In order to commence with your ASSIST training, you really should have a firm grasp of the OLC-helper and many of the basic GameMaster commands. If you haven't had that training, please contact your department manager to arrange it. Please note that this document is to be used ONLY for preparation for ASSIST training. Do not use ANY of these commands without permission from your department manager or another authorized senior staff member.
New staff and those who do not have permission to handle ASSISTs should be invisible and off-duty at all times. The only exception to this would be if your department manager or another authorized senior staff member (for example, Exxy, of course) allows you to. When invisible, players cannot see you log in or out. Chances are, if you were visible, a player would spot you and send a REPORT or put in an ASSIST, expecting you to answer questions that you are not yet prepared to handle.
It is never appropriate for ANY staff to interact with players on an unofficial basis, including just "dropping in to say hello", or to play a game of castles with them. There will be consequences for this, depending on your department and other circumstances. If you're a Presence GameMaster, this could mean having the privilege of participating in events revoked until further notice. GameMasters are considered out-of-character, and when they enter a room, all role-playing generally stops. How can we expect players to adhere to the rules and remain in-character when GameMasters interrupt the gaming environment?
Now, with that out of the way, we'll go over how a GameMaster should handle an ASSIST. First, we have the ASSIST command, which brings up this menu:
ASSIST staff usage:
To see the individual ASSISTs, type ASSIST LIST, bringing up a menu similar to this:
You'll also see ASSISTs as they are put in, coming up in your High Priority GM Events window, assuming you have all four GM windows open. That will look something like this:
[ASSIST] Lieza is now waiting for staff assistance. [Reason] "Chione keeps killing me and she just won't stop it, even though I've continually asked
If the player decides they no longer need help, you'll see this message:
[ASSIST] Lieza has cancelled her request for staff assistance.
If you're on-duty, and you see a player with an outstanding ASSIST logged in, you're expected to do SOMETHING about it. The worst thing you can possibly do (as far as player interaction goes) is ignore an ASSIST or a REPORT. If you can't handle it, see if another GameMaster can, or if a member of senior staff can help. In the event that there's no one around, simply send the person a message letting them know that you're aware of their REPORT and don't know the answer (or cannot handle it). Tell the player you bring the ASSIST to the attention of senior staff and it will be resolved as soon as possible. There's no shame in not knowing something
When assisting players it is imperative to maintain good customer service. Be polite, courteous, and above all, prompt. Most players are delightful to work with and will listen the first time you tell them to. There's almost no reason to get into an argument with a player, and if the situation seems to escalate, get a member of senior staff immediately. If one is not around, use your judgment. If the player is likely to be destructive, or is in violation of our player agreement policy, put them into the Consultation Area (room 17) until a member of senior staff can handle the situation. If that's not the case, then tell the player that if they would like, they're welcome to wait for a member of senior staff or to contact feedback through the main website. It's easy to get angry in the heat of the moment, but the best thing to do is just take a deep breath and relax.
To answer an ASSIST, you can either type ASSIST ANSWER <ID #> or ASSIST NEXT. The first will answer a specific ASSIST, and the latter will answer the first connected player's in queue. Make sure you are on-duty and visible before doing this by checking your STATUS. You will be automatically teleported to the player and will see this message:
[*** ASSIST ANSWER: Lieza ***] Question/reason: Chione keeps killing me and she just won't stop it, even though I've continually
While the player sees:
[*** STAFF ASSISTANCE ANSWERED ***]
It's generally a good idea to say hello, then ask how you can help. Remember, the room you're in is now out-of-character and you can freely talk about technical things. Because of this, it's generally not a good idea to answer an ASSIST in very public areas, like South Town Square, Semanri (room 145). WHEREIS the player beforehand to make sure they're not in the middle of hunting, as well. If they are, just politely ask them to move to an unpopulated area or in the case that they're hunting, ask them if they're ready to have their ASSIST answered.
For this particular ASSIST, you would need to listen to the entire situation of who did what and who killed whom. Find out who engaged first and why. The player may feel uncomfortable talking in a public area, in which case, it's perfectly acceptable to offer to move the conversation to your office. To bring the player there, use this command: TELEPORT <player> <room #>. Once done talking, assure the player (in this case, Lieza) that the offending player (Chione) will be spoken to and the situation will be handled accordingly. Thank her for bringing the matter to your attention, and be sure to ask if there's anything else you can do. When completely finished, you can type ASSIST FINISH <description of what happened>.
The player will see the following and will need to be transported back to their original location:
[*** STAFF ASSISTANCE FINISHED ***]
The GameMaster will return from whence they came, ready to ASSIST another player, of course! You should probably log the event, or at least have an accurate retelling of the situation written down, to send to your department manager. They will advise you of what to do from here, or will take over the issue themselves.
Now, remember those four "fake" ASSISTs used as examples for ASSIST LIST? They also happen to be four of the most common ASSISTs that you'll see.
1164575744 Thaddia 4:15 PM EST (11/26)
This one's an easy one. Check HOMES ALL and see if there are any homes available. If not, send an e-mail to the Areas Department Manager making them aware of the situation. Also, check the player's account (using SHOW_PLAYER_DATA) and make sure they don't have a free account. If they do, explain that free account holders are not eligible to own homes and direct them towards the different types of accounts we offer, listed on the main website. Let the player know, in the event that there are no homes available, that you have alerted the Areas GameDirector of the situation and there should be more homes soon. Don't give any definitive dates or times.
1165884272 RazrShrp 7:44 PM EST (12/11)
We get a lot of players that think that Eaxia Online is a graphic game. Explain to the player that this is a text-only game and we will probably never be implementing graphics of any kind. If they still seem interested, offer to teach them more about the game. In many cases, the player cannot even use simple commands like SAY, which makes it difficult to communicate. Rest assured, however, that they aren't really trying to ignore you. More likely than not, they are typing what they want to say directly into the game, and there is a command to see this data. It's called //WATCH <player>.
Now, this is a very serious command and it can be easily abused. If you do use it, make sure you're able to justify it to your department manager later on. Do not //WATCH people who are hunting, or engaging in other spammy activities, as this can break the command and lead to a crash. After //watch-ing the player, you'll be able to see what they type (literally, what they put into the game itself and what they receive from the game). This will show up in the Host Messages window, assuming you have all four GM windows open. You will probably want to SET SEEDEBUG off to cut back on the scroll beforehand. You'll need a lot of patience in this situation and if you need help, don't hesitate to ask another GameMaster or a GameDirector.
When you are finished with the ASSIST, do not forget to //ENDWATCH to turn off player monitoring.
1166342535 Avenn 9:33 PM EST (12/12)
While not exactly descriptive, this might be an easily fixed issue. After answering the ASSIST and getting the item, SHOW_OBJECT_DATA <object> and paste the entire data (including the command) into the OLC-helper. This is something you should have learned in basic training. Figure out where the problem is, fix it, and you're all set. Don't mess with scripts, however. And as a general rule, don't attempt to fix armor, weapons, shields, or any other irregular items at first.
There are some miscellaneous commands that may help you when you're answering an ASSIST:
//COMMENTS ADD <character> <full text comment>
//COMMENTS DELETE <character> <comment ID #>
//COMMENTS READ <character>
In the event that a player breaks our player agreement policy, or is given a warning, the GameMaster should make a note of it on the player's //comments. You can also read the player's //COMMENTs to familiarize yourself with past situations.