Tibia-Stats:Hello Rejana, thank you very much for taking the time to take this
interview. We have been looking forward to it for quite a while and we
are very happy to get to finally make it happen.
Rejana: The pleasure is all mine! I'm curious what questions you are going to
ask, and I hope that I'll be able to provide satisfying answers for all
of them :o)
Tibia-Stats: First things first, we would like to get to know more about you for
those who might not be aware of who you are. What did you do to make it
to Cipsoft and what have you done whilst being apart of the company?
Rejana: I started to work for CipSoft almost 10 years ago already. I studied
information science here in Regensburg and when I was looking for a job
after university, CipSoft was looking for employees. I applied, got the
job, and have been here ever since. I started out in the customer
support team, became Master Tutor, and later on Head GM. And when the
community management department opened up in 2008, I applied, since it
sounded like something I'd enjoy. Ever since then, I've been working as
a community manager, together with Mirade, and for more than 2 years
already also with Tjured.
Tibia-Stats: What was the transition like going from working with a small group
of volunteers and being in charge of rule violations, to finding
yourself working with a large portion of the community and interacting
with them on the forums each day? Not only that, but presenting feedback
to the developers and writing articles. Was it an easy change to make or
did it take you a while to adjust?
Rejana: The transition wasn't hard for me. Mirade and I were a pretty good
match. She really likes being on the forums and being involved in
discussions. I don't really like being out in the spot light that much.
So - we found our areas to focus on easily. She has always been more
present on the forums than me, and I took over the fansite programme
from Andasstra, as well as the feedback forms and polls. And we shared
the remaining tasks.
Collecting feedback, analysing it and preparing it into a presentable
form was easy to get used to as well. It's not like we had never been
involved in such feedback processes before. Before the community
management department was created, collecting feedback was part of the
job in the customer support team. Not with the same focus as we have it
today, but it was done.
And writing articles is actually fun. We CMs take turns writing them, so
this task never really becomes part of the daily routine.
Tibia-Stats: The following question comes from Kseni of Chimera who won our ?Ask
a CM a Question? competition. You have been involved with both rule
enforcement and community duties. Do you ever miss the opportunity to
assist with the most pressuring issue for Tibians ? cheating, or do you
feel more comfortable with your new role as a community manager??
Rejana: I personally am way more comfortable with the role of a community
manager. Being in charge of rule violations often is pretty frustrating.
If you have proof for a rule violation, it's not difficult to decide and
dish out a banishment. But: if you just have a gut feeling that somebody
is guilty, but there is no reliable proof - that then is difficult to
handle, especially with such severe topics like cheating.
If I'd be a coder, I'd feel tempted to join the fight between bot
developers and game developers, of course on the good side! Since I'm
not though, I will leave this to the pros, and will just help to make
sure that useful information for this fight gets to the right places, if
it comes up.
Tibia-Stats: One of the roles of a community manager is to gather feedback from
the community and to present it to the developers during meetings.
However, you are taking feedback from hundreds, if not thousands of
players depending on the topic. PvP for example is a fiercely debated
topic going back several years. Every player would like their individual
voice to be heard. What is the process involved with gathering and
Rejana: We CMs get feedback through many different channels, and on many
different topics. For the PvP you mentioned, we had a focus group in
which Craban actually discussed himself with many players. We CMs were
not that much involved in this focus group and the discussions there. We
just had an eye on the discussion, but the feedback got directly from
the focus group members to Craban.
We CMs did of course - and still do - listen in on our regular channels.
Mirade and Tjured usually collect the feedback from the official Tibia
forums, I collect it from the fansites and the feedback forms. We then
exchange what we have learned about the different topics from the
community, we talk about which new topics came up, which topics were
most dominant, which topics came up again after they had been gone for a
while, and which topics have completely disappeared from discussions.
We identify what needs to be forwarded to whom internally, and each of
us summarises the feedback he / she collected. We have "feedback
reports" then for each week. These reports are then forwarded.
Apart from these reports, we have daily meetings with the product
management for an exchange of pressing matters, or to get answers for
questions, information for news, etc. We also have a constant exchange
with the content team, for example.
