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EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia part I

Discussion in 'Entropia News' started by Lykke TheNun, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    [IMGALIGNLEFT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/banner1_363295.jpg[/IMGALIGNLEFT]They are standing in their blue/purple uniform-looking outfits, waiting for the expected newbies to come along asking them questions big and small about Entropia Universe. They do not mind the endless flow and maybe even the continous answering of the same kind of questions over and over again. They are extended guides on duty!

    The guides we meet are Alice, Jack and Chris. There are a lot more guides in the extended guide program, but we meet 3 of them today and they are spending a little time replying to our questions - maybe as a little break from the ususal stuff they are being asked about.

    Alice in Wonderland is 27 and has been playing for almost 5 years. "I kind of was pulled in by a CounterStrike clan", Alice smiles. "Not that I ever really played CS, but a friend who did got me into the clan and also pulled me into EU, or PE back then".

    Jack Ancient O'Neill, 26 years old and active in game since 2006 nods and replies "Yes, I also got introduced to the game by a friend who I worked with at the time. But it was the real cash economy which kept me interested in the game".

    Finaly Chris Aandar Shank, 31 years old and 3 years in game, drops in: "I also got attracted by the real cash economy".

    They all seem to have different interests in the game and also focus on different professions. Alice is a swordsman and likes to hunt, while Jack also likes to hunt, but in PVP4 and around the rig. It seems funny: on one hand pk'ing when 'playing' and on the other hand he is being a huge help for the community. He did some crafting for a while, as well, but lost too much money. Lastly, Aandar chose a different road in the Universe as a sweather and a trader.

    All 3 have been mentoring before they joined the guide programme. "I actually had over 60 genuinely graduated disciples (no second avatars, and no farming, so actually helping them, etc, I take mentoring pretty seriously)", Alice tells us. Aandar also mentored a few people officially before becoming a guide: "None of them finished their discipleships", he continues, "but a lot of newbies also got help unofficially and some of them still play actively without depositing".

    "I was mentoring and helping people at Port Atlantis a long time before I became a guide", Jack explains, "and about 7 of them actually graduated. But of those who graduated none of them play regulary and most of them have already quit". His face gets a serious look. "I missed mentoring so much and decided to become a guide. I still talk to people today who thank me for helping them when they first started". Jacks face turns into a smile and Alice continues, "I would like to point out first that we are normal players, we don't work for FPC/MA nor do we get paid. And we did quite the same we do now before any official guide program existed, often standing around newcomer zones and helping new arrivals, or helping newbies otherwise". She holds a small break and continues, "uhm, I didn't apply or anything, but i got asked to help newcomes as I did pretty much all the time before, just a bit more official, which I found interesting".

    Aandar looks at us with a big grin, "I don't know. I am just a nice and helpful guy, I guess"

    If you wish to help out newbies it sounds awesome that you can guide them on a semi-official level, but I was wondering about how they became a guide, since I did not personally see any job advertisings or threads from MindArk asking interested people to sign up.[IMGALIGNRIGHT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/guide_alice_tic.gif[/IMGALIGNRIGHT]

    "Simon the Guide sent me a PM about the guide program", Alice starts, "and he asked if I was interested to act as guide during the SGA peroid!". "It was basically a question on EF by Simon who would like me to join so here I am ...". Jack continues. "Yeah, I wasn't a member of the first guide program, which I was quite disappointed about, but when I heard of the 2nd program, I immediately applied to join it. I found out about it because I knew the other guides".

    "To me it came naturally", Aandar says, "One day one of my good friends told me that Simon the Guide is looking for me to talk to me about some secret project. Simon asked me if I was interested in joining a group of players who would help newbies a little bit more officially. I said something like: "I would need to know more details, but for now I will not say no" lol", Aandar grins.

    Alice is one of the guides who is also known for her very helpfull tutorials found on the forums, "Ah yes, I wrote a guide and some parts of it I posted in forums here and there when I thought they were needed. You may find the main guide as a PDF here and I also wrote a smaller quick guide recently to be found here. Jack and Aandar did not make any tutorials, but link to the different useful websites instead.

