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f13.net General Forums => News => Topic started by: ForumBot 0.8 beta on November 18, 2007, 02:30:26 AM



Title: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: ForumBot 0.8 beta on November 18, 2007, 02:30:26 AM
Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.” (http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=620)

You've probably noticed that up until today, I was a pretty big supporter of Hellgate: London. In fact, I defended them even under the most blundering decisions. Design, QA, launch procedure, billing woes, etc. It didn't really matter, I simply assumed that due to the experience at Flagship that they would work through all of this. But there was one issue I consistently complained about: The Memory Leak. Normally, with any game – particularly an online one, this is the most important thing to get fixed. See, for people to talk about the game, enjoy the game, and most importantly, recommend the game to others they need to be able to play it. For a little more than a week, I haven't been able to play the game.


» Read More (http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=620#more)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on November 18, 2007, 02:42:37 AM
I think it's time to call in the heavy hitters.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: caladein on November 18, 2007, 02:49:25 AM
I loved "We are sorry about CSR Marcus, probably he did not understood your issue" from the last response :awesome_for_real:.

That was "TAXI TO VICTORY, the Customer Service Edition". Awesome as always Schild... except this time a lot of us are out $150, so it's a tad less funny and a lot more sad.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on November 18, 2007, 02:57:18 AM
I took some time to review the terms of service that you have to sign to subscribe to their service(lifetime or otherwise).  A few things came up that are bothersome to me.  Of course, this could all be standard gaming contract stuff, but if it is... shame on us for swallowing it.
Quote
You acknowledge and agree that Ping0 may update your Game Client with our without notifying you.
They can download things to your computer without telling you about it?  Or what it does?  Really?
Quote
the Service is offered with the understanding that Ping0 may terminate any Account registered to you and/or your access to the Service at any time, for any reason or no reason
Or no reason?  They can just decided to turn off your service because they feel like it?  Nice, guys!
Quote
13.2.    YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR ANY DISPUTE WITH PING0 IS TO STOP USING THE SERVICE, AND TO CANCEL ALL ACCOUNTS REGISTERED TO YOU.

Now I'm not a lawyer, but this seems like the kind of contract NO ONE SHOULD SIGN.  EVER.  The company providing the service isn't responsible for providing the service at all, and if you're not happy with it, go fuck yourself?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 02:57:48 AM
I like the typos in the TOS. Ping-0 sucks a fat dick.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2007, 02:58:16 AM
Ping0 is a joint venture between FSS and HanbitSoft so FSS "outsourced" their CS to themselves.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 02:59:15 AM
Ping0 is a joint venture between FSS and HanbitSoft so FSS "outsourced" their CS to themselves.

They seem to operate as arms of a different body though. The left arm doesn't know what the right arm is doing. While the right arm is shoveling shit into this two-headed hydra's mouth.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on November 18, 2007, 03:08:47 AM
I took some time to review the terms of service that you have to sign to subscribe to their service(lifetime or otherwise). 

...

Now I'm not a lawyer, but this seems like the kind of contract NO ONE SHOULD SIGN.  EVER.

That was pretty much what I thought the first time I heard of the concept of a lifetime MMOG subscription.  The stuff you quoted is pretty standard TOS stuff, but with a lifetime subscription you don't have the option of bailing out when they abuse their end of it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Bunk on November 18, 2007, 03:08:59 AM
Hmm, interesting. Having been on the recieving side of many conversations with customers wanting refunds on software, I will say that sending out canned email responses is bad form. Beyond that, I don't know. I've been playing the game since launch, and can't really say I've felt a need to ask for a refund. The memory leak is an issue true, but I've only actually had the system crash from that three times. Add to that a couple more crashes involving inventory screens - yea it's annoying, but as you said your self a week ago - the game loads up again fast.

I'm assuming that you are experiencing much more frequent crashes than I am, based on your anger. Honestly though, your rant comes accross a little on the ... I can't think of a good word without sounding insulting, so I won't.

Maybe I'm being nieve, but I'm going to go with the idea that they know there are issues and are working on them. You seem to be upset that they haven't been running around screaming about how horrible the crashing is and how quickly they will fix it!!! Yea. Software companies don't do that. Especially with a brand new game they are still trying to sell. You know as well as I do that this type of bug can take forever to fix - and you knew the issue was there when you subscribed. Take a deep breath, remember that you have about 800 other games coming out this month that you plan to play, and come back to this one in the spring when its likely to be a lot more stable - hell, it's not like you are wasting monthly fees.  :awesome_for_real:

As to the issue with the character slots - you are coming across a little entitled there. Yea, if they opened up all of the subscriber content to non subscribers, you'd have a reason to complain.

If you'd been ranting that you needed a refund due to the carpal tunnel caused by repeated deleting of bonfire tofee blueprints - then maybe I'd be agreeing with you.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Seanzor on November 18, 2007, 03:09:41 AM
http://forums.hellgatelondon.com/showthread.php?t=45597

^ Link post on HGL General fourms - wouldn't surprise me if it gets locked or deleted, but the post linking to the somethingawful slam of HGL was never moderated, so who knows.

I'm interested to see if this thread lives through the night, and what the general reaction will be.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Bunk on November 18, 2007, 03:12:11 AM
I just want to clarify - I'm not defending ping0's customer service here - its obviously inadequate and deserves the derision. I'm just a little suprised that you expected to be able to get a refund.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 03:13:17 AM
Quote
As to the issue with the character slots - you are coming across a little entitled there. Yea, if they opened up all of the subscriber content to non subscribers, you'd have a reason to complain.

Entitled my cock. First of all, I don't care much about the money. It's the way the CSR folks handled it that bothers me more. Secondly, there's only 3 reasons to subscribe right now as the rest is based on THINGS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. More Character Slots, Hardcore Mode, and Broken Special Events. Considering they can't even get that shit right and they aren't fixing CURRENT PROBLEMS that keep people from playing before adding MORE PROBLEMS that keep people from playing, well, I'd say that the 24 character slot thing is a big fucking deal.

As to your most recent post:
Quote
I just want to clarify - I'm not defending ping0's customer service here - its obviously inadequate and deserves the derision. I'm just a little suprised that you expected to be able to get a refund.

Quote
It's not even about the money anymore. At first I was like, OK, I should probably be getting $140 back. We're far past that now. I'm more interested in gamers knowing what's going on. Also, I want to make companies aware that Aria Systems (the billing company, www.ariasystems.com) and Ping-0 (the CS company, www.ping-0.com) should never be hired for any game in the future. That is, if you value customer service and would like some sort of system in place to distribute a refund in situations where customer's really get fucked over and deserve a refund due to no fault of their own.

Please to be reading the whole article. I really, really, really don't care much about the money. I just want to rip them an asshole where their forehead used to be.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Falwell on November 18, 2007, 03:18:04 AM
They probably consider the zombot a holiday pet and thus the reason it's on the bullet list. Regardless, always good stuff Schild.

EDIT: Forgot they made Halloween stuff public. I am a mongoloid.

How in the hell a game with top tier dev talent, a ridiculously long development cycle, and what had to be a pretty hefty budget came to this kind of base, amateur hour, hack job is beyond me. Disappointing to say the least.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 03:18:28 AM
Seanzor, I don't exactly appreciate you linking the official forums to here. See, official forums are full of gibbering retards that we just end up banning. Please to not be doing that again.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Seanzor on November 18, 2007, 03:24:05 AM
Seanzor, I don't exactly appreciate you linking the official forums to here. See, official forums are full of gibbering retards that we just end up banning. Please to not be doing that again.
Yeah, that makes sense.  Will avoid in the future.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2007, 03:36:30 AM
I took some time to review the terms of service that you have to sign to subscribe to their service(lifetime or otherwise).  A few things came up that are bothersome to me.  Of course, this could all be standard gaming contract stuff, but if it is... shame on us for swallowing it.
Quote
You acknowledge and agree that Ping0 may update your Game Client with our without notifying you.
They can download things to your computer without telling you about it?  Or what it does?  Really?
Quote
the Service is offered with the understanding that Ping0 may terminate any Account registered to you and/or your access to the Service at any time, for any reason or no reason
Or no reason?  They can just decided to turn off your service because they feel like it?  Nice, guys!
Standard practice FSS copied from Blizzard (among others). What's even more scary is how Valve has taken it to the next step with Steam where they can for any reason (or no reason at all) lock you out of any or all of the games associated with your Steam account. Blizzard and Co. only do it for the multi-player part of their games but Valve can do it for "your" single-player games as well ("your" is in quotes cause the games aren't really yours if you run them through Steam).

Quote
Quote
13.2.    YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR ANY DISPUTE WITH PING0 IS TO STOP USING THE SERVICE, AND TO CANCEL ALL ACCOUNTS REGISTERED TO YOU.

Now I'm not a lawyer, but this seems like the kind of contract NO ONE SHOULD SIGN.  EVER.  The company providing the service isn't responsible for providing the service at all, and if you're not happy with it, go fuck yourself?
Another version of the standard software "warranty" where the software is sold/licensed to you "as is" with no warranty whatsoever.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Nerf on November 18, 2007, 03:51:26 AM
(http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/1828/ping0chartpn4.jpg)

Edit: Unblurry Image.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on November 18, 2007, 03:53:23 AM
Yeah, I went through the Steam contract after making that last post.  That kind of crap makes me want to stop giving these companies money if there's no guarantee of satisfaction.  "Oh, your service sucks?  Keep my money, I didn't need it anyway!"  Could they bend us over just a little more, please?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 18, 2007, 03:59:43 AM
I just canceled my account.  True to form, there was no request to know why I was canceling.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Velorath on November 18, 2007, 04:08:56 AM
Seanzor, I don't exactly appreciate you linking the official forums to here. See, official forums are full of gibbering retards that we just end up banning. Please to not be doing that again.

Or worse yet, they'll linger around for years having the same discussions on where the game went wrong until you're forced to give them their own forum in the Graveyard just so you won't have to see it anymore.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Falwell on November 18, 2007, 04:43:08 AM
Nice touch with the Shanghai hypnotist's cat Nerf.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Slyfeind on November 18, 2007, 04:50:04 AM
I'm no lawyer, but I heard one once say that if you sign a contract that says it's okay for someone to do illegal stuff to you, that doesn't make it okay. And I think some of that stuff may be illegal, like that whole "as is" business. We've always got a right to sue.

I too have been on the CSR side of customers demanding refunds. I've tried arguing with them about why they shouldn't get their money back, and that never went over well. They just made my life miserable, dropped death threats and burning poop on my head, went straight to the manager, and the manager gave them their money back anyway.

Other times, I've given customers a full refund, no questions asked. Those customers came back a week later, asked for me by name, and gave me more money.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Amaron on November 18, 2007, 04:56:18 AM
This probably doesn't matter at this point but I was a little confused about one thing while reading.   The memory leak has been the thing they've been most forthcoming on and there are some fixes for it in this patch.

Based on what Cellwind has been saying in this thread: http://forums.hellgatelondon.com/showthread.php?t=38375 (which is probably the most revealing thread any programmer has ever been allowed to post in the history of online gaming) it's probably actually a memory leak in the drivers.

As I said though that probably matters for nil at this point.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2007, 04:58:34 AM
You'll need to copy and paste that post cause the HGL forums aren't public (you have to have an account to view them).


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: tkinnun0 on November 18, 2007, 05:00:19 AM
Refund for canceling a lifetime subscription? What an intriguing idea.

You've paid 150$, played 1 month and you probably have some 49 years 11 months left. That works out to a refund of 149.75$. That about right?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 05:03:13 AM
Refund for canceling a lifetime subscription? What an intriguing idea.

You've paid 150$, played 1 month and you probably have some 49 years 11 months left. That works out to a refund of 149.75$. That about right?

Again, I don't care much about the refund but...

I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they thought people would get 15 months out of the game. Or rather, that's what you get when you divide the lifetime vs monthly subscription, 15 months of paid time. As such, I asked for $140, 150-10 (cost of a month). And again, mostly because the game is unplayable. I would probably resubscribe if they got their shit together. Though, odds are I'm stuck with the lifetime account, which is OK. I'm just more interested in them fucking up less and less. Because right now, they might as well introduce an NGE. (lulz swg reference)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Amaron on November 18, 2007, 05:14:05 AM
You'll need to copy and paste that post cause the HGL forums aren't public (you have to have an account to view them).


Ahh good point.  The problem is it's the whole thread.  It's freaking amazing to me in terms of "omg I can't believe some PR guy is letting him do this".

