This is a wiki for a reason. Anyone can contribute. If you see something that is inaccurate or can be improved, don't ask that it be fixed--just improve it.
[ Disclaimer, Create new user --- Wiki markup help, Install P99 ]

Velious Era Customer Service Guidelines

From Project 1999 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

There *was* a Velious-era Customer Service Guidelines document available on the web, at the url:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:mwa1WUHD2x4J:membres.multimania.fr/nesousxlanonyme/Guide.doc+&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShagfmo70G4Hr3AWsFpKz9hdXLtEnHCAv93fSB84bCEJWNq-hnaRnApYQCkHRflbQBNkhZtHNtPY9raKH_g6vktUWMPandZ1DEgOgEPM-_mNCNx0DVtsBWTWgw-TSplHi-l1kdR

(which appears to be a cache of the original URL http://membres.multimania.fr/nesousxlanonyme/Guide.doc)

... but neither URL works anymore. All we have left are quotes from the forum post discussing the document ... EDIT and now: http://web.archive.org/web/20010724102006/www.ethernalquest.com/cgi-bin/postings.cgi?action=editpost&forum=HackersQuest+Main+Forum&number=1&topic=002657.cgi&ReplyNum=000019&TopicSubject=account

Contents

Customer Service Guidelines

Customer Service Guidelines for EverQuest i

1. Customer Service Roles and Responsibilities

2. The Customer Service Interface and Tools

2.1 The /PRivate Channel

2.2 The /PETition Queuing Tool

2.3 Customer Service Commands and Tools

2.4 Getting Equipped

3. Communications

3.1 Communications between Verant Studios and Customers

3.2 Communications between Customer Service Personnel and Customers

3.3 Input to Customer Service Policies and Procedures

3.4 Communications Among the Customer Support Staff

3.5 Guide Posting to Public Boards

3.6 The Nightly Report

4. Customer Service Personnel Policy and Practices

4.1 Customer Service Personnel Policy

4.2 Customer Service Personnel Procedures

5. Rules and Regulations

5.1 Information Dissemination

5.2 Interacting In-Game

5.3 Discretion and Professionalism

5.4 On The Job

5.5 Behavior Guidelines

6. General Customer Service

6.1 General Customer Service Policy

6.2 General Customer Service Procedures

7. General Incident Procedures

7.1 Account and Billing Problems

7.2 Boat Zoning Anomalies

7.3 Corpse Recovery

7.4 Loss of Items or Experience Due to A Bug

7.5 Minor Bug Reporting

7.6 Major Bug Reporting

7.7 Quest/Event Administration

7.8 Questions about Becoming a Guide

7.8 Questions about Game Mechanics

7.10 Stuck NPCs

7.11 Questions about Game Secrets

7.12 Technical Problems

8. Exception Incident Procedures

8.1 Abuse

8.2 Disruption

8.3 Exploitation

8.4 Loot Anomalies

Appendix A - Changes to this Document

Appendix B - Zone Listing

Scope: This document covers all of the Customer Service policies for Verant GMs and Guides and the procedures for them to follow to enforce these policies.

The term “Customer service” includes all interactions with players/testers, and includes everything from first-level technical support to public relations. The goal is to support and enhance the playing experience for customers, and to provide an interface between the customers and Verant Studios. Although there are defined customer service groups (Guides and certain GMs), any employee of Verant Studios or member of Guide Program interacting with a customer for any reason is performing customer service and should be following these same guidelines. The customer service organization is the “face” that Verant presents to the customer. As such it is very important that all actions taken by customer service be ethical and professional and avoid even the appearance of favoritism or conflict of interest. These guidelines provide customer service personnel with a way to handle customer situations that will ensure consistent and professional behavior.

Mission Statement: "To support, educate, and direct the customers of EverQuest to create an enjoyable and immersive Role Playing experience."

1. Customer Service Roles and Responsibilities


There are five levels of participation in the Guide Program: Candidate, Apprentice Guide, Guide, Senior Guide, and Elder Guide. There are seven levels of Verant employees carrying a GM flag: GM-Coder, GM-tester, GM-Art, GM-Areas, GM-Admins, GM-Lead Admin, and GM-Mgmt. There may also be specially designated players in the game known as Stewards. Stewards have no GM powers, and should not be involved in customer service.

1. Candidates are those who have expressed an interest in becoming part of the program. They have filled out an application and are simply a name on a list. In the tradition of “walking a mile in his moccasins”, no player can be considered a candidate for Apprentice Guide until they have played a minimum of 2 characters up to at least 10th level. Without this experience, it is not possible to understand the frustrations a customer can feel.

2. Apprentice Guides are candidates who have been chosen from the list and are under review by the more senior Guides to determine their suitability to the program. They have no powers and are mostly relegated to answering questions and learning. The Apprentice period has no minimum length, but shall last no longer than 1 month. During this time, a more senior Guide mentors the Apprentice until they are comfortable addressing customer issues on their own. Once they are on their own, they are still reviewed periodically and watched by the other Guides to reduce the impact of any mistakes made.

The Senior Guide and other experienced Guides on a server will mentor the apprentices on that server, providing guidance and assessing their performance.

Since Apprentices are on a probationary basis, they are not fully “Guided” when they join the program. They are partially buffed, made non-aggressive to all monsters, and given the basic Guide tools, spells and equipment that are commercially available to other characters. They are allowed to explore freely any area that they could visit if the character were not a Guide (i.e. had no GM flag or monster protection). Until they cross over, they are forbidden from exploring the more difficult areas of the game to reduce the amount of knowledge they can take with them should they not become Guides.

The responsibilities of the Apprentice Guides are: · Answer /petitions · Explore the world to learn it as much, if not more, than the players · Participate in Answer Circles · Assist the other Guides as needed ·

The things an Apprentice does not do (in addition to the restrictions of the Guides below): · Explore the more difficult dungeons (Soldung, Kedge, Permafrost, Paineel, Gukbottom, Mistmoore, any of the Planes or any dungeon that contains monsters greater than 20th level) · Handle exploitation, abuse, or any other “exception” calls as anything more than a witness to a Guide · Be online without a full Guide , one that is not /anon and visible to the customers

3. Guides are the mainstay of the Guide Program and are the most numerous rank. When all Senior and Elder Guides on a server, (as well as at least one GM-Admin) approve an Apprentice, they are promoted to Guide. Once a Guide, it is possible to remain one indefinitely, as this is the most critical function of the Guide Program. Guides are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 hours per week to the program. There should be 1 Guide per 100 player accounts on a server.

Guides are the first line of contact for the customers. As such, they are responsible for the first level of escalation for problems and issues. They handle the immediate issues, answer game play questions, and in general own problem resolution for first level problems.

Problems that are not resolvable in a reasonable amount of time or those that involve an angry customer who cannot be placated should be escalated to the Senior Guides. It is anticipated that the overall volume of petitions will be high. If a Guide finds that one petitioner is monopolizing them to the extent that the oncoming petitions are not being handled, the Guide should pass the call to a Senior if one is available.

In situations that are covered by the Incident Policies and Procedures below, the Guides’ primary role is investigator. Guides are not agents of enforcement. They gather information and make sure the Senior Guides and GMs have enough information to make the correct decision. Any Guide involved in an emergency situation, which is not covered by these policies, should escalate to a Senior or GM if one is online. If there are no Seniors or GMs online, the Guide should handle the situation using whichever of the policies below most closely suits the situation to the best of their judgment. This action should be followed up by an email notification to the Senior Guides for review.

The responsibilities of the Guides (in addition to the duties of an Apprentice) are: · Perform CRs and unstick players · Mentor, train, and supervise the Apprentices · Assist in event administration · Handle escalations · Investigate candidates for the Guide program.

The things a Guide does not do: · Run or create quests independently · Reprimand customers or Apprentices · Speak for the Guide Program as a whole in a public forum (Bulletin Boards, Newsgroups, etc.)

4. Senior Guides are trusted, proven Guides who have shown good judgment and are willing to invest extra time in the program. They handle the more difficult problems, the administration of the program and most of the escalations for their server. Senior Guides answer questions along with the Guides when the load becomes excessive, but are primarily responsible for working together to administer their server.

Senior Guides train, mentor and audit the Guides and apprentices on their server, and assist the Elder Guides in GM-run quests and events. The Senior Guide team for a particular server is responsible for the success of the program on that server, in all aspects. Senior Guides are created from the ranks of the Guides when there is a suitable candidate, and when a review of the workload makes it a reasonable action.

Senior Guides are not losing responsibility, but gaining additional responsibility, and as such are expected to contribute at least 4-6 hours per week in additional time, though not all of this time needs to be spent online. There will be at minimum 1 Senior Guide for every 20 Guides, although this number may increase depending on the types of work to be done and the pool of available candidates. Creating a Senior Guide requires the approval of all of the Elder Guides and at least one GM-Admin.

Senior Guides handle all escalations from their Guides and provide another level of customer service, especially to angry or dissatisfied customers.  They support the Guides in all aspects of their job, taking referrals from the Guides when any petition becomes overly long, or a customer refuses to be satisfied. 

During an Exception Incident (described below), Seniors are detectives, but can also engage the customer and attempt to defuse the situation. However, this is only done if the accused customer is not a recidivist. In the event of a repeat offender, the Senior does nothing more than gather information and await the arrival of a GM or Elder Guide.

The responsibilities of the Senior Guides for their particular server (in addition to the duties of a Guide) are: · Manage the Guide Program on their server · Assist Elders as needed · Provide the communication focal point for their server, passing information from the Elders to their Guide population and reporting status and Exception Incidents from their server to the Elder Guide team.

Senior Guides also have duties that are program-wide, in addition to the responsibilities for their assigned server. Seniors should have a clear understanding of when they are acting on behalf of their assigned server, and when they are acting in a program-wide capacity, and should be able to represent both of these views appropriately. The following roles will be handled by a Senior Guide or a team of Senior Guides, according to the volume of work required. In some cases, Seniors may coordinate these types of work, delegating parts of it to a Guide or Guides. This can be particularly useful when the workload is heavy and when the Senior team for a server would like to evaluate a Guide wishing to become a Senior Guide.

PR Senior (program-wide position) - coordinates board and chat activities, speaks as a Guide outside EverQuest, monitors web activities for bug boards, exploits, and other game-wrecking posts and communications.

Training Senior (program-wide position) - produces training material and FAQs to be used across all servers and works with the appropriate elder to provide input to the training process.

Scheduling Senior (program-wide position) - reviews scheduling across all servers and is the focal point for cross-server scheduling activities including load balancing, and Guide movement between servers. Maintains and improves the scheduling tools and works with the appropriate Elder to improve the scheduling process.


