Interview with EM Malachi!

Community ManagerCommunity Manager Posts: 171Dev
edited November 2023 in General Discussions

This week, I had the absolute honor and pleasure to interview EM Malachi. EM Malachi has been around for an amazing 15 years! So, it was a no-brainer to interview Malachi first and foremost.
Please enjoy!

What made you decide to start EMing?

"I always loved telling stories, and I loved running events. There are so many things that are possible to do in Ultima Online, even as a player. When the return of the Event Moderator program was announced in October 2008, I just had to apply. Who wouldn’t want to go from drawing with a box of 8 crayons to a box of 800 or 8,000?"


What has it been like, being an EM for so long?

"This December will be my 15th anniversary as the EM for Great Lakes.

A lot has changed. Early EMing was gloriously chaotic. I regularly ran events that went long past two hours or where I had to make changes on the fly. There was definitely a learning curve. We now have better tools to run events. Our monsters much more powerful and varied. We can regularly do amazing builds that would originally have been impossible. However, the basics of what makes an interesting story or event have remained the same.

I have a lot of good memories of our team. We’ve had our problem members, but most former EMs retired with honor. I always look forward to what great ideas my fellow EMs will come up with next!"


What is your favorite part about EMing?

"I love that EMing and UO have so many avenues for creativity.  Origin’s original motto was: “We create worlds.” Through UO, this is very much true. We can build strange and beautiful places. EM rewards can be everything from delicate Meer crystal to a fistful of teeth. We can become any person, monster, or thing; I’ve played a sultan, a fairy, and a talking door. We can weave stories that cross genres and time. One month, we’re at a simple trial in the village of Cove; another month, we’re traveling to Mars. There is nothing like UO.

Creativity doesn’t stop with the EMs either. Each week, players arrive wearing outfits in colors and combinations I have never tried. One player translated in-game books into gargish. I’ve seen players roleplay amazing stories that I will never forget."


What is your most memorable moment playing UO?

"Near my first little one-room cottage, there was a player town. One day, their mayor was kidnapped! Out of curiosity, I joined the search party. Some trails went cold, and the search sent us all over Britannia. Finally, we found our adversary. He was a fallen warrior, exiled from the town. He rode a dark horse, wore full plate, and his name was blood red. He fought like a demon, but our number won the day, saving the mayor and our own lives.

It was my first roleplay event. Without it, I might never have started running player events or become an EM. It changed my life."


What is your favorite thing to do in UO currently?

"While I enjoy the global events and running my vendor, in-game books continue to fascinate me. They’re little pieces of story, time capsules, that connect back to the people who wrote them. I love collecting new lore pages from EM events and visiting player libraries. I once found a library that had books I had written as a player and books by EM Malachi. It was on a shard far from the worlds where those books had been written."


What is your favorite memory thus far of EMing?

"Built off the coast of Dragon Isle, there once sat the fortress of Bordermarch. In the early days of Blackthorn’s rule, the governors of Skara Brae and Jhelom almost took their people to war. The fortress stood as a buffer between them. The garrison inside the worn blue stone was small, so player privateers were granted letters of marque to keep the peace. It was beautiful, but a timer mistake meant it disappeared before its time.

Yet it isn’t about Bordermarch. It’s about the people who were there. I remember a player, who has since passed away, fighting sea serpents off the coast. I remember receiving a supply caravan led by the former governor of Minoc. I miss Bordermarch because I miss them. It’s funny how happy memories can sometimes make us sad."


Is there a specific event that you've done that is your favorite? What is it?

"For my favorite serious event, I’d choose the February 2017 oracle event (“Prelude”) that began our Nemesis arc. The players had their fortunes told by Penumbra and got to pick one of six nemeses: Gear, Vortex, Snake, Spider, Hangman, or Skull. They also got to make a few other choices that affected stories the rest of the year. The nonhuman governor of Moonglow had to deal with the Britannian Purity League. One mage learned there was an alternate timeline where she was sacrificed to a cosmic horror. Another person was hunted by a spider cult. It was an experimental event form that worked really well.

For my favorite silly event, I’m going with Frog Speed Dating. The players had to help a frog find love. They were surprised to find him standing below a balcony, reading heartfelt love sonnets to a giant pumpkin. They gently persuaded the frog that his beloved was actually a gourd, then set out to help him find a nice frog to woo instead. There were frog puns and frog-themed dates, such as a fly tasting and “the hop”. Thinking about this event still makes me laugh."


Was a drop you made that you favorite most out of all of them thus far? What is it?

"My favorite is Back Alley Deals. The item is pretty simple by today’s standards: a rust-red kryss that acts as a sextant. It is an early reward from my first year as an EM and was my first reward item that had any sort of additional effect. It was earned by those who rescued Magnus Grey from one of the secret prisons of the pretender king. In all the years, it is the only reward themed after my main RPC."


Is there a specific story that comes to mind about UO that has stuck with you to date?

"The story that sticks with me is the tragedy of Sage Humbolt. When I was a new player, the town criers were spreading news about a pair of powerful liches and the humble monk standing up to them. I was fairly pathetic at that point, with my trusty practice sword, but I promised myself I’d look into the matter. I was too late. Sage Humbolt died stopping the liches Lathiari and Kyrnia. There was a funeral, and I visited his grave in Britain to pay my respects.  Years later, when his ghost appeared in a global event, I got to revisit Humbolt’s story through fiction and events on Great Lakes."


Do you have any words of wisdom for the players out there? New and Old?

"The advice I would give players, old and new is: Don’t take rewards or items too seriously, but hold onto joyful memories.

I’m not saying this as an attack on rewards. We’re human beings; we’re wired to gather and collect things since our survival once depended on it. I enjoy coming up with interesting rewards and having players add them to their homes and museums. Still, at the end of the day, it isn’t my disorganized secure containers that keeps me focused UO. Across the game world, there are things that remind me of the people I care about who’ve played and worked on this game."


Is there anything else you'd like to add to the players out there?

"It has been an honor to tell stories with all of GL for these 15 years."

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  • SkettSkett Posts: 1,452
  • There are many examples of what makes Great Lakes Event Moderators a cut above. I'll cite just two in this post.

    -The global storyline "In the Shadow of Virtue" was generally speaking more intense and epic on GL than elsewhere.

    -Our interactions with Dawn, both as Warrior of Destiny and Slayer of the Shadowlords, then later as Queen of Britannia, were very memorable and meaningful. They ranged from that time where my character held down Casca as Queen Dawn killed him, to her coronation, to the three- or four-event long subplot of "In the Shadow of Virtue" where we avenged her death.
  • usernameusername Posts: 741
    Of course GL have the best EM's and they've been there for quite some time. Always great deco, rewards and stories. Fantastic
    This discussion has been closed.

    I will be slow to reply because I cannot log in/stay logged in to the forums.
    Make this your signature if you are tired of Vendor Search being broken, over 4 years and counting.
    Vendor search rendered useless after Publish 106 – Forsaken Foes on August 14, 2019.
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