When we share information and news about The Second Dreaming, it's often about exciting features, fresh designs or gorgeous art. But TSD is really more than "just" a revolution on the technical level. There are also numerous community-related improvements, and one of them is the new Support Center. I'd like to talk a bit about how it works and what we've planned for the future.
We launched the Support Center in January already, a joint effort by Kashi Commodore, who worked the server and script magic, and myself, but it took a little while longer until it lost its generic, fresh-out-of-the-box look and got custom art and skins! Majas, Seley and Muunokhoi provided art. Crunchward and Muun helped with the skinning process. Â If you haven't looked at it in a while, you can visit here: http://support.furcadia.com.
The new Support Center (we often call it "ticket system") is the one-stop for all your inquires about Furcadia that can't be solved directly in-game by contacting one of our Beekin volunteers! (Refresher: You can contact a Beekin volunteer by typing: "help" followed by your question or inquiry, minus the quotation marks.) It is also the replacement for ALL of our previous contact e-mail addresses. Most of them are no longer monitored, so it's important to only use the Support Center when you're looking to get in touch with us.
It is quite popular already, and thanks to its intuitive design many players have successfully used the Support Center for getting help. Over the past months, we had about 1500 individual support cases that resulted in more than 10,000 staff and player interactions. This represents much higher activity than we had registered in the previous support system. Let's look at how it all works!
From the front page, you can access the Knowledge Base, which features several categories that are filled with useful answers to questions that come up often. Kitasu, Gar, and Emerald Flame contributed to these. Please always check here before submitting a support request. There are already many FAQ articles here, and we keep adding new ones! Eventually, we hope that the Knowledge Base will have answers to the vast majority of questions that players are looking for. If anyone would like to submit a help article, please feel free to talk to me.
If your question isn't answered in the Knowledge Base, or your situation is rather individual and specific, e.g. you have an order-related issue, or you're looking for advice on a social matter, you can submit a new support request by clicking on "Open a New Ticket". After filling out the form, you'll receive an email with your ticket ID. Using this ID and your email address will allow you to look up answers to your ticket by clicking the "Check Ticket Status" button. You'll also get an email notification when your ticket is updated with a staff response (but you can only read the answer, and respond to it, through the Support Center, not via e-mail!).
Most of the tickets are responded to by me directly, though Kashi Commodore often swoops down to snatch up technical inquiries and reports. We try to answer every ticket within 24-48 hours, except when I'm off (usually one day a week), though sometimes it can take an extra day if it's very busy or if I have to get an answer for you first. But occasionally you'll also get a response within minutes! In very urgent cases, especially those related to payments and orders, you can of course also whisper me in the game. Similarly, for general inquiries, please consider using the Help channel and requesting help from a Beekin volunteer.
The future plans for the Support Center include a stronger tie-in of the ticket system into the CMS and our accounts database. You'll be able to log into the Support Center with your Furcadia account, which will open up a whole new world of possibilities. For example, you will be able to submit a ticket directly from within the game or the CMS, and when there is an answer, you'll receive a notification in the game. This will make it even easier to get help, though it's already fast and hassle-free -- but that doesn't mean we can't make it even more fun and consistent!
It is one of our goals to not only improve Furcadia's graphics, client(s), and feature sets, but also provide you with customer service that matches or exceeds that of much bigger companies. I believe we have made excellent progress toward this goal already during this year, and we'll keep up the work! If you have feedback, or ideas how we can improve in this area, please drop me a note. Right at http://support.furcadia.com! :)