This thread is similar to "How to Write a Good Bug Report" - but for the Tech Support forums. I spend a fair amount of time helping out on the Starcraft II Tech Support Forum, and I've come to value a good technical report. Hopefully this guide will be helpful!
If any other tech regulars want to add\correct anything or give feedback that would be great!
(Hint: Use Control + F (Your browsers search function) to skip to the part of the article you wish to read
What is the Difference between a Technical Issue and a Bug?
How to make a good Technical Issue post
- When the issue occurs
- Good description of the Symptoms
- Troubleshooting Information
- Good Thread Title
Basic Troubleshooting Steps to try yourself?
- Update Graphics Card Drivers\Other Drivers
- Search for your Issue
- Get computer updates
- Repair Tool
- Anti-Virus\Firewall Programs
- Administrator Privileges
- Selective Startup
- Safe Mode with Networking
- Temperature Monitoring
- Memory Test\Scandisk
- - What is the difference between a Technical issue and a Bug?
A bug is a glitch, or unintended behavior of the game or any part of the game client, such as the Editor or Battle.net.
A Technical Issue, on the other hand, is not unintended "behavior" but rather the game failing to work at all, general poor performance, or an issue with your Hardware, for an example:
- An Issue Patching, Connecting, or starting the game.
- A Crash, were the game stops functioning at all or closes.
- An issue with your computer hardware or drivers, such as overheating or graphical errors caused by out of date or corrupted drivers.
- File Corruption\Game Client corruption.
Q: Why did Blizzard not reply to my thread?
A: While Blizzard does their best to reply to as many threads as they can, there is no guarantee that they will reply to every thread. If you want guaranteed support, contact Blizzard via the Support Ticket System: https://us.battle.net/support/en/ticket/submit
Q: What is the advantage of the Forums, over Support Ticket\Phone, etc?
A: a. Its easily searchable. This means you can simply look up your issue using the excellent search feature and see if anyone has had this issue in the past.
b. Anyone can help you. This provides a lot of benefits - you can sometimes get better, faster replies - but lends some uncertainty to the quality of support you get.
c. Because its public, you can check to see if other people are reporting your issue or if it is known by Blizzard; such as if you can't log on and you want to see if the servers or down or if it's just your connection.
Q: What kind of issues should I not post here?
A: You should generally not post Bugs, Account-related issues, Policy issues, or anything you think could require you to post sensitive information on the Tech Support forums.
- - - How to make a Good Technical Issue post?
A good technical issue is descriptive and contains the information necessary for people to help you. Because there are countless numbers of crashes, some with more than one cause, if you aren't extremely specific and informative, nobody will know where to start in helping you. Of course, you may not know what information is helpful\necessary and what is not, so let me give you some examples of what you need to include:
At what point in the process of attempting to play Starcraft 2 do you run in to an issue? When installing or patching the game? On the loading screen? At the beginning of a match? After hours of playing? Randomly?
This can make big difference. For an example, if it's patching, it could be a connection issue or if it's after hours of playing it could be an overheating issue.
- Good description of the Symptoms
You need to describe, in detail, what exactly happens. Not just in general terms such as "it crashes" but specifically what you see on your screen from when the issue first starts to occur to when it ends. Does the program close to the desktop, did it restart your computer? Did it give an error message?
And so on. These are the sorts of details you need to include - the more descriptive, the better.
If applicable, provide an error log, warning message, screenshot, or video of the issue - anything found "at the scene of the crime"
Error logs can be found under My Documents\Starcraft 2\Game Logs.
(Inside the Game Logs folder, there will be crash folders. Inside the crash folder there are several files, but unless someone requests otherwise just paste the contents of the file that ends in Crash.txt or Error.txt)
- Troubleshooting Information
You should provide some general information about your computer to help people troubleshoot your issue.
Always provide your Dxdiag. To retrieve your Dxdiag, Press the Windows Key + R, Type Dxdiag and hit Enter/OK, Click Save All Information and Save the file to your desktop.
Copy and Paste the contents to your thread. (Exclude everything below DirectShow Filters)
Highlight everything, and hit the "pre" button (It says "Code Blocks" when you hover your mouse over it).
You should also list recent Changes to your Computer:
- Hardware changes, such as a new monitor, headset, graphics card - ect.
- Software updates, such as new programs or graphics card drivers.
- Recently reformat, get a virus, or perform maintenance?
Try include the keywords for your issue that are consistent each time you experience the issue, such as:
- A consistent key word in the error message
- At what point the crash occurs (Patching, loading, etc)
- What general kind of crash it was (Freeze, Blue Screen, etc)
Example of a good title: Freeze while Patching - "Tracker Not Responding"
This shows that the issue occurred while patching, the issue was a freeze, and the error message was "Tracker Not Responding"
Example of a bad title: Can’t play, Help!
This doesn’t tell us anything at all – what’s preventing you from playing, how it’s preventing you, or what message you see on your screen. It's generally taken for granted that you want help, and that a technical issue would somehow hinder your play.
Always list every solution you've already tried, to avoid wasting their time when they could already rule out those solutions.
Be patient. Generally, don't bump your thread unless it's 24 hours old or has fallen on to the next page.
Don't get angry or aggressive towards people who are offering help, even if it's not particularly helpful advice - people don't like to even try and help people with a short temper.
Unless you have good reason to believe it could harm your computer, follow their advice even if you don't think it will help - for one thing, if other people think it is the solution as well, they may simply not post since they see its been suggested but ignored. It will put doubt to rest so nobody else will keep bringing it up. (Also, nobody wants to help someone who just ignores suggestions)
In general, don't act as if your issue shouldn't have existed to begin with or it ought to have been addressed sooner. Despite anyone's best attempts, your computer and any applications you run such as Starcraft 2 are bound to crash some time or another. While Blizzard does their best to fix issues as they find them and there are many people who try their best to help troubleshoot technical issues, there are always bound to be difficult issues that can't be addressed right away.
Edited by TheSkunk on 12/14/2011 1:05 PM PST