Tag Archives: gaming

November Challenge: Feeling Musical

October Wrap-Up: Incredible Costumes

You're all winners!From Hallow’s End transmogs to Mad King hijinks, there were some great costumes that came out of the October challenge. I’m just glad I finished the Mad King’s Clock Tower, everything else is meaningless now!

Take a look at these awesome costumes:

Sugar & Blood shows off a great Bewitched-inspired outfit–and some other pretty awesome ideas, too!

Bubbles of Mischief creates a spot-on movie-based Red Riding Hood. Picture perfect, to be sure.

Kamalia et alia presents a bunch of great Hallow’s End themed transmogs you might want to bookmark for next year.

ZazzyMogs creates a witchy transmog with a twist–and a comic to boot!

Harpy’s Nest introduces the smallest troll ever seen…

Image Heavy breaks out an impressive, hard-to-beat costume: gnome into giant bird is pretty impressive.

Shards of Imagination will be in the running for any costume contest with this awesome Charr doctor from Guild Wars 2.

I have to also show off a couple of little costume wearers who weren’t part of the challenge but who were representing  Azeroth on Halloween night:

Elunamakata designed a Chromie costume for her little girl that absolutely ROCKED:

Check out how she and Kurby did it here: The Making of Little Chromie.

My daughter begged to be a rogue…she wanted to be a goblin, but she settled for human this year:

Whoever–or whatever–you were for Halloween, I hope it was a safe and fun one!

November Challenge: Feeling Musical

The other day on Twitter, I complained–okay, I whined–that I was feeling grumpy. That’s when Marathal posted this Tweet…

GANK A GNOME!

…that led to this song:

If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.
If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.
If you’re grumpy and you know it,
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.

If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.
If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.
If you’re wiping and you know it,
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.

If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.
If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.
If you’re losing and you know it
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.

The possibilities for additional verses are limitless. I’m sure I will have many opportunities to sing of epic stories to this tune.

This got me thinking–what other wandering minstrels (or at least semi-interested lyricists) do we have wandering around in our fantasy lands, not yet tapping into their talent?

Here is the challenge: Write the lyrics to a song (and/or the music if that’s your thing) about your game. It can be silly, fun, sweet, angry, a little naughty, a little nice–whatever you want to write about, write me a song about the game or games you play. 

I can’t wait to see what you guys write!

9 Comments

Filed under Challenges

The (Halfway Through) October Challenge

All right, so I had my hiatus while everyone was starting Mists of Pandaria, and then it was extended as I jumped into the fray and found myself completely awash in things to do. I mean, geez, there are ALL THE THINGS and only one of me!

September Wrap-Up: Caught Being Good

Gold StarWe didn’t have a lot of response to the September Challenge; I’m hoping that’s because of the MoP release and not because there are just so few people caught being good. Here are the ones we did have, though; I found them very encouraging! I’ll add my own story, as well; I just had my own Caught Being Good experience a couple of days ago.

That Was An Accident! – After some encounters that left Mechalis feeling a little gunshy, there was a friendly–if very odd–mage that came along and managed to brighten the day.

Shards of Imagination – Rakuno shares an encounter in Lineage 2 that will stick with me for a while–when you play with people, sometimes it can’t be just a game. It is personal to me. 

The Daily Frostwolf – Navi busts out the super warm fuzzies with a shoutout to a bunch of the people who have made her happy for one reason or another along the way. I love it!

Pained from Dark Democracy Rocks, Period

My own Caught Being Good story happened a few days ago as I was doing Golden Lotus dailies in the Vale. I added NPCScan just out of curiosity a week ago, and it alerted me (it is completely unmistakable and will give you a heart attack if you aren’t expecting it) that there was a rare below me. I went and found him, a Pandaren in a cave with over 4 million health.

I pulled him and promptly died because I forgot about the spell Pandaren cast at range (Chi Burst, hurts for a lot). I managed to rush back before anyone else showed up and try again. I got started, and about that time I saw a horde shadow priest named Pained show up. I died by not running quickly enough out of crane kick. I knew when I got back that the priest would likely be killing it. I’d help, because I just think it’s a nice thing to do, but I was a little disappointed that I had let it slip away.

