MSM Etopia - More than Fashion and Forum

Discussion in 'MindStar Media' started by MindStar9, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. MindStar9

    MindStar9 Floating in Space

    Etopia Bozzo Paraceltz
    More than Fashion and Forum

    MSM Etopia More than Fashion and Forum 01.jpg
    (Let me preface by saying that Etopia asked that I correct spelling,
    but quotes are pure Eto-flavored, with a few unedited.)

    While some may be challenged at times to fully comprehend the musings of this Entropia Universe tailoring icon, Etopia has not only served the community well from an aesthetic perspective (making us look good), but has long given us food for thought with a side order of humor. Join me in this "Cirque du Sol-Eto" experience for our second "Wednesday’s Who’s Who" avatar profile.

    Etopia Bozzo Paraceltz is an avatar name derived from some very interesting sources. Eto says that Etopia is a combination of "entropy" (the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system), and "utopia" (an imaginary and indefinitely remote place). Bozzo is the result of an old game nickname used while working in a cyber coffee cafe. Now this is the more interesting part for me … Paraceltz is a name taken from a celebrated physician and alchemist (with a variation on the spelling) who lived between 1493 and 1541 … Theophrastus Paracelsus. He is touted as a phenomenon in the history of medicine, but also seen as rather impetuous in his efforts to effect change and the order of things. He wasn’t a fan of that which was antiquated or erroneous, and had interest in substituting something better.

    The one quote from Paracelsus that stands out for Eto is, "it’s the amount that creates the poison," and is loosely translated I am told. One would need to venture into the realm of medicine and alchemy to fully understand the depth of this encounter, but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the profundity with which I was presented during this interview process. It served to further confirm that to get to know someone, it is far better to reach into those nooks and crannies that are not so evident in our every day virtual experiences.

    In The Beginning

    Etopia had spent a great deal of time working on a game with a friend to create a more interesting crafting system than what one would usually see in a game. Eto states that back then, (which is more than four years ago), "crafting in most MMO’s was pretty boring," and they wanted something that would allow a user to create different items that looked more in line with real life. They even thought about making a game with money, so they did research on the internet and came across Project-Entropia. Eto decided to test it, and just kept on playing, but admits that the motivation to play changes from time to time. Sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s new features, but certainly not just one thing.

    Warants has not always been Etopia’s ingame society. First there was a trading soc called "eyes trade," which Eto says was formed by a Russian student. Then there was the DSF (Depos de Solidaritee Francophone) which was part of a coop system where miners could sell ore and enmatter, and crafters could purchase for a lower price. The prices were "normal for random crafters, and lower for members." It wasn’t just an in-soc arrangement, but "open to members who had a share of the system," and in turn would be afforded the "special prices." In essence, the coop would stock up on ore and enmatter with a set price and sell it to crafters. At such time when certain ores or enmatters weren’t found, crafting members had access to these ores and enmatters which allowed them to continue crafting at a lesser cost for materials and in turn make their own profits. Eto shared that, "the point of DSF was getting an economic power for some French crafters and miners," but despite the efforts, success was limited due to challenges, and even though most still play ingame, none are known as uber crafters. Etopia was already tailoring at the point of joining Warants.

    Prior to tailoring becoming Eto’s profession, there was much exploring that encompassed hunting, mining, and crafting. Eto was very conscious of the influence of skills, and made a discovery that mining and crafting used the same skills, as did hunting and tailoring, but that tailoring and crafting were not linked with the same skills. Also, it wasn’t until recently that engineering had an effect on tailoring, but Eto realized through personal experience that BPC (BluePrint Comprehension) is still not a skill that’s part of tailoring. Etopia provided the skills chart link for comparisons.

    Etopia is quick to share that in spite of all the exploring, hunting is still a preference over mining, and since "normal crafting was full of very skilled people," hunting and tailoring were the activities of choice. However, after achieving a tailoring ATH of 1,007 ped, "which was a big amount back then," says Eto, trading became a new adventure, and "was probably the first to specialize in that area." Building a stockpile of ores and enmatter up to 10k ped for trade also managed to help pay for hunting costs, although depositing was still necessary "to buy gear." Tailoring ultimately became Etopia’s profession, and today, items are sold not only through special order, but through a beautifully designed boutique.

    The Boutique

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    Walking into Etopia’s Fashion Boutique on the third level of the Twin Peaks Mall where I met up with Eto for a photo session, I am again caught up in the surroundings that envelop me in colors of the rainbow and more. One cannot help but notice not only the décor, but how incredibly organized the boutique is. It would be challenging not to know what was available or where to look for it. The colorful and precisely placed shopkeepers are all complemented by graphical signs that direct you to items available, and speak not only of professionalism, but perhaps also a well thought out plan. I am told that Jorael is the sign designer, and must admit that at one point in the photo session, I thought I was losing my mind. While Eto was standing in front of the full length boutique sign for the opening shot, I began to wonder if my monitor was acting up because the colors in the sign had changed, or at least it appeared so to me.

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    I had to ask Eto if this were true, or if my eyes were just playing tricks on me. Eto assured me that indeed the color had changed from turquoise to blue. I must say, I was incredibly impressed with the amount of detail that went into the overall design of the shop, not only with the artistic signs, but a collection of color that abounds from every corner. Etopia being French, I immediately think of "Cirque du Soleil" with their precision in performance and depth of color … and therefore, my tag of "Cirque du Sol-Eto."

