List of games and servers that I have

Alright, in the spirit of finding people to game with; here is a list of all the games I currently have (as of June 7, 2015):

Age of Empires 2
Age of Empires 2 – Conqueror’s Expansion
Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology – Titans Expansion
Allods Online
ArcheAge
Arma 2
Arma 2: Dayz Mod (can host a server)
Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead
Arma 3
Arma 3: Epoch Mod (can host a server)
Beasts of Prey (can host a server)
CastleMiner Z
Counter Strike: Source
DayZ
Defiance
Don’t Starve Together
Dungeon & Dragons Online
Empire Earth
Empire Earth – Art of Conquest Expansion
Garry’s Mod
GTA – San Andreas – Multiplayer Mod (can host a server)
H1Z1
Half Life 2: Deathmatch
Hawken
Hearthstone
Heroes of the Storm
Ibb & Obb
League of Legends
Lego Minifigures Online
Lego Worlds (hopefully it’ll have multiplayer soon)
Minecraft (I have a thoroughly modded server, can host vanilla)
Miscreated
Path of Exile
Payday 2
Pokemon Trade Card Game Online
Rift
Rust (can host a server)
Savage Lands (can host a server)
Starbound (can host a server)
Starcraft – Broodwar
Starcraft 2 – Wings of Liberty
Terraria
The Dead Linger
Trove
Unturned (can host a server)
World of Tanks
World of Warplanes
WoW – WotLK 3.3.5.a (Jeutie’s repack = it’s a thing)

If you see something missing that you think I MUST play, let me know ūüôā If you want to know more about an entry, or to game with me, you can also let me know ūüėõ

The adventures of international shipping, aka: How NOT do to customer service interactions!

Keeping my “Game Dev, Butthurt Early Adopter” article in mind, I will be protecting the company in question by omitting their name, as well as the product details! You just need to see this….

So, January 2nd I made an order online, through their own site; NOT a 3rd party. This site specifically directed me to the North American¬†outlet of the store, as I am proudly Canadian. I am really excited to get my product; and would love to go on and on about it, but… political correctness… I can’t just yet; ’cause of this BS!¬† I digress, payment complete, order is processing… blah, blah, blah! It finally ships via¬†*the only shipping service they had on the site*¬†on the 8th.¬†Curiously,¬†still no update on the order status page, to date… My 1st WHAT >:| But, whatever; I have a tracking number and it is on its way, YAY! Departing¬†from ITALY, shipped from¬†_**REDACTED COMPANY NAME**_ USA, INC. Clearly, my 2nd WHAT >:|

Today I decide: let’s see how far along it is… I go to¬†**SHIPPING COMPANY WEBSITE**¬†and I see this….¬† My 3rd WHAT >:|¬†¬† Also my first¬†¬†¬† /DESKFLIP /RAGEQUIT

01/08/2015   9:47 Order Processed: Ready for shipment
01/08/2015 15:46 Pickup Scan: Firenze, Italy
01/08/2015 16:48 Package at clearing agency awaiting final release.
01/08/2015 18:43 Origin Scan
01/08/2015 18:59 Departure Scan: Firenze, Italy
01/08/2015 21:23 Package released by clearing agency.
01/08/2015 21:36 Arrival Scan
01/08/2015 22:21 Export Scan
01/08/2015 23:25 Departure Scan: Bergamo, Italy

01/09/2015   0:50 Arrival Scan: Koeln, Germany

01/08/2015 20:49 Package at clearing agency awaiting final release.

01/09/2015   5:52 Departure Scan: Koeln, Germany

01/09/2015   4:08 Fredericton, NB, Canada  *EXCEPTION*
Additional documentation is required on the merchandise description.

01/09/2015   9:36 Arrival Scan: Philadelphia, PA, United States

***
Now! the time travel to, and back from, the 9th there, in Germany,¬†I get that… Time zones and international borders will do that; some times – Also, it¬†could be a minor desync between workstation clocks and the central server’s clock…. FINE!

