Wings Over Atreia: The anti-rant

Wings Over Atreia header
Admit it: Whether it is born of a desire to vindicate yourself using the opinions of another or because you just sharpened your claws and are eager to rip said opinions to shreds, sometimes you just love to read a juicy rant. Love them or leave them, we all have opinions and tend toward sharing them, from superstitions to sports to Aion. What make rants so delectably special are the passion and power behind them.

Unfortunately, this is not a rant.

In fact, this week's Wings Over Atreia is going to be an anti-rant. No, that does not mean I will rant against rants because I am opposed to them (that would still be a rant, not to mention they can be cathartic at times); rather, this will be the opposite of a rant. Yes folks, I am going to do something radical! Trolls, cover your eyes: I am going to give a compliment. And not just any compliment -- I am going to give praise to NCsoft's customer service! *gasp*

What confluence of events in Aion brought me to this? Take a peek past the cut to see for yourself.

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Let's hear it for the boys (and girls)

So this is more than just a public thank-you for one good experience. In fact, I want to highlight multiple positive experiences when dealing with customer service in Aion. Of course, I understand that some have probably had very negative experiences (one friend actually had his account permanently banned because his friend paid him back with kinah that the friend bought from a gold-seller). But in my experience, the majority of encounters have been positive. Don't believe me? Read on.

Aion screenshotDelete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Whoops! I am sure everyone has experienced this painful phenomenon -- trying to empty your overflowing cube of they trash loot to make room for something and deleting something important. In my case, it was a rare and valuable skill book way back when kinah was hard to come by. I pulled the item next to it out to delete, but it deleted instead! My little kinah-strapped lowbie was heartbroken. Although I harbored some doubts it would work, I am by nature an optimist, so I decided to submit a petition. I even included a screenshot of the "You have discarded..." text after scrolling back because I didn't notice for five minutes when I went to get the item! Before long I was rewarded with an answer indicating that my item was restored. The answer also included a phrase encouraging me to be more careful when deleting items in the future (note the confirmation button). And I have been! I think I have only asked to have an accidentally deleted item restored once since then. OK, maybe twice. Obviously it was not a game-breaking event, but it did affect my feelings for the game: I left with positive feelings instead of feelings of loss.

My next experience was actually more recent and involved one of my greatest weaknesses: goody surveys. There I was, checking out one of the cool new gifts from the anniversary reactivation event and deciding which character to put it on. Apparently, although I thought I did and it just didn't take, I did not click complete. No biggy; I can just grab it the next day since they stack, right? Well, here comes the bad part of working nights: What was still next day for me was the day after for the rest of the waking world and the surveys disappeared. I was horrified! Not only was the gift I was looking at gone, but the final gift of crowns and platinum medals was as well. Ouch! I know you can all feel my pain. Again I sent forth my petition and much to my relief I was rewarded with an answer that made me want to hug the stuffin' outta that customer service rep. Since my account was in good standing (and possibly because I was also polite and not jumping all over them), CS granted me the rewards. Crowns, glorious crowns!

Aion screenshotThat's what friends are for

Here is another familiar set of circumstances: Remember way back before the addition of the awesome you-can-trade-with-anyone-in-your-party-for-10-minutes feature? How many times did you click "roll" instead of "pass" when an item appeared that was needed by someone in the group? I admit that when battle was raging strong in an instance, there were occasions when I clicked first and looked later. It was either that or let people die! Usually there's no harm done because my rolls are abysmal and I rarely win. In this particular instance, death was not an imminent threat, but loss of AP sure was. We were rushing to open and loot all of the chests before they disappeared and an item two of us could wear appeared. I rolled and won, only to find that same item was buried deep in my cube! Quietly, I sent in a petition asking if CS could please restore the item to the other party member as I had mistakenly rolled on it. With another admonition to be more careful -- this time when rolling -- customer service came through yet again and plucked the item out of my inventory and placed it into his.

This next experience was not mine personally but rather a very close friend's. What could be worse than deleting a valuable item? How about accidentally disenchanting a +10 PvP chest piece? While just quickly checking out how a piece of looted plate armor looked by trying it on, he apparently neglected to take it back off and then continued dealing with the loot from the latest run. At some point in the days following, he logged in and went to put on his PvP set only to find that the chest piece was missing. In its place was the looted one. Realizing what he had done, my friend was (understandably) upset. Never mind the fact of getting low stones out of the disenchant, with the AP grind necessary for getting equipment -- the loss of a piece is beyond painful. I encouraged him to submit a petition even without the screenshot as proof because Aion has detailed logs on everything. I am pleased to report that the story had a happy ending -- his piece was restored!

Aion screenshotTotal devastation

I am immensely grateful that this next situation also did not occur to me personally because I might have just quit outright. One day while dueling a friend, he went offline literally mid-sentence. When he logged back in, he wouldn't answer me and quickly went to his alts. Following (since I knew the alts), I watched as someone disenchanted and sold everything he owned on all of his toons or passed it off to an accomplice. I felt so helpless as my friend raged in IMs with me; taking screenshots was all I could do. Although it took a number of days, all of the items were eventually restored. Unfortunately, expensive skins or dyes on the gear weren't, but compared to losing everything, that seemed a small price to pay. The good news is that thanks to the PIN security feature NCsoft implemented last December, incidences of losing accounts in this manner have decreased exponentially.

And the winner is...

You.

The moral of the tale is that even if you do something totally stupid, the wonderfully nice people in customer service might be able to right the wrong. I know I do not have a corner on the stupid things market, so chances are other Daevas could benefit from submitting a petition when the need arises. And even if things may take a few days (I can't imaging scrolling back through logs to find something if you haven't given them an exact time to check is the fastest of things), CS does respond. I have been impressed by the courtesy of the customer service representatives and their willing to assist. And did I mention grateful for my plats?

So here is a thank-you to all those who work in the mostly uber-thankless job of customer service! You made my gaming experience better. Gracias! Danke! And ank-you-thay! If anyone else has had any positive and helpful experiences, please join with me by adding your story to the comments below. (Any amusing stories from the customer service reps would also be greatly welcomed!)

Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to mj@massively.com.
This article was originally published on Massively.