Medieval II Total War

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|3lack|ce
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Post: # 89462Post |3lack|ce
Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:58 am

And a fresh email from Eric -- I deleted his last name in the quote, it's in the email on file. Amazing how quickly the responses are coming now that they know the world is watching.
Dear |ce,

I'm very sorry to hear about your experience working with Max on
resolving the issue.

For the record, we have been making some major (and some might say
overdue) changes to our support structure to prioritize support for PC
games. I have been working with quite a few folks, including our friends
in Europe to improve our customers' experience. I'm sorry that we
weren't able to make improvements fast enough to catch and solve your
problem.

Also for the record, I want to say that Max did an admirable job and
stayed on your side trying to help you solve the problem even as you
treated him quite rudely and posted disparaging remarks about him in the
TAZ forum.

Though you may not see the logic from your point of view (and you may
not understand how RAM and disk transfer modes can be related to install
errors and thusly to missing files) Max responded sequentially with the
most common solutions that fit symptoms similar to the ones you are
experiencing. This is exactly what he is trained to do. He explained
things clearly and didn't make any assumptions about your level of
computer knowledge until you demonstrated your "hacker" skills by
circumventing the usual installation methods. When he was unable to
diagnose the problem, he stated in email dated 10/22 that he would
continue to research the issue on your behalf. The issue had been
entered into an "unsolved problems" queue as of 10/22, and we were
exploring avenues of solving the problem, including contact with our
sister department in England and the game's developer The Creative
Assembly in Australia.

The solutions that you asked of him, such as direct transfer of
individual files to you from Sega or burning of additional discs, are
not within his or my power to do as per intellectual property agreements
we maintain with our developers.

When he offered to test your discs personally, you did not accept, and
when he offered you my contact info you did not contact me but chose
instead to continue expressing your anger with Max. We all understand
the frustration that stems from long hours trying to get a piece of
software working on a PC - we've all been there too many times. It can
be quite a mess with thousands of different bits of code, drivers,
hardware, firmware, etc interacting often in unexpected ways.

Please understand that we are trying to develop an effective permanent
solution for PC support, but that it is not an easy process and that it
is quite common for us to find problems in users' systems that are
unrelated to our games. We will continue to work with you to resolve the
issue as our resources allow, and request that you please proceed with
an understanding of where we currently stand and that we are doing all
we can to solve a very difficult problem.

Regards,
Eric (lastnameblankedout)
Consumer Services
Sega of America
Nice long response to this very defensive email I received...
Eric,
Thank you for taking the opportunity to review the issue and I would very much appreciate a prompt solution to the issue at hand. You have every bit of technical information which has been asked of me.

As to my anger, well, let's address this directly with a nice story.

3 weeks ago I purchased a game for $40 at a local Wal Mart intending to play and review it for Tazzone.com. I bought this product in good faith that your company, it's producer, would stand behind it as any software company should. After installing this product according to the instructions provided within the user's manual (yes, I'm a good techie, I rtfm quite frequently), the product failed to perform. Since this problem surfaced, I've been passed across two different departments, found one person (Max) who was willing to attempt to help me (kudos to him - in truth he's the ONLY one to date) but only with a 'standard answer' he sent via a website link. Since this solution didn't work he, being a person not having permissions or access to get into the meat of the issue, could not assist me further. I asked that my case be escalated to someone who did have said accesses - namely you, to be met with defensiveness on how badly I've behaved and how angry I've become. Sir, I am quite outraged, you are correct.

Until today Max had not been told by me about the article review or TazForums, so unless he's a member there as well, he was probably quite unaware of any 'disparaging remarks' made about him therein. I don't fault Max one bit, I fault Sega Technical support. In fact, to be fair, all emails between us have been quoted directly in this thread - changing only my name to protect my anonymity there. This email and response are no exception.

As far as my technical knowledge is concerned, it is of no relevance to this issue. My 'hacking' skills are merely ways of attempting work-arounds when a problem arises, much like your company's are - I tried one trick, it didn't work, I kept yelling for help.

My case has been entered into an 'unsolved problems' queue. This reads to me like a 'dead letter' box - a place to conveniently park real problems forever and quietly forget them, or pass them onto someone else. Your sister department in the UK passed this case onto you at the outset, but then you'd probably know that if you'd bothered reading the email chain between Max and myself.

