Anyone can play and enjoy this game, but it takes a special breed to also want to help others, and to have the maturity and common sense to use - and not abuse - strong powers and abilities in the process.
We will hold you to a higher standard as a Counselor; not everyone who attempts to join the Program will make it all the way through. We'll always be available to answer your questions and concerns, so don't be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance. Any reasonable and responsible person can make a mistake or two; it is expected. We'll be there to try and help you over those humps, because we want you to succeed.
The process of screening and training new Counselors isn't a game to us; it is a vital part of our ability to help the player and keep UO Heritage relevant. If you meet the requirements for being a Counselor, and read this entire post, we're ready to make you a part of this special group of people.
WHAT IS A COUNSELOR?
A Counselor is an experienced UO Heritage player and volunteer who acts as a guide and problem solver to players who need and request help. They take on help requests from the Help Queue, investigate them and then either correct the situation or escalate the Help request to a Game Master. They will also answer game questions, give advice, directions and general game play information, if time and the Help Call Queue permit it.
It is our hope that Counselors will be looked-up to by other players; as such, while in your robes, you are a representative of UO Heritage and need to act in a friendly, polite, professional, respectful and helpful manner to all players. Remember that your actions and words reflect directly upon all your fellow Counselors and the Game Masters.
Counseling is a position which requires maturity and responsibility – at the same time, it's also a task that can be loads of fun through interacting with people, being helpful, and just generally allowing people to better enjoy the game. We hold you to a higher standard than the average player.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD COUNSELOR?
A good Counselor is one who not only has a good understanding of the game and how to play it, but also has a desire to help other players. The post requires good communication skills, good grammar usage, good social interaction, strong problem solving skills and, generally, a positive attitude towards other players and Counselors. A good Counselor starts with a player who is knowledgeable of the game and the various updates, knows about various items, skills, actions and interesting game and quest locations. Most importantly, a good counselor has a love of the game and an interest to help players.
If at any time you are unsure of how to act online or if certain behavior is allowed, contact a Game Master and ask. You'll never be criticized for asking first.
There are the other requirements you have to meet to be chosen as a Counselor:
- Your Shard Loyalty, on an account you own, must be at-least 10.
- A vested interest in the growth and strength of the Heritage and TrueUO community.
- 18 years or older.
- An active Discord account.
- An active TrueUO.com forums account.
What happens IF I am chosen to become a Counselor?
1. You will be assigned a special account that will be used for the sole purpose of Counseling. This account will have a character created with a name of your choosing. This character will always be a Counselor, and will not play the game in a traditional sense. This special Counselor account is the property of TrueUO, and will be reclaimed by TrueUO in the event that you should leave the Counselor program for any reason.
2. You will be given a different appearance to set you apart, which will be a hooded, blue robe with a gold belt and trim, so that other players will recognize you immediately. Only TrueUO staff and Counselors have these hooded robes in the game, so another player who is not a team member cannot impersonate them.
3. The name you choose should be a name that is unique and different from any other characters that you currently play or have played in the past. Your name will begin with ‘Counselor’. For instance, if your character name is James, your name will become ‘Counselor James’
4. You will be given some in-game tools to better help players.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A COUNSELOR
Counseling is a volunteer position that you have graciously decided to volunteer for. Like any position (volunteer or otherwise) there are certain requirements and responsibilities that go along with the position:
· Counselors must commit to counsel no less than 6 hours per week, broken up into three 2-hour shifts.
· A Counselor should keep checking the help queue for calls. It is important to answer the calls expeditiously as they come into the queue. The Counselor is for attending to dealing with player requests and problems, or escalating the call to a Game Master, depending on if one is on duty at the moment.
· When the queue is empty or slow, the Counselor maintains a presence at high visibility places such as New Haven or Luna Bank within the game and answers player questions.
· Collect and forward any bugs/issues that may arise to TrueUO staff.
A Counselor will have access to several commands, all designed to aid you in performing your job better. These include the ability to move around hidden, send direct messages to players, move stuck players, jail players breaking the rules, and commands to access the help queue system.
NONE of these commands allow counselors to see account information, create items, access player houses, bank box, ect.