BUT… IT WAS IN CANADA, and CLOSER than it is now…. ARGH!

Fredericton, NB to here is a 1hr flight, or 9hrs of driving; with NO tolls!
Philadelphia, PA to here is a 2hr flight, and while it may be 9hrs of driving, it has Multiple TOLLS; in order to get here by a direct route. The alternative, to avoid tolls, is a MASSIVE detour adding nearly double the distance to the trip. WORSE, non North-American products crossing from USA to Canada¬†are charged Expensive duties and taxes… The reverse is also true… If these ass hats hit me twice for this, I WILL BE BOILING FURIOUSLY!
Now, to my credit, and their defense, they have been contacted; and are looking into it. So says the automated response system. However, after initially placing my order, I checked out their own community and tech support sites. You know, forums, tech blogs, customer to customer interactions, etc. I go to sign up, only to be told NO! Because: My IP is being blocked due to having been reported for SPAM. This may be the result of my ip having been recycled, after it was previously reported. OR, I am a known spammer, OR, My ISP sucks and is known for allowing/supporting spam… (This is obviously not verbatim, but you get the idea. So, back to it)

UGH… NO! It’s okay though. There is a process to fix this, and a¬†link to do it and get more information. Click the link, 404 error… site is down! AH! Because it was moved; the page is kind enough to explain that. Okay, redirected… Sorry! These tools are no longer available. Followed by:¬†Big long blog post about how the admin had created the tools to deal with a huge problem within their internals. They took a lot of backlash for it. They also¬†lost a lot of really good people along the way cause they quit, were fired, or some other drama… Regardless, the storm has passed, so the tools are no longer needed. What does any of this have to do with me? I’m not even anywhere near the site I was hoping to access anymore. I’m apparently now at the site where the admin, who built the tools, first uploaded them; to start dealing with drama on HIS forums…. Qu’est-ce que Fuuu….. *BREATH*

I head back to the main forum page that I initially wanted. Click support, click open a trouble ticket. Submit the above tomfoolery, YES! Tomfoolery is still a thing!

What gives me hope, KINDA: The tech support agent explained that they outsourced their initial community portal to a 3rd party contractor. The team apparently did exceptional work. However, the contractors had an internal falling out recently; so the company is migrating to a new system. That much explains the delays in updating order statuses. Further,  they are discovering the existing infrastructure was VERY secure, and often overly so.

Example: If more than a few IP’s from a single ISP were so much as reported, let alone banned, the entire range from that provider was blocked!

BEWARE THE BAN HAMMER, BIATCH!

The technician was very quick to whitelist my¬†IP and any possible ranges my ISP might assign me, or anyone else. Effectively, clearing the slate for me, and any future would-be members; all this before other similar problems even present themselves. NICE! I was then able to sign up on the forums. NOW, let’s see if they can get this shipping fiasco sorted. Expected product arrival is before 6pm EST, on JAN 12… I’ll keep you updated!

Moral of the story, if you do any kind of online e-commerce:

  • Be VERY clear in what you are selling.
  • Be EVEN MORE clear in where it is made.
  • SAME clarity for how and when it will ship.
  • Ensure your support tools WORK
  • REMEMBER: roughly 4% of customers will complain TO YOU, if you fix it promptly and to their satisfaction, they are more likely to remain loyal. Don’t, and they usually bitch to everyone and anyone who will listen…

While buyer beware is a thing, so is good customer service. True to those two things, you are now aware. If they fix it, I’ll update – IF they don’t, I’ll let you know who and what to avoid. Wish me luck!

***

AS PROMISED – HERE’S THE UPDATE:

I have been assured that duties and taxes will only be applied once. The shipper assures me that, while unusual, it is not unheard of. Regardless, I will only be charge the appropriate amount, ONCE! GREAT! ^_^Now, however… check out what the shipping company is up to:
Remember that when I last checked it, it was sitting in Philadelphia, PA.