As for the solutions I asked of him, I want nothing more than to fix the problem at hand. As for sending my discs in to be tested, I only received word that this could be done about 3 hours ago now, in my final email receipt from Max, so of course I've not yet availed myself of this option. I'm beginning to think, however, that I won't - since I will not release anything material to this case without retaining full master copies for myself. Send me a new copy of the game - if it runs, I'll send you the cd's in my possession. If it doesn't, you'll get them back.

You tell me to please understand that developing a solid PC technical support system isn't easy and that it's quite common to find issues in user's machines completely unrelated to your software. This reads to me as 'it's not our problem, it's yours' - the same response I've been getting from your firm. Sir, I have a state of the art system designed for gaming. Blizzard's World of Warcraft has no issues running on my machine. Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion or the expansions don't either. I can run The Sims (insert version and expansion ad infinitum here) with no problems whatsoever. Shall I list all the games I have that DO actually work on my machine? Why can't yours?

Perhaps the issue lies in the fact that there are certain 'standards' and 'protocols' which guide and direct coding for machine softwares and that some companies fail to adhere to these standards and protocols, creating issues with their software on many machines? I find it uncanny that YOUR software will run neither on my desktop or laptop systems, nor on my wife's desktop system, nor on her laptop, which are 4 entirely different machines by different manufacturers.

Please, feel free to fix the problem. I look forward to hearing from you with a solution.
[edit] Now that the rapid fire emails have ceased (probably for the night, hopefully *just* for tonight, I look forward to hearing from them again), and they're aware of this thread and the fact that we exist, I believe I'll post up an open-note to Sega.
I put this in a quote box but it's original writing, not sent to anyone or posted anywhere but here:

Dear Sega:

You were correct in informing me you were quite overdue for changing up your technical support departments in order to better serve your customers, but based on what I've seen from your 'new' system, I'd be deathly afraid to see an example of what your old one was like.

To date there has been precisely *one* other software package which did not run on this machine, a Velocity Micro Gamer's Edge (2006 version) stock from the factory with one change in hardware: I maxxed the ram to 4 gigabytes from the 1 gig it came with. All ram in my system is manufactured by PNY, in 1 gig sticks, purchased at Best Buy in the same purchase off the same shelf. It was configured in my machine by me (I am an A+ certified hardware technician, among other things) and has performed admirably to date, said software being Hitman Blood Money. The issue with their software was random lockups from the startup screen, not an installation or file transfer issue as is yours. That software was returned to the store for full refund after an 'unresolvable' issue was encountered (much as in this case) by their technical support department. The difference between the two cases is that yours was for review here, while theirs was not. I'd mentioned earlier in this very thread that I'd returned the software to whence it was purchased for refund. The fact is I got to the front door of the store, turned and left because I truly don't want this to occur with your software. Instead I truly do want to play this game and properly review it for the masses who are wasting their time reading instead about a dispute with technical support. Please don't force me to do this and leave a bad review up for the world to see. I wonder how many customers this never-ending thread has cost you already?

No direct response to this is necessary, it's merely an open letter. If you wish to address it you may reach me at my email, which is well in the hands of your support system.

Sincerely,

|3lack|ce
They might review it, they might not. Me, I just want the game to work. *sigh*


:roll: [/edit]


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Post: # 89465Post outerlimit
Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:45 am

I wouldn't say you are trashing Sega...
I'd be pretty upset if I bought a piece of software that didn't work on no fault of my own, and the tech support crew basically told me, sorry we have no idea. good luck.

They should offer a replacement to attempt to fix it, or at the VERY LEAST a refund.

I also think that support people and developers should get together to look at your system specs and try to find out what caused it to break....
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Post: # 89474Post J_K9
Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:41 am

Wow, that is truly terrible tech support, |ce. I completely agree with outerlimit - their "attempts" to resolve your problem have been pathetic at best.

Good luck and keep us updated! The game does actually look quite good.. It's a shame, tbh - I quite like TBS games.
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|3lack|ce
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Post: # 89475Post |3lack|ce
Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:19 am

Ok, now we're getting somewhere. Eric, thanks, it's a good beginning. I'll reply to your email directly, then quote it here as the post comes up. For all of you who're following this with baited breath, here's the latest. I'm now wondering where these guys are, since it's 8:30pm my time - evidently diligently plugging away, hopefully at my (and a lot of other people's) issues. Me, I'm busy watching Dirty Jobs 150th special and doing this in the commercials. Somehow, this is fitting to the editorial.
|ce,

First of all let me say that I appreciate your sense of decorum in not
posting my last name in the forums. Additionally, I think you
demonstrate a good understanding of these matters by addressing the
institution and not the individual. I do wish that you didn't lay on the
hostile editorializing so thick in your forum posts, but that's not my
decision to make :)

I don't believe it is in either of our interests to get involved in a
flame war. I fully acknowledge that the system has flaws, so we're in
agreement.

