Support Avoidance & Forum Bans
I found out the hard way that 2K has little interest in providing their customers with support when it comes to connection issues. An ongoing connection issue in the game Evolve has left many people unable to connect game since it was determined that the game was no longer being developed, however according to the FAQs for the game on the 2K website:
Are Evolve Stage 2 servers staying online?
Yes, Evolve Stage 2 servers will remain online, running the latest version (v2.16) of the game.
Despite what was stated, an ongoing connection issue with Evolve, which gets more severe each day & has continued that trend since they made this statement, has left a lot of people unable to play the game in any means it was meant to be played (you could still play Tutorial, but what's the point limiting yourself to this mode when you have a limit in Silver Keys you can gain each day through the Tutorial mode).
On 1/26/2017, I attempted to troubleshoot the issue by turning on network monitoring on my firewall for Evolve.exe, it was determined that the game servers were located at 4v1game.net. Once I figured that out, I went through each individual firewall alert for specific actions & tested those domain names using ping & trace route. One I had to the details I posted them publicly on the 2K forums:
on 2K forums
PDF backup of thread
Around this time I also updated my review on the game on Steam (changing the rating from Recommended to Not Recommened) & posted a link to the thread on the 2K forums on that thread in the Steam forums. I received a response the same day from a user that stated that he created a support ticket with 2K & supplied them with some information from the command prompt (I would assume trace routes, as I had) to get the issue somewhat resolved on his end.
The following day I decided to take his advice & also file a support ticket with 2K, however this was a mistake that showed me how ugly of a company 2K really is. In their first response to the ticket, they requested my SteamID & asked me to delete a few files in the game folder, then running the game afterwards to see if it helped. The step regarding deletion of files was already attempted when the Steam user copied those steps to the thread on the Steam forums, so I knew it wouldn't work & this was stated in the support ticket. It was also stated in the support ticket that there was a better way to grab the SteamID they were asking for, which I'm not sure if it confused them or they just chose they didn't want to pursue the issue any longer, but I didn't receive a response after I asked them to look at the thread (again) for the details I had spent a few hours compiling about the connection problem.
PDF backup of support ticket
After a few days, I decided to go back to my thread on the 2K forums when it looked like I wasn't going to get another response in the support ticket. I had received a response from another user in that thread & I was replying to it, ended up getting IP banned (by server, which makes it look like a site timeout rather than getting a legitimate message of being banned) in the middle of proof-reading & correcting the post. At that time I was under the assumption that the forums were having problems & made a post on isitdownrightnow.com. That night I decided to try troubleshooting the issue with the 2K forums as the site I left the comment on stated that it as actually up. I decided to try accessing the site through an anonymous proxy & found that the site could indeed still be accessed, however through my own IP address, I could not. Checking to make sure it wasn't a problem with the Xfinity DNS, I connected to my neighbors Xfinity wifi hotspot through my phone & found I could connect, but switching back to my own wifi yielded the same results I was having on my computer. It was obvious at this point it was an IP ban, but it didn't make sense why I was timing out rather than receiving a message that I was banned.
The following day I responded to the support ticket about the apparent IP ban & asked if I needed to seek a resolution via BBB complaint; it was no surprise that I received no response. Prior to this, I had looked up the information for 2K on the BBB as it was looking like I was going to have to file a BBB complaint against the company to see any progress on the matter, but reports on the BBB website should show that 2K apparently gives the finger to the BBB & doesn't really take complaints against them seriously (while I couldn't actually see the details on previous complaints filed against 2K, the not satisfied outcomes easily buried the satisfied outcomes)... I also provided a copy of the PDF backup of the thread to the users in that Steam thread where I posted the link to the 2K forums, as I expect others have fallen to the same fate I have & would be unable to access those forums.
The next day I decided to make it a point to show other users that 2K had made it a point to ban me from the 2K forums for publicly posting details about the connection problem, details that could have very well fixed the problem, which to me just shows that they really are not interested in keeping Evolve running on the PC... Connecting to my neighbors Xfinity wifi hotspot through my phone to log into the forums & make the post (pre-typing the post & transferring it to my phone for a quick copy & paste, as I knew I wouldn't have much time once I connected, however there were errors in the BBCode, as can be seen in the thread and/or PDF backup), I made a post regarding the ban & hit the edit button to try & fix the errors before I was banned. I was literally banned directly after the post was made, almost like it was automated (which is possible; one thing I have noticed in both of these bans was they happened after external links were posted or edited in). I previously stated in that final post that I was going to be filing a complaint to the BBB if I had not received a response to the support ticket & had not regained access to the 2K forums, but after the immediate ban after that post was made, I wasn't going to wait & had it filed within a couple hours of the second ban. That complaint stated the following:
I purchased the game Evolve over Steam (steampowered.com) during the 2015 Christmas sale before the game went F2P (Free 2/to Play). I started playing it a few months ago, shortly after, it was stated that the game was no longer in development, but the servers would continue to run as F2P. Shortly after that, the servers started having connection issues & over the last couple months, the servers have literally been impossible to connect to without literally hours of constant attempts, leaving no time to actually play the game...if you are even able to connect at all.
I started troubleshooting the problem myself on 1/26/2017 & posted detailed information about it on the 2K Evolve Support forums at https://forums.2k.com/showthread.php?4305626-Server-login-issues-(with-technical-data). I opened a support ticket the following day & received a response from support the day after that stating to delete a couple files in the game folder & to try running the game again, which was something that was attempted when a user on the Steam forums copied these steps over to them. After my reply to that ticket, I didn't hear back from them & made a response to my thread on the 2K forums (post #6), where I was promptly banned before I could complete proofreading & correcting errors in the post. At first I thought the forums were temporarily down, as is stated in my comment on http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/forums.2k.com.html , but I found out later that night that it was in fact an IP ban done through their servers (verified by tracert to forums.2k.com). At this point I responded to the support ticket about the apparently IP ban & asked if I needed to seek a resolution through a BBB complaint, to which I received no response to. The day after that I attempted to contact the phone number on the BBB page for 2K & it became obvious I would not get anywhere trying to contact them by phone, so I attempted the email option from the BBB page, only to find out that this opened another support ticket (which wasn't the intention of the email, I was attempting to get into contact with a supervisor). The following day, I logged into my 2K forum account again over my neighbor's Xfinity wifi hotspot to post another post on the forums about being banned (post #7), immediately getting IP banned again after the post was made (with no time to correct errors, as you can see from the post).
After the second immediate IP ban, I decided I would not be waiting until Thursday to file the BBB complaint as stated in the post, it needed to be done now as this was just going to continue happening. I have backups of the thread in question, the Steam thread where this was being discussed in detail, the support ticket that was opened with 2K, the email that was sent using the email listed on the BBB page for them, as well as invoices of purchases made through Steam, all to be attached to this complaint as soon as I am given the option to do so.
Desired Settlement: Refund
If the Evolve servers can not be fixed & I am unable to regain access to the 2K forums, I wish to be refunded the amount of money I have spent on the game thus far, which amounts to $96.94 according to Steam invoices (regaining access to the 2K forums is non-negotiable; I don't think I will be bothering with a forum account anymore however as I've seen what happens to those requesting support publicly on the forums, so I won't necessarily need to be able to post to them & probably won't need my account anymore).
Recapping those options to be satisfactory:
Servers fixed & regain access to 2K forums (no ban to access of Evolve servers on Steam account, as is expected will be the case)
Refund of money spent on the game ($96.94) & regain access to 2K forums.
Nature of Complaint: Product Issues
Date Problem Occured: 11/1/2016
Date(s) Complained: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM
Purchase Date: 12/27/2015 12:00:00 AM
Salesperson: None Provided , http://store.steampowered.com/
Product/Service: Evolve servers
Model #: None Provided
Account #: None Provided
Order #: [censored]
Purchase Price: $96.94
Payment: In Full Credit Card
Disputed Amount: $96.94
Message to BBB
Date & transaction number are only one part of this equation, there was a second part of the transaction made on 1/3/2016 (transaction number [censored]) easily toppling the amount from the purchase on 12/27/2015; the full amount in purchased for this game (the invoices including other purchases not relevant to this issue, to be provided when given the option to attache additional information) has already been given, itemized on boht the 2K & steam forums (PDF backups to be provided when the time presents itself).
Within the same day, I did another PDF backup of the thread through the proxy & updated that shared backup on the PDF thread on the Steam forums. It was later in the day that I decided I needed to start writing this review, which it was undetermined whether I was going to post it immediately or not, I ended up deciding I might as well as I have a large update I'm going to need to work on for possibly a week that would prevent it from getting published until I finished those updates.
UPDATE: I was contacted by a support supervisor from the email that was sent using the email address on the BBB website. Before I get into what was said, the following email was sent to them on 11/26/2017, perhaps only an hour before I sent the BBB complaint:
I have taken several steps to get this situation resolved already, lately it seems the forum & support teams would rather fight against having Evolve be functional (the latest indication appearing to be an IP ban on the forums, causing a timeout from this IP address, but still accessible from others) rather than using it to fix the problem. This will be my last attempt to get the matter resolved through 2K, I will be filing a complaint with the BBB on Thursday if there is still no progress on the matter.
There has been a connection problem with the game Evolve Stage 2 for a couple months now, from what I can tell by user posts both in the Steam forums & the 2K forums, nobody can connect to it on the first attempt & it can literally take hours to connect...if at all. I started troubleshooting the issue on the 26th (around the time I gave up on trying to connect each day even if it was just for the Daily Sign In rewards; I literally didn't have any time to actually play after spending hours upon hours just trying to connect). Using my firewall to track traffic on Evolve.exe & a number of tracert reports, I was able to determine the problem is the game servers located at 4v1game.net is unreachable (the reason still undetermined, but they're constantly timing out & impossible to connect to on a first try).
- All details regarding firewall logs, ping attempts tracert reports & attempts to resolve the issue on my side were posted on your forums on 1/26/2017 at https://forums.2k.com/showthread.php?4305626-Server-login-issues-(with-technical-data). Prior to this I changed my Steam review on the game to Not Recommended based solely on the fact nobody could actually connect.
- 2K support ticket #2119119 was opened the following day.
- I received a response to the support ticket the day after the ticket was started stating that I should attempt to delete a couple files in the game directory & attempt to restart it, which had already been attempted when a Steam user copied these steps over to the Steam forums.
- I received a response from a user to my thread on the 2K forums on 1/29/2017, which I was quick to respond to, however the forums started timing out before I could finish proofreading the entirety of the post I had just made (post #6) & making corrections. When the site started timing out, I made a comment about it on isitdownrightnow.com. I also looked up the company details on the BBB website should they be needed if nothing was going to be done to fix this problem.
- Early in the morning (troubleshooting the forum problem seeing as I couldn't sleep), I found that the timing out appeared to be a forum ban through the server by IP, a tracert to the 2K forum domain indicated a full cut off from any 2K domain that should have shown in it; I was able to access the forums not only from a anonymous proxy, but also from my neighbors Xfinity wifi hotspot. At this point I updated the comment on isitdownrightnow.com, my Steam review of the game, added a PDF backup of the thread done through my phone (while accessing the forums through the Xfinity wifi hotspot) to the Steam thread (expecting others may have met the same fate) & sent another response to the support ticket regarding the apparently forum ban, asking if I needed to take the route of seeking a resolution via BBB complaint.
