New EQ2 Community Manager Colette “Dexella” Murphy

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Uncategorized

EverQuest II has a history of complexity and depth often lacking in other MMOs. Players can be passionate, impatient, forceful, understanding, triumphant, technical, or blasé, sometimes all in the same posting. This can be a double-edged sword for the management of its forum and game communities. We quickly see through attempts to placate, and we can tell when the EQ2 Community Team have not anticipated or prepared for player outrage or confusion over a policy decision.

A successful Community Manager is not simply an extension of the Public Relations department.

A good CM must act as a liason or ‘man-in-the-middle’ between designers and developers, company management, marketing/PR, and the players or customers. They must play traffic cop, alerting the correct people to issues which are being reported and on the flipside, keeping an ear to the ground for upcoming changes and policies which might stir up dissent.

I refuse to accept the idea that “no matter what SOE/EQ2 staff post, players will be unhappy.” This is not only a cop out, but has been proven patently untrue in the past. EverQuest 2 has had a number of popular and/or effective Community Managers that have engaged the community and made players feel that their input matters. Of course EQ2 has also had its share of absentee forum guardians who sought only to maintain order or an air of positivity.

The activity level of outlaw forums such as EQ2Flames has directly corresponded to whatever vibe has flowed from EQ2 forum management. Just within my time, the tone has ranged from a prohibition against anything negative, to incredible freedom, to environments which would make Delores Umbridge giggle.

Has irreparable damage been done to the trust between EverQuest II’s players and its creators? Is there an opportunity for this damage to be undone? Anything is possible — after all SOE just re-hired Brad McQuaid to continue working on ‘Vanguard’.

After a few short months at the helm, Eric “Piestro” Cleaver passes the torch to Colette “Dexella” Murphy as EverQuest II’s new Community Manager.

Hi Everyone,

My name is Colette, but you’ll get to know me as Dexella. I’m thrilled to be joining SOE and the Community Team as your EQ II Community Relations Manager. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you, as you’ll be seeing a lot of me from here on out!

Let me tell you a bit about me and my journey as a gamer. I began early on as an annoying five-year-old who tried to sneak in play time on an original NES that I wasn’t supposed to touch. When I entered middle school, I was given a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards as a gift, which led me to join our after-school “Game Club.” It was in our meetings that I developed a real love for gaming. By the time I entered college, I was spending many sleepless nights playing Sims and other games when I was supposed to be writing papers and finishing Chem labs.

When I first met my husband, he got me to begin playing SOE games, including EQ II. I’ll admit, I haven’t played nearly as much as most of you, but I’m getting there and loving every single second of it. You’ll see me in Norrath as a Wood Elf and I’ll confess, I’m a crafter. Right now, my favorite thing to do is decorate my house, especially with items I craft myself. I’ve been focusing on leveling up my tradeskills, though I do enjoy adventuring, too (except for when I have to kill Ice Manes or other lion-like creatures, just a personal quirk of mine).

I am a new employee here on the Community Team and at SOE. It was when I attended my first Fan Faire in 2009 that I knew I wanted to become part of this company and team. Before coming here, I worked in education as an advisor and professor. I liked those jobs, but I kept hope that I would be able to make the career switch in to the crazy, wonderful world of SOE. It took a few years, but I am overjoyed that the stars and planets finally aligned and I am now here with all of you.

I look forward to getting to know all of you in game, on the forums and Facebook, via Twitter, and, of course, at SOE Live! You can also hear more from me on our podcast on July 10!

See you soon,
Colette “Dexella” Murphy

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Comments (30)

  • Daalilama

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    Kinda like throwing a sheep to the wolves regarding the state of communtiy relations…granted piestro did a fair job (although the generic forum mods did go bit overboard from moving everything and anything even smelling like a class discussion from the spells, abilities discussion to the dead zone, aka the class forums…and I’m not gonna rehash the euro marketing disaster deal banning)…however all the community damage has been on the part of the SOE team poor forethought has increased the anger on the part of the community…when we start discussing issues in threads most dont expect a prompt response from a dev or CM saying hey this is the upcoming fix you asked for due to time constraints but jeez any f*cking response letting us know whatever concerns about issues are on the damm radar would be a friggin nice change from the bitter silence.

