During the Incursion League, we introduced a news series where we interview our community streamers and get to know a little bit more about them behind their on-stream persona. We're planning to continue this trend in Delve and we're kicking off our interviews with none other than veteran Path of Exile streamer ZiggyD!

Hi Ziggy, thank you for taking part in the interview! Please introduce yourself.

Thanks Bex! G'day ZiggyD Here! I'm a 29-year-old Australian full-time Twitch streamer and YouTuber who enjoys looty games, Vegemite sangas and helping people decide what bandit choices to make.

How long have you been streaming for? How did you get into it?

It all started around version 1 of the Path of Exile in late 2013. GGG had just released a new version of the Passive Skill Tree and I wanted to try a live theorycrafting session with the community. At the time, my internet connection was built on a mixture of copper wiring, beer cans and an old Hills Hoist clothesline. What ensued was a glorious 8fps 180p slideshow session that was an abject disaster. However, I immediately fell in love with the live and immediate interaction with viewers that only streaming could offer. Long story short, my partner and I moved to a new house over 8 hours away to one of the small oases of fibre internet in the country so I could start streaming in earnest.

What can people expect from your stream? What kind of schedule do you follow?

What's a schedule??? Seriously though, scheduling has always been my biggest weakness, I try to stream as much as I can, as often as I can, while maintaining a healthy life. Thankfully so many people have been forgiving and accepting of my erratic start times.

What you can expect for my streams, aside from Path of Exile theorycrafting and gameplay, is a place where you can share your enthusiasm for games with other people who get it. That's most important to me, to build a community where people can get excited about some awesome loot they got, brag about facetanking a boss or bemoan their recent hardcore RIP with people who understand. My livestream chat is full of conversations, which gives me no end of joy, please feel free to come and join in.

How and when did you find out about Path of Exile?

A friend shared the original Templar trailer and I was sold. I signed up for the random invite RNG machine when the game was in Closed Beta but you guys wouldn't let me play. :(

:( Sorry about that! What was the moment that got you hooked on the game?

It's honestly been so long I cannot even remember the early days very clearly, at this point it feels like I've always played Path of Exile. I started playing right before the Vaal Act 2 boss was added. At the time, even getting there was a real challenge and nobody had any clue how to do anything. I think it was the allure of the undiscovered, the game had so much to explore and figure out. That the game has always managed to keep that feeling of there always being new things to explore, test and discover - that's what's kept me hooked over all these years.

What are the top highlights from your time streaming Path of Exile?

There are so many moments I won't forget about streaming Path of Exile and brilliant times spent with my community. One of the best and silliest has got to be the saga of the GUCCI HOBO - Hardcore, Solo, Self Found, Uniques Only. That meant no skills until I found a Unique item myself. The end result? Many, MANY hours of punching things with a naked Templar.

A lot of my favourites are character deaths as well. The best are probably "The Perfect RIP" of my Sparker to a very clever devourer and "7 Additional Items"

Finally one that fewer people know about: my first real win in a race event, getting #1 Ranger and earning a Demigod's item. I worked hard studying other racers, practising and competing as much as possible and then finally getting the win was very satisfying.

Is streaming your full time job? If so, what were you doing for work prior to streaming?

Yes! The combination of streaming on Twitch and making YouTube videos is my full time work. I was studying to do something in the realm of Marketing or Management and I also did a couple years of grindy freelance writing to help pay the bills in the early days. I wrote about things like garage door openers for SEO websites, it was thrilling work.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of streaming?

I love going to the movies to unwind and relax and I love reading. My current project is reading all of the Warhammer "Horus Heresy" series, which I have become enamoured with. I also love finding awesome food with my partner, Amie, and going to gaming events or playing Magic: the Gathering. I think I'd also like to do some more creative things like woodworking as well as do some more non-work-related travelling.

You've visited the GGG studio many times to prepare content prior expansion launches. What have your experiences been like?

In a word: motivating. There is an electric energy at GGG, an excitement that everyone has to be there and to be creating new things. It's contagious and I am always excited to get back to my own creations whenever I come home from a trip. Beyond that, it's given me a rather unique insight into the earnestness Chris, Jonathan, Rory and many others hold towards their work. It's had the effect of demystifying the company and the people - they are human and make mistakes like us all. And at the same time it makes it hard to be too worried about those mistakes, because I can see the team's conviction to make things right and do things better.

What is it like to create content in this situation? Are there any elements to it that people wouldn't expect?

Making content in a new environment away from your home setup is actually very challenging. YouTubers and Streamers are all pretty much self-taught and our setups are often quite jury-rigged to work for us. Thankfully the staff at GGG are super helpful and I was able to learn a lot from the Community team.

Is there anything about visiting the studio that was different to what you expected?

Having been to a few other game studios, one thing that surprised me is that the studio is almost completely open plan. Also it's not unusual to see Chris or other senior staff excitedly speed-walking around the office to look at people's work. Also the extremely well-stocked drink fridge glows with a holy-radiant light and has the faint sound of angel song emanating from it, I didn't expect that.

