MSM Auktuma - "More than Golden Swirlies"

Discussion in 'MindStar Media' started by MindStar9, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. MindStar9

    MindStar9 Floating in Space

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 01.jpg

    This quiet, unassuming, and focused crafting icon has embraced the virtual universe of Entropia since 2003. Some say he’s distant, unfriendly, and nonresponsive, while others hold him in the highest regard.

    Beyond the shell of this avatar crafter is an intriguing, intelligent, profoundly deep, and critically thinking scientist who holds a PhD in Biochemistry, with a delicious sense of humor. I am honored to bring you the first avatar profile in our “Wednesday’s Who’s Who” series that will introduce many of our fellow Entropians.

    Augis Auktuma Tumas was the avatar name chosen after “3-4 hours of intense thinking,” says Auk. It seems that Auktuma was a great Pogesanian (Baltic Prussian) warrior in the 13th Century. Augis and Tumas are Lithuanian names, which is Auktuma’s home country, and he states that from Augis and Tumas you could form “AugTuma,” and further claims that the ‘g’ in this word is pronounced as ‘k,’ so “both names are in harmony with Auktuma.”

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 02.jpg
    Always looking dashing in his tuxedo and sneakers that match his bow-tie, Auktuma was gracious enough to agree to an interview and answer quite a few questions that gave insight into an often perceived persona that seemingly does nothing more than spam the open chat window with globals and hofs. This unassuming gentleman is not one for notoriety, and has turned down interviews in the past, so I was tremendously pleased with his openness to share so many aspects of both his virtual and real life.

    I was curious as to how he first came to learn of Entropia Universe, and his response gives “many thanks to his two sons,” claiming they are genuine researchers and it's “hard to run after them.” He says that he has seen many attractions in virtual reality, but with EU, it was first of all the name: “Project Entropia,” and states that in real life he does research on living systems, and “Entropy” has a very high meaning.

    Intrigued by his real life profession as a scientist, I asked if he would care to share more of the scope of his work. He first revealed that he is 46 years old, married with two sons who both study science, and will perhaps “pass their daddy in knowledge one day.”

    With a PhD in Biochemistry, his main activity is research of living organisms and bioinformatics. He’s a Senior Research Associate, with a secondary activity as Assistant Professor, presenting lectures and practicum on bioinformatics to students in two universities studying to become bioengineers, biochemists, and geneticists. (How appropriate that his pic resembles "The Thinker.")

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 03.jpg
    Auktuma is family-oriented and states they like to travel and experience “mountains, water (sea), and historical places.” He says that they mostly travel by car, so they’re quite flexible with regard to directions, objects, and localities. They’ve visited many places in Europe in addition to their homeland Lithuania, like Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and have “exciting memories.” He states that if he happens to have “any free minute from my main work or EU, I like to play guitar or read science fiction or fantasy,” and further states that they have “~400 books of that kind at home.” He’s also fond of philosophy “(who we are, what is our mission, what is soul, what is time, what space we exist in …..).” In two years, he and his wife will celebrate 25 years together.​

    When asked about his membership in the well-known and respected society Soldiers of Fortune, Auk said that although he began his EU experience in 2003, “I needed to recognize myself in virtual reality before I shared myself with soc mates.” He indicated that he liked the name and felt as if he found “destiny,” believing he was “on Arms of Light.” He likes his soc mates and considers them family.

    In further defining his soc, he indicated that they try to use their unique features to help others, while following their own missions. Soldiers of Fortune is the oldest society in EU, dating back to July 2001. “The Gate” (old PE magazine) offered a society profile in its December 2002 issue. Auk indicates that SoF has experienced many relationships, and some not without their shock value, but further indicates that many situations strengthened them, and that they gained a great deal of information that helped them to understand each other with fewer words.

    I caught up with Auk’s soc mate OgiMini who was quick to share his thoughts on Auktuma. He said, “You know that stuff you’re always saying about 2nd step mentality, well Auk has a 5th step mentality, and sees much beyond the surface. Even in business or social issues, he has an above average intelligence.” Ogi shared that it took him quite a while to learn how to listen to him, and that one can become easily “dazzled or dizzy.” He states that Auk loves riddles, which makes it extremely necessary to read between the lines. Ogi says that he has learned a lot from Auktuma, both with regard to real life and ingame matters, but confirms that he has quite the sense of humor, and at times tells jokes in soc chat. Ogi is quick to say that there is no trash talk – meaning, “that every single word has a significant message,” although Auk is also quick to clarify that “It’s not ‘trash’ talk if we are joking – goal is to raise our mood, to feel wealthy,” further stating that “We have that kind of ‘trash’ talk and I like to participate inserting a joke or two.” Ogi said that one time he shared with Auk that he had a fear of death, and that Auk came back with a very simple answer – “have kids.”