5. Elder Guides are the consulting and management arm of the Guide program. They are responsible for the welfare of the Guide program as a whole. Elder Guides are the highest escalation point in the program. They create and change policy, review personnel, communications and operations activities, and create, run and coordinate quests and events. Elder Guides provide the interface between the Guide program and Verant Interactive. It is intended that a team of Elders be associated with a particular set of servers, so that the Seniors have a constant set of Elders at their disposal for issues, escalations and events occurring on their server.

Elder Guides are expected to provide a larger time commitment than Senior Guides, essentially doing whatever is necessary to keep the Guide program running smoothly. Elder Guides are chosen from the ranks of the Senior Guides when there is an exceptional candidate and a need for additional staffing. The creation of an Elder Guide requires the approval of the existing Elders as well as Verant management. Elder Guides will also have areas of specialization as follows:

Quest Elder - coordinator of quest activity across all servers.

Personnel Elder - works with a team of Seniors to collect and processes recruitment data, review applications, turn candidates into Apprentices, and assign them to servers, handles personnel escalations and exception incidents.

Process Elder - manages documentation, process improvement, and program change management.

Customer Service Elder - works with Verant closely to maintain consistency between the programs, ensures PR Senior has the right direction, enforces external policy, and is primary contact between Verant and the Guide Program.

All Elder Guides are members of the Elder Council. The Council is the final arbiter of escalations and changes to program

6. Verant Game Masters are split into several categories, each with different responsibilities and levels of authority, though all must follow these guidelines while in-game and wearing a GM flag: · GM-Coders and GM-Art are the programmers and artists that are moving about the world, fixing broke functions and testing game aspects. These GM’s have no customer service responsibilities, should remain /anonymous and should avoid unnecessary customer contact. · GM-Testers are the internal testers that work at Verant and are testing the various aspects of the game from within. These GM’s have no customer service responsibilities, should remain /anonymous and should avoid unnecessary customer contact. · GM-Areas are the world builders and artists, similar to the GM-Coders in most respects. These GM’s have no customer service responsibilities, should remain /anonymous and should avoid unnecessary customer contact. · GM-Admins are the GM’s that work within Verant and are responsible for providing customer service. These GM’s answer /petitions as needed (i.e. when the load is excessive) and use their expanded abilities to provide support to the Guides on duty in addition to customer service responsibilities outside the game. These GM’s are also responsible for monitoring the EQ Chat area and answering questions there, as well as handling phone and email support. · GM-Lead Admins are the managers of the GM-Admins. · GM-Mgmt are the highest authority of GM’s in the game and the final arbiters in all disputes, escalations, and issues of policy and discipline.


2. The Customer Service Interface and Tools


2.1 The /PRivate Channel

Currently, GM/Guide internal communications are handled through the use of the GM-only channel, /PRivate. Guides and GMs also use this channel to speak privately among the group across all zones.


2.2 The /PETition Queuing Tool

When a customer types /petition <msg>, an entry is created at the bottom of the /petition queuing system. These entries are sorted in reverse chronological order, the oldest entries being at the top.

To access the Queuing tool, press “G” to access the GM menu, then press “PETITION”. This brings up the list of account names on the right side of your primary viewing screen, translucent over any terrain or NPCs that you are viewing. The list has the oldest dozen entries that are in need of attention, sorted first in urgency order, then chronological order.

At the very top will be any calls that have been escalated as emergency. Emergency queue entries are escalations to Seniors, Elders, and GMs and are red in color.

Next will be the urgent ones, which are yellow in color and are escalations for any powered Guide, usually from an Apprentice that is not able to service the call.

Then the normal priority calls, which are green.

Lastly are the low priority calls, the blue ones, that have been checked out and the player that /petitioned is not currently online.

Taking a Call It is the desire of the Guide Program to answer every petition, no matter how trivial, even if the answer is “I’m sorry, but we’re not able to do that.” All customers are important and all need to feel like we care and listen to them.

To take a call, simply click on it in the /petition queue. This “checks it out” and the Guide now “owns” this entry. The entry is no longer in the queue but only in the hands of the Guide that checked it out. The screen changes to the “Open Item” screen, which has the following items in it:

Buttons (along the left hand side) User Text Displays the customer’s /petition text into the Guide’s text box GM Text Displays any text appended by a Guide/GM into the Guide’s text box Append Text Appends text to the GM Text section (type the text into the text box, then press Append Text instead of the Enter key) Downgrade Reduces the urgency of the /petition Escalate Increases the urgency of the /petition Unavailable Increases the unavailable counter Log Bug Logs the call into the /bug database Log Feedback Logs the call into the /feedback database Log Guidelog Logs the call into the Guide Logbook Check In Puts the /petition back in the queue Undo Checkout As Check In, but undoes any text added to the /petition Delete Petition Removes the petition from the queue

Fields (down the center) Urgency Low/Normal/Urgent/Emergency User handle Station name of petitioning player Last Guide Station name of last Guide to handle the call Zone Zone the player petitioned from Character Character name of the petitioning player Level Level of the petitioning player Class Class of the petitioning player Race Race of the petitioning player

Normal Calls

Most calls fall into the “Normal” category. To handle a normal call, check the call out and contact the customer. Follow any of the procedures listed elsewhere in this document to handle the call until it is completed. Once completed, press “Delete Petition” and move on to the next call.

Bug Calls

If a call turns out to be a bug report, then investigate the bug as quickly as possible to gather whatever additional information is necessary to file a bug report. The types of information needed are pertinent to the bug in question:

· Zone the problem occurred · Description of the location, as specifically as possible · Name of any NPCs involved · Specific steps to recreate

Use “Append Text” to add all the information to the queue entry, then press “Log Bug”. This will put the bug into the /bug database. Once the call is complete, press “Delete Petition” and move on to the next call.

Feedback Calls

If a call turns out to be customer feedback, gather as much additional information as possible to make the request complete, use “Append Text” to add the information to the queue entry, then press “Log Feedback” to put the request into the /feedback database. Once the call is complete, press “Delete Petition” and move on to the next call.

Unusual or Problem Calls

If there is a problem with a call that does not fall into any of the above categories, or that a Guide feels is noteworthy; it needs to be logged into the Guide database. Gather as much additional information as possible to make the report complete, use “Append Text” to add the information to the queue entry, then press “Log Guidelog” to put the request into the Guide database. Once the call is complete, press “Delete Petition” and move on to the next call.

Verant Customer Service reviews this log regularly and issues that are placed here can be resolved offline as needed.

Calls from other sources

The customer service staff will frequently receive tells or in-person communications from players. The order in which communications should be handled is petitions, in-person conversations, then tells. Any customer service calls that come in via /tell should be encouraged to utilize /petition to ensure the customer has an avenue of support when the Guide they are speaking to is not online.

Customer service staff should not respond to /shout and /ooc communications. When the staff is involved with in-person communications, it should be handled in as personable a manner as possible. This includes role-playing whenever it is possible to do so, as well as making an effort to show an interest in the player, enthusiasm in the game, and encouraging good gaming behavior.


2.3 Customer Service Commands and Tools

The following commands are available to all full Guides:

/find <playername> or <NPCfirstname_ NPClastname00> or <playername>’s corpse<#> - Used to find the location of a player, player’s corpse or NPC. Intra-zone command.

G - Brings up the GM menu.

/goto <playername> or <NPCfirstname_ NPClastname00> - Used to go to a player or NPC. Inter-zone/Intra-zone command. If the parameters are left out, /goto will take the Guide to the targeted PC/NPC/corpse.

/hideme - GM version of hide. Used for investigations.

/kill - kills the targeted NPC, leaving no corpse. Only used to clear out stuck/broken NPCs, and only after attempting all other avenues of resolution (i.e. Wand of Memory, etc.)

/private - used to speak on the private channel

/servers - This will show the availability of all zones on a server. The list is ordered with the most recently available zones on top.

/Summon <playername> - Used to bring a player to you. Inter-zone command. /Summon without a parameter summons the player or corpse currently targeted.

/Summon <playername>’s Corpse<#> - Used to summon a player’s corpse. Intra-zone command. Always use the summoning procedures when using this tool.

/zone <zonename - see Appendix B> - Used to go to any zone. Takes you to the 0,0,0 point of the zone, which in some cases (soldunga and Erudnext) is a small room with no exits. Always use the summoning procedures when using this tool.


The following commands are available to all Senior and Elder Guides:

/becomenpc <race#> <gender=M, F, N> <material#> <head#> <height#> - Change the form of the targeted PC or NPC, converting them into an NPC (full PvP) Not all <race#> are available in every zone. Some are “global”, such as the PC races, and others are local and only appear in some zones. Used discretely, never in front of players, and usually in conjunction with Quest preparations.

/broadcast - broadcasts a server-wide message. “br” is an acceptable abbreviation for this command. Due to its similarity to “pr”, caution is advised. Used with GREAT discretion, and only for messages that absolutely MUST go to all players on the server. Quest Events are not broadcasted, though broadcast may be used as a part of a quest at the discretion of the Quest Elder and the Seniors involved.

/height <#> - used to change the height of the target PC or NPC. /height 0 returns the targeted player to the default height for the player’s current race. DO NOT EXCEED /height 98, as that will corrupt the character’s file and require external repairs before the character can log back in again.

/kick - used to kick a player from the game and send them back to the character selection screen. This is only used to remove players that are hung and are unable to log in, and usually only at the players request (i.e. they log in with another character that has the same account, or ask via the chat server, to have their character logged out.)

/name <oldname> <newname> [b] - Used to change player’s names. The b is optional and will dump the original name to the name filter when used. This command cannot be used to add last names or titles. Always follow the naming procedures in using this tool.


The following commands are available to GM-Admins:

/buff - used to change the level of a PC

/kill - this version works against PCs as well as NPCs

/lastname - used to grant last names to players who have reached 20th level

/repop - used to repopulate the NPCs in a zone

/create <#> - creates the item of code <#>

/coord x,y,z - takes the CS Rep to the coordinates specified within the zone. Caution must be used if the z coord is not supplied, as it is possible that the z at the target location is different than the source one and the CS Rep can fall to their death.

