March marked several anniversaries for the staff at OOO. While Ye Fresh Hands passed their 4th year as OM and Thalia saw her 2nd, the Blindingly Shiny New Hands, including myself, celebrated our 1st anniversary. I thought it might be fun to look back at what I was doing this time last year. Turns out most of what I was doing was breaking things!
You dirty Modder!
One of the first things I did in training was look up the support history of my own player. I was rather amazed to see a few complaints had been filed against me claiming I was a "modder"! It gave me quite a few giggles, but it also tempered my own feelings as a player to the paranoia of modding. While it certainly exists, I also recognize that most accusations are simply untrue. I certainly never modded!
El Pollo Diablo
Recalling tales of Lizthegrey taking the Black Ship into blockades, the first thing I tried to do was play with it myself! Now, I'm one of those people who learn best in a "hands on" situation. I open a new program and start clicking everything to discover it's function. Ultimately, this occasionally results in rather catastrophic events. My goal was to take the Black Ship into Atlantis and see what trouble I could get into. I thought I took all the precautions to avoid a problem.
Ice is the testing ocean, the place where it's OK if things break! You're testing, and things might break, so better head on over to Ice! The first thing I did was test sailing her. Can I sail? Yep! Can I whisk it back to port if I get in trouble? Yep! So far, so good. Let's start by taking her into a non-sinking Flotilla. I don't seem to be able to order the skellies to do anything. I'll just use half our initial starter moves, and then see what happens, so I know I'll have enough moves to get out of here again! So, we're sailing into the Flotilla, I reach the point where half my initial move tokens are gone, and new tokens magically appear! This is great, let's sail deeper! Those were my famous last words.
Once bilge was full, no more magic tokens appeared and I found myself stuck in the Flotilla, unable to turn around and exit. OMs may have the ability to whisk vessels home, but our ability does not extend to vessels in a battle situation, you see. El Pollo Diablo is now stuck half-way across a Flotilla board, with max carp damage and max bilge, unable to order the skellies to sail to generate tokens, unable to whisk out, and unable to bring any players other than myself on board to sail! Do you know how long it would take one player to generate about a dozen sail tokens on a Grand Frigate with full bilge?
Ok, no problem. Breathe deep. It should just reset if I leave it abandoned long enough, right? So we'll just log off and come back and check in half an hour. Log in, go check, it's still on the Flotilla board. Ru-roh. I'm quite panicked at this point and, much chagrined, explain the situation in our Ocean Master chat to see if any of the more experienced OMs have found themselves here before. None of them have, although they have a good laugh at my expense. Another OM suggests I try summoning the Black Ship elsewhere, to see if that will yank it out of the Flotilla. Off I go to grab my civilian alts and frantically attempt to PvP my lower-rated blue self. I receive the message that the Black Ship has been summoned to take my place, but it doesn't actually show up! Now I've done it. I've broken the Black Ship, and players can freely PvP each other, ignoring might ratings, with no consequence! Surely they'll see the error of hiring me, and I'll have lost my job before I even got started!
In the end, it fixed itself the next time Ice rebooted with no permanent damage except to my ego. I've established a reputation with my fellow OMs as somebody who can not be trusted with shiny buttons. My secret is out, I am a klutz! DeeDee Urkel is my name. What does this button do? Did I do that?
Who you gonna call?
In training, we were all told there was a specific thing that we should be careful to avoid. "If you're doing this, make sure you UN-check this thing here first, otherwise, you'll lock the entire system up. Probably best to just never check that box to begin with, to avoid problems".
When you start a new job, so much information is flying at you, it's inevitable that a few things will fly right by without really registering. The unfortunate part here is how devastating an error that turns out to be! I pressed that button without un-checking the other thing not once, but twice, in two days, and I wasn't even on duty the second time! To give you an idea of the significance of this booch, everything locks up. Players can not send a petition, file a complaint, file a bug report, take a portrait or complete any doubloon transactions, just to start off with. Anything in game is fine, but where the game needs to access the web just fails. From the support side, we're helpless as none of our support tools work.
This problem won't just "go away" on it's own. It requires a developer to fix it. Even if it's 2 o'clock in the morning for the developers. Timidly, I place the first call to Cephalopod. I'm nervous, and don't even know how to identify myself! "Uh, Cephalopod, I mean [realname], it's um, Galene, [playername], I mean um, [realname]. I seem to have um...well I didn't uncheck the button and pressed that other button and um...I'm sorry for waking you, but I seem to have locked everything up." The second time it happened, Bungleton was at lunch and had to rush home to fix it. Now I've established with the players and the developers that I am a klutz!
Excuse me sir, why am I banned?
One of the reasons we have banpleading is that sometimes, we do make mistakes. One night in my first week on the job, a complaint came in for "Scamming". I review the information, and it turns out the person complained was the victim, and the mate who filed the complaint was actually the one trying to scam. I clearly noted in the complaint what my investigation showed and who was actually the guilty party. In my haste to move on, instead of reversing the complaint back to the scammer as I should have, I accidentally banned the person complained as you'd normally do! Fortunately, they knew how to contact banpleading and my error was discovered and reversed, and the player was very understanding about it all. I didn't have a doll at the time, but I did speak with them in game to apologize and promised them my first doll when I did have one. I am a bit saddened that on writing this, I look them up to see how the year has treated them and discover they've been purged.
You've made the list!
The rest of the month involved failing at time conversion and logging in for shifts at the wrong time, encountering problems setting up my brand new computer and moving things over to it, accidentally posting on the forums under my OM account when replying as my civilian player (and nearly outting myself), refunding a player 500 doubloons instead of 500 poe (and their disappointment when I took them back), and trying to figure out if more information was available when clicking the "taint" interface and discovering that clicking it actually just removes the taint, whoops!
Which brings me to my final booch, which is actually the first but was almost the last. Having applied for the position of OM previously and never having been contacted, I really did not expect to have a shot this round of hiring, either. Although I do have strong customer support experience, I'm not as experienced with technical support as I thought the position probably required. Thus after a few weeks of no response, I stopped checking my email. My player logs in one day, and receives a tell from Hypnos that I should probably check my email. Zomg! Sure enough, there is a response requesting to know when I'd be available for interview, and it's almost too late to reply! I did end up setting up an interview, and clearly was hired in the end, but it's a funny story. I almost missed my chance.
I'd like to thank the Academy...
Thank you Hypnos, for poking me. Thank you OOO Rings, for taking a chance on me. Thank you Artemis for letting me interview even though I'd responded quite late. Thank you Demeter for pulling for me. Thank you developers, for not eating me alive when I've called to wake you up, for helping me understand more about the game and how it works and for listening to my suggestions as if I've actually got something important to offer, even if I can't speak your jargon! Thank you to all my fellow OMs for making me feel welcome and part of the family from the start. Thank you players for making me smile, for the little things you do right, even when you think nobody is looking, that restore my faith in humanity. Thank you all for forgiving probably the most klutzy OM you'll ever hire, and letting me stick around :)