A Review of ESO's Customer Service

  01:35:00 am, by Alarra   , 785 words  
Viewed 8541 times since 06/21/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls

It was the morning of April 4th.  I’d played the ESO betas, and was looking forward to getting started with my real character at launch.  After creating her and pulling my lovely Imperial Edition and preorder bonuses from the mail, I was ready to start.  I ran into the room where you receive your first weapon…. and fell through the floor underneath the world.  No amount of /stuck or /reloadui or logging out and in would fix it (in fact it would kick me from the game after about 20 seconds), and I couldn’t just delete the character and start again since I’d redeemed my one-time Imperial Edition bonuses, so I was left with contacting ESO Support.

 

That’s what I’d like to talk about today:  ESO’s support center.  One of the things that has really impressed me so far is their customer service.  I have had to contact them a few times so far (not counting reporting gold spammers) and they’ve come through every time.   Their response times are fast: one issue that kept me from even logging in was answered in an hour, I got help with the aforementioned falling-through-the-ground issue in a few hours, and when I reported a scam email with suggestions on how to improve their “how to tell if it’s fake” message, they replied in just fifteen minutes  thanking me specifically – very different from their generic “thanks for reporting spam” auto-response for in-game gold-spam reports – and I could see that they had escalated the case to the higher-ups to take a look (who thanked me as well two days later saying they’d passed the suggestion along to their teams).

 

The issue that took the longest was an unusual one that I wasn’t sure they’d even be able to help with.  It’s a well-known fact that the Imperial Edition physical items didn’t have the best workmanship: many people have complained of the Molag Bal statue being misaligned or broken.  My problem was unusual, though, and I’ve not found anyone online with the same thing: my copy of the Improved Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel came misprinted.  It repeated a section of pages, replacing what should have gone there.  Which, with my luck, happened to be the pages about the Altmer and the Summerset Isles, which is what I most was looking forward to.  Considering that the book was the real reason I got the Imperial Edition, I was very unhappy when I realized this.
It did take a while – both individual responses and the potential of anything happening – because they weren’t really sure how to handle it or if they could do anything, but once they were able to pass it to someone who was able to help, it got resolved quickly.  They paid to have my bad copy shipped to them, and the day after they told me they’d sent the replacement, I was surprised to find it in the mail.  They’d done overnight shipping and got it here, over 900 miles away, in one day, which was really awesome of them.  I am very excited to have received it and would like to give special thanks to those at Zenimax Online Support who helped me with this, if you ever happen to read this.

 

The other big thing that has impressed me, in addition to the speed of the service and the fact that they were able to take care of that book issue, is the very personal tone in the response.   Compared to other customer experiences I’ve had with other companies, it feels like these guys are less detached and more involved.  When I was stuck falling through the ground (and forced to play on a second character in the meantime), the gamemaster that helped me in-game was real cool and kept me updated frequently as I played, even if he hadn’t found a solution yet, so that I knew he was still there and working on it.  I really appreciated that.  Once he’d gotten it taken care of, he even parted with an in-character farewell, which made me smile.  That experience in particular was really memorable, and I’ve talked about it to friends both online and in real life. 

 

That’s how you definitely know you’re doing customer service right, if the customer’s experience was so good that they tell others about it.  The first time I needed help, I was dreading how long it might take to get resolved, and really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  In the few times I’ve needed them since then, they’ve continued with this excellent service, and I’m glad to know that if I need any help regarding ESO in the future, that’s the sort of support that’s ready and waiting.

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ESO Update - Veteran Dungeons, Console Progress, & Raptr Stats

  03:18:00 pm, by   , 94 words  
Viewed 5692 times since 06/20/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls, News

The recent blog from Zenimax discussed veteran dungeons and gave a preview of Crypt of Hearts content.

According to GamingBolt, ESO creative director Paul D. Sage revealed that they already have ESO running on consoles at 30 fps and are making strides to increase the frame rate.

Raptr, an online gaming platform and community site which claims to have over 22 million users, lists ESO as #8 in their May 2014 rankings of the most popular games amongst their users. Playtime hours dropped 39%, and there was a 22% decrease in the number of Raptr users playing the game.

Damon's blogging again!