The following Tools are available to all Guides of Apprentice level and up:

Staff of Guidance - Creates Gate potions. Used for the Apprentice to return to their bind point, or to assist a stuck player to get home. Harvest Stone - Creates food for the Guide. Spring Urn - Creates water for the Guide

The following Tools are available to all full Guides (all of these tools are to be used on CS Representatives only, not on customers):

Glamour Stone - Add some of the target NPCs faction to yours. The amount added should be enough to let you interact with the NPC, check merchant lists, etc. Ring of Dispelling - Casts Cancel Magic (at 2x power), Cure Poison and Cure Disease. Girdle of Journey - Provides a significant increase in movement speed, but does not last from zone to zone. Eyepatch of Lio - Gives you See Invisible, and Ultravision. Again, does not last from zone to zone Earring of Z - Provides Enduring Breath. Also makes it so that you will NEVER run out of fatigue, and puts a super regeneration spell on you. It even gives you +20 strength, so you can carry more stuff. Ring of Invulnerability - Will make you impervious to all attacks for 1 minute of real time, though no attacks are possible during this minute. Used primarily for fire and lava exploration. Sunset Stone - Teleports you to the Guide Room in the Plane of Air. Cloak of Vashaar - Lets you cast resurrection spell on your target. Air Beads - Levitation. Wand of Memory - Clears a creature’s memory of everybody that it is mad at. Binding Stone - Bind Affinity.

NOTE about all Guide Tools: All of the Guide tools are both “No Rent” and “Radioactive”. The Guide should not and can not drop, sell, or transfer any of these items. If, for some reason, one of these items should fall into the hands of a non-Guide/non-GM character, that character would be struck dead instantly.

2.4 Getting Equipped

Once a Guide is accepted into the Guide Program as an Apprentice, they must be outfitted for the job. When they are promoted to full Guide, further outfitting is required. If a Guide should lose their tools, usually due to a corpse loss, they need a way to re-acquire their tools.

The procedure an Apprentice follows to be robed, equipped and brought online is as follows: · The Apprentice attends their training meeting prior to being robed. · They then go to the server assigned to them by the Training Senior at the time indicated in their buffing schedule, also received from their Training Senior. · When they arrive, they create the character they selected, using the name they told the Training Senior they would use, and log that character in. · They do a /who all GM, locate the Training Senior or an Elder and send them a /tell, indicating they are present to be robed. · The Apprentice is summoned to the Plane of Air and waits for a Verant GM. · The Verant GM shows up, turns on their GM flag, buffs them to 20th level, and gives them an Apprentice Note. · The Apprentice then takes that note and gives it to the High Elven NPC, Cynthia Moonchaser, who gives them a small amount of money in exchange. · Cynthia explains to the Apprentice that she is there to serve them, providing them with the tools they need to do their job. · The Apprentice right clicks on Cynthia, buys the items available to them and equips them.

When an Apprentice is promoted to full Guide, their powers are generally given to them before their tools or trappings. The process is as follows: · A Verant GM arrives on the server and /tells the Apprentice they are there to buff them. · The GM /summons the Apprentice to the Plane of Air. · The GM buffs the Apprentice to 50th level and gives them a Guide Note. · The new Guide takes the Guide note and gives it to the Teir’dal NPC, Julyn D`Bon, who gives them a small amount of money in exchange. · Julyn explains to the Guide that she is there to serve them, providing them the tools they need to do their job. · The Guide right clicks on Julyn, buys the items available to them and equips them. · In addition, they can also purchase the Verdant Armour and/or robes available from the Erudite NPC, Michael Loreweaver, and as may be equipped by their class or race.

The NPCs only respond to the appropriate level of Guide, and only when they have given Cynthia and Julyn their note. Once they are trading with the NPC, the Guide is free to return and re-purchase their tools at any time. This is particularly important when the tools are lost due to corpse loss or other such anomalies.

3. Communications


3.1 Communications between Verant Studios and Customers

The official communication channels between Verant Studios and EverQuest customers are the EverQuest web site at www.everquest.com, and the everquest_manual.txt file which is resident on every customer’s PC in the EQ directory and is also accessible by pressing the Help button below the EverQuest chat screen. Additions to the everquest_manual.txt file may also be seen on the patch screen. Customers should be told to check these sources on a regular basis for any information that the Verant staff wishes to communicate to the entire user base.

3.2 Communications between Customer Service Personnel and Customers

Communications between Customer Service personnel and EverQuest customers should be handled in as professional manner as possible. This is not to say that we must be serious and short with the customers. On the contrary, customer service personnel should attempt to roleplay their encounters with customers, portraying some personality and using humor where appropriate. We should at all times show good communications skills, speaking to the customer in correct English or a suitable role-play variant. Commonly used slang associated with hackers/cheaters/warez sites, etc. should not be used, as it shows unprofessionalism. Foul language should never be used when speaking to customers.

3.3 Input to Customer Service Policies and Procedures

Customers as well as members of the CS staff will hold many opinions of what the customer service policies and practices should be. These opinions tend to surface at inappropriate times, such as when a customer is having a problem. Customers should be informed that the CS team follows any policies that are currently in place, and does not have the power to change them “on-the-fly” at the request of individual customers. Customers do have a method of providing input to the program using /feedback. All such submissions are reviewed by CS management and the Process Elder. Members of the Guide program wishing to have input to the program policies should send such input to the Process Elder, Mistigris@mindspring.com.

3.4 Communications Among the Customer Support Staff

The official method of communication for the customer support staff is the GM message board, located at http://eqguide.989studios.com. Email communications may also be used less formally, or for communications between subsets of the staff (all CS staff on one server, all Senior CS staff, all new apprentices, etc.)

In addition, the Guides on a particular server may hold meetings on a regular basis to provide a forum for handling pressing issues and airing concerns.  These meetings will occur on the Snow IRC server in a channel designated by the meeting chairperson.  These meetings should be set to +private to prevent unwanted eavesdroppers in the proceedings.  The current location of the posted meeting schedule is http://www.tomco.net/~kidlyd/.meetings/meetings.html.

Subjects discussed on the GM board, in any Guide mailing list, or in private GM/Guide meetings are NOT to be relayed to the general player population.

3.5 Guide Posting to Public Boards

As Guides travel about outside the game, they can frequent news groups, bulletin boards, and other messaging media where players congregate and discuss the game. Guides (with the exception of the PR Seniors and CS Elders) are free to post to these boards as they wish with a few restrictions:

· They may not indicate they are Guides · They may not answer questions specific to Guide policy · They must adhere to the Rules and Regulations of the Guides when discussing in-game material

In short, do not speak of things out of game that you can not speak of in-game. Guides maintain the mystery always.

The PR Seniors and CS Elders represent the Guide Program on web sites and bulletin boards during the course of their duties and may represent themselves as such openly, but always conduct themselves as Guides, even out of EverQuest.

In the event that the Guide encounters a poster that is specifically attacking the Guide program or a specific Guide (even if that Guide is themselves), they should not post, but instead send an email to their PR Senior with a link to the post. The reason for this is that one of the roles of the PR Seniors is to be the voice of the program. How the program is represented to the public is of paramount importance so it is necessary that it speak with one voice and one consistent message.

Under no circumstances should a Guide “fight” with another player on a public board, nor should a group of Guides “gang up” on a player simply because they all disagree with them. The Guide program has no true authority outside of EverQuest, and at all times our goal is to present ourselves professionally and maturely.

Quests are coordinated by the Seniors on a server and implemented by the Guides as scheduled. These Quests come from the GM Quest Board, complete with histories, storylines, and background. The Quest GM and the PR Seniors are responsible for disseminating this information outside of the game to ensure the correct information is made available, both in content and amount. Too much information can spoil the Quest, and incorrect information creates inconsistency between the servers. Consequently, Guides are prohibited from posting information, stories, background, announcements, or anything else related to a Quest without first getting approval from a PR Senior and the Quest Elders.


3.6 The Nightly Report

Guides will post a nightly report covering highlights of their shift on their server discussion board. Highlights should include severe problems and problems affecting a large number of players. These reports should be very concise, containing brief summaries of only those events of the evening believed to cause the most impact to the game. A Senior Guide for each server will pull together the highest priority items from the reports and post these as the report for that server. Verant staff checks the nightly reports to quickly assess the issues of the day. Verant CS management will post the results of any escalations or actions taken in response to the nightly reports on the Guide News and Announcements Boards

The first Guide to file the report for the day creates a post with the date in the title. Each subsequent addition by a Guide for that day's activities is added as a response to that post, not a new post. There should be a section of the report dedicated to that evening's incidents, including such things as Abuse and Exploitation (detailed below). Each incident should contain all pertinent information to the incident, particularly the character and account names of the players involved.

The GM discussion board is located at http://eqguide.989studios.com.

4. Customer Service Personnel Policy and Practices

4.1 Customer Service Personnel Policy

The customer service staff maintains constant exposure to the EverQuest customer base and our actions are under constant scrutiny. We must exhibit the highest standards of behavior and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Reports on the performance of the customer service staff are expected to come from many sources, not all of which are reliable. It is to be expected that some unhappy customers will file reports concerning customer service people simply for not giving them what they want. Conversely, it is expected that some people who are not good candidates for the program will join the staff.

Any staff members who cannot follow the policies and procedures, or who are found to not be a “good fit” for the program will be released from the Customer Service program. It is much preferred that we keep our own house clean than allowing the customer to do this for us.


4.2 Customer Service Personnel Procedures

Members of the Customer Service staff deserve at least as much consideration as an average player when an incident report is filed against them. All such reports are handled privately involving only the reporting party and the Senior Staff member investigating the complaint. The following procedures are used to ensure a fair review.

A report of misconduct may occur in a public forum or as part of a private conversation with a customer. Reports may also be generated directly from Guides or Verant staff.

Whichever staff member receives the report should try to ensure that basic information is included. (Char name of the CS person involved, server, date and time, and incident details) This information should then be forwarded privately to the appropriate escalation point:. · Complaints about a Guide or Apprentice should be taken to that Guide or Apprentice’s Senior, who will evaluate the issue with the Personnel Elder. · Complaints about a Senior Guide should be taken to the Elder Guide for that server, who will then coordinate efforts with the Personnel Elder. · Complaints about an Elder Guide should be taken directly to the GM-Lead Admin at jbutler@verant.com. · Complaints about GM-Admins should be taken to a Senior on the server, who will then take it to the Personnel Elder to coordinate with the GM-Lead Admin.

The investigating staff member will look into the incident as thoroughly as possible, involving the subject of the report in their investigation. In the case of reports against Guides or Apprentices, the Senior Guide will then inform the Personnel Elder with the results of their investigation. The Personnel Elder will take whatever actions are appropriate, whether this involves counseling a Guide or removing them from the program.

In cases where the program releases a staff member, the Elder will notify Verant, copying the investigating staff member. Verant will then have the character removed. After the character is removed, the investigating staff member will seek out the individual, and inform them of their removal from the program. It is imperative that the released staff member not be communicated with prior to the removal, as they represent a threat to the program. It is also important that they be communicated with as soon after their removal as possible, and as discretely as possible, to ensure a clean removal with as few hard feelings as possible.

