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New Community Manager/Representatives for UO?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Tina Small, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    It seems Andy Belford is no longer with Bioware Mythic. He is moving to be closer to family and to pursue a new opportunity. I wonder if we will see any kind of formal announcement from James Nichols or anyone else explaining who UO's "community" people are and/or if Cal will address this in his upcoming dev diary video.

    As far as Warhammer Online goes, apparently James Nichols is moving up to Community Manager and Bioware Mythic is going to hire a Community Manager for the EU players, someone that those players may remember from when another company (GOA) ran WHO in Europe for Mythic.

    Choose Language | BioWare Social Network
     
  2. canary

    canary Guest

    Well... and let's just be honest here... it isn't like his presence was strongly felt here or for the UO community outside of two videos where he played emcee.

    His participation was practically nil with us, so the impact really is nothing to the community imo. Although I do find it slightly curious on the WAR boards there were cries of 'Where's Andy?' as he was missing for weeks, he finally chimed that nothing was wrong and now this.

    So... take that for what you will.

    Again, not like we just lost someone who really cemented their reputation with the UO community.
     
  3. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Who is Andy Belford?
     
  4. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Is he the guy who narrated/hosted in the video shoot- town meetings?
     
  5. canary

    canary Guest

    He was our Community Manager. He did duty on the Mythic games.












    Yes, I'm serious.
     
  6. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    Maybe we should all post over there as James is a MOD on thier forums and then maybe they will visit us over here more often.
     
  7. canary

    canary Guest

    You know, they know we exist. We shouldn't have to beg for attention.

    Besides, spend some time over there. Overall they are pretty much neglected as we are. I find it odd that such kind of behavior is seen as acceptable at Mythic.

    I dunno. Maybe I'm just working for a company that really sets concrete timelines, ensures communication in a timely manner (I have 57 staff who I'm supposed to stay in touch with at 18 sites on an at least weekly basis) and then also tend to the needs of 36 clients at said 18 sites (including meetings, follow ups, and even little things like ensuring someone has toilet paper stocked). Oh, and I do an on call rotation that is 24/7 every few weeks.

    So maybe I'm asking too much for a little bit of quality service and professionalism.
     
  8. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Mugging for the camera is more appropriate. His job was to facilitate communication with the Team, his constantly having to be on camera was annoying and superfluous.




    You are asking too much, as am I. The last several years has been downright pathetic. Communication has gotten worse and worse and worse. Its to the point that even a scrap of a post from them is pounced upon like a t-bone steak thrown to starving jackals. :wall:

    We need another Jeremy or Chrissay.
     
  9. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    I think he was more of the community manager of WAR and DoaC since these are the two communities he mentions on his farewell tweet.
     
  10. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    Not really familiar with him, But I wish him good luck in his future projects.

    May we please have a Binky or Chrissay as a replacement? :p
     
  11. James_Mythic

    James_Mythic Guest

    Hey folks,

    Firstly - No, I'm not moving to be solely on Warhammer. I have been working on UO, Warhammer, and DAoC to some extent or another since I started here four years ago.

    The good news is this doesn't mean communication is going to get worse, and I agree in some cases that it has definite room for improvement.

    UO has become a priority to me in the past year and I continue to learn new things everyday from reading these boards and working with the team. The team here on Stratics has also been great in helping to identify and communicate issues you share, and providing priceless insight into this truly unique community.

    Ultima Online is very important to the studio and EA, and a hallmark of the industry. It's an honor to be a custodian of this storied franchise and I assure you the entire team feels the same.

    Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them :)

    Thanks,
     
  12. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Thanks for jumping in the thread so quickly, James.

    Couple of questions for you that seem like they should fall in your realm of expertise:

    - Are you going to handle UO all by yourself or will you have help? Who will cover for you when you're out on vacation, etc.?

    - Do you have any information on when we can expect to see the "dev diary" video or is that entirely Cal's project at this point?

    - What are the plans for the official UO website? Should we expect to go there even less in the future for information about UO and rely more and more on sites like Stratics, or do you ever anticipate it once again becoming a source of valuable and up-to-date information? If the answer is that we should plan on getting the bulk of our information about UO from third parties, are there any plans on the part of the UO team to facilitate sharing reliable and current detailed game information with people like Petra Fyde for the purpose of populating information databases (e.g., the creatures database)? Every patch and publish note that is posted seems to be sketchier than the last one and full of ever more misspellings and inconsistencies, thus making it more difficult than ever to consider them a reliable source of information, especially if you are tasked with collecting and posting useful information about the game.

