A few weeks ago I created a SWTOR account, planning to take advantage of the free weekend. But then Mass Effect 3 came out and I played that instead. I didn’t even realize that I’d missed the free weekend until Mass Effect 3 was over. I think it was Tuesday when I finally noticed the SWTOR icon on my desktop.
So then another free weekend came along and I tried to get in. But it wouldn’t let me, because the free weekend was for “new accounts only”. I complained in Twitter, and the TOR twitter minder told me to email support and they would fix me right up.
I sent an email explaining the problem: I have never logged in. I never used the free weekend promotion. I want to try the game, but the free weekend is only for “new” accounts. I was detailed and specific. Two days later (after the free weekend ended) they sent me a reply that just moronically repeated back exactly what I told them. “The free weekend is for new accounts only.” Thank you. You have correctly identified the stupid policy I was asking you to fix / reconsider / adjust. (More sensible policy: One free weekend per account.)
I had someone try the invite-a-friend program on me. Same result. You can’t get into the game unless the account is “new”. (New? Like, what? In days? They don’t tell you.)
I suppose I could create another new account. I’m not crazy about this idea. Making a new account is a massive pain in the ass. I’m talking about filing-your-taxes level of hassle, here. They make you set up multiple secret questions, and were very, very picky about what my password needed to look like, so much so that I was forced to break from my password-generating system. (They INSIST you use a special character.) Worse, my now-useless SWTOR account is inextricably linked to my EA / Origin account. So, if I created a new account for the free weekend I would never be able to join that with my existing EA account. I’d have to go through registration again, using a different email, and then maintain a different set of credentials just for SWTOR, and why am I even contemplating this?
While I’m annoyed at having my time wasted (downloading the client takes a LONG time, on top of the account-creation paperwork, plus the time wasted trying to idiot-proof my support email) I’m more mad at the sheer single-minded stupidity of the company. On one hand, they are running advertisements and sending out mass emails. Free weekend for new players! Free weekend for existing players! Account extensions! Invite-a-friend! They’re begging people to come play this thing. But then I show up with a very minor problem and nobody can do anything about it.
Isn’t this supposed to be a promotion? Like, to attract new people to the game? I do not feel very attracted by this point. I feel like BioWare owes me for the time I wasted jumping through their hoops.
So that’s exciting.
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
Why The Christmas Shopping Season is Worse Every Year
Everyone hates Black Friday sales. Even retailers! So why does it exist?
Charging More for a Worse Product
No, game prices don't "need" to go up. That's not how supply and demand works. Instead, the publishers need to be smarter about where they spend their money.
How to Forum
Dear people of the internet: Please stop doing these horrible idiotic things when you talk to each other.