It is not uncommon in our Entropia Universe to meet individuals who have skills and abilities beyond the usual professions that generally engage our time. This week's Wednesday's Who's Who is one such individual, whose talents and contributions to the community are worthy of showcasing. On A Personal Note At 33, Oleg lives in Leeds, England and works as a musician, as well as a university administrator. Until recently, he was also a member of the band known as The Resplendents and played piano/keyboard. You can enjoy the video of their single Quicksand at YouTube. The group photo shows Oleg enjoying a read at the tree, while the others seem to be clowning it up. Oleg intends to expand his musical endeavors and explore possibilities while continuing to write music for TV and multimedia. "Mainly library music," he says, and claims that it is nothing well-known, but who knows, maybe one day we'll all be saying I knew him when. Exploration Of A Name Shortly before the 2006 Football World Cup, Oleg created his Entropia avatar. With no particular reason in mind, he chose to name himself after Oleg Salenko, a Russian player who won the Golden Boot prize in the 1994 World Cup, and the only man to score 5 goals in a single World Cup match. Oleg then decided to contrast the Russian first name with a Celtic-sounding second name, and was partly inspired by the character Stumpy Oleg McNolegs who is mentioned in an episode of Blackadder. As a result, Oleg says, "For a long time, I was repeatedly approached by people asking if I was Russian, and usually in Cyrillic characters, which my screen wouldn't display properly. It still happens now and again to this day, but not very often since I don't spend much time hanging around Port Atlantis." The Entropia Inspiration Oleg recently celebrated his third year anniversary as an Entropian. He heard about Entropia on the BBC News website, and believes it was this article that inspired him to check it out. He says that it wasn't the cash card that interested him, but rather that he had been thinking for a while about trying to find an MMO. "I used to play text-based online RPG's in the late 80's and early 90's," shares Oleg, "but hadn't done anything similar since then." It was after reading the article that Oleg downloaded Entropia, but admits that the real cash economy concept sounded interesting as well. From then he says, "The rest is history." Skillin’ Villains Oleg claims he was a slow starter, but on the very day he finished his mentorship in September 2006, he joined the Skillin’ Villains society, and has never had membership in any other society. His mentor, Szraidanaxium AidanEnos Esserdisenos (AE or Aidan for short), had invited him into the society several times before he actually took the plunge, but at the time, Oleg preferred going it alone as a Freelancer. He says, "I'm glad I eventually decided to join the soc, it's definitely one of the best moves I ever made," and further states that, "Most of my best friends in EU are current or former members of SV." However, in his early days, he became friends with two other new players at the time, Amelia Millie Ambrosine and Evander Squire Myrkle. He says they spent a lot of their time sweating together on the beach near Port Atlantis. He actually became Millie's mentor, but is quick to say that it probably wasn't such a brilliant idea at the time since he was still very inexperienced himself. Despite the newbie factor, it all worked out in the end because they became very good friends and helped each other out a lot. He says they still talk most days, but that she continues to resist his attempts to get her to join SV. "Evander doesn't play very much now," shares Oleg, "but we still have a chat now and then on the rare occasion I see him." Hangouts Oleg calls Atlas Haven his usual hangout when he's not out on a hunt. And while he has an apartment at Omegaton West Habitat, he says it is used mostly for storage. He shares of course, that he spends a lot of time at Entropia Forum because he enjoys the community interaction and finds the information about what's going on in EU very useful. "It's also a crucial part of event promotion, offering access to a very large number of players," says Oleg. And Speaking of Event Promotion It seems that organizing games, quizzes, and so on in real life has always been an enjoyment for Oleg, so he decided to try his hand at organizing events within Entropia. He initially started with society-only events, with the first one being a boxing event in 2007. Perhaps this is an example of one of those events. Then in February 2008, he launched Entropian Events . . . His first event was Break Out, and as a result of how well it went, it inspired Oleg to work on many other events. On Saturday, June 20th, Oleg saw the success of yet another of these events in Break Out II, with full coverage and updates on Atlas Haven Radio as the event progressed. Sometimes he designs or manages events for others, like the long-running Battle for Power series where he works in partnership with Qetesh. The July events include The Battle for Power: Longu Edition, and The Battle for Power: Armax Edition. Other times, he works independently, which means giving up his own time and PEDs to run something fun for the community. The latest and biggest example of this was the EU World