    - Do you have any plans to resurrect any type of scheduled communication with UO players such as the Five on Friday feature? And do you have any insight into why the Ask the Devs forum seems to have failed and is there anything you can do to help get it going again? And by getting it going again, I mean more than a very occasional post that's really just a thinly disguised preview of some upcoming addition or change. Is there anything you can do to make sure the devs, designers, engineers, producer, and assistant producer check it regularly for new questions, go through the backlog of questions that has built up by now, and actually post some interesting, educational, and/or thought-provoking replies?

    Thanks, James.
     
  13. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    What Tina Small said X 10 quadrillion
     
  14. Here

    [​IMG]


    Take one and pass out the rest ....rolleyes:
     
  15. James_Mythic

    James_Mythic Guest

     
  16. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    I wish Andy the best as he heads towards new opportunities. Andy was not just another mug behind the UStream camera, and while he dealt mainly with the other two titles he was always very gracious when we talked. He has a good background in gaming and I hope continues to enjoy it wherever he goes.

    In the meantime, we'll be here supporting the community and helping wherever needed to communicate the needs of the players to James and anyone else brought on board the UO dev team.

    *packs a picnic basket of goodies for Andy with a note of thanks*
     
  17. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Wow! Don't know about anyone else, but even if I might not be happy with everything you said, I'm very very pleased that you provided some honest and informative answers, James. Not more dancing around issues or "answers" that are not answers but just something to fill up space. Thank you.

    I suspect people like Petra, JC the Builder, Flutter, Lord Chaos, and several others who run UO fan sites can tell you more precisely what kind of detailed and accurate information about UO it has been difficult to gather and post in information databases. The unanswered questions that have piled up in the Ask the Devs forum since its inception should give you a really good idea of what the average UO player (if there is such a thing) wants to know. If you can't access the questions that were submitted there in the past, would you please be kind enough to speak up so people can either resubmit their questions or Petra can help you retrieve the backlog?

    Two more questions for now. What will the European Community Manager's role be with respect to UO?

    And do you have any particular plans with respect to maintaining and perhaps doing something more with UO's Facebook page? I know EA's recently jumped on the Facebook platform and wondered if that might extend into doing something with Facebook to promote its currently available MMOs to prospective customers and/or facilitate things like paying for your UO subscription or "gamecode store items" with Facebook credits. Is there anything you can share with us about that possibility? I'm not into playing games on Facebook, but suspect quite a few of your UO customers might be and they might be interested in other ways to pay for their UO "fix."
     
  18. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    James, had a thought about something you might be able to implement fairly easily into the website.

    Sometime in the last year or so, Sarsmi kicked off a thread here in UHall to gather tips for new and returning players and then graciously gathered and sorted the replies. I remember that when I started playing UO (with the Samurai Empire box), there was a little booklet in the box that included some tips for new players. Maybe using that thread, you could fairly easily generate something/anything to supplement the New Player Guide on the official website. Here's a link: http://vboards.stratics.com/uo-players-corner/136673-uo-tips.html. A user's guide for the Enhanced Client might also be very valuable and help shove returning players in that direction.

    I think that before Jeremy left, she had made a good start on updating the web site, but as you mentioned, it's really languished in the last couple of years. But it IS the site that new and returning players are most likely to check first for current information. Therefore, I think if you are looking to spend any time on at all on cleaning up the website, you should do so by thinking of what information new and returning players are most likely to look for. The UO Players Corner forum here on Stratics is a good place to get a feel for those questions and their answers.
     
  19. James_Mythic

    James_Mythic Guest

    The new guy is still getting familiar with UO, but in the future he'll be able to provide a much more direct level of communication for our French and German speaking players and across all our brands improve our ability to communicate with everyone.

    As far as Facebook goes - the page is definitely going to be used more, generally as a place for current and former players to stay up to date on UO and share their experiences, with the occasional teaser of what's to come. The Herald and Stratics for the foreseeable future will remain the places we go for serious or important communication.

    As far as other offerings facebook is getting involved in I don't have any information at this time, but likely we'll need to update the account management system before we look into options such as these. Absolutely though we'll look into viable options for bringing our games to more people (or make paying for them easier).

    One last note on the Ask the Devs - generally around the time of a new, significant publish the submissions blow up. This makes it difficult for me to keep up with the new questions as well as filter through old ones that may no longer be relevant because of the update. We generally try to focus on questions about a publish first as well, as obviously these are the most immediately relevant to current discussion. If I don't get to your question between publishes, you should feel free to resubmit it just don't spam :)

    Thanks Tina!
     