    I wondered what is most important in a job as a guide. Since you are dealing with people new to the universe, you must naturally have the ability of socializing but also know nearly everything about the game. "Yes, good knowledge about the basics a newcomer would need to know (controls, keymapping, sweating) and patience to explain it several times (to different people or the same person as well) is vital", Alice looks at Jack who continues, "I believe the most important thing for me as a guide is that new players get the same experience I had when I first started. Maybe not quite the same because I arrived at New Oxford when I started and back then there were no guides or anybody to help. With there being no tutorial to speak of, it's important that I try and give new players a taste of what they can expect to see in Entropia. It is easy for them to run around the starter area and to think this is all the game offers".

    "And you get much in return on a personal level", Alice explains, "I like to see the people stick around. For example we had some events where we gave tp-run clothes or pvp clothes out (a special colored set compared to the normal newbie clothes) and it always makes me smile when I see people are wearing it", she smiles and look as if she is watching them at this very moment.

    Aandar points with his finger towards me, "so called 'Ice Breaking' is important. By this I mean making newbies talk and ask questions. It also requires coolness to withstand some occasional verbal abuse without returning the fire". Alice and Jack looks at him and nod.

    Jack says, "It gives me alot of personal satisfaction. Obviously you come across certain people who make you wonder why you bother to do it, but most people are generally thankful for the help you give them. It also makes me very proud to be a guide". Aandar can't really describe the feeling of being a guide, "It just feels nice to help people", he says and shrugs.

    "I spend around 2 hours per day guiding, which I call my 'shift'". Alice looks impatiently around. "At the moment I usually am around from 18:00 to 20:00 MindArk time, but if I have lots of newbies or questions I stay longer. The time was chosen by me, though apart from the guiding times itself, we also organize some events, which typically tend to take 1 to 2 hours (which is partially additional to my "normal shift")". Jack and Aandar share that they spend between 1 to 6 hours a day, depending whether it's a weekday or weekend.

    "Sometimes it can be difficult", Jack explains, " because I am in a top 10 society. My soc mates are off killing Daspletors while I am here helping new players. But it isnt as if I have to go from being a guide to a normal player, I am a guide all the time :p. Even when I am out of my guide clothes I have new players pming me asking questions. So really I will always be a guide, even when the guide program has finished!". "Yeah, me too", Alice chimes in. "If a newcomer asks me a question, I answer it, no matter if I happen to wear the guides clothes or am on my shift. It is business as usual so to speak".

    [IMGALIGNLEFT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/simoneandemma.gif[/IMGALIGNLEFT]"After the guide program I will also keep visiting the NAZ in Port Atlantis, so I can hang out with my friends", Aandar tells us. "Of course not being a guide will not affect my helpful nature".

    "It doesn't matter", Alice says. "My soc mates are for example pretty much used to me spending time with newbies on mentoring etc, so it is quite normal". Jacks face turns into a huge smile, "Hehe, most of my soc mates reacted positively and some called me a noob, but I got my own back by killing them in PVP, so that is ok. Not all of my friends and soc mates know I am a guide, I dont go around broadcasting it. In fact, with being a guide, comes alot of responsibility to act in the proper way".

    I wonder if they would know after this interview, when Aandar suddenly laughs and says, "Heh... my soc is not a real soc - only me and about 33 inactive players. I'm keeping it alive just to be a GENERAL ! Hahahaha".

    All 3 agree that the most common questions are "How do I earn money", "What do I do" and "How do I start" - in different variations. Jack says, "Most new players think that money will just fall from the trees". Aandar bursts out in laugher again, "I also get the question 'Why am I walking towards the camera when I press W?'".

    "I remember when we had the newcomer wave after Crystal Palace sold". Alice looks at Aandar, "I felt stressed at that time. It was a lot of typing. The Port Atlantis server became too full and newcomers were instead rerouted to Treasure Island castle more than ever before. It was very busy times compared to normally!"

    Aandar stares back at Alice. "Actually, the most stressful thing that can happen to me is standing in a group of 10 newbies who will not say a single word to me, not even a "hi". Makes me think I might be wasting my time". His comment made me wonder if the newbies even knew how to type and maybe that was their problem!

