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HELP ME! A guide to using our various support features!


GM Impervium
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 Hey all! Whether you're a fledgling hero (or villain), an all-powerful incarnate or somewhere in between; it doesn't matter who you are, sometimes, you need help! This guide is aimed at giving you the tools you need, to get the help you deserve! It will also serve to give a bit of an inside peak into how we GMs handle situations that come to our attention!

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/KgM1ePiS31k/hqdefault.jpg
(Dramatic re-enactment of our virtual office when Reunion went down on 2/20/21)

There are many different problems one may encounter while playing City of Heroes: Homecoming. And not all of them can be dealt with in the same way. Some problems need to be taken care of immediately (I'm looking at you, Pither!). Some issues may need to be investigated. And an issue with your game settings is going to be dealt with far differently than an abusive or rule-breaking player. With this in mind, the way in which to seek a solution to your issue will also usually be different on a case-by-case basis! Which is where this guide comes in, to enable you to make the best decision of where and how to report specific issues.

One major disclaimer before we go much further: As you (probably) know, all of our Developers, Game Masters and other staff are VOLUNTEERS. While we do have a pretty good track record for responsiveness and strive to be professional, please keep expectations measured when asking for in-game assistance. We may not always be able to respond to issues in a time or manner you desire, though generally, we do try our best! With that out of the way...

1) The Forums
Let's start with right here on the forums! As you're probably well-aware, we have many different sub-forums dedicated to different aspects of the game. In many cases, most non-critical or non-confidential issues can be posted somewhere around here. We have a very positive and helpful community, and anything that doesn't necessarily require GM intervention can be answered by players with the proper expertise; also, others may have had the same problem, and you can look up old posts to see if a solution has ever been discovered!

While you cannot post in the getting started forum, it's an excellent repository of knowledge, and it may have a solution to various issues getting your account in order or getting the game to run. Always check there first if you can't even get into the game at all!

Help and Support: Pretty much any technical questions you may have, can be asked (and probably answered) here, usually by other players. GMs and Devs do look through this section regularly, as well.

Bug Reports: This is where to post when you know something in the game isn't working in the manner it's SUPPOSED to. "My graphics look funny" is probably going to be a topic for Help and Support. "One of my attacks only does half the listed damage" MAY be a bug, or it may be something else. A lot of times, we'll get a support request that falls in this category, and we just point them over here, as the developers read this section regularly. If you're having an issue that needs immediate attention, though (Hello Amy Johnson, stuck in the wall again?), there's better ways to get help than waiting a few weeks for a bug fix to be rolled out (which we'll go over shortly)! However, do NOT post about potential exploits here; please Direct Message a Game Master, Lead Game Master, or Homecoming Team Member instead!

 

Suggestions and Feedback: If your support request begins with "You guys should..." or "I really don't like..." it PROBABLY belongs here! Again, nothing a GM can do to grant your request in a case like that, so it's best placed where the development staff will see it and take it into consideration!

Then obviously there's the various AT sections for help with your character builds, and sub-forums dedicated to other parts of the game like PvP, Bases, or the Market where you can ask questions related to those systems!

And of course, we can't talk about the forums without mentioning our Report Post feature. While the GMs and staff do peruse the forums, we're not always everywhere at once. If you see a post that breaks our rules (generally: be excellent to each other), hit that button and subscribe let us know! HOWEVER, "Report Post" is NOT a "Disagree" button! Also, fair warning: If you're reporting someone's posts, but we find you're also engaging in rule-breaking behavior while arguing with them? That's gonna backfire on you. Just sayin'. In fact, just... don't engage to begin with. Just report a post at the first sign of trouble, and let us deal with it before it escalates. Thank you!

2) Discord
What if you need some help, but you need it a bit-more "real-time"? Or you just want to have a conversation about something instead of waiting for replies to appear in a forum thread? Well then, our Discord server is the place for you! It's set up a lot like our forums, with sections for each AT and various aspects of the game. One big difference is the In-Game Help channel. Our GMs keep an eye on this channel and try to assist those in need, though other players often answer questions, too! If you're not getting a response, and/or your issue is a little more urgent, you can always look and see whether or not someone is @On-Duty, and ping them by typing that title in!

However, if and when you really need some help within the game itself; whether you've got a stuck NPC, another player breaking the code of conduct, a glowie is missing, someone is harassing you or others, that's when you need some...