It is vitally important that you not abuse these commands, or use them to benefit or hinder any players in the game. Abuse of these powers will result in the immediate termination of your participation in the Counselor program and your playing account.
You must remember that, as a volunteer of UO Heritage, some powers you may use will cause players to have negative reactions. Make sure that you are totally aware of a situation and the ramifications of your actions before you use any power.
It is important to not only know how to use the commands, but also know when it is appropriate to use them. Many of these tools seemingly have somewhat complicated commands, but are actually quite simple to use once you get the feel of how the system is designed. If you are picked a Game Master will review the commands with you and also teach you how to use them.
A significant additional ability a Counselor has is the ability to see players who are hidden, invisible, or stealthing. This ability allows you to see a caller who is hiding when you arrive, or see any hidden players that your caller may be complaining about.
Counselors are never to use this ability to divulge the hidden location of any player or volunteer to another player or volunteer. Players and volunteers will be hidden or invisible for a reason. The ability to see them is given to Counselors for informational purposes only. Don’t walk up to a hidden player or volunteer and say “Hi” or point them out unless you are speaking to a hidden player that just paged you. As a rule of thumb, ignore invisible players/volunteers unless they are the subject of the call that you are currently handling.
PENALTIES OF ABUSE
You should be aware that:
1. TrueUO will investigate every players complaint of Counselor abuse.
2. TrueUO logs every use of a Counselor command, by anyone, to a special file.
3. TrueUO does random spot checks on those Counselor command uses.
4. TrueUO logs all conversations Counselors have within the game.
It is only natural that a Counselor would be tempted to use his/her enhanced abilities and powers outside of the boundaries laid out for their use.
We expect that Counselors have the moral and ethical fiber to resist this temptation. If you don't, we not only don't want you as a Counselor; we'll reconsider whether we want you in the game at all, even as a player.
So you should know in advance what the penalties are for abusing your powers. We are going to be VERY draconian about this, as we can't afford to lose the trust of the players. Anyone who abuses their position runs the risk of causing us major grief; the penalties should be major, as well:
1. Anyone who willfully abuses the Counselor powers will immediately be dropped from the program. Anyone who attempts to solicit account information from players will have all their accounts instantly removed from the world.
An occasional bad judgment call by a Counselor is ok and even expected to an extent; actions obviously intended to skirt the legitimate use of the powers and/or to abuse the powers to give an advantage or create a disadvantage or harassment for a player is unacceptable.
2. At our sole discretion, we may also delete your player accounts and/or ban you permanently from the game.
We don't want anyone to feel that it's OK to "lose it" one night and tee off on a player, because the only penalty would be losing the Counselor powers. We also don't want Counselors who may be on the verge of 'retiring' in any case to feel that there is no penalty for abusing the powers, and then resigning. That's why we audit the actions of Counselors on an ongoing, random basis, to insure that this isn’t happening.
3. We may also delete and ban the players you created an advantage for.
Don’t think that you can help a buddy unfairly with your powers, then just retire or get fired. If you do this, you will be placing that other player(s) at risk of character deletion and/or being banned from the game.
Yes, these penalties are harsh, but you shouldn't let them deter you from adding to the game as a Counselor. We know you can make a huge positive contribution to the game; that's why we are entrusting you with these powers. We want the players to value you and your actions as much as we do. Every time a Counselor uses his powers wisely, the players will trust us all the more. And that trust is important; if even one Counselor abuses these powers, we all lose that trust.
- Treat everyone in a patient, kind and respectful manner
- Help all players to the best of your ability
If you don’t know the answer, try to find it from other sources (forums, Discord chat, Stratics, UOGuide, ect). Don’t be afraid to tell the player that you don’t know an exact answer to their question. No one person knows everything about the game. Honesty is appreciated more than making incorrect statements. Incorrect answers will cause players to distrust your guidance, and perhaps the guidance of all Counselors.
As a rule, you can also direct players to pages on the https://trueuo.com/ website.
- Treat everyone the same. A counselor must remain a neutral entity
Do not take sides and do not play favorites. Especially, don't do anything that might leave the perception that you are abusing your powers, either for or against a player. In the past, this particular problem has led to an overall bad name for the Counselor program on OSI. It is absolutely vital to remain objective in all situations. Remember: Perception is reality. If the players perceive that you’re abusing your power, then that will become their reality.