Should I actually cut and paste that stuff though?  Even the first post is huge and as he gets feedback it's clear he gets more and more of a handle on the different memory problems.  He responds to the thread constantly (like almost 1 post response per raving lunatic even).   I even got him to go into details of what they load into memory (ie a lot) when the stash/inv is opened and when it's cleared from memory.

I don't mind cutting and pasting highlights but it's going to be massive spam.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 05:16:56 AM
Please don't C&P all that, it's a good summary. The fact he's communicating should have a link on the frontpage to that thread. But doing that would require balls.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Reg on November 18, 2007, 05:20:53 AM
Next on Oprah - When Fanboys Become Bitter.  :evil:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Amaron on November 18, 2007, 05:21:23 AM
Please don't C&P all that, it's a good summary. The fact he's communicating should have a link on the frontpage to that thread. But doing that would require balls.

Yea that thread should at the very least have a link in the news on the main page.   It's like it's hidden in the crash forum practically.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 18, 2007, 05:21:49 AM
Since you're editing your original frontpage post, I might should point out that cancelled is spelled correctly in the first CSR ticket. c-a-n-c-e-l-l-e-d or c-a-n-c-e-l-e-d (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cancelled).

Other than that, I think it is strike one an epic fail for a lifetime subscription idea. Sorry for your loss.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Lionhunter on November 18, 2007, 05:54:48 AM
I'm not sorry for you,you deserved it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: bhodi on November 18, 2007, 06:39:42 AM
I'm just going to laugh. Again. Like I did at you on TS when you told me you were going to pay for this crap. Offering a lifetime sub before the game is even released is a :awesome_for_real: cash grab, and I'm surprised no one else sees it that way. You'll probably get your cash back but only because you are screaming so loud.

But, now to your actual point.

Often the CSR/Billing/Whatever is a completely independent arm of the company. The idea that a company who has a long development cycle and good programmers can have shitty CSR makes perfect sense since it's a completely different department. It's ESPECIALLY a no-brainer if they were more focused on getting the game playable and released than worry about "trivialities" such as CSR. They likely just skimped on the internal testing for signing up/canceling/conflict resolution and didn't (don't?) realize how bad it really is.

I guess they should have listened to Lum's rant where he talks about how important the 'base/support/auxiliary services' are to a game. As you say, it's not amateur hour anymore.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Jimbo on November 18, 2007, 07:44:01 AM
Wow, the first time me having windows XP Pro x64 has kept me from ever having memory leak.  I'll add that I haven't had any problems, no crashes, no memory leaks, no nothing...the game has ran rock solid for me.

I am a bit upset that my lifetime is only for the larger stash (hey that is a godsend, I'm a pack rat), more slots (well till the patch), and now that I know what else I was to be getting, I'm a bit torn, but it is a game company and game companies suck.

Why aren't game companies more responsible?  I don't know, if I bought football tickets in a VIP suite and then when I got there they moved us to the cheap seats, I would expect compensation (okay even if I would never sit in VIP just imagine I'm not that educated redneck who can wear shoes now), or if I bought a special year pass at the bowling alley and the owners eventually change it so it doesn't matter if you have a VIP pass or not, yeah I'd be bitching...but see those are more tangible and easier to report to the better business bureau.

That or do damage control, I do it all the time, I come out and tell a family and the patient that, "you (the patient) need to be admitted, you have 'x' and we highly recommend you stay.  Unfortunately at this time there are no beds &/or no nurses upstairs to take you, what will happen is you will stay in the emergency department until we get a bed upstairs and get you admitted.  We will help make you as comfortable as possible down here, but remember you still are in the ER and we will do the best we can but can't put you first all the time."  Believe me, when I tell them what is going on, what is being done, how long the wait might be (even if I have to say it may be till the next day @ noon when it is 1am @ night), and what orders we can do, and if I have to call the admitting doc and get more orders, etc...it is a big patient satisfaction issue.  So if this hillybilly who got an education can do customer service why can't game companies?

 :raspberry:  1st time I'm glad I did purchases my OS.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2007, 07:58:00 AM
So if this hillybilly who got an education can do customer service why can't game companies?
The vast majority of companies (not just game companies) treat customer service as a cost center.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: DarkSign on November 18, 2007, 08:46:04 AM
Speaking as a lawyer, the question becomes did they "substantially perform." If they gave you "most" of what you bargained for and didnt leave out anything essential, then your contract should stand. You do have a leg to stand on as this is a goods contract (technically hybrid goods and services) that you didnt get exactly what you were promised. The UCC gives you a reasonable time to reject what you've already accepted.

Speaking as a gamer, yeah Flagship did you wrong. The games industry is so eager to make more profits than Hollywood that customer service blows chunks. CSR's have so little ability to make decisions that they end up being robots. Sure they're supposed to stop you from taking your money back, but what they need to do is sell you / convince you of the value you're already getting...not just try to keep you from unsubscribing.

Sorry man.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CharlieMopps on November 18, 2007, 09:24:22 AM
Firts off: Write the better buisness burrow. It has worked twice for me in the past, and it gets the company in question to send legally bindable info to you WITH a signature on it. In once case a company I was having an issue with said "We don't know who this person is, they do not have an account with us" and sent it back to us. The BBB sent me a copy.

A year later the comapny sent me to collections... lol
I called up the collections agent and she said "Wait... you have a signed dockument from the VP of the company stating that they do not know who you are and that you do not have an account there? Jeasus Christ..."
lol

Then, if that doesn't resovle it, contest it with your creditcard company. Tell them you bought software from them and it doesnt work. They refuse to fix it or let you exchange it. They will refund your money.
I


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hoax on November 18, 2007, 09:56:11 AM
A post in which CharlieMopps makes an ass of himself and the others laugh

Jesus.  CSR Marcus is that you?

PS.  Schild, never stop being this funny.  I love news posts like that.  The winnar is you.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Aez on November 18, 2007, 10:51:08 AM
Quote from: terms of service
You acknowledge that refunds are not provided for any reason, and that you will not receive money back for prepaid time when the Account is closed, whether such closure was voluntary or involuntary.


They can ban a lifetime subscriber?  The comic potential is great with this one.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: taolurker on November 18, 2007, 11:21:17 AM
Ahem.. I won't even bother to go into all the Hellgate issues, and exactly why I still refuse to spend any money on this game, but I feel that I should at least point a couple of things out.

Firstly, Schild, I really can't feel sorry for you and your situation here, because you were aware of the many issues when you paid for a subscription, and still spent the money anyway. In fact you knowingly ignored most of them and were concentrating instead on "it's a fun game" and "it will get better".. Just review a few of your fanboy responses to me about this game.

Now, I do feel that you have reason to be upset about the subscription character slots being granted to everyone, but I also don't feel you should be getting a refund because you were spending it supporting a game you knew was broken. The only thing they didn't give you which you were entitled to by subscribing was a "special event pet", which probably isn't worthy of a refund. BTW There was already a "Zombot" Halloweed pet, which likely every player got, but that to me doesn't really equate to breach of contract.

I really am mostly stunned how you can complain about Ping0's lack of grammar or spelling, especially when your front page post contains this type of gibberish:
Quote
Obviously they have some sort of program that grabs specific words from a support ticket and tells the CS staff a combination a number and letter so they can look up the response on a grid. Obviously 'cancel' + 'subscription' + 'lifetime' = 2C or something. Obviously. Unfortunately it's just a poster on the wall and the CS member has to use his rudimentary grasp of English to retype the response he's from across the room.

a combination of a number and letter?  he's across the room from?

Quote from: terms of service
You acknowledge that refunds are not provided for any reason, and that you will not receive money back for prepaid time when the Account is closed, whether such closure was voluntary or involuntary.

They can ban a lifetime subscriber?  The comic potential is great with this one.

Aez posted what I was actually just looking for, and if you don't tread carefully, they may just cancel your account and not refund you anything. Then you'll have nothing.

As far as most MMO subscriptions are concerned, I don't know of any that actually refund subscriptions, and although you may feel like you're entitled to a refund you probably won't get one. You might even get your account banned if you get too crazy here.

You could do like CharlieMopps suggested and contact the BBB, or the FTC, and start a letter writing campaign/legal action, but honestly you aren't really likely to see a refund through that route as well. Basically, you're screwed because you had faith you were spending your money for future perfection, and your subscription will last as long as the game does (which could be lessened significantly if your refund crusade continues much further).

Seriously, calm down, take a valium, smoke a joint or something, and maybe they'll give you a free month of service on your lifetime subscription.. LOL. Obviously they're sort of screwed already with a broken game, and the last response seemed, at least, like they were going to attempt something to make you feel appeased, but freaking over this now (after you already spent money expecting improvement) is only going to result in double the frustration.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: rk47 on November 18, 2007, 12:48:02 PM
He did all that for the lulz, tao.
Doubt he's serious about getting the money back. He buys dozens of games every week I bet 150 is like chicken shit.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on November 18, 2007, 01:18:56 PM
There's also the fact that he got the same canned response twice, but with different spelling errors.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on November 18, 2007, 01:27:35 PM
Firts off: Write the better buisness burrow.

(http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/179/burrowhj2.jpg)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 18, 2007, 03:05:53 PM
Those of you thinking I'm freaking out, I'm not. The two things that fueled that post were there lack of ability to prioritize the biggest problems with the game and the fact they've hired foreigners to do their trouble ticket support. I work in an American based call center. I know how to do and manage good customer service. Ping-0 has done badly at every single job they exist to do. Including but not limited to, network infrastructure, customer service, communicated on forums, making the issues known, and keeping the community happy. Aria systems fucked up on the KEY THINGS they were hired to do - billing management.

I want people to know this. So I wrote something.

I don't care if you have sympathy for me, but at least understand that once again, I really, really, really could not care less about the $150. If they refund it, great. If they don't, hey maybe the game will be worth playing again one day. Or at least be playable one day (iLOL). Nonetheless, that refund wasn't the core of the issue. The billing setup and the Customer service was. But I know, I know, READING IS HARD. If you don't "get it," then don't bother responding to the article.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Threash on November 18, 2007, 03:28:44 PM
I have yet to have any "technical" problems with the game besides one bugged side quest, but i also canceled my non retarded monthly sub.  Theres simply no reason at all to have one atm.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Musashi on November 18, 2007, 03:35:26 PM
I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 18, 2007, 03:50:06 PM
The patch message says the intent is 24 slots for non-subscribers... but I'm not saying that their patch message is perfect.

So, yeah, I worked in an American call-center before too, and it does chafe a bit to see my ex-job outsourced to foreigners who are given some basic instructions and no real power to do what the customer needs of them.  They're there to be yelled at by the customer while their bosses have pretty much cut them off.  That was my job, too, until I snapped.  Apparently, this kind of apathy under the guise of professionalism is considered the cutting edge state of customer service for many companies, but clearly they took the wrong turn back at Albuquerque if ignoring their customers is the result.  You could threaten legal action, but the result is that your account is suddenly shut off and they refuse to pretend to be talking to you anymore.

Of course, any company that thinks that's how to handle their customers likely feels the same way about keeping that $150 in their pocket.  The very intent behind the lifetime subscription may have been that it was a cunning trap that uses the new game buzz as bait.

It's a bigger problem than Flagship and Ping0 or your $150.  It's Corporate America no longer having any reason to care.  Nothing less than a radical political restructuring is going to change that.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Reg on November 18, 2007, 04:20:09 PM
Quote
I don't care if you have sympathy for me, but at least understand that once again, I really, really, really could not care less about the $150. If they refund it, great. If they don't, hey maybe the game will be worth playing again one day. Or at least be playable one day (iLOL). Nonetheless, that refund wasn't the core of the issue. The billing setup and the Customer service was. But I know, I know, READING IS HARD. If you don't "get it," then don't bother responding to the article.

Maybe I just don't "get it" but it seems to me that the majority of your article involved you showing us this series of emails in which you demanded a refund from some powerless customer service drones during which you got progressively more angry as it became obvious that they had no intention of giving you any of your money back.

But it's not about the refund? It's about how they spell "cancelled" right?

I had thought most of the jaded gamers around here knew enough not to play any new MMOG during it's first month. Did WWII Online and AO teach us nothing?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: LK on November 18, 2007, 04:25:34 PM
Today's Hellgate Hater Tip: Potential is a bitch when its unrealized.  The tears of disappointment in six months if this game fails to deliver and continues to have major, game-breaking issues will be sweeter than personally bitch-slapping a trash-talking 13-year-old XBox Live fuckhead.

