Here’s a note I recieved on the new Companion program. (No, I’m not a companion, I already do enough work pro bono.)


Strangely enough, I haven’t seen Lum rant about UO’s customer disservice program lately. Don’t tell me Lum has not joyously joined the ranks of Companions about to be let loose onto the unsuspecting general public?

Don’t tell me you’re not itching to introduce a few dozen potential k3wld33ds into their brave new world? You’re not? Well, neither am I. Not anymore anyway. Not after reading the Program Guidelines and manuals and finally finding out a thing or two about a program designed to be the ultimate in bad customer service through the exploitation of cheap and unskilled volunteer labor.

“Teams” of companions (visions of oxen under the yoke) have begun training last week. I was assigned to one of the B teams along with a handful of other European players. My SC eventually got around to mailing us the companion guidelines and then told us that, incidentally, while he wasn’t really sure he had that right, well, he may be wrong entirely, better ask Bodi, could all be a rumor, but… there would be no Companion Program on the European shards for the time being. Come again? No, there will be no Companion program on the European shards for the time being. Nor will there be anything like it on the Asian shards. But we could freely choose which US shard we would like to work on…

Errrrrrr, let me put on my thinking cap here: Does that mean that OSI was recruiting European players to waste their online gaming time and money – we don’t have unlimited local calls, remember? – to help newbies overseas and thereby enhance the company’s image on shards those players don’t know or care much about rather than have them help launch UO in Europe where there is a growing customer base that could profit from the accessibility update that introduced the program?

Yes, exactly. Why, that’s brilliant! Or maybe not? Guess someone is going overboard with their non-disclosure agreements. Guess that piece of information was so s3kr33t that even the SCs couldn’t be told right away, much too s3kr33t anyway to include in the original announcement.

Listen up, folks, in case it had escaped your attention: there is a landmass, a rather huge one at that, to the east of the American mainland. It’s called Europe. People live there. A lot of people. And there is a landmass, a rather huge one at that along with a good many islands, to the west of the American mainland. It’s called Asia. People live there. Many, many more than you ever imagined. Some of them play UO. Why, yes, they’re even paying money to do it. Ah, but then you knew about the money part – you’re actually counting it as we speak? Then why the F**K, I ask you, why the F**K don’t you treat them as customers and not like a virtual immigrant abor force? CAN WE GET SOME FREAKING RESPECT HERE?????

Maybe it was a good thing that I haven’t signed and mailed out my written agreement with OSI – I don’t really expect to sign that thing anytime soon. If ever… And I haven’t even said anything about compaion “duties” yet. Oh, don’t get me started….

Butterball, disgruntled chef ever since the cooking patch and never-to-be companion