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Blizzard Customer Support live Q&A recap

Blizzard Customer Support Live Q&A
Yesterday, between 5pm and 6pm Pacific, Blizzard's Customer Support Team took part in a live Q&A, using some new software to answer players' questions in real time. In attendance were CS Forum Representative Vrakthris, WoW Game Support Manager Marcus Maczynski, SC2 Game Support Manager Angelo Concepcion, D3 Game Support Manager Andreas Unger, Senior CS Information Specialist Charles Areson, and CS Social Media Manager Antonio Achucarro.

With players asking the questions, there was fairly high traffic for the team to deal with, Zarhym told us they received over 1,500 questions in under an hour! Not all of them could be answered, but we've been busy pulling out the key questions and responses for your delectation.

Comment From legracen
Are there any plans to update/change the in-game ticketing system for World of Warcraft so that the wait times for tickets can be reduced?

Marcus Maczynski: Hello Legracen! We're constantly evaluating how we receive CS requests from players. Right-Click-to-Report and self-service options (such as Item Restoration) are both examples of this building in this efficiency. Updating the in-game interface to prompt players for exactly the information we need to service their requests is definitely something we want to do.


Comment From Alex
How large is the Support team for WoW? About how many new tickets do you receive on an average day?

Charles Areson: Blizzard Customer support consists of hundreds of employees, and we take thousands of calls and tickets every day. Our support volume can fluctuate based on things like recent game launches and major patches, so we adjust our daily schedules and priorities (and our support channels) to account for that.


Comment From SwiftySOMD
I would like to know exactly how the Report feature works. When used, it seems to put the offending player on an ignore period of about 24 hours, yet nothing seems to happen to the individual offenders. Personally I have reported one individual on my server multiple times for multiple violations, only to see that person back at it within a day or two's time. It simply seems the feature is merely a placebo effect meant only to give players the feeling that they are actively particpating in policing their realms. So in short, please expand on this feature, how it works, and secondly, how do the GM staff feel about ToS violations and how seriously do they take the issue?

Marcus Maczynski: Hey Swifty! I'm glad you asked.

The Right-Click-Reporting features are *crucial* to us. There is a temporary "squelch" that it does to try and prevent in-game situations from escalating further, but it also does more than that. It provides us with all of the information we need to investigate these reports.

One of the reasons you might see someone continue to ...be less than great chat-wise... is that some of our initial suspension times are pretty short. This is something that we're in the process of changing, as we certainly want the focus to be on game-play, rather than dealing with another player's language.

We don't like ToS violations, and take them very seriously, which is why we're working on improving our penalty system. Please, if you see language that is ruining your fun, let us know. We don't want those folks to continue to ruin your experience. ;)

Comment From slowjoe
Hi CS people. When you respond to tickets via in-game chat are you chatting one-to-one, or handling multiple cases at once?

Marcus Maczynski: Hey Slowjoe! It depends largely on how complex the issue is, and how interactive the conversation needs to be. For example, if you're in the middle of a boss fight, a GM may elect to take on another conversation while waiting for you to return.

If the situation isn't a familiar one, they're probably going to be focused entirely on you for that conversation.

Comment From Shadowbathed
How do you prioritize tickets? And do you try and catch people online? I find that to be the best method of contacting CS and getting the best service.

Charles Areson: Hi Shadowbathed--

For the most part, we'll answer tickets in the order they're received. If we have a large pool of tickets about a single widespread issue (such as a bug), we'll send a response to all of the affected players at once. Contrary to rumor, putting certain words into a ticket isn't going to get it ahead in line.

Comment From Hunty
How is the current botting issues in WoW being addressed? As we all know they are more than rampant and annoying..

Vrakthris: We address botting or exploitation in a number of ways. We actively investigate reports that are generated by the right click report feature used by players in game. That information helps us take action individually as well as improve our detection systems. These investigations take a great deal of time as our goal is to maximize the benefits with them.

Recently, the /afk report feature for the Battleground system has been revamped and should help address much of what has been seen in BG's of late.

Comment From Barolas
How happy is Blizzard with the queue times right now? Are there plans to make getting support even faster?


Marcus Maczynski: I can't say I'm thrilled about them, but they're better than they've been recently. My job is largely centered around trying to ensure we're enacting support strategies that will bring those queue times down. I'm working on it!

Comment From Guest
How often do you guys get stumped and have to ask for help or look something up?


Vrakthris: The game is fairly vast and while most of us are active players, we aren't necessarily versed in all aspects of the game. Since we are all gamers ourselves, if one person doesn't know another might. We also have a lot of resources that our In-Game Support staff has access to.


Comment From Leslie Ann Miller
Sometimes, I receive a response for a ticket without ever speaking to someone. How do you decide which issues need to be handled personally, and which ones can be given a quick response?

Charles Areson: Great question Leslie. We love talking to players online, and know that you guys generally prefer it that way. We've got a lot of tickets to reach, however, so we tend to reserve live chat for those cases when it's essential to resolving the issue, and when we catch the player online. Otherwise, we write back to the player with the answer/instructions that we believe will best help them.

Comment From Shakezy
What is the purpose of GM responding in game tickest with RP personas? Do they make up their own RP introductions and farewells? Or are they pre-set?

Marcus Maczynski: Greetings Shakezy! I was flying overhead when I heard you had a question about RP personas! I hope you are finding yourself well this day!

This was actually something that happened kind of organically over time. When I first started in CS (back in the before times) this was something that was rare. We found that many players seemed to like it, and it let us have some fun. There is nothing mandating it, so when you see it, it's just something that GM decided they wanted to do, and they probably made it personally. :)

Comment From James Phillips
Are GMs specifically assigned to a realm or do they respond to a mass list of tickets spread across all realms?

Charles Areson: Hey James--

GMs aren't assigned to specific realms; they draw tickets from a single pool that includes all realms.

Comment From Moosie
When dealing with a hacker complaint, how long does it take to analyze and process the complaint? I feel there is a lot of mystery surrounding this subject.

Angelo Concepcion: Hey Moosie. =) This really depends on a many factors. We want to make sure we investigate each case properly to make sure we are actually punishing those that deserve it and not just everyone that gets reported. It takes time to make that determination correctly and we try to work through those cases as quick as possible. We do appreciate the reports we receive from everyone, it definitely helps us try to keep our playing environment as clean of hackers as possible.

Comment From Letherchereo
What's the most memorable (funny, weird, entertaining) ticket you've ever handled?

Marcus Maczynski: Letherchereo, fantastic question.

I once had to troubleshoot someone's jelly donuts for having too much jam in them. If you're out there, "Hi!".

Comment From Nensec
To get this issue out of the way once and for all with a true 'blizz answer'; If a player forms a raid and sets masterloot, says nothing at all the whole raid about any loot rules. Is that player then entitled to do as he wishes with the loot that drops? Often you see the issue of being called a ninja for example.

Marcus Maczynski: Great question, Nensec:

People generally assume that when they join a PUG, they're going to have a fair shot at loot. Not stating any loot rules, and just planning on doing whatever you want with it doesn't exactly feel honest, and is largely against the expectations of the raid. I mean, you're basically tricking people into running that instance.

So, generally, we will evaluate those situations carefully, and take action accordingly. We typically will not re-distribute any removed loot though, since we do feel there are other looting options that could be used to avoid the situation.

It's a tough problem to meet everyone's expectations on, and another reason why we employ humans to make judgement calls.

Comment From Slugman
What do you think makes WoW so popular?

Antonio Achucarro: Well, you, the players! It's the communities you build, the experiences you have together.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

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