I didn't realize it would take 9 days.

Your H'ate is delicious.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ragnoros on November 18, 2007, 04:37:18 PM
I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

The game only shows you one "slot" that says "create new character" beyond what you're currently using. So unless you actually made another character and then checked again it would appear that you only had 4.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on November 18, 2007, 04:59:47 PM
I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

When you use that character slot, another one will pop up. 


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lariac on November 18, 2007, 06:05:08 PM
I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

Technical issues trumps any redeeming qualities the game might have.

Don't suck developers dicks based upon what they have done in the past, but judge them on their actual product today.

oh...and don't pay for shit that should come with the game anyways.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ixxit on November 18, 2007, 07:09:06 PM
Hellgate the game, Ping0 the support and infrastructure company and Aria Systems the billing partner all share the same problem:  They are all not working as intended to varying degrees.   This whole thing  has the stench of a product that was pushed out so early that almost NOTHING was tested properly and everything was rushed out the door from the tools customer service use to a coherent feature set for subscribers, to game stopping bugs that have been around since the beta

It's not because the support is being done out of country, or that the support people are retards or robots.   To place the blame there is to ignore the fact that the actual game Hellgate London is more problematic than the support and billing functions combined.   The blame fully rests on Flagship or their  Ur'quan masters whoever they may be.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Soln on November 18, 2007, 07:14:01 PM
Sold you toe. (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=11276.msg362144#msg362144)

Seriously.  The memory leaks still seem there, but I suspect that mostly there's some bad video calls going on.  Translated: they implemented DirectX poorly in places.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Chenghiz on November 18, 2007, 08:54:01 PM
I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

What?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: rattran on November 18, 2007, 09:13:34 PM
At least for nvidia, the memory leak seems to be a driver/hardware issue. I thought the last patch had fixed the memory leak, seems to be my switching from an 8800gts to an 8800gt that fixed it. Same driver revision (169.04) just a hardware change.

Still, sucks that it's still there. Client stability should be A#1 priority, then other bugs. If people can't play, it doesn't matter how borked the actual game is.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: wirespeed on November 18, 2007, 09:16:05 PM
Just so I'm clear here...  At *present* the only differences between being subbed and unsubbed are:

  • Additional inventory space
  • 1 Additional characterr slo
  • Access to elite mode
  • Fawkes day event which is of dubious value

Am I missing anything?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2007, 09:38:10 PM
Your Halloween stuff still works.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: UnSub on November 18, 2007, 09:59:06 PM
I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

What?

'Good' in that they are open and you can evaluate for yourself. Can you trust any commentary that comes out of a closed beta, either good or bad? Perhaps. I wouldn't spend $150 on perhaps though.

And if a game chooses to launch from closed beta, then yes, it's a red flag. It's like a movie that screens without ever being shown to critics.

EDIT -

However, the thing is that schild played the beta and paid the money anyway. He said the game was fun and had potential. That's what the $150 was supporting.

To cancel at this point would seem to say that HGL hasn't got the legs to ride out two weeks (or however long until they fix it) worth of problems. That the CS sucks and relies on annoying the customer into inaction is hardly a new event. Now, I hope that such results / articles see companies like Ping0 avoided by other developers in the future - such poor service shouldn't be rewarded - but the article is about schild trying to drop his lifetime sub and get a refund. That's what drives it, and simplying saying, "Oh, it's not the money, it's the principle" doesn't cut it when money is mentioned every paragraph.

Anyway, the moral of this story: don't buy on potential alone, ESPECIALLY if you know the product is flawed right now, unless you are willing to accept that this potential may never be forefilled. I thought we knew this by now.



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lesion on November 18, 2007, 11:45:45 PM
At *present* the only differences between being subbed and unsubbed are:

  • Additional bank space
  • Super megas additional character slots (21)
  • Access to hardcore mode
  • Ability to create guilds
  • Fawkes day event which is retarded
If anyone reading this missed the multiple times it has been said, character slots open as you fill up the last one. Elite mode is for everyone once you beat Normal. Fawkes is a dick.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: WindupAtheist on November 18, 2007, 11:51:50 PM
Schild, I'm surprised at you.  There's a type of person who'll fork over a hundred and fifty bucks for a lifetime subscription to an MMO, and then get all butthurt when it has a typical MMO trainwreck of a release, but I didn't think that type of person was you.  Shame on you.

 :wink:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hoax on November 19, 2007, 03:18:02 AM
The only reason to sub is for hardcore mode.  But not having hardcore is failure so everyone has to sub unless they dont like the game.  At least that's what I've been believing this whole time.

By only reason I mean to say, the rest of the shit is window dressing, broken or who cares.  The only thing you NEED is hardcore, which you do not want atm because the lag issues suck and playing with others scales the mobs all kinds of retarded.  I haven't even played w/ 4 people ever.  First of all the community functions suck ass and secondly 3 people was fucking so hard at times it hurt.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: slog on November 19, 2007, 07:48:31 AM
So, If I read this story correctly, I get the following:

1) This is their First MMO
2) They are not well funded
3) The beta showed all the usual signs of an incomplete game being released.
4) Fanboi shells out a lot of money for a lifetime sub ($150+box price?)
5) Fanboi has been playing these games for 8 years and should know better
6) Fanboi whines on the front page.

Or am I reading this wrong?

Edited for numerous typos.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 07:53:34 AM
You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 19, 2007, 07:58:13 AM
FSS is very well funded.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 08:02:11 AM
Which makes you wonder how they managed to make such bad business decisions with customer service and billing.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Bunk on November 19, 2007, 08:03:25 AM
You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.

To be fair, you filled the first half of your article with so much vitriol and bold letters, it was kind of hard to focus on the last couple paragraphs where you calmed down. As for the ping0 and Customer Service stuff - you are right, it's subpar to say the least. I think everyone should have pretty much known that the CS was going to be shit as soon as the game launched without a working billing system.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 08:05:32 AM
The CS and Billing in this particular situation are not tied together. Which might be part of the problem. The whole left hand/right hand thing.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Simond on November 19, 2007, 08:08:26 AM
FSS is very well funded.

Correction: FSS was well funded. I somehow doubt that the chequebooks will remain open for them much longer. I wonder how many subscribers they'll actually keep past the first couple of months?

I guess we know now why Blizzard hasn't announced Diablo 3 yet: There was no need for them to run a spoiler campaign against HG:L - just wait for events to take their course.  :grin:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 19, 2007, 08:14:23 AM
FSS sold the operating rights to HGL in China for a ridiculous amount of money a year ago. I'm remembering it to be around US$40 million but I would have to dig up my notebook to find the exact figure.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ixxit on November 19, 2007, 08:14:41 AM
You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.

The way things are looking though,  don't you think maybe you should also say  that Flagship shouldn't work on another game.  I mean the sole  reason you are even talking to customer service IS that the game has serious problems and FS seems almost impotent in dealing with them. If the game was working as intented, your other points would be pretty much moot.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Falconeer on November 19, 2007, 08:15:05 AM
If I can feel bad for my 9.99 iuros wasted on one month of subscritpion (and I do), I could understand Schild's rage about 150$.

I *could*. Because this is not about the money at all.

Me, I wasn't in the beta and I am pretty pissed about the money too. So far it's like I paid 9.99 for the Fawkes Flameguards. Didn't know HGL had RMT in it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 19, 2007, 08:28:18 AM
FSS sold the operating rights to HGL in China for a ridiculous amount of money a year ago. I'm remembering it to be around US$40 million but I would have to dig up my notebook to find the exact figure.


Not quite...

The9 Goes To Hellgate For New Online Game In China

May 29, 2006
The9 (NCTY) has entered into an agreement with HanbitSoft for an exclusive license to operate the "Hellgate: London" game.


Hellgate: London is an action role-playing game, and the term of the license is three years from the date of commercial launch in mainland China.

Alex Kim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HanbitSoft, Inc., said: "It is very exciting to join hands with China's leading game operator The9 to bring Hellgate: London to the mainland China online game market. I truly believe that Hellgate: London's great content and quality, together with The9's strong operating capabilities will eventually lead this game to a huge success in China. HanbitSoft, Inc., of course, will provide our full-scale support."

Under the agreement, The9 has agreed to pay US$5 million in license fees as well as guaranteed royalties equal to the greater of 21% of the retail value of the prepaid game cards produced for use or a total of US$30 million over the 3-year license period.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Tige on November 19, 2007, 08:50:31 AM
Under the agreement, The9 has agreed to pay US$5 million in license fees as well as guaranteed royalties equal to the greater of 21% of the retail value of the prepaid game cards produced for use or a total of US$30 million over the 3-year license period.

Insert witty Monty Python sound clip about the problems inherent in the system.

Human nature Roper has left building and what was there to stop him.  Receive check for his cut, get the game out and leave whatever mess there is to clean up to someone who cares..or not.  Nothing unique or new here.  The game will be, arguably already is, successful for it's kind.  Gamers will bitch, some will leave, some move on to the new shiney to repeat the same dysfunctional cycle.  Lemmings are we.   


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: shiznitz on November 19, 2007, 09:17:38 AM
Late to this thread and the article, but good piece schild.

Oh, and anyone who buys a "lifetime" anything for a game deserves the inevitable kick in the junk. Especially before launch. Although I cannot argue that your expectation of a refund is absurd, I have no sympathy. You choked on the hype. Deal.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 19, 2007, 09:22:02 AM

...
Human nature Roper has left building and what was there to stop him.  Receive check for his cut, get the game out and leave whatever mess there is to clean up to someone who cares..or not. ...

Except it is not FSS that receives the funds.  HanbitSoft, a Korean company, gets money for a localized version they are producing.

Joy.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: slog on November 19, 2007, 09:43:45 AM
You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.

I guess I don't get it then. 

Is the point "Don't pay for lifetime subs before you actually know what you are getting?"  All I can say to that is "Thanks, I know"

 



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 19, 2007, 09:48:16 AM
Speaking as a lawyer, the question becomes did they "substantially perform." If they gave you "most" of what you bargained for and didnt leave out anything essential, then your contract should stand. You do have a leg to stand on as this is a goods contract (technically hybrid goods and services) that you didnt get exactly what you were promised. The UCC gives you a reasonable time to reject what you've already accepted.

Uh, speaking as a lawyer with experience in this area, you're wrong. Substantial performance doesn't really apply with software licenses, since the entire point is, you know, a license to use the software. TOS/EULA agreements almost never make promises on the part of the software owner -- almost everything is a promise on the part of the end user.

The case law on EULAs is rather convoluted, but there's very little mention of the UCC and R2d of Contracts arguments you've used. Why?  Because "reasonable time to reject after acceptance" is, IIRC, only between merchants and because a software license is not a "goods" contract. The R2d "substantial performance" doesn't apply because the terms of the contract don't make performance on the part of the game company anything other than, "We'll let you connect to our servers until we don't feel like it anymore." Software licenses ARE hybrid goods/services contracts, but courts tend to treat them as their own animal.

Most EULAs/TOSes are biased in favor of the developer. There has been SOME headway made using unconscionability, but that's been on a clause-by-clause basis. Since many developers are lazy and simply copy and paste other EULAs to generate theirs, it's possible that one bad clause would make others bad. The problem is that most of these agreements also provide for modification at any time, so yeah, not so much.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 09:49:50 AM
Quote
Is the point "Don't pay for lifetime subs before you actually know what you are getting?"

No. You're failing pretty hard here. My key interest ONCE AGAIN, is to show how bad the CSR and Billing was. If this was about the game, I would've talked about the KEY GAMEPLAY problems more. But I didn't. In fact, my discussion about the game itself short of the contents of the ticket to support was kept to a minimum.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: slog on November 19, 2007, 09:56:39 AM
Quote
Is the point "Don't pay for lifetime subs before you actually know what you are getting?"

No. You're failing pretty hard here. My key interest ONCE AGAIN, is to show how bad the CSR and Billing was. If this was about the game, I would've talked about the KEY GAMEPLAY problems more. But I didn't. In fact, my discussion about the game itself short of the contents of the ticket to support was kept to a minimum.

I acknowledge that I'm failing here (it's not the first time)

So the point is: Customer service in MMO's sucks.  Especially when you give them all the money upfront, as they have no incentive whatsoever to do anything since you can't get a refund.

Yea, I knew that too...


