14
May
08

Got my Pauldrons – thanks GM

I wonder what goes into being a GM?

Last Friday I won the Pauldrons of the Fallen Champion from High King Maulgar.  Unfortunately, our loot got bugged.  We thought it was because the master looter had died and released, but that turned out not to be the case.

So our whole raid opened tickets explaining that three people had been unable to get their loot.  We heard from a GM a few hours later, and the ticket was “escalated” the following day.  I received an email telling me that it might take a few days.

Last night at about 7 PM I got the Pauldrons in the mail.  That’s my first piece of T4, and my first piece of raid Tier gear ever (not counting dungeon set items).  I’m not going to wear it until I get a second piece for the 2-piece SnD bonus, but its still a big personal accomplishment.

What went on during those four days between opening a ticket and getting the loot?  Obviously, the GMs have to work through a backlog of similar cases.  But what do they do?  Someone suggested that they go through game logs to see what happened, but I seriously doubt that is the case.  Maybe they have a player history so they can check and see if I have made similar requests before.

It turns out that the loot problem was caused by an add-on.  Odd that it would suddenly bug like that, and not on a patch day.

Unfortunately, we had the same problem the next day in Karazhan.  We had the same master looter with the same add-on (this was before we figured out the problem) and I was unable to loot my Steelhawk Crossbow from Attumen.  Now if I open another ticket I’m sure I will look like a liar or a cheat, having asked for items twice in one week, so I haven’t done so.  I can live without the crossbow, I guess.

P.S. – Hey Valenna, I finally got the Drape of the Dark Reavers

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10 Responses to “Got my Pauldrons – thanks GM”


  1. 1 Rishkkin
    May 14, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Which add-on was the culprit ?

  2. May 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    >.< I still don’t have the Drape of the Dark Reavers. I’ve pretty much given up. Maybe I’ll just wait for the Shadowmoon Destroyer’s Drape? ^_^

  3. 3 Rochmoninoff
    May 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Dinar,
    the GMs do go through logs. That’s how they can tell if someone’s trying to exploit the help system. This has been verified more than once in articles posted on WOW Insider.

    A couple days ago a GM restored my Ring of Ascension (tossed out during a bank cleaning holiday – who knew it was the UBRS key?). This also required escalation and a 1-week wait.

    You shouldn’t have hesitated to open another ticket – they can (and will) verify you’re telling the truth.
    You also should get a new master looter!

  4. May 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    My question is, what are “the logs” that they go through? I am interested just for the sake of curiosity.

    On any given day there are hundreds of thousands of people logged in worldwide. What kind of “logs” can they possibly keep? Either they are keeping detailed records of all game occurrences, or they are keeping very little in the way of records.

    If the former, then their data storage would be ridiculously, inconceivably big, and growing exponentially. Do they only keep logs in raids? Only boss drops? What if an epic dagger world drops off of a bird in Nagrand? Do they have a log of that too? If that much information were stored for the entire player base, it would be a tremendous task to find anything from it. That’s why I tended to believe the latter – that their logs, if any, are skimpy and they work on more of an honor system when restoring loot.

    On the other hand, in my email about my open ticket they did request the approximate date and time of the problem. That implies that they might be looking at game logs (or at least making me think that they are).

    I don’t recall seeing on WoWInsider anything from a reliable source about game logs, but I could be wrong. I can’t search that site from work. I am curious, though.

  5. May 14, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    @Valenna: Cloak of Fiends (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=33590) is close to SDD and about a hundred times easier to get!

    @Dinaer: Grats! 2pc t4 is fun, hopefully you’re able to pick up the gloves or head soon enough. As for the crossbow, you’re probably better off running mgt for Distracting Blades (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=34603) anyway :)

  6. 6 Noktaris
    May 14, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Just browse around the Customer Service forum for a few moments if you require further verification regarding the in-game logs and records that are kept, and just how extensive they are.

    Blizzard can tell you what gold, equipment, and other resources your character had on you at any given time, what location in what zone he or she was in, in addition to exactly what you said and whom you said it to in any given chat channel at any time. Blizzard logs -every- transaction that occurs on their servers, as is within their rights.

    Also, fyi, Warden — the built-in scanner on the Launcer — can check other processes currently running on your computer, as outlined in the EULA. .

    No offense, but I find it hard to believe that someone could be so naive as to think that such a massive company would go by an “honor system” when it comes to dishing out customer appeasements such as restorations.

