18.7 BECOMING A VOLUNTEER
VOLUNTEERING FOR LUSTERNIA -------------------------- All volunteers in Lusternia start off as trainees, the so-called Ephemerals. If you are considering becoming an Ephemeral, please consider the following before you apply. In many ways, as an Ephemeral, one actually has less power than a mortal. From an out of character perspective, volunteers exist to assist Lusternia as a whole. Ephemerals, in particular, begin mainly with training and do not have an in-character role or interactions for a good while. Many who may be used to extensive hunting, combat, interpersonal interaction and roleplaying may initially find the experience quiet and at times even lonely. It is worth remembering too that as a volunteer, one does not "play" Lusternia in the traditional sense, and personal contact with players is prohibited to ensure lack of bias. It is all a matter of time and perspective though, because the Havens team will keep you busy, and those who need to scratch the hunting or combat itch often find other ways to do so. Becoming a volunteer can be ultimately very rewarding for the right person, as those who successfully pass through training go on to build, create, code, and roleplay in ways that they couldn't before as a player. Their contributions come to serve Lusternia as a whole, which is something many volunteer applicants express as a reason for volunteering. Whether you enjoy building areas, scripting complex puzzles, writing and executing heart-wrenching storylines, coding new features for the game, helping balance combat, or even just classic admin work like fixing bugs or reviewing designs or books, volunteering has something for everyone. If any of this sounds interesting, becoming an Ephemeral is for you. BECOMING AN EPHEMERAL --------------------- The process is as follows: - We will let you know when we are looking, so there will be an announced call for applications. It is possible to apply off-cycle but we are unlikely to take someone brand new to volunteering outside of a call. - Respond by giving your reasons in writing why you want to be an Ephemeral and other qualifying factors. Details on what is asked for in an application will be given with the Ephemeral call announcement post. - We will read the applications and consider them as a whole. Factors considered include how long you've been around, your characters' reputations, positions of leadership and responsibility, etc. We will also look at your writing samples and attention to detail. - Out of a pool of applications we will call some candidates for an interview. There are ALWAYS more candidates than there are openings, so do not feel bad if you are not asked for a further interview. Interview questions may vary, but we will likely assess your understanding of what you are applying for, whether you are able to commit and remain consistent in your contribution, and our ability to trust you for the role. - Finally, we will invite a few to become Ephemerals. NOTE: Applicants who are not invited will not otherwise be notified. They are free to apply another time. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ----------------- Your mortal character or characters become unavailable to you. You may not play a mortal character in Lusternia while you are an immortal of any kind. For the many who, for one reason or another, do not continue beyond there to become a full volunteer admin, it is possible to regain access to mortal characters. This is handled on a case-by-case basis. You create a new character and join us at the Havens. You will learn the ways of the Ephemerals, with new commands and activities as are appropriate for your now volunteer administrative role in Lusternia. There is a robust curriculum with specific tasks in core categories to master over time, and a number of volunteers to help train and guide, as one is promoted through the ranks of Ephemerals and onto full Adminhood. Among the many tasks, we emphasise: - Ability to work in a team with other volunteers. - Taking time to dissociate from mortal players, so that we can serve Lusternia as a whole. - Mastery of skills in building, events, scripting, administrative tasks and for some, coding, so as to contribute to the Havens team. CHOOSING YOUR TRACK ------------------- Graduating from Ephemeralhood generally results in taking up a Divine role in Lusternia, but roleplaying a Divine is not for everyone. Some enjoy portraying the lives of denizens more, or wish to focus on coding fulltime, or simply do not enjoy that aspect of Adminhood. Because of that, you can choose your own path in the Havens and focus on what which gives you the most joy and matches your skillset best. You will have two main choices once you get through initial training: - Train to become a Divine - this includes heavier focus on interacting with players and preparing for the role of a Divine. - Train to become an Architect - never inhabit a Divine role and focus on being behind the scenes only. Can be part of a patron team behind the scenes, too. Both options include a variety of tracks - focusing on building, or on events, or on coding - and can be mixed and matched freely. You could become a Divine role but have your main focus behind the scenes be coding. Or become an Architect, be fully behind the scenes, but be heavily involved with events and other storytelling. Or be a jack of all trades, with a Divine or Architect role. It's up to you, and initial training will give you a taste of all the options. It is worth keeping in mind that all Ephemerals learn our scripting language (so-called "prog"), no matter what track they are on. Progs (programs) are the main way of telling denizens or items to react to certain events. The list of available events is pre-defined, such as being greeted, emoted at, someone entering a room, etc. Almost all quest behaviour is progged, for example. As progs underpin the vast majority of what non-coder volunteers deal with, all Ephemerals need to learn at least the basics to be self-sufficient. Actual coding skills are definitely not necessary for most day to day tasks of a Lusternia volunteer. VOLUNTEER CURRICULUM -------------------- All Ephemerals start