Friday, March 31, 2006

Full 359

I figure I should provide an update of affairs 360-ish, given that a lot of activity has passed since my last post, and given that a lot of it is stupifyingly annoying..

First up, the wireless router/XBLive disconnects situation.
Those of you who have read my most recent posts, will know that I swapped out my D-Link Wireless Router for a Linksys one. That would be, a Microsoft certified Xbox Live compatible one. That would be, one that's listed on their site as an approved make and model. That would be, one that has a sticker on it claiming to be 'Xbox Live Compatible'.

That would be the one that has been causing my XBLive connection to drop out.

Yah. :-|

With no thanks to the Microsoft Xbox Tech Support staff (more on that later) I discovered for myself that, by swapping out the new Linksys with my crummy old non-wireless 10Base-T router, I can remain perfectly connected to Live for as long as I have the console turned on.
Despite having the Linksys set to totally open (unprotected) and the Xbox360 connecting in a DMZ, it would appear that it's not quite as 'compatible' as one might think. It's absolutely nothing to do with anything at Mircosoft's end, nor anything nasty within my ISP - it's plain and simply the new router.
Which I am unable to return to CPL (where I purchased it).
Which I am unable to return to the manufacturer, who state that, due to there being no dropouts experienced on my computers whilst connected, are not able to issue an RA as there is 'nothing wrong'.
Which, of course, makes a total mockery of any 'Xbox Live Compatibility' claims by Linksys, as they have stated "..we are not able to support claims arising via issues in conjunction with Xbox connectivity - please seek assistance from Microsoft", who say "..there are no issues with your account - please seek assistance via Linksys or your ISP", who say "..there are no known issues with your internet connection, as you are able to witness via connecting with your old router.."

..full 360 indeed. Round and round in circles, to put it another mildly frustrating way.

FFFUUUCCCKKKIIING PRICKS!!!!!!! Why am I suffering YET AGAIN for being caught smack in BETWEEN of any reasonable liability????! I am just out of reach of all of them - how convenient for them.

FUCKERS! >(


*ahem

Anyhow, next up is the console's erratic behavior.
I seem to have sorted that one out - in that the hideous images of Project Gotham Racing 3 below seem to be caused only by playing the game with the console in the vertical position. Lay the 360 down on it's side, and the glitches go away. NOTHING to do with overheating, as I tested it cold as well.
It appears that my particular burn of the DVD is overly sensitive, which would also explain why it's the only DVD that makes the console sound like it's about to take off - all of my other games are nowhere near as noisy when played, so obviously the Xbox is struggling to read it or something,
Anyway, the nice bloke at EB said he'd take it back for a refund or exchange, which I will do shortly and see if it makes a difference.

So, for now, it would appear that in fact my console is not faulty.
At least I have one thing that's not as bad as it originally appeared. *sigh
I dunno, perhaps it needed time to burn in or something? But all I know is that I've been enjoying it daily for the last week (since putting my old router back in) without any problems whatsoever. And for that, I am grateful.

But let me give you a snippet of the aforementioned Xbox Live Tech Support experiences I had this week - dear god!

Picture this; I call the Australian 1800 number during their operating hours, but end up talking to someone in the US. I'd understand if I was calling out of hours, but why have absolutely ZERO local support? And if that's the case, why limit the availability of the service to 'Australian business hours'??
Anyhow, (I know their procedure off by heart now, having listened to it over TEN TIMES), I call them:

"Welcome to Xbox Live Technical Support. my name is XXX; can I start by having your first name and surname?"
Steve North.
"I'm sorry sir, could you please repeat that?"
S t eee ve Nooorrrtthh, as in, the direction, North, like North and South.. the NORTH pole.
"Nash?"
No, North - 'N' 'O' 'R' 'T' 'H' - North.
"I'm sorry sir can you please spell that out for me?"
But I just did..?
"I'm sorry sir, could you please spell out your first name and surname for me."
*sigh.. S for Sierra, T for Tango..
"Sierra? Is that your first name sir?"
No, that's the first letter of my first name. S for Sierra, T for Tango, E for Echo..
"Sir, in order to assist you, I need to have your first name and surname.."
IM TRYING TO TELL YOU! MY NAME IS STEEEVVVEE NOOOOOORRTTHH NORTH! LIKE NORTH POLE! NORTH AND SOUTH!..
"Sir, is your first name Steve?"
YES!!!! :-o
"Ok now, your surname?"
MY SURNAME, IS: NORTH. Spelled N O R T H North! NORTH!

*silence*...

Hello?
"Sir, could you please describe your name to me?"
..
..
..Pardon?

