by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
Bongotezz has a plan to make the United States healthcare system more affordable, to provide housing to low income families and....wait that's his election campaign stuff. Who is Bongotezz? The creator of BSComic of course! I nabbed him away from creating his humorous comics for a few moments to answer some questions.
RadarX: Bongo thanks for taking the time from your comics. I guess the first and most important question to me is how you got here. What got you into MMO's? What other MMO's have you played?
Bongotezz: What got me into MMO's is simple. I blame Coyote and Shipwreck. Everyday I'd come into work and they'd be talking about Everquest 1. They'd have me laughing at crazy stories about trains and corpse runs. Everyday they'd tell me more and more stories and it sounded like a whole lot of fun. So I started playing EQ1. The only MMO's I've played is EQ1 and EQ2. I liked EQ1 for the exploration of zones and finding cool stuff but the quest system broke down when trying to do any involved quest. Eventually, I got bored of EQ1 because I hate grinding so I switched to EQ2 because of an in game friend sonelin tried EQ2 and loved it. I love it for the quest journal and the exploration. I love doing the quests in EQ2 and I have 867 completed so far.
RadarX: EQ1 was definetly more about exploration and I agree with you remembering Soulfire. *shudder* Moving on! What class do you mainly play and why?
Bongotezz: My main is a ranger. I played a ranger in EQ1 and EQ2. In EQ1 my only character was a ranger. In EQ2 I have a ranger main, a necro, templar, guardian and bruiser for alts. The reason I chose ranger is because I like the idea of a fast, lightly armored soldier that can use a variety of tactics and weaponry to get the job done. I like the fast moving and timing required for playing a ranger.
RadarX: Oh! We like Rangers here at Ten Ton Hammer, although I wish they'd use the indoor plumbing. Do you think the Ranger class is balanced?
Bongotezz: I mainly solo or small group with my ranger so I think that at least in those two aspects the class is balanced. There seems to be some loss of effectiveness at high levels while raiding. I can't really say why there seems to be a difference between solo and group play vs. high end raiding because I haven't done any high level raiding at all.
RadarX: Yeah, you don't see many Rangers in raids. For crying out loud people! The "sacrificing a Ranger for luck" tradition is archaic and no longer done! Ok so what's your favorite zone?
Bongotezz: My favorite zone is totally Stormhold. It's the best zone ever. The design and graphics of the zone are well done and the mob's are well positioned and scale in such a way as to challenge groups as you progress to lower levels. Additionally there are a lot of nice little
additions to the zone that make it fun to explore. If you have time check out the vault of the maelstrom on level 2 behind the chapel. There's a talking sword NPC there that starts a ring event.
RadarX: Stormhold is an awesome, by far one of my favorites for that level range. If you could change something about EQ2 what would it be?
Bongotezz: The only thing I would change is the amount of xp it takes to level. Leveling is way too easy and way too fast in this game. I soloed my templar to level 25 in 8 days. That's way too fast.
RadarX: Ha! I knew you were a machine! Pay up Coyote! Well we've covered what you'd change, but what is something you think EQ2 does better than other MMO's?
Bongotezz: Well, I don't think I'm qualified to answer this question because I don't know much about other MMO's. All I play right now is EQ2. What I do like is the quests and all the little additions to the game like the books which I have many. The stories in them are very entertaining and interesting. There are also a lot of little hidden this for people who like to explore like the underwater cave in Antonica.
RadarX: I would agree from my MMO experience, quests are one thing EQ2 does very well indeed. With Echoes of Faydwer around the corner, what are you expecting?
Bongotezz: Not really sure. I haven't read up on anything that will be included in it. I've seen some screenshots and a movie. Maybe the pained unicorn will be back.
RadarX: That thing always beat me down...along with the Brownies. Ohhh I still harbor Brownie fury. What's it like grouping with Coyote? Is he as dangerous in game as he is on the forums?
Bongotezz: It's not Coyote by himself that's dangerous. It's when you team up coyote and shipwreck together that you get chaos. Separate them and they are fine. And dear god, don't get them into a competition to sabotage each other because nothing will get done.
RadarX: I've found Coyote to be dangerous wherever he wants. I showed him this quote, and his response? "I can't argue with that." Anyone who's been around more than a few months have seen your comics and you have in fact provided us an exclusive one here. What got you into doing them?
Bongotezz: Making comics actually started in college. I was bored in precalculus so I started drawing random shapes in my notebook. (And you thought calculus wasn't good for anything) the shapes ended up being my first character. He looked like a lizard so I named him thin Lizard. Shortly after that I saw an add in the college newspaper looking for a comic. So I made a few up and submitted them. They got a good response so I kept making them while I was in college. After I graduated I lost the audience and motivation for making them so I shelved the comics.
RadarX: You know I was bored in Precalculus so I started not paying attention. Now I can...well nothing Calculus like. So you've had quite a bit of experience with comics. Where do you get your ideas?
Bongotezz: The ideas come out of thin air really. All I need is a character or characters (which I already have) and a place for them to be. (Which is provided by the game) then I just take some mundane task that they could be doing like a quest or fighting some monster and I think of the craziest thing that could happen to the characters and throw in some pop culture references here and there and it just works.
RadarX: You make it sound so easy, and I happen to know better. I think there just might be a little bit of talent involved. So what goal do you have for your comic site other than dominating Ten Ton Hammer (we're watching you by the way...)?
Bongotezz: Right now I am looking for more comics to add to the site. Contact me through the site if you have comics that you want me to host. I have 2 additional guys making comics right now, Den and Hurikhan. They have been putting out some good stuff. I'm also working on a comic that will not be based on EQ at all. I'm close to actually making one right now. I have like a year's worth of scripts for it right now and it's just a matter of finding some time to figure out how I want to put it together. Look for that in a few months.
RadarX: Hurikhan actually recently made a sig for me, and is an amazing artist. Wait...did you kidnap his wife Dreadwench, because I like her. So how do you design the comics? Are they by hand or with comic software? How much work is involved?
Bongotezz: Once I have the idea I start writing up a script in notepad. I include dialog and notes of what each character is doing and where they are. Then I go to whatever location I need and I take screen caps of the poses I need. I try to take some screen caps from all angles while looking at the script. I take about 50 screen caps per comic. I do this to try and avoid doing reshoots. It's very difficult to reposition everything the way it was before and waiting for the same time of day etc. it's a big time saver. I then use Photoshop to create any composite pictures I need like adding the corpse of blackguard into a panel or making mouse look like he's eating a scroll. Then with comic book creator I add all the panels together and publish it. Then I go back to Photoshop and add the logo and some lighting Adjustments. Depending on how much compositing I have to do 1 comic can take me 30 minutes to 3-4 hours.
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