- Around 2 PM, I decided to try calling the number on the BBB website for your company, determining I wasn't going to get anywhere with it through the phone number, so I decided to use the contact email instead to send this email for escalation of the issue.
If I still have not seen any progress on the matter by Thursday (gaining back access to the forums for starters or at least a response in the support ticket), I intend on filing a complaint with the BBB. This complaint will include details that have been provided to your support staff through that thread, in this email, invoices for purchases made on the game & so on; the intended sought after resolution will be a refund for purchases made towards the game (before it went F2P, in the amount of $96.94 according to Steam invoices) & gaining back access to the 2K forums (along with any other rights that may be revoked within that time).
If a resolution can not be found even after filing a complaint with the BBB, I will go through my own methods of publishing all details I have regarding the matter as to how this game is no longer supported by 2K, users requesting support will be penalized by means of IP ban & why I won't be giving 2K any more money out of my pocket, which will effect the reviews I do on 2K games, giveaways I may be holding (meaning 2K games will be added to the list of companies that users can not request games from should they win the drawing), as well as a public boycott against the company.
The response I got from the support supervisor on 1/27/2017 was as follows:
Thank you kindly for taking the time to contact 2K Support.
My name is Brendhan and I'm a supervising representative here at 2K Support that will be overlooking your ticket with us currently.
I have gotten into contact with our Forums administrator and he assure's me that your particular username and IP is NOT actually banned nor is there any signs of a suspension. It may very well be standard connection interruptions occurring when attempting to access the Forum.
Additionally, thank you kindly for your report on the Evolve: Stage 2 servers. We are aware of the issues occurring and are looking deeply into it. Sadly we currently do not have word yet on any potential update or fix rolling out but stay tuned to our Twitter and Blog for the latest updates and announcements regarding all of our game titles.
Should you ever have any additional 2K related questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at any point as my team and I would love to provide the assist!
Earlier I had received a response email from the BBB regarding the complaint that was filed yesterday, getting issues a case number & notifying me that 2K had already been contacted. I haven't had a chance to add additional supporting information (such as invoices of purchases & PDF backups of support tickets), so I'm currently waiting for the option to do that (may have to share it through a shared Google Drive folder). My response to the server supervisor was as follows:
I lost connection to the 2K forums directly after posting post #6 & again directly after posting post #7 over my phone while connected to the neighbor's Xfinity wifi hotspot (meaning they are now banned from the server as well; my current IP address is [censored], which still can not connect to 2K forums). The ban appears to be related to a server ban based on hops before reaching 2K servers according to a test via tracert (same situation as with the game servers it would seem) rather than banned through the forums itself, as there is no ban message, just server timeout (again, same situation as Evolve servers, it would seem).
In any case it's a little late at this point to be escalating it through 2K support management, I filed a complaint with the BBB directly after the second forum ban & it is now filed under case #[censored] with the BBB; apparently 2K has already been contacted by the BBB regarding this matter. Where it goes from here will be a matter of how they choose to deal with it through that complaint.
I have already published a review regarding this matter on my personal site; if the matter gets resolved to a satisfactory level by the time the BBB complaint is closed, I intend on removing that review, but will only update it with further information if not resolved to a satisfactory level. The review does state the possibility of an automated IP ban based on posting an external link; while that is undetermined, it seems highly likely given those bans became apparent as soon as external links were posted.
Whether this matter is resolved positively or negatively will also affect my decision as to whether I continue being a customer of 2K or not. As it is now, I don't intend on purchasing from 2K ever again & that's saying something being a big fan of Borderlands on PC & the WWE series on PlayStation. I am hoping this matter gets resolved now that it has been escalated through another organization, however I stand by my standards & won't be paying into a company when the result is a loss on my part (2K is not the first company I have done this with; other big name companies before 2K were Blizzard & Namco/Bandai). I have already lost nearly $100 on Evolve alone, where I wouldn't be making an issue about it if I hadn't paid for the game itself & every DLC under it before it went F2P.
Prior to sending this response, I had not noticed that the response from the 2K support supervisor had been directed to the registered email account for my 2K account (as well as the one I registered the complaint to the BBB on; which was done specifically because Google used a loophole to avoid doing anything when I filed a BBB complaint against them on YouTube when Namco/Bandai was attacking my YouTube channel & managed to issue a strike on my channel on an inactive stream page) rather than my rarely used Google account (which was used to send the email to 2K using the listed email address on the BBB website). When I realized I may have cut off my chance to get this resolved through the BBB, I sent the following followup email, reiterating the important parts & what needs to be done to get the issue resolved to a satisfactory level:
Oh I see now. You are contacting me based on a redirect of the BBB complaint from my Gmail account to my Yahoo account (at first I didn't realize you contacted me on a different email address than the one I contacted you through from the listed email address on the BBB website). In any case, the details are the same, I (as well as many others) still can't connect to game servers at 4v1game.net (apparently the Evolve game servers according to my firewall traffic logs from Evolve.exe). Furthermore I can not connect to the 2K servers on my home connection ever since I edited in an external link on post #6.
Based on the BBB complaint, first priority is fixing the fact I can't access the 2K servers anymore. Second either means the servers need to be fixed or I need to be refunded the amount I have paid into the game already ($96.94). Until then, no further purchases of 2K products or their franchises will be made from my wallet.
It was only after I woke up after heading to bed last night that I realized this contact may not have been redirected from the BBB complaint, but rather redirected from the other support ticket that was reference in the initial contact starting this support ticket. I think it would be best to wait for further contact through BBB before I try to follow up with this supervisor further.
UPDATE: On 2/2/2017, I attempted to get proof of getting banned on video by trying to post to my account through proxy while recording it, however things did not pan out as expected... While I was able to post without being banned (even with external hyperlinks), I was unable to access the edit function on the forums (expected to be an issue with the proxy, not my browser or the forums). At the end of a number of posts, I made a final temporary post (as I'm expecting to clean them up later should I be able to access the forums) stating that it may be an issue with my ISP & I was going to be calling them to see if I could get the issue revolved.
After I made that post on the forums, I made a response to the support ticket stating it was determined to be my ISP:
After attempting to post to the forums using a proxy, it appears I was able to determine the issue has something to with Xfinity connections; it's very possible this may be relative to the Evolve servers also. For the time being, I am removing the review I had up previously; if I can't get the issue resolved myself by speaking with Xfinity directly, I'll report to the BBB that it was an issue with my ISP, but as far as I can see, I doubt this will fix the problem with Evolve servers as it seems literally nobody can connect to them without spending hours upon hours just to connect.
I then contacted my ISP & spent probably around an hour speaking to two different support representatives. The first one stated that there was an issue with the modem I had cutting out on certain sites & in some cases, not being able to access the internet at all. She suggested first a Technician visit, then later stated I would swap the modem without the technician visit. We first decided to try rebooting the modem using a signal from their offices (I have already recycled the power on my modem at least 3 times since the 2K forums issues started happing, as well as trying to flush the DNS, so I didn't expect this would work, but I agreed to try it as she was under the impression this method has a higher rate to be successful). After the restart, she must've tried calling me around 14 times according to my call logs, only one got through & I couldn't hear her on the other end. The modem was rebooted again & after over a half-hour I determined I wasn't going to get another call back & decided to call Xfinity back myself.
I got a new support rep. & explained the situation, including I was just on the phone with another one of their reps. He thought that simply switching out the modem wasn't the best idea, he wanted to send an advanced technician to take a look at the problem. He stated that he guaranteed I would not have to pay for this visit & they would swap the modem if needed. I agreed to the terms & an appointment was scheduled for Saturday (2 days after the call was made).
UPDATE: Unfortunately 2K was quick to jump on the response about it being my ISP & had responded to the BBB complaint with the following statement on 2/3/2017:
Customer has indicated in the ticket that forum issues are related to the ISP. We will continue to assist the customer in the ticket.
For starters, I haven't received any responses through support tickets beyond the initial response, so stating "We will continue to assist the customer in the ticket" seems like a crock & I highly doubt they will now that they know I have a review about these shenanigans on their site happening; the reply to the BBB complaint was the first followup response I have seen thus far... The lack of responses on tickets in all honesty makes it look like a 2K support ticket has been abandoned, not even being closed, but in this case it shows they are still monitoring those tickets even if they aren't responding...
While I looked for a means to response to the BBB case without making a specific decision, it wasn't going to be possible without saying I accepted or rejected their response, so I decided not to respond until I had further proof regarding the matter, although there is a phone number in that contact from the BBB, so I might contact that if after making my decision on the response (which I'm more than certain will be I don't accept it) & find I'm unable to provide further information (so far I have not seen an option to attach information through the complaint, so I may need to share it through a folder on my Google Drive instead).
After I noticed the quick response from 2K to the BBB (which looks like an attempt to push blame to anybody other than themselves), I decided to contact 2K back through the ticket I sent the initial response to stating that it was believed to by my ISP. At first I sent it to the wrong ticket (first ticket, which was later requested to be elevated through the second accidental ticket), then closed it with a final statement about it being elevated to a supervisor & the BBB, after which the following statement was thrown on the correct support ticket:
In response to the response on the BBB complaint:
"Customer has indicated in the ticket that forum issues are related to the ISP. We will continue to assist the customer in the ticket."
Right now that's only a possibility, I have an elevated tier Xfinity Technician coming over tomorrow to check it. I'm expecting to get a new modem (as I don't believe the technician will be able to fix this issue with the current IP address), which will give me a new IP address. I will have the results after that, results I intend on getting on video, as well as making sure I am recording while accessing the forums in the future should it happen again. I should also have witness from the technician, as I'm going to attempt to complete these tests directly after getting issued the new modem (if he sticks around long enough), although the video should be enough to proof what's gone on, if the technician sees it in action, he'll have the ability to look into it on their connections (should it happen again), but I doubt the issue is on their end after it happened twice over 2 different connections directly after I posted (I expect the neighbors are still unable to access the forums, although I doubt they are gamers & probably won't even notice it).
A response will be given to the BBB after I have the results, including further information should it need to be pursued further (either on the forum issue or the Evolve connection/refund situation; I doubt the new modem will fix the issue with Evolve, so that portion of the complaint will likely still need to be addressed).
For the time being, the 2K site review on my personal site has been pulled & no longer accessible, but it will be going back up again if this doesn't get fully resolved (with edits based on what has happened throughout this situation).
I may contact the BBB via phone to ask for an extension if needed, but I expect I will have a few days to respond so that may be unneeded. In any case speaking to the BBB directly may help the case by adding a note to the case that contact was made to them regarding the response, so it doesn't get marked as "the company made an effort to correct issue, but customer remains unsatisfied", as is usually the result when a company does respond to a BBB complaint...
UPDATE: On 2/5/2017, the elevated-tier Xfinity Technician came out to diagnose the problem I was having with their servers. Aside from a poorly-spliced coaxial cable causing "noise" (according to the Technician), which needed to be fixed, but did not resolve the matter with 2K forums or with connecting to Evolve servers & was otherwise diagnosed as working as intended upon completion, so no new modem was provided.
