03 June 2007

Ode to Intel

Ever since we started working at EL, there were times we had to contact a hardware manufacturer (usually video card manufacturers) for some problem or another.
Until recently, we only got in touch with nVidia and ATI/AMD. Both were pretty responsive, and were willing to assign one of their driver engineers to work with us.
Nvidia actually helped fix one bug in their Linux drivers, without us even contacting them (one of their developers seen my post on a forum, and volunteered to come to our game and reproduce the problem). It's worth mentioning that this happened in 2003, when EL was still in it's infancy, and we didn't have more than a few hundred users (in total, not online at a time).

Last week, I sent an e-mail to the Intel tech support people, explaining that we have a problem with some of their OpenGL drivers, and asked if they would be willing to assign an engineer to work with us.
To be honest, I expected a negative response, something like: "We don't have time to help you", but I figured that hey, what can I lose?

And even though I was expecting to be disappointed, Intel's response was perplexing..
They basically told me that the game is not officially supported by them (duh!) and to either update my drivers, or go to the game's website and see if they released any patch that maybe addresses this issue(!!!)

Which means that they didn't even READ my e-mail, but just sent me a canned reply, probably generated by a machine.
This is totally outrageous, especially since I have two Intel computers (and two AMDs). And our game server runs on an Intel CPU. It shows that Intel doesn't give a fuck about it's customers. In fact, we care more about their customers than they do, we held back the update for two weeks just to fix this particular problem with their video cards.

Because of this, I will never buy anything made by Intel (CPUs, network cards, video cards, and so on). One good thing about capitalism is that it gives people the option to vote with their wallets.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you use the right contact address (was it sent to the right department of intel?)

3/6/07 03:48  
Blogger Radu said...

Yes, I went to their tech support page, selected the product (video cards), filled out the form, got an automated e-mail with some generic info, and asked me if I want to escalate the problem. I did so, and got another automated e-mail, saying that some representative will contact me in 24 hours.
Then I got the e-mail that was supposed to be from a human being...

3/6/07 16:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like that (your, not their) attitude :)

3/6/07 17:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow ... i'm not surprised.

Intel ... has always had a high-faluting opinion of their shoddy vid cards... if it's good enough for a basic business laptop ... it must be good enough for any game out there ... if Caesar 4 or anyone else needs better support... lol ... tough luck.

Unfortunately ... many of the EL users are stuck with laptops that have lame-underpowered vid cards that barely can support MS word.

If they had desktops ... they could swap out the card (or add one) ... laptops are far more of a problem to deal with.

I hope you find a solution to this problem... but i doubt intel will will give more than a cursory look at your problems ... and simply say ... meet our whitepaper or card specs ... or ... get lost.

I hope you have a better experience than my thought process predicts...

Cordially, and with much thanks for the wonderful game and community you have brought to us.


3/6/07 22:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol you're so funny.. complaining about intel's support.. You're nice to tell that: you kicking everyday people from your game without even a motive oops.. yes there is a motive: "you were taken in an IP plage banned, you've to be whitelisted, this is your fault". Dont complain about what people do when you're doing the same thing..
Btw dont even think that they'll help u. El is not a super best-seller or anything else..

22/6/07 17:41  
Blogger Radu said...

If Intel is what makes you happy, go with them. If Eternal Lands is what makes you unhappy, go play some other game that doesn't ban IPs.

26/6/07 00:00  

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