Today I'm announcing the beginning of a new feature here... as they become available (always depending upon the consent of the monarchs), I plan to release interviews that I've done with them. This way, we can learn a bit about the other kingdoms and people in them. If you or a monarch you know might be interested, just send me an IM or notecard In World, and I'll be happy to arrange things. Who knows, it might be YOUR King or Queen here next time-- except for Arcadians, because for them, it's this time! Our interview series starts there...
Vulpine Eldrich: Hello, everyone. I'm here today with King Cujo Mayo of Arcadia, who has kindly consented to give us some of his time to tell us of himself and his kingdom. Thank you for the consideration, Cujo.
Cujo Mayo: Thank you for having me. :-)
Vulpine Eldrich: Let's start with first things first. How big is the Kingdom of Arcadia, and when was it founded?
Cujo Mayo: Well, Arcadia is the largest Minor Kingdom at the moment, and with a little luck we should make the big map sometime next month. And I believe we finally saw our dreams come true on Dec. 13, 2007 when we became the 17th Kingdom.
Vulpine Eldrich: So you've been in existence for some time! What kingdom did you ascend from?
Cujo Mayo: We came from the great Kingdom of Camelot.
Vulpine Eldrich: Were you ever in any other Kingdom in your TE career?
Cujo Mayo: Yes, I started out in Somerset, but moved to Camelot not long after I started playing.
Vulpine Eldrich: Was there any reason for the move?
Cujo Mayo: Well at the time, I thought the purpose of the game was to move higher in the Hierarchy of a kingdom, meaning the closer you were to a monarch, the closer you would be to your own kingdom. So I received a bribe from Kathrin Dassin who was closer to Queen FoxyKim than I was to Queen Eva, so I made the move. It wasn't until a little later that I found out that all didn't matter.
Vulpine Eldrich: ...And that the true path to a kingdom consisted of acreage and those below you, regardless of who was higher. So you had an ambition to become a King from very early in your career.
Cujo Mayo: Yes, I'm very competitive and I really didn't see a point in the game after you've accomplished everything short of obtaining a Kingdom. So I set my sights on being the largest Kingdom in TE.
Vulpine Eldrich: That means you've still got a goal to strive for, then! So was there ever a point at which you said "being a King isn't a dream anymore, it's something I'm going to do, all that's left is when and how"?
Cujo Mayo: Well about a week before I ascended, I was playing TE as normal - earning acres at a very slow pace - and I realized that it would be at least 6 months before I would be able to ascend at my current pace, so I just all of a sudden decided it was time to take the next step and see what I could do to speed up the process.
Vulpine Eldrich: So what did you do then?
Cujo Mayo: I messaged around to see if anyone was interested in acquiring their own kingdom and would be willing to lend me the acres needed to ascend if I joined their line, thereby giving them enough acres to ascend as well. I finally found someone, and was able to get within 3 steps of ascension within the next week before I realized the person I made the deal with had ulterior motives and I was about to get the raw end of the deal. So I rejoined Kathrin and asked around again for someone gracious enough to put me over the top, and thankfully you answered my call! ;-)
Vulpine Eldrich: Well, to fill in more from our end, we had just created the Kingdom of Caledon, and it was actually our Queen who heard of your call and asked me about the possibilities. So, a (then) relative stranger answered and helped you over the top. In your experience, how many other kingdoms have been created in a similar way?
Cujo Mayo: well I honestly can't say that I personally know of another Kingdom that has followed the same path, but just observing the number of Kingdoms that would ascend then shortly afterward would fall in the rankings below a 20,000 acre Kingdom, I would say at least a quarter of the Kingdoms today have used this method.
Vulpine Eldrich: Speaking of smaller kingdoms, do you ever get the impression that the other monarchs tend to take you less seriously because yours is a smaller kingdom?
Cujo Mayo: Hmmm.... well thinking on it, I'm not sure that the bigger monarchs necessarily take us smaller kingdoms any less seriously; however, the regular citizen of TE might. It seems the bigger kingdoms just keep getting bigger while the smaller kingdoms struggle to survive, and I think that's in part due to the fact that Count John Doe believes a smaller Kingdom is somewhat inferior and/or more inactive. And in reality, that's true to some extent, because the monarchs of the Minor Kingdoms have fewer privileges than the bigger kingdoms, which just adds to the discrepancy and widening of the gap between the rich and poor.
