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Created by: Greybox
Game Site: Dreadnought
ESRB Rating: n/a
Support: Support Website
Phone: 1-844-GREYBOX (1-844-473-9269)
(Hours: 7 days a week from from 9AM-7PM CST)
Terms of Service: Dreadnought ToS
Hellcat5 Connect: Official Forums
I wasn’t going to write this. I had expressed my opinion about the gameplay on the official forums, and hadn’t a second thought about it. Removed the game, and that was that. But then, I read an e-mail saying “You have been banned from the forums by a forum administrator.”. The e-mail had only the subject, nothing more. Since I did nothing other than express my thoughts about a major gameplay flaw in Dreadnought, that’s the only reason I’m aware of for the ban. (I think this is the thread that got me banned? – my post removed of course.)
I did not use profanity. I expressed my frustration about spending probably around 16 to 20 or so hours to get to my first tier 3 ship, only to find out I can’t play my tier 3 ship in the free recruit matches, yet I’ve faced tier 4 and 3 ships in recruit matches myself. So, because of the developer asshatery, I’m writing this as a warning to those who consider investing time into this game.
The videos for gameplay look great. They grab attention, and stir imagination if you have any interest in space battle. I thought the idea of a 8v8 ship battle (and more in some gameplay modes with pvpve (player vs. player vs. environment). I ran into some small glitches (to be expected in best testing). I tried this game about a year or so ago (a friend of mine gave me a key to test it out.) And after playing till about level 15 before, I stopped because the progression would be wiped since it’s in testing. I decided to check it out again and got a notice that they weren’t doing another reset. Since I would keep all my progress, I decided to give it another go.
After getting into play for a few rounds, my team won. I saw the victory screen and was very happy because I was saving up for a ship I wanted to get. After leaving the victory screen, I came back to the hanger, and found that I didn’t get the xp or credits (graphically shown as a silver bar) due. I tried to buy an upgrade, but when I tried all the buttons became unclickable. Sure, it’s in beta. To be expected. I closed the game, and tried to login again to see if that fixed the issue, but at this point the game didn’t seem to find a connection to the server. The login progress wheel kept spinning, with no result.
I rebooted my computer, and tried again. I got logged in then bought the ship upgrade I wanted. I clicked to begin searching for a match, but found only “Matchmaking: Matchmaking Error!” I tried this repeatedly. I became frustrated, then searched the forums and checked the server status thread. Nothing about the “Matchmaking: Matchmaking Error!” message. I sent in a support ticket and posted on the forums asking if others experienced this issue.
I didn’t get a response from support until 5 hours later. The message stated that they restarted the matchmaking service, and that I should be able to login again.
I created a message on the forums asking if others experienced the issue, which they had. (Thread with my original post deleted) I opened the game client then played a few rounds, and then it happened again. Victory! But, didn’t get credit for the match. No xp, no credits. Tried to buy a ship. Couldn’t click any of the buttons. I closed the client, then re-opened my ticket. A few hours later, I tried to get back in, and was able. I played quite a few rounds, and finally got to where I could unlock and purchase my first tier 3 ship! I was so excited!
Then, my stomach fell. I felt disgust. I felt like I wasted 16-20 hours of my life. I couldn’t use the tier 3 corvette I just bought in recruit matches, yet I’ve fought many tier 3 and 4 ships in recruit matches. I was livid. My gameplay progression was completely void. The time I spent was void. How could this be?
How was it that people were in ships from tier 3+ and I couldn’t add mine to my 5 spot fleet for recruit matches? I couldn’t play Veteran matches because with Veteran you have to spend credits as a maintenance after the match to play again. Since I had played Veteran before and didn’t pay to reopen veteran matches, Veteran mode was locked, and I couldn’t use the ship I worked so hard to obtain. This attainment became nothing. All that time, wasted. I commented to the support ticket that this issue destroys player interest. It destroyed my interest. I commented on the forums, politely (TOPIC: Game just broke my interest in playing, can’t play tier 3 ship in recruit, and veteran is locked), then uninstalled the game, disgusted that I wasted my time thinking my end goal was going to be worthwhile. (NOTE: don’t worry, if they decide to delete the entire thread, I’ve screen shot it all)
Someone on the thread (my thread here) commented,
“Guys, calm down. The game is still in closed beta, we’re here for testing. Dreadnought is suffering under massive server issues, they’re doing everything to fix this. They want to make a fun game, but problems occour always.”
To which another replied,
“Can we not gripe and bicker about people being ungrateful? I think we all agree that the game is quite good (I, personally, love it), especially for a closed beta, but the fact is many of us have been completely unable to play for several hours and little to nothing has been said by the devs to address that. The last dev post about server condition I can find is from two days ago saying there are minor server crashes lasting “10-15 minutes”. Five hours is NOT 10-15 minutes.
We get that we sound angry. We are. We also get that the game is still closed beta and so issues are just part of the package. But you getting on here and telling us to shut up about a MAJOR ISSUE isn’t helping anyone. Now, if someone comes on and starts cussing the devs out and being a total assbucket, THEN you can call them out. We, here on this forum, are being pretty reasonable and just want some kind of explanation as to what’s going on and, if possible, an ETA on when the game will be playable.”