  20. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Would it be helpful for him if some of our European players posted their language preferences and information about any non-English fan sites they use? Maybe you could also give us an update on what's going on in terms of approving or maintaining approval for a UO fan site and having it listed on the official website.

    Are there any plans to provide community support for players in Taiwain and Korea?
     
  21. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Final edits, very soon... Any chance of a general timeframe on that?
     
  22. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    Thanks for your input James. By the way, was Andy also the guy who did the development videos for Warhammer Online, the ones with the "stabbity stabbity" tagline?
     
  23. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    EVERYTHING that gets posted to Facebook need to be posted to the Herald. Don't assume that the players want to use a social networking site, but DO assume that we want to remain informed.

    Post it to the Herald FIRST, then post it to Facebook. Even the silly things.

    Missteps like posting the latest game codes store items there first... Then releasing them.. THEN mentioning it on the Herald reflects very poorly on Mythic.

    Herald first. Facebook last.



    This is of such low priority that it shouldn't even be on the horizon of the Team's issue radar. Work on fixing glaring bugs and making the game more newb friendly first, then think about lame Facebook gimmicks.
     
  24. Hunters' Moon

    Hunters' Moon Grand Inquisitor
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    *Points sternly at the "Ask the Devs" forum* Try starting there.
     
  25. Magdalene

    Magdalene Stratics Legend
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    I think I like you... :mf_prop:
     
  26. Prime.

    Prime. Sage
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    I'll take Draconi back over anyone first. :heart:
     
  27. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Apples and oranges.

    Martyna cited those two because they were the community people. Draconi talked to us but he wasn't the community guy.

    -Galen's player
     
  28. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Thank you, James, for responding in this thread (multiple times I might add).

    Communicating with us may have its drawbacks but it's better than the alternative, for two reasons.

    First of all, we will often read more into things than we should, lacking other information. (Our more negative instincts have proven correct just often enough that the habit's very hard to break, and in fact we may never be broken of it fully.)

    And secondly, UO is a unique sort of MMO. As Cal said during a video conference some time ago, it is an experience as much as a game. We have to be excited about it to play it, and the more we play it, the more likely we are to do things like buy stuff from the site and open more accounts and make you all more money. And the less likely we are to decide to take 6 months off and let the accounts (and hence your revenue stream) lapse in the interim.

    Two of the things that can get us excited to play are:

    • regular content and fiction that's proofread,
    • and regular communication on the boards and UO.com.

    Not every UO player reads Stratics or another forum, in fact most don't, but those that do have a ripple effect. And basically every UO player checks UO.com periodically. They actually have every right to expect it's a good idea to look there first.

    -Galen's player


     
  29. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    I second this. Players should absolutely not be required to go to Facebook in order to get the latest news. The assumption that everyone uses Facebook is a dangerous one that some companies seem to be making.
     
  30. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    It was previously stated that the final version of the video would be released this week, so take that for what it is worth.
     
  31. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    Chrissay was cool, even tho I hassled her sometimes.
    And flame away gang, but I'm gonna tell ya straight up, you want real coms, put Wilki back in there. Liked him, respected him, he got in my shorts a few times, but I needed it :mf_prop:

    He pretty much told it like it was, and if ya got ****ty with him he gave as good as he got. And he certainly wasn't bashful about it. No one had to ask "who was Wilki" when he left!:lol:


    A frequently posting community person, not afraid to shoot from the hip, and not afraid to dish it out when they take it, that's what we need! Talk straight up to us and lay off the disclaimers. You guys do what I used to do to my kids when they were asking for something, my stock response was "That's a definite Maybe!" The players here have outgrown that.
     
  32. Skrag

    Skrag Visitor

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    Who are you?

    No really, I had assumed the entire "community" program for UO had been terminated at some point before I came back to the game most recently. There is NO COMMUNICATION AT ALL.

    Hey you guys, did you know that the High Seas crafting grind that's been screamed about is probably being streamlined in Publish 71? A developer cheerfully and casually told me as much in a PM weeks ago, so I assume it's not secret information. But nobody knows it who didn't ask.

    Holy crap, I have now done a better job of facilitating developer/player communication than any EA community guy I've (not) seen since I came back to the game. Paycheck please.
     
  33. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Ok.... first off..... don't care that Andy is leaving not like he did diddly squat for UO as is... Certainly wasn't into our community.