To reiterate, once Verant has removed the staff member, it is the responsibility of that staff member’s immediate superior (The Senior for dismissed Apprentices and Guides, the Elder for dismissed Seniors) to locate the person and communicate their change in status as quickly and professionally as possible to reduce the shock and potential hard feelings.

5. Rules and Regulations

5.1 Information Dissemination

Questions regarding material available in the manual/.TXT file. The EverQuest manual and EQNews.TXT file contain a great deal of information. CS Personnel should encourage people to read it by not answering questions that are answered in these documents. Should a significant number of questions be generated about something that is not in the documentation, effort should be made to have the files updated with the additional information.

Questions about game specific information. In their travels, Guides and GMs learn a lot of things. They see spells and items that will only be accessible through the most difficult quests in the game. They see the bottoms of dungeons and the loot of monsters that may not be generally accessible yet in the game. And they tell NO ONE. This information is part of the mystery of the game. We do not divulge information of this nature to any player for any reason anywhere. If the customer wishes to know, they can go find out on their own. Divulging this information to anyone other than a Guide or Verant-GM is a violation of policy and one of the more serious offenses a CS person can commit.

Questions regarding other CS representatives. CS reps are not always on duty. When they are off duty, they should continue to play as much as possible on servers where they are not representing the program to ensure that they don’t lose contact with the player’s perspective of the game. At no time does any CS Rep. reveal the identity of one of these player characters to anyone outside the program. This protects the Guide in question from many things (favoritism accusations, excessive /tells from people that know they are really a CS Rep, etc) as well as allows us to travel the zones with impunity to investigate exploit reports or evaluate potential Guide candidates. The primary reason for this regulation is to allow us some peace and quiet to enjoy the game when they are not on duty.

5.2 Interacting In-Game

In-zone Communications. "Answer circles" are fine, as are /petitions, but we do not answer /shout or /ooc questions. The more populated zones are currently overrun with this chatter, and we will not contribute to it. Customer service representatives will set a precedent by not answering questions that are delivered in such a manner, asking the customer to use a more appropriate method for communicating with them.

In-game Character Services. We are not in Norrath to interfere with the economy in any way. That means we do not provide services that can be provided by other PC’s. These services include, but are not limited too: Binding, Curing, Healing, Enchanting, Tailoring, Smithing, or Scribing. Any service that can be provided by a PC should be, even if that PC is charging a fee for that service.

In-game Character Protection. No matter what degree of danger a customer finds themselves in, the Customer Service Reps are not to intervene. We watch, but do not act. Should customers come to us for aid, we should remove ourselves from the situation. This means "question and answer sessions" should be formed in safe areas such as around guards, not in public adventure zones.

This includes PvP combat in all its myriad forms. If a customer we are speaking with is suddenly attacked by another player, we must not intervene, no matter the situation. If the attacker is utilizing an exploit or abuse in the attack, then use the Exploitation or Abuse Incident procedures documented below. The best solution, for both the customer and the CS Rep, is to only do “question and answer sessions” in a guarded area.

Pseudo-Nepotism. Customer Service Representatives should, at all costs, avoid any interaction with Guildmates while on duty. This includes, but is not limited too:

· Taking /petitions from Guildmates · Escalating issues to Guildmates that are also part of the Customer Service program. · Referencing or speaking of the Guild or Guild references while on duty. · Having the Guild advertise that a CS Rep is a member

Essentially, if a Customer Service Rep’s player character is a member of a Guild, they should have nothing to do with anyone anywhere, while they are on duty, that is also a member of that Guild, even if that person is also in the program. This prevents the perception that, because a guild has a CS Rep within it, members of that Guild gets preferential treatment.

No d3wDzP3aK (Doodspeak). As Guides, we communicate with our customers 100% via the written word. As such, it is very important that we deliver our responses in a professional and literate fashion. There is no quicker way to offend or “put off” a customer than communicating in a manner that sounds ignorant or overly informal. Few people will complain or notice if our communications are concise, clean, and professional, but MANY will notice should they be sloppy, erroneous, and illiterate. Consequently, Guides should avoid using the style of communication generally referred to as Doodspeak. This includes words such as: · 'u' instead of you · 'ur' instead of you're/your · 'sup' as a greeting · Etc.

Communicating in a “role playing” manner is acceptable, as long as it’s consistent with EverQuest’s genre, so “thee” and “thou” are allowed. However you choose to communicate, remember the primary goal is to communicate effectively. Once you’re doing that, the role playing can be added for colour.

5.3 Discretion and Professionalism

Set an example. Both to the customers and to the rest of the CS team, it is imperative that all CS personnel maintain an air of professionalism and integrity. Personally, out of character, and “off the clock”, they can behave how they wish as long as there is no connection between who they are and their Guide persona. But on duty, even in the /private channel, we speak of and to the customer with kind regard and consideration, even when telling them “No”.

Tempers. No matter how frustrating the situation, no matter how angry the customer, no matter how personal the insults, a Guide should never lose their temper. Should a Guide feel that they are losing their temper, they should escalate the call immediately, to a Senior if possible or another Guide if a Senior is not available. This is not personal, and the Guides are here to help.

Ignoring customers. No matter how frustrating a customer can be, we never /ignore them. If a CS Rep is having a difficult time with a customer, they should escalate it to another team member, if possible. If no one else is available, the CS Rep must simply handle it as quickly and efficiently as possible, then disengage from the customer.

Guide and GM “friends.” The end goal of the Customer Service program is to have representatives spread across multiple servers to allow them to not have to play on the same servers as their friends. However, friends will go where they will, so the program must endeavor to avoid the stigma of favoritism.

CS Reps do not take a /petition from a friend unless there is no one else to take it. If no other team members are available he CS Rep must take the /petition, doing only the minimum amount of work required to close the call, even if it means leaving the problem only partially fixed. Better to be accused of giving poor service to friends than better-than-normal service to them.

Controlling customer perception. No matter the intentions, no matter how pure the motives, no matter how well meaning the representative, the specter of favoritism can rear its ugly head if we are not diligent and consistent in our actions. All it takes is for the belief to be propagated to cause a problem, even if it is completely untrue. This must be avoided at all costs, as it not only damages the individual’s reputation and that of the program, but undermines EQ overall.

We do not stay in zones where our friends are playing - the further away the better. We do not associate with friends while we are on duty, even if the friend is aware of our role in the Customer Service program. Seeing a CS Rep in the same zone with the same characters consistently, especially if it the identity of the representative’s alternate character becomes known, is simply asking to be accused of favoritism.

And under no circumstances whatsoever should any CS Rep “help themselves”, such as answering a /petition put in by their player character or that character’s party or doing a CR on their player character or members of that character’s party.

Twinking. Customer Service Representatives have the ability to test and explore dungeons and zones at their leisure. We do not adventure and do not give things to other players, no matter the circumstances. This includes giving items to our player characters. We are observers, not participants.

5.4 On The Job


Off Duty = Off Duty. When we are off duty, we are not a Customer Service Rep, Guide or GM. Our player characters have no authority whatsoever, and are essentially another customer. Consequently a CS Rep in their player character should never approach a customer in an official capacity, nor should they ever imply they have more power or authority than that of a normal customer. Likewise, our player characters should not call on other CS Reps for any special considerations-the rules apply to all characters and there will be no favoritism within the Program. This means off duty CS Reps do not identify themselves as CS Reps on their play server, particularly when soliciting assistance as a customer.

Representatives that find their play characters embroiled in the middle of a questionable situation should extricate themselves from it as quickly and quietly as possible to avoid any potential issues arising from their presence. Representatives that allow their player characters to initiate questionable situations will find themselves subject to discipline, as the Customer Service staff is held to the highest standard of behavior, on or off duty.

Threats of banishment. Regular Customer Service staff cannot ban players, ever. When investigating a call, no matter how severe, the investigating representative should never insinuate, threaten, or otherwise imply that the they have the power or ability to banish a player. The CS Rep is there to gather the necessary information and report it to according to the procedures. GM-Mgmt then makes the final decision.

A CS Rep threatening a player with banishment creates two problems. First, it implies a level of authority they do not possess, creating hostility in the customer base. Secondly, if the player is not banned, it reduces the credibility of the program overall as it gives the impression that we make threats that they either can not or will not follow through with.

No Looting. During a CR, the player in question (or his designate) must come to the spot of his corpse (or as close as possible). Customer Service personnel do not go in, get things, and carry them out. If the customer wants their possessions, they can come get it. This is to prevent people going in to a place; getting killed by a bug, and having us carry their inventory out when they should not have been there in the first place. If the customer got in there once, they can get a CR party and do it again.

Under no circumstances do we loot the bodies of players for any reason. If the body is not lootable by the customer, then the customer needs to find a friend to loot it for them. CS Reps also do not negotiate with other players to loot bodies. Retrieval of the customer’s possessions is solely the responsibility of the customer. Our only role is to ensure that the customer’s body is reachable by the customer via normal means.

Summoning characters. Summoning normal players (not GM’s or Guides) is only used in the following cases: · To unstick stuck players · To bring customers to their body in the event that they died due to a bug (the bug directly killed them, see below) · To shuttle characters across a sea zone in the event that the boats are non-functional · To move people back to their bind point, should an affinity reset occur for that person

Summoning is not used in the following cases: · To shuttle characters to their body because they did not bind closer · To shuttle characters from place to place for “casual” reasons · To shuttle characters to their body because they got into a situation that was over their head and recovering their body on their own is simply “too hard”

/Anonymous Guides. This applies to all Guides and GM’s. If a Guide or GM is online and is not willing or not able to answer questions, then they must be /anonymous. A visible GM is someone the customers can ask questions of and the customers expect an answer if they can see a GM online. A Guide that is on a project (such as investigating an exploit report) or a developer that is working on a problem that does not wish to be disturbed should be /anonymous to avoid confusion and frustration to the customer.

No Hunting/Questing/Crafting/Shopping/Begging/etc. The Guide characters are provided to make sure we have the resources we need to do our jobs. They are not toys nor are they for play. Consequently, unless it is explicitly covered by another procedure in this document (i.e. verifying loot levels), Guides do not kill monsters in any other manner but /kill. They do not use spells, pets, weapons, skills, their hands, or in any other way interact with an NPC in any manner that produces a corpse or an item. In addition, /kill is only used in conjunction with "Stuck Monster" calls, and only as described in that procedure. Guides do not do NPC Quests, unless verifying that the quest is functioning, and again only done in accordance with the documented procedure. Guides do not fight each other or players, no matter the circumstances, outside of scripted quests, only at the direction of their Senior or Quest Elder, and NEVER with their Guide character.

Guides do not have money, outside of the money given to them by the NPCs in the Guide Hall. Guides have no need to purchase anything apart from the Guide tools available from the Guide Hall NPCs. If a Guide feels they need a tool or resource they do not posses, then they should contact their Senior and ask for it. If it's already been approved for use in the program, the Senior will provide it. If it's not, and the Guide can convince the Senior it's required, the Senior can request it of the Elders.

