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volunteer EM and why we dont see them any more

Discussion in 'UHall' started by burnttrees, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. burnttrees

    burnttrees Guest

  2. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    We don't see them anymore because some of the volunteers at AOL sued AOL and shortly after a couple that were with UO followed suit.

    The Volunteer program got sued out of existence.

    I'm interested that they are bringing it back, but skeptical that they'll be able to do so.
     
  3. Dol'Gorath

    Dol'Gorath Grand Inquisitor
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    Old news.
    But the fact remains there are still plenty of foreign MMO's that Americans can volunteer in with no problems because they are hosted from a foreign entity.
    Some of these include EVE Online, Anarchy Online, and yes, even UO itself. If you speak Japanese, an American can volunteer for a Japanese shard.

    I am amazed that after all these years EA has not figured out a way to host the programs from EA Japan or something thus escape any problems.

    Also everyone that took part in the class action lawsuit should be banned for life from service if they ever brought back the programs.
     
  4. Kiwillian

    Kiwillian Guest

    EVE Online got rid of their in-game volunteers as well some time ago. I think it was an after-effect of the big corruption scandal that happened.
     
  5. Dol'Gorath

    Dol'Gorath Grand Inquisitor
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    Lame >.>
     
  6. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Or the unfortunate reality that eventually a volunteer workforce will run amok.

    er ... *waves nervously at the most benevolent moderators watching*
     
  7. Pawl

    Pawl Guest

    Whats not posted on any of them sites is what happen after they took all the goodies away. when the counselors said, "fine, back to 6 hr a week then and UO said no fricking way!. you have to keep doin your 40+ and all the extras..

    for 500 a month back then, i would done it also (be lead C ) and still could had a part time job..



    UO/EA could hire some at 7 hr people to work from home..40 hrs a week.. Id sign back up

    I was one only a few Counselors that loved calls to brit bank. yes you got swampped by question from everyone else. But even on my off time, and friends weren't home yet to play, i would log in and go to brit bank and sit, talk, answer question, joke around , have fun..

    hire 20 people 7x40hr 280 x 20 = 5600 x 4 weeks 22300, with taxs emp ins, say 30k? a month. even if theres only 50,000 active accounts x 12.99 thats 649,500.00

    maybe players would come back also knowing there counselors back, doing there jobs..
     
  8. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    So u are asking for new volunteer EMs to run nice events for all there guild freinds/buddies and give em nice end of event stuff for free...

    yes right...LOL!!!!

    ding dong ding dong root toot bling ding
     
  9. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Well..... if it works that way WHY can't the Japanese volunteer to work on AMERICAN shards????? Cause I FOR ONE.... am Ticked off that the Japanese shards HAVE EM type events and WE do NOT..... and I for ONE wish like heck they would either do away completely or give everyone a FAIR shake!!!!! NOTHING torks me off more than what is going on RIGHT NOW with the Japanese shards... AND I think it's high time they STOP it!..... So either find a way to give the same treatment to US shards and all the other shards OR STOP letting them have all that in Japan.......... END of Rant....
     
  10. They brought up EM's at town hall and the official response was that they are definitely keeping them in mind and at some point the Em's and possibly councilors will be back..but for now they are focusing on other things to do with SA.
     
  11. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    But how can any volunteer EM be fair??? unless he as no guild or friends in UO... This would obvoiusly get abused my frinds and guilds of the said volunteer EM like it got abused last time....

    I say no and never again...The ''live'' events are very fair for sure [end]
     
  12. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    In theory, the volunteers were not allowed to be a Counselor, Seer, etc on the shard in which they actually played. (i.e. If I played LS and became a Counselor, I'd have to be one on, say, Baja or Napa)

    Not the perfect solution, but it's how it was done.
     
  13. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    The reason it is gone is rather simple.

    EA had the Councilors working shifts, and because of the recent(then) situation at AoL they thought they could force EA to pay them for it.

    It was greed, no way around that.
    If working shifts was such a problem, they always could have demoted themselves to Companions who were still in the helper program but had no schedules.

    The only valid reson not to have them today is that some of the powers associated with the duties could be exploited, but that is easy enough to fix.

