TibiaQA had the pleasure to interview Laethye - one of the Game Content Designers of Tibia. We talked about her duties in this role, the game content department, as well as her stand on some of the gameplay aspects. Read on to find out what we learned, and what she may or may not have shared about the upcoming 25th Tibia anniversary!
TibiaQA: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! We are very excited to be the first fansite to interview you. I bet our readers are equally happy as they have helped us collect most of those questions :)
Laethye: Thank you for interviewing me. I was looking forward to it.
TibiaQA: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Who is Laethye?
Laethye: I'm 30 years old, born and raised in Regensburg. While I couldn't study here, I really wanted to come back but also work in the gaming industry, so I was delighted when Cipsoft had an opening. In my free time, I like playing games but my taste is very hard to pinpoint. If you ask my friends they could tell you tales of how hard it is to find games I really enjoy over a long time. :D Other than that I like reading and being crafty, preferably working with beads or acrylic paint. And I really really love dogs!
TibiaQA: How has your adventure with CipSoft started? Is this your first job in the gaming industry? Or have you worked in a similar field before?
Laethye: I worked with a small start-up in the gaming industry as a working student to write my master thesis. So my adventure with CipSoft is not my first job in the gaming industry but close to it. After my studies, I didn't quite know what I wanted to do other than working in the gaming industry, and while earning some money in another job I was always looking out for opportunities in the area because I really wanted to stay close to my family. (and my dog :'D)
TibiaQA: Your role in CipSoft is Game Content Designer. Can you tell us more about what does it entail? What do you do during your typical day?
Laethye: My typical day? Hm, that's not so easy to answer. But for example, while working on an update for summer or winter most of my day goes into thinking about or creating the map, monsters, items, quests, etc. Of course, there are also some meetings in between to align with the other team members and teams to make sure everything goes as planned. When there is time I also try to refine processes to work more efficiently and of course we have to fix occurring issues.
TibiaQA: What do you enjoy most about being a Game Content Designer? And is there anything that you particularly dislike about this role?
Laethye: Oh, there are a lot of things I really do enjoy and nothing really comes to mind that I particularly dislike.
I love working on fansite items. I'm not just saying this to please you! I really do like to see the new items and all the work that goes into them. I might also have favorites but I'm not going to tell you. :X
I also really enjoy making maps or making up monsters. Our graphics team does such great work with their and our ideas and bringing their creations into the game is one of my highlights.
The end of the external tests is also high up on my list. Don't get me wrong here :D I like talking to the players and not answering their intriguing questions about secrets and that. :D It's just so awesome to see how much people like the game and the content we spent months on creating.
TibiaQA: How do you find inspiration? Are there any books, movies, or games that inspire your Tibia creations? If so, which?
Laethye: I have to admit I haven't thought about where my inspiration comes from before you asked me this question but I think everything I see, read or play inspires me in some way. Of course, I try to create new things that haven't been seen before but there might always be some inspiration from some of the games I played or watched my friends play, only if it's the inspiration to do it differently than that.
This might sound cringy now but I think I'm mostly inspired by the people I work with. They have been with the game for way longer than me and every time we work on an update I am amazed by what they come up with over and over again. It inspires me to do great, too.
TibiaQA: What is one thing that you consider your greatest accomplishment during your work on Tibia?
Laethye: I haven't been with Tibia that long and in everything we do in Tibia, we work as a team, so it's not my accomplishment but I really liked Goshnar's Taint. It was one of the first big updates I worked on. I enjoyed it immensely and I think it worked out pretty well.
TibiaQA: The Game Content department is quite large. How do you cooperate with other members of your team? Does each of you have their area of responsibility, or do you all work together?
Laethye: There are certain areas that each of us works on more than the others but we are always there to help each other out. Working on updates also depends on what is planned for it. So for example, one update I work together with Lionet and the next one with Knightmare, next one I might work on my own project. At the end of the day, it's always a team project!
TibiaQA: How do you make decisions concerning the scope of the future Tibia updates?
Laethye: The decision of the scope of updates depends on the available time and the ideas we have and want to implement for a specific update. There are also overlaps with every other team involved in the updates so it depends on their plans too.
TibiaQA: Do you sometimes visit Tibia fansites or social media to see how your work is perceived by the community?
Laethye: I would lie if I say I did not do it sometimes. But as much as I find good feedback it sometimes can be crushing too. So I do not do it on a daily basis but sometimes my curiosity wins. When working on the fansite items I always check out the fansites too and whenever I hear or read about contests, especially the creative ones, I pay them a visit as well!
TibiaQA: What are your thoughts on unobtainable items? Certain items are (or are thought to be) unobtainable. Do you ever consider re-introducing any of them to the game?
