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#1 Jul 21 2009 at 1:57 PM Rating: Good
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Wandering through Alla's FFXI forum for nostalgia's sake has been a bit of a frightening experience. It's like the guy in the charge of XI's banhammer gave it to his 2 year son and casually stepped out of the room...for the last few months.

I guess through the rose tinted glasses of hindsight, I'd forgotten just how often SE approached genuine player grievances by sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la" at the top of their lungs.

I know that XI was an experiment, despite that overly-insistent blurb about giving it a number, SE probably didn't put it's full faith and backing into it. XI came out before WoW revealed MMOs to be veritable money trees, so I can't really blame them. Getting a multi-platform multilingual game together was a feat in an of itself, actually running it well would've been a daunting task for any company back then. I think the recent induction of the MMO into the mainstream, combined with the gobs of financial backing at SE's disposal, there should be a reasonable expectation of quality Customer Service in XIV from Day 1.

But this will be undermined if people smile and nod and vote with their wallets to support what is by today's standards absolutely appalling business practices.

I joined XI at the start of NA release in 2003 and called it quits somewhere in 2006 before XI got past it's wild teenage years and settled down in quaint suburbia, swearing to spare it's kids the military upbringing it had under Everquest. I'm just now checking back on it as it totters into old age, stumbling aimlessly through formerly familiar territory while forgetting the names of it's loyal grandchildren. So I'll acknowledge, I've probably never caught SE's MMO department in it's best light...

...But for a company of SE's caliber, not being in your best light for years at a time really says something. Whatever circumstances may have surrounded XI, for XIV I expect better than the detached indifference I put up with and the disjointed nonsense people seem to be taking now.

And I hope you do too.

Edited, Jul 21st 2009 6:18pm by Zemzelette
#2 Jul 21 2009 at 2:35 PM Rating: Decent
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As long as the game runs smooth and stays in their vision of the game, I will be happy. As far as customer service goes, I think its true they wasn't great at it, and I do expect them to be better. However, I don't expect them to be perfect and I expect the players to take some blame also. As far as the ban hammer goes, if you don't do things that make you look like rmt then you wouldn't have anything to worry about. Now if you do things that makes you look like an rmt, then yes you didn't do anything against the rules but you look like you did. Same as if I go into a store with a ski mask on, I wouldn't get mad when the police snatch me up. Now did I do anything wrong? No, but I looked like I was. That is the same as people having 10 mules working gardening and all they gil on a mule character. Yes its not against the rules, but you look like you are rmt, so don't get mad when they temp ban you.

I have never been banned nor do I know anybody that has been banned that didn't deserve it or that didn't look like they deserved it. In conclusion, you have nothing to worry about as long as you don't do things that make you look like you are breaking the rules. Having 10 mules all gardening and all that gil on a lvl1 mule character, is like walking into a bank with a ski mask on. You are not doing anything wrong, but you look like you are and you will get snatched up.

Edited, Jul 21st 2009 6:36pm by HocusP
#3 Jul 21 2009 at 3:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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2,010 posts
Quote:
if you don't do things that make you look like rmt then you wouldn't have anything to worry about


You know, A couple years back I would have agreed with this sentiment. The trouble is, everything now makes you "look like RMT". RMT has been pushed out of every "traditional" RMT area of the game, and now regular players are getting banned because RMT are forced into moneymaking methods that were typically used by regular players. Look at the gardening fiasco not too long ago.

It's a little more complex than just "not looking like rmt", and frankly, why the **** should I study RMT behaviors in order to learn how not to look like them? Especially when they change with every patch.....
#4 Jul 21 2009 at 3:29 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
It's a little more complex than just "not looking like rmt", and frankly, why the **** should I study RMT behaviors in order to learn how not to look like them? Especially when they change with every patch.....


Its not about studying them, its more about not doing stuff you know is suspicious. Like 10 mules working gardening and storing all the gil on a lvl 1 character, is something that looks suspicious. Same as walking into a bank with a ski mask on will get you snatched up. LoL, My real life friend got arrested for standing outside of a store with a ski mask on, and he wouldn't hurt a fly (It was winter). Just play the game, there is nothing wrong with farming and stuff but there is certain things that you know will look suspicious. If you avoid these things then you have nothing to worry about. There are small things that might look rmtish but you won't get ban'd over them, but the big things like 10 mules gardening and then storing the gil on a lvl1 mule that will most likely get you banned.
#5 Jul 21 2009 at 4:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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The horrible customer service is one of the reasons I don't play FFXI anymore. I certainly hope they make improvements. The biggest step they have already made: getting rid of POL.
#6 Jul 21 2009 at 7:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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HocusP wrote:
LoL, My real life friend got arrested for standing outside of a store with a ski mask on, and he wouldn't hurt a fly (It was winter).

10 mules gardening and then storing the gil on a lvl1 mule that will most likely get you banned.


It would be perfectly understandable for police to check out your friend, including picking him up, but there's no way he should have been arrested - what he did was not a crime.

