Recently, Blizzard dropped the banhammer on a ton of players, players that were removed from the game for allegedly using the Glider software to bot.
I’m not even going to try to break down that statement. People doing it were intentionally cheating, and while some may complain, I’ve personally seen several emails by folks that were banned that had been using the software, that openly admitted that they new they were cheating, but figured they’d never be caught because the software was designed to be hard to trace, and that, as Monty Python might say, “It’s a fair cop”. they also mostly said leveling without botting was too boring once they had their first level 70, and if they wanted to get into playing another character in PvP they saw no reasoning to go through the grind of leveling it all over again.
I do have to give credit to those players whose emails I saw, by the way. I hate cheating in multiplayer games, but I have yet to see a cheater that got banned that objected because they thought it was okay. They knew it was against the ToS, and they were busted. They didn’t cry about it.
I’m sure they are out there… please don’t direct me to where they are QQing. Leave me my illusions, please?
Just last night I remarked in guild chat how delightful it was to fly around on my Hunter Miner, farming nodes of Rich Adamantite, at times when the zone and server are usually barren and overfarmed.
But as with all good things, there has to be some bad. And this is just particularly vile.
Blizzard banned a great many people. And at least one of those people seems to have a massive following asserting that they have known him and played actively with him for a very long time, and that he has never ‘botted’ or cheated.
I am talking about the Hunter Lamaa of Aetherial Circle, the same guild that so very many WoW bloggers are a part of.
TJ wrote a very good post about it, asking for other bloggers to issue a call to arms.
I do not know Lamaa personally. I’ve never even spoken with him, as far as I know. I can’t speak for his integrity, or what he may have tried while drunk and high on crack for two hours in the depths of a dark Saturday night of his soul.
Personally, I believe Lamaa, but I certainly can’t swear to his innocence before a court of Blizz law.
But there is a part to this story that slams home, with great force.
And that is Lamaa’s utter inability to make personal contact with anyone in Blizzards’ customer service that is willing to help him. That, in fact, he is just completely without any kind of helpful guide to getting an answer, explanation, or resolution.
I have stated before that my account was hacked a year and a half ago. I’m pretty sure I already wrote about the experience extensively elsewhere.
Even better, I mentioned just yesterday, is that I still have all of the emails that I received from Blizzard about my petition to get my stuff back. Emails that span a month and a half, and that were literally my ONLY recourse to getting my problem addressed, and that repeatedly say not to attempt to call about my issue, and that in the end let me know that they would not help me in any way, via a form letter. I think I might just make those into PDFs and upload them with appropriate blackouts for your enjoyment later.
Because my account was still active after I was hacked, I was able to post my problem in the official WoW Forums Customer Service section. Where my posts asking for help were first, filled with people (not Blizz employees) assuring me I must be a gold buyer, account sharer, moron or user of illegal software or I would not have been hacked. Then, without a Blizz reply, my thread was deleted. I tried several times to post my problem, with it getting deleted each time, and I started camping on the Customer Serice forum to figure out what was going on.
What I found out at that time, the week after Christmas, was that MANY people had been hacked, that MANY of them were posting anxious threads asking for help, and that within minutes ALL of them were being deleted. Once I recognised that it wasn’t a mistake or glitch, that there was intentional action taking place to remove any thread created by anyone that had been hacked asking for help, I stopped going to the customer service forum. I waited for my emails to update me on the status of my stuff, and I never went back. Why bother?
I’ve said it before… I love Blizzards’ game designers and programmers, the artists and writers. I love the game. Even after my experience with customer service and getting hacked, I still play, because I love the game.
But I see the customer service department for what it was then… worthless. Amlost criminally so. Just because you sell a product and make people agree to your terms of service before they can use it, does not in my opinion mean you are absolved from providing any customer service to them in the future. Nice trick if you can pull it off, though.
I had thought that there were now manned phone lines for help with account problems. I had thought that customer service had become MUCH more responsive to problems people experience when their accounts get hacked. I thought, basically, that the word I had gotten recently was that Blizzard had acknowledged the shameful nature of their customer service, and worked to correct it.
I sincerely hope that Lamaa gets the opportunity to receive what we expect as the very least that any company can provide in terms of customer service… someone to try and help him with his problem.
I hope that, as someone in TJ’s comments said, the problem may be as simple as Blizzard wanting to help everyone to the best of their ability, but being temporarily swamped by the sheer volume of complaints and reported issues, both honest and not, and that it will only take them some time to investigate his particular situation and get it straightened out.
I really, truly do.
But believe me when I say, I was there the week that hundreds got hacked for Christmas… I was one of the ones affected… and I saw, first hand, how I and many others were treated when we tried to have our cries for help heard.
We were silenced… our pleas for help not merely ignored, but deleted by the Blizzard forum customer service moderators.
I speculated at the time as to why they did it… were they afraid that people would see that hacking was a major issue, and they wanted to prevent the sheer volume of complaints from being reported on a news site, scaring other customers away? Or was there some other reason, one that I just didn’t know? Were they afraid news that customers were getting hacked would hurt sales of the game after Christmas? I have no idea whatsoever.
It’s enough for me to know that I will continue to love this game, and play it, but I have no faith in Blizzards’ customer support to treat the customers fairly and with actual concern, and I will never, ever log into the game without wondering if I’m going to see my characters stripped naked again.
Good luck to you, Lamaa. God bless you. I wish you all the best, and I hope you get to play with your friends again soon and provide Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS.
WTB a phone number at Blizzard someone actually answers, to forward to Lamaa. PST.