Can we have more clarification please on member status and help received

#1

I only stumbled upon this by chance, and for risk of it falling un-noticed by some i thought i would ask a few questions on this.

  1. where can i get a full, comprehensive list of the things you will and won’t deal with as regards being a paid member and non paid member that financially supports?

  2. How long do you have to be a paid member for to receive help of any kind?

  3. What constitutes as a paid member that financially supports - i.e Is a GM account a paid member or not?

  4. If one requires assistance with say, an item that has been deleted by accident and requires assistance but is a non paid member - can they or do they have to pay for a sub before help is offered to the individual?

I’m sure others will have questions and concerns over this or would even like to discuss the matter

Does in-game Customer Service or any kind of support still exist?
#2

Yup, posting it in the “Announcements” category was an excellent stealth tactic :stuck_out_tongue:

There may not yet be a comprehensive list, it may be that the list is not made public. Lists are something which are often avoided, because then some smart alec comes along and says “well this isn’t on the list…”. It’s easier to avoid that by not releasing everything into the public domain until needed.

#3

I’m rather curious about definition of active supportive player. Like, there are DLCs in game, there are aurum to buy, and then there’s patron. Can you get only one of this or need specifically еhe third point (being patron) to receive certain help. :thinking: Or first two are fine but there’s some timeout after which a person won’t be considered actively supportive anymore. I see a point in that decision but some clarification is needed.
Like, if I bought things before and now I messed up and need help with that lost item, should I open petition, what kind of answer I’ll get (sorry, your last payment was too long ago, can’t help you?). I’m now legitimately curious.

#4

I think making the game’s monetization more customer friendly (e.g. by actually being alt-friendly, with everything from account bank to account-wide cosmetics purchases to making agent booster drops account instead of character bound), i.e. making it easier for more people to happily financially support the game, would be a a far superior approach than what imo feels like a somewhat heavy-handed attempt to force monetization through limiting CS.

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#5

I would assume they separate it like this:

If it prevents progress or severely impacts the game experience - assistance for all members

If it doesn’t affect progression or is a QoL issue - assistance for paid members only.

But in answer to the other questions, I’m not sure. I would additionally add - if you have subscribed to Patron but cancelled it, do you still count as someone who supports the game? What if the subscription ends between asking for help and receiving an answer?

#6

My assumption would be that the patron status determines if you’re regarded as a paying player. I’d also expect that if you submitted a petition as a patron but then lapsed, that the ticket would still be regarded as being submitted by a patron.

#7

I agree that further clarification is needed. I also think that it is completely unacceptable for Funcom to refuse customer service for bugs of their own making (items getting stuck in the mail), especially with no advance warning or grace period.

I suppose if you they wanted to be fair about it, GM status wouldn’t automatically count as “actively supporting” the game. GMs’ patron status was inherited from TSW. No GM has ever had to pay for patron in SWL. So the definition of an “actively supporting” player would have to be something along the lines of “has paid for an SWL patron membership that is currently active or made a real-money purchase (aurum, CE, etc) within the past xx days”.

But I’m sure many GMs will be readying their torches and pitchforks in disagreement. :wink:

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#8

I myself am not a GM account and GM accounts who do not buy aurum or subscription or buy anything can sound like not actively supporting their games financially.
I have only just subbed recently again and I have paid a lot of money to Funcom in the past.
I am not sure what would class as supporting their games financially. Like does it mean - at all? Only once?
How much counts as enough payment?
Do previous subs count as “Financially supporting you?”
Does is it have to be current patron status or any purchase?
Does it have to be active ongoing payments?
Where does a GM account that doesn’t currently pay anything at all, stand with this?
What classes as a valid purchase and is there a time frame with that purchase ?
Will this also be added to the patron benefits info?

It’s all rather vague.

#9

I don’t trust that. There should be a list of help that is on offer to the non paying players and help available to the paid players.
They saw fit to give examples and they saw fit to differentiate.
They should clarify so there is no blurred lines, clear answers and no worry that someone won’t just say “we don’t offer that kind of help to you” because we can’t go check if that kind of help should have been available.

