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Quick post to highlight some of the issues from Ghost in the Machine, to include the lag, the cogs, and the friend reward system.

Game Lag

As noted on the Frustration & Venting board (here & here), lag has been killer.  This is the first time I've been higher than 20k in my ranking.  Yes, even as a new player I was below 20k.  Now while part of that has been apathy over the rewards and resignation that I'll never get an MTM Brainstorm or Highbrow, the main reason I'm not sitting in Tier 2 right now is because of the game lag.  As in, I can't scan, fight a boss, upgrade or pull medals without the game locking up on my iphone.  Now, while I appreciate the Mobage apology and the "gift" of 15 battlecube recharges for my trouble (REALLY?), it does nothing to solve the actual issue.  I know that Android users already have a fix and that iOS users have to wait patiently for Apple to clear their fix, but this is downright ridiculous.  Oh, and how does a ~50mb app explode to over 900mb in size?  (I checked the "Usage" under my General Settings) It's either a "memory leak" (saw that elsewhere, but I have NO idea what that entails) or else there is some serious add-ons for the app.

The game is unplayable right now, Mobage.  Please, PLEASE fix this!

Transformation Cogs

Okay, so I can ONLY get these bits of currency if I pay REAL money for them on the Space Bridge, but in order to actually PURCHASE anything with them I have to spend the equivalent of $50, and that only gets ONE side of the character?  AND I can't carry them over to another event, even though I now OWN them?  This is an epic fail.  These aren't ruby medals, that are given out like some form of prophylactic at a college campus by liberal student groups.  Check that...rubies are more of a virtual controlled substance, and access to them is granted to those who can pay for a decent dealer in states that allow for "medicinal purposes." 

I have PAID for these cogs, Mobage.  Taking them away after the event fits the definition of theft.  As of now, you have 26 hours to prevent that from happening.

Friend Rewards

Okay, I'll admit it...I got the Rodimus card simply to compete my cyberdex.  I've never liked the character, but it seemed worth the time and effort to get him.  Go I got the ten friends together and got the card. 

So imagine my glee in the new card being an Ultra Rare (Sky Lynx 2)!  I would FINALLY be able to get an MTM UR card, after being foiled so many times in the past.  So I got ten friends...and got the robot mode rather than the Alt and Weapon.  Thinking there had been an error, I contacted Mobage and then added five more friends (total of 15) while I awaited the response.  Here is my conversation with Chad (whom several others have corresponded with; see the thread here):

My Initial E-mail and Update:

Good Afternoon,

I have an issue with the Friend Code Rewards. I was excited to attempt to collect the new Friend Code Rewards, as this would be the first complete Ultra Rare card for my account. My Transformers: Legends account (DutchRits) currently has 20 Level 8 friends, ten of which were added during the last Friend Code Reward period. I have since added ten friends, but this is where the error appears to have occurred.

According to the current reward brackets, once I reach 5x level 8 friends I will receive the Ultra Rare Sky Lynx Alt mode card; once I reach 8x level 8 friends I will receive the Ultra Rare Sky Lynx weapon, and then at 15x level 8 friends I will receive the Ultra Rare Sky Lynx Robot mode card. However, once I added five new friends (bringing my total number of invited friends to 15) I received the Ultra Rare Sky Lynx Robot mode card, NOT the Alt mode. Now that I am up to 20 level 8 friends (I have added a total of ten for this series of rewards) I have NOT received the promised weapon card.

What appears to have happened is that the game did not account for the ten previous friends I had, and so only recognized my total of 15 friends and granted that reward (the Robot mode card awarded for having a total of fifteen friends). I have since leveled up the robot mode card, but I would like to receive my alt mode and weapon cards. If that means I have to reach twenty five friends, so be it. However, with the current system I do not believe the game will reward me with the promised cards since it is not recognizing the previous friends I added.

Please help me figure out what I need to do in order to fix the situation. Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

-XXXXXXXXX
Game: Transformers: Legends
Gamer ID: DutchRits

Update: I am now up to 25 total level eight friends, 15 of which we're added during this reward cycle. This would make my account eligible for all of the Friend Code rewards (robot mode, alt mode, weapon, and items).

Thank you again for your help in correcting this issue.


Here is Chad's First Response:

Hey there,

I understand that there is some confusion in the new friend invite rewards but as per the Help section in game regarding friend invites it says:

"NOTE: At this time, you may only hit a Lv8 Friend reward milestone once. If the rewards change after you've received Lv8 Friend milestone rewards, you will not automatically receive the next set of rewards."

At this time you can only receive the friend rewards once, so when you the reward changes if you are already reached a previous milestone you will not receive rewards for this again.

If this is not your issue or have any other questions or concerns please feel free to let me know.

Thank you,
Chad

My Response to Chad:

Chad,

I appreciate you getting back to me. I'm aware of the disclaimer, however I'm not claiming that I should automatically receive rewards because I already reached a milestone previously. If that were the case, I would have argued that I already had ten friends (from the previous rewards) and that I should only have to add five to get the new rewards. That appears to meet the disclaimers wording of:
>
> "If the rewards change after you've received Lv8 Friend milestone rewards, you will not automatically receive the next set of rewards."
>

Even the first portion of the rule, that a level 8 milestone can only be attained once, in my understanding means that I cannot earn multiples of this reward. It does not state that a player will never, ever be eligible for future rewards on cel that pass a milestone.