    Reply

  • din

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    You can’t please everyone

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      You can’t please everyone

      Cop out.

      Reply

  • Onorem

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    Piestro did a nice job his first couple weeks. He’s still the only one I think gave honest open answers to PSS1 questions. Then he reverted to company line responses and avoidance/silence.
    I just got my notice of being permanently banned from the forums, so while I can’t look forward to interacting with this new person, I can hope to actually see their name regularly accompanied by actually useful information.

    Reply

  • Magar

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    So should we start referring to the Forum Rules as Murphy’s Laws?

    Reply

  • skippydippy

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    Kiara was for me the best community manager the game ever had sure she had her issues but both before and after her they’ve not been much good to be honest

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    Clearly, SOE thinks the community won’t be as mean to girls. Are people as mean to Holly as they were to SJ? Hmmm.

    Okay, I’m kidding. Mostly.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Clearly, SOE thinks the community won’t be as mean to girls. Are people as mean to Holly as they were to SJ? Hmmm.

      Okay, I’m kidding. Mostly.

      People treated Kiara like scum.

      Reply

  • Ruatta

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    HA HA. Murphy’s Law…Very funny, Magar.

    Reply

  • Electri

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    First of all… Welcome!!

    Secondly, you said ” Before coming here, I worked in education as an advisor and professor.”

    You were shaping the minds of young people and helping fuel our country’s future. You quit that to come to SoE to be berated on an almost daily basis for things you have ZERO control over.

    Forgive me, but did you really suck at teaching or did SoE through stupid money at you? I hope it is the later of the two; however, if it is, they (SOE) should fire you and hire more developers!

    Do not take this personally, it is all business. Anyone not touching the game design directly, in my opinion, is overhead and should be eliminated.

    Electri
    ps. Glad to have you /smirk

    Reply

  • Steelbelly

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    Welcome and congrats on your new job. I can’t think of a better job than to work at EQ2….wishing I did. Have fun in all you do.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Another lamb, into the lions den. Hope this one can dance to the rhythm better, the tune here can be downright brutal.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    They swap CMs more then I swap batteries in my remote…

    Reply

  • Zizzu

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    People treated Kiara like scum.

    She was loved and hated by many. I never seen a CM that could be so friendly in one post and then be the Forum “Nazi” in the next. She deleted more posts in the history of EQ2.

    I was never fond of her methods.

    Just my 2 cents

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    I remember Kiara popping into a instance with me and some vagabonk knights before, to talk to someone. She rooted for us as we smashed everything. :P

    Reply

  • clownshoe

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    @Electri

    Also quite curious what she was a professor of and the institution. The politics in academia play a huge role in success and albeit a turn-off to most, couple this with the pressures of funding (especially in this economy) and your head is easily in a spin; albeit even before graduate studies you typically understand the challenges ahead (i.e. Post-doc –> into the fray). So although i share your skepticism I completely understand the lure of less pressure, less bulls***, and higher pay to boot. So don’t stand on your high horse unless you’re a tenured faculty member at a real unviversity (no one has or ever will give a s*** about DeBry or that online Phoenix “ASU” money grab they call ‘opportunity for the masses’).

    I look on the bright side, even in the worst case scenario you painted, she is well equipped with the right tools for the job. I don’t know if her predecessor had the same qualifications.

    Reply

  • kal

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    I was a fan of Moorguard and later Blackguard.

    Reply

  • Electri

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    @clownshoe

    While I have never been a tenured professor, I have retired from corporate america. I find it hard to believe that there is that much less stress working for one of the largest MMO divisions with all the competition there is for memberships. I am certain it was the lure of the money as it is for many. With the economy the way it is, more money is always better.