When I got back to my body, I was surprised to see the rare still sitting there in his cave. Pained stood outside, looking at him. I rezzed, healed up, and waited for a moment for the priest to pull, but it never came. So, cautiously, I approached the cave, realizing that I would have to pull him out into the open with a LoS this time.

Sure enough, I did that, and it worked. And then, to my surprise, I realized I no longer had aggro–Pained had the rare. In fact, Pained helped me through the entire fight, interrupting when my interrupts were down, ping ponging the aggro, and being repeatedly chased by Spinning Crane Kick until it was dead. When the encounter was over, Pained /bowed, mounted, and flew away–but not before I could get off a /hug.

I’m extremely appreciative, and even though my guild proceeded to call us Care Bears, well; I am A-Okay with that. These are the people and the moments I remember. Pained will always get a /salute or a /hug from me; this is the kind of people I want to share my server with, Care Bears or not.

Thank you, Pained, for being awesome.

Care Bears

October Challenge: Your Character’s Costume

Ambermist the Ranger in Halloween ColorsThis one’s easy (especially since I’m giving it to you with only a couple of weeks to go!): Halloween is right around the corner! Many games  have in-game events for the holiday, but rarely do we get the chance to fully dress up in costume.

The challenge is this: If your character were going Trick or Treating in Azeroth, Tyria, or wherever they call home, what would their costume be? Tell me all about the what and the why, and if you can find a picture of it or something similar, please post that with it–I’d love to see!

As Far As You Know...

17 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Challenges

September Challenge: Caught Being Good

August Recap

I found out a lot about you guys and your collections! Some of you are minimalists, and some of you…well, your bags are overwhelming! Here’s a look at all of the bloggers who answered the “I’m a Collector” challenge; thank you guys!

The MMO Compendium – Feliz is a seller! While bags get full from the effort of selling, the compulsion to keep things is not strong in this one.

Image Heavy – An organizer at heart, there’s still some inadvertent collecting that happens for this blogger–the kind that comes from leveling and preparing for an expansion!

Anka Huntress – Anka’s not into running out of bag space, but game changes have turned her into a collector, after all!

Healing Mains – This right here is your “Aww” moment, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not even going to tell you more than that.

Healing the Masses – Sometimes it’s just hard to say goodbye to things we love–and everything else, too!

Kamalia et alia – I have to be completely honest: I’m a little jealous of this wardrobe. Not the organizing part of it, mind you, just the fact that there are so many things available in a moment’s notice.

Bubbles of Mischief – Cymre has…well, a LOT of things! But I’m impressed that they all make sense, which is more than I could say for my bank when I wrote the challenge post.

Starshadow (and Part 2) – In a 2 part post, there’s first the adventure of the stuff in Skyrim, where an organizing system gone awry put gaming on pause, and then an awesome collection of bows and books!

Shards of Imagination – Rakuno’s EQ2 collection is impressive. I mean, just take a look at that huge sword–and everything else! Besides “Everhoarder” is such an apt title…

Arguing With Myself – Ainyan’s a packrat. I’ve seen this first hand in-game–do NOT get into a click-my-items showdown with her! She’s also got quite a thing for pets.

The Crimson Hammer – Someone’s feeling the space crunch…leaving enough room for auction house and looting? I completely relate!

Please check out all of these awesome bloggers! Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Challenges

Navispammed!

Subtitled: I got on video because Navi is that cool.

Edit to Add: Navi’s post about her visit! 

Navi’s blog: The Daily Frostwolf

10 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences

Thoughts on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Why We Quit

When SWTOR announced free-to-play this week, several sites used the phrase “hemorrhaging subscribers” to describe the huge decrease in subscriptions from launch until now. A lot of people are walking away, myself and my husband, Ultraking (UK for short) included.

As much as we’d like to sum it up with a blanket statement and say “Everyone’s quitting because of X,” that’s just not reality. Everyone is going to have their own reason for leaving, and while we’re likely to see trends, nailing down a definitive answer is, in my opinion, highly unlikely.

Recently, UK and I were discussing (again) why, exactly, we’re letting our SWTOR subscriptions run out. There was the overarching answer that we “just don’t enjoy it anymore,” but that’s a simple and incomplete. We got to talking about what exactly that means for each of us. We talked about things our friends have said, comments made on Twitter this week, things happening with our guild, and I think at the end of it, we have a pretty good idea of an actual answer.