And in addition to all this, there are sometimes internal meetings for
dedicated topics. We CMs usually get a chance there to present the
dominant opinion of the community, if there is one. We can't make any
decisions, but we always make sure that the community voice is heard by
Tibia-Stats: How did you end up with your current role as the head of fansite
RejanaIn the beginning of the community management department, we were three
people. Mirade, Andasstra and myself. Andasstra had been responsible for
the fansites already during her time in the customer support team. Then
one day Andasstra decided to leave CipSoft, and I took over, since I
like working with a team.
Tibia-Stats: What sort of things do you do as part of this role?
Rejana: The fansite admins have a private board on which I can inform them of
different matters, or they can post if they have questions, or comments.
So - I look after this forum. I also answer emails. I simply try to be a
good adviser for admins when they come across difficulties on their sites.
I have a look at events on fansites and talk to admins about prizes that
they can offer. I'm also the one to send out these prizes then to the
winners. Often we CMs are also part of the judging when it comes to find
When it's shortly before a test server, I update test server helper
lists, etc - Well, to summarize this a bit since there are really many
different small tasks involved: I try to support the fansite admins in
the programme the best way possible.
In addition to that, I'm also the person to talk to if you want to make
a fansite yourself. I handle fansite applications, and answer questions
of possible future fansite admins. I also listen to and answer
complaints from players that have to do with fansites. I also check the
fansites in the programme regularly, and - as mentioned before collect
feedback there. I also write newstickers for fansite matters, etc...
Tibia-Stats: The following question was picked out personally by me from our
competition and it was posted by Razzdar. How much of a role do you
think fansites have played in Tibia's success?
Rejana: In my opinion, fansites have played a huge role in Tibia's success. As
far as I know, fansites have always been around, right from the very
beginning. And if I'm informed correctly, the very first Tibia forum
even was on a fansite, and not on the official Tibia website. Fansite
admins are actually fascinating people. Since they are fans, they have a
great passion for Tibia, which is very cool. Some admins even learn HTML
and CSS and programming just because they would like to make a fansite
for their favorite game, and thus offer something for others that they
Without fansites, all information about Tibia would most likely be
available in English only. Who knows if Tibia would have grown as much
if there hadn't been people who spread the word, and who made sure that
the word could be understood! And without fansites like the Tibia Wikis,
for example, on which players share what they have found out about the
game, a lot less information would be available. Also statistic sites
process information they collect in such a way that the information is
understandable and interesting. Fansites also entertain people, they
offer a platform for an exchange among players, they offer features that
players wish for, etc.
I really doubt that CipSoft could have managed to produce and to spread
as much information as fast as it happened with the help of fansites.
Tibia has received lots of help from the community right from the start
to get it on the right track and to give it a jump start. Not only
fansites played a role, there were also graphic artists who offered
their talents, there were people who wrote stories, and people who
passionately played the game and provided feedback and ideas to develop
it further. All these factors played and play a huge rule in Tibia's
success, in my opinion.
Tibia-Stats: Tibia is a game that is played by players literally across the
entire planet and dedicated players who care for the game have created
fansites in their native languages. It is awesome to see how much
players care for the game, but how do you analyse these websites that
are not in a language that you are able to understand?
Rejana: It may sound funny, but google translate is a great help! I do speak
Spanish a little bit that comes in handy as well, however, it's far from
being good enough to understand entire complex conversations.
Tibia-Stats: There are lots of fansites that are very popular but are not
officially supported. One example is the old World of Tibia website
(which is no longer available) which had a very large forum community.
Another such website is Tibiacast which allows players to watch other
players in real time. There are minimum standards expected for fansites
to be supported which such websites do not match, yet their popularity
is as high as any of the supported or promoted fansites. Is it difficult
to not be able to include these fansites in the fansite program or do
you feel it is justified to not include them based on the criteria that
they do not match?
Rejana: Not all fansites want to be in the fansite programme. Admins do have to
apply to become a part of the programme. Also, some fansite admins are
connected to activities that we do not like. So - we can always end a
cooperation, or deny a cooperation right from the beginning. We reserve
us this right and yes, I think this is indeed justified.
With TibiaCast it's like this: they offer a service that we do not
really approve of from a technical point of view. Since it's such a
popular service community though, we see that it is important for the
players. They offer a service that people want, so it's existence is
clearly justified and we won't punish anyone for using it. However, we
have chosen not to support it actively.
