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The History of The Guild of Greeters
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This is a transcript of the Interview given by CAGrayWolf to The Cavern Today (CCN)

  How did the Greeters come about?

The Guild of Greeters (GoG) was the sole idea of Ron Meiners (the then Myst Community Manager for Ubisoft) who felt it was especially important that UrU Live have a core group of people that would be in a position to welcome new people into the community, help orient people to Uru, help in Uru as requested, and overall form new ties with the folks coming in. They would act to immediately show new folks coming in what a wonderful community they were joining. Ron Meiners then presented his idea to CyanWorlds and Ubisoft and they both favored the idea highly. Ron Meiners crafted the original mission statement, and others implemented it in very meaningful ways. Ron then contacted Tijara, who he felt was highly regarded in the community already, and asked her to lead this new group.

The core group brought in to help bring this idea into reality consisted of the first Guild Masters that included Ayli, Dave III, dugchugger, Jenny H, LaReh, Shyone and Twoaz1.These are the people responsible for getting the GoG started and ready for the launch of UrU Prologue. The first 100 Greeters were recruited during the beta, due to the fact that they were already familiar and knowledgeable with the game and exploration and were ready for the public launch. All Greeters participated in the refining of the GoG, including coming up with the name Guild of Greeters. Our current logo, designed by Twoaz1, was picked from several designs that had been submitted and voted upon by the then current Greeters.

Here is a copy of the actual article that appeared in the first (unofficial) edition of The Echo, an in-cavern web newspaper, dated 29 September 2003 (during the original beta).

Guild of Greeters

Goes Gold As many of you know, the spark of Randomos’ recruitment has lit a fire of enthusiasm throughout the Uru beta testing community, igniting us to band together in guilds, groups, and gaggles to anticipate and address prospective release issues when Uru goes live.

The Guild of Greeters (GoG), one of Randomos’ pet projects — spearheaded by Tijara — put out the call for volunteers on September 10, 2003. Randomos advised that “The basic mission will be to meet and offer support for the many new people coming into Uru, to make friends and help people find a place in our community.”

The response was overwhelming, as evidenced by the flocks of volunteers. To ensure the GoG got off to a good start prior to giving Greeters their posts or duties, as it were, Tijara promptly recruited the assistance of Guildmasters to tackle certain administrative chores.

So much of our success depends on your help in building a strong and thriving community (and having fun doing it).
– Randomos

The GoG’s Creed outlines their mission as “...to help the DRC by having volunteers who could meet and assist new Explorers arriving in the D’ni City, Ae’gura. It is our mission to help orient and inform new Explorers, to make them feel welcomed into the existing community, to support them in their discovery of the wonders of rediscovered Ages, and to work by their side, with the DRC to restore this magnificent city.”

Concurrent with the release of Uru Live, the GoG will launch their website. This site will be accessible to the Uru community, as well as all members of the GoG. A member-only area will supply the Greeters with assistive tools to facilitate their efforts as they welcome new players into this spectacular world we have all come to know and cherish.

The Guildmasters would like to thank the members for their patience as things get organized, and your constructive feedback is always appreciated, respected, and valued. More will be revealed as the release date approaches, so stay tuned!

If you are interested in joining the Guild of Greeters, contact one of the Guildmasters. You will recognize them as their names (if you are using the Uru color theme) are highlighted in dark blue. Currently, the Guildmasters are: Tijara, JennyH, _Terra_, dugchugger, twoaz1, LaReh, Shyone, Ayli_gUru, and Dave_3rd. 

On 9 November 2003, The Guild of Greeters website and forums were launched. The website and forum were set up so that the GoG had a centralized place to continue being of service. This would be a great way for any explorer who had a question and needed any help could easily find help outside of the game. The website and forums would be managed by the same group of dedicated “seasoned” explorers that would volunteer their time to help others in learning the ins and outs of Cavern life. The original group of Greeters consisted of people relatively new to the Myst scene as well as many long time fans of the games.