The Expectation

The first reason isn’t actually anyone’s fault. The fact is, people had a lot of expectations for this game. It had one of the biggest, longest-lasting fandoms attached, before fandom came with Tumblr memes and Twitter lists. You attach “Star Wars” to something, and people suddenly get excited.

Star Wars Cosplay

It’s understandable, isn’t it? Most of us love Star Wars on some level. Fans get instantly nostalgic thinking about it, and it’s not uncommon in any fan group to want to escape into that every once in a while. Some do it through books, others through websites. Some RP, and others–well, we play video games. People have very clear ideas about what the Star Wars universe actually is (although they don’t always match up), and the idea of an MMO–as close as you can virtually get to being a part of Star Wars–well, that’s exciting.

SWTOR Hype

The game was hyped a lot. I don’t think it’s Bioware’s fault for hyping the game any more than I think it’s the players’ fault for having high expectations. Some people are pleased with the game the way it is. Some aren’t. It just is what it is, and that’s okay. Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Experiences

August Challenge: I’m a Collector

July Recap: Something About You

WOW. I can’t even begin to express how blown away I was with everyone’s responses to the July Challenge. Ranging from photos to stories, lighthearted to serious, the blogosphere impressed me so much with this challenge and inspired me to open up, too. Hold onto your helms and cloaks, guys; this is a long recap!

Warcraft Street told us about a personal gaming history that has touched several games–and platforms–resulting in a love for Simulation games and MMOs!

The Harpy’s Nest presented 4 personal facts including a love for hats and a super interesting story about her grandma you should definitely read.

Azerothian Life broached a serious–and very personal–topic discussing rape culture in World of Warcraft, specifically the unfortunate ease with which we (the community in general) throw around the word “rape.”

Tome of the Ancient takes us to “Long Ago,” when bloggers rode horses…no, really, the picture is great, and here’s to passions, new and old.

Sugar & Blood discusses names, what’s in a name, what’s not in a name, and everything in between!

Image Heavy combined two of my favorite things: pictures and lists. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this particular blogger likes photography!

Shards of Imagination covers a lot of things, including honing English through gaming (imagine, you can learn while doing something you like!) and where the name “Rakuno” originates.

Arsenic and Old Mooncloth dives into a very personal look at why she plays video games and the bullying, fear, and self-esteem issues she’s overcoming.

Anka Huntress tells the story fairy-tale style of how she met and fell in love with her warrior, Aiden.

Kamalia Et Alia shows off MAD GENIUS CRAFTING SKILLS. Seriously. Science and afghans meet in an unprecedented display of coolness.

The Frugal Gamer shows us life in pictures–not surprising, since he’s a photographer! Actually, a photographer and music lover, which for reasons I won’t list here, is exceptionally neat in my book.

The Dancing Tree offers a really cool photoblog of sorts–an interesting glimpse into the blogger through a bunch of great pictures!

The Butterfly Gamer tells us a bit about being Australian, parenting teenagers (egads), and, of course, gaming!

StarShadow is a gamer, a trained textile conservator, and a stay-at-home mom–now that’s a nifty combination!

The Sisterhood of Kia gets real, discussing experiences and awesome opportunities that have given her an interesting perspective on how her personality influences how she plays.

Getsu’s Sanctuary offers nothing short of a coming-of-age story and how a year can change a life!

The Daily Frostwolf brings a moving account of how facing deaths of patients has reminded her to take nothing for granted. Three tissue warning, guys.

Flask Half-Empty is excited about launching a new career and life as an educator and the things she’s already learned. Heck, I think some of the excitement rubbed off!

Bubbles of Mischief posted pictures of some of the various adventures she’s experienced, from skydiving to Pisa!

Update to add! The MMO Melting Pot joined in! Meet Hugh, Becca, and Johnnie in the 2-year Melting Pot celebration post!

I told you it was a lot! Some incredibly interesting, moving, and funny stuff in there, I highly encourage to check them out!

August Challenge: I’m a Collector

I think everyone knows that I frequent Twitter. As I said the other night, Twitter knows everything. Yesterday, when I was looking through my bags realizing that I needed to fix my space situation very, very soon, I posted a picture of my inventory on Twitter. As it turns out, a lot of people have opinions and systems and ideas about how and why they keep things.