    “Auktuma is a highly solicited person,” says Ogi, but shares that “Auk is a very methodical man who does a lot of calculations, which is why he is challenged to stop what he’s doing each and every time someone approaches him with idle chatter.” Ogi further states that Auk, much like himself, does not see public chat requests simply because they are absorbed in other activities or talks. To Ogi, Auktuma is a true friend, and values their association immensely.

    In questioning the perception of his quiet nature, as well as that of many soc members, Auktuma had much to say. “There are far more things to do socially other than chat,” Auk says, and that “People could do much more if they could understand each other on half word.” He said he values a balance between “quiet and chatter,” and that we should “make our communication more efficient,” so he sees no problem with anyone being quiet. His ingame behavior can be somewhat misinterpreted, but he assured me that it is not his intent to be rude, but rather remain focused on the business at hand, and appreciates those who respect that he has very little time for idle chatter.

    To further clarify his position regarding this matter, Auk offered this – “I look more to wider groups to help than to individuals, and this takes most of my time. There is difference in time to provide 10 well-priced Ghost sets to 10 individuals (and there will be much chat leading any of trades), or to post all the sets to auction (or shop) at same price and save a lot of time on that with same results. Sure, on working personally I could earn more rep, but you know I’m not much seeking that. However, I see difference on that and work a bit individually to have some balance with my rep and to provide info as well.” He made reference to the fact that he’s done much within EU, and it was on that note that I delved into the historical path that led him to his current proficiency as a premiere crafter.

    Auk indicated that crafting was his favorite profession from the very beginning, and started first on attachments. He quickly realized that components were in high value, and stepped into that arena as well, but stated that as a component crafter he knew he would be a competitor to the other component crafters, so in this case, he “cooperated with them as attachment crafter and was using their components to craft various attachments.” He says that crafters are like “magicians, transforming one feature into another, transforming quantity into variety." Also, that “variety = wide abilities to have more fun for community.” He sees crafting as a central profession, and that crafters “do regulate market (buy goods from miners, hunters, and make for them needed items).” He further states that in turn, it “adds responsibilities – from our actions depends fun-making abilities of many people.”

    Auk went on to share that, “In order to have a more complete picture of EU, and in order to know what a miner, hunter, or any other EU avatar feels, I’ve tested almost all areas.” He says that at the very start, he spent “~3 months of long day sessions (close to 24/7) at oilrig (to make initial funds; I’ve deposited some funds, just later when I had good plan for investment).” I’m not sure if what followed was a typo or not, but I laughed myself senseless. He shared that “Overrunning asstroxes, as well as building various tactics, brought much fun,” and that later he tested hunting, mining, sweating, taming, coloring, and mentoring. He states that he “learned what is the fun, and how hard is the activity.”

    At any given moment in EU, we’ve all seen the open chat window spammed by Auktuma's crafting globals and hofs, so it’s no surprise that he shared that he “could spend 25 hours a day in that virtual reality.” He says that in the past 4 years, there haven’t been many days where he hasn’t spent at least 3-4 hours each day, and would like to consider it as fun-making, but requires balance. However, states that “business is also somehow fun-making for scientist,” and while he hasn’t withdrawn any money, he’s “got a bit in assets.”

    Auktuma says he doesn’t like trading, and “hardly fights moral aspects on setting prices,” indicating that there is much information that is needed to set fair prices. Such as, “economy of item on use, value of it on fun-making, economy of crafting,” and that “available alternatives should be taken into account when setting item price.” He further states that he follows a simple system, in that - “I ask market price or below on my items in auction (main activity), or in my shops.” However, he does say that when following this simple system, it is “true for popular items what are crafted by other crafters,” but does “much analysis on setting price if that is unique items crafted only by me (ex. 8A, Fi/Ra/Co Beast or Evil).” He has one shop in Port Atlantis Mall where he has placed 13 shopkeepers “to have more space,” he says. He also owns two shops in the CND shopping mall. He stated that he works on his shops when he sees a “vacuum on items on market,” but also indicated that people ask him to provide more services because they like his prices. Auktuma is currently working on plans to activate his services, and says that “time to win is needed,” meaning – “to win more time from real life activities.”

