Six 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?
I really didn’t come into the program with any expectations. When we were told to design and perform our first event, I had no clue what I was doing. Nobody did. I almost feel it was easier in the beginning, though. Nothing had really been done, yet. We were open to just about anything. Now, almost three years later, you find yourself grasping for something new. Something to keep the interest alive. This is the mechanism that lets the EM program evolve, and forces us to keep pushing for that something different.
I’m not sure that the anxiety before an event ever leaves everyone, entirely. In the beginning, we were all biting our nails. To this day, there is still plenty of room for some pre-event jitters. There is no way to test a new event concept, or a new monster template, with any certainty. It takes players. That first time testing something is always worrisome. There are so many variables to consider when you’re designing an event, and one simple foul-up can send the whole event awry.
What is it like working with the EM team and Mesanna?
The EM team is an ever changing beast. A lot of names have come and go over the years. Nevertheless, it has always been a great team to be a part of. There is so much creativity and intelligence bouncing around between them all; it makes it a wonderful group to work with. Working with Mesanna has been the true treat, though. She has a tougher work ethic than most anyone I’ve known, and she doesn’t have time for nonsense. She’s our Skipper, and without her this ship is sinking. The communication between us all cannot be understated. If it weren’t for the unceasing chatter between us, the program might not have functioned.
What do you think about the structure of the program?
The program has a relatively simple structure. Shards get two Event Moderators (generally, sorry Siege!). While seniority on the team is sometimes respected, we consider ourselves equal EM’s from the moment we pass training. The Elder title is honorific, only. So, really, there isn’t a whole lot to say on the matter. It works! Historical fact… at the start of this program, some shards were assigned a single event mod while other EMs were given the job of “floaters”. Apparently, they “floated” between the shards. EM Faine Morgan (now an Elder) was originally a floater!
Can you describe the training you have to go thru to become a EM?
Well, those of us from the beginning really didn’t get much training. Sure, we were taught our basic commands and powers… but it would be impossible to teach us the dynamics of events. The first EM program was radically different than this one in many respects. We were essentially flying blind. Winging it, as it were. But, over time we were able to develop methods and guides. Now, the modern newbie EM has a manual, training, a test, and they even do some cross-shard shadow work. Some from the LS community may remember EM Taka from the Britannian Games, or EM Augustus from one of the L-Ag events.
If someone wanted to join the program, what would be the first thing you would say to them?
If they want it in, I say go for it! Mesanna is always accepting applications, feel free to fill her inbox up. Really. She loves it when she has a few-hundred e-mails to go through each morning. Don’t let her down! Hah, in all seriousness though… being an EM is fun. If they have the nerve, than join right up!
Would you like to have a little more control over the player base at events?
This is a tough one. We are EMs, not GMs. It isn’t our place to punish players outside of RP, or to even judge if they deserve it. I’m certain every EM has, at one point or another, wanted to squelch someone. But, really, there are many ways to keep control of events without expanding our powers into the realm of GM. Much of the attitude of the player has to do with the work of each EM. The thing to remember is, every event mod is a player, too. There is a lot of room to identify with, understand, and respect one another. An EM should learn how to work with all types of players, from griefers to roleplayers and spawners to Trammies. Also, humor is generally more effective than spite. When all else fails, for the players, there is the ignore feature. For the EMs, there are shadow fiends. Mwahahahahaaa!
What is your favorite part of the LS (shard) community?
A favorite part of the LS players? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. When I get to spend a couple hours at a social event with LS, I find myself feeling pity for all other shards’ EMs. We have such a mature and respectful group. Their discipline, such as at the Royal Guard Drills, have left visiting EMs in awe. Recently, members of the LS community have been getting together to put on large festivals for all of LS to enjoy. They have been great fun, and a big success! Its no clique, here. Everyone can get involved! If you want in on organized community happenings, just come to the meetings held every Monday, 7:30pm CST, at the community center next to Skara bank. I could rant on and on, and tell stories all day, but I’ll try to summarize. LS players rule while other shards’ drool! Nananana booboo.
What is one thing you would to see improve between your community and the EM team?
Things between members of the LS community, of which EM Aname and myself are a part of, already work so well. There is some good communication there. But I still see many members of the LS family out in the dark. I do wish I could encourage more of the community to contact us, whether through e-mail or our site. LS isn’t the most chatty bunch out of game, as can be witnessed on the relatively inactive LS forum. So, LS… If you have criticism, or a compliment even, maybe an event suggestion or an inappropriate life suggestion, get it to us. We also love supporting player events… so if you or your guild wants to do something, holler!