Do you cling to materials in the hopes of always having what you need, or do you store things for the sake of nostalgia? Is your inventory or storage neatly organized or do you rely heavily on search tools to find what you need? Do you collect pets? Mounts? Gear? Memories?

So this is your challenge: I want to know what you collect in the game or games you play. However and why-ever you loot, keep, store, organize, whatever you hold onto, or even if you refuse to hold onto anything–tell me about it! Remember to link to me or link your blog in the comments. Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Challenges

World of Warcraft Isn’t Real, And My Name Isn’t Ambermist

Heads up, this one’s long, personal, and maybe sort of pointless, but it’s been swimming around in my head for a long time, and since I did just ask everyone to tell me about themselves, it seems relevant.

This post has been in my head for months–as a matter of fact, I started writing it there the day I came back to this blog, but I kept coming up with reasons not to flesh it out and post it.  When I came up with the July Challenge, it was on my mind, and then I read this post at Tree Heals Go Woosh (which is, by the way, the best blog name ever). It got me thinking about all of that stuff again since the end of Wrath/beginning of Cataclysm brought a lot of this to the forefront for me.

Over the course of Wrath, I learned so much about WoW. I’d been playing half-blind for a couple of years, I realized, and with the leap into blogging, I suddenly had a world of information and experiences at my fingertips. As an expansion, Wrath encouraged that exploration, and I honed a lot of my skills there.

See, I knew my stuff. >.>

I had a lot going on in my life during that expansion, too; a lot of change: my father-in-law passed away from cancer, my brother-in-law had a heart attack and a stroke, my daughter started kindergarten, and my son was diagnosed with autism. I was stressed out, at my highest weight ever, dealing with my own issues on top of everything else, and profoundly insecure.

I started using WoW and its many, many things to do as an escape, but more than that, I started to find my identity there. Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Experiences

July Challenge: There’s Something About You

Last month, I challenged you guys to tell me a story about something that has happened to you in game. We all have those stories that we like telling, and here are a few. Pull up your story rug…

Ivy4Life told us about a D&D experience that started with “a large and….. naked troll is following us with a bag over its shoulder with two large balls inside” and left us hanging on “our wizard being stuffed into a bag, in the hands of the troll.” I have a feeling there are a lot more stories lurking here.

Suzita shared an epic EQ2 moment when a group of friends found themselves stuck–stuck at a door. There was nothing to do but laugh–and kick some butt. Thankfully, they got to do both!

Ninevi related an experience that hits a little close to home! I have a habit of getting stuck in terrainand Ninevi tells the story of her and her gnome rogue buddy (gnome rogues ftw, I might add) and their precarious–and hilarious–experience of being stuck on a boat near a group of Horde in Tanaris.

Thank you for telling us your stories!

Ambermist & Ultraking 4 lyfe

Ambermist & hubby Ultraking IRL

Now, for the July challenge: Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Challenges

SWTOR & My Unexplained Ban: Part 2

The other post was getting lengthy, and as this is the last update I foresee posting (and also, a longer one), I’m writing it in a new post. If you don’t know the story behind this, you should read SWTOR & My Unexplained Ban: A Cautionary Tale. Context is everything.

Update: The Resolution

Update, Wednesday, June 20th, 9:02 p.m. I know I said I didn’t foresee updating again, but we might have a breakthrough here, guys:

Dear […],

I am J– of Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service.

I have been trying to contact you over the phone today to discuss your accounts suspension. Unfortunately I believe we may either have an incorrect contact number or have been calling at an unsuitable time.

If it is appropriate for us to call you, please provide us with a time which suits best and phone number that will reach you.

If you do not wish to discuss this over the phone we can always correspond over email.

Thank you for your time.

If you have any further questions about this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Sincerely,

J–

Star Wars ™: The Old Republic™ Customer Service

I sent him back my phone number and the best hours to call. I’ll let you know what happens.

—————————————————

Here is the email I received today:

Dear […],

I am J– of Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service.

I am contacting you in relation to your one week suspension as a result of a Terms of Service violation.

