Salutations, blogovores. Have you had a good week? I have. I've played the foraging puzzle — may the Flying Spaghetti Monster help me when it hits the production oceans. "Gaea! Answer my petition!" "In a minute, mate, I'm making monkeys dance!"
I can see that going down really well when the poor OM who is on after I am asks where all the backlog came from. Really.
I've also been interested to read the forum thread on the competitions and to get the petitions that pirates have sent in. There's a lot of interesting questions being asked there, as well as some very interesting points being raised. Mostly, though, it's been really cool to see people get that excited over something.
Onwards! This post does not contain an answer to a question. In fact, it is the last Question of the Week Blog Post (at least, the last scheduled one). There will be other blog posts from me, because this really is a blast, but I think the QOTW thing has run its course. It was a portrait of the Oceanmaster As A Newbie, and, while I'm still new, and still learning, I think I've now worked up to cruising speed. It has been approximately five months now since I was told "you've got the job, by the way" (exact words. I think they're etched into my brain with acid.), and now I'm pretty sure I get the job, even though I know I still haven't experienced all aspects of being an OM yet; there are a few jobs within oceanmastering which tend to be done by more experienced OMs, such as banpleading. Haven't done that yet. I'm still go running to my colleagues with "hey guys, how does THIS work? How about this? What would you do here?"-type questions, but to be honest, I've had jobs for years and still asked things like that the day before I left them. Not as often as when I was completely new, but I would still rather ask than get it wrong. It's easier to do research and ask around than it is to fix something after you've booched it!
One thing which has been kind of neat about my introductory period has been having three other people doing the same thing. Cronus, Hera, Galene and I have all started from the same place, and it's cool to see how we synchronize and how we differ. We all find different things very satisfying — one person loves to play detective and puzzle out whodunit when there's a theft, another is the bane of every scammer's life, and I quite like out the little mechanical foibles of the game. ("My shoppe is set up like x. Why on earth can't it do y?" is a good one. "What happens if I set myself as a roommate in my shack?" was another one %mdash; of course I immediately moseyed on over to my shack to find out!) I do find it satisfying to turn my banzooka on someone who has been stealing accounts, but it doesn't give me that special thrill that solving a non-urgent puzzle through experiementation does. (As opposed to "There's a blockade and I can't set a jobbing offer! HALP!" — that's a wee bit more stressful as it's understandably time-sensitive.)
QOTW has been fun for me, and I'm going to enjoy looking back on it. Part of my OM application was, as requested, a letter describing my Puzzle Pirates experience, and it was shocking how much I didn't remember. I knew the vague arc: this was me as a cabin person, discovering my One True Puzzling Love (which is not the same as it is now!), here was the first time I jobbed in a blockade and got really, really confused as to what was going on, here was me wondering how the heck everyone else was chatting while puzzling, here was me becoming an officer, here was the person who gave me the Grand Tour of the officer butans on a ship, here was my first pillage, here my first PVP.
QOTW has given me something I can look back on when I am old and cynical, and I'll be able to remember my wide-eyed idealism and optimism and why I love my job. Because I do love it. I had a petition the other day asking (oh look, a question after all!") "is being an OM a good job?", and the answer was something along the lines of "YES!", only slightly more detailed and professional sounding. I've met a whole load of piratepeople I would likely never have met otherwise. I've heard a lot of terribly marvellous jokes. I've run events which have made me feel slightly guilty, because I'm sure the participants are supposed to be the ones having the fun, and here I am having the time of my life checking out entries and thinking up appropriate prize lists.
I hope you guys have enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I think I'll end by answering the question I really do feel like I get asked the most via petitions: No. No, poker is not hacked or programmed to favor certain people. The cards are distributed randomly. Honest.