As Max and I have said or alluded to at various points in our
correspondence, we're actually in the middle of fixing them. Starting
Sep. 25, we've made the improvement of PC support our number one
priority and have implemented new systems for that exact purpose.
Ironically, because we've been working on infrastructure and long term
solutions, our response time has been rather poor and we've not had time
to research individual problems like yours as much as we'd like. I say
this in the spirit of full disclosure and hope that you respect where
that puts me. If you've been involved in a larger scale organization you
understand the challenges associated with policy change.

If you're looking to write a muckraking expose on our tech support
problems, its there for the taking. But let me assure you we'll be the
first to read it! Detailed feedback is a lot harder to come by than you
might think.

Can you quantify your expectations for support in a video game
publisher? In a perfect world, how would we have handled this situation?
I can already see ways in which we could have assisted you better, but
I'd like you to spell it out for us - we might learn something we didn't
know.

And if you are seriously interested in writing a critical piece, it
might be more compelling if you draw some evidence from other firms who,
in your opinion, do it right.

Thanks again for your integrity in documentation.

Sincerely,
Eric
Consumer Services
Sega of America

p.s. with regards to your initial issue, we have little choice but to
solve it quickly now do we? :) We've pulled Max off some other projects
to allow him more time to pursue a solution, and he is working with some
folks at The Creative Assembly as well as at Sega Europe (who are really
much more helpful than you make them out to be).
AHA! There we go, and here's hoping that solution is found much more sooner than later.

Better customer service? No problem. Eric, you're talking to the former customer service king himself :) You want suggestions, here they come:
Eric,

First off, I deleted all the reply quotes since this is getting unusually long anyway - we've both got them on file to refer to if need be.

Thank you for a friendlier response and assurance that something is actually being done to resolve this issue. Since you wanted constructive criticism, understand that this is a tremendous step in the right direction.

People say there is no harder patient to treat than a Doctor, and I tend to agree with that philosophy. Much the same can be said for techies and tech support. As a former customer service representative, I can most definitely relate to and judge what was done incorrectly in the procedures, and would be quite happy indeed to point to a more appropriate response set.

But first, let us begin at the beginning:
In a perfect world the problem would never have occurred in the first place, nor would tech support even be needed. Technical support exists precisely for the reason that we dwell in an imperfect world. You make mistakes, I make mistakes, Microsoft *gasp, I said it even if they won't* makes mistakes too. Unfortunately in the realm of computers we must all deal with each other's mistakes from time to time. Where was this entire process screwed up? At the start, when the program wouldn't run.

But from there it went quickly downhill. I posted a very nice post stating my problem on the technical support website linked from the autorun menu on your software's cd. I received no response for 4 days, then got told that I'd contacted UK tech support and they don't handle us American types (the real quote is earlier in my thread I believe). The link should correspond with the user's geographic location. It's a simple coding fix based on parameters in windows - a developer issue.

Mistake number two was the misrouting of my emails to US tech support. It was on 10/3/07 I received two automated responses, one confirming my case, then one telling me to email segapc@segaamerica.com. Ok, I did that too. Eight days later I finally get a response from Max entering the picture. That wait alone was enough to get anyone riled up, let alone someone who's worked in the business of customer support before. However, that email from Max was just what the Doctor ordered - I was happy to hear from anyone at that point. Max did precisely what he should've done to diffuse the situation, first apologizing for the inconvenience of the misdirected emails, then by directing me to a memory anomaly test software and a website link for a cookie-cutter workaround. Ultimately these failed, but it was a valiant effort. Next began the troubleshooting. I understand there is a ground zero from which one must begin troubleshooting, and that is to find out how well the user can describe the problem and determine if anything obvious and easily correctable has occurred. Max did this as well, asking if I'd deleted the old Sega directory before attempting to reinstall. I tried to show him I knew a bit of what I was talking about in my response, telling him not only had I deleted the directory, I'd done a regedit cleanout of my registry entries. He then asked about the presence of the game directories on my system, and (and I'm thinking quite correctly here) diagnosed it as a potential installation problem. He informed me it was an issue new to him. This is a risky thing at best to do when you're a technician on a problem - it causes confidence in one's work to lessen, which makes for paranoid users, but I went along with the program, that being no further solution offered, but we could work together on it 'tomorrow'. 'Tomorrow' was interrupted by a business trip, and as I was packing my laptop I thought of installing the game to it and transferring the missing files. At my hotel I played round with it, got the game started on my laptop but unable to proceed into actual game play. Since this was still a considerable bit further into the software than I'd gotten on my gaming machine, I took note, attempted the 'fix' of file transfer when I got home, and emailed Max about what I'd tried. (Lack of confidence in his abilities brought on the 'self troubleshooting' mode - I tried to help him remedy the problem by blazing my own trail). This email was received on October the 15th. On October 17 I arrived home and emailed him with my attempts mentioned above. Five days passed with no word from Max one way or the other, leaving me quite angry again. We are now 19 days into this escapade with no solution. I received his "I can't help you but I'll keep looking into it" email today and the fireworks started.

