An online repository for my thoughts on...anything.
...when service has no quality.
Published on February 24, 2005 By Melchiah In WoW
So, based on the category I chose to put this post in you can probably guess that I am one of the many people who play "World of Warcraft," a MMORPG developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

I love this game, as it provides a wonderful diversion from the stresses of life. There are however, times that I'd like to take the game, wrap it in mageweave and set it on fire! Allow me to explain...

In "WoW" the currency system is comprised of three elements; copper, silver, and gold.
100 copper = 1 silver
100 silver = 1 gold

Gold is goal here, and it isn't very easy to come by. That was done by design so that not just anyone could run around buying everything they wanted. For instance, at level 40 you can purchase a mount (a beast you ride around on to increase your travel speed by 60%) and that mount costs 100 gold (minus the discount granted due to faction standing), and training to use it costs another 18 gold. I saved all of my gold from level 32 to 40, no training, no upgrades to armor, nothing. By the time I reached level 40 i was still 35 gold short. That should help illustrate the importance of, and difficulty in acquiring, gold. It's important you understand that, this whole post's comprehensibility depends on it.

I was playing yesterday and around 1:00 PM MST I decided to log off for a while. I returned to the game at 12:30 AM MST, and upon logging in I commenced with my usual routine. Check my in-game mail to see if any of my items on the auction house had sold, opened my personal inventory to check my items, organize them, see what I needed to buy, etc.

Upon opening my inventory bags I noticed my gold count was not what it was when I logged out. When I logged out I had 41 gold, when I logged back in I had only 31 gold. I started asking around in the chat channel if there was something wrong with the game and I was told that the servers had a critical failure and rollback was preformed. According to the players, and what they were told by the GM's, the rollback was to a state approximately 30 minutes prior to the server failure.

So with that information in hand, I submitted a support request to the GMs. I wanted to know if there was anything they could do to explain and/or rectify the loss of my gold. When I was finally answered (several hours later) I was told "There is nothing we can do to restore lost items or currency without tracking and confirmation information to validate the claim." Or something to that affect, I'm sure I have a couple of the words wrong. The point is I was told "too bad," I had to eat the loss of my gold even though the loss was due to something completely beyond my control.

I do understand that there will be time when technology fails, files get deleted, things don't work they way they should. I have no problem with that, what I have a problem with is this:

This rollback was to a state approximately 30 minutes prior to the failure. I was told the server failure occurred around 7:00 PM MST, 6 hours after I logged out. So, if the rollback was to a state only 30 minutes prior to 7:00 PM, then why did my gold get destroyed, my item not returned, and I'm told to eat the loss? If the information provided to me, and to everyone else in the game, is accurate then my gold should not have been affected because I had it in my inventory for 6 hours before the failure. The data file they reverted to should have had my gold accounted for. There would also be a record of my selling the item that got me the gold in the first place. I know this information would be there because third party authors have created utilities to extract this information to upload to off site character tracking profiles.

Hundreds of thousands of people are playing this game, paying a monthly fee to do so, and these server crashes are happening approximately every week, outside of the scheduled downtime each Teusday...a downtime of 4 - 5 hours each.

So in the end...we have on one hand a massive amount of players who lost items, currency, and therefore their time...on the other hand we have a company claming ignorance to the fact and an inability to compensate the player base for the trouble their technological malfunction caused. I don't accept this.

I would like to put to you a question; Do you consider the aforementioned problem and proposed "solution" (that solution being told "too bad") to be acceptable? As I said, I do not. I could overlook this incident if it was isolated but it is not, it has happened before and will probably happen again.

What are players to do when they know that in essence, if there's a problem with the servers and their character information gets deleted, thereby making every bit of money and time they've invested into the game being all for not...with there being nothing they can do about it?

I hope this made sense and please excuse any errors, I'm tired.
Thank you for reading my post.

~Melchiah

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