The Elders collect such requests and process them with Verant to prevent every Guide in the program from asking every GM they see for things they feel they need. This allows the Program to work most efficiently with Verant. Unless there are special circumstances involved, when the program requests things from Verant we batch these request and schedule them. Guides are NOT to approach GMs or other Verant employees to request names, items, levels, or anything else. These requests are handled uniformly across the Guide program, according to established practices.

Note: This does not include Exploring. Guides need to know their way around, the lay out of the zones, and in general where things are. With the exception of the Apprentice restriction to higher level zones, Guides can and should go everywhere possible and be comfortable navigating any zone in the game.


5.5 Behavior Guidelines

The Customer Service staff is expected to behave professionally at all times. This does not mean “stiffly and formally”, but consistently, ethically, and with integrity. Being that we are in Norrath to enhance the game, there is a code of conduct that all Guides and GM’s must follow whenever dealing with customers in any capacity.

1. Courteous. Customer Service staff is polite, always. No matter how angry the customer, no matter how bad the complaint, no matter how personal the insult, we are always polite. 2. Empathetic. We care, always. Even when we can not help, or when the customer is abusive, the CS Rep always remembers what it was like to be in the customer’s position and understands how they feel. 3. Patient. Things go wrong, often. Things do not work out or fall apart, and take customers with them. No matter how wild the chaos, the Customer Service personnel are a rock that the customers depend upon in the storm. 4. Decisive. When a critical problem occurs that requires immediate action, that action must be rational, logical, and consistent with the program policies. A CS Rep being able to keep their head, contacting the proper escalation points, and executing consistent damage control can keep a minor emergency from becoming a disaster. 5. Humble. We are not above the customers. We support them, and they are the reason the program exists. . The hierarchy of Guides is a measurement of the trust earned from other Guides and Verant, not necessarily an indicator of experience, knowledge, or ability. The Senior Guides are there because they excel at the requirements listed here, not because they have been in the program the longest. 6. Consistent. The actions of any individual representative directly impact the expectations on all of the others. Anyone who steps outside of the policy, no matter how "necessary" the violation, immediately causes other customers to ask why that exception was not granted to them in their own time of need. Policies exist for a reason, no matter how unfair they sometimes seem. 7. Committed. We are committed to the success of EverQuest. This is above personal gain within the game, making friends, and ego. Our commitment to our mission statement drives this. 8. Honest. The Guide program is where it is by earning the trust of Verant and its customers. Any betrayal of that trust hurts the other Guides, the customers, Verant, and EverQuest. Any short-term gain from being dishonest is FAR overshadowed by the long-term damage. 9. Creative. This is a roleplaying game. As such, most of the fun is mental and spontaneous. The more creative a CS Rep is, the more fun everyone can have with each encounter and situation. 10. Tolerant. People do not come to us happy. They only call when something has gone wrong, and they are often angry. It is not personal. We smile, listen, and fix it to the best of their ability, no matter how they are treated by the customer. A Customer Service representative should not carry any negative feelings about a customer encounter-into the next customer encounter. The CS staff on a server should develop a level of teamwork that will allow the team members to support each other, avoiding passing on our frustration to the customers.


6. General Customer Service

6.1 General Customer Service Policy

It is the policy of the Customer Service Program to answer every /petition that comes to in, regardless of whether the problem can be solved. Even an “I’m sorry, but we are unable to help you” is better than no response at all.

6.2 General Customer Service Procedures

Apprentices should be the first to answer any incoming call. This not only gives them the experience needed to be able to manage large call volumes, but it also allows other members of the team the time they need to handle escalations or special projects. If a Guide (Apprentice, Guide, or Senior) does not know the answer to a question, it behooves them to find out the answer to make sure they can answer the question if it arises again. Avoiding a question, simply because they do not know it, creates a “blind spot” in their knowledge base. In addition, it is the responsibility of the ones that do know the answers to provide those answers to those that do not know.

Time Limits - During peak times, or times of low staffing and moderate /petition load, it is recommended that a CS Rep not take longer than 1 minute to answer any non-travel /petition. In other words, if the solution can be answered via /tell, then it should not take longer than 1 minute to resolve.

The idea behind this is to prevent us from spending 30 minutes resolving a problem and pacifying a customer while the other representatives become overwhelmed with the load. No customer deserves more of our time than any other, and all customers deserve our attention when they need it. This is more a recommendation than a mandate, as not every problem can be resolved in 60 seconds. But it is imperative that we Guide spend as little time resolving the problem as possible to be available for the next call.

Obviously, during periods of low load, we are not under as much pressure, but it is best to maintain the same sense of discipline when handling calls regardless of the load.

7. General Incident Procedures

7.1 Account and Billing Problems

Players with problems regarding customer accounts and billing should be requested to use the website, http://www.station.sony.com to resolve their problem. Those unable to handle their problem through the web site can call 1-888-station.

7.2 Boat Zoning Anomalies

There is a special procedure for customers who have problems sailing on the ships in the game and find themselves swimming in the ocean due to technical reasons.

Whenever you receive a petition that a customer has had a boat related death or accident: · /Goto the customer · Verify their location (if they are in the middle of the ocean, then the call is likely valid; if they are just off the shore of an island, then the call is likely not) · If the customer died, perform a Corpse Retrieval as documented then continue with this procedure · If the customer is alive, ask them their desired destination · /zone to the destination zone and travel to the docks · /summon the player to that location

This procedure is not used if: · The player was fleeing a monster into the water and died, either drowned or killed · The player was swimming from island to island and drowned · The player was fleeing another player by jumping off the boat and drowned


7.3 Corpse Recovery

When a customer calls indicating they have lost their corpse: · Ask them where and how they died. · Go to the zone where the corpse is located. · Find the corpse (/find <playername>’s corpse#-- the "‘s" is required, and the # is replaced by a numeral, starting at 1, to differentiate between multiple corpses) and make note of the xx, yy, zz coordinates of the corpse. · As long as the player did not die by falling into lava or through the bottom of the ground (if the latter is the case, the zz coordinate will be negative a large number), /goto the corpse and investigate it.

If the corpse is clearly visible (i.e. not embedded in a hillside or a tree) and accessible through normal travel (i.e. not under the ground, in the air, or hanging off of a cliff) then summoning the corpse should not be necessary. If not, then find the closest patch of land to the corpse and summon the corpse to it. Inform the customer that their corpse is now available for retrieval and end the call.

If the corpse is in lava, under water, near a dangerous monster or anywhere else accessible at risk to the customer, it is left there for the customer to attempt to retrieve. These are hazards of the game and the CS Program is not here to circumvent them.

Bug Deaths The only exception to the above procedure is if the cause of death was a directly due to a bug.

Some examples of causes of death that are considered bugs: · Falling through the world for massive damage · Flying through the air and falling for massive damage · Drowning in a bugged patch of water that, once a character enters they are unable to leave and drowns again · Being crushed by a ship · Falling off the boat while zoning, being lost at sea, and drowning

Some examples of causes of death that are not considered bugs: · Falling into lava after becoming linkdead · Being knocked into lava by a monster · Falling off a cliff · Being killed by a monster · Dying while under the influence of a monster’s spell, except where noted above (i.e. falling through the world) · Dying while linkdead, except where noted above (i.e. falling through the world)

If the cause of death was a bug, then the corpse retrieval process is different. · Ask them where and how they died. · Go to the zone where the corpse is located. · /summon <playername> to a safe spot in the zone, usually the zone entrance. · /summon <playername>’s <corpse#> to that spot then use the cloak of Vashaar on the targeted corpse to resurrect the player, thus reversing the loss of experience points accrued due to the erroneous death.

This is a courtesy service provided by the Guide Program in an attempt to compensate for the loss of experience and inconvenience caused by the character dying to an anomaly in the game, which is not something they could have possibly avoided.

Link death is caused by client or network issues that will exist well after release and can not be compensated for by programming. Link death can never be proven and can actually be used by customers to purposely avoid dire consequences of their actions in the game. Consequently, dying while linkdead will never be considered death by a bug, unless it causes the player to crash off of a boat and die. This is covered under Boat Zoning Anomalies.


7.4 Loss of Items or Experience Due to A Bug

Reimbursals will be handled in the game by Verant’s GM staff. When there is a petition for a reimbursal due to a bug death, the Guide should record the following information about the customer: · Character name · Station name · Station ID# · Server Name · Player’s email address · Full description of the incident leading up to the loss of the possessions · General list of the possessions lost

This information should then be posted on the GM Board for the server in question. If this is the first reimbursal report for the day, it is posted as a reply to the day’s first status report with the subject “Reimbursal: <accountname>” where <accountname> is the account name of the player in question. Each successive reimbursal report should be posted as a reply to the first one, with the same subject format.

The Verant GMs assigned to the server will check the board frequently to pick up these requests. They will then review the customer’s accounts, inventory and bank accounts to determine if reimbursal is warranted. If so, the GM will contact the customer and arrange to reimburse their items. We are attempting to have people reimbursed within 24 hours of petitioning. This delay is necessary for the GMs to verify the customer’s account.


7.5 Minor Bug Reporting

Players will report minor (non-emergency) bugs through the use of /petition. The proper response to these types of petitions, as documented above, is to gather as much information as possible and log the call as a bug.

CS staff should include zone of any location dependent bug or NPC having a problem. Faction problems should be reported with complete information on the player’s race, class and religion, along with the name and location of the NPC involved and the text of the NPCs speech.


7.6 Major Bug Reporting

If the bug is of a disruptive, or imbalancing nature, further action may be required. Examples of such bugs: · Loot given in an area of the world is excessive to the extreme - A CS Rep should move to the area as quickly as possible to verify the bug. If the bug is indeed correct, the representative should attempt to minimize the exposure by killing or removing the NPCs involved, warning other players away, and attempting to immediately escalate the problem to a Verant GM for further resolution. If no GM is available, the Guide should attempt to find a Senior, Elder, or a GM in the chat server to notify them of the problem. email Verant Customer Service (currently jbutler@verant.com). Until Verant fixes the exploit, a representative should remain in the area of its occurrence until their shift is over, notifying the rest of the staff when they are leaving so that another team member may come and take up the post. This ensures that a minimum of damage is done from the bug. · Buggy NPC pathing causing an NPC to run into a wall (corner) and not respond normally to attack or player presence - The problem should be logged into the bug database with /loc, /zone, NPC name and the circumstances that led to the pathing problem. The first course of action to use on the NPC is the Guide’s “Wand of Memory”, which will cause the NPC to forget why they are doing what they are doing and return to their static location or patrol. If this does not work, then the next course of action is to kill the NPC to allow it to respawn in its normal spawn point. In either case, ensure all information has been gathered prior to any action being taken. · A specific area is generating more than average calls, such as a gate in Neriak or a hallway in Befallen - A member of the staff should be dispatched to be near that area and camp there to assist players that are inconvenienced by this as quickly as possible. The issue should be included in detail in the nightly status report. As with the excessive loot problem above, we should make sure that the area is guarded on each shift.