Location Date Local Time Activity
Lachine, QC, Canada 01/10/2015 9:13 Import Scan
Mirabel International Airport, QC, Canada 01/10/2015 7:41 Arrival Scan
Louisville, KY, United States 01/10/2015 5:17 Departure Scan
01/10/2015 3:53 Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. / Receiver’s customs broker has been assigned The shipment is now released to move in transit
Brossard, QC, Canada 01/10/2015 1:04 The receiver must pay the duties or taxes due on the package.
01/09/2015 14:32 The package is awaiting clearing agency review. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
01/09/2015 14:32 The package is awaiting clearing agency review. / The package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Louisville, KY, United States 01/09/2015 13:06 Arrival Scan
Philadelphia, PA, United States 01/09/2015 11:06 Departure Scan
01/09/2015 9:36 Arrival Scan
Fredericton, NB, Canada 01/09/2015 4:08 Additional documentation is required on the merchandise description.
Koeln, Germany 01/09/2015 5:52 Departure Scan
01/08/2015 20:49 Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Koeln, Germany 01/09/2015 0:50 Arrival Scan
Bergamo, Italy 01/08/2015 23:25 Departure Scan
01/08/2015 22:21 Export Scan
01/08/2015 21:36 Arrival Scan
01/08/2015 21:23 Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
Firenze, Italy 01/08/2015 18:59 Departure Scan
01/08/2015 18:43 Origin Scan
01/08/2015 16:48 Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Firenze, Italy 01/08/2015 15:46 Pickup Scan
Italy 01/08/2015 9:47 Order Processed: Ready for UPS

ACK! TIMELORD SCIENCE! No, jokes aside, I think I get it now. It was never actually IN Canada when it was processed by Frederickton; same with Brossard! The electronic information was sent ahead to attempt to clear customs in the quickest way possible. It might have been reassuring from customer care; had they explained that when I was worried about double taxes!It is still so messed up to see. Minor annoyance at this point: I have NOT been able to sign up for alerts on the shipping site. The page does not load correctly and will not process the form submission not matter what I do. I have not been able to contact technical support. Honestly, it’s now funny to me… Just get me my package you bunch of crazy people…

Game Dev question:

I back and follow a lot of indie developers. Kickstarter, Steam Greenlight / Early Access, whatever. I am genuinely happy with the results thus far. I have been fortunate that none of the projects I have supported have been scams, vaporware, abandoned, etc…

What I do see a lot of however; is this large mass of butt hurt early adopters.

Let me explain:¬†A group of small studio, independent developers, “indie devs”, have a project they want to realize. Without the capital and resources of a large corporation, like Blizzard for instance, they turn to crowdfunding and Steam’s Early Access. A great way to get revenue before your product is complete. Moreover, Steam’s early access is basically quality control and beta testers that pay You for their time and effort – you see the logic in that, right?

This way, a project that might never have seen “the light of play”, to quote a friend of mine, gets fully financed, completed, released; all without making the developers go hungry and homeless!

Still, you can’t please everyone, and not every project is legit, I can understand that… What boggles my mind are the people backing the same projects as me; the ones that I feel are right where they should be, and they are extremely angry, even vulgar and hurtful, with their opinions. BUT THEY STICK AROUND?!?!?

I feel it is important to stress a few details here:

  • These are people who freely chose to support a project in its infancy.
  • It is always very clear what stage the project is at: concept, pre-alpha, alpha, beta,¬†etc.
  • Buyer Beware IS A THING! It’s a friggin LAW in most civilized places!
  • No one is forcing them to stick around, they can come and go as they please

So, what I need to get off my chest is my frustration with them. This is mostly rhetorical, but feel free to contact me and chime in.

Because, I see a lot of this on steam and kickstarter:

Early adopters, kickstarter backers, Stream Greenlight/Early access buyers, etc. Who are butt hurt over the game, its development progress, whatever. They, quite frankly, bitch the most, don’t offer constructive criticism, insist they were ripped off, that the devs are “challenged” (to be polite), and that the entire project is doomed… Yet they stick around and just continue to be toxic… WHY?!?

