Still Waiting; End of the Line; Revisitation

Still Waiting

patience-virtueIt’s been a calendar week since I filed my ticket with My.com/Allods for my CE purchase of Skyforge. After my last post hit Twitter, I RT’d it and tagged their news account, which earned a response and action on the request. The ticket was picked up and moved into their queue, but it’s been sitting there for several days now in that state.

I still stand by my earlier assessment that My.com/Allods needs to seriously up it’s customer service game. This is patently ridiculous for a service company to take this long to get around to addressing a situation. From my perspective — my personal, this-is-MY-issue perspective, of course — when dealing with a free to play game, you’d think that handling the purchasing issues of a customer who enjoys the product enough to want to spend money on it would be a tad more important than the weight they’ve assigned to it. Here’s a customer who actively spent money when they really didn’t have to, and spent it on the higher-priced item to boot. Doesn’t it make sense to cultivate those kinds people so that they don’t have a bad experience when they file a ticket regarding the money they just paid to you? I can tell you this: I’m really not interested in spending any more money with this company at this point. I like the game still, very much so, and even though I know the transaction would go through just fine next time and not require this customer service disaster to repeat itself, I don’t want to reward these people for “a job done” by throwing more money at them.

They did have back-end issues at the end of last week which I know took their attention elsewhere. I’m sure other tickets were on hold during that time, and I logged in on Sunday to find three free Premium days credited to my account in what I assume is recompense for the game being unavailable to everyone on Friday/Saturday. I’m willing to give them a slight extension for that since it affected everyone, but to be honest, unless the outcome of this ticket is to transfer the CE to my proper account and start the clock over on my now-missing-a-week-of-Premium-time 60 day allotment, I’ll be done with Skyforge. I enjoy the game, but their customer service has been so poor that it’s affecting the way I see the entire experience.

End of the Line

This past Saturday my friends and I held our annual LAN party in beautiful downtown My Basement. As usual, we stocked up on beer and other booze, people bought or made snacks, and everyone hauled their heavy-ass PCs and monitors across town lines for a few hours of lag-free community gaming.

Except we really didn’t enjoy a few hours of lag-free gaming. We started off with the homemade Caribou, then started mixing specialty beers that we grabbed from a menu at The Holy Grail. After that, we played Strike Vector, and that was about it for community gaming, really. We spent some time playing Forza Horizon 2, and Rocket League on the consoles, but as far as a “LAN party” goes, it was mostly party, very little LAN.

I think this effectively signals the end of an era for our home-based LAN party. Our group hasn’t been playing much together recently, and that should have been a sign. Normally we play together every other Monday, but the summer brings interruptions to routines that makes it difficult to find a groove, and I don’t think there’s really a lot out there that we’re all interested in playing together. Some of us are playing Destiny on the XB1, but not everyone has an XB1. Some of us are playing other games on PC, or not at all.

We’re also not getting any younger. Back when LAN parties were the rage among the geekerati there was a movement to make PCs smaller and more compact by stuffing mini components into shoebox sized cases, but that’s kind of fallen by the wayside unless you’re creating a set top box. People have resigned themselves back to the old cinderblock high performance desktop, and while the monitors have thankfully been reduced in size, the PCs themselves aren’t getting any lighter. They’re redesigned to stay where they’re put, and not be carried around from desk to car and back again, not to mention the parsing of the rats nest of cables that needs to be dealt with when returning home.

I think I’m going to advocate that next year we forget the PCs. We’ll have consoles for anyone who wants that, but otherwise we can try tabletop gaming, or even just cards. And booze.

Revisitation

Last Friday I had some coffee. Nothing special, right? I made enough to split the product into a mug in the morning, and have an iced coffee later in the day. When later in the day rolled around (about 3-4PM), I broke out the remainder and that was that.

Except…not exactly. I got really nervous. Really jittery. My head was swimming. Thinking that I should probably eat something, the family opted for Chinese food so I went out to pick it up. Sadly, that did little to cut the buzz. I figured I’d best try and lay down and see what happened.

Nothing happened. I got out of bed after laying there for a few hours and went downstairs to the PC at about 1am. The thing about starting something at 1am under these circumstances — being wide awake with no chance of sleep on the horizon — is that I know I have time, but no desire to start anything that I had installed. I noticed the GoG downloader listed there, so thought I’d revisit my library, and decided to install Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition. 

I’ve been watching the Sword Coast Legends livestream recaps where they’re showing off the campaign building features, and it’s made me remember the days I spent with the NWN toolset creating stories and working with the fantastic scripting system that powered the game. This time, though, I opted to just play the game; it’s one of the (millions) games I’d never completed, so why not?

On one hand, the game holds up well. Of course, it’s a product of it’s time, so the character models have more angles than curves (both male and female), but the gameplay is solid. Sometimes I get it in my head to play a game, and then once I start I realize that I don’t actually want to play that game, but I plowed through the intro up to the point where I had to head out into the city (2:30AM), and by that time I was feeling a bit tired. I had to consider whether or not to keep going for just a bit longer, or to use this as a natural stopping point. Considering I had taken Friday off to clean the house and set up for Saturday’s LAN party, I figured I’d best try and get some sleep.

I still haven’t fired up NWN since that morning, and it remains to be seen if I actually will go back to it again. I might; I should. NWN is in my top five games of all time, and I suppose that means I should give it a real shot with an eye towards completing it.

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