    It’s hard to walk away from such an enveloping environment, but whether you’re ready to lay some ped down for anything from a Master Coat to Trix Heels, or just browse, the experience is worth the trip if for no other purpose than to marvel at the environment. Shopkeepers make shopping a pleasure, and if the visit is timely, you may even find yourself a bargain. And by the way, as a bit of PE/EU trivia, Eto tells me that "shopkeepers were introduced in VU 5.5 (February, 2004) along with the first houses."

    MSM Etopia More than Fashion and Forum 04.jpg
    While visiting Etopia's Boutique, be sure to check out the "Old Looted Clothes" section, clearly marked by the graphical sign above the appropriately dressed shopkeepers. At one time, "people were paying less attention to tailored clothes because clothes were lootable," says Eto, and also attributes the disinterest to the fact that "looted clothes had a nice hot color, while tailored clothes were grey with only noob colors available of orange, yellow and blue." Etopia shares that prior to VU 5.2 tailoring was "very strange," because "buttons were made with ore, and clothes used skin and wool," as no hides were available yet. It seems that clothes stopped looting around VU 5.7 according to Eto, but now there is an array of choices to get those "hot colors" that weren't available in the beginning with tailored clothes.

    Eto also owns a shop at Club NEVERDIE, but indicates that while it is not too active at the moment, there are plans of reviving it in the near future. However, there is one key factor in doing so: a more timely transportation system so that being caught at CND is less of a common occurrence.

    Some Nitty Gritty About Tailoring

    When asked if there was any advice for would-be tailors, the quick answer was ... "it's not rocket science" ... and doesn't see any special hints in tailoring or crafting because "it's mainly based on click click on the stuff that gives you the max skills." Most of the tips seem to be "urban legend" or "old mama recipe," and shares a belief that "some towns provide better return than others," however is quick to say that this belief is based on personal experience, and not some divine formula. Etopia is also not fast to offer "what is best to skill up" because the "system changes so much."

    The best advice would be to create an Excel sheet with all ore, enmatter, and material, along with TT price, markup %, etc., so that you have easy access to what it costs to skill something. Etopia indicates that it's a waste of time and materials for him to try to skill on a level 1 or 2 BP at current skill levels, as all it produces is about "2 lines of green." Therefore, it is key to skill on level 6 or 7 BPs in order to make any headway.

    Is there anything that Eto would change about tailoring or crafting ... yes, and one of the first changes would be "the whole 3D avatar mesh system," because there are bugs that don't allow certain clothes to fit properly. I remember once I bought a Cadet Jacket from Eto's shop, only to discover that when I put it on, my left lip area was flawed and I couldn't wear it. Eto was kind enough to take it back and reimburse me. Until avatars are "reworked," there's no sense in introducing new clothing, according to Etopia, and hopes that this will be given some attention by MA.

    What About Entropia Universe

    Etopia can be quite intense with regard to offering up opinions as it relates to our virtual universe and its developer MindArk, but will be the first to tell you that people are quick to see the negative, and less so the positive. Eto claims to criticize a lot, but tries to keep it constructive by giving different kinds of views as well as solutions. It's not just a whine fest, but a sincere effort to bring about change for the better.

    Seeing an EU future is challenging because "MA doesn't comunicate enough to bring a valid image to my brain," says Eto. With the recent increase in financial investments, he's not sure whether the "fun factor will stay enough in the future to keep the 'real' players," but manages to keep playing, and even states that the "last four VUs were not so bad." Etopia's main pleasure is having fun with friends, chatting, hunting, and trying to improve the shop with new ideas, while waiting to see what the future will bring.

    Etopia admits that during a three year period, close to 16 hours a day were spent ingame, but currently plays about 4-8 hours a day due to job demands. However, Eto is also self-disclosing in sharing that, "It's all a dream to make my living from it," and further shares having a "plan to create something and make 'normal' living as someone working in 'universe' but is still under project." "Why not," says Eto after doing some math about 5 or 6 months ago. Taking into account total value of items at current market price, it was divided by time played, relative to month, not hours, and "looking at it that way," according to Eto, if the money was withdrawn, "it would be exactly the same as a normal work paid a bit over the lowest month salary allowed in France." The belief is that a "clever trader from a less luxury country can make a way better living playing EU than going to work."

    On a Personal Note

    Etopia shares that he doesn't have any special 'in real life' hobbies, but enjoys many things, like watching lots of documentaries on topics from cathedrals to the cosmos. He has an insatiable desire to learn just about anything, and has even done a bit of coding for fun as evidenced by his clothing site.

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    At one time, Eto kept Africian Cichlide fish as pets, claiming they were "very interesting because of their complex social life," but then one day wondered why. He felt "selfish," as if he was keeping them in a "jail" because they were interesting, and "not really in compliance" with his "idea of freedom," so he stopped it, and now doesn't want any pets.

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    While Etopia was reluctant to share much of his personal life, or any IRL photos, perhaps what is offered as a virtual alternative is still colorful and vibrant enough to tell the story. One thing is certain ... if you haven't already had the "Cirque du Sol-Eto" experience, by all means, please make it a point to visit the "Etopia Fashion Boutique" in the Twin Peaks Mall, and definitely take the time to peruse some of the multitude of posts that Eto has offered up at this forum; some will surely keep you laughing for days. This too is worth your time, because as a veteran player in our Entropia Universe, much is offered in the way of valuable information and insight. Even in his most serious and intense moments, you'll end up with a basket full of smiles.

    Etopia may be the self-proclaimed "Bitchtropian" of EU as evidenced by his avatar title at EF, but at the end of the day, one thing is perfectly clear ... truth is very important, and he will not foresake it in the process of making a point. In concluding the interview, I asked Eto how he would distinguish the difference between his virtual and real self ... his answer was quite simple ...

    "Dunno, don't think there is any difference."​

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