A Few Questions and Answers to give an insight to:
Elder Event Moderator, Ultima Online
When you first started what impression did you have about doing events, is it harder or easier than you expected? Did you get nervous and do you still get nervous?
“In doing our first events we tried to keep them as simple as possible, and we certainly didn’t have anywhere near the tools we have now. There was a lot of anxiety, and there still is, when an event finally goes live. It all sort of starts rolling around your head, then you have to get it on paper, get it approved, build it, then comes the big moment. A lot of times what you expect will happen is not even close to what does.”
What is it like working with the EM team and Mesanna?
“Anytime a new EM joins the team we all generally welcome them to the loony bin, or some other play on that. And it’s sort of true. The EM team is a big family and we’re all a little nuts. We generally talk about two major topics…either UO or food. In that regard we make sure newer EMs get the support they need to put on killer events and to adjust to the position.”
“Working with Mesanna is a real pleasure. It’s amazing how much time she puts into UO, and how much time she spends devoted to seeing the EM program succeed. She is an encyclopedia of information and an invaluable resource in getting our events fleshed out, as she always knows best.”
What do you think about the structure of the program?
“The structure of the program is really simple, Mesanna is the boss and she approves everything we do. This makes it really simple because you don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get an event approved. A little closer to home most EMs are paired with a partner to help them do events, and in the cases where there aren’t two EMs we help each other out. In that regard as well a lot of us hang around in IRC and can answer questions that a lot of us seasoned EMs know the answers too.”
Can you describe the training you have to go thru to become a EM?
“Hehe, in the beginning it was kind of like letting a toddler loose with a flamethrower on TC1. We were all really excited to be there and the tools we had, while not Armageddon powerful were certainly able to cause some damage. We were quickly moved to an internal shard to train on, and that’s how it is today. As we’ve progressed the tools available to us have become more complex and testing and putting together documentation on how to use them has helped newer EMs assimilate the abilities more quickly and shorten the learning curve considerably.”
If someone wanted to join the program, what would be the first thing you would say to them?
“I hope you are dedicated. There is a minimum amount of time required each month that all of us has to put in, and for the most part, we all crush that and then some. We are players just like everyone else and as anyone knows, UO players are some of the most dedicated around. We demand success out of every event and continually set the bar higher and higher for ourselves so the content doesn’t become stale.”
Would you like to have a little more control over the player base at events?
“I’m a firm believer, and this is something we’ve been working with on Chessy for a while, that the players need to be able to shift the events in some way. Recently we had an event where a prison guard was unconscious and the players had to come up with a variety of remedies, someone decided it would be a good idea to administer them 65 units of Dragon’s Blood. I was playing the injured guard, and when they handed me the dragon’s blood I thought, well there’s only one thing that can happen now. As a result I turned into a nasty dragon and I think everyone was really surprised. That’s the type of dynamic we like to have in events because it makes it more fun for everyone involved. We follow a script to a certain degree but most everything we do is ad libed to make it more enjoyable and we like the same thing out of the players. If I could do one thing though, I would love to put a leash on the players so they don’t run head on into our uberpowerful monsters! A little tactical planning can go a long way, after all!”
What is one thing you would to see improve between your community and the EM team?
“I’m lucky enough that our community on Chesapeake is incredibly dedicated and passionate. They aren’t afraid to tell us when they don’t like something, and we take their feedback to heart and try to institute change molded to that feedback.“