Sure, it’s beta testing. That doesn’t bypass that Greybox gives no statement regarding support hours, or what to expect when attempting to contact support or community managers. Because this information doesn’t exist, one might expect that support exists 24/7. If you have a game that runs 24/7, support should be 24/7 also, just like production time to give experience to the team that will support the game once it’s live. They stated publically that the final reset was in preparation for open beta – Final Account Reset. I would think that a game development company would want to have a high rate of player interaction to get feedback regarding the gameplay and make on-the-fly adjustments and improvements. A game is nothing without players.
As I write this, I just found a post on Dreadnought’s Official forums that talks about how people are using a glitch to play tier 3+ ships in recruit matches. USING YOUR VETERAN / LEGENDARY SHIPS IN RECRUIT MATCHES I got banned for expressing my frustration regarding a lack of information about what tier ships you can use in the different match tiers. I got banned because other cheating players used a glitch which brought me to think I could use any tier ship in Recruit matches, thereby wasting my time playing because my goal was to have a ship to go up against these tier 3 and 4 ships I was facing.
UPDATE (Jan 23rd, 2017 AT 15:56):
After waking up, then getting some coffee, I opened my e-mails. I found a response from support saying the following:
Our team is hard at work investigating the recent server problems that are the likely cause of your matchmaking and match reward issues. I have updated the bugs for these issues and hopefully we will have a resolution shortly. Once we do, we’ll make sure to reach back out to you to let you know.
As for the forums, I assure you that we believe any and all feedback received is important. Our Development and Community Teams regularly check the forums for feedback and it has already had effects on the way the game is played.
I’ve double checked your account and there was never a record given of someone banning you from the forums. We have had some issues where our system flags a thread as spam and causes associated accounts to get automatically banned. This may have been the cause in your case.
In order to gather more information on the issue and to see about getting your permissions returned, please feel free to contact our Community Team directly at email@example.com. They will then be able to review your posts and either provide a reason for the ban or reinstate your account.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions or issues.
Grey Box Support
I didn’t expect a response from the support team. However, Patrick gave a rather long response denoting that the ban could be from the automated anti-spam system. (Would the automated system remove/hide my original post?) I forwarded the message to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m certainly curious how this will play out.
UPDATE (Jan 24th, 2017 AT 18:29):
I checked my e-mail after waking, and I found this:
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 23:19:14 -0000
Subject: Failure Notice
Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.
Mail server for “playdreadnought.com” unreachable for too long :
— Below this line is a copy of the message.
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:16:24 +0000 (UTC)
From: Richard Miller
Reply-To: Richard Miller
Subject: Fw: [Grey Box] Re: Matchmaking: matchmaking Error!
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
To Whom It May Concern,
According to Patrick, my forum ban might have been automated? =C2=A0Please =
read the below and get back to me.
Seems there’s a problem with their mail servers too. I forwarded it on to the support team. Stay tuned.
UPDATE (Jan 25th, 2017 AT 12:26):
Just checked my e-mail a short time ago (it’s 2:29pm) and found a response dated for day at 12;26pm –
Hmm… I’ve checked with our Community Team and they have informed me that their was a temporary issue with incoming messages which should no longer be occurring. As for your forum status, they believe that you were automatically banned by the system after the thread was marked as Spam. In order to assist you, we have unbanned the account. Follow this link to give it a shot!
For now, I am going to put your ticket back on-hold while we wait for some news regarding your not receiving credit or xp after a match. We will make sure to reach back out to you as soon as we do!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any additional issues or questions.
Grey Box Support
I tested, and I can now access my forums account again. However, the posts I made are gone. Looks like, from Patrick’s response, their forums anti-spam system ate my posts like the game sometimes ate my endgame credits and xp. I sent two more messages through to Patrick:
Later on, he responded with this:
I checked, and all the posts that disappeared earlier seem to be restored.
UPDATE (Jan 25th, 2017 AT 17:34 approx):
Based on the communication I’ve had previously with support and email@example.com, I didn’t expect this message from Draex:
(To Which I Replied)
Sent a message a few moments ago, in which I stated, essentially, that I wasn’t sure which message you removed, which violated the ToS. I’ve since read over the “https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/404/” Official Forum Rules and Guidelines”. I take issue with a few parts of it. First, I live in Ohio, USA. I have the right to share my experience publically, in any forum necessary to express myself to my audience. I’m not sure if you’ve read my article, posted on my gaming site – http://hellcat5.com I intend to inform people about my real experinces with game companies, according to my rights of communication. Your company cannot remove my rights to this expression, through my website.
If your company doesn’t want me to post links to my site / articles on this forum because I might express something with facts (screenshots from the support website etc. show facts) that your company believes controversial or damaging, it’s in your control. It’s your forums of course. I will directly state that I will share my experiences with the communities I’m a part of with facts.
This could be bad, or, it could be good. I’ve seen, after writing my initial posting of the article that some players were saying that the company wasn’t interacting with the community enough. My article seems to contribute to restoring the impression that 1. support responds to the players and 2. Support is relatively responsive (within 24 hours) and through showing screenshots of the responses from support, that the Devs are listening too.
It’s in the hands of the company policy makers if they want to turn this situation into something positive, or go down the road where the automated anti-spam system took me. As I mentioned, in my article, “I wasn’t going to write this…”
As I mentioned, I’m not sure what message I wrote that you removed for violating the TOS. Please let me know which one.
From what I’ve seen from support, they’ve got nothing to hide. I can’t recall once where the response time was more than 12 hours. I operate more on third shift so I’m not always awake during first shift standard time (8am to 5pm EST) to receive their responses. You can find a link to the Official Forum Rules and Guidelines below in the Community Resources section.
Forum Ban Images:
Support Interaction Images: