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The Guides of the Shattered Land are a group of volunteers officially sanctioned by Daybreak Games. The main job of a Guide is to roleplay with the populace of Norrath and contribute to their positive experiences in the game. Guides have a limited number of Guide quests they can run (sometimes misnamed GM Events by players), as well as a small range of goodies they can hand out as treats. Usually, these are in the form of tasty snacks but can sometimes be decorative holiday items for a character's home.
Guides operate under a number of restrictions and are limited in the interactions they can have with players. For example, Guides are not allowed to accept any item from a player. Guides are not employees of DGC and they do not operate with Customer Service privileges so may not change bad names, ban users, or take other such actions. Guides are not GM's, and have no extra access to them to get issues handled for players. Guides can assist players with some minor issues, however, and are allowed to answer questions about game mechanics, provide players with general advice, and assist characters who are stuck and unable to move or who find they've fallen under the world. They cannot however answer questions that might be considered spoilers, such as telling a player where a given NPC is or how to find a given item.
Guides can be spotted around the lands of Norrath and will have a prefix of "Apprentice Guide", "Guide", "Senior Guide", and "Elder Guide", and will likely belong to Guides of the Shattered Lands as their guild when on as their Guide persona.
Guides can be found on most servers except for Test and Beta servers. On some special rules servers they may have other limitations on what they may do or hand out.
Once a volunteer reaches the status of Guide their play account may be granted free play time.
How To Join
The Guide Program is not for everyone, and there is a lengthy process which must be undergone before becoming a Guide. See more information about the Guide system on the program FAQ page
First, one must fill out an application which can be found at the Guide Program forums. This application tests roleplay ability, general writing skills, and game knowledge. Note that some of the questions in the Game Knowledge section are not supposed to be known off the top of one's head. This section is testing one's ability to find information, not to know it instantly. Essentially, you are supposed to use the Internet to fill out this section thoroughly.
Do not be discouraged if one does not hear back immediately. The Guide Program receives a lot of requests, and some applications have taken up to a month and a half to be processed. One will only be notified via e-mail if one's application has been accepted, not whether it has been graded.
There are some requirements for an individual to be a member of the Guide Program. These stay in effect even once someone becomes a Guide.
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Must have an active play account for the game or games they wish to Guide on.
- Must have at least two characters that have attained level 20.
- Must have a substantially clean play account record.
- Must not work (volunteer or paid) for a competitor of DGC in the MMORPG market.
- Must not run or staff a cheat or exploit site, or any site that that engages in the sale of game-related items, currency, or services which violate the DGC Terms of Service and game-specific EULAs.
Becoming an Apprentice
If one's application is accepted, one is now considered a "candidate" for the Guide program, and will need to attend basic orientation. The orientation is done in IRC, and includes what the Guide Program is about and what one's responsibilities will be as a Guide.
Once one has completed basic IRC orientation, one will be given a special Guide account, asked to make a character on the server they have been assigned to, and will be asked to schedule a more in-depth and in-game orientation. Their assigned server will be one they do not have any characters on, as they do not act as Guides on their play servers in most cases.
In the in-depth orientation, one learns the basic do's and dont's of being a Guide, receives the "Apprentice Guide" title and is invited to the "Guides of the Shattered Lands" guild. At this point, one will become "buffed" (in the Guide Program, this term is used to indicate an account being flagged as a Guide account), and is now considered an Apprentice Guide.
Being Promoted to a Full Guide
While one is an Apprentice Guide, one is "mentored" (in the Guide Program, this term is referring to a Guide training an Apprentice Guide) by Guides assigned to that server.
It is also important to note that all levels of Guides are required to complete four roleplaying sessions per week or one Guide quest.
Being a Full Guide
Once one is promoted to a Guide, one may be online and un-anonymous without the presence of a Guide online with them. Guides have the ability to summon a player, go to a player or static NPC, and other abilities as needed to act as a Guide. These abilities are, however, limited in when they are allowed to be used in some cases.
These are the ranks from lowest to highest.
Candidate - Has been accepted into the program but has not yet completed the basic orientation.
Apprentice Guide - Has completed in-depth orientation and is training to become a Guide.
Guide - Has completed training as an Apprentice and is ready to set foot in Norrath, alone.
Senior Guide - Supervises the Guide Program on a particular server.
Elder Guide - Supervises the Guide Program as a whole.