with the same tasks and only choose their track once they complete their first building project. Even future coders work on a building project first to familiarise themselves with all our systems and rules, and to be able to assist in any events related to releases of their projects. The only thing you really need coming in is willpower, discipline, and eagerness to learn. There are many guides available and folks in the Havens will be more than happy to teach you. Initial training involves: - Onboarding, introductions, and smurfberries. - Describing your first item. - Learning to script behaviours for your item. Reactions to actions like pushing, pulling, turning, etc. - Creating a denizen pet for yourself - including their description, attacks, scripted behaviour. - Learning how to possess your pet and roleplay as a denizen. - Creating your first room - your sanctum in the Ephemeral Tower. - Learning how to make emotes. - Learning how to make dreams. - Possessing a real denizen under supervision. - Preparing for and passing the Lore Bootcamp. - Brainstorming, building, and releasing an Errand - this being a small quest that you create on your own from start to finish. You will need to write a proposal and have it approved, then build all the items, denizens, and rooms. Finally script the quest, test everything, and pass the final walkthrough. Once done, you work on the release event and release your project. After that, you will choose your track and focus on doing more of what you found you enjoyed the most. It could be more building, more events, or start on coding. Everyone eventually takes on an in-character Ephemeral role and learns how to interact with players both in an in-character and administrative capacity. Those choosing the Builder Track focus on mastering building and our scripting language by taking on a second building project known as a Pocket. It is similar to an Errand but larger in scope and complexity. Pockets are generally bigger expansions added onto existing areas and, due to their size, they also have more options when it comes to expanding the lore of the game. Builders enjoy both building and scripting, and use both to enrich Lusternia with permanent expansions. The Event Track is favoured by those who enjoy interactions and dynamic developing of storylines more than standard building of long-term additions. Rather than take on a second, bigger building project, those on this track work exclusively on running a variety of event types that will influence the landscape of Lusternia. These training events are standalone stories, and not connected to releases of new quests. While events still require building and scripting skills, both skills are utilised differently on this track. Finally, those Ephemerals who have more extensive coding experience and particular interest may be accepted onto the Coder Track. There, they learn the intricacies of Rapture, trace and fix bugs, and support the rest of the Havens team in adding or improving features, and complete a major coding project of their choice. Coding focuses more on the back end features of the game, which spans everything from roleplay focused features to combat balance. Further tasks depend on one's track but generally include: - Working on your major track-related project. - Finishing training and tasks in the respective categories of Building, Administrative, Event, and if applicable, Coding. - Releasing and roleplaying as your Ephemeral persona in an organisation of Lusternia to learn how to interact with mortals as a non-mortal being. - Aiding senior admin in the running of said city or commune, including seeing to admin requests, player interactions, events, etc. and acting in a professional way as expected of an administrator of Lusternia. - Running world games (such as hamster hunts) under the supervision of senior admin. - Choosing and fleshing out one's Divine role and planning their release event. - Joining more advanced departments as assistants if desired (design, library, guides, etc.). Outside of tasks which are part of the curriculum, it is important that Ephemerals consistently demonstrate maturity, an ability to follow rules and conventions, an ability to work with others on a team in a kind and thoughtful way, and an ability to work with players professionally. We are looking for volunteers who can dedicate time to volunteering consistently but we also understand that life happens sometimes, and there may be absences. The estimated total timeframe for the training program for a motivated volunteer is 6-12 months, but we have seen it take both less and more. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS -------------------------- - I can't code at all, can I still volunteer? - Yes! Coding and writing prog (scripted behaviour for items, denizens, and quests) are two very different things. We will teach you the latter, and there's about eighteen thousand examples you can follow, guides and slides, and a manual to boot. Everyone on the team needs to know at least the basics of prog but it's nowhere near as hard as actual coding. - Will I need to do boring admin tasks as a volunteer? - Not unless you want to. Assisting in various departments is voluntary. If there is a bug in something you made, we will ask you to fix it but help if you're having trouble. - I find the idea of running an event terrifying, can I be a volunteer? - Absolutely. Running events is a skill and nobody is a master out of the box. If you want to run events but find them terrifying, you will learn and as an Ephemeral, you will never be releasing anything entirely on your own. If you don't want to run events, you can still contribute by building, possessing denizens, fixing bugs, or doing a myriad other things. - I want to volunteer but I don't want to be a God. Is that okay? - It is. It is now possible to train for a wholly behind the scenes role if you prefer. If you change your mind along the way, not a problem either. - I'm not sure I easily fit into any of the Ephemeral tracks, can I still volunteer? - Definitely apply anyway. Explain what you bring to the table and we'll see! Everyone has different skills and we can use all types of volunteers.