Remember when your PSN got hacked and Sony didn’t care? I do…

About 6 months ago Brad Bourque over on Digital Trends posted about his abysmal experience having his PSN account compromised and the interaction that would be a pitfall in anyone’s customer service journey.

Brad had been hacked, the offender decided it was a great idea to add 3 $25 credit amounts and purchase NBA 2K16 on his account.  The story goes on from there.  You might be wondering, why on earth did I start talking about someone from Digital Trends anyways?  Well, it turns out he and I have something in common, getting hacked and having to fight with Sony.  Last night, a little after 10pm I received a message on my PS4 while I was watching a show, “Closing Application Cannot Verify License”, I didn’t think anything of it until I couldn’t log back in.  I figured maybe I just forgot my password, so I went to the “forgot password” area and was promptly told that my email was not valid.  My first response was confusion, befuddlement if you will, I then decided to check my e-mail and to my surprise, I had 4 fantastic (taste the sarcasm) emails from Sony Entertainment, 1 thanking me for my purchase of Fifa ’17 Ultimate edition for $133.49 CAD, 2 reminding me that there had been funds added to my PSN wallet ($133.49 & $25), 1 saying that I have successfully changed my e-mail address which I definitely did not do.

Considering the time of night (the emails showed up at 10:11pm), I did what any sane human would do and immediately logged into my PayPal account to start a payment dispute since Sony’s text support wasn’t even available at that time.  I also had a chat with my local bank and they speedily closed my debit credit card and asked  me to come into the branch the next day.  Early this morning I got onto the chat support with Sony, they were amazing to deal with, hastily supplying every drop of help they could muster to ensure my account had been updated, reverted back to my original email, password changed and a case number created for the refund process.  Now, since I needed these funds, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the “you’ll get a refund to your account” spiel, because honestly, if I’m being hacked the resolution should benefit me not the company who my account is attached to.  This is an attack on me, my money, my livelihood, please for the love of god do not turn this into a way to keep the money in your pocket, that isn’t how you keep customers.  Unfortunately though, for me and for Brad who I mentioned above, this is what has happened.

Because you disputed the charges with paypal
And Ths is the reason why the account got banned.
And the refund request that you made through us is not valid anymore.
The only way to unban the account is paying the debt amount with PSN cards (only with PSN cards). Once you have obtained the appropriate amount of PSN cards, please contact us starting a new chat to provide us with the codes and we will start a process to unban your account.

 

I was able to put a stop payment on my bank account which is what was recommended by PayPal to ensure that the fraudulent purchase didn’t leave my account for an extend period of time.  This along with with the dispute I had with PayPal opened apparently voided the case I had with Sony though.  Sony, having known about the escalations with PayPal turned this $158.49 fiasco into my fault.  Saying that my account is on a temporary ban until such time as I pay back the debt owed, once the debt is paid I can then request a refund and the $158.49 will go through.  So, If I understand this correctly, you want me, to pay for getting hacked, intruded upon and abused by someone with my own money, so I can get my own money back to spend on your services?  I don’t know if this is quite the policy you want to be stating to your customers.  In the end, if no money leaves my account, and you remove my access to said game along with the $25 of credit, does that not bring my account back to a $0 balance?  Is it really that hard to figure out?  Or is this just a way to prey on some people’s misfortunes.  To be fair to the people I have dealt with today, most of them were extremely helpful, including the last agent, she was straight forward, she explained the company policies and even gave me the little tid-bit about me being able to get that money back after paying it to unban myself, something the other agents didn’t have the decency to tell me.  The first agent I dealt with was also stellar, he led me to a place where I could activate password on purchase and even 2 factor authentication, something that back in April didn’t exist.  It’s important to note that these options haven’t been widely publicized to customers who would find it incredibly useful as a safeguard from this kind of fraud and terrible customer experiences.  Yes, who would have thought that password protected purchases and 2 factor authentication would protect you from a bad customer experience?

If you pay and you ask for the refund with us after that the refund will be granted.

So after a day of back and forth with my bank, PayPal and Sony, I feel like there are no winners…. except for Sony, obviously.  Those guys are coming out on top either way because in the end, I’ll be back to play video games on a console I love and have loved since the original PlayStation came out.  I’ll be paying $158.49 to have my account unbanned eventually and I’ll have that same amount as credit in my wallet, when all I wanted was to see $0.00 in there.  Eventually, that money will be spent because I’ll have no other way to get at it besides video games, and what did it cost me?  A soul wrenching experience, a terrible drive through the neighborhood known as “Sony Entertainment customer experience” where I drove in with a beautiful Mercedes Benz and left with a frame and a steering wheel, reduced to a go kart.  If I never have to dispute a charge on my account again, it’ll be too soon.  Thanks Sony.

 

Destiny April Update Incoming

Today Bungie gave us our first glimpse of what we can expect in the April update to Destiny. There was a good amount of information thrown at us so lets jump right in.

