Meet the Team: Shawn Schuster


Once a week our writers will give you a glimpse into their lives, to let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more Meet the Team.

What do you do for Massively.com?
I'm the game lead for Lord of the Rings Online and Guild Wars. This gives me the responsibility of focusing on these two games with interviews, dev tours and feature articles. I'm also a general blogger, which basically means I handle news for the ever-growing list of games I feel comfortable writing about. I also co-host and edit the Massively Speaking podcast.

What's your favorite MMO?

Right now, it's LotRO. While it's not the one I've spent the most time with, it has most of the features I would consider for my Holy Grail of MMOs.%Gallery-33889% What games are you playing now, and what are your characters?
  • LotRO: My main is a Man Hunter who spends most of his time either helping friends or gathering materials for my three crafting alts. I also have a Man Captain who I thoroughly enjoy.
  • Guild Wars: I have 12 level 20s across three accounts in this game, but my favorite is a Necromancer named Bbq Ribs (shown above).
  • WAR: Altitis has struck me here as well, but my two favorites are my Chaos Magus Shaen and my Dwarf Engineer Skolnik. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the stationary pet mechanic, regardless of the realm.
  • Tabula Rasa: I've just recently started playing again after a 5-month hiatus. While I don't have a max level character yet, I find myself simply enjoying the ride up to 30 for that final tier, then starting a new character and doing it all over again. My goal is to get my Exobiologist, Rurik Adelbern, up to level 50 soon.
  • WoW: Again, I tend to just enjoy making new characters in this game. I have about 6 characters across 3 servers, but none of them over level 31. My favorite class is the Warlock, as it encompasses most everything I like in a character.
Why do you like MMOs so much?
Ironically, I'm not one for the "massively" part of an MMO. I'm an achievement junkie and an alt-a-holic, mainly. I enjoy playing with a small group of really good friends who can joke around on Vent or TS throughout the mission. I rarely join PUGs, and when I do, I'm quickly reminded why I rarely do. However, when I play a single-player game now, it just feels too empty for me. Although I don't really like to talk to everyone around me, it's just reassuring to know that they're there, if that makes any sense.

What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?
Getting my Hunter to max level in LotRO was pretty huge for me, since I rarely stick with one character in one game that long. Now that I've done it though, I must get them all to max level!

What's the most terrible, drama-filled, awful thing to happen to you in an MMO?

I used to run a large guild in Guild Wars, many moons ago. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint one certain event to take the crown of most-dramatic, but there were certainly a few. Actually, I would attribute all of my drama-filled MMO experiences (and some gray hairs) to that guild.

If you had 10 more hours to play every week, what would you spend them doing?
Crafting! I love crafting, when it's done right. LotRO's crafting system is actually a prominent feature of the game for me, and if I had more time, I would max out every character's crafting tiers.

When you're not playing MMOs, what do you do?
Not surprisingly, I collect hobbies like I collect alts. I enjoy everything from gardening to working on cars to renovating my house to playing drums and more. I also try to stay pretty active in the general MMO community with other podcasts and blogs to which I contribute. My favorite hobby of all would probably be eating my girlfriend's cooking, though.

This article was originally published on Massively.