Important Reminder About EM Activities
I hope your Christmas / Yuletide / New Year / etc etc holidays are going well. I wanted to point out a few things as a reminder before we begin the EM event cycle for 2019:
1. EMs operate on a limited time budget. We are not employees of Broadsword / EA, but are instead independent contractors. We have a set number of hours with which to accomplish our monthly objectives. While I can assume that it gets quicker and easier with more experience, in my case (Oceania) I have exceeded hours every single month since I began. I keep meticulous records of time and try to budget out blocks for each event, but inevitably this is exceeded. We are not paid for time above our allotted hours.
2. EMs are required to post events on the UO Event Calendar. This can be found at https://uo.com/events/ and is the only strict requirement for EMs. We are obviously encouraged to use Town Criers or this forum, but not using the Calendar will result in a quick and unpleasant note from our management. I post in the Calendar all events for every month. This forum has been resurrected from a very low activity rate (there were something like 3 threads here, TOTAL) when I arrived, and I have made it a central part of the EM activities on Oceania. If the players believe that there is too much information on the Oceania forum, I can roll back to my requirement and only post on the EM Calendar.
3. EMs are required to host TWO EVENTS every month. Several EMs (including myself) attempt to hold events every week. But my requirement is two events. There is NO requirement for me to do treasure hunts, player militia (like the Ordos Oceanicus), bounties, decorating contests, EM Meet and Greets, etc etc OUTSIDE of the two events per month requirement. Often players have grievances about some aspect of the EM program, which is normal and not unexpected. But EMs are in a unique position where they provide the first point of contact between a shard's players and the very busy and small development team. Please keep in mind the above prior to making a complaint. Criticism and suggestions are healthy, and when well-founded, only improve the EM program. Just exercise discretion in determining if your complaint fits into that box.
4. In almost all cases, EMs are players from other shards than on the one they serve. The bulk of player requests, suggestions, and complaints are things that the EMs also feel strongly about as players themselves. As EMs, we can pass on these comments to the development team but ultimately we lack any ability to permanently make changes ourselves. EMs end up catching a large portion of the criticisms from players but possess almost no ability to address those concerns. Please keep that in mind. EMs, as players who love Ultima Online, want the experiences of other players to be as fun and positive as they can make it because they are also players and they also love UO.
5. Becoming an EM is a long process. There are multiple 'gates' that the EM-to-be must pass before being assigned a shard. Many of these are schedule dependent on various other Broadsword personnel and thus time consuming as multiple schedules are coordinated. From the time I submitted a development design document to a team member (as a suggestion for later publish) until the time I took over on Oceania as an EM, almost 5 months elapsed. While I can't speak for other EMs, in my case the amount of remuneration I get from being an EM is LESS THAN 50x what my actual primary job pays. Please be assured that I work as an EM because I enjoy doing it, enjoy interacting with players, and love UO. I, and most of the other EMs. do this for fun. In many cases in the past, being an EM stopped being fun and the EM chose to leave the program. When that happens, it can be a long wait until a replacement one is available for the shard.
I know we discussed much of this at my first EM Meet and Greet and first Royal Council. Based on the increased forum activity and steadily increasing event attendees, I would like to think the program is flourishing on Oceania. And the shard natives have done an outstanding job of framing requests and criticisms in a constructive way once we got over that first-EM-in-a-long-while speed bump. I only ask that you keep the above points in mind when you interact with myself or any other member of the EM program.
-- EM Tycho