"Sir, could you please describe your name to me"?
Describe my name?? What do you mean, describe my name??? FUCK! I dunno.. its kinda got five letters and likes long walks in the freakin PARK?!? WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'DESCCRRIIBBE' MY NAME?!

*silence

HELLO?
"Ok Steve, may I call you Steve?"
*blink blink .. yes. *deep breath* yes, you may.
"OK Steve what seems to be the problem today?"
I'm having connection issues with my Xbox Live connection. I can connect FINE, but the connection drops anywhere between one and 10 minutes.
"Ok Steve, my understanding of your issue is, that you are having difficulties connecting to Xbox Live from your Xbox360 console.."
No no.. I can CONNECT fine, it's just that it keeps dropping off all the time. As in, it doesn't stay connected.
"Ok Steve, I just need to clarify back to you, my understanding of your issue: You are having difficulties maintaining a connection to the Xbox Live service."
YES! YES! That's correct - I have no problems connecting, but it doesn't stay that way.
"Ok Steve, thank you for clarifying that. I need to place you on hold for a couple of minutes while I check my resources. Is that ok with you Steve?"
Yes, that's fine.
"Ok Steve. I'll be placing you on hold now for a couple of minutes. Please do not hang up this call, ok Steve? I'll be right back."
..er yep - thats ok.. I understand.
"Good, thank you Steve. I'll place you on hold now."
Yah - thanks.. :-|
..
..
"Ok hello Steve, thank you for your patience holding. I have some steps I need to take you through in order to best troubleshoot your connection issue. Is that okay with you Steve?"
yes - thats fine.
"Ok great Steve. First of all, I need you to power off all of your equipment, including any rooters and modems you have connected to your Xbox 360 console."
Rooters?
"I'm sorry Steve?"
You mean my ROUTER?
"Please Steve, I need you to follow these instructions exactly so that I am able to best troubleshoot your issue."
yeh I know, but you said ROOTERS.. do you mean my ROUTER?
"Sir I am not familiar with that term, however you will get an opportunity to advise me of any other issues later in the procedure; for now please follow my instructions exactly as I read them, ok Steve?"
*giggle yep yep - ok. sorry. *blink
"Ok Steve, I need you to disconnect.."
YES I've done that.
"Ok Steve. Now I need you to reconnect the cable between your console and your modem for me."
But I dont connect my console to my modem?
"Ok Steve, well that appears to be the problem with your connection.."
No wait - that's not the problem - I connect my Xbox to my ROUTER which is then connected to my modem.. I do not connect the console directly to the modem"
"Thank you Steve. May I place you on hold one more time while I go check my resources for this issue?"
..... yep. sure.. no problem. *tap tap
"Thank you Steve. I'll be back in a couple of minutes."
...
...
"Are you there Steve?"
yes.
"Ok, thanks for your patience holding Steve."
that's ok.
"Ok what I'm gonna need you to do now, is a connection test from within the Xbox 360 dashboard. Are you in front of your console right now?"
Yes, I am, BUT I've already performed this test, and it comes back saying everything is WORKING CORRECTLY, which is true, because I CAN connect fine, remember? It's just that it wont STAY connected."
"I understand that Steve, but in order to.."
yes yes okay I understand - lets do the test.
"Great Steve! Okay, navigate to the Xbox Dashboard by pressing the central silver button on the controller, the one with the green 'x' on it.."
I'm already at the test page.
"Thank you Steve, however I need you to press the silver butt.."
YOU'RE NOT LISTENING TO ME: I'M ALREADY AT THE NETWORK TEST PAGE IN THE DASHBOARD!!
*silence
AND I REPLUGGED EVERYTHING BACK IN BECAUSE YOU FORGOT TO TELL ME TO DO THAT
..
..
"Sir, I can appreciate that you are frustrated by the issues you are experiencing.."
OK!!! OKAY!!!! I'VE CANCELLED THE TEST! IM AT THE HOME PAGE OF THE DASHBOARD!! LETS DO IT!
"Thank you Steve. Now, press the silver button in the centre of your controller.."
WAIT - that doesnt take me to the right place? That brings up my friends list?
"Sir, according to my documentation, you need to press the silver button."
*cry* ok... i've pressed the silver button.
"Great Steve! Okay, now, using the grey DEE PAD button on your controller, the one that looks like a cross, I need you to press the 'down' direction twice..
(etc etc.. after realising he was totally wrong, we got to the Network Test page of the dashboard..)