    Just have characters toggle On/Off duty.
    On Duty they cannot cast, attack, be attacked, or use skills that gather resources, etc.
    Toggling the Duty status can only be done in Trammel at the Councilor's Hall. (so they can't turn it on to escape combat in Fel)

    And if they MUST require schedules, payment is easy enough.
    Even a $3 reduction in monthly subscription rate qualifies as paid compensation.

    I would love to be a Companion again myself.

    But for either program to even be needed we need to get new players entering the game. ;)
     
  14. Leto

    Leto Journeyman
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    As a general reply to the seer/EM issue:

    If you feel the need to help new players or organise events, even without 'special powers' there's a lot you can do. Sure it would be nice to have a few extra tools like the old counselor-help-queue or the ability to spawn monsters for an event but with a little ingenuity and dedication you can get around that.

    For example, on Europa we have at least one player who dedicates a lot of his free time to helping new players. He supplies them with some basic equipment and, more importantly, advises them how to train skills and generally play the game. He gets quite a bit of work done without any special tools.

    Another example is my own guild (Europa Auction & Events). Besides the weekly auction we have in the past organised a whole range of games, events and quests. While attendance at most of those events wasn't at EM-level, the quality was. Quests with involved storylines, monsters to defeat and items to obtain. We had theatre-performances more complex then Ricardo's Trail. We even blew up a building before the chain of Magincia events.

    There's so much you can do if you put the tools the game gives you to good use.
     
  15. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    I doubt anyone would dispute they can help without special powers.
    But when there were new players coming in with any frequency, certain of those powers were needed.

    The companion power =hn being the most obvious. Each new player that started went into que automatically, and the =hn sent you to the next UnHelped new player in the list. This way each was visited at least once to be offered help if they chose it, or to simply say "no thanks" and go about their business.

    The only way to accomplish the same now would be to stand at the new-character spawn point and greet everyone who appears, unable to escort one of them to a blacksmith or inn because you might miss the next one. ;)

    Councilors served as a layer between players and GMs. Anything paged for that could simply be Answered was handled by a councilor, and those things passed up to GMs were those that actually required GM intervention, so they actually did something other than spew out bot responces.

    Seers .. wow that was a long time ago. Sure you can gather people and host an event without being a seer, but only seers could change things to accomidate an event. Adding statics, removing spawn, creating unique items, all sorts of things to make things work that couldn't be done by players.

    And of course, if you ever visit WBB on the asian shards, you will probably notice how nice they look compared to ours. Seers could do that sort of thing, but it was frowned upon except for special circumstances.
    Personally I'd love to see some benches and flowering plants in the more common gathering areas.
     
  16. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
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    I feel sorry that you apparently only have known folks with a lack of ethics and morals. Not everyone is like that.
     
  17. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Might I suggest:
    - expand housing system to include custom landscapes and dungeons
    - manipulative spawn points ("spawn generators"?)
    - UNIQUE crafter marks (I think the tone of crafting might change a lot if crafter's marks were unique - it turns everything craftable into a potential collectable).

    I would always prefer tools safe to open to all players than selecting a subset of players with elevated powers.
     
  18. Zym Dragon

    Zym Dragon Seasoned Veteran
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    Unfortunately US Labor laws require adequate compensation, which means minimum wage. So unless Mythic plans on hiring counselors, I don't see how they can return. It's really too bad that a few greedy people ruined this program for everyone else. Some of my fondest UO memories were from being a smurf.
     
  19. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    I can guarantee the last time Em Events were run they were very very abused by friends of the same....

    Whatever!!! LOL!!!! im guessing u go to work on a unicorn in your super ideal real world!!
     
  20. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    Hourly wages only apply to positions which pay - hourly wages. ;)

    Salary positions can pay $0.01 / hour if the employee accepts the job.

    And fee for service can be any amount or any service or condition with a dollar value (such as the reduction in subscription rates).

    None of this really covers the fact that they don't have to play Volunteers anything in the first place though.
    They just have to require anyone volunteering for the program sign an acknowledgement that they will not be paid or in any other way compensated for the time.
    Not exactly the legality version of rocket science.
     
  21. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    This is correct and I think it worked well at the time, but character transfers would probably make it much more difficult if the volunteer programs were revived.
     
