Guide Dinner, Saturday, November 4th

To show appreciation for the hard work and commitment the guides and game masters have invested to make EverQuest enjoyable for its more than 300,000 subscribers, Sony Online hosted a Guide Dinner at the Bellagio in their honor Saturday evening, November 4th. Cindy Archutela, SOE’s Community Relations Event Manager conducted the gathering.

Every person, whether they were guides, GMs, or Sony employees, wore badges revealing who they are. Attendees were eager to meet others from their respective server communities. As an aid to the process of getting to know one another, a simple game was played. Everyone was given a sheet of situations, many relating to EQ, which they would then pose to others in the room. The object was to seek out affirmative responses to all the listed situations, such as, ‘I looked up answers on a website to complete my guide application’, and, ‘I have accidentally gotten a player killed while I was guiding’, and then obtain that person’s signature. No one person could sign another’s sheet more than once. The first person to completely fill out his or her sheet would win a Velious lithograph.

Therdar, a GM for Sony who has been playing EverQuest since beta 4, was able to sign off on ‘More than one other person in my family plays EQ’. “My mom and my dad play,” he admitted. “My dad is actually a guide, too. He’s been a guide close to eight months.”

I asked him what he liked most about being a GM, and his answer turned out to be a response that would be echoed again and again throughout the evening by the guides and GMs. “I like helping people,” he said. “I also enjoy doing the quests, big epic quests with big battles. I’ve done a lot of these. It has to be one of the best things about being a GM.”

Tracy Schuhwerk, better known as Elder Guide Semiramis, was also in attendance with his wife Raina.

“I guess I’m kind of a check point,” he says of his job as an Elder Guide. “A check and balance for the guide program side and the Verant side.” It is obvious he loves what he does, as he smiled often while talking about what he likes most. “There’s just so many things,” he said. “Fantastic people putting absolutely huge effort into this, purely out of the heart. And just to see that is amazing, seeing what they can do for people in the game.”

Tracy and Raina’s marriage is an example of an EverQuest love story. They met in the guide program. “It was phase 3 beta when we started with the guide program,” says Tracy. “We were both phase 1 beta testers. I’d say we courted in EverQuest for quite some time. Everquest is a huge part of our lives.”

The couple was married three weeks ago, and now live in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Raina has since retired as senior guide Amyrlaen, saying “one person in the family is enough!”

The dinner concluded with a little EverQuest humor, including some amusing “news” items, and a Top 10 List-Ways to Drive Players and Guides Insane.

10) Fill out all Daily Server Reports in D00d Speak.

9) Insist that anyone who uses an acronym explain what it is. BRB, LOL, MOB, etc. and then argue with them over what you think it really means.

8) Reply to long tells with, “I missed that one, can you repeat it please?” For added effect, do this about six times.

7) Inform all petitioners that Verant is now charging for answers at the rate of 3.95 platinum per minute, with those rates adjusted according to attitude.

6) When receiving a petition about a common MOB, tell the player, “You’re crazy, there’s no MOB like that out there. There must be something wrong with your graphics card.”

5) Whenever answering petitions, insist that you are not a guide, and tell the player to stop harassing you or you will report them.

4) Periodically announce, “Ack! Help!” and then ignore all inquiries as to what is going on. It also helps if you zone every few seconds so they can’t find you.

3) Speak to all players as if you were a dumb Ogre.

2) Blame all lag deaths and server downs on a player. “I’m sorry, Wendel the Warrior is the reason for your death, not the lag. I was there, I saw what he did.’ Coordinate with other guides as to which player things will be blamed on for that day.

1) Follow a player around, continually mistelling so it appears as, “Guide Jill says ‘/tell GM Jack I’m following the player now, I know he will slip up soon.”

Cindy concluded the evening by thanking the GMs, Guides and Sony employees for coming, and adjourned the party to the next event, the Planet Hollywood party.

And you thought the guide program had no sense of humor.