I am very sorry if your suspension has caused any confusion or frustration. Terms of Service have examined your case in detail over the course of your dispute emails and have found that the suspension action on your account still stands. This one week suspension will be lifted on the 22nd of June.

Thank you for your patience in this matter, and if there’s anything further we can help you with please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Sincerely,

J–
Star Wars ™: The Old Republic™ Customer Service

We would love to hear your feedback on our Customer Service and invite you to fill out the following survey which will help us to continually improve our support!

There are so many things wrong with this message in light of everything I’ve already experienced, I don’t even feel like listing them out again. I have faith that those who have kept up with this rollercoaster ride can find all of its irony and frustration on their own.

I was on the fence about canceling until I got this. I’m not canceling because I got banned for a week. If I had knowingly done something wrong–or even if I had unwittingly done something wrong and was told what had happened so I could prevent it–I would have accepted the ban with no question. No, I’m canceling based on the principle of this whole experience. No customer should ever feel like this.

Here is the message I included when I canceled my subscription:

You can read the full account of my experiences here: https://battlechicken.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/swtor-my-unexplained-ban-a-cautionary-tale/. Not that you will, but you’re certainly welcome to.

This is why I’ve chosen to cancel my subscription:

I have been falsely accused of cheating four times now in the course of three days. I realize that whatever you’re seeing on your end must look very convincing, but whatever you’re seeing is wrong. If I did use a third party program with SWTOR, I am STILL unaware of what program I used, and I didn’t use it intentionally.

No one will talk to me. If someone would have an actual conversation with me, asking what programs I’ve used, what happened to me in game, getting details about what I have been doing, then maybe we could clear this up. I refuse to be treated unfairly and then get form letter after form letter telling me that I’m wrong without any actual discourse with your company.

There has been no legitimate attempt by your customer service to help me figure out what happened in this situation (exception given to JJ @SWTOR on Twitter, who did actually reach out to me). You have, in essence, treated me like a guilty liar without attempting to find out from me personally if there could be any truth behind what I’ve said. Based on the responses I’ve gotten, I’m still not sure anyone has actually read my emails.

I have been patient and thoughtful in all of my responses. I have tried to create some kind of communication, first by earnest emails and then with public support, and I’m still getting the exact same email over and over with absolutely no personal recognition of my experience or frustrations.

I still hold a faint hope that this could be resolved, not only for my sake, but for my husband, who is extremely upset that the game he’s waited for so long is being ruined for him with my issues.

Also, I hope you resolve your Customer Service issues in general for the sake of all of those others who have experienced this or similar and haven’t had the platform to voice their opinions and garner the support I have. I might have felt downright bullied were it not for the wonderful MMO/blogging/Twitter community that has consistently had my back through this situation.

However, my subscription is set to renew tomorrow, and I refuse to give that $15 to a company who treats their customers like liars and declines person-to-person interaction in a situation that has escalated to this point.

For this reason, I am canceling my subscription.

Good luck to you.

Sincerely,

[…]

C’est la vie. 

I’m sad about not being able to play a game I enjoy, but my principles will not allow me to sit down and accept this. Maybe there’s still some resolution to be had and I can come back. I hope so.

45 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences, Information

SWTOR & My Unexplained Ban: A Cautionary Tale

I have checked and double checked these emails for privacy warnings, and I don’t see them. Unless they contact me and ask me to take this post down, it will stand. I have removed my name, my account name, and the SWTOR customer service identifying username, otherwise, the emails appear exactly as presented.

Update (again)The Resolution

Update: SWTOR & My Unexplained Ban: Part 2

Update, Sunday, June 17th, 7:04 P.MI don’t think I even need to comment on this. I’m pretty sure it speaks for itself.  (But of course I’m going to anyway). If you’ve read this post in its entirety already, you know what the emails I sent requested. You might know that I requested the same things through Twitter, and those of you I’ve spoken with agree that the pivotal thing they’re not answering is the only question I really care about anymore: what is the name of the third party program used? And honestly, a follow-up, what was it used for? This is the email I got today:

Dear […],

Account Name: […]
Email address: druidambermist@gmail.com

Thank you for contacting us regarding your complaint (ticket number […]).
We have carried out a subsequent review and investigation into your complaint and in particular the actions taken on your account. We can confirm that your case was acted on correctly, in full compliance with our policies and procedures.

