to level 20 or so…. but groups were not fond of my class choice, so I got frustrated waiting for groups, and quit. I knew it was a good game… but I hated being unwanted by groups.
  • Everquest 2 – level 35 Defiler – From this game onward, I pretty much always played a healer. No more being left out of group for me!
  • Star Wars Galaxies again – This time I went back to Star Wars Galaxies to enjoy the space update. Lots of fun… but it was over quickly.

…. I took a couple years off from MMOs at this point.

  • Star Wars Galaxies again – medic/90 My husband’s brother started playing, and that dragged me and my hubby in again. This time, we got to the end-game and really really enjoyed mastering the end-game content. It was a blast! I also had some other level 90 characters like a 90 officer. We ended up purchasing multiple accounts for this one.
  • LOTRO – One of my guild-mates from SWG played Lotro, when we had done everything there is to do in SWG, many of us made the switch to LOTRO. Currently I have two lvl 60’s who have enough radiance for the watcher.

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

Lotro – It’s by far the best designed mmo I’ve played so far.

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

I’ve probably spent the most time in SWG. Maybe a year or two if you add up all the time together.

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

SWG and Lotro. Both games where I reached the cap are also games where I had multiple capped characters.

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?

SWTOR!!! Ok ok… I havn’t even played that one yet. I guess Lotro. There’s more to do, more to see, more to enjoy, and the pvp is more fun. It’s a world I could see lasting longer than other worlds, provided you’ve got the right guild.

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

SWTOR!!!! I’m really excited about Star Wars, The Old Republic. My guild mates keep talking about it as well. We’ve even started writing up our roleplay for the new guild in SWTOR and I’ve been learning flash just so I can make a web-site for our guild when it comes out.

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

… There’s so many stories, it’s hard to think what to say. I suppose one I haven’t shared with anyone yet, is the story of my hype for SWG. I like to get myself hyped up for an MMO before I play it. Even if it’s already been out, I like to read up on the backstory of the world it takes place in, so I can feel really immersed when I first play. When SWG was supposed to come out, I hyped myself up too much. Because I was too hyped to do anything that wasn’t somehow related to SWG, I actually learned out to make games in RPG maker and created a game about waiting for SWG to come out. Yes, a game about waiting for a game to come out. The gameplay consisted of “attacking” customers at a coffee shop with pastries and mocha’s for a few rounds, then walking home on the world-map while dodging cars and dogs to get home and check if the game was out yet. Every time the player got back to their house, they found out the game was delayed for yet another day, which meant one more day of working at a coffee shop. Needless to say, the game was modeled after my real life at the time.

5 Responses to “Suzina”

  1. Gil said

    Hey man, i just read this interview, and that you played cythera, so did i 😀

    Do you still check this website ? Give me a holla to my email if you can,

  2. Ragnar said

    Hey, there is actually some people over on a mud called Insymnia that would love for you to come check it out. Not to do anything but to chat up with some old Cytherian players who still hang around.

  3. xeno said

    HAHA SCYTHE.. RAGNAR thoes are a few names that bring me back. Are you my dear Elvira perhaps?.. And if you are wondering.. and if anyone ever reads this…
    this is Xenomorph..the XenoDwarf himself.

    • Scythe said

      oshi… XENO! Goddamn dwarf.

      Where are all you people? Need a Cythera reunion… or just keep responding to this thread every other year

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