Posted in Gaming

Amazon Adventure: When Your Nintendo eShop Code Was Already Redeemed…

I am no stranger to Nintendo eShop cards or codes. Friends and family alike know that the way to light up my birthday or holiday is to slip me some credit for my Switch. That being said, I rarely purchase a digital code – I unusually get them in the form of physical gift cards.

Here is the story of the time the Nintendo eShop code from Amazon arrived… already redeemed… and how I got the issue resolved. I’m not sure who should have taken the responsibility for this issue. But in the end, Nintendo was pretty quick to resolve it… after I’d jumped through a few procedural hoops.

Sunday, December 13, 2020: My dad buys me a $10 Nintendo eShop code as part of a Christmas gift on his Amazon account.

Hours Later: The code still hasn’t shown up in his game downloads section. I do some research around – some say that the code could take up to 4 hours to process. This went far beyond 4 hours.

Monday, December 14, 2020: I check the download section to see if the code arrived. It finally had. But strangely enough, I also noticed that on the item page, it said that two had been purchased (which I know wasn’t so). This was strange….

Not to mention, there was only one code in the download section… so…. that was weird.

Anyhow, I go to enter the code in the eShop just like I would normally and…

This activation code has already been used.

Say what?

Now, there’s not a chance that someone else with access to this Amazon account used this code. My parents don’t even own a Nintendo, much less know what the games download section of Amazon does. And my dad’s account is protected with OTP so no one else is getting in there except him or me.

I try the code again, and got the same response. So, it was off to Amazon support chat for me.

I explained the situation to the rep on the chat and she had someone from Amazon digital games support call me directly. This happened almost instantly – I do have to say that the response times were very fast in support!

Then, I explained the situation to the new rep over the phone. He proceeded to “gather information” about the situation, including what’s called a Control Number – which was provided along with the code. Then he told me he was sending this information to Nintendo Support and that I would have to call Nintendo and they would sort it out for me.

Okay…

This felt like a lot of to-do for a $10 card and an error I did not make.

But this was a Christmas gift from my dad, so to honor the money he spent, I chose to pursue this to the end.

Email from Amazon Support telling me to contact Nintendo…

So I call Nintendo support.

In all the years that I’ve been a customer of Nintendo (since childhood) I’ve only ever called support once – when my Switch dock got fried by a power surge. So I wondered how this would unfold.

Again, wait time was surprisingly short! The first rep I got was pleasant, quick to respond and helpful. He took the information I provided (I guess Amazon’s information had not arrived?) and was able to confirm that the code had indeed been used (before I got it).

He escalates my issue to a Specialist. And this is where the ball sorta drops.

He was like: Did you contact Amazon?

And I was like: Yes, and they sent me to you.

He remarked that this was “very strange.”

Then he was like: Are you sure you used the correct code?

And I was like: Pretty sure. And it recognized it (1) as a code (2) a code that had already been used. That’s why I’m here.

The fellow was polite enough, but he was so very uncertain that there was anything he could do to help me. In fact, he told me straight up, “I don’t know what to do about this.” and later said “I can’t promise this will get resolved.”

I’m like… what…? This is a $10 card for Heaven’s sake! It’s not like I’m talking about $75 or $100. Just $10…

The main reason he was so uncertain (or so I gathered) was because this was a digital code. Apparently, if you have this issue with a physical card, you can take a picture of the back of the card and send a photocopy of the receipt to prove you bought it.

In this case, all I could do was provide a screenshot of my dad’s digital download section and the invoice from Amazon. I had to tell this fellow repeated times that this was a digital code, not a card, so I didn’t have an actual card or receipt to send.

Still, he got the ball rolling for me, though acting still very unsure that I could get this resolved, and certainly having no clue how to handle it himself. And that’s… just not what you do in support (saying this as someone who worked retail and support for years).

He sends me an email from Nintendo Support, to which I have to respond with the information requested. So I do this as completely and thoroughly as a tech writer can. I typed out my story again, using bulleted lists to describe the steps I’d taken to get this resolved.

I then explained this was a code, not a card. But included a screenshot of the digital download section of Amazon and the invoice from Amazon because that’s all the proof I had.