Please note that we do not provide any details regarding our internal procedures.

We will not be pursuing this issue any further, and as such we consider this matter closed.

Yours sincerely,

K–
Star Wars ™: The Old Republic™ Terms of Service

Either they are a) entirely missing the point everyone else seems to get, or b) still shooting out automated responses. In either case, it’s not good. No tiptoeing around it anymore: it’s incompetence at best, and I have to assume in either case they don’t care about my status as a customer.

The good news is, if they don’t care about me as a customer, that will make my decision to cancel my account that much easier. My $15 monthly might not matter to them, but if this is the type of customer service they’re providing to everyone (and I doubt I’m a special snowflake), they’ll lose other people’s $15, too, and future business.

Oh well. I liked it while it lasted.

Update, 2:20 p.m. ESTEarlier this morning, some people on Twitter and some commenters here suggested I check for hacking. At around 10 or 11, I ran a full Malwarebytes scan (gah, forgot how long that takes!), and came up infection free. There’s still a possibility, but unfortunately, it’s something SWTOR will have to check through the IP that was used at the time of the infraction. I only ever log on to the game from my computer or my husband’s, so if it’s an IP different from one of those two, it should be plainly obvious. It seems unlikely, as well, since my password and account information hasn’t changed. I would expect a good hacker to change the password immediately.

I also received a Direct Message on Twitter from @SWTOR, and from what I can understand, my ticket has been escalated and they’re looking into it. It might take a little while since it’s the weekend, but I have patience. I never minded a wait as long as the responses I get are fair and reasonable, which, until I was contacted through Twitter, certainly hasn’t been the case in my opinion.

Update, 9:30 a.m. EST: I called SWTOR Customer Support. The first time I called, I went with the option that included “violation reports,” but that didn’t take my anywhere useful. In fact, when my issue wasn’t mentioned in the sub-menu, I chose “all other queries,” where a recording told me to submit an in-game ticket and hung up on me.

The second call I put in to billing, and I did actually get to speak to a rep. I explained the situation, and he told me that I had done the right thing by emailing. He then informed me that there is nothing he can do for me except send a notice to the appropriate department that I called. I asked him if there was a number I could call to speak to that department directly. According to him, the only way to contact that department is by email.

I will wait for a response to my email. If it doesn’t contain the reason I was banned (and preferably an apology), I will be canceling my account today.

——————————

This is a World of Warcraft blog, although I have certainly dabbled in MMOs, especially lately with the Newbie Blogger Initiative. One of the games that I personally play outside of WoW is Star Wars: The Old Republic. Up until the past couple of days, it has been an enjoyable experience. I got into a guild that welcomed me and my husband and employed our sniper and bounty-hunter services to great ends, or at least to defeating several bosses.

I PvPed, and though I was slow progressing, I was getting very close to Battlemaster. I crafted, I cajoled, I server transferred with my guild. I was especially looking forward to playing after my server transfer, because suddenly I had a lot of friends all on the same server.

I became an officer in my guild. I managed the guild website, took screenshots and videos of our progress, and was, as far as I can tell, reasonably well-known in my guild. Believe me when I say this came as much of a shock to them as it did to me.

Yesterday, I attempted to log into SWTOR when I had a moment of peace in what had been a busy day. I was told my access had been denied, and to read the email that was sent to me. This is that email:

Dear […],

We are contacting you to notify you that we have found your Star Wars: The Old Republic account, […] , to be in violation of our Terms of Service.

After completing an investigation of your Account, we have identified the following violation:

Violation: Use of an unauthorised Third Party program

Due to the severity of the violation, we are suspending your account for 1 week (168 hours) effective immediately.

Our penalty system is cumulative. This means that if you continue to violate our Terms of Service in this way, the next penalty applied may ultimately result in permanent account closure.

It is our goal to make the Star Wars: The Old Republic experience as safe, secure and enjoyable as possible for all of our players. As such, we take any violations of our Terms of Service very seriously.

Please ensure that you are familiar with our Terms of Service as repeated violations may result in your account being permanently closed. Our Terms of Service can be found here:

http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/WEBTERMS/US/en/PC/

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

If you feel you have received this suspension in error, please contact us at swtoraccountdisputes@bioware.com.

