April – Draq the Auction Wizard

Draq the Auction Wizard

Some players join a community and others stumble into leading it. In this Community Spotlight, we talked with one such crafty fellow whose love for MMORPGs and the people who play them, moved him to create content that inspires fun and connectivity among his peers. We invite you to get to know Draq, one of the talented members of Pantheon Plus, and probably someone you will want to be friends with if you stand any chance at edging him out of the in-game marketplace.

Thanks for participating in this month’s community spotlight Draq, why don’t we start by telling everyone a bit about yourself and what makes you tick?

I’m an old school gamer that loves EverQuest and all other group centered MMORPGs. What makes me tick is building relationships with other people and beginning to understand what makes them tick. I also really enjoy promoting those that might otherwise not be seen. This was one of the reasons it was so easy to join Pantheon Plus as they have always been very interested in promoting everyone in the Pantheon community.

What is your fondest memory as a gamer in general, and then can you tell us your standout moment in MMORPGS?

Aside from streaming Pantheon PA, my fondest memory as a gamer in general is playing Starcraft in my college dorms with all my friends. We setup a dorm Lan and would all hop onto “Big Game Hunters” an eight-player map and free for all kill each other until only one was victorious. After a while I realized that I was REALLY good at Starcraft. So good that inevitably when everyone else ganged up on me I was still able to win most of the games. I played on Battlenet and also did quite well and often wonder how far I could have taken it, but I was ahead of my time a bit as I didn’t even know about organized tournaments at the time.

My standout MMORPG moment came in WoW. Not for any raid boss that we beat but for the fact that I maxed out the amount of gold I could carry. So in Wrath of the Lich King, we figured out that we could take our raid geared toons and three man Gahz’ranka a three headed Hydra raid mob from a previous expansion. Gahz’ranka had a 17% chance to drop the Tome of Polymorph: Turtle. Since that raid was old, it dropped outdated gear and basically the Tome was the only valuable item. The tomb was a mage spell that made it so your polymorph spell target turned into a Turtle instead of a Sheep (vanity item). Because it was an old raid nobody was raiding it or killing Gahz’ranka (at least on our server) anymore. So, what we figured out is that because Mages were a super popular class, we could farm that Tome (3.5-day lockout) and sell Tombs for 100,000 gold each (more than any other item for sale by a long ways). We maximized our profit by making Alliance toons and using the cross-market vendor and selling to the Alliance side as well. We farmed that Hydra for months like clockwork and eventually had so much money it wouldn’t let me receive gold from my mailbox. At that point others had begun to realize what we were doing and began to undercut me, and the price of the tomb dropped. We never really used the money for anything and after that we kind of lost interest in WOW and moved on to other MMORPGs. It was super fun while it lasted though.

What is it about MMORPGs that has you so interested in them vs other genres?

#1. I’m bad at every kind of shooter.
#2. I’m an introvert that wants to be an extrovert.

Online games, specifically MMORPGs, have always allowed me to be social in a way I never have been comfortable to do in real life. I think for me it’s the idea that we all go in with a common goal. We need to defeat the monster or slay the dragon or whatever. I never had to question other people’s motives for being there. Even though now I’m in my older years and I have learned how to be comfortable in front of people, I still enjoy the simplicity of shared goals and teamwork that MMORPGs provide.

When and how did you discover Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen?

End of 2017. I found it by searching for upcoming MMORPGs on Google. There were several being developed but Pantheon seemed like the right choice for me and of course anything with Brad McQuaid involved in it was a huge plus. In 2018 I had a milestone birthday and my wife gifted me a very large amount of cash (best wife ever), which I used to take the plunge into Pantheon PA. Soon after that I joined the Reignborn Guild (shout out to Saicred) which allowed me to meet Minus who later formed Pantheon Plus.

You became a content creator before joining PantheonPlus, which we will get to in a moment, can you talk a little about how you started making content for the community?

I started with Plus Profiles (in the beginning they were called Pantheon Profiles). Basically, what I did was create a form that asked gamers gaming questions (much like this) and then created a webpage that featured that gamer and all the interesting things that that person would share. I really enjoyed hearing all the different stories and learning everyone’s favorite race/class picks and why. It was all very fascinating for me. Eventually Minus reached out to me and asked me to join P+ and to help promote the community there and the rest as they say was history.

What was it about “community” that motivated you to create those profiles?

It seemed to me that from the very beginning Pantheon was not just saying #CommunityMatters, they actually meant it. Since I had decided to support Pantheon financially, I had a vested interest in making sure that community was a big focus. So, what’s more community than getting to know people… Nothing. If we all log in on release day and all know each other how cool would that be?

I’ve always felt it just can’t be VR pushing community matters. We (the community) have a responsibility to reach out to others and include them in whatever the community is doing.