(Also when I said by chance, my bookmark for this forum is on my top tab in chrome and it goes direct to the general discussion page - this topic amongst others doesn’t show because of where they are posted)

#10

I have to give FC credit. Monetizing support for a F2P game is an ingenious idea. :rofl:

(NB: Comment made mostly in jest)

#11

If it works the same as in other games with similar provisions, then those who count as paying players are those with an active subscription, and those who have been subscribed or spent money within the last 30 days.
I would expect something like that to apply here too, but I agree that this is something that requires clarification.

#12

I just now discovered this information too, and I see no clarifications have been made. I guess this helps explain why I’ve seen more and more people complaining about support times taking longer than 2 weeks.

I imagine Funcom must have layed off more of their support staff, so they are finding every way possible to trim things down.

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#14

What a dumb move poorly introduced

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#15

Well, this isn’t the least bit surprising. SWL has been a cash-grab from the beginning, so why not monetize customer support? It would be one thing to announce increased support for paying-customers, but this route is pretty low.

The sad thing is that I’ve had mostly positive experiences dealing with /petitions in game, now and back in TSW. The one time I’ve used it in SWL (admittedly long before this policy change) it was for something I did due to my own stupidity, so really I wouldn’t have been too upset if they didn’t fix it. But they did, and in a timely manner. Basically, the customer service has been one of the few bright spots of the SWL gaming experience for me so far… So, to see that go downhill really doesn’t bode well for the game moving forward.

I do find it worrying, though not too surprising, that this hasn’t been clarified by now, or even addressed. Why mention the change publicly in the first place if you’re not going to elaborate? Or is this just another ruse to milk the player-base? Basically extorting players for protection money in case, God-forbid, there be some sort of accident. For all we know, the randomly disappearing gear isn’t an unintentional bug. Ok, so maybe that’s a crazy, Dave-Screed-level conspiracy theory, but my point is that simple clarification is much better than just leaving us to come up with theories in the first place.

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#16

Actually, I do not think it is about monetizing support, as such.
It seems more like a way to reduce the amount of work the support people need to do - so they can avoid hiring more support people. I.e. trying to reduce the long wait times for support without having to spend money on it.

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#17

This support change was I believe across all games by funcom not only SWL.

#18

All their MMOs anyway - Secret World, Age of Conan, Anarchy Online. I believe support is shared among those games

#19

That’s a fair point, though not really reassuring either. It’s just a different side to the greed coin. And by that I mean the guilt lies with Management and the shareholders. I don’t want to blame the devs or the support staff themselves. Though I don’t know if the lack of communication from the devs to the player base on this issue comes from an unwillingness to address it or an inability to do so due to orders from higher up.

Honestly, I don’t think it matters exactly why they’re making this new policy. Or, at least there’s no way we’d get an explanation of their motives. The questions that this thread brought up are about the application of the policy. Who counts as financial supporters, and what exact services are being offered to the different groups? Those are fair questions that should be clarified. I mean if they’re trying to cut down on excess support tickets, doesn’t it make sense to let people know whether or not their support ticket is worth sending in or not?

And, I didn’t think it was a policy for just SWL, that would be a pretty obvious sign that they’re moving the game towards maintenance mode.

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#20

I know of a few players who are in receipt of an active subscription & they have had this particular issue with missing items from their inventory.
One in particular waited over two weeks to have their petition answered & eventually when they received an answer was told they still could not help him or replace the missing item.

So how exactly is any of what we are being told actually truthful to this example?
If people were waiting two weeks before this change & still waiting two weeks now , how is this being swallowed as a more timely service?

Also how the hell can they even say they received any service at all as a paying customer only to be told no we still can’t help you?

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#21

Ok I can see where there going with this buisness wise but to me it seems if there reduceing there service to free to play players. Yeah we dont have monthly subscriptions but to me its like saying to the fan base of there games screw you were only interested in helping those with money.

Its like there trying to scare off those that play there games free for a bit before subscribeing. And to me thats painting a very big bad customer policy sign on there door for everyone.