For the WoT, if I remember correctly, they were in the fansite programme
many years ago, and I think they were even the fansite that hosted the
first forum for Tibia I mentioned earlier...
Tibia-Stats: How many unsupported fansites are currently being monitored? Are
many fansites successful at joining the fansite programme?
Rejana: At the moment there are 26 fansites on the monitored list. Actually,
only a very small portion really joins the fansite programme after a
while. Most sites are removed from the monitored list at one point,
since they are don't get updated anymore for a long time, or they
disappear completely from the internet.
Tibia-Stats: There is a guideline to fansites that may be found on Tibia.com but
if you could give your own suggestions for what you look for in a good
fansite, what would they be?
Rejana: From an optical side, I look if the site is clearly structured and that
I can find my way around the site easily, without getting confused. The
site also has to have a somewhat professional appearance. Of course they
do not have to be perfect, but, for example, all subpages of a website
need to build unit. People need to be able to recognize on each sub-site
that they are still on the same website.
From a content side, I need to find something interesting on it. It
doesn't have to be unique, but I need to see that there is something on
the site that is interesting for at least some players, and that is not
offered by us already.
To give you an example: A site in English that only copies our news
section won't ever make it into the programme, regardless of what design
they have. A site in a different language that only translates our news
section might already have a much higher chance. There needs to be
something on the site that has the potential to convince people to stop
by more often. The admin needs to have an idea of what he would like to
offer. If you look at TibiaLottery, for example, they don't post any
news, they don't write much on their site, but they offer a function we
Or - if you look at Tibia-Stats: the site has a clear focus that we
don't cover. I'm a big fan of the research articles, for example. That
is unique, cool and awesome! And such research articles need a platform
on which they can be presented well, because such articles are of great
value and interest of players.
Hmm... I hope that gives you an idea. It's difficult to pinpoint it to a
clear list of facts. Each fansite is different and can have its own
charm for its very own reasons...
Tibia-Stats: Time to talk about the game now. How did you discover Tibia and
what were your first impressions from playing?
Rejana: When I found the job announcement of CipSoft, I checked what they did,
found the game, made an account and character, tried to log in - and
patiently waited in the login queue... When I finally managed to log in,
I was very much reminded of games I had played on the Nintendo, so I
fell in love with it. I enjoyed walking around Rookgaard, killing rats
and rabbits and chuckled about funny little things, like for example NPC
names that sound like a grocery store in Germany, like Al Dee, and
Norma. Also Obi and Lee'Delle are references to German stores.
Tibia-Stats: What vocation is your highest leveled character?
Rejana: He's a druid... he's in a big depression at the moment though. That
usually happens to all my chars when they die without blessings...^^ -
currently I'm more active on my knight.
Tibia-Stats: What sort of activities do you do when you play?
Rejana: I'm a really slow player, not really into competing with others. So I
take my time and usually just walk hunting routes I like, that's pretty
relaxing... Sometimes I'm bold though and dare to leave my routine to
get to another place, or to include something in my hunting route that I
usually leave out... I don't like taking on risks in Tibia, I really
Tibia-Stats: Tibia has evolved quite a lot over the years. We have seen the
revamp of the magical system in 2005 and the revamp of the melee system
in 2007. PvP has changed drastically. We received much sought after
market and mounts. Cooldowns for spells were implemented. Daily quests
were added. The list goes on and on. Every feature has lovers and
haters. What do you think is the biggest change or which change have you
personally enjoyed the most?
Rejana: Hmm... ok - the change I enjoyed the most would probably be the time
when world quests and world events were introduced...
The biggest change - that's difficult to say. I think Tibia became a lot
more complex over time, and several changes played into that. It started
with very little things, for example the level restrictions on equip,
the elemental system, resistances, etc and also the PvP.
When I first got to know Tibia, it was more straight forward in my eyes.
I'll try to explain this a bit better... Now there are often special
conditions that have to be met before you can do something.
For me, this development does have its charm, it offers a lot more
possibilities, makes things fairer and also more balanced, but
personally, for my own game play as a casual player, I liked it better
when it was more straight forward. Now you simply need to have a lot
more in mind when playing, you need more planning, and you need to
consider more factors when you go on a hunt. Hmm... I think I'd call
that "the change towards more complexity", which clearly has pros and cons.