Vulpine Eldrich: So for Count John Doe, is there any practical difference between a Major Kingdom and a Minor Kingdom?
Cujo Mayo: Well from what I can think of off the top of my head, the only thing a monarch cannot do with less than 20,000 total acres is to give special titles. So aside from that, and the fact that Minor Kingdoms have MUCH less drama and are much more tight knit within the Kingdom, there's really not much difference
Vulpine Eldrich: I've heard it said that the Trader tends to visit smaller kingdoms more often than larger ones. Do you know if this is true?
Cujo Mayo: Well considering I'm only a part of Arcadia (as opposed to some monarchs who have many alts in many different Kingdoms), I can't really say. All I know is he doesn't come around enough as it is. :-P
Vulpine Eldrich laughs
Vulpine Eldrich: I think we can all agree on that! So, considering Arcadia, let's say I wake up one morning, come in here and say "I want to meet people who are in the TE Kingdom of Arcadia". Where should I go?
Cujo Mayo: Hmmm... I'd have to say currently, the best chance you have of meeting an Arcadian would be on the sim Cursed. There's 2 to 10 of us here at any given time. I've had a plan for about 9 months now of building a sim just for Arcadia, but that's been kind of put on hold until I can get Arcadia on the map and back amongst the Major Kingdoms. However, I'm afraid that with the rate that Kingdoms are forming - 4 in the last 36 hours, for instance - it really won't mean much, before too long, to be a part of one kingdom as opposed to another. It seems that unless you're a top 10 Kingdom, it just really isn't that big of a deal.
Vulpine Eldrich: So why is the sim Cursed the place for Arcadians, and why does it have that name?
Cujo Mayo: Cursed, or *~ Cursed ~*, is the name of Queen Syarra Hebert's and my store, where we sell Jewelry and Furniture. We have about 4 or so Arcadians who live on a part of the sim, and we have a big park with a pond on it, so it's just where most of us hang out, have fun, and fish.
Vulpine Eldrich: Oooh, jewelry! Does that mean that Arcadians get special no transfer editions that are only available to Arcadians?
Cujo Mayo: Yes ma'am, I'm in the process of making Limited Edition Jewelry, for both men and women, that is exclusive to Arcadians. I just have to find a good, cheap scripter and, more importantly, time.
Vulpine Eldrich: Couldn't we all use some of that! So what else do Arcadians have that others don't?
Cujo Mayo: Well, I like to think that Arcadians enjoy a perfect combination of all the good aspects of a great Kingdom - loyalty, friendship, actual enjoyment when playing TE instead of it being a task - and none of the bad qualities. And as I mentioned before, there are plans in the works to make Arcadia one of the most envied and sought after Kingdoms in all of Terra Aurea!
Vulpine Eldrich: Great! Speaking of bad times, have you had any as King?
Cujo Mayo: Not really any that I can think of. Being a smaller Kingdom, we don't have any drama to deal with, so I don't have to play "babysitter" all the time. I just have the self imposed pressure of doing whatever I can to make TE enjoyable for Arcadians and to help them succeed in moving up the ranks.
Vulpine Eldrich: What sort of programs, habits, practices, etc, do you have to help your people?
Cujo Mayo: Well I always do what I can to get people acres and gold, whether it be through bribes, land tracts, giving away acres, etc. As soon as we become a Major Kingdom, I'll be using all of my gold to do whatever I can to make sure money and land filters down the lines. And, of course, I always make myself available to Arcadians to help them out with any questions or any other help that they might have.
Vulpine Eldrich: Do you have any plans to use your new 'punish' option to spank anyone?
Cujo Mayo: LOL I have to admit that I used the punish option on my Queen Syarra when I first received it, but after learning that the acres do not actually go to the poorest subjects in the Kingdom - and you essentially pay money to lose acres - that will be the last time I'll be using that option.
Vulpine Eldrich: Well, we all live and learn! And speaking of new features, are there any new 'dream features' you'd love to see in Tiny Empires?