3) Menu -> Support (In-Game)

...Okay, "that's when you need some Menu->Support" doesn't actually flow as a sentence. I tried.

Anyway, this option (also available by typing /petition) is your most powerful tool in getting the help you need! It brings up a window that allows you to briefly tell us what the issue is. I won't go into full details, but once submitted, we're alerted on multiple fronts that someone in-game needs aid, and our staff of volunteers will then try to respond as quickly as possible!

As an aside, PLEASE make double-sure that the e-mail you used to sign up on our forums works and isn't a burner: Our responses go to that e-mail address, and for more complex issues we'll usually engage in correspondence through e-mail and our online support system rather than in-game!

Let's go over the options here:

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9 times out of 10, a badguy simply got knocked through a wall. The other 10% of the time is due to the incomprehensible mechanizations of an unspeakable eldritch abomination that lives in the game code.

 

Stuck: Pretty self-explanatory. This is the most common use of the Support window, and conversely, the best way to get the help you need when you ARE stuck. Whether an NPC is jammed up in the geometry, or a glowy is hidden a bit TOO well (like inside of a staircase), or something has just gone wrong which is preventing you from completing the mission, this is the option to use! Just click "Send Petition" and someone will be with you shortly! IMPORTANT: if you use this option, PLEASE stay on-line for at least five minutes for a GM to contact you! For these situations, we will often have to log into the game and attempt to find you before we can offer assistance; and this can sometimes take a minute or three. We typically do give these requests highest priority (when we're available), as otherwise players are standing around not having any fun, so we ask for just a little bit of patience!

Exploits and Cheating: Also self-explanatory. You catch someone jerk-hacking, dupin' rares and/or going to the Americans, let us know! Or, if you've happened upon something yourself, like a hole in the geometry (especially ones that give a player an advantage, like in a PvP zone) or some cool way of chaining your powers together that causes the mapserver to crash, let us know here, also! The caveat, as mentioned above: Do NOT discuss anything you would report here on the forums, discord, or in-game with other players.

Feedback and Suggestions: Anything you'd put here will probably get a response to post in our suggestions and feedback forums. We won't ignore your suggestion, but the forums are the best (and only) place for the Dev team to see your idea 🙂

Harassment and Conduct: We take the enjoyment, safety, and security of our players, as well as the enforcement of our Code of Conduct, VERY seriously. Our number one goal and priority is to make sure everyone has a fun, and safe, place to enjoy their favorite Superpowered MMORPG. If you witness another player breaking the code of conduct, please report it here. This includes things like copyright violations, abusive or hate speech, offensive character names or descriptions, and so on.

 

Not every single report will result in a player being sanctioned or banned. We investigate these issues fully, and if we determine someone IS breaching our Terms of Service or Code of Conduct, then we WILL take action against them. However, just be aware (and 99% of the time, we'll send you a message stating such) that we will not be able to inform you of any actions taken as a result of your report.

Technical Issues: Most things reported here should probably go on our forums or discord. Some technical issues that need specific GM intervention might be if your Long-Range Teleporter stops working after a server transfer, or you encounter a game-breaking bug of some kind.

General Help: Since this is a broad category that covers "Everything else", use your best judgement here. Does this REALLY need an immediate response? Could it go into another, more specific category? Would you be more likely to get an answer from the rest of the community rather than a GM? Feel free to use this option, but many times, we've had to direct folks making such inquires back to the forums, anyway.

As an aside, remember, too, that there's always the in-game Help channel, usually full of friendly and knowledgeable players... and we GMs are occasionally known to pop in and drop some wisdom, as well!

Overall, there's two big take-aways here: First, when you submit a support request, STAY IN-GAME for a few minutes so we can contact you directly, especially if it's an urgent issue. Failing that, make sure you check your e-mail that you signed up with, as our responses will go there. Thank you!

 

4) Online Support Center

Our Online Support Center is actually a web-based version of pretty much everything I just talked about above! However, there's no character limit, and you can attach images and files to your report, as well! Accessible via the forums, it's at the top, in-between "Faq" and "Server Status". You can also see the status of any past or pending reports, too! Use this when corresponding with us, even if you originally contacted us from in-game: The message we send to your e-mail can't be replied to (or rather, it'll just get eaten if you try) but this tool allows you to communicate with a GM handling your issue directly.

