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Stacked Combines

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  • Stacked Combines

    I don't know what the final conclusion of the thread on the old message board was but I thought I would post this here. The other night I accidently combined a stack of cobalt cod and a stack of water in a brew barrel to make a single cod oil. This was not a huge loss but it had taken me like an hour to fish the cod. Since I thought the patch message had said you could no longer combine stacks in tradeskill containers though people were reporting it still working on some combines, I thought hey I'll petition and just maybe I'll get my stack back. Well when I finally got an answer from a GM (more on that in a moment) he said that no they "had never pushed any code to make it so you could not combine stacks in tradeskills"--his explanation of what the patch change actually was didn't make any sense to me. I did get a message when I accidently hit combine in a tradeskill container in my inventory that said something about items needing to be unstacked first. I went and tested another cheaper stacked combine by making a single metal stud out of stacks of components and it did result in one stud. This confuses me now. Clearly the patch message didn't mean you could no longer combine stacks, so what did it mean?

    Now as a second point I'd like to point out again the absolutely horrible customer service that Verant provides. When I first petitioned it took two hours to get an answer from a guide who said he couldn't do anything and would escalate it to a GM. Well I couldn't stay online any longer so I logged. The next afternoon, I petitioned again and two and half hours later got the same reponse from another guide and again could wait no longer. That night I petitioned again and said in my petiton that guides twice had escalated my question. 4 hours later a GM answered me and gave me the bad news.

    First off it should not take 2 hours plus to get an answer to a petition. Hire more customer service staff--I know that Verant's costs in running the game are significant but the income they generate is enormous and they can afford to hire more staff as it is an absolute necessesity of running a service oriented business. Secondly, guides can't do anything. Give them more power--and if you are afraid of them abusing that power then you need to implement better in-game tools for tracking what they have done. Lastly, stop assuming the customer is wrong and start doing things that make the customer happy. Yes in my particular case I screwed up and lost a stack of cod, but the game should not work so that you can combine stacks to get one resulting product. So why the hell not refund the stack to me? It is what would make the customer happy and keep the game running smoothly. They are always claiming game balance as a reason for having to deny requests for lost equipment, etc. Well I certainly know that a stack of cod isnt going to make any game balance difference. But whats more is that really a few more cloak of flames isn't going to either. The game has been way of balance for a long time and refunding some items to players (read customers) isn't going to change that even if they are wrongly refunded. Make better in game tools for tracking stuff so that you don't give stuff out to people trying to scam you. Or keep track of petitions on an account basis so that a person could only scam you once.

    It is simply unbelievable to me the lack of customer support Verant porvides for their paying customers that they are providing a service to. Verant must wake up and realize that they can not assume the customer is wrong. People are always predicting the death of EQ but it keeps on going strong becuase it is the best game out there and people have so much time invested in it. However, as the field expands this will no longer be the case and to be competitive they must provide service to their customers. I am really looking foward to playing Star Wars Galaxies but if they don't provide significantly better customer support I don't know if I will be able to play.

    A simple situation like this one with the cod and they have two choices. One: refund the item to the customer, not hurting the game at all, and leaving that customer happy and thinking "hey they actually do help their customers out." Two: tell the customer "too bad" and the customer walks away upset and is one step closer to quiting the game in addition to bitching about it to guildies and posting it to messageboards that then provides further negative consequences to not providing services that make the customer happy.

