Same Questions for Andy Belford on the Community Team As Andy walked late into the Salty Dog after James and I downed a few pints, I found it easier to just slide the ale stained parchment in front of him while we went a few rounds with darts. Andy would have to wait until another time to join in on the mongbat fun. *BULLSEYE!* (Yes, I’m that good…) Let’s start by asking what your specific title is and your duties with this new community team: I’m a Community Coordinator here at Mythic Entertainment, however, as James said, that only scratches the surface on describing what our responsibilities entail. We’re moderators, mediators, video producers, content managers, Ombudsmen, the list goes on and on. Much like our peers in the Community sector we’re jacks of all trades who are required to wear many varied hats (some with feathers!). Secondly, do you play Ultima Online or have you in the past and what is your take on this older mmo? To be honest, I haven’t played UO in a looooong time. What I can say is that UO is what I consider to be part of my foundation of MMORPG gaming. I’ve been an online gamer since my formative years and I would consider UO to be a part of that. While I would say that I dipped my toes in the pool with UO, I really dove headfirst with Asheron’s Call back in 1999. My other online gaming experiences include many, many, many MMO’s, years of online FPS’s (played CS league for awhile and pretty much every casual game I can get my hands on (Farmville is the debbil). What is your background with EA Mythic? I started right around the Launch of WAR last September. The past year has been a definite trial by fire and I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons during that time. With all the recent changes what do you hope to accomplish with the UO community? UO is a game built on tradition. I say Tradition because anytime you have a community of players with a built in legacy as strong and as well known as UO’s, there is a strong tradition that goes along with it. The development team of UO also has a strong tradition of being one of the most communicative and open teams in the MMO development field. This is something that we are immensely proud of and try to exemplify in our other titles. What I’m hoping to accomplish with UO is to embrace this tradition while rethinking some of the more standard community content formats. I’m currently working on some new social media initiatives involving all three games, UO, DAoC and WAR, which will hopefully be a fresh and, at the same time, respectful new way of reaching out to our communities. Who will be taking on the role of the main line of communication between the UO player base and the dev team? As I said before, we’re extremely fortunate to have a development team that cares so deeply about the community that they make the game for. The community team is more than happy to continue supporting the development team in their day to day interaction with the players. Finally, are there any thoughts you would like to personally share with the UO players as this community team takes on Ultima Online? As a genre, MMORPG’s owe a LOT to the UO community. There have been many respected Community professionals that have come from the UO community in one way, shape or form. Today’s modern MMO landscape has evolved to be what it is largely because of the contributions of Ultima Online and the community surrounding it. I am honored to be entrusted with this legacy and only hope to be able to live up to what it represents in the future. Thank you Andy for sharing a bit of your background and future plans and we hope to introduce both you and James to a great UO experience.