Counselor Terms of Service

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This Terms Of Service for Counselors ("TOS") is an agreement between you, the applicant ("Counselor"), and Origin Systems, Inc. ("OSI"), of the conditions under which you agree to undertake the task of being a Counselor for OSI's online game, Ultima Online ("UO" or "the Game"). Upon being accepted to the program, each applicant is required to sign and return a copy of these Terms of Service to OSI, at an address to be specified upon acceptance. No applicant will receive final approval for Counselor status or training, and will not be assigned special Counselor commands and abilities, until a signed copy of these Terms of Service has been received by OSI.

1. General Responsibilities: The Counselor Program is a volunteer service organization; we are here to help others when they run into unusual difficulties during the normal course of play. This takes the form of: monitoring the Help Request Queue for calls for assistance from subscribers; responding to those calls; determining if the call should be handled immediately by the Counselor or forwarded to a Game Master, and; following up to insure that the subscriber is satisfied that his request has been dealt with.

These duties and the manner in which they handled is covered more fully in the Counselor Rules and Guidelines, a copy of which will be made available to you after you have signed and returned the terms of Service for Counselors to OSI.

2. The UO Terms of Service: In addition to these Terms of Service for Counselors, all Counselors are expected to adhere to the UO Subscriber Terms of Service, published online at [1] and hereby incorporated into this document.

3. Other Documents and Game Changes: In addition to these Terms of Service and the UO Terms of Service, OSI sometimes modifies or adds to the Terms of Service via the Counselor Rules and Guidelines document, available to you at Broken Link. We also note changes to the game itself, such a new features and modification of stat or skill gain procedures. Once accepted into the Counselor Program, you are expected to read these periodically and conform to any changes, additions and modifications to the Terms of Service for Counselors, and to be familiar with changes in the Game. If you have any questions about these, please contact your supervisor for clarification.

4. Non-Disclosure Agreement: When you're on the team, you need occasionally need certain confidential information to be able to do your part. Because of that, we may make sensitive information available to you, information that, in some cases, we don't want discussed outside of the group for a period of time. Therefore, you agree that you will not discuss any such confidential information we impart to you in the course of your duties as a Counselor with anyone outside of the Counselor Program or OSI's official Game representatives. We'll clearly note when such information is confidential, be it verbally transmitted, via online chat, posted on the Counselor Web site or delivered to you in email or any other method.

5. Prerequisites for Being a Counselor: Any current UO player aged 21 years or older and with no outstanding UO billing issues is eligible to apply for the Counselor Program. Applying for the Counselor Program is no guarantee that you will be accepted; OSI reserves the right to grant or deny any such application at its sole discretion. Note also that it is OSI's policy not to allow Counselors to play characters on the same Shard(s) on which they pull Counselor duty.

You may not become a Counselor in any case if: You are under 21 years of age. Proof of age is required prior to commencing training. Current active members of the Counselor Program as of April 14, 1999 are not required to meet the 21 years or older requirement. However, Counselors who are under eighteen years of age and playing UO with the permission of a parent or guardian, who is also the UO account holder, must also obtain the signature of that parent or guardian on this TOS; Work either inhouse, under contract or as a volunteer in any capacity for a computer game company, online games aggregator or a competing online game product. By signing and returning this form to OSI, you certify that you do not presently work for such a company and/or competitor in any capacity and that, while a member of the Counselor Program, you will immediately inform OSI if you do accept work with such a competitor. 6. Training Course: Because there are new and quite powerful commands and abilities available to Counselors, all applicants for Counselor will be required to take and pass an online training course before being posted for regularly scheduled duty. At present, the training course is expected to take a minimum of six hours and a maximum of twelve hours. Scheduling times for the training course will be by arrangement between the Counselor and the person assigned as trainer.