From there, I could do nothing but sit and wait. After dealing with the uncertain Specialist, I wasn’t too confident that I’d get an answer or a resolution.

BUT. A few hours later, I get this email:

Seeing it was only 7PM EST when I got it, I realized I still had time to do this, so I hopped on the phone that moment. With pretty minimal wait time, I was then forwarded to someone who identified herself as a Supervisor.

Okay!

She looked over the notes in my case, and told me that Supervisor permission was needed to resolve this, and that she would, right then, give that permission. She told me that I’d either get a new code in the mail or that my account would be credited directly (since they did have my Nintendo account info).

I came away pretty pleased by that.

Not even 15 minutes later, I get this email:

Wow! I checked my account, and sure enough, there it was.

Now, I don’t know if it should have been Nintendo or Amazon who rectified this situation. And I’m not going to say this is what everyone else will have to do if they run across this. I honestly don’t know if the fault lay with Amazon’s code distribution or the code itself from Nintendo.

But that was quite an adventure for the $10 eShop credit. And while a little of the Nintendo support was iffy, the first rep and the supervisor who ultimately resolved this were great. I did fill out my customer feedback survey and spoke honestly about my experience – I don’t always do this, but this time, I felt I should.

And there you have it. The story of the already redeemed digital Nintendo eShop code bought from Amazon.

Posted in Steam Gaming

Steam Gaming: House Flipper

A couple months back, I took my car in for an oil change. Almost without question, every time I go to the waiting room at the dealer, they’re playing some sort of house renovation show on their lounge TV. I blame that for suddenly wanting to play a house renovation game.

When looking into my options, House Flipper seemed to fit the bill of everything I was looking for. I picked it, and the DLC, up during a sale, and have put a solid 24 hours into the game at this point.

What Is House Flipper?

It’s pretty much what you’d expect — a game about buying crappy, uncared for, burned-out places and making them a desirable place to live. You invest into fixing them up however you wish, then you place them up for sale to the highest bidder.

What this game isn’t — you’re not going to be tearing down houses, building them from scratch, or even building on to the house. All you can work with is the house that’s there – you can open up the floorplan within the house, you just can’t expand to it.

Depending on the DLC that you get, you also can work on gardening and the landscaping around the house. In fact, if you spend time working towards a specific garden aesthetic, you can enter it into a contest that will increase the selling value of a home.

All of this starts with a simple in-game laptop. Here, you can do various things: take on odd jobs, purchase a house, or renovate according to a client’s demands.

Odd jobs are emails that come in that you can accept for a bit of cash. This is how you’ll start out. They’re usually simple things with very precise instructions (paint the wall dark blue, fix the light socket, knock down a wall, plant certain types of trees, etc). You have to meet the client’s expectations to a certain point for the job to be considered done. I always try to go the extra mile and get 100% ratings on all of my odd jobs just because.

Buying a house and fixing it up is just as it sounds. You can spend as much money as you have to put into fixing the house (you’ll always get a profit back from what I see), and design it in any way that you please.

However, there’s a potential set of buyers keeping an eye on what you do and providing feedback on whether they like or dislike the direction you’re taking. For example, the artsy lady likes lots of wall art, the old couple are fond of indoor plants, and there’s one fellow who is dead set on having a desk in his bedroom.

There’s achievements for winning over these different buyers – some are more fickle than others – so that gives you something to shoot for as you tailor a house to catch their eye. Or not. Really, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.

The third type of task comes with the HGTV pack. This one feels like a blend of the odd jobs and the house buying. Your clients have a perfectly good house but they want to spruce it up a bit. You can help choose an outcome between two options that takes you renovation goals in different directions – such as the husband wants a man cave while the wife wants a sauna.

Once you make a choice, the clients direct you to the specific things you need to do to complete the task. Then, I believe once you’ve completed that house, you can choose to buy it and renovate it free-form.

What I Enjoy

Obviously, if I’ve put 24 hours into the game, I’m enjoying it. This kind of thing just appeals to me overall, though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I find the gameplay pretty chill and calming (some might find parts of it redundant).