"Ok Steve, now I need you to start the test."
BUT I'M TELLING YOU - IT WILL COME BACK 100% FINE! THIS IS NOT THE ISSUE!!!!!!!!
"Sir I need you to.."
YES OKAY! OKAY!!! IT'S RUNNING!!!!!! JEEZUS!!
"Steve, please tell me each result as it appears in the test, okay?"
yep - 'ok'.. 'ok'.. 'ok'.. 'ok'.. 'ok'.. 'ok'.. and finally, 'ok'. there, JUST like I said.
"Great Steve! So you're now connected to Xbox Live?"
YES. Yes I am.."
"Great Steve - is there anything else I can be of assistance with today?"

What? What do you mean?

"Is there anything else I can help you with today Steve?"
But.. you havent DONE anything yet? You havent fixed my problem?!
"Steve you just informed me that you are connected to Xbox Live?"
YES I KNOW - LIKE I'VE BEEN SAYING FROM THE BEGINNING, I *CAN* CONNECT TO XBOX LIVE, BUT THE CONNECTION DOESNT *STAY* CONNECTED!! IT WILL DROP OUT ANYWHERE FROM 1 TO 10 MINUTES FROM NOW!!!
"Ok Steve, I'm just gonna have to place you on hold while I go check my resources. Is that okay with you?"
**SIGH** yes, yes thats fine. *swallow
..
..
"Okay I'm back Steve, thankyou for your patience holding. I have another procedure to take you through. Is it okay with you if we do this now?"
Yesssssss, now is FINE. *slumps
"Great Steve! Okay; firstly, do you own an Xbox360 or an original Xbox?"

..
pardon?

"Steve do you own an Xbox 360 or an original black Xbox console?"
BUT ONLY A FEW MINUTES AGO YOU TOOK ME THROUGH A TEST ON THE 360 DASHBOARD?!?!? WHAT DO YOU *MEAN* 'DO I HAVE A 360'????????????????????? NO I DONT HAVE A FUCKING XBOX360 - I DID THE TEST YOU TALKED ME THROUGH ON MY FUCKING TOASTER OVEN!!!
**CLICK**
I hung up.
Or, more to the point, I gave up.

And the sad part is, that I attempted to ring back multiple times that same day, in the vague hope of getting a support rep on the other end who actually listened to my issue.. but without fail, I got an IDENTICAL EXPERIENCE EVERY FUCKING TIME.
Absolutely unbelievable.

If you're after a good laugh, call them yourself with the same issue, and realise that I am not exaggerating. Consistant poor service, of the grossest kind. (The number, by the way, is: 1800 555 741)


So to make myself feel better, I went shopping. And I bought 'Blazing Angels', 'The Outfit', 'Perfect Dark Zero', and 'Farcry Evolution', taking my games collection for the XB360 to ten.
It was therapy, ok? I know I have a problem. =)

Oh and by the way, if you're a 360 owner, do yourself a favour and download the new demos that have recently appeared on Marketplace:
- BattleField2 Modern Combat
- The Outfit
..both of which are most excellent in my opinion.

Well I think I've typed enough - time to go get value for my money and plant my fat ass on the couch for an allnight session on Live.
The forecast for the weekend says rain, so I couldn't be happier. Aside, that is, from the FREAKING LOUD NOISE that drones in my ear all fkn day long right now, given that I live right next door to the F1 Grand Prix track.

How dare they annoy me..
=)

2 Comments:

At 6:26 pm, April 01, 2006, Blogger sambo_nz said...

**Update**
Blazing Angels is a pile of shite. No, seriously. Even Eurogamer agree, as I do with everything they slated against the game.

It's about as 'next gen' as a pen. And about as much fun.
Actually, a pen would be more fun.

For god's sake download the demo from the Live Marketplace (when it finally gets put up on the servers for Aussie) before you buy it. If you have Crimson Skies for the Xbox1 (as I do) then you're in for a better treat by playing that on the 360 than this Blazing Pile of Crap.
There is absolutely no discernible difference between the Xbox or PS2 versions, and the 360 version.
Including the god-awful (and insanely infruriating!) gameplay.

But hey, at least there's one thing going for it: It'll go down as the very first utterly embarrassing excuse for blatant dishonesty on the new 360 system.. someone had to do it?

 
At 8:58 pm, April 11, 2006, Blogger sambo_nz said...

Oh and I'm not sure if I mentioned elsewhere that the issues I was experiencing with Project Gotham Racing have been resolved.
I took the game back to the store for a replacement, and ever since then it's been fine.
It must've been a bad DVD burn causing the errors (and the over-excited DVD drive in the console, due to it not being able to read the disc properly) as I've not had a single issue since.

Yay!

 

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