 

New Light Level

The first reveal and one of the most exciting, is the new light level on weapons and gear; 335. This is great although albeit an odd number.

 

New Strike

The Winters Run strike will see a new variant added to the strike playlist that includes taken. Yes you guessed it, The Archon Priest is Taken and he is pissed.

 

Eververse Trading in The Reef

Self-explanitory here.

 

Prison of Elders (PoE) Bounties and The Taken trapped

Variks has been doing some work since we knocked out Oryx. The Taken are now a challenging race inside the PoE.

 

PoE now has a Light Level of 41, team scores, and cumulative scores.

The new PoE level rewards you for your trouble. Your team will now earn a team score in the three rounds of PoE you will play at this level. Earning 30k+ will earn you some new major gear from Veriks. If you happen to wipe during the three rounds, your team score will reset to the last rounds score. No score farming here kiddies.

 

Challenge of Elders

This is where 335 light gear will drop for you.

 

Weapons reaching to 335

Rewards you can receive will land you some 335 gear.

destiny destiny_herfury

 

Malok is the new badass on the block

A new giant called Malok has appeared on the scene and he wants to take down every Guardian he runs into.

destiny destiny_malok

 

PS exclusive strike

Once again Bungie has graced Playstation players with an exclusive strike. The Blighted Chalice??

 

As you can see, Bungie has packed a lot into this update for Destiny. What we are waiting on now are perhaps a reveal of some information on the aforementioned strike. We are still waiting to see what new gear is going to look like as well.

If you missed the stream, you can check it out on Bungie’s YouTube channel or watch a replay on Twitch. You can also check out the official Bungie.net April update teaser page.

Bungie will release more information in the following week, so make sure you check out the Bungie Twitch channel for the next stream.

Playstation Network – Xbox Live Free Games – March Edition

Each month Sony and Microsoft grace us with free titles for download. Here is the line up for both PSN and XBL for the month of March.

Playstation Network

Broforce – PS4
Galak-Z – – PS4
Super Stardust HD – PS3
Flame Over – PS Vita
Reality Fighters – PS Vita
The Last Guy – PS3

 

Xbox Live

02/16 – 03/15
Styx: Masters of Shadows – Xbox One

03/01-03/31
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment – Xbox One

03/16-04/15
Lords of the Fallen – Xbox One

03/01-03/15
Supreme Commander 2 – Xbox 360

03/16-03/31
Borderlands – Xbox 360

 

Sony has a lineup this month that feels like a swift kick to the face. Its a particularly amazing list of games. The clear winners this month for Sony are:

  • Broforce
  • Galak-Z
  • Super Stardust HD

The latter of the two of course being PS3 only.


PSN_Logo Playstation Network

 

Broforce is an amazingly amusing title that offers fast paced pixel graphic gun-play.

Galak-Z takes us back to retro space shooters like Lifeforce and Gradius.

Finally, Super Stardust HD is an amazing over the top shooter in the same vein as Galak-Z. You may also recognize the game play style present in Resogun which is also made by Housemarque


xboxlive Xbox Live

 

 

Styx: Master of Shadows is a classic stealth based action game. It is also a followup prequel to Of Orcs and Men.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is a mystery action game and the newest entry in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series.

Lords of the Fallen is an action role-playing game. The game follows the souls series of games style of play.

Supreme Commander 2 offers up RTS action.

Borderlands is the game in the series that started it all. Loads of updates and great gameplay. Did we mention cell shaded graphics?!

The real winners this month are:

Broforce
Galak-Z
Super Stardust HD
Borderlands

These are by far some of the best games Sony has offered. Sadly the lineup Microsoft has given us this month is more than lackluster. Hopefully April will yield us better options.

Do You Have Kontrol?

Though I have been gaming for the better part of 20+ years, it was only in the last few years that I found myself interested in PvP gaming. Recently it was recommended I pick up some analog extenders to help in some of the areas I found myself falling short, specifically a set of KontrolFreeks. So off to the interwebs I went and found myself a set of the FPS Freek Bombshell Limited Edition, which are sadly not available from KontrolFreek directly anymore since they are, as stated, limited edition (from 2013!).

The first thing you’ll notice about these is that they are immensely easy to install. Like a monkey rolling on acid could install these blindfolded, with one hand. That being said, I do have to point out that these will not replace the grips on your controllers. If you have worn through the standard analog rubber, like I had, applying pressure for say sprinting, will cause the extender to pop right off. They do need that rubber to help secure them in place. After switching these to a new controller I had zero issue with them staying in place perfectly.

Some of the things KontrolFreek boasts with their brand are comfort, better control, and accuracy improvements. In game I immediately noticed the comfort, my grip on the controller felt much more relaxed than it previously had. My movements also felt more controlled and intentional. I was able to react better to surprise situations (i.e. unexpectedly running into someone around a corner) and usually come out on top, where as before we would trade, or I’d end up dead. Overall my average K/D has remained the same, but I can definitely see the benefits of extenders.