Tibia-Stats: There are mixed emotions with the evolution of Tibia, a large
majority of feedback is seemingly negative. However, it could also be
argued that those who are happy with the changes are out playing the
game and not worrying about posting their feedback. The lead developer
for World of Warcraft stated that 95% of the feedback he receives is
negative, yet they have over 7 million players. How does the negative
feedback impact yourself and your colleagues?
Rejana: Hmm... of course negative feedback doesn't make you feel good. We are a
strong team though and we talk about it. Also often we understand the
negativity in the feedback very well and we share some of the
Some things simply can't be addressed as we would like it, and we CMs
often have to state publicly that we heard the feedback and forwarded
it. Every time we say that though it sounds as empty words to many
people and they are then of course not holding back on their thoughts,
either. The list of things to be addressed is really huge. Prioritizing
all these tasks is the decision of the product management though that
receives the feedback we forwarded.
I'm pretty certain though that there really is a big part of Tibia
players who aren't as frustrated as you could think everybody is, when
you read the forums. Most people probably don't really bother to visit
the forums very often.
We do get positive feedback as well, and I wouldn't estimate 95% for
negative feedback. It's true though that people who are not satisfied
with something have a stronger urge to state this than people who are
satisfied. That is very normal, and it's good that people speak up and
give constructive feedback when they don't like something.
Negative feedback also has a positive side, by the way: as long as there
are people who complain about something, you know that there are still
people who care.
Tibia-Stats: Every now and then there are some rough moments for Tibia. This
summer was dominated by DDOS attacks. World events have not always gone
to plan (most recently Lightbearer has been affected). What do
situations like this cause to the atmosphere in the office? It can't be
fun for yourself, Mirade and Tjured to read through the forums and
emails during these bad times. Are stress levels increased and tensions
high, or do you all manage to maintain a normal atmosphere?
Rejana: Yes, you can probably always tell by the looks on our faces whether
things are currently going smoothly or if something went wrong. Stress
levels are definitely increased, we still try to maintain a calm
atmosphere at least, though. Panicking doesn't help and won't solve
anything. In such times it's really important to stay calm and to
consider carefully what you are doing. You need to keep a cool head to
analyse what the best solutions are.
No need to deny this, though. When you get to the office in the
mornings, and the first thing you hear is that there's a bug in the
Lightbearer Event (again...^^) - all you actually wanna do is turn
around and go back home... But then in the course of the day, it gets
addressed, fixed and afterwards it wasn't the end of the world after
all... I mean - we are all human, and making mistakes is part of human
nature. Nobody is perfect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Everybody can
have a bad day some times...
Also, I don't want to make excuses for us, but it's often not as easy to
implement something new in Tibia, as some players may think. The code of
Tibia is very old, and it has grown a lot over the years. If you
introduce a new feature nowadays, no matter what you do - it could
impact another feature or function which got introduced 10 years ago and
is hardly related to the new feature. So - some errors can indeed slip
Tibia-Stats: As a long time serving member of Cipsoft, are you aware of any
Tibian secrets that have not yet been discovered by players?
Rejana: There are many secrets, and many Tibia players. I'm sorry, but it is
impossible for me to know what each and every single Tibia player has
discovered in Tibia, yet...
Tibia-Stats: If you had a chance to change something in Tibia for yourself, what
would it be?
Rejana: A change, just for myself? I'd really appreciate it if Yasir would pay
me a visit from time to time...
Tibia-Stats: Final question. You have proven yourself to be very adaptable when
changing roles within Cipsoft. If a new position which had not been done
before were created and you were asked to take that role (the fansite
position would be filled), what would your response be?
Rejana: That does depend on the position offered and the money paid :p
I like being a CM, I like the team, the job, and I don't see a need to
change anything about that at the moment. If the position would interest
me though and would sound like something I'd enjoy even more, I don't
think that I'd turn it down if I felt capable of doing the job...
Tibia-Stats: Thank you very much for your time and your answers Rejana. We hope
that you enjoyed answering them and that they weren't too difficult to
deal with. Do you have anything you would like to say to the players
reading this interview?
Rejana: Hmm - of course I have a message: never forget to have fun and don't
take life to seriously... ;o)
I enjoyed the interview a lot! Thank you for being interested and thanks