So where did it go wrong?
Passing the buck, misrouted emails, instilling a lack of confidence in one's technical support person, and 2 overlong delays, compounded by a supervisor who, in my opinion, became more interested in defending his technician than solving the issue - but hey, we're past the flaming.

As for writing a critical piece or a noncritical piece or including examples from other company technical support departments:
Please keep in mind that this didn't start out a critical piece, nor do I wish it to wind up being one. It started out as a simple game review. Other tech support departments will get similar treatments should need arise, but to date they haven't needed it - in fact, I've had to call only one other tech support department over a very minor issue, that being Blizzard gaming over a post-patch load issue with World of Warcraft, and that was resolved within 2 minutes of placing the call, in a very friendly manner quite apologetic, and empathetic to my problem. I don't set out to slam anyone in my works, and there are several game reviews in the very forum to which I referred you which show this to be true. In fact, yours is the only one I've had such extreme difficulty in getting a problem resolved that was even worthy of mention to date.

I'm quite glad that your department is open to criticism and change, or at least that is what you're portraying in your email to me. Too few companies these days are so inclined, and in this industry it's becoming more and more a necessity to ensure customer satisfaction.

Can I qualify my expectations for support in a video game publisher? Most certainly. They're the same you'd want were you in my shoes:
1. Fix the problem.
2. Fix the problem fast.
3. Be friendly about it.

So far you've handled number 3, the lowest priority on the list in my mind, and only you and Max have even hit that one.

Once again I'd like to thank you for the special attention you've promised this case shall receive. I hope we arrive at a solution quite soon. The more I can't play this, the more I'm interested in actually trying it - and giving good review should it warrant. To your credit the documents look nice, and the play complex the way this geek likes it.

Sincerely,
|ce
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Post: # 89478Post Derbz
Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:24 am

Both you and eric are too damn political. It's election time here down in Australia and we hear enough of that shit.

haha, take off the gloves i say

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Post: # 89479Post Derbz
Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:24 am

oh, and I picked up a copy of the game and installed it fine. However my laptop is too shit to play it properly.

The frame rate on the lowest settings and resolution is just to low, can't enjoy/experience it at all.

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Post: # 89489Post Kwiep
Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:10 pm

So eh... how big is the chance the cd pressing just went wrong? I'd think with a milion copies, some are going to be broken? Can't you get a replacement cd somehow?

Try downloading it, if it works, you ruled out your computer and yourself as the problem :p
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Post: # 89604Post |3lack|ce
Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:17 pm

Sorry about the delays in posts folks, I'm not where I can get to my gaming system.

Max did send me a possible solution yesterday - but I've yet to be where I can try it or respond to his email. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have updates for everyone involved.
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Post: # 89728Post |3lack|ce
Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:57 pm

Ok, so here's the email I got from Max on the 24th. Basically it step-by-steps me through all the procedures I've tried so far:
|ce,

First of all, can you tell me where you initially received contact info
for Sega Europe's website? That's the first place we went wrong (well,
after the game didn't work for you). If you are in the US, your manual
should contain Sega of America support contacts.

Second, let's walk through an installation procedure one more time. When
I say I haven't had any problems like yours, its not that I haven't seen
these symptoms, its that I've never been unable to solve it with methods
as I described to you earlier. We'll start from scratch and do
everything 100% by the book. The order of operations is crucial to a
proper installation when there have been problems in the past.