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on November 19, 2007, 10:10:46 AM
...
Human nature Roper has left building and what was there to stop him.  Receive check for his cut, get the game out and leave whatever mess there is to clean up to someone who cares..or not. ...
Except it is not FSS that receives the funds.  HanbitSoft, a Korean company, gets money for a localized version they are producing.

Joy.
Hmm...that doesn't sound right. I guess I need to do some digging.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: taolurker on November 19, 2007, 10:23:59 AM
Add me to the people who don't "get it" either, because obviously prior to your expose about how poorly the CS handled this and the staff responses you were trying to get a refund, weren't you Schild? If this wasn't about your money, then what actually prompted this to story to begin in the first place?

Why you felt upset enough to demand a refund, compose even one email to them, or even bother starting the "CS fail" has nothing to do with this article, though,  right?

Either way, though, you paid $150 because of the "possibilities", and the possibility of you being robbed never even entered your mind, but I'm glad maybe you're finally see that. I knew this game was filled with too many problems to even spend on the retail box, but this isn't really about you wanting a refund, it's about how upset you are with their decisions and CS (which still seems like you're fanboyishly fellating this game).

Honestly, you should've been writing an article about how some people didn't even pay for the game and are still playing it (beta FTW!!), how this is the first game to ever freely admit customers are paying to beta (since the beta is still ongoing) and how never in the MMO history has a beta extended beyond the release of a game. Now that's an article (and one I may eventually write)!!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 10:29:34 AM
Quote
Honestly, you should've been writing an article about how some people didn't even pay for the game and are still playing it (beta FTW!!), how this is the first game to ever freely admit customers are paying to beta (since the beta is still ongoing) and how never in the MMO history has a beta extended beyond the release of a game. Now that's an article (and one I may eventually write)!!

It would be a short article. That's pretty much everything there is to say about.

Quote
then what actually prompted this to story to begin in the first place?

Broken english and the responses not making any sense.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Slayerik on November 19, 2007, 10:29:59 AM
Quote
Is the point "Don't pay for lifetime subs before you actually know what you are getting?"

No. You're failing pretty hard here. My key interest ONCE AGAIN, is to show how bad the CSR and Billing was. If this was about the game, I would've talked about the KEY GAMEPLAY problems more. But I didn't. In fact, my discussion about the game itself short of the contents of the ticket to support was kept to a minimum.

If the game didn't fail then you would be worried about CS / billing issues. You would have never have sent those requests. Sounds like a whole failure cascade to me. Starting at the point where you purchased a lifetime sub.  :evil:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 10:37:28 AM
The request was originally submitted due to two reasons:

1. Taking away reasons to subscribe after people did subscribe (character slots).
2. Not posting about the memory leak.

Neither of these are gameplay issues (well the memory leaks keeps me from playing, but it's not a "gameplay" issue). As I've said, things get fixed, I would've resubbed.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 19, 2007, 10:46:54 AM
Broken english and the responses not making any sense.
(http://www.clisham.com-a.googlepages.com/internet-instructions.jpg)



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Falconeer on November 19, 2007, 11:02:37 AM
I could be wrong but I am under the impression that this is one of the cases where those with issues are definitely the more (if not the only one) vocals about the game.
I am apparently one of the few who can play without a single glitch and stay assured that I won't post anywhere about how the game sucks nor the opposite. Are we that "few"? Many others stated here that they are playing smoothly and I am afraid that this could be why Flagship is taking it easy.
They could be underestimating the problem given, for example, how many complaints they received compared to box sales.

Of course I have no idea about actual numbers, but seriously... everyone keeps saying how terrible the game is and so on while well, to me and many others it plays ok. That's why I subscribed (not lifetime), cause it's ready and not beta for me. Oh and lotsa fun.
Yes, I could use a shared vault and I had a (one) bugged quest. Other than that, it's great.

So, how do a software house weigh complaints vs. satisfied customers?

P.S: Not justifying FFS at all. If one customer says he/she can't play you have to fix it ASAP, let alone thousands. Just wondering how "not ready" the game is. Cause it looks definitely ready to some. And maybe that misled and it is still misleading who's in charge of fixing.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Bunk on November 19, 2007, 11:09:58 AM

Correction: FSS was well funded. I somehow doubt that the chequebooks will remain open for them much longer. I wonder how many subscribers they'll actually keep past the first couple of months?

I guess we know now why Blizzard hasn't announced Diablo 3 yet: There was no need for them to run a spoiler campaign against HG:L - just wait for events to take their course.  :grin:

Dude, you severely underestimate the power of the average gamer to take it up the ass. If a game like AO can survive the fantastic shitstorm of their launch, anything can survive. There are no doubt issues, but for the most part people can play the game and get their shinies. That's all that really matters to the majority.

Most people will never know that their Customer Service is shitty, because most people will never bother trying to reach it.

Also, looking at the patch notes I see the following:
Fixed a known issue with the inventory user interface that caused the client to lock up.
Fixed known issues which occasionally prevented characters from being able to load or switch instances.

Those are the two main bugs that were causing me issues. I've only actually had it crash to the memory leak twice. Hopefully that gets fixed, but I can live with it for now.

It's a fun game. They still have my subscription.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: shiznitz on November 19, 2007, 12:48:28 PM
Add me to the people who don't "get it" either, because obviously prior to your expose about how poorly the CS handled this and the staff responses you were trying to get a refund, weren't you Schild? If this wasn't about your money, then what actually prompted this to story to begin in the first place?

Why you felt upset enough to demand a refund, compose even one email to them, or even bother starting the "CS fail" has nothing to do with this article, though,  right?

Either way, though, you paid $150 because of the "possibilities", and the possibility of you being robbed never even entered your mind, but I'm glad maybe you're finally see that. I knew this game was filled with too many problems to even spend on the retail box, but this isn't really about you wanting a refund, it's about how upset you are with their decisions and CS (which still seems like you're fanboyishly fellating this game).

Honestly, you should've been writing an article about how some people didn't even pay for the game and are still playing it (beta FTW!!), how this is the first game to ever freely admit customers are paying to beta (since the beta is still ongoing) and how never in the MMO history has a beta extended beyond the release of a game. Now that's an article (and one I may eventually write)!!


The refund prompted him to contact the company in the first place, yes, but the puppet show that followed is what is newsworthy.

schild would not have written a "poor little me I got fucked out of $150" for the frontpage because he knows we all would have laughed and pointed while throwing huge bricks of "I told you so" at him.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on November 19, 2007, 01:03:07 PM
Wait. I'm not following HL news, so I seemed to have missed something. Big.

Hellgate was released to retail in beta? What the fuck? And people bought it?

As for schild's escapade with CS, well, that's how CS works in my experience. Rare is the company that can communicate and serve the customer. The vast majority of experiences I've had with CS have been as bad as schild's...but usually worse.

Hell, Scott H had to step in, the /senior producer/, to get my issue in EQ2 taken care of. Then there's evga sending me the wrong version of my gpu, used to boot, and then after I send it back they deny I sent it back, deny I have my old card, etc...finally had to go to newegg to get that taken care of, and /newegg/ still required a phone call because their online support was bungling things so badly. I won't even get into Time-Warner.

Sorry, Not News.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 01:04:48 PM
Quote
Sorry, Not News.

To you. I can honestly say that I can not remember an actual bad CS experience of any value with any MMOG company before.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Riggswolfe on November 19, 2007, 01:43:42 PM
Quote
Sorry, Not News.

To you. I can honestly say that I can not remember an actual bad CS experience of any value with any MMOG company before.

Are you sure you play as many MMOs as you say you do? I can't think of an actual good CS experience of any value with any MMOG company before.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 01:52:53 PM
Quote
Sorry, Not News.

To you. I can honestly say that I can not remember an actual bad CS experience of any value with any MMOG company before.
Are you sure you play as many MMOs as you say you do? I can't think of an actual good CS experience of any value with any MMOG company before.
I've only ever asked for X to be replaced and Help, I'm stuck. So, YMMV.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Reg on November 19, 2007, 02:00:55 PM
Quote
Strike 2.

He misspelled 'canceled' twice. In official correspondance. Considering the only grades are 'A' and 'Fail Hard,' well, he failed hard. Although the name Jovi is weird, I didn't assume he was a foreigner. I simply thought he was a moron who had a number of responses he had to get through to keep his job. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and wrote back. Bolded again, for your pleasure:

If this really was all about bad customer service and not about unhappiness over being refused a refund then the whole email exchange should have stopped right here because "cancelled" is a perfectly legitimate spelling of "canceled" and since that was the great crime that caused poor GM Jovi to "fail hard" it seems there's been a terrible miscarriage of justice.

But really, anyone who seriously expects perfect spelling and grammar from a minimum wage customer service bot is so wildly naive that I'd expect him to make other mistakes - like buying lifetime subscriptions to flavour of the month MMORPGs for which he's developed a transient enthusiasm.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 02:08:31 PM
They both gave me canned answers with different spelling and grammatical errors. That says a lot more about the standards at which they operate than I cared to know.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: dusematic on November 19, 2007, 02:12:25 PM
I mean, I feel empathetic with your plight Schild.  But it strikes me as naive to believe that you would get a refund for a lifetime subscription plan.  The very essence of the lifetime subscription is that they get a guaranteed one shot payment.  As far as the adhesion contract goes, you should be very familiar with them.  It's what you've signed up for in essentially every bit of online commerce you've ever engaged in.  The fairness to consumers is certainly dubious, but this is hardly isolated to Flagship.  Also, making fun of the grammar of the CSR dudes?  I spotted numerous grammatical errors in your letters to them, and I won't even get into you asking to have one of the dudes fired. 


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 02:17:43 PM
Also, making fun of the grammar of the CSR dudes?  I spotted numerous grammatical errors in your posts, and I won't even get into you asking to have one of the dudes fired.

Not getting paid. Not providing official correspondence with customers. And 99.9% of my grammatical errors are intentional. But comparing my posts to CSR Name From A Hat Providing Support for an Online Game is just silly.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: dusematic on November 19, 2007, 02:25:59 PM
What's silly is you getting that pissed about it, for aforementioned reasons that: 1) "cancelled" and "canceled" are both valid spellings, and 2) these people are minimum wage drones

I just feel like you paid $200 for a game you had never played and now, having realized this was a poor decision, are lashing out at anyone and everything.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 02:30:26 PM
Did you even read the title of the article? It's about outsourcing vital services. It's not about my 150 bucks. ItZs about the fact that these people they've ousourced to run a real piece of shit CS house and the company handling the billing is atrocious. Please though, keep making it about the money. That way Aria and Ping-0 might get more gigs.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: bhodi on November 19, 2007, 02:33:04 PM
But when they can get you to pay $150 up front, there's no need for good CSR or billing.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on November 19, 2007, 02:59:19 PM
Did you even read the title of the article? It's about outsourcing vital services. It's not about my 150 bucks. ItZs about the fact that these people they've ousourced to run a real piece of shit CS house and the company handling the billing is atrocious. Please though, keep making it about the money. That way Aria and Ping-0 might get more gigs.
Yes, they should have had inhouse piece of shit CS and atrocious billing.

Shit, the UK retail site I was trying to get the Witcher through took 2 weeks to reply to my email after I got an error on their checkout form. Seriously, bad CS is not just industry standard, it's the standard.

I'm still trying to understand why this particular case is news-worthy.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 19, 2007, 03:03:52 PM
Because a company with as much funding as Flagship having CS support worse than anything I've ever encountered is appalling.

See, a little background. I work at GoDaddy. And while you may not like us, may not agree with our practices, we're all english speaking Americans who provide support as best we can. Well, some of us do. Now, granted, Bhodi is on the right track as Flagship as nothing left to sell me, but there's still no excuse. Ironically, one of the things subscribers were supposed to get was 24/7 support for the game, which uhmmmm, you really don't get. There's no in-game CSRs or anything like that. Just a trouble ticket system and I'm pretty sure you don't need to be a subscriber to use them.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: stu on November 19, 2007, 03:12:06 PM
Poor CS may be a common thing, but that doesn't make it alright. Companies have a responsibility to the people who purchase their products and what Schild wrote presents their complete lack of professionalism and ability to do anything about his gripe. Good CS needs to be action oriented, not the opposite. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but to label his stance as being naive is naive.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: slog on November 19, 2007, 03:36:33 PM
"Early adopter gets hosed when he finds out game company didn't deliver what they promised and can't get his money back"



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ixxit on November 19, 2007, 03:41:40 PM
Because a company with as much funding as Flagship having CS support worse than anything I've ever encountered is appalling.