Yours sincerely,

Z–

Star Wars ™: The Old Republic™ Terms of Service

I have never in my life been banned from any game or website. I’ve never even been accused of anything. I’ve never received a warning or even a questioning glance in my direction. My behavior has always been above reproach to the best of my knowledge and ability.

As you can probably imagine, this email made me extremely upset. The fact that they didn’t identify the third party source meant I couldn’t even figure out if it was something I had knowingly done without realizing it was against the ToS. So I responded to the email they provided for the appeal.

Dear BioWare Customer Service,

I received an email today notifying me that my account (under the username “[…]”), has been banned for being in violation of the Terms of Service for use of an unauthorized Third Party program. I would like to be immediately notified of what this supposed third party program is.

The only program I have ever used in tandem with SWTOR is Bandicam in order to capture videos of my guild’s progress. If that’s in violation of the Terms of Service, I think you’re doing yourselves a disservice, and I will most certainly be canceling both mine and my husband’s account if this is the case.

The only other thing I could possibly think that I have used recently is LastPass, which is a well-known, highly-regarded password security service for websites (and websites only). I use it on every website into which I sign in in order to a) remember my passwords, and b) keep them secure. If you REALLY have a problem with me using a security program for this purpose, then I will remove the SWTOR account website as part of its programming, but I will do so with great dissatisfaction.

If either of these is actually a violation of the Terms of Service, please let me know. If not, I’d like to be informed of my violation specifically, since I have no idea to what it could be referring.

Let me assure you that the next email you send to me will be very important in my decision to continue playing–and thus paying for–SWTOR. I appreciate your prompt reply.

Thank you,

[…]

I waited for a response, sure that they would at least tell me where they thought I had acted incorrectly. Since I haven’t knowingly done so, I expected them to come back apologizing for their error or at least telling me what I had done so I could decide if it was something they had gotten wrong or something I had unwittingly done (as in the case of Bandicam or LastPass).

Instead, this is the email I received:

Dear […]

Account Name […]
Email address: druidambermist@gmail.com

Thanks for contacting us regarding the strike that has been applied to your account.

We have now completed our investigation into your complaint. After reviewing your case, we can confirm that it was acted on correctly, in full compliance with our policies and procedures. As such, we will not be pursuing this issue any further.

We can confirm that your character was observed working outside of its intended capabilities. For security reasons, however, we are unable to provide any information about methods used to identify the use of unauthorized 3rd party software.

Thank you for your diligence in bringing this matter to our attention. As a valued customer, your feedback is very important to us.

Yours sincerely,

A–
Star Wars ™: The Old Republic™ Terms of Service

My shock, hurt, and disappointment at this is far beyond what I have the capability to express right now, but know that it is great. To accuse someone of something without giving them any details of the charge is unfair, at best.

This is my response to the above email:

Dear A–,

I am sorry, but that is completely unacceptable. I have not intentionally or knowledgeably used any software with this game, and certainly not maliciously or with the intent to cheat. Anyone who knows me in game or out could verify that. Not at least providing me with what my supposed infraction is unquestionably unfair. How can I appeal that which I don’t even know?

At this point, I have to wonder if you even read the email I sent, or just marked it as an appeal and answered it accordingly. I have been a consistently reliable customer, and as such, I believe I have the right to know the details behind my ban, and “security reasons” does not seem like a valid excuse for keeping a loyal, well-behaved, paying customer in the dark. I do not feel like a “valued customer” today.

Telling me your investigation was completed gives me no insight into what actually happened, and I have no knowledge of what third party program you are referencing. I’ve never actually been banned from anything and have a spotless record across the board, so to say I’m angry, hurt, and disappointed is an understatement.

I will be discussing this with my husband today, and this will likely be the end of our time with SWTOR.

I would say thank you, but I am feeling understandably ungracious at this time.

Sincerely,

[…]

Beyond this, I don’t know what to say. I am floored. I will be discussing this with my husband when he gets up, and we will be deciding where to go from there. Without a doubt, there will be a phone call to customer service, at which point either our questions will be answered or we will probably cancel our accounts.

Good luck, out there. I’d say keep your noses clean, but even that’s not a guarantee that you’ll receive the service you pay for, apparently.

52 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences, Information