Community: Interview - Amona of Inter-Guild Networks
  A bot that can learn things from other bots? A bot to communicate between guilds and dimensions? In short, one Bot to Rule Them All. The Inter-Guild Networks have slowly become an underground hit and what better way to get the lowdown than with an interview with its creator.      

Tell us a little about yourself and who you are?

Im Amona from Oslo, a developer - 28 years old, lived here most of my life except for 3 years in the US, New Jersey / NY from 0 - 3 of age. I mostly work for myself in a company with my partner, who I live with - and I mostly like to lie on the beach all day and do nothing :)

How long have you been with us? What side do you take in the conflict and what favourite professions do you have?

I've been with AO since beta stages in November 2001. As for the conflict I have a more untraditional view upon it, more or less, given the nature of what I play (Omega). The clan/omni dispute/conflict is irrelevant/insignificant in my view compared to what will come, as I am more of the opinion that the omni/clan conflict is more of a diversion. Without going too deep into the matter of course, this being my own view/opinion on the issue. Its like lovers bickering, I see someone fighting on the other side of the street, doesnt mean I feel an urge to go over and pound either of them.

My favorite profession is of course Metaphysicist since they are the most gimp :) And due to knowing the very underlying fabric of all present technology a MP has access both physically and mentally to a whole other level, even smaller than the level of nanotechnology, the very essense/fabric of what makes nanotechnology tick, the very soul of the notum and universal forces!

Tell us a little about the IGN (Inter Guild Networks) that you have started.... What was the original plan when you first began this project and how did you get the idea?

IGN networks was actually created for whole other purposes to begin with. As I had to build a system to interconnect three guilds for the orgs I run, which is a multi-faction outsider guild, having a tool to unite all those three into one large in-guild community as well as using the common guildchat for all of them was the initial goal.

It was actually a specific incident that made IGN become what it is, as before it was called Omegabot. A guild called BI (Beyond Intelligence) had taken a towerspot over a protected natural resource called Five Falls outside Borealis, I traded the spot in return of building a similar bot for them.

Since I did this I had to generalize it and make it more custom to be able to adapt it to their guild, so I did, and made it 100% custom and then other guilds heard news and got interest, and I had to remake the deal with BI as I didnt want to charge them for something others got for free, so they kept the bot and the spot, the rest is history... Of course, most relevant is to mention, that IGN bot-client was in the beginning based on the mother of all bots, Helpbot by Beaker.

How did your idea expand through the various stages of development? There are a lot of functions in the bot, how did they get in there?

Well, little by little, somewhere down the line things started to kick off, and major demand grew, so I had to rethink the whole strategy/goal and purpose of IGN. I decided not only to make a custom bot, but also make a bot that would be easy to install without having to know anything about PhP/MySQL etc, since most players in AO have skills and knowledge in other areas and only a few has programming skills like PhP/Perl/C++ etc to make them capable of install/tweak and manually edit and configure a bot. I found that even though the bot-scene in AO was far more advanced than that of other MMORPGS a lot could still be done to make this technology available to the majority.

And so I did, made "IGN" which stands for Inter Guild Networks, which had a goal of making it easy for any guild to connect to another guild-ally etc, make an automatic install process and to make a "ingame internet" called Gridnet. Early on this was a thin structure, but after making the central upgrade feature, constant development and upgrading of the bots was made easy, making it easy to always make the bot more enhanced without the bot-owners having to worry about downloading constant new upgrades out of game.

So, lets say I'm a total beginner to all this bot-stuff but I still want to use one, how customizable is the bot - I understand this is one of the more powerful aspects of it and the reason many uses it. Doesnt customizable mean it'll be very difficult for a newbie to use it?

Not really, as IGN has a multi-dimensional support channel 24/7, a wide support system consisting of about thirty IGN administrators/network assistants ready to support people, own inbuilt support commands/system, tips and hints from very early stages of installing, guiding the owner of a bot and a user to either a built-in help-system or getting online help from a administrator with a simple click of a button.

As for customization, almost all of the setup is ingame and guided via click-menus, so as a new user you can easily switch/alter settings and also read about what those settings do if you don't know, and the "support" button is never far away should one need help

As for more advanced customization that's where something called Dynamic Plugins come into the picture, it allows a bot-owner to modify and make new commands/scripts in realtime, where the changes take effect in realtime if he/she knows a bit of PhP. This is also backed up towards a central server which users can upload/download/publish their plugins so any bot on any dimension can install their plugins as well in realtime and ingame without having to leave AO.

Can you tell us anything about how many are using this system?

About 700-800 guilds are using the bot-client on Atlantean, Rimor and Die Neue Welt, most of these guilds consist of 50-300 users, so on a daily average basis about 7-15.000 players use IGN, in theory the numbers get alot higher. About twenty new bots rise every day, from where or how they hear of it I'm not very sure of, I assume it's by rumor since there's not much "ingame" or "official" advertising for this client as of to date.

Will this bot be able to spawn me uberitems, make me dead sexy and autolevel me to 200?

Yes it will, it will also make you coffee, give you many wives and plenty of wealth, both ingame and in real life, I'm really serious about this, do you see me laughing?

WOOT! Although I'll settle for one wife...
That is short for "no" :)

Blast =(
Now if you'll excuse me, my bot is picking me up to drive me to the airport, I have a yalm to catch :)

If you decide to download the bot you might be happy to learn that we intend to have a guide up on the useage of it soon enough. You will also be able to access Anarchy Arcanum through the bots ingame netfeed browser soon!

Link to IGN Systems: