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Advice for new events runners

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Advice for New Events Runners

The information presented here has come directly from Apollo's "Advice for New Events Runners" post in the Puzzle Pirates Events Workshop forum.

Players may request Ocean Master assistance (advice, prizes, logistical help, etc.) for events they plan and run on their own. Information on how to request Ocean Master assistance for events can be found on the Event planning page.

The three main reasons for event support rejection are:

  • No event experience. We really prefer that people have run some kind of event before, and can provide us with a link to the forum thread for the event.
  • Event is too complex relative to their past event experience.
  • Wanting to run a familiar event without obvious event experience.

The underlying reasoning is that if the event has OM support, we need to be fairly confident that the event will be run fairly and competently, and the more complex the event, and the more valuable the prizes, the more reassurance we need! Below are some guidelines, which I hope will help people intending to get onto the Events Trail!

Step One - Take Part In Events

  • Whether they're in-game or on the forum, high profile events or small events, take part in events. Get to know how they work, watch how the event hosts handle the event (examples here can be good or bad, of course, but you can learn from both!)
  • Look through the Events Workshop occasionally, and follow the Events forums. This will give you an idea of the kinds of events that are often run, the level of prizes normally used for them, and give you some ideas for how to run your own event.

Step Two - Get A Little Experience

  • If appropriate, help out with someone else's event.
  • Run at least one event yourself.
  • Make it a straightforward event - one that is likely to be easy to manage and unlikely to raise difficulties over rules interpretation.
  • Make the challenge appropriate to the prizes. If you have lower-level prizes, that's absolutely fine, and people will expect the effort they put in to be appropriate to those prizes.
  • Plan the event to run on dates convenient to you - don't post an event just before going on vacation for two weeks.
  • If you are not sure how to approach the event, either simplify the event again, or post in Events Workshop and ask for help in refining the details. Don't be disheartened if the feedback isn't all positive - they're generally experienced events players, who are trying to provide constructive criticism.
  • Post in the right forum. If you are offering prizes just on your home ocean, then post the event in that ocean's dedicated event forum. If you're offering prizes on all oceans, you can post it in the global Events forum. While you may think that posting in Events will make your event more prominent, this actually doesn't work. You'll get more notice in the less-busy ocean areas.
  • Take care with your first post - explain the event clearly so that people know how to participate and understand any rules. Although perfect spelling and grammar isn't expected at all times, it's important that your post is good enough that potential entrants understand it. If you think your spelling or grammar might need some help, get someone else to read it through and make suggestions. If you don't have anyone in real life who can help, ask a flagmate, hearty or even post it in the Events Workshop and ask for someone to help.
  • Watch the event thread, answer questions promptly and courteously.
  • Remember to post a list of winners, results and prizes, even if it's an in-game event.
  • Follow through on prizes - if you're having difficulty contacting someone to deliver a prize, try PMing them to arrange a time to be in game, or ask them whether they have hearties or flagmates who you could entrust the prize to.

Step Three - First OM-Supported Event

  • Read the Events Calendar and Info, and the Events Howto threads at the top of the Events forum. These give some guidelines on the kind of support that might be appropriate, and the kinds of events that might be supported.
  • Don't be over-ambitious - again, make this a straightforward and manageable event. You don't have to make it an all-ocean event.
  • Don't ask for unrealistic prizes. If this is your first supported event, no matter how brilliant the event is, we're not going to give you a familiar or a pile of rare furniture. The most likely prizes for a first-time event runner are along the lines of common trinkets or standard renames for ships you are providing as prizes. In addition, having prizes of an appropriate level for your event show that you have looked at other events, and understand the normal level of prizes.
  • It's a rule for all events, not just early ones, but don't ask for coding changes to support an event - we won't be creating new objects, charts, routes, ships, etc, for an event, and nor can we change the normal game mechanics for an event.
  • Again, if you need any advice to finalize your event post, post it in Events Workshop - many of the people who post there have a great deal of events experience, and are likely to be able to help you with advice or suggestions. Don't be discouraged if they point out a big flaw with the event - better at that stage than later! Take the advice on board, and amend your event or come up with a new one!
  • Once you are happy with your event plan, follow the template in the Events Howto thread and use it to put together a proposal for event support. Complete all parts of the template that are applicable to your event.
  • You should be sending your email at least two to four weeks before you intend to post the event. Emails sent when the event is already posted are unlikely to be successful.
  • Take care with what you write. If the proposal is unintelligible, it's likely not to get support. It's worth spending some time (or getting help) so that your message is clear. (Some people send incomprensible event proposals with a message at the top saying something like "soz for mistaks, too lazy to check", which doesn't really bode well for their event!)
  • Describe your event clearly, outline the prizes you want, and any other OM support you want (e.g. broadcast, prizes provided on other oceans, etc).
  • Include links to similar events, if appropriate. If nothing else, this shows that you've seen (and hopefully read) threads from similar events, which will help you in the running of your own event.
  • Include links to the event(s) that you have previously run. We can look at those threads, and see how you handled the event.
  • If you have any outstanding questions that need to be answered, you can ask those in the email too.
  • Assuming you get event support, keep a regular watch on your event thread, and answer questions as they're asked.
  • If a major change to the event or to the prizes has to happen, please let me know by PM, so that I can confirm support is still there for you.
  • If you don't get support for your event from the OMs, don't despair. You can still run the event yourself if you want to, and you can always email the OMs in the future with another proposal.

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