    Secondly I'm going to agree with Martyna on this one... I don't do facebook, never have, NEVER will. That's a guarantee... so whatever is getting posted there MUST be put onto the Herold FIRST.

    And something I'm not sure ANYONE touched on.... but for crying out loud PLEASE update the stuff on the log in. A vast majority of players won't go to any website. uo.com or Stratics or any other for that matter... but EVERYONE sees the log in page... and if they are too stupid to read what is posted there then that's their tough cookies... but at least you could argue that the information was indeed right before their eyes.

    Secondly....... you know that log in screen could also be a place for you to put links and reminders to folk so they can find up to date info..... direct them to Stratics and UO Guide... These sites are filled with useful information.

    And finally while I know being a public figure and community person can be tough and you need a thick skin and a fire retardant suit.... don't give up. I know often it seems we are harsh and crude about things but remember we are still playing after all these years because we REALLY do care about the Game...... and we love it. So if we are harsh it's because we care and we want UO to improve.

    And finally on that note please remember that we have also been through dozens of community people.... tons of age old rhetoric and excuse after excuse about things and we get very tired of hearing things like "Soon" "It's a known issue" "We are looking into it"..... "We'll get back to you on that"..... and never hearing anything more about stuff without constant prodding on our part. We are like Horton... we never forget.... since we are a collective like the Borg somewhere, sometime one of us has a pet peeve that we just don't drop so it never gets forgotten. And quite a few of us who are left in the game are the ancient diehards that just keep great logs of things.

    If you want to know about bugs or anything trust me each and every one of us could probably write a ten page list of things that we feel needs fixing.

    And we could also add another 10 page list of things that we feel could be improved.

    As far as the website goes one thing that seriously needs to be improved and fixed is the guild/character listings. I always liked MYUO and kinda miss it.


    Anyway thanks for posting and not being a stranger James.
     
  34. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Agreed.
    And UO was just another job for "Jeremy"
     
  35. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    Just to reiterate what a few other posters said, I don't have Facebook and never will.

    If you are posting stuff, any stuff, only on Facebook, that's just lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. What the hell is the Herald for then?
     
  36. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    As far as I can tell, only the short video clip was exclusive to facebook, in the main the facebook pieces have the footnote
    in other words they're simply rss feeds from uoherald, in the same way as we have rss feeds of the same information.
     
  37. T'Challa

    T'Challa Certifiable
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    X2

    Wilki did more for this community than any other CSR I've seen, other than perhaps Sannio...
     
  38. T'Challa

    T'Challa Certifiable
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    Also...

    I check Facebook a hell of a lot more than the Herald. Info posted there will get to me 100X faster than UOH...

    Just sayin' everyone's different is all. And Petra has the right of it, most UOFB posts are simply RSS'ed from the Herald anyway...
     
  39. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Almost every new MMO out there has a FB page where they highlight little trinkets of fun info, player submitted art, contents meant for FB users ect. I know because of the Rift, Aion, Blizzard (ect) feeds that I subscribe to.

    This is following that same template and a way to bring UO up to date that many complain isn't out there. Marketing has also changed. It's almost the CM's job to market the product anymore.

    If James, Cal or Mesanna want to host a FB contest or highlight a blooper reel to capitalize on the FB frenzy I say more power to them! It does not mean the important stuff gets passed over and not included on the Herald. It's just another area where once again you gotta find the balance and make sure the entire community is aware of important announcements from the Herald and still have fun with another marketing tool.
     
  40. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    All the FB talk aside, I do want to say this has opened up some great talks with James about what the UO community needs. Thanks Tina for respectfully addressing it where it allowed for open conversation.
     
  41. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    I'm very surprised that the roleplayers community posts so negatively about the use of FB as a communication tool. As of the time of this writing there are less than 20 "likes" required to have a pool of 9K in readership.

    Okay so you don't FB that's cool, but I could swear the RP folks were all about growing community. How you gonna do that if we insist on only informing a small percentage of the current playerbase all of the time, much less try new things to reach folks that have never played before?

    Lots of companies are making big moves over the next six to twelve months to increase their exposure on social media platforms, and it is no longer the newcomers, actually there are a geometric expansion of titles from long standing game distribution companies coming. I'm not gonna rah rah sis boom bah this one, I have stuff RL and nothing has really compelled me to log in in three or four weeks now, but the idea to offer products and services for UO as part of a larger EA presence accepting FB credits for purchases makes a TON of sense, especially if we are eyeing a FTP model with any seriousness.

    Thanks Tina, and a BIG thanks to James for stimulating the conversation and joining in in a meaningful way respectively.