Until the BBB complaint is closed, details will be limited on this site review of 2K.com, however I am going to provide my response to the BBB complaint filed after the Xfinity Technician left:
I am rejecting this response because:
Elevated tier Xfinity/Comcast Technician came today to check internet & diagnose problem. I showed him the tracert report to 2K forums after expected ban; hops are outside of Comcast server IPs before tracert starts timing out, Technician confirmed that it looked like a block on their side. A couple screenshots of the work order have been taken & sent to me via email, I have provided them (along with other details relevant to this situation) to prove the Technician came, work order was completed & diagnostics determined Xfinity connection was working as it should. A poorly spliced coaxial wire did have to be fixed to fix some "noise" (as stated by the Technician) going through the line, however this did not resolve the situation with Evolve, nor did it resolve the situation with 2K forums.
Due to limitations in attachments on BBB (limited to 4), I have provided 13 documents from an unlisted shared folder on my Google Drive account located at [censored] (maybe not the most secure, but I'm not going to leave any details out, where that would have been the case with only 4 attachments & no ability to upload RAR or ZIP files; this folder will be deleted later if URL is not censored before going public on BBB); for in-depth explanations on each attachment, please refer to BBB Complaint attachment details.doc.
I do not believe their statement regarding they will continue helping via ticket, not only because I have not received a response beyond the initial contact in each ticket regarding this matter (2 tickets total), but also because I have pointed out I am writing an ongoing review regarding the matter & don't intend on removing it unless the matter is resolved to full satisfaction. Currently, I still can not access the forums (and it's been proven it's not a problem on my side or Comcast's, not to mention 2 immediate timeout issues after posting over 2 different connections seems like too much of a coincidence) & still can not connect to Evolve servers (I don't intend on spending up to 6 hours each day of continuously restarting the game just to connect, not leaving any time to actually enjoy the game afterwards, if I even get connected at all).
UPDATE: On 2/6/2017, the status of the BBB complaint updated to sending the new information I sent them over the weekend as being forwarded to 2K (as well as the rejection of their response). When I got up early this morning, it still stating the same thing (that the BBB was still going over new information provided), however after taking a nap for about 4 hours (trying to catch up on sleep), I checked the status on the BBB complaint & after noticing the update, I also noticed I had access to the forums again.
At this point I started prewriting a post to be posted in my thread should I have a chance to do it after deleting/correcting some of the existing posts. I expected I would get IP banned again, so I got my recording software ready to get proof when it happened. As expected, I got cut off once again before I could make correction to a single post (taking about 2 minutes to make corrections before trying to save them). Rather than going into full details about it, I will let the video do the talking (make sure annotations are enabled for easier to follow notes; notes are in the partial description under the video if not enabled or if you're viewing from a phone).
View or comment on the video on YouTube
One thing I do regret about this test was I neglected the chance to tracert the forums before getting IP banned again, which would have been my proof as to what IP/domain is cutting off my access to the forums when compared to a tracert after being banned. I'm going to see if there's any way I can do this over my phone while connect to an Xfinity wifi hotspot, as this will give me the proof of the cutoff IP.
Regarding what was said in that response, they stated:
We have once again checked our forum ban list, and this customer is not restricted in any way.
In addition, there has been follow-up on our promise to our customers that we had already escalated the server error to the development team.
As we stated, they have been diligently working on the issue, and it should be resolved as of today.
UPDATE: On 2/7/2017, I was given the option to respond to 2K once again; once again I rejected the response & provided them with the following response of my own:
Once again I state I do not accept the response from 2K because the problems are not resolved yet.
First off, the game still can not be logged into; every time I try to force it by clicking on Play, I get the error you will see at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=823417063 . A video regarding this matter can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc9ZhmpAwWI . These are old uploads, but the situation remains the same.
As far as the IP ban on the forums go, I noticed after the last response had been forwarded to 2K, that I had access back to the 2K forums. That didn't last, as when I logged into my account to try & delete/correct some existing posts & would attempt to post a new post I had prewritten before logging in (if I was still able to after cleanup of the existing posts), only to find I was cut off once again before I was able to save changes to the first edit. As I stated in the ticket before, I would be recording a video to prove this should it happen again, if I ever got back access to the forums; this video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTLTno9h5CM . It is expected the respondent to this complaint is checking for IP bans through forum administration; the problem is with what happens when I get cut off would indicate an IP ban via server firewall, not a forum ban, so the server engineers are the people that need to be spoken to, not the forum administrators. This video is currently unlisted; most views to the video were my own doing while I was adjusting annotations after publishing the video, I have sent the link to a few friends however.
One problem with the video itself, I later found out that it appears forums.2k.com is blocking trace routes (even if from an unbanned IP address), so this portion of the video can be ignored for the time being. This was determined after finding I could access the forums through my phone through my own Xfinity wifi hotspot (after the Xfinity Technician cleared up some confusion when I asked him some questions about it), finding it had a different IP address; I did not log into the forums through the phone as I already knew what would happen, but downloaded a couple tools from the Google Play store to run a ping & tracert to forums.2k.com, noticing I was still timing out in trace routes regardless of being able to access the forums (the IP for this subdomain was not in the test, so it's expected trace routes have been blocked by the server engineers).
Even after receiving the response yesterday, stating that this issue should be resolved, there were more posts in the Steam Evolve forums ranting about not being able to connect & being given details by 2K Support believing that deleting certain configuration files & restarting the game would fix it, where so far I have yet to see a response where that has been confirmed as a working fix.
This issue is still not resolved, I don't intend on dropping the issue until it is. Getting unbanned from the forums don't count if I just get rebanned as soon as I log in or attempt to make an edit/post. You have 2 option regarding the game; fix the servers so people can connect or give me back the money I have wasted on it thus far.
I'm fully expecting retaliation from 2K against my YouTube channel (which would be no different than Namco/Bandai) when they see the video of the forum ban in action, however the only details given for the time being are the annotations in the video itself, so they might have a hard time proving a violation is needed to be filed. On the flipside, should a violation be issued, it might make it easier for me to file an appeal given all the proof that is needed is in the video itself.
UPDATE: The BBB complaint sat at the following status ever since 2/8/2017, the day after I rejected their response:
At that point, I had no idea who was supposed to be providing the additional information, but I didn't have the option to make another response until another response from the company was provided.
On 2/12/2017, the status updated to the following:
I had no notice that my last response had even been forwarded to them, however it became obvious that it had (or should have been) based on the statement provided in the update on the status of the ticket. At this point I knew the ticket was going to be closed due to non-response from 2K, so I changed the privacy on the shared folder on my Google Drive to Private just in case the BBB does not censor that URL when it goes public. I may not be able to determine that anyways; every status on every ticket on 2K's BBB complaint page is currently reading not available, which means I may not set that folder back to shared (by link) regardless & will just end up deleting it anyways. Once the complaint is fully closed, I will provide further detail regarding the BBB complaint here, however I need to first make sure that the company isn't going to do anything regarding this matter, which I think is pretty obvious they won't based on their ratio of negative/positive reviews & complaint outcomes.
UPDATE: On 2/13/2017, I got another response from Brendhan (in the support ticket that was accidentally opened when I contacted the email address on the BBB website). This response was showing he was making an attempt to fix the problem (likely in response to being notified about the BBB complaint & he was the individual that was going to responsible for handling the support that was stated would be guaranteed in the BBB complaint):
Happy to hear from you again.
My apologies on the delayed response. Before moving forward, may I ask you a few questions that would be extremely helpful in our current investigation of your issue;
Could you please list us your IP address as shown by visiting http://whatismyipaddress.com/
May I know the physical location/region/area you're currently located in?
What is your specific Internet connection configuration? Are you using WiFi, Ethernet, a Network Adapter etc... (if using a WiFi modem, could you please list the name, model and manufacturer of the device?
Additionally, based on the issue described, it seems as though your connection is somehow being blocked to the dedicated Evolve server. Could you please attempt and answer the following to verify if it resolves your issue?
Were you ever able to play multiplayer? If yes, has your PC or router had an OS/firmware update since? Did you check your router firewall rules and settings at all since said update?
If running a firewall, could you please log the network activity that it is filtering? If new log entries show up while playing Evolve, please add firewall rules to allow those filtered ports access
Evolve uses both TCP and UDP connections to the game servers. Please ensure your firewall and router are logging both types of connections when they look for issues.
Please check each router (if multiple) for firewall and port filters. If a device has a firewall or packet management, have the device keep a log. Play the game and try multiplayer. See if new log entries show-up on the device log during multiplayer game attempts. If they do, add rules on the device to enable what is being filtered.
Please attempt to connect while temporarily disabling any firewall software on your PC
Please ensure there are no strange entries in the host file on the PC.
Once we have that information you can be sure we will further investigate and see what other troubleshooting steps we may have to offer to help resolve your issue.
As always, should you have any additional 2K related questions or concerns, please do let us know as we'd be happy to assist.
My response to him was as follows:
Before I get into replying to your questions, I will say that the forum ban issue appears to have been resolved, so at least this part of the BBB complaint has been taken care of (ironically, it only effects the forums, not the rest of the site).
Now to your questions:
My IP address is [censored]. This is the same site I use for tracing IPs, so I'm well aware of it.
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
For this computer, it's a router run through the router on my Xfinity modem. An additional detail, my ISP is Xfinity/Comcast.
Yes I have been able to play MP before. My network settings have not changed since I was able to connect without problems. It was sometime in November after it was announced that the game was no longer being worked on that the servers started having problems. I could usually connect after hitting play once; eventually the problem escalated to the point I had to click on play or restart the game multiple times before I could connect. Around Christmas to early January, the issue became bad enough that it would take me all day just to connect, with no time to actually play the game afterwards.
There was a secondary problem, where even if you could connect to the servers, you would get an error when trying to claim Daily Sign In rewards. This one in particular wouldn't let you get past it in the game unless you choose to give up on the Daily Sign In reward. One of 4 things would happen if you clicked on retry (sorted by highest chance of happening)
The game would throw the same error after a given time or immediately after clicking on it
The game would just sit at the swirling circle & never leave that position (only leaving the option to exit using Alt+F4).
The game would successfully pass that position, but then throw the same profile error that is more likely to be seen than even the Daily Sign In reward error.
Eventually you might get past all the errors & actually be able to play MP.
A video was record of this, which is linked in the thread previously mentioned, however to save some time, I'll give you another link here: https://youtu.be/hc9ZhmpAwWI. This video was taken perhaps a month ago when the problem had been this bad for a few weeks already; currently I can't connect at all even if I spend hours trying to connect, so I've literally given up on continuously trying until I can see I can connect on a first try (hitting Play to try forcing connection only once).
Evolve is allowed through my firewall & always has been. Furthermore no network changes have been made that should be preventing it. I am still unable to connect even if I completely disable my software firewall. Hardware firewalls are only set to deny port 113 (IDENT), so firewalls shouldn't be the cause of the problem & it seems to be global, as nobody can connect to Stage 2 at this point. I was able to connect to Legacy, however none of my DLC show in that version, so I have little reason to play it.
Software firewall is set to ALLOW ALL for Evolve. For further details, see above.
As stated before, ALL ports are allowed for Evolve.exe. There has not been a network change since I was able to connect. Even when disabling global IP blocks through my hardware firewall, I'm still unable to connect to Evolve.
Already have taken this step, this was the step I took before doing all the ping & tracert tests. I even disabled the hardware (router) firewalls temporarily & this didn't make a difference.
