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Reader Comments (17)

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 3:18PM (Unverified) said

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I really do enjoy reading this column, as community and customer service are a huge part of online games for me. However, you should probably include a disclaimer when rating customer service based on the nature of your petitions. Quest glitches and stuck characters are a simple matter for a GM to resolve, with no background research required, whereas replacing a deleted item must be checked and double-checked by NCSoft (or any game company's GM team) to make sure that there isn't anything underhanded going on (players might sell items to shops for gold and then petition for replacement, thereby making a personal gain; the account may have been compromised, leading to the item's deletion and a lot more required work for the GM team; or the item may never have existed in the first place). Even WoW, highly praised for its extremely attentive customer service representatives takes a few days to thoroughly research missing and delete items, even going so far as to warn players that they might not get a third or fourth chance if they make the same mistake.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 3:23PM (Unverified) said

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I got myself two months of game time for Aion recently, to see if things had improved at all. The entrance to the broker was mercifully gold seller free, and in fact I didn't see a single gold seller set up as a shop. I still get a few tells an hour from obviously compromised accounts touting gold selling services though, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to report them.

It's a far cry from Warhammer's one click (more or less) reporting system, and just adds to the general impression of couldn't-care-less-edness that seems to pervade the hosting of the game.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 3:58PM (Unverified) said

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Right click their name in the chat and it will let you whisper or block them (blocking comes up with a confirmation box). The bot report feature is less intuitive, as it's buried in the action menu under skills (K by default).

Left clicking their name brings up a dialog box that lists information on their class and level, and lets you do stuff like invite them to party, whisper them, or somethin else. It doesn't show their location or zone, which I think is weird, but at least it shows their Legion information too.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 4:17PM (Unverified) said

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Right clicking on the name was the first place I expected to find the option to report. I found it very poor that a company that made such a song and dance about crushing gold sellers makes it so difficult to report them.

I did actually find the report bot option, but didn't think it appropriate, as bots are a separate problem (which to be fair, I haven't seen since returning).

The issue here of course is that this isn't NCSoft's game. They didn't sweat blood for several years developing it, and their only interest is in expending as money as possible in hosting it. Hence the five day wait for ticket resolution.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 3:42PM (Unverified) said

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I think it's worth noting that where to level at 20 is considered an exceptionally newbie question to ask, and may have caused more than a few people to think you might simply be trolling or stirring up trouble. At level 20 you're directed very clearly to Eltnin/Morheim as a quest hub via a campaign quest and given enough quests to keep you busy until at least 22-23, where this sort of question would be more expected. Had you asked something suggesting a little more knowledge of the subject like "At what level should I stop questing and grind normal mobs for the best XP" or "Which repeatable gives the best xp/hour" you may have experienced a very different dialogue.

I'd be interested to hear about your experiences with looking for groups to less common instances. KHQ, Fire Temple and Dredgion are three extremely common activities and are the easiest things to do as a group. When looking for a group for something unusual, for example, to do your three keys quest, to go defeat an elite quest mob, or go do KHQ's little brother the LC you are very much less likely to find a group. Grouping is typically penalized in the game's mechanics, and very few of the other activities are attractive to anyone but a newbie who hasn't become jaded to everything that isn't straight mob grinding.

Other than those two points, this sounds like a pretty accurate picture of what I saw when I played Aion. I approve of the article.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 4:39PM DarthCheese said

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NCSoft needs to start refunding game time for the accounts they banned for /
"trading kinah", when they did not.

I got 2 pre-order accounts, to secure names. I probably lost most of them now.

Do I get a refund?

Doubt it.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 4:48PM DarthCheese said

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Let me explain just how NCSoft support is:

Recently I've decided to give GW a shot again... I've owned the game for like 2 years or so already, including expansions.

So I DL the client, just to find out they implemented some new security measure, where I can't log on without providing my login + password + AND the name of a character on the account.

Right, haven't played GW for over a year, time to guess.

Guessing fails, even with having almost all expansions, I just can't remember the surname. So I contact support.

Contacting support has ZERO effect, even after three days.

Mind you this is a game I bough & paid for, including expansions.

I end up having to guess my 2-year old character's name, which I guess eventually.

So I get to log in to a game I legally bought and own.

