A Few Questions and Answers to give an insight to:
Event Moderator, Ultima Online, Lake Superior
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?
I felt that events would be something that are just on a whim, you go out do it have a blast and be on your way. *Buzzzzz* WRONG! Much harder than I expected. You need to take into account so many things: number of players, how many dragons to expect, how long you want it to last, location, facet(s), what monsters to use, how many of them, etc.
I think the first event is the hardest, as you don’t know your shard, you may have done a little meet and greet before your first big event, but you still don’t honestly know your players. Boy, do you get nervous. Sweaty palms, not wanting to eat, wondering “did I make sure this was in place”, not knowing if you will get 15 people or 150, and most importantly will they like this? It’s like the build up before having to do a big speech in front of a large crowd.
Now that I’ve gotten to know a lot of the players on my shard, Lake Superior (hurray!~), I know what most people can do, and what they are good at. I now try to stay longer than the event to chat and rp, I love it, mostly no more butterflies or worry. When we are trying something new out, and it hasn’t been done yet in the program I still get a touch worried, hoping to not crash the shard (that is bad).
What is it like working with the EM team and Mesanna?
It’s interesting. I think of us as a family, most of the time we get along, every now and then we take little stabs or fish slaps at each other, in the end, we work it all out. It’s nice being able to ask a large group for help if something comes up, as most of the time one of them are able to pop in and assist with whatever you have planned.
Mesanna: the leader, she who must be obeyed, the one who makes us go boom, and the dark queen. She is the force behind the program, without her, and her usual 18 hour work days with us, I don’t think the program would be around. How she does it I don’t know but I am very thankful that she can, as I’m sure most of the other EMs are.
What do you think about the structure of the program?
It’s good. If you have ever worked anywhere you can probably see ways which the business could improve, even if in just small ways like moving a desk over to fit more people.
At the start of the program you are the fresh meat, the trainee, and you get to learn everything. There is a lot to learn. Then you get tested to see if what you learned stayed with you.
If you pass, you are a Shadower, the helping hand. You have to go to other shards and… well… shadow the event, learn what they do, help them out, and fall for all the little tricks that they tell you and make you think are real.
After those, if the other EMs pass you, you get your shiny robe on your home shard! This is where you are the bleeding fish in a sea of sharks. Everything happens! You are an EM! Woot!
We have a colour system now in effect to let the players know how long an EM has been around. Pink/Magenta, if you have been EMing for under a year. Purple for 1 year to 3 years. Then the glorious black robe, for those who have been around for 3+ years!
Can you describe the training you have to go thru to become a EM?
I was the fast one. I memorized the manual the same day I started. So I got a small bit of training, maybe a few hours, just to see if what I claimed was true, played around on a TC with Auto, then passed my test (there was no shadowing back then). Sadly I do not have a great tale to tell with this one.
If someone wanted to join the program, what would be the first thing you would say to them?
Contact Mesanna at her e-mail, tell her you want to join up. She is always looking for people even if there isn’t a spot; good to know just in case someone has to take time off or leave.
Also make sure that you know what you are getting into. There is a lot of time spent EMing that you don’t even see in game, and a lot of time in-game spent EMing where you are alone, taking notes of locations and whatnot.
If you really want to be an EM make sure that you want to make others happy. I think that should be the goal of every EM; to make their shard have fun, maybe not be happy but that is always a plus, and that everyone enjoys themselves.
Would you like to have a little more control over the player base at events?
No, that would be boring. You can’t RP off people and improvise on the spot if you can just pull out the staff of “OBEY ME”. It makes the events more fun never knowing what is going to happen. I am saying this knowing now that most of the LS players are “well behaved” *cough* and tend to not go overboard.