There is currently nothing being forced in the hosts file. Trying to force the IP address was one thing I attempted when I was troubleshooting the matter, however that did not help & I removed the entry afterwards.
On 2/14/2017, I attempted to connect Evolve once again & connected with little trouble, but turned out it was a fluke. I made the following response to the 2K ticket:
I was able to connect today after forcing login by clicking on Play only once & managed to redeem the Daily Sign In reward the first time, but seems this was a fluke... I restarted the game to see if the issue had been (for the most part) resolved, once again I was unable to log into the game (after trying to force login by clicking on Play upwards of 7 times, I gave up). So it is possible to connect to servers if you're persistent and/or very lucky, but most of the time it's impossible to log in. I expect scheduled reboots of the servers would probably resolve this matter; the other possibility is the servers might be getting DDoSed (I would expect by those that got banned for hacking), making it impossible for normal players to connect.
I received a response from Brenden later that day:
Happy to hear from you again.
Thank you very much for responding to my previous questions. Now just to ensure we're on the same page, could you confirm for me please that as of now you are indeed able to successfully connect and play online matches within Evolve?
I look forward to your response.
I made a response to his comment the following day (2/15/2017):
Negative... I was able to log in once yesterday with very little problems, but since then have not been able to get logged into Evolve servers. Before I contacted you again, I tested this by clicking on Play to try & force login upwards of 6 tries, then shut it down & sent this response.
He responded again within a period of 4 hours:
Great to hear from you once more.
Apologies however did you attempt to provide us a screenshot of the received error in your previous reply? If so it did not seem to successfully come through. If could try attaching the screenshot one more time or attempt attaching it to your ticket by visiting the support site directly it should ensure the image comes through (if that was your initial intent of course). If not, could you please quote the error you're receiving specifically?
I responded to him the following day (2/16/2017):
I didn't see a request for a screenshot in the last response, so I wasn't aware that you wanted me to send you one. I've taken a new screenshot & attached it on your request, this is the same error you will see at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=823417063 & in the video I gave you on 2/13/2017; clicking on Yes just reloads the game after a brief loading screen, most of the time giving the same results as when you started it up (it's rare when it's actually able to connect). I took the attached screenshot today after reading your response about an attached screenshot.
Furthermore there's the Daily Sign In reward error (which is believed to be caused by the same server connection issue) if you can even get past the first error, a screenshot of that can be found at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=823413302 (I can't get you a new one of this as currently I can't even connect unless I get EXTREMELY lucky; I've lost interest in spending hours on end trying to connect, only getting the same results), which can also be seen in the video previously mentioned.
One note about the video at https://youtu.be/hc9ZhmpAwWI , this was recorded when the issue had only started to get back, it's not possible to connect at this point unless you get EXTREMELY lucky or have the patience to continuously attempt to connect for hours on end. I no longer have that patience & I'm wasting time trying to do it, where that time would be better spent on other things, which was the purpose for opening a ticket, but so far has not yielded any results beyond what I was already dealing with.
What might be helpful in determining the problem is the detailed ping & tracert tests I have detailed in the Evolve Support forums linked in the first post on this ticket. Of course when I pointed this out to the other support rep, this was when I started running into IP bans on the forums (via firewall), which got unbanned after the response to the BBB complaint on 2/7/2017 (ironically they stated the server problems should have been resolved also, so far that hasn't been the case). After the unban, I recorded a video of myself getting rebanned again, pointing out that the forums could still be access through a proxy in that video & uploaded it to YouTube; this resulted in getting unbanned again & so far haven't been banned again since the response to the BBB complaint, resulting in the second unban on 2/13/2017. So far that BBB complaint still remains unresolved, while the forum IP ban issue is resolved, the game server connection problem is not...
After that, things went quite on both the BBB complaint & the support ticket. It wasn't until 2/22/2017 that I got a response from the BBB stating that the complaint was closed & marked as "the business addressed the issues within the complaint, but the consumer remains dissatisfied."
At this point I unshared everything that was in the Google Drive folder that was being used towards this complaint & sent the following to the still open support ticket:
Looking further into the issue, it appears it may not be a connection problem, but possibly a database problem. It seems the game can connect to servers due to the rotation in characters changing without problems, however connecting to profiles (and redeeming Daily Sign In rewards...if you get past the profile error) is still is a problem... I still believe a server restart might fix the problem, it could be the servers have run out of memory & this is causing the servers to run slowly & not response in a timely manner when people try to log into the game.
As stated before, if the problem was not resolved (either by fixing the servers or by refund of what I have put into the game already), I wouldn't be purchasing from 2K anymore. Considering the BBB complaint is now closed, it's official that I won't be purchasing any 2K product or franchises from this point on until the server situation is resolved (it's unlikely I will be getting my money back with a closed BBB complaint). I will keep trying Evolve to see if the issue is ever fixed, but as it is now, my boycott against 2K will publicly stand & as stated before, this will also effect the selection of games for those that may win giveaways I may be doing on my Twitch channel.
The only reason why I believe the ticket has gone this long is because it was needed to convince the BBB that they were making an effort to fix the issue, but regardless, the issue is still unresolved & I'm still out almost $100 for purchases on this game before it went F2P; now that the support ticket is closed, it's highly unlikely I'll be getting any reimbursement for this abandonware & I highly doubt I'll be seeing any further responses to the ticket, more expecting retaliation to my publication of a boycott of the company & videos showing the problems with the game & forums (similar to the situation with Namco/Bandai).
UPDATE: I received a response from Brendhan again last night, which I didn't see until about noon on 2/23/2017. The response was as follows:
Happy to hear from you again.
Though I can understand your frustrations, we've taken a second look at some of your account history and records and based on our logs it appears as though you have been successfully able to connect online and play with others as well as earning and purchasing in-game items. As far as we can tell the issue appears as resolved. For this reason I'll be considering your ticket solved as well.
Should you ever have any additional 2K related questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at any point as my team and I would love to provide the assist!
So it appears they closed the ticket on their own & are making claims that I can connect & play normally when that isn't actually the case... I more expect the reason they are considering it as resolved is his purpose in contacting me was in response to the BBB complaint, which is now closed, so they consider the support ticket closed as well. I responded with the following response:
Then your records are incorrect. I'm able to connect if I'm persistent in TRYING to connect, but that can take hours upon hours of restarting the game & continuous clicking on Play to try & force connection past the errors, many time not leaving enough time to actually play the game. I haven't actually played MP in Evolve for a few months (in it's current state, the only thing I could possibly do it play Training...until I run out of runs that gain character experience, I wouldn't play Training beyond that), so it's insulting that you say that is the case. The problem is not resolved, I tried once again this morning after getting your response.
The boycott stands until the issue is resolved, I have already unlinked my my.2k.com account from other games that I play that give the option & I will no longer purchase any 2K product or from any 2K franchise until I see the problem resolved. And as I stated before, the raffles on my Twitch channel will negate any requests for 2K games, stating that the requested game is not available in the raffle (should one be requested) due to the company being boycotted for said reason (along with every other company that is on the boycott for their applicable reasons).
At this point I think it's time I get the public boycott page up, which was already my intentions, but now they've told me they aren't pursuing the matter anymore, so let's get the information public (beyond this review) so people know why they should avoid buying from 2K in the future.
After searching the 2K & Steam Evolve forums for a while, I found that you could get around profile login issues by sitting at the main menu for a minute or two, which I was skeptical at first, but was surprised to see it worked. I set up my Twitch channel to do some streaming of the game on 3/7/2017, however found that while this work around would allow me to connect through my profile, it wouldn't allow me to connect to multiplayer servers:
Ironically, I had ended the boycott against 2K when it looked like the workaround would have allowed me to play the game normally; my mistake that I hadn't tested it far enough to make sure I could actually connect to multiplayer servers, so up goes the boycott against them once again...
UPDATE: On 3/11/2017, I decided to push the matter a bit further & open a followup support ticket to the one they closed as Solved, where that obviously wasn't the case. I can't really say I'm expecting a response, but that doesn't mean I'm going to back down on the boycott against them if they continue to ignore the issue. In this support ticket, I included the following details (PDF backup currently being kept & updated as situation continues):
It was already stated by your staff that the situation was resolved, however I will state once again that is not the case. I did at least manage to find a workaround to the profile login issue, however I started getting a new error when clicking on PLAY (trying to access the multiplayer servers), which according to other Steam users (both on the Steam forums & on the screenshot I uploaded to Steam) has a high probability of being an IP ban (which I already expected; I would expect retaliation to BBB complaint #11964999 & my not accepting the response given, the support ticket being closed as Solved almost immediately after the BBB complaint was closed as "addressed, but not accepted").
As it is now, I am currently only able to access Training mode, which I decided to run tonight to gain a few levels on my Glacial Behemoth; while I could not connect to multiplayer servers, I decided to stream the game on Twitch regardless to point out my inability to connect & the errors I was getting every time I tried to connect to multiplayer servers (followed by a chat message which is archived by the stream until it expires). The first of these videos can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/128046738 ; if I were to do this every day, you could expect up to 15 of these videos on my channel at any given time (possibly more if I decide to highlight them, if I have to split sessions in one day between videos or if I get disconnected midstream).
As I stated in the last ticket, I am now publicly boycotting your company because this situation is STILL not resolved & the public boycott will not be ended until it is. While there may still be games that 2K publishes of interest (and that I WAS a big fan of, maybe still am, but this situation doesn't do anything to boost interest in your games), I REFUSE to purchase anything further from 2K if this problem is not resolved, as I am already out $96.94 (over 2 Steam invoices, which I still have & were provided to the BBB while the ticket was open) on my purchase of Evolve before the game went F2P. Furthermore this also effects raffles on my Twitch channel, where winners will not be able to request a 2K game as their prize for winning (full rules are linked to Google Drive from my Twitch channel, where 2K is in the boycott list, meaning not eligible for request of raffle prize).
Screenshot of error has been attached, however the URL for the original image (after I uploaded it) can be found at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=879228714
UPDATE: I received a response on 3/14/2017, the details that were given to me have all been things I have tried thus far. The details of that response were as follows:
Thank you for contacting 2K Support!
I am sorry to hear that you have been unable to play Evolve while online. I can definitely understand how frustrating this can be and would love to get you online. After reading your past tickets, I do see that you have tried some troubleshooting steps such as deleting the .m2k files. Rest assured that you are not IP banned. If you were banned from the game then you would be seeing a different message pop up.
For this issue, usually opening your ports helps out a ton. Which (unless I missed it) am a bit surprised that this was not suggested earlier. However before doing so, can we see if verifying the game integrity helps you get past this?
Right click the game from within the Steam library
Click on Local Files tab
Select option to "Verify Integrity of Game Cache
If that does not assist you, please check out our network troubleshooting guide. This way we can ensure that your network is properly optimized for the Evolve Stage 2.
In the meantime, should you have any other questions or concerns do not hesitate to ask and it would be my pleasure to assist you further.
My response to them was as follows:
All steps I have taken so far are listed at the bottom of the opening post in the thread I made on your Support Forums at https://forums.2k.com/showthread.php?4305626-Server-login-issues-(with-technical-data) . Those are as follows:
Verifying local cache of the game through Steam.
Disabled software firewall entirely while trying to connect.
Recycling the power on the modem; this worked once the first time I did it, but was very slow logging in & didn't work the next day when I tried it.
Clearing DNS cache.