If you are ever unsure of how to act contact a GM immediately.
- A complaint is an opportunity.
- Have fun
Think of yourself as a teacher. You will supply guidance to a large number of people and can easily make the game a much more enjoyable experience for them.
Feel free to develop an appropriate character for your Counselor and to counsel in character, say funny things or anything else that helps to make counseling fun. As we all know, gamers as a class have a great sense of humor; a little of this goes a long way.
Also, feel free to suggest ways that the counselors can interact in the game that would allow us to make a more positive impact on the game and not take away from other players’ role-playing.
Feel free to come up with "arrival" and "departure" messages unique to your counselor.
- Continue to play the game during your non-Counselor time
One advantage to being a Counselor is that you will have access to a lot more information about the game, which may allow you to better enjoy your normal playtime in UO. You’ll come to understand more about how and why things happen in game.
- Be familiar with the game
- Keep the other Counselors and Game Master informed about game issues.
· Attempt to gather account information or personal information about a player.
Counselors can not see account information and it is NEVER required for them to assist you. IF A COUNSELOR EVER ASKS YOU FOR ACCOUNT INFORMATION REPORT IT RIGHT AWAY TO A GAME MASTER
· Use bad or offensive language
When dealing with a player use absolutely no profanity or swearing. Do not ever mention any racial, ethnic or sexual slurs or connotations.
. Comment on TrueUO/GM policies and/or procedures.
Do not speculate on how we will handle a situation. Players listen to what a Counselor has to say, and it can get ugly if you tell them that something is ok to do, when in reality it is not. Decisions like that are left to us to decide.
· Exploit your status as a Counselor to upset game balance.
If you are found to be intentionally using your Counselor knowledge or powers outside of the written policy and procedures, you run the risk of not only being dropped as a Counselor, but being banned from the game as well. If you have any question of what constitutes abuse of your powers, ask us for guidance.
· Tell other players that you are a Counselor when playing normally.
You should maintain a complete separation from your character persona and your Counselor. Even just mentioning that you are a Counselor to other players during game play might be taken as a sign that you are asking for special treatment, or are threatening them with reprisals by other Counselors. If you never mention you are a Counselor while playing your character, no one can ever accuse you of trying to intimidate them.
· ‘Play’ the game while in your Counselor character.
The Counselor WILL NOT venture into the wilderness to explore, should not lead a party to scout, and should not seek to acquire any information or details of any player that they are not assisting. Do not use your Counselor to explore dungeons or venture into homes. Counselors found seeking out champion spawns will be removed from the program and risk punishment on their normal accounts. Best advice: Stay around towns when not assisting other players.
· Bottle up emotions when taking calls.
Some of those players out there like to push people’s buttons, and if they can get you mad, uptight, or upset about something, chances are they will try to do so. In cases like this, do your best to remain calm and resolve the situation.
To put it in other terms, counseling is sort of like driving. Remember that old driving teacher that told you to never drive angry? The same applies here – if you take anger or frustration with you on a call, that will carry over to the actual player, whether you are aware of it or not. Be aware of this, and if you need to take a break, by all means do so.
The worst thing you can do is to get angry or into an argument with a player. As an "official" in the game, you can't possibly win an argument with a player, even if you're in the right; if you're right, the player just goes away even angrier and, if you're wrong, you make us all look like chumps for arguing in the wrong.
So don't be drawn into an argument. If you can fix the player's problem, do so, thank him and leave. If you can't, let him know that, apologize and leave, letting him/her know you have other calls to make. If you have problems dealing with a person please let a Game Master know.
It is important that you always try to handle yourself with great self-control and patience.
Do not be rude or negative towards any other players, Game Masters, Counselors, or the game. People will take what you say and do very seriously, so don’t say or do anything you might regret.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING:
Send Dan a message HERE
Your message must include:
- Your main characters name on Heritage.
- A bio that includes:
- How long you have played UO.
- How long you have played Heritage.
- Why you want to be a Counselor on Heritage.
- Why you think you would be a good Counselor.
Counselors may also be rewarded for their dedication, time, and professionalism.