Keyboard not present; press F1 to continue.

I've gotten ^ this error ^ multiple times while booting up a client's computer for troubleshooting and forgetting to plugin a keyboard. I chuckle every time.

Blizzard Entertainment's support system seems to follow a similar design philosophy. I recently went to my friend's place with my PC to play some games and when I tried to sign on to Diablo III I was informed that my location did not follow my regular usage pattern so my account had been locked. I was genuinely happy and impressed that Blizzard was proactively protecting accounts from hack attempts, but that happiness faded quickly when I tried to unlock my account.

To unlock it, I needed to reset my password by either answering my secret question or entering the first 6 keys of one of my Blizzard games attached to the account. Easy, right? Well, I don't have any of the CD keys; I purchased my copies online and so the keys are all saved in my Battle.net account game listing, which I was locked out of. Blizzard, in their infinite wisdom, also decides does not send you the game key in the online purchase confirmation email so this reset option is not viable if you've made online purchases. I proceeded to answer my secret question instead and their page says I would receive a confirmation email shortly. Cool.

I waited, and then waited some more; nothing came in. I checked my spam, nothing in there either. I even opened up my server logs and checked all incoming mail only to find nothing from Blizzard at all. Blizzard hadn't sent the message.

My next logical step is to submit a trouble ticket with their support team, so I went to the trouble ticket manager and it asks my to type a few words related to my problem. I enter 'can't login'. It offers me a few suggestions (including the password reset page which doesn't send emails) and then says if my issues are not resolved to sign in to create a ticket. Wonderful. So (1) I am locked out of my account, (2) the system detects this and (3) their recommended course of action in this context is to sign in to my account.

I try their phone support and find out that not only are they busy, but their hold queue is full so they are refusing to take my call. I tried calling a couple hours later with the same result. That brings us to today, where my calls are still being refused. Here's a really easy solution Blizzard: hire more support staff.

I've also tried email support@blizzard.com and got a response saying that the address is ignored and to sign in to create a ticket. Fail.

I'm normally a patient person when it comes to this type of thing, because as a software programmer I understand how complex maintaining a beast like battle.net can be. But it was entirely Blizzard's chose to remove single player play from the game in favour of online connectivity to reduce piracy. I get that, and I'm okay with that, but Blizzard has to keep up its end of the deal too. Account hacks are not my problem. I use a strong password and I shouldn't have to worry about getting my SINGLE PLAYER game account locked. If your system is under automated attack, find a way to fix it without inconveniencing your players. Otherwise, I'll take my money elsewhere.

Update 2012-06-25: After finally getting a response on a ticket submitted from my brother's account, they told me I would have to call in. *sigh* I'll just find another game to play for two weeks because realistically I'm not going to speak to anyone before then.

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Comments

firewing1, I could not help laughing my a** off when I read your post, but I can't say I don't understand you. As a Blizzard fan (not so much these days) I can only say they tried to swallow bigger chunk than they can chew. Everything came clear with Vanilla WoW, they changed the game from hard-core-gamer style, to child like cartoon style attracting millions of brainless noobs instead of keeping the game challenging and hard. Said ok, here comes Star Craft and Diablo 3 - woo-hoo. A disaster! Whats the point of making a new game without changing some essential things. I mean it was interesting to play Diablo 2 and go over the same level over and over again, but that was back in the days when the concept was new. Boring as hell.

My games were hacked many times, even this one time I talked to the hacker from my friends account and was nice enough to get what he wants and give me back my account :D ... true story. That time I was saved from the Blizzard support!

Now I stick to my 5 minute flash games, maybe some Dota 2, but that's it. If you have any game suggestions please do reply.

Cheers

Hi Pete,

I've pretty much stopped playing the Blizzard games I own as well... I have recently discovered the marvel that is Steam (I know, I'm late to the party!) and have been trying out a few games that go on sale. Recently I purchased the Orange Box which is a GREAT value and was able to play through Portal/Portal 2 as well as the Half-Life series (and Black Mesa instead of HL1: Source).

Dungeon Defenders is another great indie title that's a mix between an RPG and tower defense. It's $14.99 but well worth it, particularly if you can convince a friend or two to buy it too and play online with you in co-op mode.

Cheers,
Stewart