Deleting various configuration, cache & system files in the game folder (as stated by a user on the Steam forums after speaking to 2K support today); I had already attempted this with the configuration & cache files, but not the system files, however it did not work...
Forcing IP to DNS assignments by manually adding them into the hosts file (located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc); if it was a DNS issue, this should have fixed it, however it didn't, so it looks to be a server issue that the developers need to fix.
As per the last ticket while the BBB complaint was still opened, I have also attempted completely disabling the hardware firewalls on my modem & routers (one of those routers being the modem itself), enabling DMZ mode & putting my modem into bridge mode; none of the above have worked, only the workaround has gotten me a step further so I can at least redeem Daily Sign In bonuses (I believe the archived stream from yesterday shows this), but nothing beyond that. As of today, there are currently 3 different videos like the one I gave you a link to on my Twitch channel, expecting another one when the Daily Sign In reward resets around 5 or 6 PM (Mountain Time) today.
They responded back the following day (3/15/2017) with the following response:
Thank you for getting back with us and for the link to your forum thread which has the troubleshooting that you have performed.
We wanted to ask you, do you still get the evolve profile service error still as well? Or are you only seeing the "Server connection failed. Please check your network connection and configuration and try again" message? I have attached one of the screenshots that you provided earlier showing the error we are mentioning.
Also I see that you have accessed another connection via your neighbor's Wi-Fi before. We wanted to ask you, did you try connecting to Evolve with his connection as well? Does he have the same Internet Service Provider as you?
This may also sound weird, however would it be possible to create a new Steam account to see if you run into the "Server connection failed. Please check your network connection and configuration and try again." message when trying to play Evolve online?
Should you have any additional 2K related questions, please feel free to let us know in your next message.
This is beginning to look like another repeat of what happened while the BBB complaint was opened, so I laid it all on the line & told them how this situation is going to be if they don't get the matter fixed:
If I'm too quick in clicking on PLAY after starting up the game, I'm guaranteed to get the profile error; the workaround I found in a thread on the Steam forums was to wait at the main menu for a couple minutes before clicking on PLAY. This has been mentioned in the beginning of the last 3 Evolve videos via comment on my Twitch profile (Past Broadcasts) also.
In the 3 month period that I was unable to connect to even the profile service, with persistence, I was eventually able to connect & play, but gave up after spending hours on end trying to connect, not really leaving enough time to actually play it. That's why I find it odd that now I find a definite workaround to the profile issue that I can't connect to the multiplayer servers (a new roadblock not there before I opened the BBB complaint).
You're not going to like hearing this, but I've caught 2K is lies before; this is my 3rd support ticket looking for a resolution to the SAME problem. I started getting IP bans on the forums through server firewalls rather than through the ban list, so it would appear I was timing out rather than being banned. It wasn't until I provided the video located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTLTno9h5CM showing an IP ban in action in the BBB complaint that the IP ban was removed & so far has not been re-applied. I expect I am now IP banned from multiplayer servers by server firewall in retaliation to the BBB complaint being opened & now documented not only on the BBB website, but also my personal website. Whether I was purposely told I was not banned, knowing that I was or unknowingly thinking I wasn't is up for question; it's a matter as to whether the server engineers are doing it & not telling the rest of 2K management about it.
I am certain the issue is not on my side; whether it is on your side or somewhere in between (the timing out hops in the tracert) is where the real question is, but I was not receiving the error I am getting now when I did have that off-chance of connecting, so something has changed that isn't allowing me to access that server. I have heard from others that the situation appears to be resolved for them, but it seems that was at the expense of my own ban for opening the BBB complaint.
I have no intentions in ending the boycott against 2K or removing the various articles regarding it from the web until the matter is resolved or I get my money back on this game, so a decision needs to be made whether the issue gets resolved (whether it be a ban or an unknown technical detail that is preventing access to my IP address) before that information is going to disappear.
I noticed after making the response & starting to write this update to this page that they said something about connecting to my neighbors wifi hotspot. I decided I needed to send another response after that, although I expect little out of it after I just gave them the prior no-nonsense reply:
And I missed your question about ISPs, but the neighbor has Xfinity as well, otherwise I would not be able to connect to his hotspot through my phone. I don't think this is relevant however & I don't have the ability to connect to it through my desktop computers... The user on the Steam forums told me that if he patched his computer through the connection on his phone rather than his normal connection, he could access the servers using the IP on his phone, which was what gave me the indication of it being an IP ban. I've considered spoofing my IP address or running through a proxy/VPN to test whether it is actually an IP ban, although I think I have enough proof already, it's just if I want to get the proof on video or not.
UPDATE: There was also mention of testing this through a secondary account, which was another thing I missed before making my initial response. I already have a secondary Steam account, which is used primarily as a guest account (prior to that, it was used for testing Steam features) for people visiting my house (if they don't have their own or want to play some of the games on it), so I decided to give this a try, but responded before I got into testing it:
I have a secondary Steam account that I'm going to test this with, but I'll have to go through the Training first before I'll have access to the multiplayer servers...not that I expect it's going to be any different than what I'm getting on my primary account...
Despite completing the tutorials yet again (this time on my secondary account), once again I got the same error. I once again replied to the same support ticket with what I already expected was going to be the case:
Same situation on secondary Steam account as with primary account. I'm certain if my IP address changed or I connected at another location, I would be able to connect to multiplayer servers. Seeing as neither are an option for the time being, the situation needs to be resolved on your side.
UPDATE: On 3/15/2017, I sent another message mentioning a video on my Twitch channel about Training mode while playing a hunter, at this point I've decided not to go any further with Training mode until the situation is resolved:
Seeing as now I need to level hunters & I'm not likely to win bot matches while playing a hunter, further videos on my stream will likely only be a few minutes, where I log into the game to get the Daily Sign In reward, get the error when I attempt to connect to multiplayer servers, then end the stream (the stream on 3/15/2017 & comments at the end of the match will explain why I'm not taking this approach rather than even bothering with TRAINING mode anymore.
I got a response from the support rep again on 3/16/2017, however still didn't get me any closer to being able to connect to multiplayer servers:
Thank you for verifying that you are seeing the profile service error. I myself got ran into this error code yesterday. however this morning I did not run into it and was able to collect my daily properly and jump into a match. Are you still seeing the profile service error now?
Should you have any additional 2K related questions, please feel free to let us know in your next message.
I sent another response on 3/17/2017, while too busy to actually play the game (moving all game reviews from Steam to this site), I did at least test to see if I could connect to multiplayer servers. Again I got the same result of having to wait at the main menu for at least 2 minutes before clicking on PLAY to get past the profile error, then the same error when trying to connect to multiplayer servers::
I tested this last night (to busy to actually play anything, so all I did was wait a few minutes so I could get past the profile error & get the daily), got the same error & uploaded a screenshot of that error to Steam at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=885112675 (would have been a video, but currently rushing to move all my Steam reviews to my personal site after NUMEROUS attacks on ALL my Steam reviews starting around the time I started boycotting 2K publicly).
Just tested again today after seeing your response & yes, I got the same error. I don't think this situation is going to be resolved until the IP ban lists are checked on the firewalls for the multiplayer servers, you should have my IP address already from the last Support ticket, but I can give it again if needed... I am going to point out I've been seeing an increase in incoming WAN traffic causing some latency issues since not long after I gave my IP address to 2K in the last ticket, I'm currently having that traffic investigated through the logs on my modem, software firewall & through my ISP.
While I was in the process of moving all the reviews from Steam to my personal site (in response to the NUMEROUS attacks I got on my Steam reviews over the 16th & 17th), I decided to take the boycott a step further by disabling download mirrors for patches/mods for games of boycotted companies. This includes the patches for Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction & Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne & configuration tools for Borderlands. This was detailed in my response to the 2K support ticket later in the day:
Tried again tonight & am still getting the same error, screenshot at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=885735116
I am linking this rather than attaching because I've added a note via comment regarding this problem to the screenshot on Steam (I think I'm going to be uploading a screenshot each day until the problem is resolved rather than doing vidoes). I'm taking the boycott a bit further, now disabling downloads from the mirror I have been providing for the Borderlands configuration tools. My site has been the most reliable mirror for both of those tools for over a decade, if not closer to two, getting downloaded several times every day & being downloaded well over 5000 times. The Steam reviews I wrote regarding the boycott may have only prompted the attacks on them, which was why I spent countless hours yesterday & today moving them to my site & off of Steam, but disabling those mirrors is definitely going to get the attention of at least Borderlands players.
I later found a thread in the Steam Borderlands forum asking about a FOV fix, something that these tools are used for quite often (if not anything else, but there are other configuration options in them not provided by the game itself). I made the following post in that that thread:
I had a couple I was providing a mirror for on my personal site, however ended up disabling them today due to a running boycott against 2K for not fixing the Evolve connection problem & recent attacks on my Steam reviews that caused me to have to move all of them to my personal site & wipe what I had on Steam. If 2K ever fixes the Evolve connection problem, I may put that mirror back up.
The OP in that thread replied, trying to be very polite in his response, probably trying to get me to put the mirror back up:
Surely the fans are more respectful and generous to your contributions. Please do not let the vagueness and lack of support from a massive entity deter you from doing what is right. Modders, tweakers, and fixers are always needed.
I replied with the following, stating that the mirror wouldn't be put back up until 2K fixed the Evolve situation, with further details that there is no contributions or income going into WonderGamer.net, it's run solely through my own income (which really isn't enough to live on...):
I get nothing towards my site, despite what other sites may say I do (have one of those listed in a site review). I do not put ads on my site (although I have looked at it before, just haven't done so because I haven't found an ad service with ads that I would prefer on the site), nor have I added a donations link on the site. There is no income on the site, it is kept running through my own income, which is regrettably not even enough to cover my own living expenses... If I were getting paid in donations or ads on my site, I might be more inclined to ignore 2K's ignorance towards their customers (leaving the mirrors up; I also disabled a couple patch downloads for Blizzard games, due to also being on the boycott list), however considering I'm not, I'm using whatever I can to pressure 2K into fixing the problem, as I've already wasted nearly $100 on Evolve (before it went F2P) until they fix it, otherwise I vow not to have any more of my limited income go into their pocket & will try to push others away from the company as well. I'm a big fan of the Borderlands & WWE (unfortunately 2K took over this one when THQ went out of business) franchises as well, but I refuse to continue purchasing from a company that can't see the customers are what keep them in business, choosing to ignore their pleas for help with their products & that regrettably means ignoring franchises I may have previously been a fan of...
I probably wouldn't have even thought about this path if not for taking countless hours to move all my reviews to my personal site after NUMEROUS attacks (I honestly couldn't even keep track of all the attacks on the last 2 days) on my Steam reviews, that prompted taking this action in the process of moving them, so you can blame not only 2K for it, but also the countless trolls on Steam that caused it to happen.
I later added an additional point to that post, stating that I was not the developer of these tools, all I was doing was supplying a mirror for them, which wasn't in my best interest anymore given the turn of events regarding Evolve:
EDIT: Also I am not the developer of these tools, all I was doing was supplying a mirror for them. I expect there are other mirrors out there if you search hard enough, but I for one don't see supporting downloads (MODs & patches) for games from a company that has stiffed me in my best interest...