    Just for the record … I learned that Auk has a section in his PA Mall shop where from time to time he sells items at the lowest possible price (TT+1) because he “wishes the items to go to people who just started their journey into EU and badly need support.” “Previously,” he says, “I was running several (3-4) shopkeepers at my house, and there also were available gifts (various items listed for 1 ped or at TT, like Ghost and Rascal armors).” For those of you not in the know, Auk owns a home on Treasure Island (Lake View # 07), as well as several apartments on Amethera and CND.

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 04.jpg
    And speaking of armor, he was at Fort Argus crafting a unique armor (Solir) when I caught up with him to get a few more pics. Shortly after I arrived, he equipped all of the armor except the harness which he says he was unable to craft due to a missing item. Far be it from Auk to not capture a moment for full effect. There’s something just not right about a man in a tux with yellow and black armor accents, and a sword that would rival any Samurai’s hardware, but Auk worked it out quite eloquently, and gave me a private dance I won’t soon forget.

    While still having thoughts of armor on the mind, I don’t know how many caught the “First to Discover Infiltrator Arm Guards (L) Blueprint (L)” in the chat window, but my jaw dropped immediately when I saw it because it was Auktuma’s discovery. I had already gone back to Sakura and was about to exit EU when this happened and could only say OMG. I instantly got a PM from Auktuma who also said OMG, but then right after asked if I wanted an exclusive pic of the BP for the article … are you kidding … I could only think at that moment what incredible timing this was.

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 05.jpg
    I rushed off to meet up with Auktuma again at Fort Argus where he had been waiting at the Teleporter for me. He opened up a trade window and displayed the newly dropped BP. I had to chuckle when he said that “people like recipes.”​

    Well my fellow Entropians, I don’t know one of us who wouldn’t do whatever to get our hands on a set of this armor after learning of its protection during the invasion a few days ago, but here is the “recipe” as Auk calls it. He has since discovered the helmet, and I have no doubt that he will collect all of the blueprints in order to make a complete set of this armor.

    Perhaps something not to ask of someone’s virtual profession is the extent of their abilities. In doing so, Auktuma said that he thought a lot about the question, and just what to say. He said he doesn’t like to tell anyone about his crafting abilities due to the “moral aspect.” He shared that he doesn’t have much respect for people who tell others how good they are, or how rich they are, because it doesn’t “bring good feelings to us.” Instead, he values the service that someone provides and then makes his own determination how good it is.

    He did say however, that “In order to build plans, people should have info of what services are available, who provides it, and what extent.” He also feels that it is significant to know what the competition level is as well. He remembered something he had seen on the forums where someone had put an idea of achieving level 80 in crafting, but wasn’t sure whether the person was claiming that it would be the highest level or not. He found it interesting, because he shared that he had actually achieved that level more than a year ago, and that he has added a few more levels since. However, he is not excluding the fact that someone else could have reached this level as well, and stated very clearly that he was not going to claim himself as the highest level crafter. He did share that he has “comparatively high skills on almost any crafting area,” and that his favorite is armor crafting – also, that he is close to “Champion.”

    I asked if he had any advice he would like to share with regard to crafting, and this was his response … “If a single miner sells 1000 rare ingots to a crafter, that crafter could make approximately 400 items with those ingots. The result would be that the one miner and crafter would then impact 400 players. If a miner raises prices on ingots, there are three options available to a crafter: the crafter can reject the price; he could absorb the increase of price and thereby lower his own profit; or he could raise the price of the item in proportion to the price of the materials.”

    He further adds that, “Most part of success is dependent on how we relate to community. If we bring positive, and to many members – rewards will happen, by community, or by organizers. But if we are looking just to fill our pockets, to exploit system, to scam people around – that actions are not supported. And for sure before you will invest real money, gather information, build detailed business plan, do model various side situations. Follow market and use cheapest recipes for skilling.”

    He congratulates MindArk on bringing cooperation to crafting by giving value to components, and by doing so, a new area of activity has been opened, which he feels is a “new area to have fun on.” Also, he feels it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a sort of guarantee with regard to people having a goal for skilling, and something to perhaps predict main risks when investing money or time. He's inclined to think these types of guarantees will attract investors, but wants to make it clear that he’s not referring to a guarantee to profit, but to have the ability to provide some kind of services dependent upon skills, “like it is available on coloring, taming, and hair stylist,” he says.

