Global Chat: How Marvel Heroes made a dad a hero

I love a good customer service story, because it reminds me that a lot goes right behind-the-scenes at MMOs that’s hardly ever reported. Braxwolf recently related a heart-warming account of how his son accidentally deleted a pet in Marvel Heroes and Braxwolf’s subsequent encounter with the game’s CS team.

I’ll let you read the entire saga for yourself, but here’s a spoiler as to how it ends: “What I received was reinforcement that Gazillion values us, knows that we are people who sometimes make mistakes, and goes out of their way to help us out when we’re stuck. They also enabled me to look like a hero in my son’s eyes for a few minutes, which was worth even more.”

In this week’s roundup of notable MMO posts from the blogosphere, we have a critical case of Final Fantasy XIV stoic nodding, helpful Trove tips, and a love-hate relationship with dungeon tanking.

Light Falls Gracefully: “Murder by numbers”

Just about everyone I know is playing Final Fantasy XIV lately and gushing about the new expansion, Heavensward. Mercury is no different, although the excitement is tempered by a few harsh critiques of the game’s design.

The following observation cracked me up because it really is everywhere in the game: “And the nodding — my god, the nodding. Liore dubbed it ‘stoic nodding’ and I find this to be painfully appropriate. The level of nodding in cutscenes is over 9000. Pregnant pause? Set phasers to nod, ensign. At one point my character nodded to a f**king dragon. Had the dragon nodded in reply I think I would have lost it; fortunately, it transcended the tiresome customs of mere mortals and alit into the sky with the flapping of wings too ancient and world-weary to care about such things.”

Shards of Imagination: My love-hate relationship with tanks

Rakuno is struggling with a “mid-life crisis” over being a tank in his MMO career. For everything he likes about the role, another aspect seems to torture him so. And yet he can’t seem to stop tanking even if intends to do something else.

“Then there is the bitter taste of failure,” he laments. “Yes, I know it sucks equally to everyone if the party wipes, there isn’t anything special for tanks in this case. Still, no matter the reason the group wipes I feel responsible for it. If I am doing badly then I feel bad because I should have been a better tank for the party.”

Healing the Masses: Entering Albion Online

Think of bloggers as canaries that you toss into a mine (or MMO) and see if they thrive or die before you decide to enter. Bless those brave souls who head into betas and obscure titles and report back as to the wonders or horrors therein.

J3w3l relates a series of observations about her initial foray into the sandbox Albion Online. The early verdict? Mixed. “I’ll just say that [while] Albion doesn’t seem like the perfect game, it might be a good game but even that is too soon to tell yet since MMOs are built for the long-term,” she says. “There are even a few aspects of the game that I will have to experience further to understand and play around with and also other aspects that limits the experience it could be.”

Nerdy Bookahs: Getting started in Trove: A few helpful tips

Trove isn’t necessarily a complicated game, but it is unusual in a lot of small little ways. Even though I have played Trove several times in the past, I learned a few new things from reading Paeroka’s post.

Here’s one tip that’s pretty handy: “If you’re wondering why you should even bother about the cornerstone: When you placed it in the world and then you die, you get resurrected there instead of at the spawning point of that world. So, placing it near you every now and then isn’t a bad idea. Also, you can place a lot of useful items in there like the deconstructor that lets you deconstruct items to get materials.”

Screaming Monkeys: The rise of the FFXIV beast, the WoW-killer!

Whew, them is fightin’ words, pard’ner! I haven’t seen the “WoW killer” label used seriously in quite some time, but Ionomonkey is quite serious (in a funny way) in noting how Final Fantasy XIV is on the rise while World of Warcraft is plummeting in subscriptions.

“As usual, the first strategy put forth was to ignore the FFXIV beast, thinking it was feeding off attention and thus, would die from starvation,” Ionomonkey proclaims. “The FFXIV beast is from an old lineage and it can draw on the followers of its predecessors for sustenance. This beast does not require WoW players to live and that makes it that much more dangerous.”

Party Business: Being supportive

Are we as an MMO community being way too harsh on Trion Worlds? German blogger Kunzay thinks we are, saying that while the studio deserved the criticism it received for its handling of ArcheAge, the community is conveniently forgetting or overlooking what Trion has done right with its other games.