I know you are commenting on customer service here, but what I want to no is why did a company with as much funding as Flagship released what  amounts to a beta game on to a paying public. The billing, the customer service problems are really  insignificant when you hold them up to the reasons for your initial contact with them.

Just curious, if you are going to write a scathing article about the game itself, because that is what the real problem is.  Fun or not.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: HaemishM on November 19, 2007, 03:42:44 PM
Quote from: schild
Which is interesting, as it means that no matter how badly they fuck up, your money is theirs.

Welcome to your lifetime subscription.

Seriously, that's why I would never consider a lifetime sub, because I'm never going to play one game for a lifetime. I'm surprised you'd have even considered it because it was labeled as an MMOG. Just labeling it as an MMOG should have let you know it'd be in constant beta state forever, and that all money you pay to play it is gone the minute you pay. MMOG developers don't give refunds, or apologies or anything else.

They might as well call lifetime MMOG subscriptions the "Pay Us Now You Stupid Fuck" tax.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on November 19, 2007, 05:57:58 PM
Personally, I salute people like Schild who are willing to put up with crappy launch/CS/Billing issues so that I can come in a few months later, after the dust has settled and the bodies are buried, and give the game a try. (In HGL's case, waiting to become a paying subscriber.)

I still contend that someday, some MOG is going to launch and will have zero subscribers, while everyone is waiting for someone to try the game first...  :grin:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Margalis on November 19, 2007, 07:08:13 PM
There are two reasons to offer a lifetime sub:

1. You are desparate for money up front.
2. You don't think customers will subscribe to your game for very long.

It's a huge warning sign. It shows either lack of resources or lack of confidence by the developers. The developers are betting that you won't subscribe for longer than 10-15 months.

Edit: As far as "how could talented devs produce this mess of a game" I think what we may have here is a John Romero situation. Bill Roper made Schild his bitch.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 19, 2007, 07:20:16 PM
I seem to recall LOTRO has a package like that, too.  That's not a real bad deal for what's essentially a prettier, more lore-intensive WoW.  A pity I'm way too burnt of that kind of game.

My idea of an ideal lifetime subscription is to let players rent to own their lifetime accounts.  In other words, if you have an account active for something like 16-24 months, you've paid enough subscription for one life and get free access on that account.  Now that's what I call a "veteran reward."  Charity aside, it's not totally useless from a business perspective, as you'll be offering incentive for players to stay subscribed for that length of time.  How many players stick with a single game for that long anyway?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: UnSub on November 19, 2007, 07:25:08 PM
I think a lifetime sub to something like HGL is a bit of a rort - having finished the game in <insert number of hours here>, you're only option is to replay it at a higher difficultly level. Yay? As I said elsewhere, HGL is a single player game with delusions of grandeur.

But even taking the idea that perhaps people might be playing HGL for several months, you need to for more than 15 months in order to get that value back (assuming the extras they offer to you aren't worth anything extra to you). I know that HGL plans to release extra content and extra zones and all that, but for people who played in the beta and maybe even finished it during beta, how can they see 15 months plus worth of value in HGL? Surely the most sensible option is paying the monthly sub for a game that you are going to leave and come back to? Especially given that those extra lifetime sub bonuses are likely to be offered out to other types of subscribers after a certain period of time (although I don't think anyone thought that length of time would finish before the beta did).

Now, there are other games that a lifetime sub might have some traction - for instance AoC or WAR, where the expectation is that the game will be live for several years. But it's a crapshoot for the player who wants to fork out up front..



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on November 19, 2007, 09:47:31 PM
HGL is a single player game with delusions of grandeur.

The lack of network/local multiplayer really sticks out to me. If they hadn't been so hardcore to make this a MOG (or MMOG) while the game scope is clearly about as multiplayer as Diablo (2)...   :uhrr:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Howitzer on November 19, 2007, 09:55:49 PM
I was burnt as welll.  I dropped $150.00 on this steaming pile of shit and will probably regret it for a while.  I really thought and believed that Roper and Co. were going to create a smash-hit here.  Whats funny is I enjoyed the game more in beta than I did in retail.  I think its because I had it in the back of my mind that this was beta, and things would get better.  I also was banned for 10 days from their official forums for asking for a refund, (with a little reference to Shadowbane and their fast demise, of course).  In all honesty, it was my own stupidity that I jumped at the lifetime sub.  I shouldn't have done it and I learned my lesson.

But in the end, I might have lost $150 bucks, but I doubt Flagship will ever sell another game again without this coming back to haunt them.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lariac on November 19, 2007, 11:38:26 PM
Under the agreement, The9 has agreed to pay US$5 million in license fees as well as guaranteed royalties equal to the greater of 21% of the retail value of the prepaid game cards produced for use or a total of US$30 million over the 3-year license period.

Insert witty Monty Python sound clip about the problems inherent in the system.

Human nature Roper has left building and what was there to stop him.  Receive check for his cut, get the game out and leave whatever mess there is to clean up to someone who cares..or not.  Nothing unique or new here.  The game will be, arguably already is, successful for it's kind.  Gamers will bitch, some will leave, some move on to the new shiney to repeat the same dysfunctional cycle.  Lemmings are we.   

Speak for yourself. I saw a turd and called it a turd back in August. It was the closed beta that got me suspicious.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lariac on November 19, 2007, 11:44:56 PM
and the stupid fucking pricing plan.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: dusematic on November 20, 2007, 12:03:40 AM
Schild, you know I love you, I'm not trying to ridicule you, just having a debate.  That is all.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hutch on November 20, 2007, 12:09:01 AM
My idea of an ideal lifetime subscription is to let players rent to own their lifetime accounts.  In other words, if you have an account active for something like 16-24 months, you've paid enough subscription for one life and get free access on that account.  Now that's what I call a "veteran reward."  Charity aside, it's not totally useless from a business perspective, as you'll be offering incentive for players to stay subscribed for that length of time.  How many players stick with a single game for that long anyway?

Fail. Once a player has subscribed for that long, the company has two choices.

1) Do as they have been doing. Keep collecting the monthly fee from the cash machine player.
2) Cut off a proven source of revenue.

Regarding incentive: If the player doesn't like the game, they won't keep a subscription open for 24 months, or whatever the threshold is. Not just to get a lifetime sub. Anyone who's that foolish will pay for it up front. :rimshot:

If the game is a good one, well, look at WoW, CoH/V, DaoC. How many long-subscribing players do those games have?


Pricing gimmicks are just that. Gimmicks. A ruse to get cash out of the sucker's pocket, and into the vendor's pocket. For long term success, you have to make a fun game, and it has to work. This is not a new theme on these boards, so that will be all for now  :-)



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 20, 2007, 12:26:03 AM
That occurred to me - last two sentences of that paragraph you quoted.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Simond on November 20, 2007, 03:58:37 AM

Correction: FSS was well funded. I somehow doubt that the chequebooks will remain open for them much longer. I wonder how many subscribers they'll actually keep past the first couple of months?

I guess we know now why Blizzard hasn't announced Diablo 3 yet: There was no need for them to run a spoiler campaign against HG:L - just wait for events to take their course.  :grin:

Dude, you severely underestimate the power of the average gamer to take it up the ass. If a game like AO can survive the fantastic shitstorm of their launch, anything can survive. There are no doubt issues, but for the most part people can play the game and get their shinies. That's all that really matters to the majority.
Ah, but people can do most of that for free. Why spend 10$/m for 'potential' when you can just play it for free then resubscribe at the point when (if) it's actually worth paying $10/m?

I mean, picking a random example out of the air - take Vanguard (please, someone take Vanguard!  :grin: ). There was a lot of 'potential' there as well according to the game's fans, people stuck it out for a while but ultimately had to make the decision: Keep paying $15/m for potential, or stop playing. In HGL, no such decision needs to be made - don't think the game is worth subscribing to? No problem! Just play for free using up bandwidth, server resources and possibly CS resources as well for limited (in-game ads) to no revenue.

AO is a pretty good comparison really - with the free-play-with-ads deals they have a lot of people playing the game, but how many people are actually paying to play the game nowadays?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ironwood on November 20, 2007, 10:13:49 AM
Schild, you know I love you, I'm not trying to ridicule you, just having a debate.  That is all.


I would ridicule you.  If I could be bothered.  Because you were a clown.

Front page story about a fool and his money.  Big Who Cares.



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on November 20, 2007, 10:39:07 AM
Ah, but people can do most of that for free. Why spend 10$/m for 'potential' when you can just play it for free then resubscribe at the point when (if) it's actually worth paying $10/m?

There are quite a few posts on the HGL boards mentioning the game's potential. Whenever I see someone use that word to justify playing a game, I go  :oh_i_see:
 


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: DarkSign on November 20, 2007, 11:59:15 AM
The contract of $150 for a lifetime subscription is bargained for exchange. Nothing less. You expected the game not to suck and thought that your assessment from media hype was enough to warrant the risk that it would. Had the game been the best thing since sliced bread, you'd have gotten the better of the risk.

Every time a company puts out a game, they take a risk of not making all their money back. Getting money back faster isnt a flag of a bad game. It's a sound business practice. Perhaps some people do sit around a boardroom saying, "well this game sucks more than we thought it would. How can we capitalize on the good press?"

Gamers deserve games that don't suck, but I guess what bothers me is that lifetime members knew they were taking a chance. If $150 bucks is that much to you...dont risk it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: HaemishM on November 20, 2007, 02:14:18 PM
Gamers deserve games that don't suck...

No, they don't, because they still buy buggy, incomplete, patch-needing, memory-leaking, desktop-crashing, harddrive-thrashing pieces of shit that no sane human would put up with.

Until gamers stop giving game developers money for half-assed releases (like HG:L apparently), they will keep taking it up the pooper and they will deserve every minute of butthurt.

They are asking for it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 20, 2007, 02:18:21 PM
Ignorance being an ever-unlimited resource, I'm not so sure the day exists that crap cannot be sold to the unsuspecting public.  Catch22.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Morfiend on November 20, 2007, 02:22:06 PM
I think this thread is one big "I told you so" from me.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 20, 2007, 02:36:43 PM
The contract of $150 for a lifetime subscription is bargained for exchange. Nothing less. You expected the game not to suck and thought that your assessment from media hype was enough to warrant the risk that it would. Had the game been the best thing since sliced bread, you'd have gotten the better of the risk.

Every time a company puts out a game, they take a risk of not making all their money back. Getting money back faster isnt a flag of a bad game. It's a sound business practice. Perhaps some people do sit around a boardroom saying, "well this game sucks more than we thought it would. How can we capitalize on the good press?"

Gamers deserve games that don't suck, but I guess what bothers me is that lifetime members knew they were taking a chance. If $150 bucks is that much to you...dont risk it.

Contracts of adhesion aren't really bargained for exchanges since the consumer's option is "agree to the clickwrap" or "don't buy."

Sorry to pick a nit, but it's a rather important distinction that has been the crux of recent lawsuits surrounding EULAs, so it's a pretty big nit.

I agree that gamers shouldn't get shit, but that's a problem endemic in the industry -- you're preaching to the converted on that end.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on November 20, 2007, 02:50:18 PM
The thing that surprises my non-gaming friends and my fiancee the most about pc gaming is that you can't return an opened game.

"How do you know it'll run on your computer?" Well, they do list some specs, but they really don't mean much.

"What if you don't like it?" Tough titties.

Want to know why I don't buy a lot of pc games? Can't return 'em if they suck.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 20, 2007, 02:57:39 PM
Damn, that's a good point.  PC Game industry: death by caveat emptor.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 20, 2007, 03:22:21 PM
Technically you should be able to return them -- otherwise the license agreements aren't really valid. IIRC, Best Buy got smacked for that a while back. Usually it's store policy to accept no returns, not that of the developer.

But yeah, just another example of why these contracts aren't traditional contracts, but ones that are really open to some of the harder to prove contract defenses...like unconscionability.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on November 20, 2007, 03:42:01 PM
Smacked how? Can I return an opened pc game to BB? If so, they become my new retailer. It's worth the drive if I never have to eat $50 like I did with Medieval 2, which isn't playable on my monitor.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 20, 2007, 03:52:18 PM
I could have sworn there was a class action lawsuit wherein they settled or fought it and lost. Basically, the class action was based on a deceptive business practices standard -- selling software that says you can return it and not accepting the return is unfair to consumers.

