An obscure one, but I almost bought a Saturn in Japan so that I could play "Princess Crown", the precursor to Odin Sphere. I also want to play the last two Shadow Hearts games.
Anjon's forum posts
I did not tell people to exploit the glitch. Where did I ever say that? The glitch can't be exploited, because it's extremely random and impractical. It requires having your save corrupted during crucial gameplay milestones like beating Arcade Mode or unlocking items in Ghost Battle. To exploit it would mean somehow forcing your 360 to crash while the game is auto-saving these moments, which isn't even guaranteed to work and will most likely just give you corrupted data. Not special "oh look, DLC" corrupted data. Just plain ole "my game is jacked up" data. I repeat, I did not advise people to attempt to recreate this glitch. I merely tried to help people whom had already encountered it.
What am I leaving out? I explained how I thought the glitch worked. I explained how I don't think it can actually be exploited. There's literally no more information to share. I don't have any mods or hacks. I don't know what else you want me to say. What specifically do you want to know?
Regardless, this isn't a case of an innocent customer getting screwed over by a big bad corporation. Even if he didn't purposely get the DLC himself, he was more than willing to exploit the glitch and keep the content. He was willing to take in the benefits, so I think he would also be willing to accept the consequences. Whether the consequences should be a permanent ban I'm not sure (I'm still not entirely convinced this is something that just happened by accident) but the original poster isn't completely innocent in this matter.You're inferring a bunch of evil hackery where there is none. How was I willing to exploit the glitch? And how did I "take in the benefits"? If you're saying I didn't immediately erase my save and pretend it didn't happen, then you're right. Sorry, but I have a whole lot of hours put into that game, and I'm not going to get rid of it just because of a glitch. Also, I already said that I wasn't banned permanently. It's only for two weeks. In the time it would take to finally get this thing resolved, if even possible, the ban would already be lifted normally, and I'd feel really silly about the whole thing.
I should also mention that the DLC in question is actually free. I'm not saying that to justify anything, just to put it into perspective. A few people mentioned the idea of "stealing DLC", but Namco isn't actually selling this content for money. They're just....not releasing it immediately for some reason. It starts rolling out October 9th, which is why I thought it was strange that my ban was only for two weeks, because it ends the same week that the DLC starts releasing. I'm not going to infer any meaning from that, but it is pretty weird. To me, anyway.
I'm really interested in finding people who actually have been unbanned. I've searched through that forum and I haven't found anyone who've succeeded, and most of the people there are in far worse situations than I. There're countless posts from parents who've put literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars into their children's accounts which are permabanned. All of them believe their kids are innocent, and all of them feel that Microsoft essentially robbed them of huge sums of money, which feels pretty damn scary when you think about it. I would love to find one of the few success stories from people who fought Xbox Live bans and hear how they got them resolved.
Also, I don't mean to be cynical, but I don't think the enforcement staff cares a whole lot about innocence. For example, there's a stickied thread in the banned accounts forum that documents the general flow of fraud cases where accounts have been hacked and banned due to activity from the hacker and not the rightful gamertag owner. According to the sticky, it's unrealistic to expect them to unban your account just because you were a victim of hacking, for some reasons they don't fully explain. Sorry, but after all that's happened and all I've read, I'm not going to assume that these guys have the best intentions at heart. But hey, if they're willing to talk to me, they're welcome to prove me wrong.
My first post was asking why I was banned, to which they said "Cheating", which wasn't even what the original email said ("exploiting and abusing glitches"). They also deleted that post from the forum. The second post I made was "Can you give me more details on how I was cheating? Also, if you can't provide me with the information I need, please get me in touch with someone who can." To which their reply was a kind of ambiguous "This forum is strictly for asking why and the duration for a ban, not to debate validity. The suspension will stand as issued." They completely ignored the part where I asked to speak to someone higher up personally. I made a third post asking, specifically, to speak to someone higher up, preferably over the phone, which gave me another automated email blowing me off.
My attempts at getting someone on the phone haven't worked either, because, according to the reps, there simply isn't anyone at any of the call centers who can access information on bans and suspensions. Of the three reps I spoke to, they all gave me the same response, "The forum is the only way to contact the enforcement team". Also, in the forum guidelines, they mention that the enforcement team isn't under obligation to actually respond to any of the questions given to them. The whole thing looks kind of shady to me, but maybe I'm just bitter. There's no direct email for the enforcement staff, their call centers can't direct me to anyone, and they refuse to answer my requests via the forums.
The roadblocks in place seem pretty damn strong at Microsoft for this kind of thing. Also, before anyone mentions "threaten legal action", that happens to be one of their "Do this and get deleted" bulletpoints in the FAQ. Also I'm not made of lawyer money.
