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ARK Interview - Events Team Director Lornavash

We at AOU recently had the opportunity to interview Lornavash, the new head of the Events Team at ARK.

Director Lornavash is responsible for managing all aspects of ARK-Events and working with Funcom on events and storyline issues.

His job to set up and maintain the structure of the department, provide support to his personnel, and assist with the development and hands-on execution of material.

AOU: Would ARK consider dropping the petition handling requirement if people wanted to join ARK for the ONLY purpose of joining the Events Department.

Lornavash: It has been considered in the past yes, on several occassions but at the end of the day, we're here to help the players and the less time we're out on petitions, the less time we're actually out there with them. Do you see what I mean?

AOU: Hmm, could you be more specific?

Lornavash: Yes, we could be running more events, but ARK was created for the customer service aspect. As an events team member, we only have to do 10 petitions a month, that's like 1 every 3 days. Considering they take on average no more than about 20 minutes, that's a piece of cake mate.

200 minutes a month, say an average of 30 days a month, that's 43,200 minutes a month. That's 0.002% a month devoted to petitions or something like that, I was never too good with maths.

AOU: Is Events Team understaffed, and how well are they doing?

Lornavash: Events is well staffed, don't get me wrong but with Nevarstiyeh's surprise retirement and essentially a power vacuum created the chain's been shunted up a link if that makes sense. We have approximately 21 people in our team spread out across Production/Storyline/LTCs/Reporters and I will say that no, they aren't doing the best they can do, that will soon change.

AOU: What do you mean they are not doing their best?

Lornavash: Because I haven't been encouraging them hard enough, we're currently working on hashing that out and making sure that we're on the ball because quite frankly, the players are suffering because of our inactivity. This reflects badly on me as a director and I won't stand for it.

AOU: So there is no real way to remove the petitions requirement to join Events Team in ARK?

Lornavash: Unfortunately for removing something as measily as 200 minutes in a 43,200 minute month, I really don't think it's worth it in terms of efficiency. 200 minutes, yes that's almost like a 2.5 hour event but at the same time the experience gained from petitions is invaluable.

I use petitions to make sure that my people know how to deal with players, it allows me to see that they have the players interests at heart and speak to them well when they're there as an ARK. If they can't speak to the players as an ARK, they sure as hell can't speak to them as a Storyteller. It's from a perspective of quality assurance, and I want only the best for the players.

As for those people that want to be in Events but don't want to do the petitions, you can be; from a player perspective but unfortunately the petitions requirement is core and it's something you can't avoid. In Events it's lesser than say Operations, which is the main petition team but it's not gone completely. You see the value of the rapid turnaround time when it comes to petitions when god forbid, something happens that requires you to petition.

I know it seems like we're up against a brick wall here but it's something I'm sure you can see the reasoning on. It assures me that the eventeers I take on are doing their job right, doing a petition involves thinking on your feet, not just reading from lines of pre-written text. I'd prefer to have 200 minutes missing from each of my producers in the knowledge that I know that they're going about the other 43,000 right rather than 43,200 in the hope that they are.

This is ESSENTIAL to my eventeers since it lays the foundations upon which their skills as producers are built. Thinking on your feet, improvisation and creativity are some of the many skills utilised and we work not to throw them in the deep end; petitions as a result, help with this.

AOU: Wow, now that is a very detailed answer. We asked because there are roleplayers who want to join your Department, but do not want to do petitions. For those of us who have experience or have dealt with customer service...who wants to deal with that? really...

Lornavash: People who have Customer Service experience? Good for them, but CS in AO is extremely limited, in CS you're taught to read your customer, how can you read your customer if you're only given a line of writing? Body Language? Vocal Tone? Volume? Emphasis? These are all gone and all you have is a line of text. CS in AO is hard, and in order to convey yourself in text alone, the best way to learn is to listen to someone else convey themselves in text alone.

AOU: Has the way the Events Department handles stories and in-game events ever changed in the past few years? We remember a lot of...well, low quality events.

Lornavash: Bear in mind times are a'changing. Most peoples opinions tend to be rooted deeply into the past. That could be anywhere from one, two, hell even five years ago. One hell of alot's changed since then, our communication with Funcom has gone through the roof. Take for example, yours truly has just spent the weekend at the FCHQ in Norway discussing Events and Storyline with the powers that be in Funcom.

AOU: Thanks for the interview, any last comments you wish to make Lornavash?

Lornavash: Times have changed and you won't find a better director than the one you're talking to right now, why's that? Because I'll be damned if anyone'll be able to do this better than me. I'm with Anarchy Online to the end.

Last updated on 12.07.2011 by Khuri
Article written by Windguaerd
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