Of course, my Google-Fu is failing me at the moment, I could have sworn this came down about 3 years ago.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: bhodi on November 20, 2007, 03:57:54 PM
I was unable to return my warhawk ps3 game to BB.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 20, 2007, 04:10:43 PM

Of course, my Google-Fu is failing me at the moment, I could have sworn this came down about 3 years ago.

http://www.infoworld.com/weblog/foster/2004/12/21.html (http://www.infoworld.com/weblog/foster/2004/12/21.html)

WARNING PDF LINK BELOW::
http://www.techfirm.com/bakeragreement.pdf (http://www.techfirm.com/bakeragreement.pdf)



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 20, 2007, 04:14:04 PM
Ok, yeah, that was what I remembered reading about.

I could have sworn it was rolled out as a national policy though.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Rasix on November 20, 2007, 08:00:49 PM
The thing that surprises my non-gaming friends and my fiancee the most about pc gaming is that you can't return an opened game.

"How do you know it'll run on your computer?" Well, they do list some specs, but they really don't mean much.

"What if you don't like it?" Tough titties.

Want to know why I don't buy a lot of pc games? Can't return 'em if they suck.

Heh, I won't even buy a PC game anymore if I can't play a demo.  Sometimes if you're hovering near the min reqs or not at the recommended, the game will barely run at all. 

The other option for testing a game's playability is less legal, but often just as effective.

I think I've only bought a few PC games in my lifetime where I wish I could have returned them due to how much they sucked. Thing is, I've had this ingrained in my mind that this isn't a possibility for so long that I've never even considered it.  This doesn't include MMOs. I just don't know how a company could accept a return for a game that is meant to run with no DVD in the drive and has an online registration key. 


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on November 20, 2007, 09:15:06 PM
I think I've only bought a few PC games in my lifetime where I wish I could have returned them due to how much they sucked. Thing is, I've had this ingrained in my mind that this isn't a possibility for so long that I've never even considered it.  This doesn't include MMOs. I just don't know how a company could accept a return for a game that is meant to run with no DVD in the drive and has an online registration key. 

Online registration is about the best form of copy protection you'll realistically ever see. Charge a monthly fee for it, and it's easy to understand why so many devs are aiming for subscription MOGs. (Like HGL, SEE! I'm on topic!)

I pays my money for these games, and I would really like to not have to use the disk when playing. My desk is cluttered as it is...


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: slog on November 21, 2007, 08:30:49 AM
I just don't buy games that require DVDs or CD's anymore. 

Works a lot easier.

And yes my point in my first post was "Whiny fanboi gets ripped off because of his own stupidity, battles with Indian customer service department, loses, and whines on his website about it."


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: WindupAtheist on November 21, 2007, 10:05:33 AM
I liked the bit where he was all like "YOU BROUGHT THIS ON YOURSELVES MOTHERFUCKERS, LITTLE DO YOU KNOW I HAVE A MODERATELY POPULAR WEBSITE!"


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 21, 2007, 10:07:27 AM
Yea, that was a good time.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 21, 2007, 03:41:01 PM
Any more communiqués from Ping0?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 21, 2007, 04:36:38 PM
Nope. I'm going to ping them on Thanksgiving with some vile shit. I'm hoping they just ban me. That would be awesome.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Khaldun on November 21, 2007, 04:45:34 PM
I think schild's complaints here make good sense.

Look, when you're talking about norms enforcement, you really have two ways to approach it, and they're both important. The one is to not buy or participate in flawed systems. But when the entirety of a system that you have an interest in participating within is flawed, purity is not an option. That includes systems of consumption and cultural practice. So the second thing to do is describe "best practices" as well as minimum acceptable practices and absolutely hound people and institutions who fall below the minimum. Public shaming to the max.

The combination of both approaches, if you get the balance right--selective refusal to participate in a flawed system plus public hounding--can produce reform if there is enough force or pressure behind them.

The key thing is that norms enforcement has to be reasonable. It's not reasonable to say, "The norm with MMOs should be dynamically evolving worlds with emergent agent-based AI, deformable and destroyable terrain, innovative combat mechanics, superbly responsive customer service, and no retards playing the game". That's the dream. But it's completely reasonable to say, "Don't launch if you haven't figured out how to do billing" and "Don't launch if you don't know even the first thing about how to do customer service beyond hiring the extras from the movie 'Hostel'" and "Don't launch a subscription-based service if your game isn't at certain basic levels of functionality". It's necessary to hound people about it.

Now it's also true that recognizing this about HG:L should commend certain kinds of humility to schild, but that's a local thing. The general principle of schild's complaint is completely sound and it's important that people who have any interest at all in MMOs or video games in general be willing to throw rotten tomatoes and rocks when service providers and publishers get it very badly wrong.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ubvman on November 22, 2007, 03:23:10 AM
But when they can get you to pay $150 up front, there's no need for good CSR or billing.

Quote for Truth right there!!!  :awesome_for_real:

Its all about the Benjamins (it is to them, if not to you as you claim).

And you say you want to resub, if they "fix" the problems? Oh, yes good move that... It kinda says that you will come back no matter how shittily they treat you - kinda on par with your typical MMOG CSR. Like crack addicts asking the dealer for their money back.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Nerf on November 22, 2007, 04:00:22 AM
Eh? He's not asking for a refund because they have shitty CS, he's asking for a refund because of game-breaking issues they haven't addressed yet.  Them having poor customer service just happens to be the hijinks that ensued, not the root of the problem, so why wouldn't he come back once they fix the actual gameplay issues?

Reading is fundamental, mate.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ubvman on November 22, 2007, 08:34:56 AM
---Random stuff---

Reading is fundamental, mate.

Meh, whatever.

Its a front page fanboi incoherent rant, "WOMG! YOU SUCK! I QUIT NOW - I MEAN IT!".

Good luck with whatever your trying to accomplish.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lesion on November 22, 2007, 10:59:53 AM
Who lit the Alanis-Signal?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: sinij on November 22, 2007, 01:13:36 PM
I am very glad that HG:L is so full of fail and that people are now being denied refunds. It is just simple bad practice to pay money upfront for something you are not sure about just based on promises, it encourages industry to crap in a box and try to sell it. As long as retards keep believing marketing this behavior will continue AND YOU PAID FOR IT.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 22, 2007, 02:33:07 PM
Its a front page fanboi incoherent rant, "WOMG! YOU SUCK! I QUIT NOW - I MEAN IT!".

I don't know what's incoherent about it. Try reading the paragraph that sums it all up if the rest is incoherent. I was pretty sure the whole thing was pretty clear, and in English to boot.

But here, let me talk slowly for you:

Fanbois rant about games.
I was ranting about the services supporting the game.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Xerapis on November 22, 2007, 03:15:35 PM
So let me get this straight...

You invested your time and money and then they failed to make good on their promises to you and now you're pissed?

KARMAROFL


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Reg on November 22, 2007, 03:31:48 PM
Schild, you popped 150 bucks for a lifetime subscription to the game. Obviously you thought you'd be playing it for a good long while.  But now you've changed your mind because of a few little bugs during the first couple of weeks? Do you honestly think they aren't going to be fixed during the time you were planning to be playing the game?  And you're angry because a few things you thought would be exclusive to subscribers were extended to everyone too right? Do you really think the company isn't going to notice that and offer subscribers more goodies? They want people to subscribe...

And really, the customer service guys didn't do anything unusually bad either aside from sticking to a company policy that pisses you off.

To me it looks like a case of buyer's regret. You got the game, you played it and it wasn't as fun as you thought it would be and now you feel bad about blowing 150 bucks on it because you know you'll be bored with it long before you get your money's worth.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 22, 2007, 05:34:55 PM
This is a key article about the "outsourcing of vital services" and I thank schild for all the brilliant work he has done here. I will be sure to reference it in my next university papers. The remarks about spelling and grammar are especially pertinent.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 22, 2007, 05:38:54 PM
Oh, a correction (I seem to be confused): It's actually about the failure of the customer service department to fix game breaking issues. Or is it the responsibility of the developers.. no, it seems clear; the fault is with 'Marcus' and his minions!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 22, 2007, 05:41:50 PM
Shit! I was wrong. There's all this stuff in here about something called a 'refund'. I looked it up and it seems to be some kind of 'reverse payment' system. It's all a bit technical, but the gist is that money that has been paid to a company will be returned to the customer. The number of dollars in question here seem to be 140. I think. It's hard to know. This article is dense and mysterious (yet amazingly coherent!).


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 22, 2007, 05:43:15 PM
Smartass Hat trick.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 22, 2007, 05:46:41 PM
(Had to go for four)

I'm beginning to suspect the article is in fact a subtle work designed to highlight the follies of rabid fanbios who spend their money on unproven products, spend their energy championing flawed games, and then get incensed when these laughable train wrecks inevitably go off the rails. It's a fable on par with Aesop! What a brilliant moral tale!

Or is it? Oh dear. I need help. Someone. Anyone? Help! Too many meanings!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Rasix on November 22, 2007, 06:17:52 PM
Psycho.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 22, 2007, 06:33:31 PM
Psycho.

:ye_gods:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Cheddar on November 22, 2007, 07:24:47 PM
Schild stuck his neck out to support a product, one which he believed in.  It probably convinced a few hundred people to jump the gun and order a life time sub; who knows how many bought the game due to his zeal (numbers completely made up, could be 1, could be 1,000). 

In the end he got burnt, and is feeling the anger.  Ironically the anger here has much more affect then happiness. 

Last time he felt the love was SWG. 

No idea where I am going with this, guess I should draw up a thesis with pie charts and shit.   


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Margalis on November 22, 2007, 09:11:52 PM
Why plunk down $150 site unseen when you don't have to? That's the part I don't get. Nothing prevents you from playing the free version until you decide if you want to subscribe at all.

Buying a lifetime sub from the get-go is pure charity. It's like leaving a hundred dollar tip at a fifty dollar dinner.

The CS is only a problem because the underlying game and revenue model are both disasters. The fool and his money proverb do seem to apply here, especially given that this site is not for doe-eyed newbs who just got into gaming 2 weeks ago. Of course that doesn't make the complaints invalid. The product you bought is clearly defective.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Tet on November 22, 2007, 09:52:12 PM
Or is it? Oh dear. I need help. Someone. Anyone? Help! Too many meanings!

I thought it was about the practice of having billing policies decided by the lowest rung of an outsourced company. Why else would he be ranting insanely at Marcus and friends?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Bunk on November 23, 2007, 08:08:39 AM
Why plunk down $150 site unseen when you don't have to? That's the part I don't get. Nothing prevents you from playing the free version until you decide if you want to subscribe at all.

Buying a lifetime sub from the get-go is pure charity. It's like leaving a hundred dollar tip at a fifty dollar dinner.

The CS is only a problem because the underlying game and revenue model are both disasters. The fool and his money proverb do seem to apply here, especially given that this site is not for doe-eyed newbs who just got into gaming 2 weeks ago. Of course that doesn't make the complaints invalid. The product you bought is clearly defective.

I think the problem here, was that the lifetime sub was a "limited time offer", or at least that is how it came accross.

So Schild bought it because he loves the potential of the game. Then the game touched Schild in a bad place. Then Schild decided on a whim to try to get Ping0 to buy a lifetime sub from him or something. And then CSR Marcus touched Schild in a bad place. And then Schild ranted on it all. Then everyone at F13 misread his rant and touched Schild in a bad place. Me - I'm playing Mass Effect, wake me when this is over.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on November 23, 2007, 09:35:19 AM
I would never touch any of you in any of your places.   (http://www.tipsyturtle.net/forum/images/smilies/catfight.gif)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 23, 2007, 09:50:35 AM
 :pedobear:

Or would you? I've seen some of your avatars.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on November 23, 2007, 03:07:30 PM
What is your point?  I would touch some of my avatars in their places?  Are you seriously comparing yourself with Absolut Hunk?   :grin:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: lamaros on November 23, 2007, 10:24:15 PM
Yep.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: UnSub on November 24, 2007, 01:30:11 AM
And then Schild ranted on it all. Then everyone at F13 misread his rant and touched Schild in a bad place.

If everyone misreads your rant, your rant doesn't say what you want it to say.

As was, schild played the HGL beta, afaik. So he knew what was up and ponied up a lifetime sub on the basis the game has 'potential'. HGL still has the same 'potential', it's just also shown that the reality of the game may not ever reach it thanks to management issues.

On a broader level, the HGL lifetime sub fiasco may dissuade a lot of people from taking the step in the future. Players do have a right to be irritated when their lifetime sub incentives are given out to everyone.



