From the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, this week we meet Bethesda forum moderator Chris Bryant (aka Ratwar). Chris recently graduated from Georgia Tech and is looking for a job as a civil engineer. Also, today happens to be his birthday! Happy Birthday!
How did first make your way to the Bethesda Game Studios forums?
Well, it wasn’t the puzzle box! I actually came because I just couldn’t get enough of Morrowind by simply playing it. At first I just lurked reading the Morrowind General forum, but eventually I decided to start actually participating in the discussions, so I joined up.
For those that don’t know, can you explain your avatar name?
Well, my name comes from my old account that I used to play Age of Empires. At the time, I pictured myself as someone who’d be changing teams a lot, and thus the â€˜Rat’ part came into existence. The â€˜war’ part was because the game was a war game. It is pronounced like the compound word it is. As for the avy, it is a Horker from Bloodmoon.
When did you become a moderator? Any fond memories from when you got started?
I was first abducted by the white van in July of 2007 (or was it an e-mail?). I was actually visiting family at the time, so I spent my first week or so as a moderator by not being on the forums. It isn’t really a fond memory, but there is a slightly funny story about my welcoming thread in the Community Discussion. As it moved towards 200 posts, I broke away from my cousins for about 5 seconds, and posted a brief thanks, but I didn’t lock the thread. I then got off the forum, but apparently I didn’t log out, so everyone sat around waiting for me to lock the thing (since it was at the post limit) until it was at 230+ posts, and finally Freddo (I think) did it. As far as fond memories go, I guess I still have the PMs from a two moderators asking me to accept.
In your years as a community member and forum moderator, what are some of your most memorable moments in the forums?
Well, one of the most exciting times for me was when the forum moved just before Oblivion’s announcement. A lot of people were online because they were just checking out the new forum, and there was also a new section devoted to the â€˜Next Elder Scrolls Game’ or something like that, which hadn’t existed on the old forums. You got the feeling that we were on the edge of a big official announcement that Elder Scrolls: IV was under development.
To avoid the wrath of your banhammer, do you have any advice for community members? Similarly, what kind of advice can you offer to someone who would like to become a forum moderator?
Treat me and the other moderators with respect. If we tell you to knock it off, don’t argue about it in the thread. Talking to us about it over PMs is one thing, but when you do it in the thread, you’re really just derailing the thread. If we remove your signature, don’t send us a PM about how we’re stupid biased hippies, especially when you reuse the same signature we just removed (we can see it in the PM).
Never ever admit that you want to be a moderator. Actually, don’t even admit to reading this answer. For us, it’s strictly a â€˜we come to you’ type of thing. Other than that, it’s all about have a positive impact on the community. Do things like answer questions and keeping a cool head when issues pop up. If there’s a problem, report it, don’t post â€˜in before the lock’ or â€˜just ask her out’.
When can members typically expect to see you online?
Right now, I’m on many different times during the day, but I usually end up doing the most moderating work in the midnight to 2:00 a.m. EST period, which tends to be the off hours for a lot of other people.
What’s your favorite Bethesda title?
Probably Fallout 3 followed by Morrowind, and then Oblivion. I enjoy all three games, but I’ve found that Fallout 3 provides less hand-holding than Oblivion (and a less annoying leveled enemies system), while being much more refined than Morrowind.
In future titles, is there anything in particular you’d like to see?
Well, I’d definitely like to see Horkers make a comeback, and werewolves. Really, what I’d like to see is more internal conflicts within quests. I liked how guild politics played a large role in many of the factions of Morrowind, and I felt such conflicts added depth that was lacking in Oblivion.
When you’re not playing games or in the forums, how do you spend your time?
Reading, watching sports (Go Georgia Tech!), currently looking for a job (but I really don’t want that to become a hobby), I’m also an Administrator at the UESP.