Major bugs such as the above require direct intervention to prevent them from becoming disastrous ones. This does not necessarily require a dedicated CS Rep in all cases, but the longer we are present on the scene, the faster the response time that can be provided in the event of a customer issue.


7.7 Quest/Event Administration

Given the size of the program, the complexity of running quests and events, and the need for these occurrences to have a level of consistency, a formal structure will be put into place to ensure the best possible environment for the players in Norrath.

There are two "levels" of quests and events in the game: Lesser and Greater Quests and Events. Quests are defined as GM/Guide initiated, while Events are player initiated.

Lesser Quests Lesser Quests range in size from the small "fetch and carry" quests done by NPCs to the larger multi-stage, multi-NPC quests. These quests are initiated by the CS Staff on a server using the process listed below.

Greater Quests Greater Quests are the large scale, multi-server, or significantly historical quests that require high level coordination to ensure all of the facts are presented correctly and consistently. These are also run by the CS Staff on a server, but at the direction of the Quest Elder(s) and Verant GM Lead Admin and Mgmt.

Lesser Events Lesser Events are small-scale player Events that CS staff can participate in but require no special powers or items. Any Event that we are requested to participate in that requires minimal preparation on that our part is a Lesser Event. Weddings are an example of this type of Event.

Greater Events Greater Events are larger scale occurrences that require a Customer Service representative with powers or special items. (Senior Guide, Elder Guide or GM) These can include Guild wars, tournaments, invasions, and other large-scale events.

Creating a Quest Any Guide can submit a quest to the Quest Elder(s) for processing by entering it into the Quest tool. The Quest Elder(s) review all of the quest submission from players, Guides, and Verant staff and make sure that it meets the following criteria:

· Well thought out and defined - i.e. not random and inconsistent · Contains all of the necessary elements - all of the people needed to perform it are listed, all of the tools exist in the game to make it happen, etc. · Consistent with the history of Norrath as it is written by Verant - i.e. if it does not exist in the history then see if it can be added or negotiate with the submitter to change it

If any of the above are missing, the Quest Elder(s) reply to the submitter with suggestions and it goes back and forth until all the criteria are met. When all of the above are true, the quest is then handed to Verant to review for feasibility, accuracy, and impact to the economy. At this point, the quest is given a rating to indicate the level of the quest regarding the type and amount of loot involved. The ratings are as follows:

Class A - Unique or powerful items, artifact level (i.e. Fiery Avengers, etc.) Class B - Powerful, non-unique items (Lupine Gauntlets, etc.) Class C - Magical items appropriate to the level of NPC defeated (Damask Items, etc.) Class D - Mundane items appropriate to the level of the NPC defeated (Bronze/Fine Steel weapons, etc.) Class E - No loot at all beyond an appropriate amount of money for the level of NPC defeated

The Class proportions for these quests, per server, are: Class A - No more than one quest of this level per server per month Class B - No more than one quest of this level per server per two weeks Class C - No more than one quest of this level per server per week Class D - No more than three quests of this level per server per week Class E - No more than eight quests of this level per server per week

Once Verant rates and approves the quest, it is then posted to the Quest Board, which is a GM/Guide-only board that contains nothing but approved quest ideas. This provides the Guide Program with a storehouse of creative knowledge, pooling the resources of all Guides (and the more creative players that submit ideas through Guide friends) into something the Program can pull from without any one Guide being responsible for creating all quests.

Verant reserves the right to veto any submission that they deem inappropriate or not consistent with their vision of Norrath. All activity of this nature is at least monitored by the Verant Development Team to ensure the company's vision is maintained through the Guide Program's activities.

Creating an Event Events are player-initiated and come from the online community. Players build events and run them, periodically requesting Guide/GM assistance in implementing them. When such assistance is requested, there are limits to the level of participation that the Guides can offer:

· No items can be created for an Event (otherwise everyone will request an event just to get items created) · No powers can be used to facilitate the Event (summoning, etc.) · Requests must be initiated at least seven days in advance to allow for scheduling, larger events may require a larger lead-time.

As long as the above criteria are met, a Guide can become involved in an Event with the permission of their Senior. Items that are required for Events should be provided by the players involved, such as wedding dresses and trophies. The Customer Service Program does not provide items for Events, either in-game or real-life.

Running a Lesser Quest The process for running a Lesser Quest is a team effort on the part of the staff on a particular server. The process is as follows:

· A Guide or Senior wishes to run a Lesser Quest · They go to the Quest Board, pick out the quest they want · The Guide takes it to the other Guides and Seniors on their server for scheduling · The Seniors take all the Guide quest requests and schedule them out through the week to make sure they are evenly spread, maintaining the proper proportions of the various Classes of quests to protect the in-game economy · The Seniors take this schedule to their Elder(s) for a quick review and to find any Greater Quests that might be scheduled · The Seniors and their Elder(s) coordinate the schedules to avoid conflicts and inconsistencies between the desired Lesser Quests and the scheduled Greater Quests · The Seniors compile a list of the items needed by the Saturday of the week before the scheduled quests and submit it to jbutler@verant.com · The GMs create all the items needed and give them to the Seniors by Sunday of the week before, and the Seniors bank them until needed for a quest · When the scheduled time to run the quest arrives, the Senior collects the Guide(s) that will be participating and goes to the zone while /hidden

Note: The Guides that participate in quests must be signed up for at least 10 hours of Guiding on their server. Quests are done during the Guides “off hours” to prevent quest activities from interfering with Guide coverage. Each Guide that participates will have seven character slots, other than their Guide character, and these slots are filled by “template” characters that can be buffed and transformed into various NPCs as needed. Characters that are transformed into NPCs become true NPCs, aligned with the basic faction for that race and are true PvP in all senses of the word (can attack players and monsters, can be attacked by players and monsters), but do not have any of the special abilities of the new form. In fact, all characteristics and abilities are those of the original character.

The weekend before a quest is to be run, the Guides that will be participating in quests create a “template” character and have it buffed in advance to make sure it’s on hand and ready when the time comes without needing a GM present for the quest. The “template” character should either be an Ogre Warrior (with stats into strength and stamina) for attack ability and hit points or a caster class if spells are needed.

· The Senior and the Guide(s) find a quiet spot and prepare, the Senior transforming the Guide(s) into their NPC roles and equipping them as needed

Note: Any equipment that is on the transformed NPC can and will be looted from them when they die. When the Guide is transformed, they can be given a texture that gives them the appearance of wearing armor without having to give them armor. Additional protection can be provided by various spells, but at no time should they be equipped with more than the designated loot for the quest.

· The quest is run and the Senior is on hand to make sure things go as planned. The Guide(s) use their best judgment in improvising the quest should things go awry, always ensuring that they stay in character and maximize the overall customer enjoyment

Running a Greater Quest Greater Quests come from 3 sources: Verant hands it to the Quest Elder(s) to run, the Elder Council proposes it and it's approved, or the Senior Guides request it and the Elder Council approves it. In most cases, the largest quests will come from Verant and already be assembled, but the opportunity for the Guide Program to create such quests also exists. The process is as follows:

· The Greater Quest arrives into the program from one of the three sources listed · The Elder Council reviews the quest, using the same criteria as above under Creating a Quest · Verant reviews the quest to approve it · A plan is written up by the Quest Elder(s) on how to implement the quest across all of the servers · The plan is given to the Elders(s) to bring to their respective servers · The Elder(s) work with the Seniors and Guides on each server to schedule the quest · The Seniors and Guides run the quest as scheduled (as above, though Elders and GM’s may also participate)

Running an Event Guide/GM's do not run Events. They participate in them at the players' requests, but Guide/GM's do not administer Events. For a Guide to participate in an Event, the process is:

· A CS Rep is invited to participate in an Event. · If all of the conditions listed under Creating an Event are covered, the representative takes the Event to the server Senior to be scheduled. · If the Senior approves, its put on the schedule · The CS Rep participates in the Event as scheduled

The Quest Boards There are two boards used by the Guide/GMs to handle quests: The Quest Board and The Quest Forum.

The Quest Board is maintained by the Quest Elder(s) and contains all of the quests that have been submitted to the Quest Elder(s) and processed for consistency. As the various quests are run, replies will be posted in response to the quest, listing how well it went, things that should be changed, and additions that might improve it. These comments are provided and posted by the Guides that ran the quest, and should be clear, concise, and as brief as possible. The Quest Board should not become an open forum for discussing quests. Other media exist for that and the Quest Board needs to be as clean and organized as possible.

The Quest Forum is run by the Elders and Seniors and is an open forum to discuss Quest and Event issues between the Guides and GM's across all servers.


7.8 Questions about Becoming a Guide

Players who show an interest in becoming a Guide should be referred eqseniors@989studios.com. These requests should include the following information: · The player’s name · The player’s account name · The player’s primary character name and level

The player then becomes a candidate, and will receive a questionnaire via email for them to fill out and return which will facilitate their processing into the Guide Program.

For a candidate to be seriously considered there are a number of things that must be true: · They must be 18 years of age or older. The Guides will be required to sign a legally binding contract to provide accountability for their actions within the game, as poor judgment or abuse can result in monetary loss to Verant. · They must not appear on the abuse report more than once for a confirmed exception of any type. · They must not work for a competitor of Verant in the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) market. · They must not run or staff a spoiler site, an exploit site, or any site that supports the dissemination of information that is in violation of these policies.


7.8 Questions about Game Mechanics

Customer Service staff should not generally answer questions that are also answered in the EverQuest manual. These questions should be handled politely and the first one or two may be answered generally, after which the customer should be referred to the EverQuest manual. Players may ask questions about game mechanics in order to determine if they have encountered a bug. For example, a player may ask the intended effect of a spell because they are not seeing any result from casting it. Rather than telling the player specifics on the effects of the spell, it is better to ask a key question or two and determine whether the spell is working correctly. If it is, inform the player of that. If it is not, then the customer service representative should follow normal problem reporting procedures.


7.10 Stuck NPCs

During the course of play, players periodically run into NPCs that are "stuck". Stuck is defined as: · Running in place · Hung on geometry (stuck in a gate, behind a barrel, immobile but trying to · move) · Someplace they should not be (a Hill Giant inside the entrance to Befallen, · unable to get further in or out)

When a stuck NPC call comes in, the investigating Guide has a very clear process to follow. If an Apprentice arrives on the scene, a full Guide or higher will have to be called in.