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: tkinnun0 on November 24, 2007, 04:07:35 AM
Quote
Players do have a right to be irritated when their lifetime sub incentives are given out to everyone.

In this instance it was unavoidable. There are broken templates and no respec on the horizon, so pretty soon people would have had to start deleting characters just to make a viable template. And giving subscribers 200 character slots would be ridiculous. Makes perfect sense in hindsight.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 24, 2007, 04:16:51 AM
I figured the reason for giving everybody the 24 character slots was  because people who were canceling their subscriptions noticed their characters past the first three were deleted, not when their subscription lapsed, but immediately upon canceling it.  Or so I've read.  Thus, the change comes about as a fix to prevent that from happening because perhaps they couldn't figure out how else to preserve the characters.

Right now, there's not much reason to subscribe.  Hardcore mode and a few recipes - whoopee.  However, when they get around to adding some substantial downloadable content - new classes, new mission arcs, ect - then the subscription price will probably seem much more worth it.

(As for me, I never subbed to Hellgate... speaking of subscriptions, I should probably start logging back into Tabula Rasa one of these days.  Mass Effect has been dominating my time during the past few days, but I've nearly completed it.)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: UnSub on November 24, 2007, 08:32:35 AM
Quote
Players do have a right to be irritated when their lifetime sub incentives are given out to everyone.

In this instance it was unavoidable. There are broken templates and no respec on the horizon, so pretty soon people would have had to start deleting characters just to make a viable template. And giving subscribers 200 character slots would be ridiculous. Makes perfect sense in hindsight.

The dev team can justify the decision, but when you've forked out extra only to find out that everyone else gets it for free, you are bound to feel ripped off.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: rk47 on November 26, 2007, 08:20:11 PM
Burgergate Waitress: for 50 cents more you get a large drink and fries. LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY!
Customer1: :awesome_for_real: I'll take it! *plinks 50 cents on the counter* *grabs tray of food sat down to eat, watch another fella makes his order*

Burgergate Waitress: good news sir! now you get a LARGE drink and fries with every meal you order at no extra charge. So what'll it be?
Customer1: :ye_gods:
Customer2:  :grin:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Yegolev on November 27, 2007, 10:10:44 AM
I give a 9.8 for smiley-usage.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Morfiend on November 27, 2007, 02:53:51 PM
ponied up a lifetime sub on the basis the game has 'potential'.

Wasnt the whole SWG debacle due also to "potential"?.

I think from now one, every time Schild says a game has potential, we all take a HUGE step back.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 27, 2007, 02:54:31 PM
Careful there, Schild, you're pulling my aggro.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 27, 2007, 03:00:42 PM
I think from now one, every time Schild says a game has potential, we all take a HUGE step back.

Once again, I would like to remind everyone that all those people who took a huge step forward with the SW:G NGE debacle need to learn how to read.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on November 27, 2007, 03:30:54 PM
Did somebody say twitch?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 27, 2007, 05:02:51 PM
No, but my avatard is twitching is a most disturbing manner.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 27, 2007, 05:52:24 PM
This thread needs more charts.  :uhrr:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Nerf on November 28, 2007, 01:14:35 AM
Page one, short of a few misplaced  :awesome_for_real:'s it's hard to beat that shit.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 28, 2007, 06:08:39 AM
Sexy. I completely forgot about that part. Well played, sir.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on November 28, 2007, 02:48:02 PM
Page six needs a Dark Lord Cheney.

(http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/j/k/cheney_satan.jpg)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 28, 2007, 05:31:32 PM
This thread should definitely devolve into a terrible Cheney thread, much like the other SWG thread has its Vaders.

(http://www.jimbrooks.org/web/x86/humor/im/BushCheneyBeavisButthead.jpg)

Heh heh.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Happyclam on November 29, 2007, 10:57:16 AM
This is the reality of the situation guys. As a software company, they are allowed to release the software in such a state that it is not playable, but as long as they can show they are working to fix it in a timely manner, then they do not have to refund your money or anything else.

Now, to the legalese of the EULA and such. It's bullshit. Pure and simple. Most of what they put into the EULA won't stand up in court. It's simply there as a worst case scenario and because their own lawyers said that it covered their asses in all eventualities. But the fact of the matter is, and has been proven several times, is that you can't sign away your rights totally, as they are trying to imply. There is always recourse through the justice system, if you have the time and the money to argue the point.

The problem at this point, is that they can say they're working to resolve the issues that plague the game, and I actually believe them. They are trying to fix the bugs. Except they're doing so at the cost of the subscriber. A timely manner is waiting until December when the promised 'big' patch is coming out, and if they don't have the subscriber features in place, then nail them with a class action 'breach of contract' for not providing the services they promised to the paying subscribers in a timely manner, because 2 months after release, they better show some sort of progress for subscribers rather than just trying to throw a shiny little bone. HGL, while an average game as far as these games go, is simply going to be the game that sunk FSS and put Bill Roper's name on the same level as John Romero.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 29, 2007, 11:16:07 AM
... HGL, while an average game as far as these games go, is simply going to be the game that sunk FLS and put Bill Roper's name on the same level as John Romero.

Hello, welcome to the board.

John's latest projects:

http://www.slipg8.com/ (http://www.slipg8.com/)

http://www.escalationstudios.com/index.php/projects/ (http://www.escalationstudios.com/index.php/projects/)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 29, 2007, 02:49:58 PM
As cool as it might be to work in the industry, I get the feeling that working under John Romero would kill it.   :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Happyclam on November 29, 2007, 02:56:05 PM
This is the reality of the situation guys. As a software company, they are allowed to release the software in such a state that it is not playable, but as long as they can show they are working to fix it in a timely manner, then they do not have to refund your money or anything else.

Now, to the legalese of the EULA and such. It's bullshit. Pure and simple. Most of what they put into the EULA won't stand up in court. It's simply there as a worst case scenario and because their own lawyers said that it covered their asses in all eventualities. But the fact of the matter is, and has been proven several times, is that you can't sign away your rights totally, as they are trying to imply. There is always recourse through the justice system, if you have the time and the money to argue the point.

The problem at this point, is that they can say they're working to resolve the issues that plague the game, and I actually believe them. They are trying to fix the bugs. Except they're doing so at the cost of the subscriber. A timely manner is waiting until December when the promised 'big' patch is coming out, and if they don't have the subscriber features in place, then nail them with a class action 'breach of contract' for not providing the services they promised to the paying subscribers in a timely manner, because 2 months after release, they better show some sort of progress for subscribers rather than just trying to throw a shiny little bone. HGL, while an average game as far as these games go, is simply going to be the game that sunk FSS and put Bill Roper's name on the same level as John Romero.

I'm an idiot. I was trying to correct the studio name and hit quote rather than modify.

But in response to his latest projects, he was working on porting games to the mobile platform for a while, letting all the hullaballo about the debacle that was Daikatana die down, probably hoping people would forget and now he has a whole new generation to screw over with his huge ego.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on November 29, 2007, 03:07:53 PM
In my sordid past, I have been screwed by big egos.  Usually I was able to sneak away unnoticed.  (http://forums.fitnessreference.com/images/smilies/23.gif)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 30, 2007, 02:40:44 AM
Quote
Hi Eric,

Your subscription has been canceled and a refund of $149.99 has been issued to your credit card.

Sorry for the delay in responding to your request.

Marti

I don't see any grammatical errors.

Edited for subtlety.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 30, 2007, 02:48:39 AM
4 things:

1. I didn't expect the refund really, and frankly am shocked by it.
2. I'm serious, the first thing I noticed in that email was the lack of grammatical errors.
3. Samwise had to point out to me that I got the whole $150 and not $140 like I'd asked for.
4. I still have the option for a lifetime account if they get their shit together, they let me keep the founders status.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Margalis on November 30, 2007, 03:29:05 AM
Holy shit they gave you a refund! That's pretty awesome really. Well, not really I guess, but pretty awesome by comparison anyway, certainly well above expectations.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 30, 2007, 03:41:07 AM
Wow, congratulations.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on November 30, 2007, 03:43:13 AM
I'm surprised too.  What's the point of tricking people into buying lifetime subscriptions if you just give them back?  We might have to start regarding them as a legitimate business.   :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ironwood on November 30, 2007, 04:35:01 AM
It all worked out beautifully.

 :uhrr:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Falconeer on November 30, 2007, 04:52:09 AM
It all worked out beautifully.

 :uhrr:

Almost. Now the gates are open, and I want my 9.99 back.
Can I copypaste your mails, Schild?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on November 30, 2007, 08:16:23 AM
I WANT SOME FREE MONEY TOO!!!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on November 30, 2007, 09:27:56 AM
I WANT SOME FREE MONEY TOO!!!

Please let me know if you are able to obtain a refund on the game.  After all, beta testers were able to play for free until recently, why shouldn't everyone have been able to play for free without buying a box from a store?



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on November 30, 2007, 09:59:10 AM
It all worked out beautifully.

 :uhrr:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/93/Ateam.jpg/200px-Ateam.jpg)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on November 30, 2007, 10:16:13 AM
Which one is schild? Don't tell me Mr. T. DON'T TELL ME MR. T!

 :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Prospero on November 30, 2007, 06:47:08 PM
Clearly not. Schild would never hack a mohawk into WoW.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on November 30, 2007, 06:48:20 PM
I have a level 70 pal in WoW.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on December 01, 2007, 03:56:03 AM
Which one is schild? Don't tell me Mr. T. DON'T TELL ME MR. T!

 :awesome_for_real:

The old one, obviously.  Because he's a smoker.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: UnSub on December 01, 2007, 06:14:41 PM
Which one is schild? Don't tell me Mr. T. DON'T TELL ME MR. T!

 :awesome_for_real:

Since schild paid a lifetime subscription for a game based on "potential" but decided to brave CS for a refund just a month after launch, I'd have to go for ... Murdock.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: TianZi on December 17, 2007, 11:45:57 PM
Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.” (http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=620)

You've probably noticed that up until today, I was a pretty big supporter of Hellgate: London. In fact, I defended them even under the most blundering decisions. Design, QA, launch procedure, billing woes, etc. It didn't really matter, I simply assumed that due to the experience at Flagship that they would work through all of this. But there was one issue I consistently complained about: The Memory Leak. Normally, with any game – particularly an online one, this is the most important thing to get fixed. See, for people to talk about the game, enjoy the game, and most importantly, recommend the game to others they need to be able to play it. For a little more than a week, I haven't been able to play the game.


» Read More (http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=620#more)


This post is just more of the same from the drama queens at f13.net, with the added fun of lies/inaccuracies/exaggerations thrown into the mix for good measure.

1.  Contrary to your claim, pets are in the game.  At present, they consist of the Zombot and Manta.  The Zombot was originally subscriber-only, but the Halloween event was opened to non-subs before it ended due to very real problems with the subscription system at launch.  If the fact that some non-subs have Zombots means in your mind that FSS *LIED* to you, you suffer from an extremely warped perception of reality.   FSS never promised a specific date for launch of many of the touted sub-only features, such as new character classes.   

2. Both "cancelled" and "canceled" are acceptable spellings for the past tense of the verb "to cancel".  Check your dictionary next time before making an ass of yourself.

3.  It isn't the case that patch after patch went by with no mention of fixing memory leaks.  Several patches included memory leak fixes (or at least attempted fixes), as detailed in the patch notes.  Most recently (I believe in the 0.6 patch), the developers claim to have have fixed a serious memory leak resulting from examing items in your inventory.   Rather than wildly claiming that the developers were *ignoring* memory leak problems, you'd have been better off opining that the developers have been much too slow in fixing them.

4. Demanding a refund on a lifetime subscription is idiotic.

With all of the above said, I must say I'm disappointed with HGL's subscriber "perks" and the game generally.  But I'd expect a website that imagines itself as offering objective, factual analysis to do a better job of pointing out the shortcomings in a game and its attendant online service.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on December 18, 2007, 12:03:24 AM
You must be new here.  Welcome!   :pedobear:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 18, 2007, 12:15:43 AM
Reading is hard.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on December 18, 2007, 01:34:38 AM
But guys, he made FOUR POINTS!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: stu on December 18, 2007, 01:43:55 AM
Check your dictionary next time before making an ass of yourself.

3.  ... the developers claim to have have fixed a serious memory leak...

Check your grammar, douche. And what is "examing"? All that froth must be making your keyboard slippery.

