I had a little problem with Facebook which made me aware of something the MMO community should think about. I was in Nightclub City and was buying new items. I mis-clicked and accidentally purchased an item with Facebook credits, instead of game currency. So I protested and have not received any response to two requests for help. Looks like, I’m out of luck, and I’m stuck with the item.
One problem with a lot of facebook’s games is the sense I get that gameplay is partly built around getting you to misclick – one wrong move and they get paid. That’s not the case with Nightclub City, but I still should get refunded for mistaken clicks.
So I’ve blown 22 facebook credits on a piece of junk. Sucker ! If you don’t like it, don’t continue to play. Well, I like the game a little bit more than I’m annoyed so I’m going to continue to play. Then it occurs to me – perhaps they’ve refunded me my credits but never bothered to communicate with me. So I clicked around and tried to find an account page for my facebook credits.
To my complete surprise, there isn’t one. You can view your credit balance. There’s a page for “recent purchases”, but they are describing exchanging dollars for credits, not credits for game goods. All you get to see is your credit balance. I have 38 of them, but I am not sure how I got to that number. I don’t think I got refunded, but that’s it.
Seems that I had better have some offline method to track this stuff. If that isn’t laughable I don’t know what is, what with Facebook now offering to remember my entire life beginning at birth if I’ll just put the information in there. It’s called Timeline, and it’s going live soon for all facebookers.
Spurred by this annoying discovery, I next check in on the MMO space. Same thing goes for EQ2 – I get my Station Cash balance displayed prominently, and a very thorough accounting of all my dollars paid to SOE. No list of how I got to that Station Cash balance though.
Easy to read, and to buy, at least.
Next stop is Cryptic / Perfect World, where I run into the problem of being unable to log in to their website via Chrome. The big blue “Login” button doesn’t do anything, no new webpage loads, even though the button press animation plays. But it works in Explorer. And again – no hint of how I got to this virtual currency balance.
That’s kind of funny. Apparently my Cryptics are not shared within my account. Either that, or I need to contact their support.
And don’t be surprised – same thing for World of Tanks.
Does any game company actually do this ? You spent $10 for 25 widgets on 1/1/12. You spent 5 widgets for a game item on 1/5/12. You spent 5 widgets for a game item on 1/27/12. Et cetera.
Why on earth is this important ? As I find myself in the new world of doing business with many game companies, I simply forget how much virtual currency I am supposed to have. It’s not much of a problem remembering one game’s currency, but many is a different story. I could get hacked or griefed and not know it; there could be some problem with the company’s records and I wouldn’t know it either. I really need some kind of statement showing what’s happened with them. Since it’s not there looks like I need to make a new spreadsheet and track it, but I shouldn’t have to do that.
This is real money we’re talking about here, not game currency like platinum. It needs to have more robust tracking.