Since my name was mentioned here (as good an excuse as any other to stand on a soapbox and preach to the masses) I'm going to supply a few comments from the flip side of this discussion (not representing the EMU team as such, but as a volunteer that steps up to do things for the project). Please save all your swearing for the end of the post.
Tickets are looked at and responded to by GM staff ONLY, of which there are 3 (Blacklung, Plateau and Woodstock) who examine the consequences surrounding the event, evaluate the intervention level required, and make a decision based on what information is available to them. To understand this process, you have to consider what information can be accessed, such as :
1) your immediate character profile, live at the moment.
2) your recent character's transaction history of all types (trades, loot., etc)
3) recent server logs (by developer intervention only, after the fact)
From what information I can gather (secondhand), the GM's decision to not replace the buildable items is pretty normal. There can be arguments made for some buildable items to be replaced when "lost" like this if the build is extremely difficult or might involve raid parts (like a bile launcher or cannon). The player was then set to a mission step to re-obtain one of the unique items, which is fine, and then did not replace a looted unique which is from a timed spawn and not raid related (where it might have been won on a roll). Both of these items did not have any recent trade or loot history on the player logs, unlike the case recently where a Steingard's was dropped and replaced because the log showed it being removed from the inventory. Note that a lack of evidence here does not imply that anyone is lying. It implies there is no evidence.
Up to this point, if I had been "helping" .. I'dve probably made the same decisions the GM did. Depends how much coffee I may or may not have consumed.
Now, after the player has been helped by a GM, in this case not to the player's satisfaction, can this be changed? Sure, that's part of the head GM's (Blacklung) role.
The GM is already helping / has already helped you, just maybe not the way you want. Or expected (we'll come back to expectations in a moment). There are options available to everyone here to contact various people on staff, of which you all avail yourselves regularly, via e-mail, messaging on the forums, and including poking one of us on TeamSpeak, even if it's just to ask "is this fair?". Someone may decide to change it after the fact. Or not.
At that point in the discussion to say in short terms "fix it or I'm gone" is provocative, and premature, considering the options.
I won't address Plateau's response. That it might be not politically correct from a player's standpoint is valid. Whether he could have pointed out that if the player isn't happy, he could always talk to his "boss" is also valid. But because he didn't when faced with an ultimatum from an upset player will possibly be a learning experience for him. Other than that, if the player is determined to leave, none of us can stop him. The response mentioned is basically the equivalent of wishing an unhappy person "Have a nice day".
So I'm here this evening and I'm reading the forums. And taking time to compose this. And I regularly keep a chat log from the server running.
And a bunch of other things, all related to the emulator. My personal dedication level to the project is maybe a little higher than others. Or maybe not.
Should you expect me to do this every day? (ah see expectations time). Should you expect this from all staff? .. The answer is no.
Catch me on a day when I'm not awake yet, have had no coffee, and the effing phone doesn't stop ringing when I'm -trying- to work on the emulator, and I can be a real asshole. Some of you know that from the last several years. Some of you may find out tomorrow sometime before 8am. Such is life.
Lots of people see me regularly jump in and fix things. Thanks for noticing that, I appreciate it.
Others do also, sometimes just not as publicly. Sometimes something I "fix" is a group effort, but because I actually jumped on it, I'm the visible solutionist.
Back to expectations, now .. the other comment here about ticket response speed. Let's compare :
A player puts in a ticket on Wednesday and receives a response Thursday. Issue : missing items (important!)
A player puts in a ticket and receives a response a week later. Issue : nick change (not important and as a rule not done!)
Obviously two different priorities. And while it may seem trivial to just fire off a response, the priority tickets get time first.
All of this taking into account the time that the GM staff is actually online during that period. And if this is the same ticket for a name change that the DEVs were approached about recently, then the GM took the time to verify whether it should actually be done or not to be certain before replying. Could a "will verify" response be sent and then a later reply, certainly. Is this also a learning experience? Definitely.
Again here, the question is asked "should I continue to donate money to the emulator" because of something that does not happen the way you expected it to.
The answer is entirely up to you. However, here is the part that I warned you about saving your swearing for.
You are not buying anything. There is no "customer service".
This is not EA where there are paid operator drones named Steve standing by at some switchboard in a third-world country imitating a Texas accent tinged with Hindu to make you feel like a piece of crap, after taking your money and then thanking you at the end of the call for playing Earth & Beyond. (yesssss .. this is familiar ..) Steve would then assign your ticket to a paid GM on staff during the next available shift. The paid GM would then make a decision you also might not like and then send you a standard form-letter ticket reply (that also reminded you that you were a numbered account) stating that there was no recent logs supporting your issue, and the ticket was closed. Oh, and again, Thank you for playing.
So what's the difference?
You are DONATING monies to a group that has pledged to run an emulator. Which we do, in programming and content development.
Alongside of that we OFFER our time to the players to help them resolve issues, and some contribute only by doing this (the GM staff).
We could do all of this invisibly, and you would never know us. Several games do that. We feel that doesn't suit E&B.
We do this when we can; there is no schedule, there is no punch clock. There is also frequently no reward, except for the people we meet and the shared love of the game.
You donate because you wish to support our efforts, and keep the game running, paying the server expenses and other development costs.
You donate because you love the game, not the people who run it.
We donate our time to better the game along the way for you, the players. Not always successfully. But we try.
Somewhere in the middle, we all meet, and share. That's the payoff.
Now I've spent all my playtime tonight donating my time to this post. Good Night.