The more that you use skills, the more points you get to unlock perks that make tasks easier to complete. For example, the more you paint walls, you earn points that allow you to use less paint when painting, paint multiple panels at once, and stuff that just speeds up the process, which is nice.

I keep learning new creative ways to approach houses the more that I play it, as well. There’s a variety if items you can purchase and place – they just released a free steampunk DLC a few weeks back! – and part of making cool builds is learning how to find items in the housing catalogue. I keep running across new things and wishing I’d know about it earlier!

The cherry on top are the before and after pictures in your portfolio that you can go back and browse on your laptop. Not only does it feel good to see how you turned a wreck of a house into a cozy home, but you can also see how your design skills have improved since your first house.

Before…
After…

So, if you’re into this sort of thing, and just want a chill gaming experience, I highly suggest it! It sounds like very soon, we’ll be getting Steam Workshop support (exciting!). There’s also a new VR version that just release not long ago, too.

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Noble Barding Win!

I wrote about this over at Spot of Mummery, but this was something I was super excited about last week. From time to time, FFXIV holds screenshot contests that you can enter over at Twitter. If you win, you get to choose from a unique set of glamour items including hair and barding that you can only get through these contests.

I entered the Halloween contest about this time last year, but sadly, wasn’t chosen as a winner. This year, they did a sightseeing screenshot contest.

I knew that what I really wanted was the Noble Barding for Amon. So I thought about places to take screens that were related to Allagans – Crystal Tower was obvious – and chose something I didn’t think too many other people would screenshot.

Azys Lla.

Ironically, in the patch the 5.4 patch, we actually did fulfill my wish – I had no idea it was coming! I’m curious as to if that had any part in winning this contest, though I know the website says the shots are randomly chosen.

ANYHOW.

Last Friday I logged in to an in-game mail.

And sure enough, I had won! I’m pretty excited because this is the first official contest I’ve won. And the barding is a perfect match for Amon!

Now, I might just need to re-color his chocobo. The last time I tried, Mummery ended up chocolate brown rather than a shade of red, and I just left him that way with a “close enough.”

Update: I actually did just that and got the wine red chocobo I wanted!

Posted in Blogging, FFXIV

Spot of Mummery– My “New” FFXIV Blog Project

Summary: I’ve imported two and a half years of micro-blogging content from my character-based FFXIV Tumblog to a WordPress blog – Spot of Mummery – where I’m finally embracing it as a full blogging project focusing on gaming experiences, creative stories, screenshots, character studies, etc.

Over this weekend, I launched a “new” blogging project called Spot of Mummery. Spoiler: It’s not new at all.

In fact, I’ve been blogging Spot of Mummery for years on Tumblr. While most of this focuses on FFXIV content, there’s also a smattering of Minecraft as well as Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You’ve probably heard me mentioning my role play alts on this blog – certainly in goals and in various experiences I’ve had in FFXIV. It’s not really fair to call them RP alts much anymore because many of them are almost just as geared as my main, have cleared content all the way up to 5.3, have relic weapons and some even do relevant raiding.

But most importantly, the cast of characters over at Spot of Mummery are a deeply needed creative and interactive outlet for a MMO that I’ve been playing for the past seven years. I’m less into the role play aspect (at least in-game role play as you might think of it) as I am into developing storylines and characters and meshing them with the lore and in-game environments. In those aspects, FFXIV offers a wonderful world to work with!

I’ve actually owned this domain for several years and have used it as a place to organize all of the stories I’ve developed in conjunction with my writing partner, Syn.

Last month I decided to bring over the rest of the content to this domain. This led to me spending weeks weeding through over 6000 posts (no lie) to ensure only my content remained (Tumblr has a lot of reblogs and interactive posts), pictures were imported properly, links went where they should… all that fun kind of stuff.

Now that the blog is officially released, I’m expanding connections through social media. Tumblr is obviously still a very strong interactive platform for me, but I’m also exploring Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc.

I’m also dedicating myself to blogging here more consistently going forward! I spent a lot of time and creativity on the Spot of Mummery Tumblr over the last couple years, which took away from the energy/time to write here. That’s not something I wanted to happen.

