Articles - Did you already hear that he is tired of reused inventory graphics?

Since early December last year the suggestion that Docaholic proposed and then contributed visual ideas to has pretty much snowballed into a culmination of amazing community support, a lot of constructive discussions and brainstorming as well as the most recent "icing on the cake" with Docaholic signing a release form allowing Funcom to use his work and implement his designs in-game.

I had the pleasure to catch up with Docaholic on behalf of AO Universe to find out more!

Via communication link, Docaholic ensured me that he was comfy in his red chair near the fireplace in his Jobe Apartment. I had a feeling at this point that it wouldn't be me doing so much of the talking... first I asked him to give us some background information about his life on Rubi-Ka.

Four score and just about five years ago, (back in mid June of 2005) I discovered Anarchy Online. A friend pointed me to the game. He no longer plays AO, I never found out why he left, I sure hope it had nothing to do with my spamming our organisation chat window with volumes of unimportant and borderline useless information... nah I'm sure that wasn't it. Where was I? oh yes, The oldest character I have that is still active (and did not re-roll at any point) is Doctorval. At one point he was one of something like 14 Doc toons I had. Yes I like the Doctor class. It fits me like a surgical glove.. ( a surgical glove get it? a Doc joke? hahahaha, I'm so funny it hurts sometimes.) Anyway, after the first month or so, I managed to get kicked out of the first Organisation I joined, Noobs will be noobs, and I was an exceptional noob. Then I hooked into another organisation, called 'Free Souls'. A nice old chap named OldBilluk took me under his wing. If I recall correctly he found me outside the subway in Bore. No wait! I was at the reclaim near the subway. Like most every noob in the game I was crying about how I always die, and how everything is so expensive, blah blah blah.. But seriously, a Backyard leet could have cleaned the floor with me, and let me tell you, they didn't hesitate to do just that. I learnt a lot from OldBilluk, and about a year after I started playing he became President of Free Souls. ( By the way, a little FYI, 'Free Souls' is the oldest Neutral Org on RK2 founded way back in 2002 ) When he became President he Ninja'd me into an Advisor position. I miss the old fart, but he did have a wicked sense of humor. About a year after that in January of 2007 he announced that he was going to retire from the game, guess what? Before he left he Ninja'd me into the position of President, the old bugger. Well, I've been the President for a little over 3 years now and in spite of a few bumps and 'drama' ( I think all Orgs have those ) we are still around and have a good bunch of people. Oh, and 27 months ago, on December 29th 2007 I got married in-game to Serenity3 (She's a MP, so I call her my Mp3, she's music to my ears lol )

Free Souls likes to hang out outside the Miiir shop in Newland. It's nice and close to mission machines, a GMS and shops. It's also a nice center when it's time to do the Cluster hunt thing. A run takes us from NLC, to NLD, to HOPE, to Stret West, then Borealis, and back to NLC.. that sequence of Advanced shops usually gets us all the clusters we are hunting. Our fair city is in Perpetual Wastelands (City 1A on map). It has a nice group of 4 dynas around the city cluster, makes for some nice quick dyna farming.

What prompted you to make the suggestion post in the AO Forum?

Well, like many AO players I have lost a few Ql200 Biocomms to those dastardly half-digested body parts that look exactly like Monster Parts. I know, I could have avoided this if I used the 'list-mode' to view the backpacks, but hey, I'm a visual kind of guy, I like the icons. Well, I also noticed that rings seemed to have very few icons, but there were hundreds of rings in the game. A notum ring looks like a OT ring, an OT ring looks like the ring of endurance (or essence), the Augmented OT is the same icon.. well, it started to get to me. I'm an Artist, so I like to do graphics. I decided to do what I could about it. It's one thing to whine about something, but I thought I'd take it a step further.

When you made the suggestion, had you already considered some designs and realised you would perhaps invest some time into putting your suggestion into images?

At first I just made a set of like 29 rings, I wanted to see how long it would take me. It took about 7 hours off and on during the day.

Were you surprised at the amount of positive feedback and support you gained from the community?

In a word, 'Yes'. The positive feedback was wonderful and it spurred me on to continue making more stuff. Just follow the thread on the forums, you can see how I fed off the feedback and tried to make items better. It soon took on a life of it's own and I was carried along for the ride. Even if I was the spearhead, the community backing is what fuelled me.

How did you first feel when Funcom showed an interest in your designs?

It was wonderful to get the attention of Funcom. I dared to feel like I could help make a difference and contribute to my favorite game. It's a wonderful feeling when you can cross over from being a player and a fan to 'contributing member of the community'.

Now you have signed your release form for Funcom, can you tell us anything about the next steps? Do you know how soon the designs may be seen in-game? Do you have any other designs that you will work on for equipment or other things like your heckler suggestions?

The AO Dev-team is busy at the moment with the new instance and completing the new daily quests. And on top of that, the work on the new engine is progressing. As for what I will be working on, well, I don't think Mr Means would mind if I Quote him.. "Thanks again for your fantastic work. I can't wait until we get the chance to put in as many icons as you can throw at us :)" As you can see, my 'orders' are to prepare as many icons as I can to throw at them. Let me tell you, I can juggle allot of pixels, so expect a whole lot of icons to be tossed in their direction. Soon(tm)

Muahahahaha... I love ending interviews with a maniacal laugh.

So, it certainly seems like Docaholics time invested is paying off and the community should have a lot of wonderful new icons in-game very soon. If you haven't seen the work that Docaholic has done so far, or perhaps if you want to get involved in the discussion in the AO Forums, you can find the thread here : http://forums.anarch......wthread.php?t=566048

Thank-you again for taking the time to chat with AO Universe, Docaholic! We are really looking forward to seeing your work in our inventories!!

Interviewee: Docaholic (Aka Doctorval / Docaholic / Airlock / Drydock / Phastphoot / Dockeye / Atari800 / Greasebolt and a few others on a froob account)

Last updated on 12.07.2011 by Khuri
Article written by Ukblizzard
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