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UOForums Interviews Paidric from Haven helpers!


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Paidric from Haven Helpers and Ingame Auctions has agreed to do an interview with UOForums!

 

Haven helpers has some fantastic new player guides and helpful resources for the new player to UO.

 

Here's our interview with Paidric

 

1) In your experience, what kind of experiences or game aspects are new UO players looking forward to that convinced them to try UO? Is is the idea of owning and customizing a house or pvp, for example?

One of the most unique features of Ultima Online is surely house customization. Many players are eager to own a house (and make it a borg cube *sighs*) right out of the gate.

 

Another common interest shown by new players (we’re not talking about returners here!) is that they want to test the MMORPG that started it all.

And finally, there is a large part joining UO because they are bored of the endless grinding of other games. Most games in my opinion summarize to kill-level rince and repeat.

2) To what extent do you feel the sort of assistance that Haven Helpers provdies substantially improves the odds the new players being helped will still be UO players a year later over players just doing the new player quests alone without any sort of "human" intervention?

Ah well, I cannot measure the “results” of our actions, but I can say most new players are highly surprised by the community spirit and helping minds they discover when joining Ultima Online. Most players are used to a very selfish style of playing from fellow players.

We surely try to make them feel welcome and get them through the first confusing hours, now I can’t say if we succeed, but we surely do our best!

Our only goal is of course to get them to stay in our beloved Britannia.

Also, I’m sure a human interaction is what most players are looking for when they join a MMORPG, well, I hope so at least
:)

Plus we can tell them much more than any NPC or quest.

3) How did you get started in UO, and how long have you been playing?

I’ve always been a fan of the Ultima serie since I discovered it on an Amiga, back when it was a good machine.

Years later I discovered that Origin was planning an online version of Ultima. A friend of mine was lucky enough to get into the late beta so we shared the costs of playing (I had the credit card ;-p).

I got my own account later when Europa server was started and I got (at last!) my cable connection. Anyone remember how hard it was to play Atlantic on a 28k modem for us Europeans?

4) Can you talk about how Haven Helpers and Ingame Auctions were founded and the history behind them?

I’ve been in Haven during many years now, along those years I’ve met many players and many helpers. One of the problems I was facing with helping new players was continuity between helpers, since we weren’t organised, it was hard for new players to know we were helpers. So I decided to make a “guild” which is more of a brand to me, so new players know they can ask us for help.

The website was created much later, mostly due to my lack of playing time, as a tool to help new players even when we are offline. We hand out the link to our website to every new players we meet.

 

Regarding Ingame Auctions, well, it’s simply linked to the disappearance of UO-Auction. When Zonifur (a good friend of mine) quitted, he sent me the files of his auction site and asked me to run it, which I did.

Now it doesn’t had the success I expected but I mostly blame myself for not advertising it much
:)

If anyone is interested, I’ll keep hosting it and tweak the code if needed.

5) How have they changed from when they started, to now in 2009?

Haven Helpers guild didn’t change much. We add members from time to time but we’re still looking for more dedicated helpers!
:)

The website on the other side has seen a lot of content added. There’s still less than I’d like to put there. But I lack the time right now.

We’ve recently added Video Tutorials for new players though! Which did require a lot of time but in my opinion is worth the effort.

6) What is the basic routine in helping new players getting up to speed in UO?

It highly depends on the player himself. Some get faster to speed than others so it can range from just handling some equipment to explaining how to use the bank, trade items, cast spells, questing, fighting, etc.

Usually we explain them what we think is important as basics for their char template.

The two big parts in our activity are mostly: catching them, then get them to communicate. This can be trickier than one might think!

7) What is your biggest personal reward in helping new players?

When a player walks up to me and say something along the lines of : “Hey! You remember me? You helped me on my first day X years ago!”

He stayed all those years, nothing can beat that to me
:)

8) How often do you have events ingame?

Less often than I’d like. I tried a bi-weekly PvP event but I had to lower the pace as my schedules are a bit hectic. I wanted to start a quest serie for new players, but that requires even more time. Plus the problem you might not find a new player to undertake the quest you prepared
:)

9) What could the UO team do to help in-game communities flourish?

Stop making UO a solo-game. I remember the days when Destard was a “guild only” dungeon because of the difficulty. Now I see people soloing the peerless bosses.

Community is one of the biggest reasons why people I play with continue to play. Along with housing for some
:)

10) If you were named the community manager of UO, what would you like to do in the position for the community?

