| This is a side topic that was discussed in the Focus Group. At their request, I've put together an overview for everyone to reference when determining the best method of communication with staff, depending on your needs at any given time.
I'll discuss the tools you have available, and when you should be using them. I apologize for the length, this is a lot of information to deliver!
This information supersedes all prior discussion on this topic.
REPORT, ASSIST, EMAIL, BUG, FORUMS, DISCORD, REDDIT, TWITTER, FACEBOOK and the new RESPOND command.
When should you REPORT?
- When you have an emergency in game that is time sensitive (minutes, not hours or days).
- Some examples:
--- Someone has killed you without consent. (this REPORT must ABSOLUTELY be followed up with an ASSIST)
--- You've been asked to send a REPORT by a GM or a GH due to another player's actions. (this REPORT must ABSOLUTELY be followed up with an ASSIST)
--- You've discovered a potentially exploitable bug that is reproducable. (this REPORT must ABSOLUTELY be followed up with an ASSIST)
--- Someone is actively breaking policy and you can see it happening.
--- Someone is actively abusing a bug and you can see it happening.
--- Someone is currently unresponsive to the game environment and you would like to let Staff know. (Only effective if you are in the same room as the offender when you REPORT)
--- Someone is being vulgar in person or on the gweth.
When should you ASSIST?
- When you have unanswered questions about a system and have already visited the forums, Elanthipedia, and Jadewater Mansion.
- Immediately following a REPORT alerting us to a time-sensitive issue.
- When you have been subjected to unwanted PVP or harassment.
- When you have a technical issue in game that you need help with.
- When you have been directed by a message to ASSIST.
When should you RESPOND?
- When you have received a SEND from a GM that requires a response, you have a short window in which you can RESPOND directly to them, rather than using the REPORT command. (This command is being developed and should be ready within days)
When should you use EMAIL?
- When you want to list an event that is at least 2 weeks away on the calendar.
- When you have a time-insensitive issue you want to bring to Staff attention.
- When you have questions about your account or your purchases.
- When you want to offer constructive feedback or suggestions to the GM Team.
- WHO should you email? Please see the EMAIL verb and https://www.play.net/dr/tips/feedback101.asp.
ALL unsolicited messages sent directly to individual staff members should include a CC to email@example.com.
When should you use the BUG command?
- Any time your character, an item, or a place is not behaving as expected.
- Some examples:
--- You received an unexpected response to a command you entered.
--- You observed a TYPO in game.
--- You believe a system/item/feature is not behaving as intended.
When should you use the FORUMS?
- You want to communicate with staff and fellow players.
- You have an idea for a new spell, system, or auction item.
- You have suggestions for existing events/systems/items.
- You want to offer feedback on a recent release / event / policy.
- You found a bug and want to report more details than the BUG command allows (after using BUG).
When should you use DISCORD to communicate with Staff about in-game issues?
When should you use TWITTER to communicate with Staff about in-game issues?
When should you use REDDIT to communicate with Staff about in-game issues?
When should you use FACEBOOK to communicate with Staff about in-game issues?
- Never. These platforms are not moderated by in-game staff. While you will occasionally be able to engage a staff member in these places (Example: #talk-to-lyneya in the general player Discord) it is NOT a resource to attain in-game help.
Additional notes and comments:
REPORT sends a message to every online GM at the time and is best suited for emergency-type situations where you need to get attention fast. Messaging may indicate that no one is ONDUTY (actively handling reports/assists), but that does not mean that staff is not online. You are not going to be punished for using REPORT to make us aware of a situation (pvp, bug, scripter, someone deserves an RPA, etc) that we should be aware of. About the only time someone gets in trouble for using REPORT is when they're antagonizing staff or continuing to REPORT repeatedly after we've asked them to stop.
Note that REPORT is a one-off message -- it doesn't put you in a line to speak to a staff member, and the message isn't saved for later review. If you require action, you should follow up with ASSIST. ASSIST puts you in a queue to speak to a member of staff. It's OK if you need to log out with an ASSIST pending -- you'll still be in the queue when you get back. Be careful going AFK while an ASSIST is pending! If we can't get your attention, you can ASSIST again when you return. ASSISTs are good when you need to relay information about an incident or detail how to reproduce a bug. The GH or GM that responds will make notes on the situation that we can go back and reference later, which is necessary in claims of harassment and other sensitive topics. Every assist counts in these situations, to determine patterns of behavior. If your issue isn't resolved, please don't give up and cancel your assist - As long as you're in the queue, someone will catch up to you!
The EMAIL verb provides a list of email accounts monitored by onsite and in-game staff, as appropriate. These addresses are best for issues that are NOT immediately time sensitive. Additionally, anything related to billing (your subscription, purchasing simucoins, transferring characters, signing up for a quest) -- in game staff cannot help with money concerns, so you definitely need to speak to the billing folks. Likewise, appealing a warning isn't handled by in-game staff -- you need to contact Feedback for that via the address in EMAIL. Depending on the issue and any research staff may need to do into the matter, it could be a few days before you get a response. If it's been more than 7 days, please send a followup.
When emailing individual staff members directly, please be aware that many do not respond to unsolicited emails.
Always include a CC to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please always use Reply-to-All for email communication with staff.
Thanks for reading,