I want to turn that train around and get back to my blogging habits both here and at Spot of Mummery. I know it seems strange to think that adding another blog (rather than a micro blog) would make it more flexible for me to blog more here again but… just trust me on this. 🙂

Anyhow! If you get the notion, please feel free to check out my “new” blog. Give it a follow if you like what you see, and know that there will definitely be lots of gaming content and creativity coming since Patch 5.4 just dropped today!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Transferring Screenshots to PC via USB

It’s not very often that I get excited about a system update for Nintendo Switch. Not that I don’t appreciate all the hard work that goes into updating my hardware, mind you, but rarely is there something that effects me as much as this one simple update.

As a blogger, transferring screenshots to my PC is a major deal. Up until now, the process for doing that on the Switch was a bit cumbersome (but thankfully easier than Wii U or 3DS).

I had to:

  • Undock the Switch (I play it docked about 99% of the time)
  • Turn it completely off
  • Pull the SD card of out it
  • Put the SD card into fiddly card reader that I usually had to fight with to figure out the proper direction of insertion every time
  • Put that in a USB slot on my PC
  • Hope the USB reader didn’t give me a fit – if not, find it in My Computer and open it to see screenshots
  • Transfer the entire folder of screens for the last couple months because I had no idea what I already have on my PC vs what I’ve taken since the last time I did this process

Now, it’s as simple as undocking, connecting to USB and tapping a few settings in the Switch menu. Here’s how.

1- You have to have the right type of USB cable.

Just a heads up, not just any USB cable will do. Basically, you’ll need a USB-C cable. The official patch notes says:

A USB charging cable [model HAC-010] or a USB-IF certified USB cable that supports data transfer is required to connect to a computer.

Patch notes

I had to go rooting around to find one that would work. In the end, I discovered the USB cable that came with my SNES Switch controller did the trick.

Once you have the cable, just connect it to the USB-C port on the bottom of the Switch, and the USB portion to a slot on your PC.

2 – Initiating Transfer

Once you’ve made the cable connection, then it’s time to start the transfer. From the Home screen of your Switch you:

  1. Tap Settings, then tap Data Management.
  2. Tap Manage Screenshots and Videos, then Copy to a Computer via USB Connection.

And just like that, you’ll get a prompt on your PC to manage a new storage device. Once you open the folder, you’ll see something like this:

That’s right, the Switch so nicely breaks down your content by title for you, making it much easier to transfer just the screens for just the game you want!

Previously, when transferring from the SD card, the system simply organized files by date, so there was no knowing which game you were downloading screenshots for. I just ended up dumping months worth of screenshots on my PC rather than messing around with it. But then I’d have to fish through those folders to find the screenshots I really wanted.

This is so much nicer!

Just copy the shots you want from the game folders and you’re ready to share, blog or whatever you want to do with your screenshots.

Thanks for the great QoL update, Nintendo!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV 5.4 Preliminary Patch Notes Highlights

The patch notes for 5.4 are up, so it’s time to poke around and see what I find interesting. Of course, I’m not mentioning the MSQ – which I am excited about – or the normal stuff like raids/dungeons.

Yay!

Strange thing to be super excited about, but my RP character is a fiddle player, as am I (trying to be) IRL.

This is SUPER nice! I’ve had to use outside websites to track what cards I have and what I have left to get, as well as research where they come from. I might get back into TT because of this.

This is VERY good. Wish it carried over into newest gear too but this is a nice start.

I like this! I may have to get back on the boat!

Oh! First non-umbrella fashion accessory! This is cool!

I’m not sure how much I’ll use this but it’s such a neat idea!!

Nice!

This is a cute house! And more sub ranks are always nice, too. I really need to focus on getting our FC sub upgraded.

More housing furnishings – I won’t say no to this! I really like that light.

A number of nice QoL stuff for Triple Triad, especially things that make it a little easier for new players to start out.

New emotes and stances are always good. That top one reminds me of Splatoon quite a bit!

This is a nice change!

I’ll never say no to more stickers and all of the other changes made here!

Hmmm….

I just finished the last combined role quest last week, so I’m curious to see what this is a about.