  When and why did Cyan make you an official Guild?
An interesting feature of Myst Online: Uru Live is that often times the line is blurred between official and unofficial. We [Cyan Worlds] like that. The Guild of Greeters was formed years ago by a group of fans, guided by Ron Meiners, who wanted to help out. Shortly after the Greeters came into the game, they saw a need to have some sort of logo to be recognized by. Cyan determined that giving t-shirts to this group would allow them to be more helpful in the game. The Greeters have become an integral part of the fabric of Uru, and we hope that they return to the cavern and bring their hospitality with them.
— GreyDragon, September 20, 2006

The Guild of Greeters was formed during the original closed UrU Beta of 2003 and became the first official Guild recognized by Cyan for a specific purpose, this being to help any and all explorers coming into the Cavern and to have a core group that would be there to welcome these explorers. CyanWorlds had ideas for other Guilds, but this never came to fruition with the sudden closure of UrU Prologue a short 2 months later. The Guild of Greeters was launched and made official first because at the time this was the most important aspect in order to help as many people as possible coming into the Cavern.

  What sort of treatment do Greeters get from the community?

This could be called a “love/hate” relationship. Many commend what the Greeters do and their purpose. Others tend to resent the Greeters and the GoG. The reasons can be many and varied. We have been called “elitists and snobbish” and have been ridiculed. While others have nothing but praise for how a Greeter helped them when they had no clue as to what they were supposed to do. My personal feeling on this is that many do not understand or know how the Greeters came to be. I think that many feel that a group of fans just arbitrarily came up with the idea and made it happen, which couldn’t be any farther from the truth. This is an unfortunate misconception that many have about the GoG. We have a core set of guidelines that we are required to follow which had to be approved by CyanWorlds and Ubisoft, and this is what we still follow today. We do our best to remain neutral and outside of many of the discussions, though this is not always the case.

  What was it like during prologue as a Greeter?

This was an amazing time and we were all very active and quite busy. We had welcomed and helped so many new explorers. We were there to greet them, answer their questions and give game-related advice, guidance and hints as needed. I think I can speak for all Greeters when I say that we were doing something we loved … helping people. I personally had met so many wonderful explorers and made many good friends from these encounters. The simple satisfaction of knowing that I helped even a handful was comforting enough. It was not about being special or for any notoriety. Many Greeters are totally selfless and are very giving and loving people. The day that the closure of Prologue was announced was quite devastating to many of the Greeters as well as all of the explorers … not to mention the many who never got the chance to experience what Prologue was like.

  What is it like today as a Greeter?

The Guild of Greeters has gone through a number of changes since the closure of Prologue. Many felt that the GoG would cease to exist after this. The GoG decided that we could still exist and to continue on with what we do best … helping new explorers. We broadened our horizons to give help with all the Myst games. Then, when Untìl UrU was released in August 2004, we quickly formed a Guild of Greeters shard to continue where we had left off. While we may not be as active as we were during Prologue, this is quickly changing again with all the new explorers coming into the cavern. We have never lost the initial idea on which the GoG was developed. With the coming launch (revival) of Myst Online: UrU Live we are already preparing for the coming release and we will be there to continue greeting all the new explorers and helping any who need game or exploration advice and/or direction with game related content or, in the very least, a warm smile and a hug. The GoG and its members have also either participated in or were instrumental in planning and organizing many of the events held on multiple shards, including the D’ni Games, Up on the Roof parties, St Patrick’s Day parades, etc. and a number of other events over the past two years.

  What does a “front line Greeter” actually do?

Our specific purpose is to welcome any and all explorers that come down into the Cavern … whether totally new or a seasoned fan. We answer questions, give hints and nudges (we avoid spoilers so as not to ruin the experience) and/or give advice regarding game-related content. We give directions, explain how the KI works and where to get their KI (if needed), explain the purpose of the Nexus and how it works, and we also explain the Marker Missions and give hints (or outright spoilers if desired) on where to find any Markers. Our primary purpose is to hopefully make the new explorer feel welcomed and comfortable and to relieve any confusion or overwhelming experience to a totally enjoyable one … so these explorers will want to come back and spend time in the Cavern. The Greeters are a group that refrains from in-character (IC) discussion as we prefer to remain neutral. Some Greeters are quite comfortable discussing any IC related content, but many are not. If help or advice is needed in this area, usually the Greeter being asked will in the very least be able to direct the explorer to either another Greeter who is adept in this area of discussion or someone outside of the GoG.