    Oh, heh, and James while you are at it bug someone for a chance to achieve or purchase Crimson dyes for me, please.
    [​IMG]
     
  42. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Whats this UO facebook page? Im a member of the "Ultima Online" group, with like 1300 members, but was looking for what people seem to be talking about and couldnt find anything.
     
  43. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    https://www.facebook.com/UltimaOnline?ref=ts

    Try that.
     
  44. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Just an FYI--That link works even if you don't have a Facebook account or don't happen to be logged into your Facebook account. You just can't post any comments or give a "thumbs up" to anything.
     
  45. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Neither of you appear to comprehend the backlash to Facebook, or you completely glossed over what people have said.
    Yes, lots of companies have FB pages… Every MMO that I can think of has one as well. HOWEVER, they also have their own websites that they don’t neglect.

    Mythic can use FB for news, promotions, whatever. BUT they need to utilize the Herald FIRST. Post the news, contests, videos, pics, etc on the Herald and then post it to FB. So far, there have been several postings to the UO FB page that never made it to the Herald – or obviously only did so as an afterthought. (game codes items, blooper reel, etc)

    I’m not slamming their use of FB to “grow the community,” I’m slamming it due to their shoddy ability to inform the entire p(l)ayer base about things in a timely manner. We know that not everyone reads Stratics or FB. The only place p(l)ayers should be expected to go for news is the Herald (which should logically cross post to the patch window as Malag said). Every other UO site they visit is gravy.

    Everything postedto the Herald first, then Facebook. It’s neither a difficult, nor unreasonable expectation. (If every piece of news from Mythic is on the Herald, then all the players can reasonably be expected to know where to go. Only their (the players) own laziness will stop them.)
     
  46. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Actually through the use of magical RSS feeds of vanquishing, if a post gets made to the Herald splash, it should be able to migrate to all other subscribed fan sites or pages of its own volition.

    You didn't exactly address the use of other forms of payment (FB credits), for which they could still post content to the herald and it would roll out to the far corners of the earth from there. And there might be some contractual stuff for exclusivity that would go along with that. (You never know)

    I think you are completely right about all content showing up on some portion of the Herald first and foremost, but obviously the patcher(s) do not take content directly from there. Would make good sense to see the most current rash of news on the patch window.
     
  47. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    I didn't address it because I don't really know how it works. However, I am leery of using such a system. 3rd party 'payment' systems, presumably for in game items or IRL trinkets, would basically make having a FB account a requirement for a UO player (assuming they were exclusive).

    Then we get into a similar situation like we did with the Spring Decor tokens when they were originally released. A Japan exclusive item that US/EU p(l)ayers literally had to beg to be able to purchase. (A process which took months)

    Let's not go down that road again. Use FB for crossposted news and 'marketing exposure,' but under no circumstances should they even approach making it virtually required.
     
  48. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Yep, good point(s). I don't think there is anything solid here yet, jsut an agreement to accept the credits as an option among payment methods for games being design specifically for that market, at least at this time.

    I continue to await Bioware making their presence felt in the realm of Mythic entertainment. Their name is included in the FB contract but I think they are very busy with projects of their own that are due to release in '11.
     
  49. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    If James is reading, and since it looks like all mythic related FB pages acquire better than 90 percent of their news via RSS, just wondering if the Bioware FB page https://www.facebook.com/BioWare?ref=ts&v=wall can be used in this same manner?

    All titles for Bioware Mythic are logo-ed on the page, but content seems to be individually posted as opposed to being "fed". No idea what their S.M. strategy is, but thought at 120k in viewership it might be worthwhile to see what it would take to garner some of that exposure.

    ;-)
     
  50. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    As far as Facebook goes Facebook forces you to use your "real name".... and all that other information I'd prefer to keep to myself... in a day and age of folk having huge issues with stolen identity and Identity theft and all that I really have ZERO desire to have anyone look up my information on Facebook...

    In order to do anything on Facebook besides read the tiny little bit that is "public" you need to have a Facebook account..... I'd rather have brain surgery. Hell I'd rather get a lobotomy....

    My daughter has facebook and I'm constantly fielding questions about why she posted this or that there... My sister has Facebook and I really don't care to tell anyone what is on my mind... about my day or anything of that nature... I prefer to keep my RL private.

    If everyone else want's the world to know what they did last saturday that's their business..... but I don't care for any of that. I'd rather my friends called me.... or god forbid.... came over and visited not posted some crap on my facebook.