I apologize if this seems tedious or redundant, but it's the only way I
can know exactly where we're hitting a wall.

1. Uninstall the game if you have not already. Use the 'Add or Remove
Programs' control panel.
2. Delete the Medieval II folder in C:\Program Files\SEGA\ . If you
installed the game in a non-default location, delete it there.
3. If any Medieval II keys still exist here delete them:
[+] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/SEGA
4. You've already updated your drivers/windows I assume so we'll skip
this.
5. Switch your disk transfer mode from DMA to PIO via the method we
discussed earlier.
6. For good measure, let's restart the computer here, and after
restarting double-check that you log in as administrator.
7. Insert the Medieval II disc into your drive, and install.
8. If you receive ANY warnings, disk errors, transfer errors, or cyclic
redundancy check errors, stop and contact me.
9. DO NOT play the game yet.
10. Download the 1.2 patch, available via strategy informer
(http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/patc ... patch.html
) or Gamershell (http://www.gamershell.com/download_19011.shtml)
11. Install the patch.
12. Switch your disc mode back to DMA.
13. Play the game.

If at this point you are still receiving errors, we'll have to have you
send in the discs for possible replacement.

Thanks,
Max at SEGA
So I'm sitting here posting this on my laptop as my gaming machine slowly spins through cd2 on the install. I'll let you know how it comes out and my response to Max.

And Derbz - you can't say you weren't warned. Glad it was just your hardware issue though and not something tech-support related...
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Post: # 89735Post |3lack|ce
Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:15 pm

And the new update - pretty self-explanatory in my email response to Max:
Max,

Ok, things have changed - all went well during the install, no errors of any kind. Patch installed nicely too - however (and you knew it was coming just as I did)

On startup (either by cd insertion and autoplay or from the desktop shortcut) I get 'please insert the correct cd rom, press ok, and restart the program' error. This matters not which cd I've got in the drives, or if I've got both in (one in each drive of course).

So either we're making headway or losing ground - I'm prone to think losing ground, but at least it's a different error. Just a reminder that these are dual-channel cd/dvd rw drives, and I'd set all channels to PIO for the install, just as last time. I'm curious if I leave the drives in PIO for gameplay if it'd fix the issue or at least work around it? I'll try it and get back to you.

|ce

PS - It's looking more and more like either the cd drives or the cd's themselves. Is there a downloadable version of the game that I can use to eliminate both from the equation?
*sigh* I'm afraid the next step might be a long time in coming, because based on Max's previous email it'll involve snail-mail. Hmm. I wonder if there's a downloadable full-version of the game somewhere? Think I'll ask in my return email.

[edit]recut and pasted the new email response. I'll try PIO for gameplay and post up here and to an email to max if it works..[/edit]

[update]PIO for gameplay failed as well. Same error. I sent max an addendum email.[/update]
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Post: # 89752Post DaFoxx
Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:22 pm

jeez
dont EVER get mad at ME |ce :P :)
hope it all works out soon

and Eric / Max, if you join here, drop me a PM so I can protect your account from the |ceman :)

I rather think I would like a support team to BE supportive, and as the S/W is BY Creative, I wouldn't mind if THEY got Creative too :)
just because you don't have access / permission, doesn't mean you can't GET them

In my experience as support tech, users are allowed to fire away at you, because that is what we are there for :shock:

I feel |ce has held the big guns back
and although they would drive me to distraction, I would FAR rather have an irate user messaging like that than the abuse I became used to.

I just thank my own personal small gods I grew up into Sys/Ad even if it IS mainly password resets, and finding lost files :P
Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's :shock:

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Post: # 89766Post |3lack|ce
Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:06 pm

Heh. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the 'big guns' bit - I did indeed pull my (usually devastating) punches. Mom always said I'd catch more flies with honey than vinegar (although why one would wish to catch a fly is beyond me), and although it's not pure honey, it's not pure vinegar either.

Perhaps one day, in time, this issue will be resolved, but I'm beginning to have serious doubts. At least we're centering down on the issues - either defective cd's or cdrom / data transfer issues.

[edit]And btw Fox, if you ever need an associate, call. I'd love to live in the UK[/edit]
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Post: # 89772Post |3lack|ce
Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:39 pm

And a third email today to Max - I remembered a question that went unanswered in his previous email - and I hope he isn't too torqued over 3 different emails in his box from me come Monday when he returns.
Forgot to answer this question in my previous emails:

"First of all, can you tell me where you initially received contact info for Sega Europe's website? That's the first place we went wrong (well, after the game didn't work for you). If you are in the US, your manual should contain Sega of America support contacts."