“If you’d take a look at their other games — you know, those they actually developed, namely RIFT, Defiance, and Trove — I think they are doing a decent job, especially with RIFT and Trove,” Kunzay writes. “If you think Trion is a company desperately trying to ‘steal’ your money, you should take a look at Trove. Regular, meaty updates that take player feedback into account and a monetization that is quite fair.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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Azzura
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Azzura

That’s why I liked Anarchy Online’s ARK program – was real players that knew exactly what you were going through and (usually) treated you as they would want to be treated by a CS member in their time of need. Now the result was not always something you wanted to hear because ARK didn’t get the final say or things like replacement items – they were only the middle people in contact with the GMs. 
CS is sooooo important and I don’t think many game companies realize that is helps their games become more sticky! Horrible CS just makes people quit. Anarchy was full of bugs…but someone would be by to help you very quickly which let you forgive the problem. No a days it takes DAYS to get a reply – or months (looks at Nexon).

Roke
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Roke

Very good for Gazillion. The other day I got inspired by the daily grind about support, and submitted an ingame ticket in Wildstar, also regarding a lost item. The situation was similar in that there was no confirmation email, there was no ticket to track on the support web page etc. They rejected my plea for the item, which I expected, but I didn’t get notified about that either. It was only two days later that I got an automated email saying it’s been 48 hours since they allegedly responded to me, and that they conclude the matter is resolved. I wrote them back, but now they are ignoring the item thing and are focusing on the malfunctioning support stuff and want my help fixing it. Ugh.

Just had to vent a little. I’m a bit salty about the situation.

kericstiq
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kericstiq

Gazillion’s customer service have always been great. They are also the only game company I know of that has the 7-day protection policy:
Refund the difference of a purchase if the items bought (heroes, costumes) becomes cheaper within 7 days from purchase.

Even the lockboxes are great, I usually save more from these, so unlike other games’ lockboxes (I’m talking about you Black Lion Chests). Overall, great stuff ^^

vemerce
Guest
vemerce

I’m glad to see that Marvel Heroes gave him back the baby Groot. The only part of the story that I don’t like is with several company policies these days becoming “one time only” on their restores. I think these should be reviewed on a case by case basis and there shouldn’t be some almighty rule that says no matter what you never get help again. I’m not a fan of those type of policies, especially in games where you could very well have spent hundreds of dollars.

Still though, very glad that the eight year old got his baby Groot back. I just hope that he doesn’t keep playing on that same account as he gets older and ends up having another problem ten years down the road. He’s eighteen and they tell him they can’t restore his epic loot because he used his free restore ten years ago on baby Groot. Sounds funny, I know, but sometimes these games do last for years!

JonBuck
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JonBuck

mysecretid RicharddeLeonIII Even their lockboxes are better than most. For 450G you’ll get several items that generally cost a lot more than that when added together. Hero tokens, costumes, expensive buffs, etc.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

RicharddeLeonIII 
Gazillion continues to impress me with how they treat their customers like, well, customers, instead of prey.
Like the writer, I routinely throw money at them, in large part because I have such personal good will toward the company because of my experiences with their game and their policies.
With so many other games (free-to-play and not) trying to contrive reasons to “force” me to pay them nickel-and-dime to enjoy better gameplay (I see you over there, trying to dip into my wallet when you think I’m not looking), Gazillion is doing it right.
Treat me well, and not only will I pay you, but I’ll be happy to do so.
Gazillion gets it.

Chaz_Lawler
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Chaz_Lawler

RicharddeLeonIII Their customer service is fantastic, and the rest of the team, perpetually loitering around the forums, excited about their product (power designers, level modders, artistists, you name it), is as well.  I’ve had more than one amazing experience with them, including shop items (which is always a sticky one with many games).  And yeah, that ticket system could use a face lift.  :)

cursedseishi
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cursedseishi

@JonBuck
At the very least, the game does seem to acknowledge it at times. I remember one scene where another character looks to the Warrior of Light and asks “I’m guessing you’re going to nod stoically and help them, then?”

JonBuck
Guest
JonBuck

The Warrior of Light is the King/Queen of Nod. There are some distinct issues with having a silent protagonist. It does get irritating sometimes.

RicharddeLeonIII
Guest
RicharddeLeonIII

*thumbs up* @Gazillion