Stuck NPC Procedure · Use the Wand of Memory on the NPC - This will clear its memory, or "hate list" and hopefully cause it to go about its normal route. · If that does not work, use /kill on it. This will remove the monster, without leaving a corpse, and allow it to respawn again.

Alternate method (only for the bravest of Guides). Sometimes, attacking a monster will cause it to turn and dislodge itself. This is effective on NPCs that are crucial to quests or other functions and should not be /killed if it can be avoided. The process for this requires a delicate touch and good timing. Attack the monster ONCE with the Guidestaff, then back away QUICKLY. If the NPC follows, QUICKLY use the Wand of Memory on it. The monster, now dislodged from its location will return to its normal route.

NOTE: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should this be used when there is a danger of training the NPC onto a player. Rather than risk the lives of the players’ characters, the Guide should either /zone away or allow the NPC to kill them.

No matter which resolution is used, the incident must be reported as a bug. Add any additional information to the petition, especially the correct name of the NPC and the location of the incident, then Log it as a Bug in the queuing tool.


7.11 Questions about Game Secrets

Customer service staff must never answer questions that give away the game’s secrets. These include, but are not limited to questions about quests, armor, spells, weapons, and locations of objects or NPCs.


7.12 Technical Problems

Technical problems may include problems staying connected, problems with incorrect graphics, game response time or performance, and sound problems. Technical problems originate in one or more of the following places: The EverQuest servers or network, the EverQuest client, the player’s own PC, or the network connection between the player and EverQuest.

The online customer service staff is not required to handle support for technical problems, but may do so at their discretion. Technical problems not handled by the online staff should be referred to the technical support staff.

Known Problems:

All customer service personnel should check the GM discussion board daily and read the highlight reports to find out the current “hot problem” list. Players submitting known problems should be informed that the problem is already known, but the customer service staff should submit a problem report if they have additional information needed to solve the problem.

Determining the source of unknown problems:

Determining the circumstances when the problem occurs and the circumstances when the problem does NOT occur can pinpoint the source of a technical problem.

Examples:

If the problem occurs for more than a few players, the player’s own PC is not likely to be the problem, assuming they have met the basic requirements to run the game.  The four known exceptions to this are:

1. If the player does not have at least 300M free space on their swap drive (usually C: ) 2. If the player has a number of files in C:\windows\temp or C:\Temp 3. If the player does not have the most recent video drivers or version of DirectX from the EverQuest web page. Often these are not the same drivers as listed by the manufacturer. 4. The player has 32 meg of RAM, P-233 or slower computer and/or an older graphics card. · If the problem occurs in one zone and not another, then factors such as the player’s PC configuration, and network connection can generally be ruled out.

If a problem occurs under a player’s new PC configuration, but not under the old one, and no other players are having the problem, it is likely to be a configuration or hardware problem with that player’s PC. Assuming the player’s PC meets the minimum requirements, then request that the player submit a /bug on the problem. Players experiencing problems with new hardware or software configurations can also be encouraged to check established message boards to find other players with matching system configurations. These can then be compared to provide the player with information on how to customize his system to run EverQuest successfully.

Many players misdiagnose all system response problems as lag. Many players assume that lag is the fault of Verant’s network. If a response time problem occurs for a player, or a small number of players, chances are good that it is not a Verant-performance problem with either the servers or the network. (A server or network problem would affect all the players, or all players in one zone or on one server.)

Undetermined technical problems

If a technical problem is not resolved by the customer service staff, the player should be asked to obtain technical support by emailing eqtech@verant.com.


8. Exception Incident Procedures

8.1 Abuse

Policy

Abuse is defined as any activity that is exercised with the intent of disrupting the over all play environment of one or more players.

Examples of Abuse: . Hate Mongering - participation in or propagation of Hate literature, behavior, or propaganda related to real -world characteristics. Sexual Abuse or Harassment - untoward and unwelcome advances of a graphic and sexual nature. This includes virtual rape, overt sexual overtures, and stalking of a sexual nature. Attempting to Defraud a Customer Service Representative - Petitioning with untrue information with the intention of receiving benefits as a result. This includes reporting bug deaths, experience or item loss, or accusing other players of wrongdoing without basis for it. Using Threats of Retribution by GM Friends - attempting to convince another player that they have no recourse in a disagreement because favoritism is shown to one of the parties by the Verant or Guide staff.

Things that are not Abuse: Contextual Swearing - players that swear in character, or use racial terms that are appropriate to the genre. Contextual Racism - behaving poorly or with hostility towards other characters of a race that is hated by the character’s race generally.

Abuse Procedures

Abuse is one of those “soft” issues that are the hardest to identify and punish. What two players call fun, two others will call abuse. The key to enforcing the abuse policies in EverQuest is consistency. The goal of EverQuest is to create a world where as many people as possible can come and enjoy an immersive role-playing experience.

When a player is accused of abuse, the process is as follows: · Gather all of the information on ALL parties involved. Get the character name, race, level, and account name of both the accusers and the accused, as well as the zone and situation and document it. · Locate the situation and go there, invisible and /anon · Attempt to ascertain the nature of the problem without interacting with either party

If the situation is visible and questionable: · Do not intervene. · Contact the accuser, explain that the accused is behaving within acceptable limits of the genre and if the accuser does not like it, they should use the /ignore function or leave the area. · The call is closed.

If the situation is visible and obviously abuse: · Escalate to a Senior Guide or GM immediately if possible. · If a Senior Guide or GM is not available, attempt to have a fellow Guide present as quickly as possible. · Engage the accused, explain that their behavior is abusive, and that they have been escalated for review. Tell the accused to stop the behavior, then disengage from the incident. · Do NOT argue or debate the incident with the accused. Do not discuss the incident past what is required to explain the nature of the abuse to them. Take note of everything said by the accused and add it to the documentation. File a report in the abuse database for review by Senior Customer Service staff.

If this is the first incident for the accused, they will be suspended from the EverQuest servers for one week. If this is the second or later incident, the player will be banned from EverQuest.


See Banning under Exploitation for further information


8.2 Disruption

Policy

Disruption is defined as any activity that is disruptive to the game play of others, though not necessarily with the intent to do so. Disruption has been sub-categorized into major and minor types.

Examples of Minor Disruption:

Non-Fantasy Names - Names that are not appropriate for the fantasy genre of EverQuest

Excessive Spam - Continued overuse of /ooc, /shout, or /auction over time such that many players complain Offensive Names - Names that are profanity in some form, including homonyms and anagrams

Examples of Major Disruption:

Foul Language - excessive use of foul language in an inappropriate context, including swear words, real-world racial slurs, and other language that is not consistent with the fantasy environment and designed to hurt. Stalking/Harassment - following a player around after that player has asked to be left alone, continually vulching and kill stealing from the same person, and in general focusing unwelcome attention upon another player over time.

Disruption Procedures

Disruption is the most difficult problem to deal with, as the accused are frequently not doing it with the intention of disrupting, but simply having fun or behaving as they wish. The key to dealing with Disruption situations is to defuse them with as little customer aggravation as possible.

When a Disruption call comes in, the process is as follows: · Identify the complainer and the suspected antagonist. Document their character name, level, zone, and account name. · Go to the zone in question, remaining invisible and anonymous. · Bring a fellow Guide if possible, preferably invisible and /anon. · Observe the behavior in question and that of those complaining. · If there is no problem with the behavior as you and your fellow Guide see it, then explain this to the complainer and close the call.

If it is not possible to distinguish which behavior is worse, the accuser or the accused, engage both groups.

If it appears that the accused is being intentionally disruptive, · Gather information. · Engage the accused, explain that their behavior is disruptive, and issue a warning. Tell the accused to stop the behavior, then disengage from the incident. · Do NOT argue or debate the incident with the accused. Do not discuss the incident past what is required to explain the nature of the disruption to them. · Take note of everything said by the accused and add it to the documentation. · Record the incident in the abuse database for further review by Senior Customer Service staff ·

If the accused is obviously being disruptive, but not necessarily intentionally, · Engage the accused. · Attempt to convince the accused to cease the activity, explaining that it is disruptive. If the customer becomes confrontational, treat the issue as if it were intentional, described above.

For minor disruptions, three warnings will be issued. The perpetrator will then be suspended for a minimum period of three days. For major disruptions, two warnings will be issued, followed by suspension for a discretionary period with a one-week minimum. The next major disruption offense following suspension for major disruption will result in the player being banned.


The EverQuest Name Policy:

Character names in EverQuest should reflect the genre of the game. Original, high-fantasy names are desired. The following types of names are unacceptable and are listed in order from the worst to the least offensive:

1. Vile, rude and obscene names including common swear words, anatomical references and deliberate misspellings and homonyms of these words. 2. Combinations of words that produce an offensive result. (Hugeaz, TugMcgroin) 3. Religious names that other players find offensive (Jesus, Allah) 4. Non-fantasy names from popular media (Rambo, Darthvader) 5. Common words and phrases non-suitable for the environment ( switchblade, phaser) 6. Proper names from EverQuest (Rathe, Karana) 7. Popular and easily recognized named from existing literature (Merlin, Gandalf,)

In the event of improper names, the CS representative should collect the character’s name and account name and escalate the call to a Senior or Elder Guide or GM.

The Senior staff member will then use the following process: · For category one offenses, the name will be changed immediately. The Senior Staff person will then contact the customer and discuss the change. · For categories 2-6, the Senior staff member will contact the customer and initiate a discussion about the name change. When the customer has chosen a new name and looted any outstanding corpses, the CS rep will perform the name change using the “b” parameter to load the old name into the name filter. · If the name is a category 7 name, or the call doesn’t fit into one of these categories but is the result of complaints by other customers, the Senior staff person handling the call will poll the current CS staff online to obtain a judgment. If the name is decided to be illegal, then the same procedures are followed as for categories 206.

If a Senior staff member is not available, or if the character will not cooperate with the name-changing process, the CS rep should follow the established procedures for handling disruption calls, and log the incident into the abuse database.

8.3 Exploitation

Policy:

Exploitation is defined as abusing weaknesses in the game system to the advantage of one or more players with the intention of profiting from them in some manner.

Examples of Exploitation: · Duping - creation of money or items from nothing. · Farming - using broken spells or spell effects to kill monsters, thus gaining experience from them. · Safe Zones - using areas of bad data in the game that have monsters behaving erratically (such as running in place, running around, standing still, or any other behavior that has the monster not defending itself) to kill said monsters with minimal danger to the attacker. · Price Gouging - finding items that have anomalous pricing and abusing them, such as items that sell for more than they cost to buy. · PvP Switch Avoidance - Using in-game methods to work around the PvP switch and allowing non-PvP players to kill other players, such as hall blocking, dumping of monsters, or spell effects that cross that boundary due to a bug.