I seriously doubt that Blizzard will ever resolve the situation with my World of Warcraft account, I've been boycotting them for 7 years already, but there is still a chance that the Evolve situation could be resolved once I've gotten enough flak published to pressure them into getting it done & prove that their statements false, to the point they want to repair the damage of the published proof against them. They already fixed the problem with the IP bans on the forums after I published this video (provided in the BBB complaint, proving what happens when an IP ban happens on their forums), but the expected game server ban is going to take more pressure to get them to take care of the matter. As it is now, I've decided to upload one screenshot of the connection error to my Steam profile per day until the problem is resolved; sooner or later they're going to want those to stop flooding normal screenshots, which is going to continue pointing out the connection problems in the game & they won't be removed until the problem is resolved. My suggestion to any others having this problem that is reading this article, do the same thing, then 2K will either be forced to fix the problem or shut down the game entirely.
UPDATE: A bit of a change in the situation, but not for the better... I haven't received a response from 2K support reps since 3/16/2017, however when I was going to test connectivity to the multiplayer servers again on 3/20/2017, I found that I couldn't even get past the profile login issue, not even with the 2 minute workaround (sitting on the main menu for 2 minutes). As I stated before, I'm uploading one screenshot to Steam each day that I am unable to use the game normally, but in this case, I couldn't even connect to my profile, so it was a screenshot of the profile error instead. On the comment of that screenshots, I gave further details on what had changed since my last comment sent to 2K over the support ticket on Friday & I expect this is a retaliatory IP ban as a result of taking the action of holding a public boycott against them until they fix the issue. My response to the ticket tonight was as follows:
Tested again tonight, I wasn't even able to get past the profile error. New screenshot uploaded to Steam at http://steamcommunity.com/id/WonderGamer/screenshot/94979810852448962 , with further details in the comments about the changes in situation from yesterday & today.
I'm standing by my morals, I won't be supporting 2K games in any shape or form (this includes mirrors for mods & patches for their games) & any broadcasts I do on Twitch will include boycott links in them until 2K pulls their heads out of their asses & fixes the problem (that they likely have caused & aren't admitting to). I'm half-expecting I may have also received IP bans in other 2K games as well, which is something I'm going to be checking & increasing the value of loss of money put into their company if that is the case.
UPDATE: Tested Evolve once again at about 12:10 AM on 3/21/2017, managed to connect to my profile fairly quickly, without having to use the 2-minute workaround. I still was unable to access multiplayer servers, however... Took another screenshot & uploaded it to Steam. As of now, I have 7 of these error screenshots uploaded in a row, accounting for a week of the problem (the profile issue has been an issue since November of 2016, but the multiplayer server issue only started happening after opening the BBB complaint against 2K, which would is what gives me the indication of it being an IP ban from multiplayer servers). Contacted 2K support again afterwards, the response was as follows:
3/21/2017 at 12:12 AM Mountain Time, new screenshot upload to Steam of yet another failed test at connecting to multiplayer servers. I managed to connect to servers fairly quickly this time & didn't need to use the 2-minute workaround, however still was unable to access multiplayer servers.
2K has a choice to make if they want me ending this boycott against them:
Refund the $96.94 I have spent on the game.
Fix the damn connection problems.
Until either of these outcomes are met, the boycott will continue & I will keep the mirrors for the Borderlands configuration tools disabled.
UPDATE: The connection problem still runs rampant with users complaining about it on the Steam forums, recently the discussion about the profile connection issue has been a big topic. The workaround of sitting at the main menu will at least allow you to get past the profile login errors, but still won't allow you to get past the multiplayer server connection issues.
Back to the currently open support ticket, I received a response from the support rep again on 3/21/2017:
Thank you for getting back with us.
We have not forgotten about you, we are currently doing the best that we can to look into this from our side.
Should you have any additional 2K related questions, please feel free to let us know in your next message.
Early in the morning on 3/22/2017, I decided to put my Xfinity modem into bridge mode to see if I could stop the DDoS attacks I've been getting since I gave my IP address to 2K (although it's possible torrents might be the cause of it), this ended up changing my WAN IP address. Rather than repeating myself, I'll just let the response I sent to 2K support do the talking:
I put my Xfinity modem into bridge mode & this changed my IP address to [censored]. After doing this, I had no problems connecting to Evolve servers or logging into my profile (didn't even get the initial profile error when starting up the game). I don't intend on keeping my modem in bridge mode however, I only use this mode when I'm hosting servers from my own computer (either FTP or video game servers). What this does prove is it's definitely an issue with the IP address listed in the last ticket (I traced the IP address after I put the modem in bridge mode & it stated it was still under the Comcast ISP). I'm going to switch back from bridge mode & see if I get the same IP address as before, I'm certain I won't be able to connect from it if that's the case. If I get a new IP address, then I suppose the issue will be resolved by swapping my IP address for another one (I will get back to you after I have tested this, but whoever gets the same IP address I had before is going to run into the same problem with Evolve as I'm certain it's something on your side where the IP address is being targeted).
I received a response from the support rep fairly early during business hours that morning:
Thank you very much for the update. We are glad to hear that you were able to connect after connecting through a new IP. We will be looking forward to your results after switching off bridge mode and obtaining a new IP.
I didn't bother to take my modem back out of bridge mode to retest it until the evening of the same day as I needed some sleep (being up all night & having to meet with somebody coming to visit in the morning), but tested this after I was woken up by a neighbor at my door. Again I'll let the response to the support ticket do the talking:
Taking the Xfinity modem back out of bridge mode assigned me with the same IP address I had before. Testing the game again after getting back the same IP address gives the same results as before...
Before I decided to pursue the claim of it still being the IP address, I decided to follow up on the "FW.WANATTACK DROP" entries in my Xfinity modem firewall logs. They are spread apart far enough that I don't believe the game is causing them, only showing on the following dates over the last 90 days (unfortunately the system & event logs no longer work after they did their firmware update, so I can't tell the IP addresses that I'm getting DDoSed from anymore, however their technicians can still pull those on their side):
It's expected there are more, but the cutoff is expected to be when the firmware "update" was done (can't really call it an "update" when it disabled a number of functions on the modem & forced it into DMZ mode until I noticed it had happened; the multiplayer server errors was happening before the firmware update however, so I don't believe the update caused it).
Dropping both IPv4 & IPv6 hardware firewalls on my Xfinity modem made no difference in the problem, still throwing the same results:
At this point I'm only further confident that the problem is on your side, targeting my IP address, likely put in place when I opened the BBB complaint. Your best bet in finding the cause of that problem would be to look at the hardware firewalls for the multiplayer & profile servers (profile servers are slow, but will connect...most of the time...if I sit at the main menu for at least 2 minutes before clicking PLAY to force/retry connection; haven't been able to connect to the multiplayer servers since the BBB complaint) for any REJECT/DENY rules with the IP address [censored] in them. Until I see some results on the matter, I will continue my public boycott against 2K & spreading the word through various means of online publication, private contact & word of mouth.
UPDATE: My internet connection has been slowing down considerably ever since the BBB complaint against 2K was closed, this morning my connection was particularly slow & so far is still displaying the same problems. The reason for this is expected to be DDoS attacks coming from 2K in retaliation to the BBB complaint filed against them & only getting worse each day in response to the boycott I am running against them until they fix the connection issue with Evolve (expected to be an IP ban in retaliation to the BBB complaint, so I really doubt they will ever fix the problem, which I guess is fine if they don't ever want the boycott to end, but I'm certain everybody still trying to download the Borderlands configuration tools from my site are mad as hell right now). I might also point out that while I had a different IP address (while my Xfinity modem was in bridge mode), I had no problems whatsoever, however after giving the new IP address to 2K around 4 AM, I started having the same slowing problem around 2 PM when I got back to the computer. While I may not currently be able to pull logs of DDoS attacks from my Xfinity modem, I should still be able to log incoming traffic through my LinkSys router (provided it gets past the firewall of my Xfinity modem; this might be easier to do if I put the modem into bridge mode again), so I can still determine if I'm getting DDoSed by incoming traffic if I look at open ports & connection IPs in that secondary router at the time it is happening; once I have an IP address, I'll trace it to find out whether the traffic is coming from 2K or not. If I do end up determining that the latency situation is caused by 2K, I will be putting up yet another company review on 2K regarding those attacks.
UPDATE: I sent another contact to 2K support on 3/24/2017, seeing as I hadn't heard from them for a couple days:
Connection problem still persists, still uploading screenshots daily to my Steam profile, however I've recorded & uploaded a new video of the current problem to show exactly what is happening, this video located at https://youtu.be/w-R9ChFB-uI
I got a response from them (surprisingly) on Sunday, 3/26/2017:
We apologize for the delay, thank you for getting back with us.
Since changing your IP address helped you in getting past this. Can we see if releasing and renewing your IP address helps you get past this? To do so, please do the following:
Go to "Start > Run" and type "cmd" (no quotes), then select "OK"
Type "ipconfig /release" (no quotes) and press "Enter"
Once the prompt returns, type "ipconfig /renew" (no quotes), then hit "Enter,"
Finally, type "exit" (without quotes) then press "Enter" to close the window
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to our 2K titles, do let us know and we'll be very happy to assist you further.
These commands didn't work on my system, both throwing the same error when I tried them. My response to 2K after trying this was as follows:
Seems that's not an option, both commands are giving me the following error:
The operation failed as no adapter is in the state permissible for this operation.
I did however see another option worth trying (/registerdns), however this didn't fix either problem (still have to wait at the main menu for around 2 minutes to get past profile error & still won't let me connect to multiplayer servers. New screenshot uploaded to Steam, with another one expected later when I try again after Daily Sign In rewards have refreshed:
They sent another response on 3/27/2017:
For that error can you please try the following:
Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
At the command prompt, type "netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt" (without quotes) and then press ENTER to reset the TCP/IP network protocol.
At the command prompt, type "ipconfig /renew" (without quotes), and then press ENTER and check whether you see the error.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to our 2K titles, do let us know and we'll be very happy to assist you further.
I tried it, the first command at least doing something, but it didn't get me any closer to fixing the problem. Another reply sent to 2K went as follows:
The netsh command actually did something, returning the following message:
Reseting Global, OK!
Reseting Interface, OK!
Reseting Unicast Address, OK!
Reseting Route, OK!
Restart the computer to complete this action.
I tried using the ipconfig command again afterwards, it only gave the same message; decided to restart computer & try again after reboot.
After reboot, I didn't even get the chance to use the command before I noticed the network adapter was not connected to the internet. I tried running the ipconfig command again only to get the same error again. Going into the TCP/IPv4 settings to on my network adapter, I found what I expected; the IP address, Subnet mask & Default gateway had been wiped & Windows didn't attempt to renew it because I have these hardcoded & not assigned through DHCP (automatically).
I reset them back to what they should be:
IP address: 192.168.1.2
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1.1
I had my internet connection back after that. I have attached a screenshot of my network settings (4 windows side-by-side; the 3rd window is the important one).
Click for full-sized image
Only the Preferred DNS server stayed where it should have been. I had it at 192.168.1.1 previously, but changed it to 10.0.0.1 (LAN IP for my modem, as you can probably see from my trace routes in the thread previously mentioned) when I was trying to troubleshoot the issue on my side. Occasionally I add 220.127.116.11 & 18.104.22.168 (Google DNS servers) in the advanced options, but currently they aren't in there (I removed them when I was trying to troubleshoot this issue).