I’m not sure how I feel about these changes just yet. Some of them are good (there’s a whole list of them) and some of them – like removing that variance (I sometimes relied on that RNG) – I’m not sure I like. Will have to try it to determine.

This is a nice change but… it still doesn’t make me like overmelding and the cost it takes to do it for crafters.

Hmm… interesting. And rather vague.

Meh

Yuk. This better be because it’s easier to reach higher collectability rating after the changes. I already get frustrated enough with having to gather-collect for weeklies when I do it.

Overall

Not a super huge list this time around – though plenty that I do like. While there’s lots of content coming out, what I usually get most excited about are the quality of life stuff. I can understand that due to having pushed back a previous release, they’re trying to make up for lost time by sheering off a bit of the extra things.

But still, what we are getting makes me happy. Some of the changes make me want to reengage with things like Ocean Fishing, Triple Triad and our FC Sub again.

I’m not sure how I’ll like the change to collectables, but I’ll have to try it out to see how it works. It was only recently that I actually understood how to get collectables in any reliable way from gathering.

Posted in Second Life

Second Life: Christmas House

It’s finally that time — I broke out the Christmas decorations for my Linden Home in Second Life! Unlike Halloween and Thanksgiving, a number of the older pieces I had for Christmas were still low prim and looked appealing enough to use this year. I did add a few new pieces to my decoration collection, though, one of which I’m pretty excited about.

It’s a little harder to do a winter theme in Bellisseria because the neighborhoods there are enterally green (or whatever color the area is – some have rock or sand instead of grass). Technically, you’re allowed a “light dusting” of snow, but you’re not supposed to go all out and turn it into a winter wonderland.

I tried to keep within the limits by only putting a light layer of white over top of the grass – though I did drop a snow mound as decoration. I also couldn’t resist stringing lights up along the roof, and (while you can’t see it here) frosting the windows slightly to give the feeling of a chill.

What I was most impressed with was an outdoors projector – just like the kind you can get IRL (I want one). It projects a neat image on the outside wall of your house. But the cool thing is, it comes with a HUD where you can adjust brightness, color and choose from something like 20 different holiday images. It’s super cool and looks great in person!

Aside from that, just a number of fun outside decorations.

Inside, is the fun traditional decorations – tree, garlands, stockings and different foods.

Happy with how it came out considering I only had about 50 prims to work with!

Posted in Gaming, Xbox Game Pass

Trying Out Xbox Game Pass for PC

I’ve never owned an Xbox system – in fact, all of my consoles since the PS2 have been Nintendo. Most of my heavy gaming I do on the PC, where I tend to amass more games in my backlog than I can hope to play. Even on the Switch, I have a backlog now. So I can’t imagine picking up yet another console to do the same.

However, when I heard about the Xbox Game Pass for PC, I got curious. I knew this was a thing for the Xbox consoles, and heard good things about it. But I guess recently, this subscription service (I see it as a Netflix for games) has extended to PC now.

You see, I’ve got a terrible habit of playing a game that I bought for a handful of hours, then getting sidetracked by something else – usually a game that I’ve put more hours into, such as a MMO.

I put the game down, then the next thing I know, months have gone by and I don’t remember a whole lot about what I played – certainly not enough to pick it back up in an unfinished state. Neither do I want to go back and completely replay the what I’ve already played, so I usually just file it away under a “Want to Play Again Someday” folder in Steam.

And that’s how my backlog goes.

So why am I interested in something like Xbox Game Pass?

Well, I know that I have a habit of trying a game out and getting distracted. What this offers is a low monthly fee on a library of games with the option to buy if you really become fond of one.

This appealed to me because there’s no backlog — you don’t technically own the game unless you want to. So my habit of buying a game, playing a few hours, and filing it away is actually more pricey in the long run than a $10 subscription that allows me to do the same thing with a library of games that changes from time to time.

Not to mention, there are actually games in the library that I’m interested in buying and even have on my Steam wishlist. Now I can quietly remove them from my wishlist and try them here instead.

So what actually tipped me into trying the Game Pass?