  7. May 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    @Noktaris – I’m not naive. I’m practical. It costs Blizzard nothing to give items, as they are, of course, only pixels. And I know people who have had items restored to them in a matter of hours or less, so there could not possibly have been any extensive log-searching in those cases. Its exactly because Blizzard IS so massive that they could afford to be cavalier about these things, if they wanted to, to build good customer relations. It would be easy enough to keep track of individual customer interactions and make sure that no one person/account/guild was abusing the system.

    Also, I have heard of people who had their account hacked, and when it was eventually restored they got their gear, but not their gold, or their gear without gems or enchants, etc… If Blizzard has such detailed logs, then why only give partial item restorations?

    But, OK, I’ll accept that they have extensive game logs. I’m still curious, just from a data analysis/storage point of view, how they store and sort such a huge amount of data.

  8. May 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    @Chronic – Heroic MgT… ugh.

  9. 9 Noktaris
    May 15, 2008 at 12:17 am

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=5784521764&sid=1&pageNo=1

    This is a relatively entertaining thread where a player came up with a thought-to-be clever attempt to scam his way to free epic riding. I recommend taking a look at post 15. However, as the juicy stuff doesn’t occur until two-thirds of the way through the blue’s response, you may wish to just refer to this sampled text, per Auryk of the Customer Service forum:

    I have a feeling, however, that in this specific case would not have done much good, if any at all. The reason I say this is because upon doing a few searches of my own, I see that at 2/11/08 at approximately 20:48:45(GMT) you zone into the Outlands with 149 gold 98 silver and 42 copper. I see that at 21:38:05(GMT) you purchase your Red Riding Nether Ray (which at Exalted with Sha’tari Skyguard costs 160 gold). Following that, you log out with about 14g99s42c, congratulations on your Primal Waters selling. :0)

    A search within a few days of this purchase shows that at no time did you have the 5000(ish) gold that is required for purchasing the riding skill itself.

    I also find it a bit confusing when you mention on 03/01/2008 between 20:12:20 and 20:12:51 that you, “cant wait for the faster mount” because you “just need the skill [cause you] already have Red Riding Nether Ray”

    As to your question regarding character restorations and partial gold recovery, I’m not sure why you’d be asking me that; I don’t work for Blizzard, let alone the restorations team.

    Lastly, it’s not surprising that Blizzard does in fact retain data; they already preserve “hundreds of thousands” of accounts worth of characters and information. It’s no large stretch of the imagination to wager that they do the same with in-game transactions.

    Not only is Warcraft not the first mmo to do this — see EverQuest — but numerous other companies have the same practices as well. Just as an example, retailers retain company-wide transaction data and sales metrics for individual stores, districts, and regions, typically for years, that can be accessed through electronic journals.

  10. May 15, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I wasn’t actually asking you to answer about account restorations. It was a rhetorical question. :)

    And while it is not surprising that they would keep data, the amount of data that is being described is far, far, far more than any bank or business would have to track. That’s what blows me away.

    Let me play with some made up numbers here…

    A hypothetical bank has a million customers – its a huge financial entity, most businesses don’t have a million customers. If each of its customers has a credit card and a bank account, a typical number of transactions to track might be 50-100 per month. So the bank has to track somewhere between 50,000,000-100,000,000 transactions per month. That sounds like a lot.

    Blizzard has ten million subscribers, but lets look at only the four million or so in the United States. If the average subscriber plays even only 10 hours a week, thats 40,000,000 hours of game time per week or about 120,000,000 hours of game data per month. Based on the transaction described by the GM in your post, it seems that they record every time you go to a new zone, make a transaction, etc.. For me, that would certainly add up to 20-30 “events” in an hour to be recorded, and likely more. If that conservative rate can be applied as an approximation to all gamers, that’s 3,600,000,000 events per hour or 108,000,000,000 events per month that need to be recorded. For comparison, that’s over a thousand times more than the hypothetical huge bank I used as an example above.

    I would imagine that would take many Terabytes of storage to keep up with, even considering that they might purge these records often.

    These are all guesswork numbers, but I’m just using them to make a point. There are NOT a lot of businesses that store data on that scale. The phone company does, I suppose. Governments, possibly. But it seems so me that its more trouble than its worth for a game company to try and keep up with that volume of data.

    I’m not doubting that it exists. I am just surprised.


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