Monday, December 30, 2013

A Plea on Behalf of My Raid Team

Lately, my guild has been under a lot of strain. It definitely started around our 150th wipe on H Thok and is compounding with our near 200 on Siegecrafter right now along with a general complacency from a few key members of the team. Long story short, our progression has come to a halt and everyone has retreated to other, less stressful activities to cope.

We might still be hanging out together in Mumble, but the in-game guild roster is empty since almost all of us have suddenly renewed interest in D3. Our priest has been playing random games on Steam while our raid leader is out on a quest for tail. And where am I? Making friends with 12-year-olds and soccer moms on the Sims 3 website.

At this point, when we have lost any chance of ending the tier with a competitive rank and are  struggling just to hold ourselves together, there's no other alternative but to abandon any vestiges of credibility and beg for the one thing that most respectable raiders cry against.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Half-Ass the Holidays

Suit it up!
It's the week before Christmas, which means I should probably get to work on all of that holiday crap everyone else has been doing for the past month. Though I might not have any family living in the same state or made any friends since I moved hundreds of miles, I still have plenty of things on my seasonal to-do list, believe you me.

1. Buy gifts... for my in-game friends.

Sure, I only talk to that friend once a month when s/he happens to broadcast something witty that I can say "lol" to, but when I touch base by sending him/her a battle pet or ilvl 476 craftable wrapped in virtual paper, s/he'll know that I'm worth keeping on Battletag.

2. Make a big deal about the one RL gift that I have to buy.

My hairdresser/boss' wife/downstairs neighbor whose name I don't know is going to LOVE this spice rack I found in Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We totally talked about how to add depth to our cooking without adding too many calories when we last saw each other at the 4th of July barbecue.

3. Sign up for an inordinate amount of OpenRaid events.

For many people, Christmas is a multiple-day ordeal involving travel, family meals, and going out for Chinese food. The rest of us, i.e. I, are free to fill up our cancelled progression days by running old content with other raiders who have the same dearth of plans or just ran out of their parents house right after the everyone unwrapped gifts and before getting dragged to the ice skating rink.

4. Put up one decoration.

If I go all out now with strings of lights and window stickers and fake snow, it's only going to be festive for a week and then a constant reminder that I have to clean up for six months. Best to keep it simple.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What I Am Thankful For

As much as we all bitch that WoW is full of bugs and that GMs never know what they're talking about, I have never been more grateful that I am a WoW player and have to deal with Blizzard's customer service on a regular basis rather than another company's. Call it cliche, but I was not aware of how good I truly have it until I had to spend time with a certain company's "Help Center" over the Black Friday weekend. Let's take a look at a typical conversation with a WoW GM.

GM Fluffernutter: A feather catches the wind and flutters down to the leaf-strewn ground, landing next to an inquisitive squirrel. Suddenly, it transforms into Fluffernutter, who approaches you and says...
GM Fluffernutter: Hi, Ayaliss. How can I help you today?
Ayaliss: Well, the trash in our raid instance was bugged and wouldn't let us get to the boss, but in the day that it took you to answer the ticket, we reset it and fixed it ourselves.
GM Fluffernutter: Excellent. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Ayaliss: Not really.
GM Fluffernutter: Great! Have a nice day!
GM Fluffernutter: A giant hawk swoops down from the sky, grabs Fluffernutter in its talons, and flies away into the sun. You can see Fluffernutter wave as his majestic form gradually shrinks into a spot of light against the wispy clouds.
"You have been chosen to fill out a GM survey!"


GM Fancypants: Hi there, Ayaliss. How can I help you today?
Ayaliss: I was supposed to get an item, but I didn't receive it.
GM Fancypants: I just mailed it you.
Ayaliss: You're awesome.

Compare those to a conversation I had with a "Game Advisor."

Headupass: How can I help you today?
Avia: I'm trying to order some games, and it keeps declining my payment. I've tried two different cards.
Headupass: Can you call your bank and check if the card is working?
Avia: What? I just said I tried two different cards. It looks like a problem your website has all the time. It can't be something on my end. I just used this card today. In fact, I just used it on your website two days ago.
Headupass: If you can make sure there is nothing wrong with your card, I can forward you to our Specialist Team.
Avia: Uh... Ok. *tabs out for a minute and pretends to call the bank* The bank said everything is fine.
Headupass: *50 more asinine questions about my credit card* Alright then. I'll transfer your ticket to the Specialist Team. They will email you.
Avia: Do you think they'll get back to me before the sale is over?
Headupass: They'll email you soon.

A "Specialist" emailed me two days after the sale ended and said that they were glad my order went through and thanks for contacting them. The order never went through, by the way; I'm not sure whose account history they checked.

The whole ordeal made me realize, not how bitching about WoW is unwarranted, but how all that bitching could be better placed. This isn't a "Blizzard is awesome and we should kiss their asses" type of post. There are plenty of things to complain about in WoW, and the old adage about having no right to complain has never made sense to me. If I feel like complaining, I can complain, and other people can't stop me. But I now know that gaming companies feel no obligation to take care of their customers, and the level of service that I've experienced playing WoW is relatively not bad compared to other service representatives who spend all day not helping anyone.

Feeling those warm fuzzies? Happy holidays.