    Jack explains, "The only time it gets stressful is when I see new players begging! That is one of the things that really annoys me. But I never get tired of helping people who thank you for it". (Note from Editor: GIEV PEDS).

    [IMGALIGNRIGHT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/first-steps.jpg[/IMGALIGNRIGHT]Some newbies suddenly make their way towards the guide group and I step a little back to watch the scene. After a brief chat, some of them continue to the tp and off they go. I wonder if there ever were some special moments to remember when interacting with so many different people.

    Aandar grins and nods. "There are many such moments! The most recent one I remember is: Newbie (F): "Tell me how I can strip for you and I'll do it, since you are so kind". Alice looks at Aandar as if she could not believe what she just heard. "I believe the best thing so far was the bridge of death event! We all had a blast, literally. Basically it was a run over the new oxford bridge to a gap between 2 hills towards TI city. First in finishing would win something and we had several runs with some friendly people shooting grenades and rockets at the newcomers to make it a bit more interesting".

    Jack nods, "Yeah, The Bridge Of Death event was quite cool. I remember us thinking that we weren't going to have enough firepower to kill enough of the new players as we only had a limited number of gifts. About 50 new players showed up for the event. The first round started and we all started blasting away and it turned out that we killed everyone before they even got half way along the bridge, lol. Eventually we got it right and enough players lived to claim prizes. We had enough prizes for about 7 rounds".

    "Sometimes it really helps to be patience", Alice explains. "Especially if you have to explain things more than once and often over the same day, or to pass the hours when no newcomers arrive. Being kind is a good thing, too". Jack doesn't quite agree. "I wouldnt say you have to be patient; I am a very impatient person. You just have to be dedicated and willing to help people. For me it is quite an important job as there are so few of us guides and so many people who want to be one".

    Another newbie comes running over and I have a feeling that the interview might be taking a bit more time than planned, but the guides do not seem to mind much. They are used to be answering and typing, though about other things of course. I ask if they work together with other services in the EU community. Alice begins: "We mostly work together with the Entropia Tour Agency (ETA), cause we had some nice TP run clothing sets to hand out here and there, so we planned to have TP runs. Joining Staves organized runs helped us a lot there, so instead of competing, we help each other".

    "Yup", Jack continues. "Sometimes we work together with Stave and his Tour Agency to help new players acquire new teleporters. This is also useful for us as new players may need teleporters for places where we are thinking of holding events".

    "We do not work with Mindark though", Alice looks at me. "...but FPC a bit. One of my tasks is to gather information about the newcomer situation and to do so, I also have threads in several forums and I tend to write a newbie situation report every one or two weeks, which includes my observations along with suggestions. If and how those are used I don't knowv but it doesn't hold me from writing them, though".

    [IMGALIGNLEFT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/guide_kp1.gif[/IMGALIGNLEFT]Jack explains further, "No, we do not have any special tools or abilities or even any special priviledges. The only thing we do is always informing them about bug,s etc. We basically develop the guide program ourselves. We think of and arrange all of the events. Mainly it is Faye and Alice who come up with the events. I normally bring the firepower and try to find PKers to help with PVP events. MA also give us gifts to hand out to new players during our events. All of these events I might add, we actually spend our own ammo etc. We do not get any ammo or tools from MA with which to run our events. Some events we have spent over 100 ped between us, out of our own pockets". Aandar nods. "MA doesn't help us much, except for Simon and Emma of FPC, who sometimes give guides prizes for newbie competitions".

    Alice laughs, " Actually MindArk should invent some kind of TP gun to send people right to the swamp camp/Neas or to the Atroxes (if they dont behave :D). Less people thinking we are NPCs (Non player characters, ed) would help I guess. Maybe with a shirt clearly stating: 'No NPC'".

    Jack smiles, "If any of you guys watch Stargate, I would love to have a one of those staffs which the Priors of the Ori carried, so that I can activate it and light the whole place up, so that new players can see where I am. But seriously, it would be great if we had a better starting zone than Treasure Island Castle. I think that Athena would be a great place for new players to start, as well as Port Atlantis, of course. It would also be useful if we could all teleport from one zone to another, as that would make it so much easier to check where new players are arriving."

