No online service is perfect and we've all experienced that with our console of choice in the past. Today we're looking at the biggest problems that cause complaints and headaches for users on Xbox LIVE for the Xbox 360. We were not able to cover every issue that pops up on the network since everyone has different opinions on what goes right and what goes wrong on the service, but we did hit the biggest ones. What are some of your biggest XBL gripes? Check out the list below and then shoot us some feedback in the comments.
If you've ever had to call Microsoft's customer support line, it’s not likely you’re in a good mood in the first place. Then to make matters worse, in the midst of your frustration, you’re typically met by a voice that is either completely impossible to understand or the person on the other end simply has no clue what they’re talking about. Telling me to open my NAT seven times will not fix my matchmaking issue.
Gamer: “Can we please move to step two?”
Ignorant rep: “Check settings in network and be sure this NAT is open”
Gamer: “WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING THAT? I JUST WANT TO PLAY ONLINE!”
Nickel and Diming You at Every Turn
While many don’t mind spending money each month (or whatever increments you pay in), Microsoft has mastered the art of nickel and diming gamers over Xbox LIVE. From charging you to change your gamertag, to charging money for pictures you can’t use anywhere else, MS is nailing us a few cents at a time. While it’s all optional, many have asked why you have to spend 10 dollars (800 ms points) to change your gamertag. Does this name change use 10 dollars worth of resources? You can use your own theme, but only one picture. You can pay for a camera to take a picture, but only your friends see it. The list continues on and on of ways this service tallies up the charges. You can argue that XBL only costs 50 dollars a year while having your fanboy wars, but how much does it really cost?
LAG and Host Advantages
You pay for a premium service, you expect a premium product. Xbox LIVE runs pretty smooth, but there is one glaring flaw in the network. You’re paying for Peer 2 Peer. And the host always has an advantage. What you’re really paying for is a matchmaking service. This results in the host having the best connection since they of course have the fastest connection (as far as the network knows, because during that game, the host is the center of the network). We’ve all been there. You unload a full clip into someone and a couple grenades; Next thing you know, they’re right beside you going all melee on your face. You check your connection speed and just sit there baffled. It’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. This won’t stop you from cursing about LAG, but just know you always have that as an excuse if you’re not the host.
MS Points Instead of Cash
Microsoft is running a scam that’s been around for years. Carnies have used it since they first introduced the mullet. It’s the ticket scam. You want to ride the rides, you have to buy tickets. The rides cost five tickets, but you have to buy eight tickets at a time. This leaves you with three tickets. You want to ride another ride? Buy eight more tickets. No matter what, you either don’t have enough tickets, or you have too many and they’re useless. This is a scam. Why Microsoft insists on continuing with it is beyond us. Maybe it’s because people are going along with it.
Angry Little Racist and Homophobic Children
It’s 2011 and most people like to think that we, as human beings, have evolved past ignorant judgments and thoughtless-hateful things. You may think this until you get on Xbox LIVE and find that the world is full of angry ten year-olds with more racism and homophobic slurs than Kobe Bryant. We’re not sure what these parents are teaching their kids, but it can’t be respect for others. Maybe the world is only politically correct when people are out in the public? But it sure isn’t when you’re playing a game online. Kids on XBL have the worst language I’ve ever heard. There’s always the useless reporting system that MS has enabled for us. But it doesn’t seem to do anything. The saving grace for XBL regarding this issue is the powerful mute option.
There are a lot of issues and complaints regarding Xbox LIVE. But we have to remember that nothing is perfect. With a few tweaks here and there, XBL could be pretty close though.