The Interview is a little out of date because of scheduling issues between myself and the EMs, Apologies beforehand. It's been over 6 months since our last interview with the Europa EMs (You can read it here) So it was about time I had another. A Short Interview with EM Emile Layne & EM Sarakan Since our last interview One-Eyed Pete’s treasure has been found! Lady Dawn has been crowned Queen of Britannia, We’ve met Queen Zhah from Ter Mur and we’ve discovered and seemingly removed the Orcs that threatened our lands from beneath Britain. It’s been a very fun year having you both as our EM’s so I’d just like to personally thank you! EM Sarakan: Its been fun making up the stories and watching how they pan out. As your first major long term storyline away from the EA stories, Did you enjoy the Orc storyline? Were there any challenges you came across? EM Emile Layne: I loved doing the Orc story. It was pretty diverse; infiltration missions, destroying machines, interrogations and of course plenty of battles! The biggest challenge was translating the story into a series of events that work. EM Sarakan: Actually it was the second. The first sprang out of the Valentine Event 2009 and became the story of Hannah and Dorian which “ended” with the marriage of Hannah and Dorian and Dorian’s subsequent death. As to the Orc storyline it presented a number of challenges – keeping things fresh, keeping things moving, keeping it interesting. Some of those we failed in at times and some we excelled at. Emile came up with some very innovative ideas – the incubator event, the dragon taming event and more and I think they went down well with most of the players. The major drawback with a longer storyline is it ties up a lot of time and can get stale if it goes on for too long and it’s hard to “break out” from one storyline to another. Did I enjoy it? Mostly yes. It would be fair to say the quality and complexity of the events has increased, The event where we destroyed the Orc Incubator Machine looked very complex, How long did it take you to create that, And did you need help from other EMs? EM Emile Layne: That particular event took a lot of time to prepare for indeed. I'm not sure exactly how long but just the design for the Incubator Machine took several hours. It was totally worth it though. Mesanna, the 'boss', helped us a lot with that event as well. EM Sarakan: Complexity yes definitely. That’s born out of experience and Emile’s fantastic grasp of the game mechanics and also the fact that at times we slowed down the pace of events to free-up time to construct more complex events. Our first story arc had us doing 4+ mini-events per week at times which was unsustainable and left little time for writing. As to quality – no I disagree. The quality of events has varied over the past year and sometimes things “work” and sometimes they don’t. Building the false void gate was a very fun event that was impossible to judge in terms of quality. There was zero setup from us just locking down your design etc. Quality is a subjective word that implies comparison and in the case of events it isn’t easy to make that comparison. The events I remember more I suspect range across the entire time of our EM program – what sometimes at the time seems a little dull often becomes a fond memory with hindsight. Compared to early last year, There’s been an overall increase in attendance at events, I would say mainly due to the rewards that are given out, Do you feel you have reached a middle ground between reward and storyline/roleplay? EM Emile Layne: Honestly, I don't think of rewards in terms of balance or as a way to increase attendance. To me the story is most important, rewards are secondary. EM Sarakan: That’s a hard one to answer. I think event attendance has snowballed a little due to returning players looking for something to do and generally the entertainment the events provide is unique in terms of MMOs. Some events are just glorified “hunts” based on a story line which everyone can get involved with and which remind me of my early days of UO exploring and adventuring. Is it down to rewards? At the last “talky” event there were maybe 40 players and only 3 were there for potential loot. That’s quite a crowd to attend and stay at a complete talking event for over an hour so I have to assume most of those players are genuinely interested in the storyline and not the items. Conversely at the gathering in Vesper Market Square I think there were about 60+ players of whom 15-20 were Vesperian or from Kha. That means we probably had a similar amount of players [excluding Vesper and Kha] at an action event. I am not naïve enough to think our story arcs are so wonderful that items are irrelevant or unnecessary and items do bring players to events and this may have been a contributing factor. There has been a lot of involvement with the Roleplay Community on Europa, Such as the Trinsic plagues, Have those been fun for you? And are we going to see Trinsic become engulfed in another of Arysoun Takhista’s Plagues. EM Emile Layne: We love playing with the Roleplay Community! And yes, it'd probably be a good idea for Trinsic to stay on guard. EM Sarakan: We have mostly run in character events and less ooc events more by chance than by design. It’s the way my mind works for sure. No comment (on the trinsic plagues) but the plagues seem to be over now. Nathan Hawke has been acting rather odd lately and has caused worry within the Royal Guard and even with Queen Dawn, What would you like to see happen with Nathan? Do you see a finale for him coming up, Perhaps his death? EM Sarakan: Nathan is a complicated character and he has many layers and many facets to his personality and he essentially gives us [as Ems] the opportunity to explore the middle ground between good and evil. I like to think of him a bit like Dirty Harry crossed with Doctor Who. And no I wont give you any spoilers but some players have spotted some designed flaws and some “un-designed” flaws. A few shards have a coloured lantern placed at Luna Bank which signals an event for that evening, Have you considered trying that? Some people don’t read Stratics or the official Europa EM website. EM Sarakan: We have 125+ players at some events. I think there is enough prior warning via the website and Stratics as it is. If there is a genuine feedback that we don’t use enough tools to spread upcoming events we will address it. Instead of events where an outcome is predetermined, Either we win or we loose, Have you considered events where what we do affects the outcome in the long run? For example, If you remember the Yew Swamps some shards got a swamp, others did not. EM Emile Layne: Long term effects of that magnitude are beyond what we can do as EMs. On a somewhat smaller scale I think you, the players, have had a lot of influence in what happened and how. EM Sarakan: Most of our story arcs have no predetermined ending. But something which affects the whole shard for ever would be very cool and its definitely something we would look into. Thank you both for a fantastic interview, It was hinted in a question about the Easter Event we should keep St Georges Day clear in our diaries.. Before that however if you have a player city you may wish to consider applying for the Player Town Recognition system the EMs have started. You can read the full details by clicking here. Thank you again to both our EMs!