Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Spacious boardroom
Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi / Unsplash

After years and years of being upset with companies, I decided to rant about it a bit. All of these stories directly affected me and I'm not sure if there is any merit to them or if I'm just crazy.

  1. Cox Networks

While living in the great state of Arkansas, I switched to COX for my ISP as AT&T was no longer available at the location I moved. They have an option that allows you to bring your own modem. This seemed preferred to me, because doing so removed the $10.99/monthly fee for equipment rental.

I just needed to purchase a $120 DOCSIS 2.0 modem and I already had the router. Assuming I stayed with COX for a year and more, I would save money vs the combined $131.88 I would have to pay for equipment yearly.

This seemed great until a few months into payment, the strange 10.99 monthly fee showed up again. I called support and got moved between plenty of support agents, none knowing that I could even use my own equipment. It took a few calls and escalations, but I finally got the refund for the 11 bucks and it was removed from my bill.

I thought the story would end here, but a few months later again the item showed up again. I started thinking since I now work in the development field, was this some bug on their system looking for accounts without the monthly rental field and adding it? Was this some scummy intentional behavior to add new fees to see if consumers would notice? Did COX even care this kept happening?

Thankfully after about 2 years of dealing with this - I moved to Florida leaving COX behind.

2. Bungie

I was addicted to the first iteration of Destiny, playing 2,246 hours before putting the game down after 1,070 days.

Destiny 1 was intentionally crippled months before the 2nd game's release, thus breaking my addiction as the events I played in the game were permanently shut down.

With that aside, I bought the game on launch with 7 others and we began to play our favorite game modes from the 1st game so lets talk about those.

Raids which were amazing complicated journeys taking hours of work now only dropped these little useless tokens to later be redeemed for gear. This destroyed the fun of everyone waiting together at the end of a successful run chanting in hopes for that piece of yellow text to show up on the screen.

The other event (Trials) which only appeared from Friday to Monday morning changed from 3v3 to 4v4. Which made finding a 3rd into finding a 4th which made the experience of finding great players much more difficult. Additionally, re-spawn times increased 10 fold, weapons were pea shooters and health regeneration took so long that it was pretty difficult to "carry".

This mode sucked so badly I wanted the original game to return. So bad that I couldn't find a single player in our 20 person clan that was playing the game.

Apparently, we were not the only ones disliking the game.

Destiny Dev Team: As longtime Destiny players know, Trials of Osiris was released in May of 2015 as the original high-stakes weekend PvP event. Trials had an amazing impact on our game and our community. It was a pinnacle venue for players to show off their best skills, strategies, and gear. The 3v3 elimination mode combined with the card system created the coveted reward of earning a trip to the Lighthouse.  

With the introduction of Trials of the Nine in Destiny 2, we made a few changes to the formula which never really hit the same mark. We were unhappy with its role in the ecosystem. The new activity wasn’t achieving the goal of bringing the community together every weekend. Both Destiny and the online PvP scene have evolved since 2015, so we don’t believe that bringing back the 2015 version of Trials of Osiris would accomplish what our goals are today.

Until we have a solid prototype for a pinnacle PvP endgame activity, Trials is staying on hiatus indefinitely and will not return over the course of the next few seasons. When we have those new plans ready, we’ll be sure to share them with you.

Bungie themselves killed the game type and took about a year to return the original implementation of the mode. I just don't understand how a game-type so successful that community sites were programmed and developed for it. Services for hiring people spawned from it. Hundreds streamed it every weekend and much more. What went wrong in the office of Bungie for this game to miss the mark entirely?

3. Niantic (Ingress)

The company behind Pokemon Go and Ingress has made some pretty obvious but minor mistakes over the years. Publishing dates for major events on social networks just for them to be wrong. Mixing the wrong city with country on published materials.

However, this mistake was pretty bad. Events that since 2012 were primarily organized by players was now attached with a price tag weeks before the event. For those unaware planning an Ingress event in a city is pretty insane. Players help other players organize lodging, travel, food and more.

This sounds easy, but organizers have real life jobs and families and all this work is free unpaid hobby help. Organizing a couple hundred people with logistics for attending a city isn't easy. Most who end up taking on this role end up cutting back on the game entirely after the event is over due to shear amount of stress and work it takes.

So with an already announced event weeks away, Niantic announces forced payment for tickets. While the price wasn't bad, it was the mess that followed. Apparently a free event in the city doesn't require as many permits or approval. The instant you begin charging for that event, you need permits, police, bathrooms and more. While matters were being investigated and resolved - COVID19 struck and all events slowly but surely were cancelled worldwide.

4. Streaming Services

For this item - I just wanted to rant about a disconnect between new streaming startups and the reason streaming became so great. Imagine just one service (Netflix) where you can watch anything for a low monthly fee. It was amazing, it was legal, it was great.

Now in 2020 if you want to watch Disney content you need Disney+, if you want to watch some network TV - you'll need either HBO Plus/Go/Max. Some shows may be on Hulu, but others may be on Amazon Prime. Some exclusives may even be on Apple TV. If you want to watch old content then you are probably out of luck unless you find it on Vudu.

So now we find every company racing to make a streaming solution to keep users on their platform longer. Today it may be NBC with Peacock, tomorrow it may be someone else.

This is sending me no where except back to illegal content consumption, because I'm not signing up for 15 services to watch some movies & TV.

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