That said, making initial contact via the in-game ticket system is usually preferred (unless you literally can't get in-game), as your ticket will also contain information about your character that may help us investigate your issue (Character name, server they're on, and map they're on). If you use the online support center to tell us your mission won't complete, well, we won't have any of that info and won't be able to assist you without asking you for it, which just wastes everyone's time, especially yours.

5) Managing Expectations, and Frequently Encountered Issues

Us Game-Masters wield tremendous in-game power; however, believe it or not, there are some things even we cannot do. Whether it's because of policy or actual game limitations, please note these restrictions as well as possible self-help solutions to the following common issues:

* Badges. Before sending in a ticket about a missing badge, make sure you meet all the criteria for earning it. Here are some things to check:
- Alignment (especially if you're a vigilante or rogue going for dayjob badges)

- Being within range of the monster/event on defeat/completion

- Correct enemy type (For instance "Rogue" Arachnos in Warburg don't count for the various Arachnos defeat badges)

- Correct zone (The "Echo" versions of various zones still cause some confusion)

- Participation threshold (Most giant monsters require your team to do about 10% of the total damage, give or take)

- Whether or not you actually already have it!

* Lost Influence/Enhancements/etc, Sometimes things get misplaced. Be cautious when using the Auction and in-game mail systems!
- Check your price and number of bids when bidding on an item in the AH. There's nothing we can do if you accidentally add some extra 0's or buy 10 of something on accident. Related: Make sure you're bidding on the correct item. If you meant to get an enhancement, make sure you didn't buy the recipe.

- Don't use the AH as long-term storage. If you accidentally list your purple IOs for 5 inf because you were trying to sell something else, there's nothing we can do once it's sold.

- When e-mailing Inf to yourself, put a reward merit in the attachment slot. This will auto-fill your global name so that you do not make any mistakes. You can remove the reward merit after. Once you hit "send", the mail is sent, and we can't get it back for you if there's an accident!
- When sending mail to another player, you should copy and paste their name, just to make sure you're not dealing with any uppercase i's disguised as lowercase Ls or vice-versa. In fact, use the Trade interface whenever possible!

- Failed respecs: when this happens, your inventory can vanish! But don't worry, logging out for a few minutes, and logging back in should return your stuff. To reduce the risk of failed respecs, make sure you are not on a team, or in an instance (including bases), or in a high-traffic area. Also, make sure you are fully leveled before starting a respec. These steps should reduce the risk of this particularly nasty error.

* Supergroup issues.
- Only the Leader of a Supergroup (the character marked with a red star) should be sending help requests related to the SG.

- If a leader is not available due to inactivity, our hands are going to be tied. We cannot promote an "active" officer over an "inactive" leader. You'll have to wait for the auto-demotion timer to trigger.
- If you're the former leader of an SG that was auto-demoted due to inactivity... our hands are also tied there. All Supergroups should have a plan of succession that is understood by all members.
- The SG leader (and anyone they allow) is the one who sets the permissions for the SG, including invites, promotions, and storage. Set certain permissions to specific ranks, only promote people you trust into those ranks, and set permissions on each storage bin accordingly.

* Task Force Mission Repeating: Sometimes, you'll encounter the same mission over and over again. While there's no command we have to force the Task Force to continue normally, we have found that having each member log out for a few minutes, then back in, corrects the issue. This also sometimes works when a member can't get into the door.

* Task Force Mission Repeating: Sometimes, you'll encounter the same mission over and over again. While there's no command we have to force the Task Force to continue normally, we have found that having each member log out for a few minutes, then back in, corrects the issue. This also sometimes works when a member can't get into the door. Wait, what's happening?

* Task Force Mission Repeating: Sometimes, you'll encounter the same mission over and over OH COME ON...! no command we have to force th-

*LOG OUT*

*RESTART*


Whew, that's better. Now, where was I?

Conclusion

I wrote this guide in the interest of transparency, and helping players navigate our help system, as well as manage expectations. We've had several instances where we were never able to follow up with the players making the report, because they immediately logged out or never responded to their e-mail. So, in a way, this guide is to help you help us help you? Yeah that... that doesn't sound confusing at all.

If you have any questions, let us know! Otherwise, take care and have fun!

Special thanks to @GM Kaiju for his input when writing this guide!



 

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GM Impervium
Homecoming FAQ; Need a hand? File a Support Ticket! Want to lend a hand? Apply to be a GM!

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