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Episode 4 – Another Day in the Office!

Episode 4 – Another Day in the Office!

Aug 6, 2013

Now that you know how someone gets to be a merc and what life on the team is like, we’ll show you the key to the nitty gritty details of merc life; co-ordinating and picking up requests. You may wonder what our schedule looks like, how do we keep track all the requests, how do we coordinate who takes which request, etc.

Well, wonder no more!  Below is an example of a day in the virtual merc office.  This is the “desk work” side of  being as mercenary (as opposed to the “water-cooler” side of merc life, or the “in the field” aspects). This is how we keep track of all the requests, what happened to them, who took them, etc.

On this particular day, we had 34 total requests. We missed a couple, a few cancelled their requests or weren’t there when for a run that was set up, a couple were in progress at the time this picture was taken, and rest were completed.   As you can see, I’m the slacker in the group. 😉

calendarscreenie

With so many requests, we really needed a system to help keep track & coordinate between team members.

Every new Wizard101 and Pirate101 request is added to the calendar as soon as we notice it. Each request starts out Red (i.e. needs attention) and it is changed to other colors depending on what happens (missed, no show, picked up, etc.) to it. When  a mercenary picks up a request, it is temporarily changed to green (i.e. good to go, or currently in progress) until it is completed. Once that request is done, it is changed to either black (completed), or blue (no show). If a request’s time has passed and no one has picked it up, we change to color to purple (missed). As you can see, this color stands out a little on the calendar and so reminds us every time we look at the calendar that we need to get in touch with this poster to see if they still need help, and to set up an alternate time. Often, a request will have multiple days listed. For the purposes of our calendar, we consider it missed if we do not pick it up on the first day they have listed, as we like to help people as soon as possible. If we do miss it on the first day, we mark it as purple and automatically mark the request as having priority on the next day they listed as being available.

The icons on the left of each request serve a similar purpose to the color, but help us differentiate between Pirate requests and Wizard requests. Wizard requests that need attention in some way are marked with a “string on a finger” (reminder) icon. Wizard requests that have been handled in some way are marked with green arrows. Pirate requests are marked with a flag, to help our Pirate mercenaries find them more easily. If a request in our Wizard City to Zafaria thread is picked up by an F2M101, we will mark is with a “friend” icon, to make it easier to keep track of how has been assisting regularly.

When one of us have sometime to help out, we will check the list twice to find out who is nutty and who is nice … just kidding.

We check W101 or P101 central to make sure the calendar is updated, and check the list to see what request we can take or help out.  We try to prioritize base on requested time frame and type of request (i.e. quest vs. farming). The calendar automatically organizes the requests by first available start time (although it does not account for time zones), which makes it easier for us to search for requests that need help at the times we are available.

How it feels when looking at a calendar of untaken requests in bright red.

How it feels when looking at a calendar of untaken requests in bright red.

On days like the one above, we simply wouldn’t be able to keep everything straight without such a system in place. It helps us to be much more co-ordinated, and with so many people keeping on top of the system, we’re much more able to keep up to date and organize our schedules so that we can take even more requests.

 

Click here to read the previous episode, Episode 3: Crazy Like a Merc!

Click here to read the next episode, Episode 5: Humble Pie

  • Lucas Silver

    Hey! I see my request! :)