Moving forward, you are now one of the heads of PantheonPlus. What has that been like for you, and what are your goals for PantheonPlus?

What it’s been like has been crazy. I never expected to be a leader of a community. The plan was always to support Minus and stay in the background as much as possible while highlighting other people. Minus was always pushing me to do more and eventually when he left to go work for VR, I felt like I could at least try to manage it. Therek and I were so nervous about the whole thing imploding. Luckily for us the community is very patient and has walked with us as we’ve continued to grow. Both Therek and Nathan have been huge supporters of me, and I wouldn’t be here without them.

The goals for me are simple and easy:
#1. Grow the Pantheon Community
#2. Encourage and Teach Others to become Pantheon Content Creators
#3. Have tons of fun

How has your family supported you in your content journey?

My wife is a saint. She doesn’t understand any of it, but she loves me and loves the fact that I enjoy something so passionately. My kids think it’s the coolest thing ever that I stream games online. I’ve recently streamed a couple of times with my son on Hogwarts: Legacy and that has been super fun.

This month, you have a rather fun event coming up that PantheonPlus hosts yearly, The Pantheon Dungeon Group Draft. Can you tell us a bit about the draft, and furthermore hype us up for this year’s event?

The P+ Dungeon Group Draft is one of P+’s signature events. This year’s Draft will be Thursday April 27th at 9 PM EST. It will last about two hours or so. This year will be the 4th time we’ve done it and each one has been a complete and total blast. The idea is that what if you got to draft a group of adventurers to go and run a Pantheon Dungeon. Who would you pick? What would be your group comp? This year we are using Pantheon Community fans as the people we will draft. So, each “draftee” with my help has created a custom Magic the Gather Card scout sheet which displays the skills/spells that person has. On Draft Night the team leaders will have to draft which draftees they want, and in which order they want them in. Wait too long and that cleric might get snagged up by someone else! Make sure to join us April 27th for all the fun!

Has there been a moment in your content creation or co-leading PantheonPlus where you were really proud of?

The Pantheon Pre Alpha-Stream was huge, but after that I’m crazy proud of the fact that I have 25 (and more coming) Oakinaire Custom Made Anime Logos that signify that you are at least loosely affiliated with P+. I have encouraged, bribed, and begged people to get involved and people are loving it. We have three different weekly streams (After Dark, 101, 201) all with different people and two Pantheon Dev Stream After Parties (P+U) with different hosts. And that’s just Twitch and doesn’t count all the stuff Therek does on youtube. I am really proud that we have such a varied group of people that love Pantheon!

A lot of us know the answer to this one already, but what class and race are you going with in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and why?

Archai Wizard. At the start I waffled on Wizard or Summoner, but I ended up with Wizard. Pantheon will be my first official main as a DPS. I normally play the healer, specifically the cleric. I love being the Fire Wizard and have built a whole online identity around it which has been super fun. Archai because they remind me of EQ Erudites which is my favorite race of all time.

It’s been said in the community you are a fan of the Auction house. How did you get into the economic aspects of MMORPGs and what are you hopeful for in Pantheon’s trade systems?

I love the auction house in almost every game. If any MMO has an auction house I’m probably using it if I’m at all serious about the game. Using the AH wasn’t really something I got into … it’s more like that’s who I am. I’ve always had the ability to track items, use spreadsheets, and find areas that are overlooked by others to make a profit. The very first moment I was aware you could buy and sell items in the EC Tunnel (EQ) I was hooked on buying and reselling stuff. You might say I bleed gold!

In terms of what I hope for in Pantheon, I hope that they find a way to merge crafted items with dungeon/raid drops effectively and have both be needed. I’ve never really seen that done in any MMO. Either one or the other always seems to be worthless. I also hope that they squash all duping of items. It can’t happen in 2023 and will crush your AH even if you fix the problem after.

You and your crew already say a lot in regard to the community, as well as giving them a voice. However, this is your time to give a message to the community, so what would you like to tell them?

Jump in the water it is warm. Lurking on the sidelines is ok but being Pantheon content creation is super fun and so addicting. It’s like the game before the game. Maybe you want to stream? Maybe you want to make a YouTube video? Maybe you want to write a Pantheon Character backstory or Pantheon Fan Fiction? Maybe you just have an idea? I’d love to help in whatever way I can, and it doesn’t matter if you are a member of P+. I’ll help anyone make Pantheon ideas come to life. As our fearless leader says, onward and upward.

A big thank you to Draq for taking the time to share with us. Having the support of the community and content creators, like him, is one of the foundations of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Keep an eye out on the official Pantheon website for other features like these. If you would like to support the development of the game, please check out our pledge page to find out how.

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