The link to it is contained in the start menu (windows start > all programs > Sega > medieval II total war > go to total war website > click US english > click support at the top) As of today it appears to be fixed - sent me to sega us tech support instead.

Hope that helped.
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Post: # 89889Post |3lack|ce
Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:54 pm

And we're in business again, round 962 of whatever it takes to get this fixed.

Received today (part of the email is omitted to protect the company's proprietary interests - and I concur this particular thing should be protected.)
|ce,

Ah yes, I caught that wrong address a couple weeks back - as Eric
mentioned, there are a lot of changes happening right now... Come back
in 6 months and you won't even recognize the place :)

I think we're making some headway if you didn't see any errors during
the installation or patch, but it is definitely a frustrating setback
that your drives weren't recognizing the discs when trying to play. This
could be solved with a firmware update to the drives, and if you haven't
done that it might be a good idea anyway, but I'll go ahead and provide
you with {omitted software} for troubleshooting purposes.

{Omitted portion here, detailing acquisition of certain softwares and keys to permit me to get this game running}

Please let me know how it goes!

Thanks,
Max at SEGA
Thanks Max, I'll get right on it - And to the readers, sorry about being a bit secretive, but the entire fix is pretty much classified, I'll give details on the fix later, but I won't reveal codes or software locations as per my agreement with Max.

Wish me luck.

[edit]Ok, so as I'm doing this monster download I'll post up that upper podunk's broadband speed sucks - but it's the best I can get, so hey :P I'll show you some results in 6 hours or so...[/edit]
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Location: Podunk Texas

Post: # 89955Post |3lack|ce
Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:03 am

Ok gang, sorry I was so long in updating, there was an issue with the initial download.

Here's what good Max had me do:

He sent me a link and an e-coupon for a free version of the software. I downloaded it and installed it according to his instructions, and patched it according to his instructions...

And now I get the same bloody error that started this mess all over again.

So for tonight I resolve firmly to never again get my hopes up about a computer program.

Here's the email I sent to Max in response to the new(same?) install issue for the nth time.
Oh wow...this ain't good. It's 1am and all downloading and patching and one reboot are finally complete. The only error I experienced during the entire process was on the first software download - got corrupt files somehow. I redownloaded it and no errors at all. Then I downloaded the patch from the link you provided and installed it - reboot required I'm sure due to the .net framework install from that patch.
Then I tried to run - and get Unspecified Error yet again.
Here's system log, it should look familiar to you, it reads much like the initial error I was having:
00:53:49.265 [system.rpt] [always] CPU: SSE2
00:53:49.531 [system.rpt] [always] ==== system log start, build date: Apr 23 2007 version bld-medieval2-update2-84 (37970) ===
00:53:49.640 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/data_0.pack
00:53:49.718 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/data_1.pack
00:53:49.781 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/data_2.pack
00:53:49.828 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/data_3.pack
00:53:49.875 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/data_4.pack
00:53:49.906 [system.io] [always] mounted pack packs/localized.pack
00:53:50.109 [system.io] [warning] open: preferences/player.txt is missing
00:53:50.109 [system.io] [warning] open: preferences/keys.dat is missing
00:53:50.109 [system.io] [warning] open: preferences/keys.dat is missing
00:53:52.843 [system.rpt] [error] Medieval 2: Total War encountered an unspecified error and will now exit.

So, as you can see, we're missing the preferences directory yet again from the game directory, as well as those essential files of player.txt and keys.dat (times 2 this time? that's odd).

Oh, and that software that downloaded the program - digital river or somesuch? wants me to buy it before I can even start the game running - I clicked 'try it' to get past that - then the program tried starting and crashed.
So I wound up downloading the program (estimated 5 hours to completion on my little Podunk-speed 1meg broadband) - waited, waited, several hours later I found the system unpacking the files. Cool deal. It got about 10 files into it, halted, told me some were corrupt and to download again. *sigh*

So at 11:30 tonight it finished. I did the install, downloaded the 'special for downloaded version of the software' patch, installed it, rebooted, and tried.

Ouch! 12 hours wasted gaming time. |ce is not pleased.
The one thing a customer service specialist can never teach is 'being nice.'

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