  How does one apply to becoming a Greeter?

Since we are officially sanctioned by CyanWorlds, this also means that we have specific guidelines that must be met in order to become a Greeter. These guidelines include having a good knowledge of the Cavern, having explored and completed all the Ages, becoming a member of the GoG forum and have been posting for at least three months (this allows the Membership staff and other Greeters to become better acquainted with the prospective applicant) is also a requirement, as well as having a willingness to help and be of service. We stress that becoming a Greeter is not for notoriety or just to get a Greeter shirt. A good Greeter is selfless and hard working, expecting nothing in return except hopefully a smile and a thank you.

Know Ae’gura like the back of your hand? Consider yourself an amateur expert in some aspect of D’ni culture? Do you enjoy hanging out and meeting new people? If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you should be part of the Guild of Greeters.

We ask that all Greeters are familiar with the Myst games and in particular have completed “URU: Ages Beyond Myst”. They should spend regular time in “Myst Online: Uru Live” and commit to at least one two-hour shift per week. Applicants must be active contributing members to the Guild of Greeters Forum for their application to be considered.

— From the GoG website

We ask that all Greeters are familiar with the Myst games and in particular have completed the “URU: Ages Beyond Myst” . They should spend regular time in “Untìl Uru” and commit to at least two one-hour shifts per week. Applicants must be active contributing members to the Guild of Greeters Forum for their application to be considered.

If you meet all of the above criteria and would like to join us in assisting new explorers to D’ni, complete the application below. If you meet the necessary requirements, most are usually approved easily. We insist that you read Our Creed and Code of Conduct before filling out and submitting your application. You can find our Creed, Code of Conduct and the Greeter Application by clicking on the following links:

GoG: Our Creed
GoG Code of Conduct
Greeters Application

  What sort of things are Greeters looking for in a person?

Any Explorer looking to become a Greeter should be friendly, adventurous, fun loving, outgoing, helpful, be informative, know how to give hints and nudges so not to spoil, have a good attitude and a willingness to explore the Ages with those who need help. They must have a good knowledgeable background about all the Myst games and especially about UrU. Knowledge of the D’ni culture and the language is also helpful.

  How is the Guild of Greeters organized (perhaps an insight into who runs it, how you arrange shifts etc...)?

The Guild of Greeters is organized on a tier system consisting of a Grand Master (Primary Administrator), Guild Masters (Asst Administrators and Web Staff) and Greeters.

Guild Masters:

These individuals are chosen by a process that includes each person's devoted time, effort and expertise to supporting the GoG as a whole. Each one is voted in by the current Guild Masters and then contacted. Guild Masters (GM’s) are then assigned to the specific areas of their expertise (ie: Assistant Forum Administrators, Content Designer, Event Coordinators, Membership Coordinator, Server Administrator, Webmasters, etc.)

Forum Moderators and Chat Moderators:

These individuals are chosen by the same process as above. These members are responsible for moderating the GoG forums and the GoG Live Chat. They make sure that the GoG forums are a safe and family friendly atmosphere. Their responsibilities include reading the forums, moving threads and posts as needed, editing content as needed, and making sure the forum runs smoothly.

Greeters:

Those who would like to become a Greeter apply for membership and are then voted on by Guild Masters, Moderators and Staff. The process is handled by the Membership Application process and each member votes after reading the application. Applicants are determined by thoroughness of the information filled out, if they are active members of the GoG forums, whether they have completed UrU and the expansion packs and are active in Myst Online: Uru Live. Upon reading the application, the applicant is then voted on with either a Yes, No or Interview. A Yes vote means that the applicant has filled out the application thoroughly, and has met all the requirements. A No vote means that the applicant has not met some of the requirements or under the required set age limit and an Interview vote means that the applicant has met most of the requirements but there are some areas that are questionable.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 December 2011 )
 
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