Volunteers

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Counselor solo.jpg Over the years there have been several volunteer programs for players of Ultima Online. Currently, there are no active volunteer programs outside of the Asian shards. There has been an Interest Program, Seer Program, and Volunteer Counselor Program.

Player volunteer positions have included:

The Interest and Seer programs ran at the same time. It appears they were ended at the same time as well. The Seers and Troudabours were under the guidance and direction of the Interest Game Masters (IGMs).

Initially the game commenced with a more simple volunteer program, but then evolved as the game grew to become more complex with the addition of extra positions. The companion program was the last of these programs to be put in place. A volunteer could both participate in more than one program, but this simultaneous participation typically involved being part of the companion program and either the counselor or seer program in order to share the highly sought after volunteering positions around. A volunteer also may have held a position on more than one shard and this was particularly the case for those with a higher rank due to the extra duties involved. However a single character could not hold more than one volunteer position.

Volunteers had different commands, or "powers" so to speak, dependent upon their rank. All volunteers, except for the companions, had the ability to hide or stealth in varying degrees and they could remain unseen from the larger gaming community (as well as being able to choose to remain unseen to other volunteers of lesser rank). It was common for there to be a volunteer(s) of some rank that would be descretely observing populated areas within game such as Brit West Bank. All volunteers, including the companions, also had varying degrees in the ability to teleport. The lesser ability being where the player had a command that allowed them to teleport to a specific character (a young character for example or to a character that placed a help request), and this teleporting command became more advanced as one moved up the hierachy to the point where highest ranked volunteers could teleport to any chosen coordinates within the game.

As a player advanced through a hierachy they were given greater responsibility and had more tasks assigned to them, typically administrative tasks which could involve (depending upon the position) rostering, scheduling, holding meetings, and training, monitoring and appraising other volunteers.

Interest Program

The Interest Program provided IGMs who were to interact with player-run towns and establishments in order to enhance their presence, activities, and popularity. They ran events, helped decorate player venues, and created quests. Kazola's Tavern on shard Great Lakes was the second player venue that was ever helped.

Criticism of the program involved:

"not having enough time or enough IGMs to really make as much of a difference as I wish we could have. For every place we helped, there were dozens more that were just as deserving, but that didn't get anything. I think that a lot of the player venues we helped have had amazing success (and many still do), but I also think that this part of the Interest program essentially failed. It couldn't do otherwise without being able to provide for every player venue out there that deserved an equal chance." [1]


Seer Program

The Seer Program involved volunteer players who were connected to IGMs. Seers offered quests to people on shards being supported by the IGMs. They encountered and supported various Player Towns and areas considered hot spots of a shard's community.

The Seer Program became heirachically organised by the year 2000, although the heirachy was smaller than that found under the counselor program. A seer that oversaw the events and seer staff of a specific server had the title of ancient seer. Seers wore a green robe with gold trim. The rank of elder was that below the rank of seer. The elders were initially identifiable from the seers by a black robe which was subsequently changed to the colour brown due to new players often fleeing away from the volunteer, who undoubtedly looked like the grim reaper, but who was simply trying to engage with the player in a positive way. The role of an elder was to help out the seers but on occasion they helped the counselors with assisting players when the demand for in game assistance became overwhelming.

See Also

References

  1. Farone, Michael "Ignatz." UO Stratics Interview. April 1, 2002. http://uo.stratics.com/content/interviews/ignatz.shtml.
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