    "Yeah", Aandar continues, "A 'log-them-off' gun to forcefully disconnect bad people would be great". He laughs diabolically, while raising his pinky to his lips. "Or An instant killer wand, which takes no ammo and gives no loot to protect newbies on TP runs. Or what about an immune-to-everything-guide-star above my head...". The other two laugh with him, somehow I feel as if I saw this before,

    Standing in Port Atlantis made me notice the large amount of players running around - in and out of the tp all the time. Jack explains: "There have been a lot more players than normal entering the game, and for a while it was very tough to try and keep up with everones questions in such a small chat window. We had to PM new players instead of having them talk in main chat. But now it has died down a bit again".

    [IMGALIGNLEFT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/guide_fox.gif[/IMGALIGNLEFT]Aandar nods and continues, "Yes, the Crystal Palace auction had a very good effect on the number of new players per day. It was about 10 to 20 before the auction, and 200 to maybe even as many as 500 per day when the news hit the biggest sites and tv shows. Now it's back to maybe 50 to 100".

    Both Aandar and Jack are convinced that the lack of a mentoring system is giving them more work than before. Aandar explains, "Normally we would just help at the Newbie Arrival Zone, but now that there is no mentoring I am often asking promising newbies to add me as a friend, so they can PM me with questions from any distance and at any time".

    None of the guides are sure what will happen with the extended guides program once the mentoring system is back up - or even in what form it will be back, but Jack doesn't believe they will keep the guide program running forever, "I believe that once mentoring returns, the guide program will finish and there will be no more guides. So make the most of us while you can".

    I can see that the guides get a little impatient - maybe I asked more than a normal newbie on a normal day? I end the interview with the question whether there's anything they wish to add before I leave them to their work helping the newbies, who keeps coming from all corners.

    [IMGALIGNRIGHT]http://www.entropiaplanets.com/gallery/pics/3/guide_aandar_nazentry.gif[/IMGALIGNRIGHT]"I would like to say again", Alice begins, "that we do not get paid for being guides but are voluntarily helping newcomers in our spare time, next to having lives as well. Unfortunately we cannot be there every time, but we try our best - so please, do not be surprised if there isnt a guide available from time to time, but rather let him have the break he needs, and be happy that we are there so often :D".

    Jack continues, "Yes. A lot of people think that we shouldn't get a gift for what we do, and although we don't do it for rewards, it would still be nice to have something to keep you remembering the experiences. And of course it is always nice to know that your hard work is appreciated. I am sure that if you total up all of the hours we have spent helping new players then it will be more than 200 hours. We have also spent alot of our own money to organize events. I don't know about the other guides, but my time IRL is not so cheap. So yes, in my opinion, we do deserve some nice gifts and I think both me and the other guides have done an awesome job :D".

    Aandar wraps things up, "Remember that newbies are what's keeping EU alive, so be nice to them! Without any new blood, the universe that you love so much, will die".

    Truer words were never spoken. I for one believe the guides are doing an awesome job helping out newcomers. They actually do the job that should have been done by MindArk/FPC, and even though it is on a free and voluntary basis, I would believe some token of appreciation would be in order. Though not sharks with laserbeams attached to their heads.

    I bow and thanks the guides for taking their precious time to give us all a better understanding of the peope behind the guides and the work they are doing - and ask them to sent our regards to the rest of the 'Men and Women in Blue-purple'ish'.

    Interview with the Guides of Entropia part II
    - Continuing interview with the other guides of Entropia;
    Joshua Jot Avarius, Faye Ranpha Natsumi, Nicodorias Fox tyr Kouramnion and Konrad KP Peters.

  2. GeorgeSkywalker

    GeorgeSkywalker Explorer

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    They do a pretty good job which most people wouldn't have the temperament for. So nice to see their work getting recognised. :tiphat:

    Nice article, was a good read different from usual.
  3. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    Now thats cool to read about thank you for those info!
  4. xentric

    xentric noob

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    great interview :)
  5. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

  6. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    I'm sorry I left out some guides - but there will be an awesome interview number 2 next week with the 4 remaining guides [​IMG]
  7. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    I just read through all the mails again I got from Alice, and see now in one of the extremely long once, were I saw the 'put together' in the top and used that, that underneat there were more interviews from a couple of other guides, including yours, Faye.

