Lost Ark has a Customer Support Problem

Customer support is the Satan’s asshole of white collar jobs, along with any job prefixed or suffixed by “Quality Assurance.” I want to lead with this statement because I want to make it clear who I’m pissed at when I write this, in case some bigwig at Amazon reads this.

Lets be clear Mr. or Ms. Imaginary Bigwig: the problem is not your customer support “team members” or their leadership. Your customer support does not need additional morale support, or to all be fired and replaced. What they need is something that only you, upper management, can give them, and that is tools to actually be able to do their fucking job.

And I am pissed at you, the upper management, for not fucking doing that.

Let’s back up for a moment. I’ve been playing a shit ton of Lost Ark recently, and one incredibly frustrating thing that I’ve encountered at least twice is the game mishandling instance clears and loot rewards. There are multiple things in the game that use an MMO reward system, where you can only clear them once a day/week. And if you crash after clearing one of these events, but BEFORE getting the loot, you’re just straight up locked out, because you already racked up a clear.

And if you try to contact Lost Ark support, be it via Amazon’s own customer support service, or via a forum ticket, you will be told albeit in a slightly more polite tone, to pound sand.

The thing about customer support, and the Customer Support Representatives who have honor of serving as a combination punching bag and mouthpiece for whatever cosmic horror corporation they work for in exchange for a barely living wage, is that they don’t have much ability to help you outside of the prescribed boundaries that have been set for them.

Ed Note: this is also why you shouldn’t be a dick to CSR’s. They have nothing to do with whatever inane policy has you frothing at the mouth when you try to contact them. Being polite and patient with someone is far more likely to result in them trying to see what tools they have at their disposal to assist you. Being a dick means they’ll feel no guilt about maliciously complying down the path of least resistance, which is canned emails and deflecting responses.

Thing is though, right now it seems like Lost Ark customer support doesn’t have any tools whatsoever. It should not be difficult for a gamemaster to look at a player’s gameplay logs from less than 24 hours ago, check the state of an event, and then check if loot was acquired. If it wasn’t, run a script that grants the appropriate loot for said event.

Ed Note 2: Okay, so maybe actual RNG drops and stuff would be a bit much to ask T1 support to generate, but I’m talking specifically here about an event that gives out ONLY event specific currency, and the exact amount of it each time. Adding 200 Winter Coins to a player’s inventory IS something your support team should be able to do.

Being told “We’re sorry the game broke” is frustrating in most games. Maybe I’d tolerate in a fresh release MMO, but this isn’t a brand new game. It’s a four year old game that Amazon imported to publish and localize. It’s also a game where progression to new content in the late game is heavily time gated behind limited run content. It should be obvious that things like this would occur, and they should have had a plan in place to resolve them.

Running a live-service game is more than just (poorly) localizing game text, hiring a few voice actors, spinning up an AWS instance and raking in the money. They need customer support teams, and gamemasters that can take action to address problems. They need to empower those folks to be able to address problems.

Amazon as a company has a reputation for stellar customer service with their online shopping, and it’s surprising to see that they do not seem to value it in their games division.

Or maybe not all that surprising. I mean, of their games, we’ve had one cancelled, one released then unreleased, and then a MMO that lost most of its player base over duping bugs and and economy that was mostly currency sink. We’ll see if Lost Ark has staying power, or if Amazon Games just sucks at making and managing games.