About Me

nerd.of.steel: Rocco Augsuto

I am a Web Developer, Consultant, and former Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) based out of the City of Roses - Portland, Oregon. I have over 16 years of education and experience in the art of Web Design and Development and have no plans to stop my quest for knowledge anytime soon. Over the past couple years I have been moving into the mobile Internet space and started developing applications for the Google Android platform.

The Realm of Stolen Money

Posted: Jan 4, 09:24 AM Does anyone remember the once fantastic graphical MUD called The Realm? If not then you missed out on the best online game that 1996 had to offer. Not to long ago I had a hankering to relive some of the glory days of online gaming and decided that I would give the game a try again... Unfortunately, a lot has changed since the last time I played. It turns out Sierra sold the game to the gaming company Codemasters a few years back who in turn sold it to another company named Norseman Games. Somewhere along the lines, Norseman Games decided it would be a good idea to run the game into the ground.

After spending almost a month beating up Hell Hounds and Ogres, I learned something that everyone who would like to play this game should know... That is to stay as far away from this game as possible! While the game was fun and entertaining for the short time frame I spent indulging my own nostalgia, the constant "time warps" (random resetting of your character stats/items/weapons/skills, usually to several days prior) and increased monthly price tag are not worth the headache. You would expect a game that cost $7.00USD a month to subscribe to would at least backup their database up once a day just in case they do have one of their "random database crashes", which were more of a weekly and sometimes daily occurrence then random. Norseman Games couldn't be bothered with daily backups though. No no no, that would be the responsible thing to do and they are to cool for school to be bothered with such minor details, so instead you were stuck loosing everything you worked so hard for and had to do it over again. Sorta like that canceled WB sitcom, Do Over... except not as funny.

To make matters worse, even after I canceled my account with Norseman Games, back in September of 2006, they still continued to charge my credit card each month! Can you believe that? If that was not bad enough, they redesigned their site and removed the community forums, stopped responding to customer emails, and disconnected their phone numbers so there was almost no way to contact them.

The good news is, they still left the company contact form available on their homepage so last night I decided to send a slew of emails off to each department that had a form listed and politely asked them for an explanation as to why they were stealing money from me and ignoring my previous emails, as well as requesting a refund for those months that I was not a member. Hopefully after my onslaught of electronic finger pointing, and this blog entry, someone over there will actually be nice enough to email me back instead of ignoring every attempt of communication I send their way!