Thursday, 4 March 2010

The free XP cards fiasco

If you were online during Lucky Cricket last night on Bardo, you might have noticed a roar saying that 5Exp cards were available for 0 coins in the item mall. Like many other players, I thought this was another one of those flash events held on twitter/facebook that someone thought to advertise in game (I don't have a facebook account and I definitely do not check twitter during raised xp events, I have other things to do, like... grinding? And I still fail to see why exactly in-game events should be announced there. Anyways, point is I didn't double check on those crappy social networking sites that have nothing to do with Acclaim or 9Dragons).

So I went and got the 5 cards on the account I was grinding. By the time I relogged my main account, the cards weren't there, so I assumed it was indeed one of those obscure hour long events only a select few know about. Later that night, I had the following conversation with a mate:

"Did you know the xp cards were bugged?"
"You mean the 5 free ones from earlier today?"
"Yes. They could be taken countless times. I know players who got over 500 of them like that."
"... no, I did not know. I didn't even try, since gifts are once/account. I am no cheater."

Well, apparently I was wrong and I am a cheater and glitch abuser, as defined by Acclaim. There's a heated debate currently going on in this thread on the 9Dragons forums:

There were indeed the greedy bastards who got hundreds of cards (and with that I agree, I can't imagine them now knowing that was a glitch); and there are countless players who got their stack of 5 cards thinking it was a flash event / gift something. Regardless: even thought they admit on screwing up, Acclaim view all as glitch abusers and threaten to ban players who do not pay or return the XP cards.

So, if you happen to be among the players who benefitted from that (fake) offer, I suggest you follow the instructions in the thread. After all, if there is one thing in this world that Acclaim takes serious, it's the company money. Anything else seems of secondary importance, like:

- The tone used in the post; Most players reacted amazingly reasonable to it, given that it's a big poo poo on Acclaim's side that those cards were loose and were ready to give them back. At the same time, all those people pointed out the offensive and arrogant tone of the message. Basically it assumed that everyone knew that free cards should not have been available so no one should've taken them because no one should've known. Like kids who discover a surprise birthday cake and eat it up knowing it shouldn't have been disclosed yet, much less eaten. I know there are a lot of kids in this game but... cut me some slack, will you? I don't need your "Amnesty". I didn't reach deep into your pockets, you do that with mine.

- The way communication between Acclaim and the community is handled; this issue just seems to not go away. Regardless who "the voice" is, regardless who the current community manager is. Somehow something goes wrong and then someone somehow goes into panic mode. That translates either on complete silence regading the issue (as was the cased with a bugged SvS some while ago that lasted 5-6 hours, as far as I know, no reasonable explanation was given to date) or on some random trigger happy behaviour on forum, banning accounts and locking threads. And no, showing up 4-5 pages later in the thread and saying "we didn't mean it like that, we only meant this" doesn't cut it either.

- The freaking non-official announcement channels. First the twitter channel is dead cause Historian abandonned it. Now Acclaim spams me tens of messages a day, making it hard to find any relevant info there or keep track of my real life friends' tweets (after all, sorry, I don't check that page 24/7). Not only that, if you wanna take part in special events, sign up on that pathetic facebook. Sorry, didn't do that. I personally have no means to check if presumed events are real or not. Nor is it my job to do so. Like it wouldn't be Acclaim's job to run parallel, unofficial communication channels for exclusive info. Like I said on some other occasion - try to develop communication intensively and not extensively.

/rant over

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