Laethye: Many of these unobtainable items are very old. As we will be celebrating 25 years of Tibia next year their age doesn't come as a surprise. I have been with Tibia for just over two years so you might see my hesitation when it comes to this question. Nothing is ever out of the question but there are no plans on doing so right now, as far as I am aware.
TibiaQA: Do you ever look at the ideas submitted by players (for example, via the proposal board) when considering new content?
Laethye: Unfortunately with my daily work, I don't have the time to read the board regularly myself. But luckily we have a very good community manager team which summarises things for us so we get to know what the players are talking about.
TibiaQA: Balancing hunting grounds is a hot topic and a difficult thing to test since many factors need to be taken into account. In addition to the players' feedback, how does the team approach balancing areas for existing and new grounds?
Laethye: We do have our tools for evaluating hunting grounds. We also do have visions for hunting grounds we build. According to theses visions we look at different stats, including XP and loot, naturally.
As you said it's a difficult thing. We need to look at a lot of different stats and take the huge level range in Tibia into account too.
TibiaQA: How do you approach verifying hunting grounds or quests that require many players to collaborate? Do you sometimes invite members of the other departments to help?
Laethye: Everyone in the company owns a Tibia account for testing. So if there are more people required to test certain things we help each other out. Just last week we tested a few of the new things Knightmare prepared for you for the 25 anniversary of Tibia. I'm not too sure when this interview will be published but a hint from me: you should be looking forward to it!
TibiaQA: When new areas are introduced to the game, they are often more profitable to players (experience and loot) than most existing hunting grounds. That causes some older hunting grounds to become abandoned. What are your thoughts on this? Does the team consider revitalizing some older content so that it remains attractive? Or is the focus placed mainly on new grounds?
Laethye: In one of the questions above, I mentioned the big level range of Tibia players. This makes it really difficult to introduce new profitable areas. If a new area is too profitable, old ones will be left behind, if a new area isn't as profitable as old ones, the new content is abandoned. We try to do them all justice. But with all these years, the many hunting places, and the players that played for years and reached so high levels - it's indeed a difficult task. Our focus is not only on new hunting grounds only, however. Older hunting grounds are considered, too, of course. However, there is currently no concrete plan to revitalize a certain older area that has been abandoned by the top level Tibia players to my knowledge. Also, you need to take into consideration: an area that might seem abandoned by many Tibians, might be a hideout or retreat for players who do not fight for the top ranks.
TibiaQA: What is your take on health/mana regeneration items, such as food, life rings, soft boots? With the evolution in playing style requiring more quick regeneration, potions and imbuements became the primary source of health and mana potions for players. Do you have any plans, or have you considered changes in the regeneration system?
Laethye: When playing myself I'm wasting so many mana potions on top of eating all the food I can find. I heard playing as a druid does that to you. I see why this is a topic you choose to talk about since it's very interesting. Nevertheless, I can only say there are currently no specific plans for this.
TibiaQA: How has the Covid pandemic impacted your work? Do you all still work remotely?
Laethye: While everyone is free to work from the office under safety precautions we can still work remotely. I took the offer to stay home gladly while some of my colleagues work from the office each day and others decide on a daily basis if they want to go to the office or work from home.
TibiaQA: We know that your team focused on the upcoming 25th Tibia anniversary in the last couple of weeks. Is there anything you can tell us about this?
Laethye: I could tell you a lot. I have seen it all! But I will not. :D It totally would spill the surprise and nothing makes me happier than to stall you guys.
Okay, only one small hint! It's a very colorful trip down the memory lane.
TibiaQA: If you had the power to immediately change one thing in Tibia, what would it be and why?
Laethye: For myself, I totally would change movement speed in lower levels. I really do not like running from place a to b and being not fast enough. In every single game I ever played I always complain about running. And don't tell me to not play open world games then. Some of them are just too good! It's not really slow btw. I just want to be even faster!
TibiaQA: To wrap things up, some of our readers wondered about the origins of your character name - Laethye - is there any story behind it?
Laethye: There are different kinds of people when creating character names. Some just take the same one over and over, others just take "whatever" and then there are people like me. It takes me ages to think of a name. I really like combinations like ae, ie, ye, etc. in names. They also have to flow properly the way I pronounce them and they can't contain specific letters that sound too harsh. So my name is totally made up, with some inspiration of also made up names of some of my former MMO characters and Celtic names. I pronounce it very german with only the "th" being English.
TibiaQA: Thank you again for your time, and we wish you all the best in your role :)
Laethye: Thank you so much. I was really nervous when I was asked to do the interview but I had a lot of fun! Stay safe and thanks for all your work!