I did manage to find a workaround that would give me back the time I'm losing from the suspension, so that's great. Big thanks to some extremely helpful chaps for that. Also, I found out some interesting things about online passes and DLC, unless this is just another weird Namco/TTT2 thing. I have two accounts on my 360, and the online pass for TTT2 works for both of them. The preorder DLC works on both as well, which seems really weird. I distinctly remember people getting upset because online passes were strictly tied to accounts, so family members couldn't play online using their own accounts without purchasing a new pass. In any case, I've been getting my Tekken fix using my spare account and I didn't lose my preorder stuff, and I was still able to play online (didn't have to re-pass).
Overall, I think this is probably the best this situation could have gone given the circumstances. I get my time back, I'm still playing Tekken, and my suspension isn't really that long, though it's still possible that I'll be flagged for cheating again when I get back on. Somehow, I'm not too worried about that anymore since I've only got about two months of Gold left anyway, and no intention of buying more.
So yeah, I guess that's my update. Thanks again for all the advice guys. I really appreciate it, even though things didn't go over too well.
So it seems like my ban isn't permanent or actually even that long. If left alone, it lifts 10/13/12. That seems pretty lenient for the crime of potentially stealing an entire add-ons' worth of DLC. Also, that happens to be the same week that the DLC actually starts rolling out legit. So maybe Microsoft knows about the bug after all? I still haven't gotten a full response from the enforcers, and customer service basically said that the forum is the only avenue for this kind of problem.
Edit: Just had a strangely emotional conversation with a kindly Xbox Live customer service rep who basically told me that I was indeed unjustly banned from the service, and that there's nothing I can do about it. To make matters worse, the infraction I was flagged for was so ambiguous that even after my ban is lifted, I'll likely be re-banned until it becomes permanent. The forum to contact the enforcement team has refused to address my questions and said that there are no ways to get accounts unbanned. I'm not sure if that's true, but I'm all out of ideas. Until I can actually get in touch with someone who can help me, I guess I have no choice but to avoid Live and go back to PSN.
Okay, hold on, I think my tone is getting lost here. Let me bring it down to Earth for a bit. I'm not on any kind of crusade and I'm not going to threaten anyone with lawsuits if that's what you're thinking. I'm not going to try and take Microsoft to court or anything if they refuse to unban me. I'll just be really sad about it. I just think this whole situation is really uncool and I've heard a lot of bad stories about people never getting unbanned, so I wanted a little reassurance and advice. Yeah, I'm going to do as much as I can to get the ban lifted, but I not raging over it. Just disheartened. That being said, the advice you guys have been giving me has all been extremely helpful. Really appreciate it. I just don't want you guys to think I'm going to turn this into a Kotaku article or something.
Well, I actually love TTT2, despite its flaws on the 360. I didn't think this glitch would be a big deal. In fact, I feel kind of bad because I told others that they probably wouldn't get banned for it, since it wasn't something done illegally. On PSN, I was just under the impression that a game that didn't work (Third Strike Online in my case) should probably be eligible for a refund. But hey, apparently they're working on a really late patch to fix all the jank in that game, so maybe I will have the last laugh after all.
@Anjon: You seem to have a lot of issues with games..... suspicious....
Yesss... that's a little strange to have problems with both Sony and MS over games. Red flag?
That doesn't mean I shouldn't fight, right? If I just do nothing, then nothing gets done, but if I do something, then something might get done. That's the way I see it anyway. There's no harm in trying. I might not get this ban overturned, but I'll damn sure try. And if I fail, I'll at least make sure that someone at Microsoft feels really shitty about it.
@handlas: Yup, I went through the whole forum business, which is pretty damn convoluted, because being banned from Xbox Live also means being banned from the forum, an issue that they openly admit. They straight up tell you that you need to create a new account in order to access the forum and ask about your banned one. Except that message is posted in the forum, so I had to make a new account to even see it. Still, I'm trying to keep a cool head here. Haven't received a response yet either. I'll probably call back tomorrow and see if there's anyone else would can help me.
@Snail: I was actually of the same mindset. I thought it was dumb to pay for the service Xbox Live was providing when PSN was just as good, and also free. Unfortunately, I ended up with some PSN horror stories of my own which sent me back to Xbox Live. Really though, I think it's the player base that makes Live the dominant force in America. I have a whole lot more friends on Xbox Live than I do on PSN.
@Napalm: I also seek reimbursement when the internet goes down. Time is money, literally. (Almost joking). Seriously though, I've always had kind of a phobia of companies ripping me off and getting away with it. I think I got it from my dad. Now I always have to "stand up for my rights" when I think I'm being slighted. On the reverse, I think most gamers are too lax with defending their rights.