  22. Norrar

    Norrar Lore Master
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    give me a waiver to sign and ill do it. :)
     
  23. galefan2004

    galefan2004 Guest

    Thats not the real reason their are not counselors and EMs. That is the scape goat that everyone loves to throw up. The real reason is because EA is to cheap to pay the 20-30 people that they need to make the program minimum wage.
     
  24. galefan2004

    galefan2004 Guest

    I question this seeing how they have made a huge emphasis to pay salary people overtime when they work overtime lately.

    You can't volunteer for a FOR PROFIT period. It doesn't matter if you are doing so willingly or not. Contracts that contradict the law are not valid contracts. EA is obviously for profit, so it can not use volunteer labor.
     
  25. Chad Sexington

    Chad Sexington Lore Master
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    My question is... why does it have to be a volunteer workforce? Just make it a paid workforce. I'm sure UO (and other MMOs) make plenty of money. At least enough to pay a few more people. It's not like they'd be handing out wads of cash.

    :scholar:
     
  26. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    Really?
    So every candy striper in the country is now going to sue the nursing homes they volunteered to work at because those homes are all For Profit? ;)

    There is no law that says you cannot work without pay, nor any law that requires you to pay someone who works for you unless you agreed to it.
    You can volunteer to work for anyone you wish to, as long as they are willing to have you. Whether or not they are a profit organization is irrelevant.

    There are thousands of volunteer programs in the US, and the only 2 I know of that are actually Non-Proffit are Red Cross and Arbor Day. Even the ASPCA is for proffit, and they have thousands of unpaid - scheduled - working volunteers.
     
  27. Mordocuo

    Mordocuo Guest


    In the beginning of the program you are correct--you could not be a counselor on the same shard youplayed. But the last year or so you worked 3 shards at a time and could work the shard you played.
     
  28. Mordocuo

    Mordocuo Guest


    You are correct regarding the corruption that was part of the EM program.
     
  29. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Not every EM played favorites. :/
     
  30. Mordocuo

    Mordocuo Guest


    Let me point out some of the corruption that you feel was limited to a few.

    I saw a GM place a fireplace in a counselors home back in 1998 long before fireplaces came into existance.

    I saw counselors go to dungeons while on duty and scope out parts for future play on thier shards. Instead of answering calls--but as favorites of the SLC they were allowed to not answer calls thier whole shift.

    I used to sit in the counselors IRC channel and listen to Shard Lead Counselors tell others about the exploits they used in house breakins and other exploits.

    I saw counselors help friends on different shards as scouts.

    I saw corruption from IGM's and Seers. That is why they shut down that program. Many of those same seers became EM's--wonder why there continued to be corruption?

    People seem to forget the gm's that made gold for friends and homes and all was sold on ebay for real life cash. Remember the GM that sold several castles on ebay on different shards?

    There were several articles back when this all happened about people sleeping their way to the top--as in SEX. There were also articles about abuse in paying some people and not paying others. Like a lead counselor getting thier son paid as a assistant with no experience.

    Maybe some of the people that post here that were counselors or companions had some good experiences. Yet I saw corruption all over the place.


    How many times did we read after the programs were closed about companions abusing thier powers?


    The system was flawed in many ways, yet people like to remember it as glory days in UO. I quit being a counselor because of the corruption I saw.

    I will ask a question to all you counselor fans out there---do you feel they helped the game of UO as customer service reps for EA/OSI? If so, then by statute, they helped UO with the servicing of thier pay for clients and were not compensated as REQUIRED by law.

    If you don't think they acted as customer service reps that helped the game then you should never complain about GM's not showing up nowdays. Because having someone show up in person should not be worth anything. Because if a person showing up is worth something then counselors were worth being paid, by law.
     
  31. Mordocuo

    Mordocuo Guest


    Maybe you should check you facts.

    1) if you require a schedule of work
    2) if you require reports to be written
    3) if you require missing "x" number of shifts dismissal
    4) if you require attendence at meetings
    you are not having a volunteer you are having an employee

    These were all points in that lawsuit. I am sure that if there was no point of law regarding this-there would have been no settlement by EA. After all they have all those big time corporate lawyers working for them compared to a small time attorney representing the plantiffs.
     
  32. Mordocuo

    Mordocuo Guest


    YOU SIR win the cigar!!!

    Oh but wait, your TEAM can run around the country doing town halls, even go to Japan on thier dime.