    As a veteran EU player, I asked Auktuma if he felt that the changes over the last couple of years, and especially with the most recent VU’s, have taken our virtual universe in a good direction. He responded by saying, “Limited items and limited blueprints were very progressive. The new features reduced many monopolies and made item quality to work for all people. That will take some time until we will really start to enjoy limited items. Time is needed to regulate value according to quality – at the moment, most limited items are overpriced (various reasons, not only crafters – end producers – are responsible for that).” He feels there is a “Sufficiently grown element of fun – arts, wider variety of cloth, furniture. Media providers are introducing more and more areas for activities – that’s new opportunities for us to realize our unique features so higher chances to grow our value in community.”

    I further asked Auk if he had any thoughts with regard to how he saw EU’s future given the added financial and/or investment aspect that seems to be a more increasing dynamic of our virtual environment. Keeping in mind that we’re dealing with a scientist, I found it quite amusing, but profoundly so, that he should draw an analogy from real life when expressing his thoughts. It goes like this …

    “I like whole organism (I mean EU under ‘organism’), even if teeth used sometimes to tear my body, but arms are good medic, and lips whisper good words, or eyes shining positive energy. All is balanced so that positive impact has an advantage. And I don’t think that heart of the organism (=MA) should be cut off due to too much noise (heart beat). It’s an organism of Man. And it’s not ideal man for sure. No ideals could exist as you will never achieve Truth. I believe in man could fight almost any malfunction using internal powers. Experience on that fight strengthens the body. I try to limit pharmaceuticals when I feel bad. First step – to raise mood. Mood is indicator of most processes in your organism.”

    If that wasn’t enough to get us thinking, then try to wrap your mind around this “riddle” as he calls it (remembering to read between the lines as advised by Ogi), as further explanation of how he currently perceives EU …

    “EU: I could see some atherosclerosis symptoms: vascular remodeling started in some body areas, high activity of monocytes and macrophages, or invasion of leucocytes into deeper epithelial layers while searching reasons of malfunction. Problem could be with feeding. Do use more vegetables (meat of that bear you have killed could poison the organism). Healthy Man is very good attractor and also he could be Superman leading us to LIGHT.”

    Could this be our EU Einstein, or just another level of brilliance veiled in riddle and analogy with a side order of humor to promote balanced thought. Whatever the case, many of us have questioned whether or not he’s coming out of his shell as a result of posting his pic in the “Show Us Ya Face” thread, so I openly asked if this was his plan. He actually said that it was a “correct description,” but explained that he hasn’t been active at the EF forum as a result of (in the past) being “scared away” from so much whining and aggression. He indicated that “Loud public whine is a strong action,” and wasn’t sure if “all people using that way clarified for themselves what purposes they set on their post.”

    However, he claims that one of the reasons for coming out of his shell was to find an acceptable way to inform the community about the services he’s going to provide, so he wanted to know what the EU community needed, and if his services would be taken. He states that he is “still on that stage.”

    Auktuma has an appreciation for words, and how they are used to convey thoughts, feelings and emotions. In closing our interview, he wanted to share one last thought about words …

    “I want to use some words I’ve read, not in dictionaries but got directly from lips and hearts:

    MSM Auktuma More Than Golden Swirlies 06.jpg
    Thank You so much. Peace and Lootius with You.
    Tack. Lycka till
    Obrigado Amigo e boa sorte
    Merci l’ami. Bonne chance
    Sei sei. Kong hei lei
    Spasibki. Udachi druzja
    Takkar. Lykke til
    Xie xie. Hao yun qi
    Labu veiksmi
    Nuosirdus dekui. Sekmes broliai

    Hearing such ‘magics’ anyone could break through his/her ‘shell.’ Many thanks my Ghurus! Hehe, right now, when you read this, I feel warmth of your smiley.”

    Could there not be a more appropriate ending to an incredibly rich sharing of time in a virtual universe. Auktuma may be misunderstood at times, but there's no mistake when it comes to his driven efforts to accomplish his goals, nor his spirit of generosity and appreciation that embraces our virtual community. The message is very clear ... Augis Auktuma Tumas has had an impact in the continued growth of our virtual existence, and is someone to know.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2013
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