Name: Donna Eouzan
Character Name: Faine Morgan
Role: Former Event Moderator
Donna Eouzan never gave much thought to video games, considering them to be little more than “time-wasters.” But after giving Ultima Online a try to satisfy a coworker’s nagging, Eouzan found a world full of wonderful people, exciting adventure, and fascinating stories. The discovery not only changed her life, but helped her find a place on the game’s Event Moderator team in 2008.
Leaning into her real world background in software support and training helped Eouzan stay patient with those citizens of Origin as they got to know one another. As it turned out, guiding players through a fictional story wasn’t far removed from leading someone through troubleshooting software.
“I just generally like helping people and people interest me, how they think, how they act, how they interact with the world and other people,” Eouzan added. “It’s all fascinating to me. I think you need that as an EM.”
With the basics in the bag, Eouzan let her mind wander in order to create engaging content that would challenge players both mentally—through puzzles—and physically—through some good ol’ monster killin’.
“I find my initial ideas everywhere, usually in books,” she explained. “I try hard to stay far, far away from news and current events. The game should be an escape from the day to day reality.
“[My quest ideas] generally start with a sentence, statement, or question. For example: a dragon is terrorizing the fields and setting fire to the farmer’s crops, seemingly unprovoked. Then I start asking questions, ‘Why would a dragon do that out of the blue?’ From there I start fleshing out background. It’s a female dragon. It’s a mother. She’s burning the crops but also digging up the fields like she’s looking for something. What could a mother be looking for that sends her into a frenzy? From there the story either takes shape or, in many cases, veers off completely down another path. The one thing I try really hard to do is make sure that things make sense. If players are looking for something, or traveling somewhere, there has to be a reason. There has to be motivation. Not just go here, kill that.”
Despite UO’s fantasy setting, Eouzan said she didn’t hesitate to draw inspiration from her own life as well. Whereas in the real world, Eouzan considers herself to be a good cook, her EM character was terrible when it came to managing the kitchen.
“Anytime Faine Morgan set foot in the kitchen, things were bound to go horribly wrong,” Eouzan said. “It was a lot of silliness that the players immersed themselves in with me. I was always sure that I had finally perfected a recipe and ‘this time I’d show them!’ Of course, it never worked out.”
Read more of Donna Eouzan’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online!