I started with ArenaNet in the year 2000. Ultimately, I ended up being Employee No. 2, after Mike O'Brien, our president. I am proud that when creating a new gaming company, the three founders of ArenaNet thought of community early. They reached out to me to ask me to join the company a few years before we had even announced a title! Over my 18+ years with ArenaNet, I served as Community Relations Manager (2000 - 2008); Support Liaison (2008 - 2014), Forum Team Lead (2014-2015) and Communications Manager (2015-2019).
It was great working at ArenaNet, and having the honor of being involved in the release of Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and Guild Wars: Path of Fire were major highlights of my professional life. In fact, they were major highlights of my RL, too! :D
On February 25, 2019, I left ArenaNet, having opted to depart when the company was reducing staff. I made the decision to leave in the hopes that by doing so, another team member would be able to retain their position. My only regret is that I was not able to say a suitable "goodbye" to the community I loved, but I have to believe that most will know how much they meant to me. I want to thank everyone for their support during the time I was with ArenaNet. Those years were golden to me, and I will always treasure that time in my life and value the many friendships I was fortunate to make. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for so many incredible, wonderful, heart-warming memories.
What I Did
My day involved all sorts of projects. First focus was the official forums. I read through a lot of threads and tried to respond to at least a handful each day. I escalated key issues, concerns, and suggestions to the dev team and of course dev team members read and interact on the forums, too. I also engaged on other forums as I was able. In addition to the front-side of the forums, I managed our forum moderation team, reviewed and resolved appeals, and created policies designed to help keep our forums a welcoming place for our dedicated players. When it was needed, I composed public-facing messaging for our players about urgent situations that arose, and about general topics of interest. I assisted developers in writing informative forum posts about their projects, teams, and other topics. I managed our Fansite and Guild Relations, lead In-Game events (such as kicking off in-game festivals with a dev gathering), and wrote the occasional blog post, such as the official post about Guild Wars' 10th Anniversary and the happy news about the restoration of Lion's Arch. I also compiled a weekly internal newsletter for the company that spotlighted the activities of the Marketing Team, including press coverage, forums, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and more.
Community Showcase Live
I put together the monthly Community Showcase blog post, which highlighted our creative community. Then, every two months, I had the great pleasure of hosting a show called Community Showcase Live which featured a selection of fan-created art, including drawings, sculptures, plushies, oil paintings, cinematics, crafts, GIFs, videos, and much more. Given the amazing creativity of our community, this show was a real pleasure to present and it gave me the chance to introduce a different developer every other month as my guest, so that the community could make a new friend at ArenaNet.
My favorite activity of all was participating in live events, such as trade shows and community gatherings. On behalf of ArenaNet, I participated in a lot of trade shows, including multiple years at E3 and PAX West (formerly PAX/PAX Prime), plus many other shows, including PAX East, Paris Game Show, EGX Rezzed, gamescom, and a number of others. It was an honor and a pleasure to represent ArenaNet at the shows, where visiting with our players was invigorating, fun, and downright inspirational! Their energy and love of our games kept me going even on the busiest of days.
Playing the Game
I play the game a lot. Usually a few hours each night plus more on the weekends. I love the in-game festivals and spend even more time when they're going on, with Halloween being my favorite, yet Wintersday a close second. I am so happy that we continue to host festivals because we all -- players and developers -- love those fun events! The return in 2018 of the Festival of the Four Winds was very exciting, and it rounded out a year of great activities for all of us players. When I played in the past, I represented the ArenaNet guild, and you might have seen me and my pet, Franklin, anywhere in Tyria. (Yes, Franklin also flew the ArenaNet tag. :) ) Now that I am a former employee, I cannot belong to the ArenaNet guild, but I'm sure I'll still be in the game from time to time and I hope to see you there.
You can leave me a message any time on my talk page, drop me an email through the GWW email system, post on my Facebook page, or say "hi" in the game. I'd love to hear from you any time!