I was on the fence about trying this for a while until I logged into Discord the other day. Apparently Nitro folks get a free three month trial. So, absolutely, sign me up!

I’ve already downloaded Crusader Kings III (which I’m looking forward to!), Slay the Spire (which I played on Steam a while back, but returned for some reason, don’t remember why) and Astrologaster (which looks interesting).

I also finally tried out Hatoful Boyfriend – a game I’d likely never buy, but saw that it was being rotated off as of yesterday. And you know what… I really enjoyed it (blog post coming soon)! But I would have never played it at all if it wasn’t for this.

So I’m trying something new with this, and I feel like overall, it might be a really good direction for me based on my gaming habits. I certainly won’t be giving up my Steam library for anything, but going forward, for a blanket cost, I can “rent” a whole library of games without the stress of feeling a backlog growing around me.

I like that!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Steam Gaming, Xbox Game Pass

December 2020 Gaming Goals

Happy December! Welcome to the final month of 2020, and to the Holiday season! I’ve got a bit of vacation at the end of this month to look forward to, but lots of goals on my mind as well!

In FFXIV, we have a patch incoming, which always means taking time out for story and whatever goodies the patch brings. Folks in my FC have been dabbling in Blue Mage lately, and this brings yet another level cap increase for that job.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Warrior to 80 and do job quest
  • Level Gunbreaker via Trusts
  • Clean up quests in the First (to level tank)
  • Level BLU when patch drops
  • Cap BLU skills
  • Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon

This time around, I really want to finish leveling the last of my Trust members to 80 for the achievement. This will also coincide with leveling one of my tanks. Once Warrior and Gunbreaker are done, all I’ll have left is Paladin to have everything to 80 and the Amaro mount.

I really, really need to work on crafting relics! This next patch is going to drop an update to them yet again… ugh. Not to mention I didn’t even start on the gathering relics. I’m so behind. : /

MISC Goals

  • Continue to level Taming in UO
  • Continue playing Steam Games
  • Play Switch Games
  • Play 3DS Games
  • Play Xbox Pass Games

So I have a few very loose goals here. I do want to dabble in UO again this month. I don’t want that falling to the wayside.

I have a handful of Steam games I’ve been putting time into that I’d like to keep my momentum with, if only a little. I also need to blog about them!

I also dusted off my old 3DS system — there’s so many games there I haven’t touched/finished that it’s a shame. I need to blog about that, too! 🙂

And finally, I really want to put some time into some Switch games other than Animal Crossing. I just need to nail down which one I want to make my focus.

Oh, and Xbox Pass… I’ll… talk about that later.

That’s a lot of gaming! Thankfully I have a week off.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

November 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

It’s hard to believe this is the last day of November, much less that Thanksgiving is done and gone. I’ve actually been able to complete most of my goals this time around, which is good given the next FFXIV patch drops on December 8 – which was earlier than I expected!

So here’s what I got…

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Dark Knight to 80 and do job quest 
  • Clean up quests in the First (to level tank) 
  • Finish Red Mage Relic for Main 
  • Finish Relic for Tad 
  • Finish leveling Tad’s Fisher 
  • Gear up Tad’s Gatherers with scrip gear 
  • Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon
  • Gear up Koh’s 60 Summoner and do job quests 
  • Finish getting YoKai Minions 

I finished getting shiny relics for all of my characters this month. I also finished up leveling all of Tad’s gatherers and getting them geared up.

Alongside of that, I finished my first tank to 80 on my main, which meant more role quests, and the final quest that comes from finishing all role quests! I’m looking at 3 jobs left to have everything to 80 at this point.

The only thing I kinda mostly didn’t do was work on crafting relics. I did a little crafting here or there, but for the most part, it’s hard to find time and stay motivated on it. I’ll keep trying.

MISC Goals

  • Continue to level Taming in UO
  • Continue to play Steam games 

While I did continue to play a handful of Steam games that I really need to post about, I somewhat let UO slip by the wayside this month. Seeing that UO is free to play, it’s not a big deal. But I do want to continue my adventures there! So I’m going to make that a goal for next month.

Hope you all had a great November and wishing you a safe and happy December!