If you could say one thing that every Path of Exile player should hear, what would it be?

Path of Exile is essentially a sandbox game. Your fun doesn't have to be the same as other people's fun. Some people want to farm Uber Elder, others want to Magic Find in maps and play super efficiently, others want to trade all day, and some just want to catch shiny fish. Find your fun!

What is an average work day like for you?

Kick things off with breakfast with Amie, a wrestle with the doggos and maybe a walk. Then I'll usually check out emails and YouTube comments, see if there is any interesting trending videos or crazy stuff happening in gaming or on Twitch. Then I either jump into streaming or working on a video if I have one that's been stirring around in my brain. Either early or late evening when I'm done for the day, usually I need a few hours to unwind so I catch a movie, read and make or go out for some dinner.

How much pressure is involved in being a streamer? How do you manage it? How has streaming affected your life?

I always feel silly if I say anything that sounds like complaining about playing video games for a living. But I think it's important to share the reality for people that might want to stream or make content for a living. The reality is that, in a way, it is a fairly high pressure lifestyle. You are self-employed and the separation of work and regular life is difficult compared to most normal jobs. In addition to that you come to know and appreciate your viewers so much that you can become very concerned with letting them down.

Taking a day off becomes difficult when you know some people are really looking forward to your stream. Having an "off day" and being a little grouchy results in a poor show and you really feel the sting of that. And there is the feeling of you constantly needing to get better, do better, be more entertaining. To add to this, streaming is really fun and addictive, which makes it hard to moderate.

Ultimately I think stress, overworking and mental health problems are going to be very prevalent in this industry, and it's something I've already had my own personal experiences with. If anyone feels a connection with these words, please take it from my experience that getting some help, reaching out to others and sharing your struggles can make a huge difference.

This all said, I wouldn't trade it for anything else. The feeling of putting out a great video, the appreciation of your viewers, the laughs when chat is being hilarious and the connections I form with so many of my viewers are all just so amazing. I really love what I do and I’m better learning to do it while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What do you see as the future of streaming/content creation and where do you feel you fit into that?

It's so hard to say what things will be like in 5-10 years. When I was starting out on Twitch just over 5 years ago no one had any idea Twitch would be such a huge thing now and who's to say what's next? Perhaps in 10 years time ZiggyD will be uploaded as an AI consciousness, copied millions of times, and downloaded directly into your brain chips as a real time gaming buddy. I think what's important in this industry of uncertainty is keeping some core values at heart - sharing a passion for gaming, giving people a place to be themselves, and keeping people entertained. These things can translate over to whatever might come.

There are many new streamers looking to make their way in the Path of Exile community. What advice do you have for them?

I honestly think the Path of Exile streaming community has plenty of space to grow. The key to building an audience is to have a project, a clear goal, something interesting you are working on that you can communicate in your title. Something that people say "Oh, that's interesting I need to see how that's going" and then ALSO make them want to come back the next day to see your progress. That's your foot in the door and it's how I built my own stream and YouTube up.

Do you have any projects on the horizon you want to share with the community?

I'm really looking forward to helping grow the Path of Exile racing scene, I think there is so much potential and I had an absolute blast casting the last season with Havoc and others. If you missed the livestreams consider checking out the videos on Havoc's YouTube, they are a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully soon we can get spectating and more custom race options to do even more cool things in the field of racing!

I'm also really looking forward to Exilecon and the reveals of what's coming in the next major iteration of Path of Exile, you can be sure I'll be there and covering the game!

If you'd like to follow whatever is going on with me and catch my erratic stream times then Twitter is the best place. Thanks so much Bex for the interview!
___________
Thank you so much for participating in the interview! We really appreciate it.

If you want to check out more of ZiggyD's work, head on over to his Twitch or YouTube channels.
Posted by
on
Grinding Gear Games
First??

Yes!

Thanks Ziggy and Bex
"Gratitude is wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk." Rumi
US Mountain Time Zone
Last edited by ChanBalam on Sep 26, 2018, 8:40:02 PM
Oh man, Hills Hoist reference. This is so painfully ocker. LOVE IT.

PS First is the worst

SECOND IS THE BEST....

I'm like that one piece of ugly furniture too heavy to get rid of. Best you just learn how to live with it. If it comes down to you or me leaving, it's going to be you every time. I can do this all day if I want. Literally.
Last edited by 鬼殺し on Sep 26, 2018, 8:37:22 PM
My idol!!!
24.1.2018 [quote="Dro28"]wheres my fragment tab?[/quote]

(I thought that was a joke)

25.1.2018: GGG- Introducing the Fragment Stash Tab!
Yeah our boy Ziggyd! Jolly good!
o/
Missing a 'y' at the end there, for any* projects
Hey Ziggy
Saved
Ziggy got me into PoE. Thanks man!
Divination card farmer! I love new Div cards! :)
ZiggyD taught me to drink milk through a Tim Tam straw ;)
~ We have been married for 20 years, but with the windchill it feels like 50.

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