Living with Bellatrix is mostly adhering to her rules. We provided these rules last summer, but they have been lightly updated.

Gentle catfolk, with the onset of hot weather, we must present a few important weather guidelines, upon which we have mutually agreed upon to ensure no one gets cranky during the summer. I mean to say, this is what she has laid down as the law and because I love my cat and my limbs, I oblige. You may find these helpful in dealing with your furry folk at home.

1. At all times the apartment shall remain cool and dark, even at hours in the morning it would be best to turn a light on.
2. The proper setting of the fan is 3, and rotating. Best fan ever.
3. Belleh exposed to the sky is still not an invitation to touch the angel fur. It is a method of getting cool.
4. Dinner time will be moved to nocturnal hours. Don’t care if it’s 2 am, OKAY.
a. That doesn’t mean you can roll in at 9 pm like it’s not a thing. I still expect you home at decent hours.
b. Food time will be followed by a light waving of stick toy. I will bring you the feather part to tie back on to the end. Don’t half-ass this effort. I’ll know.
5. By play, we mean the human may play a video game, and the cat may watch. Chasing, jumping, scurrying – these are all out.
6. We also mean baseball must be watched often so if that interferes with said video game play, perhaps you need to learn how to manage that better.
7. Sitting or laying stretched out nearby is a sign of affection. No touching. Stop. Put the hand back.
8. There is a cool dark space on the beanbag slightly out of direct path of the fan. Do not move or adjust the beanbag at this time because seriously do you know how difficult this process is.
9. Share that cool beverage, no, I mean it. Give it.

Welcome to Nova’s Seattle 2.5 patch, scheduled for Thursday morning, April 24th, 9:30am Pacific Time!

Patch Overview
Although 2.4 was a pretty awesome patch, and addressed many previous balance issues, we like to think of life as a service, and as such, have been working diligently behind the scenes to provide our player of one exciting new challenges and interesting changes periodically to keep things on an upward path.

For this, we have given her one of the most challenging tasks yet, that of a permanent position at a nearby university as a Community Manager.

Now that we have addressed some overarching balance issues, it’s time to look inward. In future patches we will be addressing a complete overhaul of the Home Area, and addressing the over spawning of what has been referred to as “That goddamned coven of vampire hipsters”. It is likely complete resets of the Home Area will take place at this time, so someone needs to start packing up her stuff to prevent loss of items.

Here’s the complete scoop!

Classes

The Community Manager playable class has undergone some extensive revisions to address balance issues in work/life, finances, and transportation. The job description includes a portfolio of interesting titles, all with a very academic focus.

Environment

  • The location “University of Washington” has been added for exploration. Go Dawgs!
  • The location “Microsoft” will be reduced in scope, and secret areas such as “Willows” and “Studios” will be disabled without an appropriate escort quest.
  • Baseball Season is now active for a limited time! Collect various swag from NPCs including wearables and bobbleheads from the NPCs, play mini games such as “Just how bad are the Mariners going to do, promising start this year and all”, and enjoy buffs such as Shout!
  • Other locations Nova enjoys may see slight boosts in attendance and reliability of RSVPs.

Creatures

The boss creature known as Bellatrix has been shown to be periodically too crabby and dealing too much damage with her special abilities Paw Swipe, Death Claws, and Teeth Remains. No need to complain further, the scars and the vacant look of sleep deprivation are pretty telling – we hear ya, community. Most importantly, we feel ya. Rather than nerf this precious being (her rewards are many), we’ve enabled our player with some great new abilities to help even up the fight:

  • Stick Toy with Crinkly Bits has been adjusted to ensure a more balanced encounter with this creature.(backup feathers now respawn when she destroys the main one).
  • Player may use Mariners Baseball Team buff on Distraction.
  • Time has been added to player’s day, providing a buff to Playtime, Laps, and Snuggles.

Good luck, player one. We’re rooting for you.

Performance

Nova should be seeing improved commute performance time, unless she gets struck by temporary insanity and moves further away than one bus can get her.

We hope you enjoy the new features, and stick around to discuss the benefits.

Subtitled: Why I’m not going to ECCC this year and my semi-new out of hiding superhero identity.

Due to a one digit typo in my address (which resulted in it being sent to the wrong building), and despite the fact I have all the original email receipts, ECCC’s current stance is waiting for my 3-day pass to be returned to sender, which is pretty much never going to happen. Sold out con in a convention city? Ripe for scalping!

Originally they were all “oh it never showed? wait til Tuesday (3/25) and then mail us so we can make alternate arrangements” (and this was a good move, and I was happy until I realized it was because they didn’t read all the way through), then I pointed out the mail address discrepancy again in the original mail I sent (I knew it would never get to where it was sent because it was sent to the wrong place). Suddenly it became “nope not helping you out, you’re just out of luck here” attitude. I’ve been nothing but polite about the matter because CS people are people, and it is not their personal fault, you know.

I waited until Tuesday to call my bank. They said, get as far as you can and someone on the phone to get a refund – then let us know what happens. So clever and resourceful person I am, I tracked down a phone number and called. After explaining the situation, I didn’t like what I heard so I asked to be escalated to someone with more say so. Now the same person called me back and I have no idea if she actually did that escalating, or just waited a bit, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she asked someone else. The answer remained the same.

ECCC holds all the advantage in this situation. They claim they check mail daily and “if it shows up we will let you know”. If it shows up post show, I can have a refund then. If it shows up end of day Saturday, I still have to pay for all three days. And if it never shows I am out both show and the cost of the three day pass. The kicker?

There’s no way to prove they got it back. They can just stiff me out of the money and get away with it. I don’t doubt this is going to happen in the slightest. This is shady behavior. If you’re going to hold someone’s weekend hostage like that, have tracking on your badges, or just suck it up and work with your customer. Your stance on mailing badges is not a get out of jail free card when inevitable mistakes happen in the process.

These are the things I understand:

  • They are indeed, a business.
  • These tickets are hot commodities.
  • As any business, they want to guard against potential fraud.

These are the things I do not understand:

  • Why they insist on alienating what was once, a pretty eager fan who was even taking a day off work to attend (and probably drop even more money inside the doors).
  • Why customer service is clearly difficult for some organizations. This is not the Superbowl, okay.

Good customer service isn’t always about getting your way. I know this. I’ve been on both sides – customer, customer service rep, and the escalated-to manager. I get it. But good customer service leaves you with a feeling that everyone did the best they could in a situation. Did they do their best? No, they did not. Were there ways to resolve the situation in a fair manner? Yes. Did I offer to bring print outs of email receipts and any photo/residence ID they would want to show I live where I say I live? Yes I did. Did they choose to be reasonable and try to see it my way? No. All I got was a flat, “I know you’re upset but that’s the policy.” when I finally asked, “Okay. You realize this is absolutely ridiculous, right?”

I am not the only person ECCC has probably screwed over this way. That’s what makes me write.

I am Customer Service Crusader, champion of the badly treated and annoyed customer.

Cons, don’t do this to people.

And yes, I’ll be working with my bank to get that money back.