Things that are not Exploitation: · Twinking - giving money or items from one character to another is not an exploitation, unless the money is derived from one of the above activities. This activity will exist and is not controllable by any reasonable means. (Twinking in beta is not allowed and should be handled as an exploitation) · Camping - sitting in one spot to await the spawn of a monster or item. · Slumming - hanging around in lower level areas and killing monsters there. · Vulching - “stealing” kills from other players

Procedures

When a player is accused of exploitation, the process is as follows: · Locate the player. · Make note of the player’s account name, the character name, level, and the zone of the character and the accuser. · Inform any Senior or Elder Guides or GMs that may be online at the time of the report. · Travel to the zone (if possible) while /anon and invisible and attempt to determine the nature of the exploit. · Study the activity, make note of the other players involved, and make sure that the accusation appears sound (i.e. they are doing what they are accused of doing) · If this is the first incident with this customer, explain that they are exploiting, and ask them to stop. Do not defend your position, do not argue, and do not attempt to reform them. State the accusation and tell them that the incident has been recorded. Warn them of the consequences of a second offense. No further interaction is required past this point. Until online record keeping (soulmarking) is available, the first offense is recorded by filing a report in the abuse database. Verant Customer Service Management will review these records. Once an online tool is available to record these incidents, the tool will be used to soulmark an individual on the spot. · If the CS rep is aware that this is the second incident with this customer, they should remain invisible and anonymous and not engage the customer in conversation. Follow all the above steps to gather as much information as possible. If a Senior or Elder Guide or GM is online, call them to verify the incident. When a second incident has been verified by, the Senior staff member will speak to the offender, informing them that a second incident of exploitation has been recorded. The Senior staff member who handled the call will document all the gathered information and record the incident into the abuse database. · If the CS representative is aware that this is the third incident with this customer, they will remain invisible and anonymous and will not engage the customer in conversation. Follow all the above steps to gather as much information as possible. If a Senior or Elder Guide or GM is online, call them to verify the incident. In these cases, the Senior staff member will also remain invisible and anonymous and will not engage the customer in conversation. The Senior staff member who handled the call will document all the gathered information and log an incident into the abuse database. These incidents will be reviewed by the Verant escalation review board, which will meet on a regular basis for this purpose. If the incident passes review, a player will be banned as a result of the third incident. Results of third incidents will be posted by Customer Service Management and appear in the daily report on the GM board.

The key to determining whether a person is exploiting is not in the activity, but in the intent. A player that is using a rain spell to kill masses of monsters may not know it’s an exploit, but instead believe that this is simply the function of the spell. It is the responsibility of the Guide to educate the player and ensure that the intention to exploit is present.

Banning

Once an account has been deleted, GM-Mgmt notifies the other GMs that are online that the character was banned. The GM collects the names of all of the characters played by the account that has been banned and sends them to the Head GM for posting in the Message of the day.

Each day, a section of the MOTD will be updated to include the day’s banning activities. Every character played by every account that was banned will be posted on this list. This serves two purposes. First, it lets everyone that has ever played with any one of the characters know the disposition of the character. Second, it creates a larger list, making a larger example, and offering a greater intimidation factor to those that might consider exploiting. This list should also appear as a cumulative “Banned to Date” list that is available via the News button. Again, this is to provide a tangible reminder of Verant’s dedication to providing a playable environment.

The official customer service response to the banning of players is one of regret, as we regret any actions resulting in loss of customers. It is unfortunate that actions like these must occur to keep EverQuest enjoyable for the majority of the players.


8.4 Loot Anomalies

NPCs in EverQuest are supposed to possess loot appropriate to their level. The word is appropriate because there is no documented list of what level NPC should have what loot. However, it should be consistent with all other monsters of that level, within reason.

Examples of Loot Level Anomalies: · Low level monsters with items as loot that sell for large amounts of money. · NPCs with loot far in excess of peer-level monsters

Procedures

When a call comes in about a potential NPC Loot Level Anomaly, the process is as follows: · A full Guide or higher must be immediately dispatched to the zone in question. · The Guide finds and kills two of the monsters conventionally to determine if the loot level is incorrect as reported, then deletes any loot found. · If the anomaly does in fact exist, the Guide immediately escalates the issue to a Senior, Elder, or GM. · If no Senior, Elder, or GM is present, the Guide logs off of the server and checks the chat room. If one is present there, the escalation is handed off. · If no Senior, Elder, or GM is present in chat, the Guide exits EQ and sends an email or ICQ to their Senior or Elder to apprise them of the situation. · After escalating the issue, the Guide returns to the zone and announces it off-limits to all players in the zone, /shouting that all players should leave it immediately.

Note: Any players caught killing the NPC after the announcement should be treated as Exploiters (documented above).

· If available, the Guide can summon an Apprentice to "baby-sit" the zone while the Guide handles other escalations (corpse retrievals, etc.). · Each successive shift of Guides is notified by the prior one and the zone or NPC is "baby-sat" until Verant can resolve the issue.

Appendix A - Changes to this Document

This is a working document and will change to meet the needs of the program. Requests for changes to this document may be sent to Mistigris@mindspring.com. Normal, non-emergency change requests will be batched and handled as time allows, while change requests flagged as urgent will be processed as they arrive. . Requests for all other changes will be discussed among the senior guides, and representatives of Verant Studios. If the change is approved, the document will be modified and a new copy sent to all customer service personnel.


Appendix B - Zone Listing

This is a list of all of the zones in the game by zone name to facilitate /zone and /goto.

TOWNS

Ak'Anon akanon Erudin erudnext Erudin Docks erudnext Erudin Palace erudnint Felwithe: North Felwithe felwithea South Felwithe felwitheb Freeport: East Freeport freporte West Freeport freportw North Freeport freportn Grobb grobb Halas halas Kaladim North Kaladim kaladima South Kaladim kaladimb Neriak Foreign Quarter neriaka Neriak Commons neriakb Neriak 3rd Gate neriakc Oggok ogguk Rivervale rivervale Surefall Glade qrg Qeynos North Qeynos qeynos2 South Qeynos qeynos Qeynos Catacombs qcat

WORLD ZONES

Arena arena Butcherblock Mtn butcher Dagnor's Cauldron cauldron East Commons ecommons EastKarana eastkarana Erud's Crossing erudsxing Everfrost everfrost Feerrott feerrott Greater Faydark gfaydark High Hold Keep highkeep High Pass highpass Innothule innothule KerraRidge kerraridge Kedge Keep kedge King Xorbb’s Maze beholder Kithicor Forest kithicor LakeRatheTear lakerathe Lavastorm lavastorm Lesser Faydark lfaydark Misty Thicket misty Nektulos nektulos NorthKarana northkarana North Ro nro Oasis of Marr oasis Ocean of Tears oot PermafrostCaverns permafrost Plane of Air airplane Plane of Fear fearplane Plane of Hate hateplane Qeynos Hills qeytoqrg RatheMountains rathemtn Runnyeye runnyeye SouthKarana southkarana South Ro sro Steamfont steamfont Toxxullia Forest tox West Commons commons WestKarana qey2hh1

DUNGEONS

Befallen befallen Blackburrow blackburrow Cazic-Thule cazicthule Crushbone crushbone Guk: Guktop guktop Gukbottom gukbottom Mistmoore mistmoore Najena najena SplitPaw Paw Unrest unrest Solusek'sEye soldunga Lord Nagafen’s Lair soldunb

Previous Partial Version (Same?)

5.6 Customer Service Limited Zones

Some zones in EQ have been designed with extreme rewards and risks. Because of design and tuning issues, Customer Service intervention in these zones is restricted.

5.6.1 List of Customer Service Limited Zones

Sleeper (sleeper) Temple of Veeshan (templeveeshan) The Plane of Fear (fearplane) The Plane of Growth (growthplane) The Plane of Hate (hateplane) The Plane of Mischief (mischiefplane) The Plane of Sky (airplane) Veeshan’s Peak (veeshan)

5.6.2 Acceptable CSRep Presence in Customer Service Limited Zones

The presence of Customer Service Representatives in Customer Service Limited Zones creates two undesired situations. First, players are more likely to ask for assistance in gameplay issues from the CS staff if a CS Rep is in the zone. Second, players are more likely to blame CS Representatives for any inconvenience they may experience if a CS Rep is in the zone. For these reasons mentioned above CS Reps must not be in Customer Service Limited Zones except under the following conditions:

  • They are investigating a possible Exception Incident (Abuse, Disruption, or Exploitation)

at the request of a player.

  • They are investigating a possible bug at the request of a player for documentation

purposes.

  • They are removing a corpse from an object such as the ground, a wall, a tree, etc.

according to Corpse Recovery Procedure (See 7.3 Corpse Recovery)

  • They are unsticking a player stuck on the geometry (in an object, in a wall, etc). The

player should be moved the minimum amount of distance necessary to unstick them from the geometry.

  • They are following Policy and Procedures concerning an Under the World Case. (See

7.13) • CS Representatives may travel to CS Limited zones to assist players with binding death loops (refer to 7.2.2).

5.6.3 General Customer Service Limited Zone Policies

5.6.3.1 Exploring and Adventuring

CSReps should not use their CS characters to explore Customer Service Limited Zones. If a CSRep is in one of these zones for a reason approved above (see 5.6.2), they should leave immediately after addressing the issue they are there for and should not stay in the zone any longer than necessary.

5.6.3.2 Reporting CS Actions Taken in Customer Service Limited Zones

A GM+ should report any action they take in a Customer Service Limited Zone to their direct superior. Senior Guides should report any action they take in a Customer Service Limited Zone to the rest of the Server Management Team, including the GM of the server or the Lead GM of the server if the server is not currently assigned a GM, and include a detailed account of any Customer Service action taken in a Customer Service Limited Zone on their server in the server’s weekly server report. Any Full Guide or Apprentice Guide who takes Customer Service action in a Customer Service Limited Zone should report a detailed account of it in their Daily Status Report and/or in a designated section of their server board.

5.6.3.3 Resurrections in Customer Service Limited Zones

CSReps are not to provide resurrections in Customer Service Limited Zones under any circumstances without specific authorization from a GM+ as directed by SOE Management.

5.6.3.4 /Kill Restraint in Customer Service Limited Zones

The killing of any mob in Customer Service Limited Zones (see 5.6.1) is considered to cause a significant change in game play. Therefore CS Reps should not /kill in these zones without specific authorization from a GM+ as directed by SOE Management. (This Policy can also be found at 7.10.7.6)