2003-10-01: John Torrey on the UO Magic Moments Program

John Torrey on the UO Magic Moments Program

Oct 1 2003 4:10PM

With the recent launch of UO Magic Moments, lots of players have questions about that program, questions about the "Power-Up" team, and questions about the thinking behind it all. Hopefully, I can address the bulk of your concerns and give you some insight into our thought processes.

Hey Dev Team, why are you launching new programs instead of fixing bugs/creating content/developing something?

The UO Magic Moments program was designed from the very beginning to be something that could be handled without any help or time taken away from the UO Development team. Step-by-step, the Magic Moments program uses a team of people dedicated to these types of programs across all of EA's Persistent State World games. The team that answers the phone to take your UO Magic Moments order was there before this program was launched. The one person that preps for and performs the UO Magic Moments ceremonies has been working on programs for multiple games since this program was just a twinkle in someone's eye. This isn't to say that we're completely detached from the UO Live Team, but their involvement is limited to question answering and program approval so they can stay focused on UO as a whole.

So are the UO Magic Moments being performed by the Event Moderators hired to provide us with exciting 6th year anniversary events?

The Event Moderators are not performing events for the UO Magic Moments program. Yes, we've talked extensively with Maleki about what he’s doing with his team, and yes, we're very aware of the lessons we're learning through these events, but we're totally separate teams. Again, we're providing this new and exciting service while they stay focused on the new 6th Anniversary fiction events.

Why does something that used to be free now cost $40?

We decided to develop the UO Magic Moments service because, at this time, we are unable to provide these types of personalized events to you for free. Our current crew of Game Masters is busy working to keep things running smoothly on a daily basis inside Britannia. Unfortunately, that team just doesn't have the time or resources to step away from their regular duties and perform extracurricular events like weddings. No matter how hard we tried, working these sorts of activities into their schedule wasn't something that we could reasonably do without sacrificing hold times on the GM queue. In reading the threads that have been posted about this program, I noticed a common theme: No one wants to wait in the GM queue because a GM is off marrying two people as a courtesy. We didn't want to negatively affect the help queue either, but we still had great interest in providing this kind of service. So, we took the original idea of in-game celebrations and expanded on them to create a real value-added service that justifies the time and manpower required to produce them. Imagine planning multiple parties on a daily basis and ensuring that each one is just as special as the one before. It's like New Year’s Eve every hour on the hour. The cost not only covers a half an hour of OSI Employee time, but also items that are customized specifically for your individual Magic Moment.

Hopefully, this answers some of the burning questions that have been floating around regarding the UO Magic Moments program. We're a few weeks into the program, and we're still learning from every Magic Moment that we share. Thanks for all your interest in this service, and we hope we have the chance to party with you soon!

John Torrey

UO Magic Moments Team