Martuk: Muscle Man of Mystery
(December Staff Spotlight)
by Lady Sirse
Warrior Specialist, Beat Coordinator and Reporter, Columnist, Trainer,
Mentor and oh yeah, in his spare time, avid Vanguard: Saga of Heroes fanboi.
All this and he still has time to have a real life outside of the virtual
community. How does he do it? More importantly--why? Find out as I share
what I learned when I was able to interview Martuk for our December Staff
Friends and family are certainly a priority for Martuk, who is diligently
leading his nine-year-old nephew towards the path of not only the warrior,
but gaming too. Can it be that as we await the 3rd generation of MMOs, we
have people like Martuk who are carefully nurturing future generations of
gamers? Clearly this is the case if you follow the forum posts and news
stories covered here at VTTH and throughout the gaming community.
Asked if he will start right in as a warrior when Vanguard: Saga of heroes
launches, Martuk replied without hesitation, "Yep, I have always
been a tank at heart. I guess I just like getting hit and dying first.
Managing agro and taking a beating have always been two things I have
enjoyed in an MMO world." Could we expect anything else from our
resident Warrior Guru? I didn't think so!
Martuk continued on to share his observations about being able to absorb
damage in battle. "Unfortunately those caster types can pack a punch,
but when it comes to toe-to-toe battle they get shredded like hot butter."
I guess all of us who had hopes of seeing what he looked like in a dress
will be disappointed. Ah well, armor has its appeal too.
Did you know that someone so devoted to online gaming could excel at
real life sports as well? Hear that? That's the sound of stereotypes shattering
all over the world. Seriously though, one thing that Martuk mentioned
he enjoys when not online is sports. He was an independent professional
wrestler for eight years--you guessed it, the face paint and rowdy crowd
kind of wrestling here, not the Olympic hopeful sort. Recently, the wrestling
world bade farewell to their hero, Firestorm, when Martuk was injured
in a car accident. He says that he still enjoys a game of football or
basketball with his friends though.
Martuk came to staff after I approached him one September day. Here is
his recollection of events
"To be honest I never even considered
writing. Lady Sirse approached me one day after I had made a rather lengthy
post on an editorial I had an opposing view of. She seemed to like my
answer and asked me to try writing for Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer. It seemed
like an interesting challenge at the time, and since then I have grown
to enjoy it greatly. I'm not sure I can say the same for the poor readers
who have to sift through my ramblings." I think we all can agree
that Martuk and VTTH are a wonderful match! His reporting and columns
have kept us all on the edge of our seats waiting for more.
How did he come to be on the forums for me to find to begin with? I asked
how he came to find out about Vanguard.
"I was really one of these people that looked forward to Everquest
2 being the next Everquest. I beta tested it in one of the later stages
and played it for about five months. It never had the same effect on me
that the original Everquest did and never gave me as much enjoyment. I
started looking for another MMO and I came across Vanguard and learned
that a lot of the original EQ designers, including Brad
McQuaid, who I felt was in large part responsible for Everquest
success and fun, were making Vanguard. Naturally I became interested and
have been following the game ever since. The return to an open world without
instancing, returning challenge instead of convenience, and the focus
of a more social game all drew me to this. I look forward to the day it
launches. I am quite anxious to play it."
Like all of us, Martuk has a list of do's and don'ts that he hopes will
be fulfilled by the folks at Sigil. He has a strong stance on not wanting
to see the secondary market get a foot into Vanguard, as well as being
opposed to any kind of bots. Admittedly, he says, these are large battles
to be fought; and he knows that it may not be as easy as just saying no.
There are things though that he is hopeful that the developers will be
able to manage and limit such as instancing and giving into convenience
Martuk states his wishes for Vanguard simply: "I don't want Vanguard
to be Everquest revised as some people want. I do want it to be its own
game, but I want it to be just as immersive and fun as the original EQ
was. So many games out right now just don't hit the spot. Not every game
can be everything, but at the moment Vanguard seems to be the best choice,
in my opinion. Even the next wave of MMOs set to release the same year
as Vanguard in my opinion do not have the fun factor that Vanguard looks
to have." I for one agree wholeheartedly with him in this.
Before Martuk wandered back to his writing, I asked him what he would
like to say to the readers to end the interview. He replied, "I look
forward to seeing and meeting many of our Vanguard community in Telon
once the game goes live. Until then, stay tuned to Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer
for the next Original Content."