Why do the people who know they are getting in at the ground floor, often PRE-alpha, bitch so damn much, without offering detailed info to correct the bug, feature, missing content, etc?

No error reports, or system specs, just BITCH BITCH BITCH This sucks! You suck! I am butthurt! *sticks around anyway for months/years* consistently being butt hurt regardless…

Worse, is that they seem to be so deeply jaded by their perceived bad experience, that no amount of progress or improvement is enough. I’ve seen a large portion insist that the GOOD progress, was a step backwards?!? I MEAN REALLY… WHAT THE HELL?

To be clear,¬†I get why people shun early access. There are scams out there, sure. On the other hand, playing a half made game can be really annoying when it crashes, lacks content, has shit performance, you name it… Those are legitimate concerns and valid points for staying away from such projects. Okay! However, there are good projects, doing honest work, making proper use of the funds and support they receive. I stand firm that those I have backed fit this build.

Full Disclosure: For me, I enjoy trying to find glitches and bugs in a game – I like to break things… So, an early access release of a game is still tons of fun for me; in most cases.

That aside, when I find something I don’t like, or that is “broken” in one of these projects… I report it with as much info as possible.

Example, I got in for the Alpha of Defiance, Great sci-fi show, even better game! Early on, there was a huge delay when connecting to the servers, and game breaking lag that rendered the game unplayable for me. I took some screenshots, my system specs, detailed dxdiag.txt info, ISP details, and internet traceroute info between me and the servers…

I took a lot of very technical, complicated information, that detailed the issue and what I thought was causing it. I also provided some suggestions on how to fix it. Then, I sent all of this in a single bundle to the development team. I then posted it on the forums, with the ticket number they gave me, so that others could say if they were having similar issues. The result, within 3 days the lag was gone! A patch was put together and pushed out to the clients, fixing the whole of the problem! That is how it’s done, or should be anyway!

These butthurts, as we’ll call them, don’t do that! They just express their dissatisfaction in the rudest of ways, and remain that way. All the while, offering nothing to correct the issues bothering them. You’ll find many of them refusing suggestions to fix it, and claiming that anyone who isn’t as furious as them is a fanboy/girl, a relative of the devs, or has been otherwise “bought out”, if they aren’t accused of lunacy or worse.

BUT THEY STICK AROUND! No amount of progress changes their opinion, and they remain toxic to the entire project and its supportive community. I can not understand the pathology that would allow for such behavior to seem logical and proper in a person’s mind.

RAWR! /ragequit, but not really, still i hate you, but i just can’t/won’t go…

That is the summary of their behavior to me, and if it wasn’t for how offensive it often is, it would almost be funny. I think what bothers me most, is that they fail to understand how damaging they can really be. Some go so far as to verbally attack the developers. Claiming incompetence, deception, fraud even… A few will even take their unfounded, dishonest, opinions to other media sources creating a negative backlash of bad PR and marketing towards the project. If you aren’t happy with something, tell the people that can fix it, not the rest of the world!

More importantly, keep in mind that regardless of how you feel, these are real people that are working on this project as a career. You know that job you have that you probably hate, this is theirs. You know what else though? They dont hate their jobs, because they are working on a project they love! They are doing something they enjoy, that they are passionate about. If there is anything they hate, its how you make them feel, and that no matter what they do, you wont change, and you wont go away. It’s an abusive relationship they simply can’t escape. Do you see how unfair and dangerous that is?

In the end, this post is about me voicing my frustration with them, uninterrupted. In a place I won’t have to put up with their drama as a result of it. I get it off my chest and move on… I think this blog of mine will be very therapeutic, if not humorous. Let me be clear on this one final thing, It is MY blog, if you don’t like it, don’t flame me, just take off!!! ^_^