25 million. This is the number of registrations in Imperia Online. Behind every account there is a player and each player has their own experience, requirements and point of view about the game. Thus a whole department of heroes exists inside Imperia Online – a department of Community Managers who handle all kinds of cases and resolve hundreds of requests and reports by users.
They are also known as ‘Support’, despite the first association with the word being way different than the shining faces in said department. Mihaela and Melinda are typical representatives of IO’s joyful experts. The two girls are Community Managers with Italian. They are responsible for several thousand players and are dealing with all kinds of requests and complaints on a daily basis, but a reward can easily be put up to be given to anyone who has seen them being ‘grumpy’.
The pair of beauties is as tough when the job requires it as they are gentle and polite. ‘There are all kinds of players – some present valid complaints, others fill our system with all types of insignificant or imaginary issues’, the girls explain.
Handling each case is done through email, live chat or Facebook. IO’s experts cover all communication channels with emails being the top priority. They have also developed their own color code for splitting the work:
‘When I start answering a message, I color it purple, so that she knows not to waste time on it’, Mihaela clarifies. Both know most players very well, especially ‘the regulars’.
‘We have some epic players! One of them, for example, insists we send him all of his in-game Stone to his physical address in Italy. Another one inspects the game’s Help files daily and when we see his name pop up, we know there are hours of questions and clarifications ahead of us.’
There is also a player that reports several people everyday. ‘If someone would log into our system, they’d find more than 400 complaints by him’, the CMs say, clarifying that despite the frequency of his reports, they still check every single case.
Communication with angry players doesn’t go as smoothly though. ‘Everyday there are those that want to sue us, threaten us with police and thoroughly explain Italy’s laws and the ways we’re supposedly crossing them.’ The tough cases are usually a result of the plaintiff’s belief that an opponent of theirs is using illegal tools for in-game progress. If the specialists conclude there hasn’t been any wrongful action at play, the result is often received with a huge dose of rage on the complainer’s side.
‘They curse us, swear at us, blame us… It gets even messier if we’ve punished an ally of theirs…’, the communication experts say. However, they are quick to clarify that the aforementioned situation has its positive aspects as well. ‘In such cases all opposing Alliance members take their turns to thank us’, Mihaela and Melinda explain.
Continuing the lighthearted string of thought, they mention some very entertaining conversations. ‘There was a player that declared his love for me’, Mihaela remembers, laughing. ‘He then went on and said the same to a colleague of mine. Broke my heart!’
How does one become a Community Manager for a game of such colossal size? The answer is: with vast amounts of enthusiasm and perfect knowledge of their language of choice. Both Italian Community Managers are disciples of the University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ with Italian philology. Melinda has the advantage of having spent her entire childhood in Italy. Her family moved there when she was only 3 and came back to Bulgaria 11 years later. This makes her Italian pretty much native.
Mihaela – on the other hand – intended on devoting her life on drawing. She enrolled in an art high school, but it turned out there were 13 hours a week of Italian language in her curriculum. Luckily, she liked the language and was good at it so she took it as her other calling.
Both of them passionately recommend their job to anyone who is looking for an interesting and diverse profession. Perfect knowledge of a second language and positive attitude are the key to students and graduates in entering this field, the charming experts say.