Well done NCSoft. Well done.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 5:40PM (Unverified) said

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NCSoft support is not very good, a fairly well known fact. But the new log-in requirement of having to know a character name was a security feature implemented after accounts were being stolen. They still need to put in some kind of character lock with a secondary password (with notification to your email account), so characters can't be deleted even if your account is hacked.

That said, with GW problems, you just need to keep contacting them. You should have gotten an automated response soon after submitting your problem. If you didn't, do another. There is also a number you can call to escalate things, but you'll have to search through their website to find it, I believe.

I had to go through 5 different support people, each one completely ignored my problem and reset my password for some reason. The sixth actually read through what I sent in and quickly solved the problem, but again, reset my password, I guess they always do that? She also apologized for the other 5 support people. I'd rather she reported them as incompetents that should either be retrained or fired, but I assume they just hire anyone off the street and the pay probably sucks.

Be prepared with your account info. You will need to have the game account key-code, possibly all of them for any expansions and such. If you don't have your key-code, I'm not sure what they do.


Good luck!

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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 5:38PM (Unverified) said

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May I point out also in your comparison of how you received "personal" attention in EQ2 would go hand in hand with the fact that the population in EQ2 is most likely to be half or a quarter of what Aion is based on current sales and various numbers like Xfire, Raptr, etc
...I could see how you got better service in EQ2.
And as you pointed out, giving them questions of such an issue like deleted items when they JUST finished a merge...yep, not good either.

PLEASE make sure you revisit this at a later time and redo this eval, as I am extremely disappointed in this one...and I do not even play the game and can figure most of this out without being a fanboy.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 5:43PM Jef Reahard said

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Mind sharing where you get your numbers for comparing EQ2 and Aion populations? I don't consider Xfire or Raptr to be good for anything other than forum posturing, but I'd be interested in any official population numbers you'd care to link.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 5:57PM (Unverified) said

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Not to mention the fact that if they've twice the population, they're taking in twich the subs each month and can afford to hire more support staff.

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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 5:55PM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, that is better service than I would have expected, especially with the disaster the merges have turned out to be. "Hey guys, lets just throw these servers together without doing even the slightest bit of research on actual player levels or balance concerns! Job done, let's go get some beer and send out Twitter messages the rest of the day..."

Ditto on what SirNiko said about your level 20 question. I'd have ignored you, as it does sound like a troll. If you've reached 20, you've automatically been directed to the next area. You might have gone with something like, "Is it better to level up in Morheim / Eltnen or Brusthonin / Theomobos?" Depending on the which side you were asking.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 8:06PM (Unverified) said

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For what it's worth, my account was compromised and then banned (on a virtual machine running a different OS, which has only accessed the Aion website in it's existence...no idea where I screwed up. Internet firewall perhaps...) last week, email sent Wednesday night instead of submitting directly through their website, email registered at 3am on Thursday, response received on Sat morning and worked out over the course of 4 emails that morning. I was pretty pleased, much better than my Blizzard experience.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 9:11PM Graill440 said

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Jef, first i am liking this column, hope you expand it to more games, well done.

On Aion pop. The couple months i played it i was curious as to the claims of subs, i took a couple weeks after i lost interest in playing it due to rifting and did the old check level at various times to get an average with my remaining time, i used yustiel and one of the higher pop servers at the time now defunct.

Needless to say the actual populations verse what Aion was stating did not match, not even close, you also see the result in the server merges.

Again, nice read.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 11:18PM whackanewbie said

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I play aion often and enjoy it (flog here...I did a one shot). When it comes.to customer service ncsoft is bad with communication. I was banned a week for no reason and then given that game time back. as far as community spot on. aion actually has a very good community I found out but two things 1) the "rude" people are a lot more vocal whereas the vets take a backseat and 2) this is a pvp game...regardless of faction there will be lots of sarcasm.

Posted: Aug 4th 2010 12:01AM (Unverified) said

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Hah, just looked closer at the Petition message in the picture. I wonder what response, if any, you'd get from sending that? Guess it depends on if support has a sense of humor or not.

Posted: Aug 4th 2010 6:43AM Jeromai said

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I've always found NCsoft support (City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Aion) to be very systematic and methodical, resolved over 1-3 days over their email and web support system.

Slow, somewhat corporate, but polite and quite good at resolving things to a point of satisfaction as long as you keep pushing at them and escalating it higher and higher until you hit someone competent who has enough authority to deal with the problem you're having.

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