Cujo Mayo: Hmmmm.... I'd like to see more games or the sort, i.e. Festival or Trader, which we can spend our gold on yet have some fun. Although, more importantly, I'd like to see a way that Kingdoms can either combine with one another or form Kingdom Alliances, and perhaps some way to weed out dead and inactive Kingdoms, thereby giving Kingdoms some sort of real purpose again. However, I'd like to see the changes be made on the Federation HUD instead of another Add-On, especially after the Emperor originally said any additional improvements would be made solely on the Fed HUD when he was justifying the cost.
Vulpine Eldrich: In other words, no new types of HUDs, no new prices we have to pay to play at the 'new level'?
Cujo Mayo: Yes, I don't believe we should have to keep shelling out money to play new aspects of the game - that was the entire purpose of buying the Federation HUD. Besides, it's hard enough to keep new players active as it is, and would be nearly impossible to convince someone to buy 3 HUDs just to keep up to date - especially with the recent price increases.
Vulpine Eldrich: Oh, yes, those price increases. Have you noticed any greater difficulty getting new players into Tiny Empires because of those?
Cujo Mayo: Yes, I've had to buy a few myself for new players just to entice them to keep playing after the Trial HUD. I believe the Trial HUD should be changed to stop at 50 or 100 acres so that a new player can experience things such as the Trader, which might help them justify the cost - although, yes, I do realize that would create a massive inflation in acres and new Kingdoms when everyone would use their alts to build up their lines.
Vulpine Eldrich: It seems like there are always side effects... so, have you ever put alts into TE?
Cujo Mayo: LOL I knew that was the next question. And yes, I do have a few alts, as does anyone else who's really trying to succeed in TE.
Vulpine Eldrich: One of the recent 'you might be addicted to TE' lines I put onto the blog was "Your ninth and newest alt just made Count". So, not to count your alts, but just out of curiosity, why did you do it? What purpose do they serve?
Cujo Mayo: Well one purpose they serve, as I said before, is when monarchs use them to spy on other Kingdoms by joining another line and being a part of their group; however, I think that's pretty much a waste of time. I started my alts to get a few extra acres, back about 11 months ago, when I was in fast pursuit of becoming a Prince. I kept them around because I had already bought them the Full HUD, but now I just play them when the Trader comes, if at all.
Vulpine Eldrich: So, looking back over your career, what advice would you give to someone just starting in TE today who wants to become a monarch?
Cujo Mayo: First and foremost, make absolutely sure you REALLY want to be a monarch, because it will take literally countless hours of your time, a whole lot of patience, and maybe even cause a few grey hairs; and quite a few monarchs have immediately regretted their ascension and would love to return back to a Prince or Princess. Secondly, TE has a tendency to show you who your true loyal friends are, and those who are not so loyal; however, more than likely you will meet people along the way whom will become some of your very best friends in SL and perhaps in RL. Third, and most importantly, you ALWAYS must remember that this is just a game that's played within a virtual world. A LOT of people lose sight of that fact in their quest for power and dominance and tend to make this game into something it was not intended. So just have fun, enjoy the ride, and remember the "Golden Rule" is as big a part of this game as anything.
Vulpine Eldrich: Very good advice, for here and elsewhere, I'm sure! Well, that only brings up one last question.... did I miss asking you any questions that you wanted to answer? If so, have at it!
Cujo Mayo: There's nothing I can think of off the top of my head, we seem to have covered almost everything. If anyone feels intrigued by our conversation and would like to be part of something special, I'm just a search button away. I'm eager to welcome anyone into Arcadia with open arms, and I will personally do whatever I can to make them feel right at home. I chose the name Arcadia for the simple fact that it's very meaning is "Utopia" or "a perfect, harmonious place", and I've done everything in my power to create just that.
Vulpine Eldrich: And you can't ask for better than perfection! Well, thank you so much for your time and insights, and one last request, if I might...
Cujo Mayo: sure :-)
Vulpine Eldrich: the next time you're fishing in the royal moat, catch one for me! And in the meantime, have a good day :)
Cujo Mayo: ummm, I hope you mean something other than the alligators :-P
Cujo Mayo: Thank you very much Vulpine, and have a great day too!