My first email for this issue was to try to fix the error of being awarded the bot mode when I'd earned the alt and weapon. However, I have added fifteen friends to the ten friends I added previously, bringing my total to 25. The current rewards require a total of fifteen friends to earn the rewards, and I have done that. I'm not claiming automatic eligibility for rewards, I'm stating that I have earned the new rewards in accordance with the disclaimer. Nowhere in the disclaimer does it state that once you receive the rewards that you are ineligible for future rewards, only that you are not AUTOMATICALLY eligible for rewards. This insinuates that player's are not ineligible for future rewards if they have earned them in the past, but must still earn them by adding new friends.

If Mobage's position is that you can only earn rewards once and then never earn them again, then that will require an update to the disclaimer, because that is most definitely NOT what it currently states. But I and a host of other players have operated under the assumption (and IAW the established guidelines) that we could earn the rewards by adding more friends. We've done that, and now the appearance is one of a breach of trust on the part of Mobage.

I wholly agree that people shouldn't be automatically rewarded for this feature, but a simple reset of the friend counter each time new rewards are implemented or clearer rules would simplify this whole situation. But right now, IAW the guidelines you've quoted and posted, and which I (and others in the TFL player community) have operated under, this seems pretty cut and dry. If we've earned the rewards by adding the requisite number of friends and are NOT claiming automatic eligibility from previous friends added, then we have met the requirements and should be awarded the promised rewards.

Thank you again for your response, Chad. I look forward to continued conversation as we work to resolve this issue. Again, I'm not looking for free swag; I feel have earned the rewards IAW the established criteria.

Chad's Second Response (I removed my name):

Hey XXXXXX,

My apologizes for any confusion in my first email but at this time if you have already reached a milestone like inviting 10 friends you would have received cards previously, maybe the Rodimus cards. When the rewards change and you invite more players your friend counter does not reset and go back to zero, you would stay at 10 friends invited and if you invite 5 more you will receive the 15 friend invite reward and not the first two rewards again.

I have gathered some great feedback on this issue and that there is some confusion and have brought it up to the respected parties. I mentioned that a lot of players were seeking a counter reset when the rewards change, that way they can continue to invite more players more than the one time batch of 15.

At this time I cannot comment or confirm on whether or not this will happen with this invite period but I will also add your thoughts on the confusion of the Help screen and the explanation of these invite rewards.

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to let me know, also if I missed anything in your original response.

Thank you,
Chad


Why there is confusion about the Friend Rewards

Okay, here is the image of the helpscreen that KUB4$K!E posted:

Warning.jpg

This is the portion that Chad was quoting in his response.  (By the way, thank you for being straightforward and easy to deal with, Chad.  it was MUCH appreciated!)  There appears to be a problem with interpretation, however.  Let's take a look at the entire statement.

1) "NOTE: At this time, you may only hit a Lv8 Friend reward milestone once." 

I interpret this to mean that, while these rewards are being offered, you can only hit the reward milestone once.  This will prevent people from flooding the system with fake accounts to create an army of Rodimus or Sky Lynx cards.  Well thought out, from that perspective. 

However, Mobage interprets this as "you can only claim rewards once...EVAR!" and that means that players are ineligible for future rewards.  THAT was never stipulated in the help text, NOR was it stated when the new rewards were released.  They also never stated that they would ever IMPROVE on the rewards that were initially offered...if we KNEW that we could only ever claim rewards once, we would have probably waited to claim them for when we knew there was going to be an UR offered.

2) "If the rewards change after you've received Lv8 Friend milestone rewards, you will not automatically receive the next set of rewards." 

Again, this seems pretty straight forward.  Just because you added ten friends to get Rodimus, those same ten friends won't count towards future rewards...you have to start over and/or add to your total number of friends to get the rewards.

However, Mobage interprets this as "once you cross a reward tier, you can NEVER GO BACK, even once new rewards are introduced!" which is why those of us who got Rodimus only got the Robot mode of Sky Lynx.   Again, on top of NOT being stated in the help text, this interpretation punishes players who actually DO add more players to the game.  All "fake account" arguments aside, is this REALLY the approach Mobage wants to take with this?

The part that is the most upsetting about this is that the only admission of liability from Chad on this is that they weren't clear enough in the help text and that they need a better explanation of the Friend Reward system...NOT that they would fix the issue for those of us who acted in good faith in accordance with the established guidelines.  WHY are you being so difficult on this, Mobage?  We followed your rules...you just didn't clarify them enough to meet your intent.  But your intent is weird too, since it punishes the players.

Here's my solution: if players have collected the Rodimus rewards, make them get 15 more friends and give them Sky Lynx.  That meets the present requirements.  Now, if you want to keep to the plan of people not EVER being eligible for friend rewards again, fix the help screen and implement it for the next batch of friend rewards.  This will allow you to save face, fix the error, and build faith with your player base.

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