7. Regularly Scheduled Shifts: All Counselors are required to commit and adhere to a regular schedule of duty consisting of three two-hour shifts per week. Every reasonable attempt will be made by OSI to accommodate your preferences in the scheduling of duty time; this is a subject that should be discussed and worked out to the satisfaction of everyone involved at the time your application is accepted. Your tentative schedule, based on that conversation and pending attendance at the training course, if applicable, will be noted in the space provided below. Regular duty schedules will be maintained and posted on the Counselor Web site. If you have any questions about your schedule, please contact your direct supervisor.

8. Missing a scheduled shift: In order to provide consistency of service and to be fair to the players and the other Counselors, you are expected to show up for duty during the shifts you commit to. Anyone who misses one or more scheduled shifts without first contacting his/her direct supervisor may be temporarily or permanently dismissed from the Counselor Program.

9. Held to a Higher Standard: When on duty, Counselors are considered representatives and "ambassadors at large" for OSI and the Game and, thus, are held to a higher standard of behavior than the average player. Counselors on duty are expected to treat subscribers and other Counselors with dignity, respect, courtesy and professionalism at all times. Counselors who are rude, discourteous or (insert other adjectives here) may be permanently or temporary dismissed from Counselor duties.

10. Abuse of Powers: As a Counselor, you will have access to special commands and abilities which, if abused, could significantly alter the balance within the Game. Any abuse of Counselor abilities and commands will be grounds for immediate and permanent dismissal from the Counselor Program and, depending on the severity of the abuse and at the discretion of the Director of Player Relations, may also be grounds for terminating your UO player account. Abuse is defined as: Using your special Counselor abilities to modify, add to, change or in any way create an advantage for any player without the express permission of the designated OSI supervisor or Game Master; Using your special Counselor abilities to modify, add to, change or in any way create a disadvantage or hardship or to harass for any player, Counselor or other OSI representative; Using your special Counselor abilities to modify, add to, change or in any way create an advantage for any of your account's characters; Using your Counselor abilities in any manner not prescribed in the Counselor Guidebook, a copy of which you will receive when you begin training; Or, in cases not covered by the Guidebook or the Counselor's experience, using those Counselor abilities without prior approval by the designated OSI supervisor or Game Master on duty. 11. Consideration: In consideration for your time volunteered as a Counselor, your player account will be free of any monthly subscriptions fees charged by OSI to its customers for access to the Game. This includes all the characters created on that account for play on any UO shard. You continue to be responsible for any ISP fees and local or long distance telephone charges necessary to allow you to connect to and access the game servers.

From time to time, based entirely on availability and at the sole discretion of OSI, the company sends to all or some of the Counselors OSI game products and marketing items such as T-Shirts, cups, pens, posters and the like. OSI makes all reasonable efforts to insure that such games and marketing items are distributed equitably, but can make no guarantees that any Counselor will receive such game products or marketing items.

12. Ownership of the Account: Because your account will have access to the special Counselor abilities and commands, you agree that during your involvement in the Counselor program, you will not sell or transfer your game account, nor allow any 3rd Party access to your Counselor character in any manner without the prior written consent of OSI.

13. Termination by OSI: Your affiliation with the Counselor program can be terminated at any time by OSI, for any or no reason and at its sole discretion.

14. Termination by Counselor: If you decide you don't want to be a Counselor any more, for whatever reason, you can terminate your affiliation as a Counselor at any time with no hard feelings on our part. We do ask that you don't leave us in a lurch and give us at least one weeks' warning, so that we have the opportunity to fill your shifts without having to scramble at the last minute to do so.

15. Leave of Absence: We understand that the demands of real life can sometimes intrude on the game, or that you can just plain "burn out," and that it is sometimes necessary to take extended time off from being a Counselor. If you and your supervisor agree, dependent on the final approval of the Director of Player Relations, you may take a leave of absence of two weeks to four months from your regularly scheduled shifts without dropping out of the program altogether.

If for some reason we can't agree to your request for a leave of absence, you can drop from the program with no hard feelings. You will always be welcome to reapply for the program at a later date.


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