I checked my WAN IP afterwards, it's still the same as before...
Testing the game again, nothing had changed:
I got another response on 3/28/2017, looked like they were going to cut me loose & try to get my ISP to fix the problem that 2K has likely caused themselves:
Thank you for getting back with us.
We are happy to hear that you were able to release and renew your ip. Although with some trouble, it is awesome to hear that you were able to get back online for your computer after restoring your settings. Since you are still having trouble with connecting to the Evolve Profile servers from your IP. Would it be possible to contact your ISP so they can change your IP? Since we already know that you are able to connect when you are on the different IP for you under bridge mode.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to our 2K titles, do let us know and we'll be very happy to assist you further.
Honestly I'm getting tired of this non-stop game of cat & mouse, expecting they know they are giving me steps that won't work, so I gave them full details on where the boycott against them is currently, so they can expect what is to come if they don't fix the damn problem!:
I've discussed this a number of times with Xfinity service reps & they've stated the only way to change the IP is to get a new modem. I have not purchased my modem, I am leasing it, so I can only get a new one when it's failing. This was also discussed with the elevated service technician that came to "repair" my connection around the time the BBB complaint was open regarding the Evolve profile connection issue, where he provided me with some information from the work order for the BBB complaint; I was hoping I would get a new modem at that time, but that wasn't the case.
I did try changing my LAN IP address to the one that's assigned for my FTP server (when running) to see if the passive FTP ports I had forwarded to it was causing a problem with connecting to the game, it didn't make a difference in connecting. It might be possible I need to forward additional ports to fix whatever change was made in my modem and/or the game to "could" be preventing it from reporting the correct IP address while passing through 2 routers (I have this problem with newer versions of FileZilla, reverted back to an old version to get around it), but without knowing what those ports are, I can't very well have them forwarded...
The multiplayer server issue has not been an issue since the BBB complaint was opened, that's why I expect it's an IP ban through server firewalls to deny connection from my IP address. Before it was the profile issue, but have since found a workaround to get around that, but it does not help with the multiplayer server situation. I FULLY expect the problem is on your side & until the matter is resolved, I have no intentions in ending my boycott against 2K or ceasing my uploading errors of the problem to my Steam profile every single day I run into the problem. The boycott means the published boycott against 2K will not be removed, I won't be purchasing from 2K & will attempt to get others to follow suit (this includes private online conversations & in-person word of mouth), mirrors for mods for 2K games on my personal site have been disabled, I won't be listing 2K games in my game collection Featured Games (Game Collector panel) on my Steam profile when I play them (I use it as a last 4 games listing when I play games), all 2K games have been hidden on game profiles where applicable (currently that means WWE '13 on my PSN profile), there will be mention of the boycott in the "Now Playing" section on my Twitch channel any time I'm streaming a 2K game, Past Broadcasts of 2K games will be IMMEDIATELY deleted when the stream ends (portions may still be highlighted if there's a reason for it) & anybody winning a raffle on my Twitch page will be denied the ability to request a 2K game as their prize. Should the problem ever be resolved, the majority of what has been said against 2K will be removed & I will start buying into 2K franchises again, but as it is now, I have no intentions on stopping until I see the issue has been resolved. The longer the problem continues, the more people that are going to see what I have online about it & the potential to lose more customers beyond myself.
I half-expect they are going to throw a lawsuit at me, but I don't really give a shit! I have enough proof of the situation (including backups of the BBB complaint, support tickets, various threads stating others can't connect to the game & obviously the screenshots & videos), so I'm pretty certain I can have their case thrown out, not to mention I'll be throwing a countersuit on them for every game I have purchased from them in the past (at least those I still have invoices for, I've been saving them for over a decade). The next response from 2K is not expected to be pleasant...if I even get a response at all. I'll be watching my other 2K games in the mean time to see if they end up breaking connection in those games also, as that will only increase the value of lost funds spent on 2K crap should it be taken to court.
UPDATE: On 3/29/2017 I got another response from 2K support, stating that the issue had been resolved for a number of people, they wanted me to try again:
Good morning Shane!
If you have not done so already, can you please try checking Evolve today to see if your issue still persists? We recently got news that this has cleared up for other users experiencing this problem.
I was skeptical & apparently had right to be so, as testing again only gave the same results:
Negative. No change in situation:
Also I attempted to find what port the PC version of the game uses to try forwarding them to my computer, however the database I use (https://portforward.com/ports.htm) does not have the ports for the PC version listed there, so I'm unable to do this manually. I did not have to port-forward before when I was able to connection (this problem started in Sept. of 2016, became not even worth the effort in November), so I doubt port-forwarding will fix the issue unless some firmware update on my modem & broken automatic port-triggering.
On 3/30/2017, I got another response, which seems they were targeting the wrong problem this entire time. The statement gives indication that they were targeting the profile situation, not the multiplayer server problem. They did provide me with the ports to forward however:
Thank you for getting back with us.
When looking at your screenshot, we see that you are getting a different error message and are not getting the Profile Service error. To confirm, are you not seeing the Profile Service error anymore?
Also in regards to port forwarding. The following ports need to be open on your router to connect to the 2K online servers:
TCP 80, UDP 88, UDP 3074, TCP 3074, UDP 53, TCP 53, UDP 3064, TCP 1795, TCP 1745, UDP 1795, UDP 1745
These can also be found in our network troubleshooting guide.
Of course port forwarding/triggering didn't do any good, so I was still in the same boat regardless:
As I stated before (I believe this would be the 3rd time in this ticket), if I don't wait at the main menu for around 2 minutes before trying to force a retry of connection to profile servers (by clicking on PLAY), I will nearly always get the profile error. I get the profile error regardless when I click on PLAY after using this workaround, but most of the time it will connect past the profile error using the workaround (the exception being March 20th, which I gave you a link to in this ticket on that date after it was uploaded). I provided you with a link to an uploaded video on March 24th ( https://youtu.be/w-R9ChFB-uI ) showing the entire process of what happens if I click on PLAY too quickly, how to do the workaround (details in description), what happens when I use the workaround to get past the profile error & the ending result of the error provided when the error is thrown while trying to connect to multiplayer servers (after successfully connecting to profile servers using the workaround).
As far as individual screenshots are concerned, I have been uploading one every time I attempt to connect to the game & run into this problem (at least once a day) since before I opened this follow-up ticket. A full list of these screenshots can be found on my Steam profile at http://steamcommunity.com/id/WonderGamer/screenshots
Port forwarding/triggering did nothing, so I'm certain it's an issue on your side where the servers are rejecting connection from my IP address (while not in bridge mode), likely through a hardware firewall; I expect this was done on purpose in retaliation to the BBB complaint, as I didn't have the multiplayer server connection problem (on the off-chance I was able to connect to profile servers between September & February) until after I found the workaround & that was after the BBB complaint was opened & closed (including the last 2K support ticket) without a resolution.
Apparently they took the time to look at the links I was giving them this time, because the problem got escalated to the 2K support lead. The response provided would indicate that the tone provided was likely a response to the description of the video I pointed them out to (again) in my last response:
I hope this message finds you well.
I wanted to take a moment to reassure you that I have personally checked numerous times and with multiple sources to ensure that you have absolutely no IP/MAC restrictions, and you absolutely do not.
We have given you all of the troubleshooting steps we have for your connection issue, and while we hate to hear they have not been successful, we have reached the limits of what we are able to do on our end.
We do hope that you are able to resolve the issue with your ISP.
Sr. Customer Service Lead fire
I'm pretty certain this is the end of the support I'm going to be getting in this ticket, so I laid it all down & stated how it was going to be:
I tried one more thing on my end to try & resolve the issue & that was to plug my main computer into the modem itself rather than going through the secondary modem. Again the results were the same... Obviously it wouldn't be a MAC address ban as I wouldn't be able to connect after putting my modem into bridge mode (which changes the WAN IP address, but not the MAC address), but the fact of the matter is the situation remains unresolved.
Considering this situation is still unresolved, that means the boycott will continue until it is. If the only resolution to getting it resolved is to get a new modem from Xfinity (which could be another year or two down the line, when this one starts failing), then it will continue for that long & I will continue uploading error screenshots every day (if not multiple times a day) until I'm able to connect to a game I've already sunk $96.94 into before it became F2P. The other option is you refund the amount of money I put into it, otherwise I have no intentions in ending the boycott until this abandonware is playable again. If the servers get shut down before I am able to connect, then the boycott is no temporary (albeit extended), it will be permanent.
They responded fairly quickly this time around, literally within 11 minutes. They stated as I had expected, they're cutting themselves loose from this problem on my account. Furthermore (and to no surprise), they refused refund, referring me to a statement in their EULA:
While I do understand your desire to get this resolved, we have exhausted all troubleshooting on our end and as far as our servers are concerned, you should be connecting with no issues.
We always hate to hear that someone has decided to stop being a member of the 2K community; However, in regards to a refund, I must call your attention to this relevant section of the 2K EULA:
...due to variations in hardware, software, internet connections, and individual usage, Licensor does not warrant the performance of the Software on your specific computer or gaming unit. Licensor does not warrant against interference with your enjoyment of the Software; that the Software will meet your requirements; that operation of the Software will be uninterrupted or error-free; or that the Software will be compatible with third-party software or hardware or that any errors in the Software will be corrected. No oral or written advice provided by Licensor or any authorized representative shall create a warranty.
Again, as everything is set up correctly from this side, we do hope you are able to resolve the issue with your ISP.
Sr. Customer Service Lead fire
So their EULA in their opinion supercedes consumer law... In any case, my fight is not over, but it appears this support ticket is. All information regarding this boycott against 2K will continue until the problem is resolved & I expect the servers will be taken down before I get a new modem, which should allow me to get around the problem. I do have the option of putting my modem into bridge mode to get past the issue (changing my WAN IP address), but I'm not going to consider that a resolution as it's still expected the problem is on their side & is a hassle to do every time I have to change the setting, literally having to reboot my modem (which takes about 10 minutes to reboot) & have to reset all settings again after taking it back out (including another 10-minute reboot).
I sent one further response to them, although I debated whether sending it was even worth it. That response was as follows:
So publisher EULA supercedes consumer laws, huh? Well whatever...
This ticket can be closed, I can see it's not going anywhere... I will continue fighting this issue on my end until I see the problem resolved, until then the boycott can be considered permanent, seeing as I don't expect I'll be getting a new modem before the servers for Evolve are shut down. My purchases from 2K are officially done with (despite still having a few of those items on my Steam wishlist, but they've been moved to the boycotted items section), only thing that is going to change that is if I'm ever able to connect to multiplayer servers again or I get refunded the money I have already wasted on this game.
The only other thing that might end the boycott is if I get gifted enough (through friends) of 2K products to make up for the money lost on this game already, which I don't expect to happen & will take a number of gifts (at full price, even if purchased on sale) before it will reach that amount. I used this standard once before when I was boycotting direct purchased from Steam after they refused to refund the abandonware Fray, this led to me contacting the FBI for not following consumer laws on defective products & within a few months, Steam started providing refunds to customers; I still refuse to purchase games directly from Steam at full price however, only if there is a significant sale (50% off or more) going on games of interest.