Likewise, it would be reasonable for S-E to take a closer look at all players whose behavior matches the patterns of RMT, but they shouldn't be banned, even temporarily, when they've done nothing wrong.

S-E makes great games, but their customer service is beyond atrocious, and I really question how someone could defend them.
#7 Jul 21 2009 at 8:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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SEforPrez wrote:
Likewise, it would be reasonable for S-E to take a closer look at all players whose behavior matches the patterns of RMT.


And there's the problem.

A few months after NA release I realized that SE either did not have the resources to investigate RMT activity, or was not willing to devote their resources to that area. RMT was still virtually unchecked when I left the game in 2006.

I have also been reading the auto-ban threads on Alla, and it seems that SE is still unwilling to devote additional resources to this problem. Only instead of ignoring things, they are now relying on generic "behavior patterns" to track RMT, and as a result legitimate players are getting banned for selling crystals to certain NPCs, using multiple gardening mules, etc.

I'm not sure which hurts the playerbase more.

If SE is going to take action against RMT in FFXIV, I hope they invest the time/manpower required to do it right.
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#8 Jul 21 2009 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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Customer service from SE has recently grown into a huge problem. I stopped playing FFXI in 2008 and never had any customer service issues myself, but the horror stories I read in the meantime... some of those were out of this world.

In the early-mid years (pre '07) the stories about being banned were almost always followed by a dozen posts containing the line: "you must've done something you're not telling us." The assumption from the community was pretty much that SE was on the ball as far as banning people who legitimately violated the terms of service, even if their focus seemed to be skewed away from doing anything about people who were cheating A LOT, such as NM botters and RMT.

After that period the STF really started taking swings at things and we started seeing posts on alla and in the POL news saying that "This month we banned a hojillion accounts because of RMT activities" and the peasants rejoiced. Then at some point, I think SE and the STF decided that they just weren't doing this as efficiently as possible and set some hastily-built AI program on the logfiles and gave it the ability to ban people by itself, turned it on, and never looked back.

The attitude of "ban 'em all and let God sort it out" (or similar) has never, at any point in the entire history of humanity, been a good idea. Yet that's exactly what SE seems to have decided on: ban everyone who remotely matches these rather vague criteria and let them call us to plead their case.

From a customer service standpoint, this should have been suicide. Unfortunately they didn't get press on it until the Salvage-dupe bans, and THEN only because they were so late about it. Media outlets and gamer-news sites have recently been paying more attention to what SE does in FFXI and this behavior is getting some attention, but I'm afraid it's too little, too late at this point. FFXI is reaching the end of its life, and while I'm sure it will continue along for a good long time with its core of dedicated fans who just won't hear of playing anything else (and I can understand that, believe me I can), it's glory days were numbered as soon as FFXIV was announced.

Here's the kicker and the conclusion of this particular essay. FFXIV is a chance for SE to get it right. They've taken the first step by kicking POL to the curb, the next step is a lot harder: they have to examine how they interact with the community and with their players on an individual basis. The current hands-off policy on the community isn't going to work this time as we have lots of MMO developers now that interact directly with their playerbase. The current policy of "everyone's guilty, some are just guiltier than others" for dealing with individuals is completely unacceptable, if this continues to be their stance against the community then a very clear message has to be sent that the community won't stand for it. That message is sent with canceled accounts and loss of business, there's simply no other way to get the attention of a corporation.

With FFXIV, the community can't just roll over and take it, if they won't listen you have to make them listen.
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#9 Jul 21 2009 at 11:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Honestly, I never saw a single player get banned who didn't deserve it. (yeah I saw friends banned, but they didn't abide by the rules, even something as innocent as a simple AH addon on windower, it was still against the rules).

Maybe I was just fortunate? Or maybe the majority of video game players like to cheat, and most MMOs are willing to overlook that for subscription fees. (I am looking at YOU Mr. alliance warlock with 5 felguards out every freaking time I see you in a city raid).
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#10 Jul 22 2009 at 5:45 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:

It would be perfectly understandable for police to check out your friend, including picking him up, but there's no way he should have been arrested - what he did was not a crime.


He was handcuffed and taking into the station, but later let go without being charged. The point is, it was his fault for looking like he was doing something wrong. I have played since Na release and never been banned once nor have I seen anyone banned that didn't deserve it. I have had ls members banned and a lot of friends banned but they all deserved it (well its true). There is certain things you just don't do even if its not actually breaking the rules. 10+ mules all gardening and then storing the gil on a lvl 1 mule is like walking into a bank with a ski mask on (to me). Most people that get banned, usually lie about what they did and blame it all on SE. When in fact, they know they was doing things against the rules way before they was even caught.

Customer Service has to get better and should be better. I just don't give SE all the blame and throw some blame to the players as well. Most people say SE is just this big bad wolf thats banning all these innocent people, but in reality, most of them really deserved it. As far as double charging for months and things like that, SE has to do a much better job.
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