    With that said, I still stand by my statement that anyone not working on game design is overhead. Personally, I believe the salary better spent on game design than another community touchy-feely person.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I still stand by my statement that anyone not working on game design is overhead.

    You must be from Denmark*. Here in the US, we kinda expect Customer Service and communication with the player community about unpopular upcoming changes. ;)

    * I am just back in the US after living there for 2 years.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    Just because someone is overhead does not make them useless. Every single business in the world has overhead. Businesses need overhead to operate properly.

    Reply

  • Winter Winwin Laurel

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    Maybe we will get regular updates again. I was really frustrated with what I get to be a lack of communication from Piestro.

    Reply

  • Dark

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    Piestro did an amazing job his first month or so, I was very impressed. Then he turned into Amnerys 2.0, which while not being particularly bad, was more or less just giving generic responses until SJ could stroll along and lie or ignore said thread.

    Holly being the ghost that she is, meant that 95% of everything was ignored. :\

    To be honest I liked how Kiara ran the forums, she kept them clean and generally wasn’t really too harsh on threads that had a legitimate point. Though she was kind of random at times, if she was in a bad mood she went on a terror spree nuking posts left and right. (She also took a lot of crap from the community that she didn’t deserve)

    Moorguard / Blackguard both did a good job as well. Gnorbin or whatever his name is, was absolutely the worst there ever was, if it wasn’t “Weee loooooove SoE so much!!!” it was instantly deleted no questions asked, even if it was legitimate feedback. (Not sure if he was ever actually CM or just filling in while they replaced one, wasn’t around for long at all iirc)

    Reply

  • bhagpuss

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    Is the old 1:9:90 rule still valid? The one that said 1% of an MMO’s playerbase posts on its forum, a further 9% visit and read it and the remaining 90% don’t even know the game has a forum? That’s certainly been the case in most family/casual guilds I’ve been in in all MMOs, where the first most guild-members ever knew about any change to the game was when they logged in after the patch that added it.

    Anyway, good luck to Dexella.

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    @Zizzu
    Kiara has nothing on SOE_MOD_XX for the number of post deleted.

    Reply

  • Grimmond

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    BTW – Welcome back Feldon.

    Welcome to the dark side Colette. I hope the job turns out to be everything you thought it would be/was promised it would be. I also hope we (the player base) get along well and have a long and friendly relationship. We are an honest group and relate our frustrations quickly and sometimes very bluntly. We have been ridden hard and put away wet and have a LONG memory and a short leash for BS … in fact we can smell it before it even gets put into a Dev’s post.

    I will apologise right up front for all the nasty stuff that will be posted between us. It probably will not be pretty. This is not OUR first rodeo … good luck, you will probably need it.

    Reply

  • shimmerman

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    Only thing I want to know is do they actually give a crap what we tell them is wrong ———> NOPE

    Reply

  • Gaealiege

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    Kiara was definitely a forum Nazi and unless it was “OH MY GOD I LOVE TRADESKILLS”, you could pretty much count on it being deleted. I will say that SOE-MOD-02 is a bit more of a forum Nazi though. I’ve been banned around 20 times now. Keep up the good work, SOE-MOD-02!

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Kiara was definitely a forum Nazi

    Compared to Gnobrin and Grimwell? I just don’t see it.

    I wonder how much SOE-MOD-02 is getting paid.

    Reply

  • Nrgy

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    Any post mentioning the name “Holly” that does not also include awesomest or smoke’n hot get automatically deleted, especailly the ones with the words Holly and “big nose”, “SJ’s mouthpiece” or any reference to the word “puppet”, including those such as “marionette” or “pinocchio”.

    Reply

  • Dark

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    I had a post deleted by 08 for literally saying “SJ has been known to lie to us in the past” I also got a ban for that. :\

    Reply

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