I do have the option of putting my modem into bridge mode as a workaround (meaning changing my IP address), but it's a hassle having to go through 10-minute reboots & resetting the settings when I take it back out of that mode, so I don't consider it a resolution & honestly don't expect I will be doing it considering I will have to make those changes every day; I'm still intending on uploading a screenshot of the error every day until resolved & leaving my modem in bridge mode would mean dropping a layer of security to my home network (I already have enough problems with DDoS attacks, the Xfinity mode is the only thing stopping those attacks, however lately I don't know if it's even doing that as the System & Event logs no longer works after their firmware update).
UPDATE: Support ticket was marked back to Awaiting your reply on 4/2/2017, despite nothing new being said from 2K Support in the ticket (no email notification either), so I'm not sure what they intend on me saying beyond what I've already said; if anything I think it shows they've seen the response & are choosing not to respond to it... The only thing I might add to it is if the problem gets resolved, I'll end the boycott & wipe most information that has been put up against them (certain damage is permanent however, so that information won't be taken down, but can be updated), but I highly doubt that's going to happen unless I get a new modem & it won't be a resolution on 2K's side either if that's the case... As was the case with the IP bans on the forums (which I got a video of it happening in action, the only thing that got them to fully remove it), I expect I'll just get IP banned again when I am able to access the game again... If I were to put my modem into bridge mode again to play the game, IP lease is determined by my LinkSys router, not the Xfinity one, so it will change every so often, as apposed to changing maybe once or twice a year, if not at all (standard Xfinity modem protocol is that your IP never changes, even on a dynamic IP address assignment; only business connections are supposed to be static, but that's hardly the case)...
UPDATE: As of 4/9/2017, the latest support ticket on this matter has been marked as Solved, where obviously that is not the case. I intend on keeping this fight going until I am able to access servers again, uploading screenshots of connection errors daily to my Steam profile until the matter is resolved. It's going to be a royal bitch to try & remove all of them should the matter ever get resolved, but I'm pretty certain that it won't ever be resolved (at least not while I have the same IP address), so those screenshots can flood the feed for Evolve screenshots on Steam indefinitely & with any luck, others will join in my cause against 2K for similar situations. While I do still have DLC in my Steam wishlist regarding 2K games, those purchases will never be made (at least not on my side, but I'll still accept gifts, which I will keep a running total to see if it ever gets over the amount that 2K has ripped me off for on Evolve). I do have a friend that has been trying to push me to get a modded gaming system & I keep telling him no because I'd prefer to purchase my games, music & movies legit, however currently I'm boycotting enough gaming companies for various reasons, it might be worth it in those cases if publishers are going to be total money-grubbing pricks about their products (big name publishers at this point include Blizzard, Namco/Bandai & now 2K; this doesn't include indie developers).
UPDATE: On 4/26/2017, I made another response to the thread on the 2K support forums about the workaround that will at least allow you to get past the profile service error, however that doesn't mean that you will be able to connect to multiplayer servers. In this post I also made it a point to point out that I was uploading at least one of these error screenshots per day to Steam until the matter was resolved, it appears 2K is likely tracking those screenshots, as there has been a number of times the character rotation panel disappeared & around the time I stated it was time to make an update to this review, it would reappear.
I am going to point out that boycott steps are still in effect regarding this matter:
New games that are of interest from 2K that I would have liked to get, I am avoiding new purchases on, which includes 2 series that I was (and perhaps still am) a big fan of, WWE (which unfortunately went to 2K after THQ went out of business) & Borderlands.
I still have DLC for XCOM 2 on my wishlist & despite being on sale for 50% off or more (which is when I usually jump to get them), I still wouldn't purchase it. Currently I have 2 DLC in my wishlist that have been moved to the bottom it, which is the boycott portion of the wishlist & items I'm not willing to purchase myself, only there in case somebody attempts to gift me one of those items.
I've also made it a point to go through all 2K products & more them as Not Interested on Steam, so I wouldn't be tempted to purchase a game from their company without noticing it was from their company. This same thing has been done with a number of other companies as well, particularly Namco/Bandai, not to mention a number of indie developers that have proven themselves as abusive or deceptive towards their customers.
I already mentioned the screenshots getting uploaded to my Steam profile daily & I've had both retaliation & (attempted) helpful comments on those screenshots (including some upvotes). For those who were retaliating to the flood of Evolve error screenshots, I told them that I wouldn't stop doing it until either the Evolve connection problem was resolved or they refunded the money I had put into it, pointing out other steps that are currently being done in this boycott against 2K until that happens & what would be done should the problem ever get resolved (including deleting those screenshots). For those who were attempting to be helpful, I pointed out how what they were stating wouldn't work & how it looked like an IP ban from game servers on their side as this was a new issue that started directly after the BBB complaint was filed against 2K (of course I still had to find the workaround to get past the profile issue before I could even find out that I could no longer connect to multiplayer servers).
I'm currently using the Game Collector section on my Steam profile to display the last 4 games I legitimately played. Games from boycotted companies will not show there, this currently includes 2K due to Evolve connection problem.
Streams of 2K games on my Twitch channel continue to get deleted immediately after they end (highlights may be made, but that's rare), store pages are removed for those game from the Now Playing section on my channel, as well as there are details in that section regarding the boycott every time I am streaming one of their games.
All 2K games are currently restricted from any raffles I may hold on my Twitch channel due to boycott status, so anybody requesting a 2K game (along with any other companies that are currently being boycotted) will be told to chose another game, games from that company are not eligible as a raffle prize.
The mirrors I have for 2K games are still down & I got a lot of flak over this in this Borderlands Tweak Guide over it after it was down for a few months & people were still trying to access it daily. The flak I was getting over it didn't bother me, it only allowed me to build a bigger case against 2K by pointing out the details as to why it was taken down (not to mention there's a link to the boycott against them on that download page). After several month, the author of that guide found another mirror & added a secondary link until I put mine back up (that is if I ever do, it don't seem likely until I get a new modem seeing as the issue is on 2K's side & they refuse to fix it, denying any responsibility).
UPDATE: Due to the severe inability to connect to even profile servers, lack of Daily Sign In Rewards & lack of character rotation panel the last few days, I decided it was time to index all error screenshots on my profile for quick reference. This list can be found here, it will continue to be updated daily or as time allows.
UPDATE: On 7/5/2017, I was responding to some threads in the Steam Evolve forums about issues with Evolve, started talking about my issue of not being able to access multiplayer servers ever since the BBB complaint was filed (over 4 months now, not including the 3 months prior to filing the BBB complaint), which gives good indication of being an IP ban. I ended up looking into the matter a bit further & realized that 4v1game.net is actually owned by Take-Two Interactive when doing a whois on the domain. Wikipedia would state that Take-Two is the owner of both 2K & Rockstar, but the fact remains that if it's not 2K directly that is causing the inaccessibility to multiplayer servers, it could possibly be Take-Two doing it themselves, which means even if 2K were trying to fix the problem, they might not be able to if their parent company is pulling the strings (or otherwise, access to multiplayer servers from millions of people). This doesn't change my opinion about the matter in regards of purchasing from 2K however, they're still the Publisher of Evolve & therefore responsible for fixing the problem, which thus far they haven't been able to (or are continuing to deny that they have placed a ban on my IP, however there is the possibility that Take-Two has placed the ban & 2K isn't aware of it yet).
In the near future, I am going to record a new video showing how I can connect to the game without problems if I switch my modem into bridge mode (meaning I get a new WAN IP), as well as how I can't with my normal one (switching it back out of bridge mode will give me back the standard IP I had unless I leave my modem in bridge mode for an extended amount of time), then it will be published not only to YouTube (like the one regarding the 2K forum ban), but also here.
UPDATE: Perhaps around a month ago, a user watching my stream of Borderlands 2 on my Twitch channel purchased all the DLC for the game while the stream was still running (or at least the mission DLC from what I understood, as we were discussing them during the stream; I didn't get a chance to tell him that I don't suggest purchasing from 2K if they aren't able to fix the numerous problems still present in a good number of their games). I decided on 7/7/2017 that I may need to start adding boycott overlay information to the live video itself, rather than just farther down on my Twitch channel in information panels, this will also relay that information to the embedded player on this site. It's going to be hard to miss those details if it's staring them in the face while they're watching the stream, this should make it a point as to purchasing from 2K may not be a smart move if you want a working game. This might even give a reason in leaving those videos there rather than deleting them directly after the stream ends due to the boycott against them, seeing as the information will be in the video itself (although this is going to make matters very peculiar if I happen to highlight any of those videos or export them to YouTube for permanent saving).
Evolve actually worked better (when it did work, that is) than games in the XCOM series ever did & I have a rather detailed review up of XCOM 2 regarding the problems in that game as well; it's only going to be a matter of time before I find the time to write a review pointing out the problems in Borderlands 2 as well (not that I've run into many, but there are some in particular that stay vivid in my mind, because I run into them every time I play the game). While the boycott is still active, I'm avoiding listing positive points in each game review from those publishers (at least on new reviews, although some do manage to sneak their way into them & I don't really bother to remove those details from old reviews unless I need to edit it later down the line & the previously-stated details may no longer be accurate), this will change if they ever manage to fix the problem with Evolve.
UPDATE: Today I took the time to get a video recorded regarding the workarounds in the game & to prove the high-probability of an IP ban that is keeping me from accessing the game. This also details a number of other matters relative to this game, as well as the sites & companies that may still have some part of what's happening in it:
UPDATE: Since the publication of the last video, it appears I have been getting hit with regular attacks on my modem, the worst by far was on 7/10/2017 (the first day I did a stream to Twitch with imbedded text into the live video itself giving notes about the 2K boycott). Before then, the attacks came around the time I made the last update to this review. While I can't confirm them as being DDoS attacks (due to the fact that Event Logs haven't been working on the modem since Xfinity pushed their firmware update a few months ago), I can confirm FW.WANATTACKs & I'm going to start providing those logs here, as I believe 2K may be responsible for the worst of the attacks (I won't say all of them, but the timeframes would indicate the possibility of the most excessive of those attacks could be coming from 2K themselves):
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||931 Attempts||2017/05/10||23:58:02|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||85 Attempts||2017/05/16||00:58:01|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||1 Attempt||2017/06/04||03:58:03|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||1 Attempt||2017/06/06||01:58:01|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||102 Attempts||2017/06/13||18:58:01|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||68 Attempts||2017/06/14||05:58:02|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||81 Attempts||2017/06/17||05:58:01|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||85 Attempts||2017/06/29||14:58:01|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||25879 Attempts||2017/07/10||15:58:02|
|FW.WANATTACK DROP||2 Attempts||2017/07/23||00:58:01|
NOTE: These logs were started from the last 90 days from 7/14/2017, my modem's longest capability for keeping these logs. List last updated 7/22/2017.
Usually these start causing issues with accessing certain sites or slowing down the internet, I can usually get around it by recycling the power on the modem, but not always... On 7/12/2017, I had to recycle the power on my modem 3 times due to upload latency issues while trying to due an XCOM 2 stream to Twitch.
Perhaps the only plus side to these attacks is it's going to kill my modem quicker, which will warrant getting myself a new modem sooner than later, however what's to say I won't just get IP banned & further attacks (which is already granted, although I can't say for certain from 2K themselves once the IP address changes, it is however highly likely if they get my IP address from their server logs) once I'm able to access the multiplayer servers again...
Last updated 7/14/2017