Frankly I’d rather get nailed to a bed of blades…

In my opinion there should be more focus on the big guilds and the dedicated communities among the different shards. Some player run towns and guilds have existed for a decade. They should be shown as examples and they should be involved in shard activities. A bit like what EMs are trying to do on Europa.

11) How did the destruction of old Haven and introduction of New Haven affect your "job"? Which design did you prefer, and which seems better for the new folks?

First, I’d like to thank the dev team for making all new players spawn in New Haven. It saves us a lot of trouble. Before that I was touring most new player locations to see if there was one in need. So this change greatly facilitated our daily activities for sure!

Regarding the town design, I preferred Old Haven as it was much more beautiful. But the New Haven town has the big advantage to be very compact and loaded with all needed NPCs. The addition of the stable was REALLY needed!

On the other hand, the central place of New Haven is really badly designed. That big grey stone structure is horrid, it doesn’t serve any purpose, plus the new players appear inside it, blocking their way in 3 directions… silly idea!

We also miss a forge right on the central place.

The terrace with the tables should be accessible from the place, not through the narrows stairs and it should have benches and larger tables.

Finally… flowers! I’d like to see a fountain and some flowers in the centre of Haven, with benches around it.

12) Would you prefer more people trying to help the new players, or rather just assist you by giving you items and materials and letting you do the helping?

I’m always happy to see people helping the new players. The more, the merrier! We receive a lot of donations already, but sometimes lack the time to distribute them all.

So more helpers would be good
:)

13) Do Haven Helpers plan to expand to other shards?

If I wasn’t married and if there were 48 hours in every single day… yeah, I’d probably go for it
:)

Though, seriously, our website is there, so anyone who wants to give help, can hand the link to it. It’ll already be a lot for many new players.

When it comes to giving equipment to starters, I guess they can do without it if they know what to do. Though it sure is a big help for a new player!

14) As the owner of a UO fansite, would you like to see a UO fansite program brought back to UO? If so, what kind of program do you think would work best?

Surely, it’s rather hard to advertise a new player website, since it is aimed at new players which don’t know the popular UO websites or UO communication channels (like forums, wikis, webradio, toolbars, etc.)

The fansite program would make the links readily available from uoherald itself .

[Off topic Questions]

 

1) What was the first game you were addicted too?

The two games which made me spend countless hours in front of my screen in my youth were Civilization (I still play it!) and Ultima 7. Though I’ve played many games and spent many nights on them. Those two I played the most for sure.

2) Favorite Hobby?

Programming and electronics.

3) Favorite Movie?

I have a favourite movie in most genres. Not one above all the others.

Bad Taste, Spaceball, Dune, Bernie, Blade Runner, Willow…

4) Favorite treat?

Anything that’s yummy
:)

5) Do you play any computer games at this time and if so which ones?

I have some nostalgic spikes at moments, so I often look at abandonia website for oldies
:)

But my two main games are UO and Civilization 4

6) What was the very first computer game you played?

It was on a commodore 64 and was a text adventure. Can’t remember the name, I just remember hating the command parser’s guts!

7) Which is your favorite season and why?

Either winter or spring, mostly because it’s cold and doesn’t rain too much.

8) What is your favorite color?

Anything dark, except dark pink.

9) What is your greatest extravagance?

I’m a geek with a social life
:)

10) What is your current state of mind?

Overwhelmed! Too few hours, too much to do.

11) If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

My involvement, I take things with too much heart
:)

Which is bad when you’re a manager…

12) What is your most treasured possession?

My wife
:)

(she didn’t read this so it’s the truth, I swear!)

13) Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

Gaston Lagaffe (a Belgian comic). Next comes Dilbert.

I like anti-heroes.

14) What is your greatest fear?

Losing my internet connection.

15) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Depends on the context. In UO it would be “Damn! Need to refill the bloody vendors”

16) What is your motto?

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Thanks for the interview :)

See you in game soon!

 

 

Thanks Paidric for a great interviews

Thanks to all the UOForums users who submitted their questions

Thanks to all community sites who decide to share this interview.

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  • 3 years later...

I'm afraid that he no longer plays, although I do believe his account is still open, so you never know he may return one day.

 

I too had my first suit of shadow iron plate made by Paidric, which I had thought lost when I returned after a long-ish absence... but I found once again only the other day.

 

He's a wonderful player and hope that he does wander back at some point in the future.

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Lol I can remember killing amantala's father in fel despise. I think they where sightseeing. Paidric and amantala kept ressing him and I kept killing him. Paidric was not a happy chap. I really applaud all his work especially with the young.

Edited by Taylor
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