In addition to personally trying KontrolFreek, I also wanted to speak to some one with higher K/D and overall performance than I can boast myself. Always willing to answer any questions I may have, Digitalhoax was happy to give his opinion. I asked him 4 basic questions I thought gamers looking into KontrolFreeks might have:

Q: In your opinion, what are the top improvements KontrolFreeks can make for everyday gamers?

A: 1. Reduced thumb fatigue, making longer hours of play more enjoyable.
2. Higher sensitivity settings will feel smoother, and more controllable, giving you better target acquisition, and precise movements.
3. Compared to the standard analog, you’ll find you have a much better grip with KontrolFreek material, regardless of sweat.

Q: Some people use extenders with different heights, do you think it’s better to have one analog higher than the other?

A: That depends on your personal preference. Some players prefer their movement be shorter due to the frequency you will be pressing down on it, opposed to a taller extension, which allows for finer aiming.

Q: Are there any major downfalls to speak of?

A: The time it takes to get used to them may vary from person to person, which can become frustrating. The only other downfall that comes to mind is the cost of shipping, you may find that if you are outside of the United States it can be a bit expensive.

Q: Would you recommend KontrolFreeks to all gamers?

A: Yes, casual, hardcore, professional, and all other levels of gamers. They simply help to make aiming less frustrating, and more precise. Another big bonus is their longevity. This is a solid product made with reliable materials that will withstand the test of time when compared with similar products.

So there you have it friends, not one, but two thumbs up for KontrolFreek. A great company that has clearly invested their time to make a product you can be happy to spend your money on. Stop by their website, kontrolfreek.com, and grab a set for yourself!

Xur Location and Recommendations – Feb 19

Public Safety Announcement!

 

Xur is in the Tower, over by the Speaker in front of the huge door that we all hope will open to a new space one day! For your own safety and sanity avoid Xur at all costs. He is a prick and brings is nothing to get even remotely happy about. Well unless of course you are like me and have been trying to conquer Oryx challenge mode all week and have burned through a ton of Heavy Ammo Synths and 3 of Coins.

Have a great Destiny week Destiverse!

Enjoy Xur Feb 5 – Location & Recommendations!

Taikonaut

Taikonaut
The helmets worn by the first Chinese lunar colonists of the Golden Age.

Exotic Perk:

Air Traffic Control (All Rocket Launchers gain tracking, radar remains visible while zooming with Heavy Weapons and Heavy ammo drops more often.)

Tree 1:

Increase Intellect (Increase the Intellect bonus provided by this piece of gear.), Increase Discipline (Increase the Discipline bonus provided by this piece of gear.)

Tree 2:

Ashes to Assets (Gain bonus Super energy on Grenade kills.), Heavy Lifting (Gain bonus Super energy from Heavy Weapon kills on minions of the Darkness.)

Tree 3:

Invigoration (Gain bonus melee energy on Orb pickups.)


 

Skyburners Annex

To die twice in a strange land: first by Oryx's hand, then by yours.
To die twice in a strange land: first by Oryx’s hand, then by yours.

Exotic Perk:

Versatile Shooter (Heavy Weapon kills have a chance to create Orbs. Orbs collected when your Super is full have a chance to grant Special ammo.)

Tree 1:

Increase Intellect (Increase the Intellect bonus provided by this piece of gear.), Increase Strength (Increase the Strength bonus provided by this piece of gear.)

Tree 2:

Ashes to Assets (Gain bonus Super energy on Grenade kills.), Heavy Lifting (Gain bonus Super energy from Heavy Weapon kills on minions of the Darkness.)

Tree 3:

Better Already (Shields start recovery immediately after Orb pickup.)


 

Claws of Ahamkara

Claws of Ahamkara
Look at all this life, oh bearer mine. There is so much left to burn…

Exotic Perk:

The Whispers (Gain an additional charge for all Warlock-charged melees.)

Tree 1:

Increase Discipline (Increase the Discipline bonus provided by this piece of gear.), Increase Strength (Increase the Strength bonus provided by this piece of gear.)

Tree 2:

Snap Discharge (Increases melee attack speed.), Momentum Transfer (Gain bonus melee energy on grenade hits.)

Tree 3:

Auto Rifle Loader (Increases the reload speed of Auto Rifles.), Sniper Rifle Loader (Increases the reload speed of Sniper Rifles.)


 

Exotic Helmet Engram

Exotic Helmet Engram
Exotic Helmet Engram

An engram with remarkable encoding markers. A Cryptarch would be thrilled to decode it into a piece of armor.


 

Exotic Legacy Engram – Guantlet

Exotic Gauntlet Engram
Exotic Gauntlet Engram

 

An engram with remarkable but familiar markers. A Cryptarch would be pleased to decode it..


 

 

 

Xur’s Curios

Xur's Curios
The other stuff that he brings!

 

Xur Location and Recommendations – Feb 19 Video