  01:13:00 pm, by Damon   , 602 words  
Viewed 5963 times since 06/16/14
Categories: Games, Misc

Hey, people who read the blog! After a few months of doing some utterly unimportant things - making a tumblr account dedicated to my gaming (which will remain unnamed as this isn't a spam post), taking care of chickens, looking for a job, and doing other stuff - I have decided I missed posting on the blog and needed to come back and love you guys!

I haven't really got anything interesting to say, though I plan to just start riffing for a few minutes and hope it comes out as an intelligent(ish) posting, so here it goes:

I missed all of E3, however I made it a special point to catch the presentation for The Sims 4, and I am really, really bloody excited for it! It looks like an all around improvement on the franchise!

For me, personally, the build video that was released a few weeks ago on the Sims YouTube channel is my favourite piece, because while I love building, I absolutely loathed the building system in The Sims 3. I have never been able to make houses precisely how I want them, because I have to do so much minute tweaking with an interface that, in all honesty, isn't the most ideal and intuitive part of the game. Don't get me wrong, it's not horrible, but it's certainly not the most ideal arrangement that could be done. The new click and drag tweaking that has been introduced to the Sims and building modes looks incredibly clean and doable, in addition to the other tweaks, such as the ability to click and drag to move whole rooms, clone them to reuse elsewhere, etc.

In other news, I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I've had it on my MacBook since 2011 or 2012, but I've not actually played it much. The game is clunky (but that's to be expected given its age), the graphics are poop, and the cars move like paper planes in the wind, but it's got a fun story and it's fun to explore and shoot up a fictionalised Miami... And sell what I assume is cocaine out of an ice cream truck to make money. Gotta get the kids addicted early, right? The earlier they start, the more years they have open to do it than if they started as middle-aged men!

All joking aside, drugs are bad.

And, there are no children present in Vice City... In fact, the only underage children in the Grand Theft Auto franchise are Mary-Beth an infant who looks like a pixelated burrito when she's always wrapped up in that blanket in Vice City Stories - and Jill Von Crastenburg, a child celebrity who is only ever referenced, and not actually encountered.

Anyway, Vice City is still a pretty fun game, though I haven't beaten it yet... Or ever, for that matter. I typically only do a handful of missions and then just run around. For instance, I have a save on Grand Theft Auto IV and on San Andreas, and each save gott just far enough to have the entire map explorable, then I just explore, drive cars, and cause trouble. It's pretty fun, although I need to do some missions for the Rasta dude who keeps text messaging me, because Niko is almost out of money for guns in GTA IV.

Anyway, I've become aware that I say "anyway", like, way to much. Just like those people who, like, say "like" a lot, which really annoys me. I'll be back to talk some time in the future. I'll try not to go many months without a post again. Love you all! 

Todd Howard Interview & ESO Update

  06:58:00 pm, by   , 120 words  
Viewed 4080 times since 06/15/14
Categories: Elder Scrolls, News

GameStar, a PC gaming magazine in Germany, recently sat down with Bethesda Game Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard. The twenty-minute interview largely focuses on discussing The Elder Scrolls. Topics include Germany (home to the second-largest TES community), game development and platforms, the trend toward open-world games, and how TES III: Morrowind saved the company.

Edit- Also, on their blog, Zenimax just revealed that the launch content for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of ESO will include most if not all of the updates they release between now and then, including Craglorn. They also discuss some other improvements to the game they are planning.

The new 1.1.5 update to ESO implemented a host of minor quest bug fixes; see here.

Attack of the Bots & E3 News

  08:12:00 pm, by   , 181 words  
Viewed 5805 times since 06/13/14
Categories: Rants

The International Business Times released a couple articles on the "ESO Bot Plague" and ESO news from E3. (edit- See comments; IBT is apparently rehashing a dated issue here)

ESO director Matt Firor wrote on their forums that the black market activity for the game accounts for about 85% of the customer service calls and emails they've received, and that they've been a little slow to dampen down bot activity. He apparently blames the "huge influx" of feedback about the black market activity for their slow response in dealing with the matter.

So, they haven't had time to make progress against bots, but Zenimax did find the time to make and release another trailer for E3. As far as I know, it doesn't really highlight new content, it's just a general "come see how good we look" E3 trailer (for a game which was released two months ago? Wut?). Turns out I didn't know far enough (wow, that phrase is a disaster). The video apparently focuses on content for small PvP battlegrounds.

The console releases are still expected in late 2014 or early 2015.