Skip to main content

A Day In The Life Of A Liaison

 — an eventful monday


To give you a bit of an impression of how a liaison can spend his time, I wrote up a summary of one nice long holiday monday. This was just after achievements came in, and as it often happens with new developments that gave some extra work, but that doesn't mean it's unrepresentative!

To protect players' privacy I changed the details of some events, swapped a few around with other days, and hid names.

To start, I played my alts for a while. Because I felt like it, of course, but as an added bonus it's good to keep in touch with your player side. :)

Back liaising, later in the day (afternoon), a player started talking to me, but then figured out the problem herself. She promised me she'd come up with a more difficult problem later. Oh dear.

Another player, some time later, told me he was bugged: his kill command had stopped working and now only gave "What?". I suggested he should try unaliassing the command and he blushed at me - it had been set to "all". I assured him this is a very common problem, and I'm quite happy to have helped someone without spending any effort. :)

Then someone asked me about a worrying runtime in her alts' achievements check, which I passed on on the liaison channel. The responsible coder immediately picked up on it and fixed the bug. Another player happy. :)

Then I was approached by a player who had a very old alt that he had turned pk on a whim. He wondered whether there was likely going to be a chance for the alt to become NPK again. I told him not to count on it, and recommended trying to enjoy the fun of a PK alt (better than just giving him up entirely, surely?).

I spent some time together with a newbie creator who was working on his newbie project, and couldn't figure out why the door into one of his houses gave errors all the time. Together we experimented a little until we found it. This wasn't because it's my task as a liaison (it isn't), but I'm also a "mentat" in the learning domain - a personal choice.

As this was shortly before christmas, I gave out some Hogswatch toys with the sack! Yay! Giving out free stuff is fun, and we don't get to do that all the time.

A player asked me what was wrong with achievements hide, because it didn't seem to work for him. I asked what exactly he had tried to do, and it turned out he was attempting to hide the category 'legendary achievements". I explained what a category was and with the right syntax he managed fine. He did grumble a little that there was no syntax to hide all achievements at once, so I suggested ideareporting one. I didn't ask the responsible coder about it, because there is no urgency in getting this changed even if it isn't intentional.

You may wonder whether I was just dealing with these questions all the time - I was not. :) During all this I was also / mainly coding in a different window (not for the mud this time, just my own project!), while regularly checking on the mud to chat for a while (I have a couple of clubs, and all the talker channels on, although I admit I don't follow them all) and see whether anything interesting was happening (like someone talking to me). Liaising can be very active and stressful by moments, interleaved with times of nothing whatsoever happening. I find it easy to combine with other things, as long as those things are not particularly urgent.

Dinner came and went, and dishes were done in the peace and quiet of "invis". When I came back, someone approached me with 14 receipts. Conveniently there is a liaison tool to fix receipts (well, I coded that one a while ago, since I got bored of doing it all manually), so with one command it found the paths to fix 11 of them. The other three were for old style faith rods, which have been removed, so with the player's permission I dested them. Of course it isn't always that easy: an item turns into a receipt if the code for it has been moved, and sometimes it is very hard to find out what it has been moved to (and whether it hasn't just been removed).

Then a player asked me questions about a possible liaison application in the future, and we talked about that for a while. Halfway the talk I got into a second conversation, as a witch asked me why the brewing achievements had been removed. I suggested to her that the brewing achievements had been a bit too easy, and ensured her the current situation was by no means the final word on what achievements will end up being added! I also finished my first conversation.

A newbie alt started talking to me, asking about his main character that I had suspended for scripting a couple of days earlier. It turned into a two hour talk (in various degrees of idleness and slow responses from the both of us), touching on subjects varying from the rules and what was going to happen to him when he came back (when someone has used a timer they will usually have skills removed) to what he loved most about the mud, some fun ideas he would like to see implemented and the (soul-)behaviour of some male characters in the game towards female alts.

During this long (but certainly not uninteresting) talk a lot of people got trouble with achievements: some players got achievements they shouldn't have got (like a 2 day old player getting Dawn Of The World), others got achievements they had before (and thus got the xp twice). The coder who had just been fiddling with it told me what calls I could use to undo this, and I dealt with the players as they told me about it. Of course there will be people who didn't tell me - but each of those double or erroneous entries shows up in our logs, and we can always figure out the rest afterwards and add an alert to approach them. I also rescued a witch from the fly room, where she had got stuck due to a runtime (a creator updating the right file at just the wrong moment) and couldn't do anything; she asked for help via a friend on msn.

I finish off by posting on a liaison board about the most relevant things that have happened and what I did, so other liaisons are prepared if something related happens.

Back to the liaison daily life page.
Back to the main liaison page.