As far as demanding refund on a lifetime sub- it's not like this is a Free Mason's induction. I'd want my money back as well.

edit: spelling!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Margalis on December 18, 2007, 01:45:45 AM
Quote
But I'd expect a website that imagines itself as offering objective, factual analysis to do a better job of pointing out the shortcomings in a game and its attendant online service.

What website are we talking about again?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: geldonyetich2 on December 18, 2007, 04:24:46 AM
I like the rest of the Internet.  It makes me look better by comparison.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ironwood on December 18, 2007, 04:42:20 AM
He has a point though.  We do have a lot of Drama Queens.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Simond on December 18, 2007, 06:10:25 AM
Quote
But I'd expect a website that imagines itself as offering objective, factual analysis to do a better job of pointing out the shortcomings in a game and its attendant online service.

What website are we talking about again?
Fark, I think.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on December 18, 2007, 07:57:08 AM
2. Both "cancelled" and "canceled" are acceptable spellings for the past tense of the verb "to cancel".  Check your dictionary next time before making an ass of yourself.

Excuse me, please be to reading the rest of the thread before you act like an idiot. I said this already!

The new people are steppin' on my grammar snake!  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Murgos on December 18, 2007, 08:30:13 AM
But I'd expect a website that imagines itself as offering objective, factual analysis to do a better job of pointing out the shortcomings in a game and its attendant online service.

I don't think anyone here has ever offered objective analysis and the only time anything we do is factual is purely due to statistical anomaly.  Pretty much the whole point of the site is subjective commentary.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hoax on December 18, 2007, 11:50:49 AM
Our Ivory Tower is made of shit bricks melded together with tears..


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: shiznitz on December 18, 2007, 12:25:22 PM
4. Demanding a refund on a lifetime subscription is idiotic.

He got the refund. Who's the idiot? Everyone who didn't, that's who.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 18, 2007, 12:37:51 PM
I think the only time we ever claimed to be objective is in an interview. And even then, out of however many, only 2 or 3 times were we even remotely objective.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on December 18, 2007, 12:42:24 PM
Does the site still say "We distort, we decide" somewhere on it?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on December 18, 2007, 12:49:48 PM
I think newcomers tend to confuse "not slurping copious amounts of advertiser dick" with "objective".


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ratman_tf on December 18, 2007, 01:09:41 PM
4. Demanding a refund on a lifetime subscription is idiotic.

He got the refund. Who's the idiot? Everyone who didn't, that's who.

Yeah, but he was stupid clever enough to fork over 150 bucks for nothing in the first place. And then had to become a weepy bitch outraged consumer to get that refund.

Who wins? Bored people at work following these threads.  :grin:


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 18, 2007, 01:11:58 PM
Actually, I win.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ironwood on December 18, 2007, 02:51:49 PM
Actually, I win.

But we could break all your limbs and you'd say the same thing.  When it comes to hardnosed denial of reality, you're up there with the Geldon.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on December 18, 2007, 02:53:18 PM
But we could break all your limbs and you'd say the same thing.
Not without collision detection, you won't!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 18, 2007, 02:53:43 PM
Quote
But we could break all your limbs and you'd say the same thing.  When it comes to hardnosed denial of reality, you're up there with the Geldon.

Ok, smartass, how did I lose?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: shiznitz on December 18, 2007, 04:00:39 PM
/'80s computer voice on

The only way to win is not to play [Hellgate: London].

/'80s computer voice off


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on December 18, 2007, 04:51:14 PM
/'80s computer voice on

The only way to win is not to play [Hellgate: London].

/'80s computer voice off

Winner.  /thread


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hoax on December 18, 2007, 06:47:19 PM
I really feel bad, also I blame Schild.  I talked the game up, in a very reserved way, and one bought it.  He started playing before I did, he likes it, I'm completely over the fucking mess of a game.  Now he wants me to play with him...

Fucking Schild's fault amirite?

The thing is, in this modern world where there are many online games to pick between, a launch that puts a bad taste in my mouth will end it for a game.  I can't even look at HG:L anymore, it looks fugly, it feels stupid, I hate the backrounds and I can't stand the worthless stupid skill trees.  I know it could have been fun but once your not having fun I never desire to go back.  EVE & WoW are the only games I've ever re-subbed to, WoW was due to pressure from so many people I knew playing it.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Tebonas on December 19, 2007, 02:07:02 AM
I hate to say it, but people shouldn't be rewarded for making stupid decisions like lifetime subscriptions.

Personally I am happy for you schild, but justicewise this is just plain wrong.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: TianZi on December 19, 2007, 03:41:56 AM
4. Demanding a refund on a lifetime subscription is idiotic.

He got the refund. Who's the idiot? Everyone who didn't, that's who.

The fact he received a refund makes him no less of an idiot, the same sort of idiot that intentionally pours a cup of hot coffee purchased at McDonald's onto his crotch, threatens to sue McD's via a demand letter accompanied by graphic photos of the 3rd degree burns on his genitals, and then receives cash from McDonald's in a settlement of his claim. 

That's your boy Schild.  Just ask him to show you his badly-scarred genitals.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Ironwood on December 19, 2007, 05:05:29 AM
Quote
But we could break all your limbs and you'd say the same thing.  When it comes to hardnosed denial of reality, you're up there with the Geldon.

Ok, smartass, how did I lose?

By merely rationalising your original fuckstick decision.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on December 19, 2007, 08:54:53 AM
That's your boy Schild.  Just ask him to show you his badly-scarred genitals.
Is that sand in your cunt or do you have an actual purpose for posting here?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on December 19, 2007, 08:55:21 AM
Quote
But we could break all your limbs and you'd say the same thing.  When it comes to hardnosed denial of reality, you're up there with the Geldon.

Ok, smartass, how did I lose?

By merely rationalising your original fuckstick decision.

Schild Is Legend.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: WindupAtheist on December 19, 2007, 10:31:18 AM
That's your boy Schild.  Just ask him to show you his badly-scarred genitals.
Is that sand in your cunt or do you have an actual purpose for posting here?

He's a Heavy Hitter, here to Verbally Own Schild.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Kirth on December 19, 2007, 11:38:20 AM
That's your boy Schild.  Just ask him to show you his badly-scarred genitals.
Is that sand in your cunt or do you have an actual purpose for posting here?

He's a Heavy Hitter, here to Verbally Own Schild.

GM Jovi or CSR Marcus ?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on December 19, 2007, 11:58:28 AM
The spelling is too good.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 19, 2007, 12:00:54 PM
I replaced my scarred genitals with 150 $1 bills.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Signe on December 19, 2007, 12:53:08 PM
This thread is all buggered up now.  I knew it was a bad idea to have a front page.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Phildo on December 19, 2007, 01:18:30 PM
The coffee analogy would make more sense if he went in expecting to enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee and found that that it was scalding hot coca-cola instead.  And THEN he poured it all over his naughty bits.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Rendakor on December 19, 2007, 01:30:41 PM

3.  It isn't the case that patch after patch went by with no mention of fixing memory leaks.  Several patches included memory leak fixes (or at least attempted fixes), as detailed in the patch notes.  Most recently (I believe in the 0.6 patch), the developers claim to have have fixed a serious memory leak resulting from examing items in your inventory.
Spoiler:
schilds rant

Quote from: Hellgate Offical forums
Patch 0.6 Notes
December 04, 2007


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Sky on December 19, 2007, 02:02:47 PM
I replaced my scarred genitals with Folger's Crystals. Let's see if tasters can tell the difference.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Oban on December 19, 2007, 10:16:23 PM

I replaced my scarred genitals with Folger's Crystals. Let's see if subscribers can tell the difference.



Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samwise on December 19, 2007, 10:28:55 PM
We've replaced your subscription with scarred genitals. Let's see if Folger's Crystals can tell the difference.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: stu on December 19, 2007, 10:32:38 PM
We've replaced your Folger's Crystals with scarred genitalia. Let's put it on the menu and charge taste testers $150.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: cmlancas on December 20, 2007, 09:27:24 AM
I love lamp.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Simond on December 20, 2007, 10:27:31 AM
I have spilled my glass of scalding hot coffee on my genitalia. Now I must get a wad of fifteen $10 notes and clean it up


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Morfiend on December 21, 2007, 01:53:27 PM
Are we done yet?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on December 21, 2007, 01:57:59 PM
We've replaced your subscription with scarred genitals. Let's see if Folger's Crystals can tell the difference.

Winner.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samprimary on March 07, 2008, 04:23:49 PM
I don't get how Schild is supposed to be an idiot, here. The $150 gave open-ended access to a product that he could review for this here games website and all of that.

The only way I see a lose condition is if the initial buy-in for experiencing the game is not worth it. Since that cost has been effectively reduced to $0, he got time to access the full game at no cost. That no dollars and no cents translated into info commodity for F13.

It would be different without the whole "I own and operate a site where I review games and trade in game-related news" element. With that present, it's neither imprudent nor impulsive to buy-in for a full game experience. It's like calling a newspaper editor an idiot for buying into promising associated newsfeeds when one of those turns into a dud.

Just saying, y'know.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Kail on March 08, 2008, 01:01:52 AM
I don't get how Schild is supposed to be an idiot, here. The $150 gave open-ended access to a product that he could review for this here games website and all of that.

This presumes that Schild did buy the game for the purpose of Serious Game Journalism and not because he wanted to do something like, say, have fun playing it, or anything.  If Schild has written a review of Hellgate: London somewhere, I haven't seen it, and I'm not sure how paying $150 for a lifetime subscription would be a better option than paying the what, $20 or $30 it would cost for the two months you might reasonably be able to justify delaying the review?

And yes, he got his money back, but I don't see that as being particularly relevant.  It all turned out okay, but it could have easily gone the other way, and I'm not seeing this as some kind of master tactical scheme which Schild cunningly planned out all in advance in order to save the cost of one month's subscription.

Why are we necroing this, anyway?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on March 08, 2008, 01:21:54 AM
Serious games journalism is finding fun.

What? Were you hoping for something noble at the bottom of this industry's barrel? All you'll find down there is a book on Modern MMOG design and a $15 monthly recurring fee.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: rk47 on March 08, 2008, 06:30:14 AM
Quote
Hi Eric,

Your subscription has been canceled and a refund of $149.99 has been issued to your credit card.

Sorry for the delay in responding to your request.

Marti

I don't see any grammatical errors.

Edited for subtlety.

 :drill: wow, grats schild. here's one for ya
(http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m20/r3dknight/CLAIMCATS.jpg)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Azazel on March 09, 2008, 04:54:41 AM
Jesus. This thread got necro'ed for no fucking good reason, didn't it?





Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: schild on March 09, 2008, 05:02:05 AM
The twinkle over my left eye is cracking me up. Makes me want to wear the mask to work.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Hutch on March 09, 2008, 06:57:34 AM
Jesus. This thread got necro'ed for no fucking good reason, didn't it?





You don't consider ass kissing to be a good reason?


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Samprimary on March 09, 2008, 03:59:46 PM
Jesus. This thread got necro'ed for no fucking good reason, didn't it?

I'm quite confused as to how it happened myself, even though I'm the totally guilty party.

I'm not usually in the business of necro. I guess I just didn't look at the dates, or thought the conversation was still active, or ... I just don't know!


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Trippy on March 10, 2008, 08:47:42 PM
Presumably it's because you were working on your Hellgate review and looked around to see what other people had said about the game.


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: rk47 on March 10, 2008, 09:15:52 PM
i was following this thread for a few weeks, kinda laughing a bit at schild's attempt at recovering his money from lifetime subs.
'you deserve it sucka' was my thought, but when he got the refund i had to eat my words. What can I say? I'm not sure if others will follow his example as well and try to recover their dollars from a supposedly life-time subs.

Sorry for the necro, I haven't followed the thread for a while and decided to click on it, and saw he did the least possible (i woudn't call it impossible, just a super-long-shot)


Title: Re: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”
Post by: Roberik Manders on April 06, 2008, 01:25:48 PM
Sorry to re-awaken this old thread, however I do have one suggestion which may help in the future. It's called your Statutory Rights, which are laws that give you rights as a consumer to ensure that you can't be screwed over.

The following link shows your legal rights (in the UK at least) when buying goods, whatever they may be: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/calitem.cgi?file=ADV0043-1011.txt

Basically, if you pay for a product which isn't of satisfactory quality or doesn't work as described (however you must be able to prove this), then you are entitled, by law, to a full refund or replacement of the product in question. In the case of a PC game, a refund is the only real option.

I don't know if you guys in the US or other countries have similar laws, but it's worth looking into for future reference.


I hope this was useful.

Rob. :)