Boxing Championship 2008, which he hopes will continue to grow into a major regular event. He shares that he has been in discussion with MindArk about perhaps sponsoring this year's tournament, and says that, "So far, the feedback I've had from them is positive, but it's still early, so I can't say any more for now.” In the meantime, Oleg is ready and dedicated to take the Entropia World Boxing Championship event to a whole new level. When not organizing or promoting events, Oleg likes to join events himself, but says he's quite picky about the ones he chooses. "I tend not to enter individual events," he shares, "unless I think I have a decent chance of winning a prize, so I usually prefer Highest Single Loot events, or Entropia Forum-based events rather than the Most Total Loot events which tend to be dominated by very strong players." Even though Oleg claims that he's not especially keen on normal team hunting, he loves being involved in team events, which is why he loves World of Firepower and Festival of Firepower. He says he even entered a society team in the competition at Atrax Beach, where he's happy to say they won first prize, and where he scored his biggest loot yet, a 6k Atrax. In addition to in-world event promotions, Oleg helped organize a real life UK Meet Up at Leeds in November 2008, which he says was a lot of fun. "It was great to meet some of the friends I made in Entropia in real life," he shares, "and I hope I'll be able to attend other meets in the future." Well, it looks like this will happen, because there is another UK Meet Up-2009 planned for July 11th, only in Worcester this time around. Professions Oleg has dabbled in almost everything, but hunting is the only thing he would call himself skilled at, and shares that he is level 50+ in his top professions. He really doesn't have favorite mobs, but tends to pick mobs that he hunts for a few days, or even weeks, and then moves on to something else. His choice usually depends on long-term events that are running, or items that he's interested in looting. "I typically go for smaller mobs, as I feel these give me the most consistent return and skills, partly because I prefer to use high-eco, low-level weapons," says Oleg. However, he also shares that at the moment, he's looking toward stepping things up and hunting bigger mobs more. His secondary profession is crafting, but says it's usually just something he does on the side, using materials he has looted. "I am a n00b in everything else," he states. Entropia Reflections Over all, Oleg thinks the developments within Entropia have been positive, especially over the last year or so. He does share however, that he was very disillusioned at the time VU 9.0 was released with the introduction of foot guards and armor decay. "I was quite close to quitting then," says Oleg, "but I decided that it was better to press on and see what happens, rather than quit after all the time I had spent developing my avatar, and more importantly, the relationships in EU." He's glad he stuck around, because with the launch of First Planet Company as a spin-off of the Entropia Platform, he feels that it has changed things very much for the better with increased communication and more focus on fun. And speaking of the Entropia Platform, Oleg says that his philosophy is just to wait and see what transpires. "I really don't know what to expect when new planets start opening up, but I'm open-minded, and from what I have heard of things like the Creative Kingdom planet, it seems like this will be an extension of game play, and I think this can only be positive," shares Oleg. However, he says that if we get shopping planets and leisure planets, he probably won't have any interest in that type of environment, but still states that he will remain open-minded about such things, and just how they might have a positive impact on EU as a whole. On a final reflective note however, he shares that he remains a cynic about CryEngine2, because it's been a long time coming for something that he expected would be a glorified graphics upgrade. "A lot of people seem to have very unrealistic expectations of what CE2 will bring, but I don't see it as a major step forward, more a launchpad for future development,” says Oleg. Despite what the future brings, Oleg shares he has many good friends, and that it's the people that keep him engaged in Entropia. "The prospect of continuing improvement to my avatar in skills and equipment keeps me going too – it's not that I have any particular end goal in mind, but the small improvements as time goes on makes me feel that at least I'm going somewhere," he says. Advice To New Entropians Oleg's advice is short and to the point. Start small, and don't even think about making a big deposit until you're familiar with the basics of what's available. He feels that $10 USD is more than enough to begin with, and if you have a bit of patience, you won't even need that. "Begin with the small mobs and move up slowly," he says, "and don't rush into hunting bigger mobs too soon." He shares that the same approach applies to other professions as well. At The End Of The Day No matter what Oleg does, the end result will never be an unfinished symphony. (only had 3 photos to work with, but it's the music that's important) > Thanks goes to: ... "Baradur" for graphics assistance.