    I know that some people will probably flame me for this and say its only a stack of cod and you combined it--similarly a guy was flamed a while back for posting to the safehouse that he petitioned to get like 40pp back that he lost when he went LD with it on his cursor. This misses the point entirely. Yes I know I made the mistake in this case but its a stupid game mechanic that should be fixed and whats worse is any normal business would go out of their way to make the customer happy especially if it was such a small and easy thing to fix. I know this becuase I am the general manager of a retail company. People flamed that guy saying he is wasting the GM's time and making it take longer for "more important" petitions to get answered. While this is true that he is gonna make other petitions take longer--he is entitled to the same customer service and they should have enough staff so that that extra 2min to take care of his problem doesn't make any difference in getting to the other petitions--ie it should certainly take well less than an hour to get a response not the two to four hours it does now. My example here is just a small one and there are much bigger examples out there. It took a wizard guildie of mine a week to get a GM to come help with the long bugged final turn in for his epic. Yes I know there are people out there that post rants about what a GM did to them and sometimes these are given from a wrong persepctive, details are incorrect, or out-right lies. I know a lot of people are abusive verbally to GMs and they have to put up with a lot. I understand all of this as I am very familiar with it from real life. Furthermore, I am not saying that the "customer is always right" as lets face it--they aren't. However, working with the assumption that the customer is wrong is just not the right way to go about a service industry.

    Edit: I went back to the old post on the old message board and noticed that a player was refunded a stack of celestial tempers from a stacked combine. I am very happy for him as that would have been a huge loss but what makes that situation different from mine? This points out one other issue with Verant's customer service--the total inconsistancy of how they handle things. I was very polite with the guides and GM when I spoke to them and I would point out that they were very polite to me though the GM was clearly in tells with other people at the same time as he was very brief in his answers and didn't respond to some of my questions about what the patch actually changed. So one GM does one thing and a different one another and this is understandable to a degree as people will differ but they need to be more consistant than they currently are.

  • #2

    Since this is mostly a rant about Customer Service, I'm moving this to Primal Scream.
    Lothay retired from EQ in 2003
    EQ Traders - Moderator - MySpace or LiveJournal


    • #3

      Thats cool. I was wondering that when posting it. I did really want some response to the first part though and so I kept it in the other section but I understand your moving it.


      • #4
        We don't know what they meant in the patch becasue there seems to be no change.
        Ngreth Thergn

        Ngreth nice Ogre. Ngreth not eat you. Well.... Ngreth not eat you if you still wiggle!
        Grandmaster Smith 250
        Master Tailor 200
        Ogres not dumb - we not lose entire city to froggies


        • #5
          I've had a few issues that I've had to petition. I too waited forever to talk to a guide and then have the problem sent to a GM. One of the times I was unable to wait to I put an AFK message that explained the exact situation, and left. The problem was taken care of when I was away.

          I suggest if you get to the guide, might as well leave it AFK if you can, you have nothing to lose. Just be descriptive in your AFK message.


          • #6
            About the combining stacks thing i've had the message basically saying unstack your items and try again with all the vendor bought items like water flasks and ore and the ocasional chain pattern but heres my basic saying if they say they fixed it the probly haven't so don't rely on anything the say or do
            both a smith and a tailor but i don't know the numbers
            Value on
            $2,023,740.00 US


            • #7
              I would suggest emailing your GM. There is obviously still a bug with the world containers (I don't think "held" containers let you combine unstacked ingredients any more, but world containers do).

              I once lost my smithing hammer, ore, leather padding etc when doing a fine plate combine for a friend due to being dumped from the server. I petitioned and got the "we cannot refund due to LDs" answer, and "there was no problem on our end". The annoying thing was was that I knew at least 10+ people had all been "dumped" at the same time (probably more like hundreds), but could not "prove" it. At the time, the 50pp of items lost was a lot to me
              Ilona - Gwenae - Amarantha - Deandra - Minim


              • #8
                My advice would be to /bug something everytime it eats a stack of items. Be as informative as possible.

                Include what the recipe was you were trying to make, all the items you had in the container at the time, what item was stacked, what the container was and what zone you were in (if it was a stationary container). It seem that certain recipes don't eat stacked items and others do. Perhaps Verant can figure out if there is a trend as to why certain combines eat stacks.


                • #9
                  got the message with 2 razorfiend talons

                  Unidin Jewlman, Coercer of OSW