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Ubiq et le staff volontaire

Par Skaal le 8/9/2000 à 20:36:00 (#132)

Ubiq (Deigner en chef d'UWO:O) est intervenu hier dans le forum de Lum the Dork pour donner son sentiment (et un avant-goût de la politique d'UO2) après le bannissement d'un guide (counselor) d'EQ en tant que guide et joueur pour avoir animé un site EQ où il se présente d'entrée comme guide (donnant pratiquement le nom du serveur où il officiait), dédié à la critique acerbe des relations joueurs-service clientèle de Verant et ayant publié des passages de son contract de guide.

1) Private companies hold the right to kick you out of their property anytime they want. If you started yelling, being disruptive, and harassing other customers down at World's Gym, they'd escort you out immediately. You have no 'right' to be there, even if you paid your monthly fee.

(2) Part of being a volunteer is not defaming your company's development team, your customer base or your fellow volunteers. As entertaining as I found Tweety's missives, there is no doubt that she did all three. She also posted information that I'm sure Brad and John consider sensitive. You guys claim you want professional, quality customer service - well, there are few things more unprofessional than what she was doing.

(3) Having infractions against your volunteer character affect your play character is not only legal, but it is an extremely effective way of keeping a leash on a volunteer. It is an extremely difficult thing to keep a leash on a volunteer program, especially given the remote location of these staff members and the anonymity of the InterNet. If a volunteer decides that being a guide or seer isn't for him, and decides to, say, go on a killing spree, then deleting that guide character isn't going to be an effective deterrent.

(4) Tweety painted a big ol' target on her forehead by setting up a website, and the infamy of being on Lum didn't help. VI had no choice but to take strong action, or every guide in the program would start setting up websites and verbally abusing the fans, the customers and each other. THAT is the true slippery slope that had to be avoided.
Devoid wrote:
Here's another aspect of this incident. I believe that Tweety being completely banned (both kicked out of the guide program and losing her play account) was also done to send a message. She was made an example of for the other guides. I believe the intent of the message was: "We are serious about these rules and now you see that we will not hesitate to act should you select to violate them."


Let's make something clear. Volunteer power is good. Volunteers bring intimate game knowledge and a love for the game to a CS staff, they act as the front line for players, and they generally take way too much abuse from the player base for an unpaid position, and are often forced to support policies that they disagree with. Your average volunteer is a saint in my book.

That being said, we all know and have witnessed what a bad volunteer can do. Lum, for one, is quick to tell us when it happens. =) The gut reaction is "Well, don't hire bad ones!" but it's not that cut and dried. For one thing, it's relatively hard to do background checks remotely, over the internet where most things are anonymous. For another, good players often don't make good volunteers. Lastly, you never know when a volunteer is going to snap.

So volunteers are a risk. We don't want to take powers away from a volunteer, though, or they can't do their jobs as effectively. In fact, everyone wants to give them more tools and flexibility. So instead, we make the risks of abusing this power clear: abuse your station as a guide and lose the character you've spent XXX hours building. Hopefully, this deterrent will prevent a guide from going on a mass murdering spree with his invulnerable character. Or, say, starting up a web site where she defames the game, the customers, the dev team and her co-workers.

Normally, that deterrent isn't used, but if you do something big, loud and visible, you better believe they'll pull the trigger. It's not a deterrent if no one believes you'll do it.

Devoid wrote:
However, do you think that message is actually being received, or are the guides thinking something more along the lines of: "Wow, I never thought my play characters that I have XX days of played time behind were in jeopardy by my being a guide. If I do something Verant doesn't like, I could lose the product of all that time and effort, and contact with the friends I have grown close with over the last year and a half. Why am I putting myself in a position where this could happen?"

I doubt it. I think it's very clear to everyone involved that deleting a player's character is saved only for extreme situations, and that Tweety's case is definitely an extreme situation. As a general rule, do something small and stupid, and the penalty won't be as extreme. Of course, Verant's mileage may vary, but I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe they are overly extreme in this area.

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