    And I am really sorry I missed that out and got the impression that I got from only 3 guides.

    I will keep the interviews and make a follow up on this in some weeks.

    Again, sorry for the mistake - it's been quite a hectic week :(
  8. Lavawalker

    Lavawalker RETIRED

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    Is it just me or is everyone in Entropia totally tense these last few weeks ?

    Don't worry Faye, I do not think Lykke would miss anyone out in an interview on purpose because of favouritism ;)

    Edit: ^^ Lykkes' prior post - There you go :)
  9. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    i look like a smurf
  10. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    Nice interview :)

    What i don't get tho is that it was absolutely sufficient to post on one forum for Faye/ranpha to get her point across - that this issues is discussed now simultaneously on two forums hints more personal sulking rather than a lack of quality/neutrality in the interview... after all, stuff like that can be sorted out very effective via PM, so there was no need for a post like this anyway.
  11. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    ya, i send it all to you

    remember when you pmd me about the interview and asked for it and i said i am on some editing?
    at that time i was copying the answers to the different questions below the questions, writing the name infront of the answer about whom speak

    i did that when i didn't have newbies to handle during my shift, so it was going fairly slow

    by the time you asked for the interview you said i should stop editing and it would be enough, so i send the email with all the interviews (with the one i edited already to you
    the mail itself said:

    [FONT=&quot]"This should be interviews from the 7 guides, unless I didnt count right[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2 already dropped out of the second guide program[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So that should be it"[/FONT]

    the pm i sent:
    "the interview itself was answered by anyone who still guides

    i currently try to edit the answers of the different people below the questions, which takes a while (i usually do when i dont have newbies to handle during my guides hours)

    if you want all the single interviews and edit it yourself you can get them sooner
    i send those to you as i write this pm

    if you want me to keep on the editing tell me, else i will stop now"

    sry if i was unclear there, i just wanted to edit the people below the answers so you have an easier read
    by the time you asked me for the interview i just had 3 people finished, in the order i got the questions
  12. Butch C

    Butch C Tamer (FU MA)

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    take a pill and relax :)
  13. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    Alice, I saw the mail sent to Lykke, and can see how it was possible to overlook the last part (Not saying you're somehow at fault here, mind you). Lykke has been extremely busy during the past week, trying to organize both the interview, and the Adopt a Newbie event, and therefore might have missed the bottom section of the mail. It's really not that big of a problem as it has been made out to be...

    In any case, there's absolutely no reason to start questioning her motives or even suggest the overlooking was deliberate. We're humans, and humans make mistakes. Lykke said she would fix it, and she will.
  14. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    Bumping up a great interview with some great people investing all their free time in helping others!
  15. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    I was a guide myself (leave because not the time needed anymore) this will not keep me from beeing a Guide but saves some time:)

    good interview and YOU MAKE A GOOD JOB GUIDES
  16. Moonfish

    Moonfish Ice Cream for crow


    I want to be a Guide :evil:
  17. hummm

    I want to be interviewed!!!!111oneone :rabbit:
  18. EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    ya. can happen, we will live

    thought i made clear that I included all answers though, but i can understand that it may be overlooked

    you wouldn't say that likely if you would know more :)

    Faye is right to be upset for several reasons (actually i am too)
  19. Hello

    I just want to say this to Guides:

    Thank you !!!

    I love what you do!
    I have received an incredible ammount of help from them (all of them!)

    Thanks Likke for this!

  20. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    EntropiaPlanets.com presents: Interview with the Guides of Entropia

    That can be, but Faye directing his/her anger and frustration to Lykke and the interview and creating a huge drama out of something that basically was the result of an honest mistake seems a little overdoing it in my book.

    Lykke is not the reason you're upset, either. In fact, Lykke did the interview because she really thinks that the guides are doing the community as a whole, but the newcomers in particular, a huge favour, yet most people don't have a clue about it. So she figured she'd point a little spotlight your way, as a big "thank you" note.

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