One rule: user == dumb that will never change
Being a helper for quite some time now (4+ years) has allowed me to meet thousands of people, some I got to know were great and helping them was a pleasure. Everyone had a story to tell about themself. I have met some people randomly who are now my best friends like Assuredly /(r/vitapiracy owner and r/conspiracy mod) who I first talked to about the matter of handling help in r/vitapiracy. With those I shared my personal life, had interesting debates and created strong friendships. Something that isn't quite highlighted by people when they say they're helping is that the sure miss a lot because it's such an opportunity when talking to a lot of people which makes it interesting for both you and the users because you give and receive from both sides, some people have talents like drawing, creating content or being knowledgeable about a matter. I was able to learn a lot from people I have helped over time.
Despite that great aspect of helping people, there are some moments where... sigh… well you meet the finest branch of the famous END USER population that many fear. There is much reason to be afraid. They have a power that none of us can understand or control. We can't predict what they will do or damage. Grab your popcorns we're going to see some of the most bullshit situations I had with them.
We all know that users don't read, post a message on every random channel they find. Misread the instructions like forgetting to flash zzblank.img when preparing the StorageMgr, trying to launch the HENkaku web browser on 3.65 or not following the instructions and creating other problems that I’ve had to fix. Such as using the wrong modoru and bricking their console.
They act in an incredibly infuriating way which makes it a mental test for helpers to keep their calm and help them. Being pinged at every message and when you ask them to stop the pings their reply is: "Hey, you chose to be a helper. You should be used to getting pinged!"
Or even worse, blaming us because something doesn't work when they haven't read instructions or if they fucking smash their PSTV in the middle of recovering it, turning it into a paperweight. (Yeah, I don't know why he decided to kill his PSTV. I wasn't even out of options)
But apart from that kind of stuff, some things are worth being mentioned:
Did you spend 40 min of your time trying to figure out why the HENkaku browser exploit doesn't work? Did the the user assure you that he is on 3.60? At the end you notice that said user downgraded to 1.60 instead of 3.60? (Like how the fuck he was intelligent enough to find a 1.60 .PUP in the first place) Sometimes they amaze me by pushing the limits.
Yeah, you heard it right, someone did try to format the PSVita memorycard by opening VitaShell, pressing select to mount the PSVita in the file explorer, and formating it there.
I know, I know, it's impossible, but anyway he did dare. He told me that he has done everything right despite it not working and that I should do my unpaid volunteer work better. Feeling proud that the helpers were useless and found how to install plugins all by himself like a big boy. I would have been proud.
If only he didn't try to install plugins in ux0:plugins.......................................................
So close, yet so far. Better luck next time
(ux0:plugins was an old way to use plugins. When taihen didn't exist)
At the time I was unfamiliar with TeamViewer. Some user asked me to install it to help him directly. And I have to say it makes the thing way easier. Not having to explain 5 times the steps because the user doesn't read is great. But that tool also made me experience some... weird… situations:
Yeah, you might be laughing right now but I have done that. You may ask why in the first place he is hacking his Vita when doesn't know something that simple. Well, he just knew nothing of the technical vocabulary, root means nothing to him as well as most of the instructions I gave him. So, I ended up doing everything through TeamViewer or else I would still be with him far into next week.
That's probably one of the moments that pissed me off the most during my time here. One of the subscribers of Jihel Jay (French YouTuber) had a hard time hacking his Vita and Jihel Jay reached me out to help him. I accepted and used TeamViewer after seeing that the guy was the kind of user I hate the most. Ask questions, don't understand, make interpretations, and doesn't trust me. I thought TeamViewer would be able to end this quickly, well it did, but not in the way I wanted. When I used the cmd to do the Hencore patching process he closed the remote connection, blocked me on Twitter and that was it. He was surely scared that I would hack his PC but trying to help him from 11-18h because he was slow to answer and was not doing what I told him and then seeing all the time go to waste was highly frustrating. Not even apologizing for what he has done he just cut the ties completely. Fortunately, I haven't met these types of individuals a lot. But damn..........
And of course, I’m legally obligated to mention AutoPlugin. It has many people a lot of trouble. Sometimes it corrupts the config.txt and the user end up in a bootloop. It was almost 80% of what I had to deal with. But, well, having such an easy tool to do a process that the users NEED to understand can leads to awkward situations. People installing random plugins and then being surprised it doesn't work. Sometimes there were some extreme cases I was helping someone to setup his Vita and just gave him a list of plugins to install that were essentials:
- Me: Here's a list for you, install all the plugins mentioned
- Him: All of them?
- Me: Yes
- Him: Help! My vita is in bootloop!
- Me: What have you done?
- Him: I installed all the plugins
- Me: The list I gave you?
- Him: I installed all the plugins in AutoPlugin
- Me: You mean you selected and installed all the plugins you found in AutoPlugin?
- Him: Yeah, all of them
Big bruh moment there.
Someone had trouble linking his DualShock 4 to his PSTV. He edited the bootconfig and thought that was the problem and he messed with the system drivers. So, he tried to install ds4vita.skprx ^^
But apart from those easily fixable problems, others were more....... annoying to deal with…
After installing plugins and bootlooping, some people decided that it was fine to delete the ur0:tai folder. You know? The folder that contains HENkaku files. With the folder deleted there was no henkaku at boot, no spoof so the system asks to format the memorycard or update (at the time latest firmware was not hackable) and some didn't want to format their memorycard so we had to find alternate solutions, and for the others, formatting and having to deal with QCMA drivers problems once again. A case like these could take me more than an hour to solve per individual.
Surely the biggest thing I took part in it. The Vita scene doesn't have a lot of drama, previously there was the memorycard formater known as harrypotter.vpk, Silica released a proof of concept of an eraser, which was then used by someone and shared it as a harrypotter game dump. The problem? the .vpk was less than 2mb. People were stupid enough to install it. Well, this time, there's a mix of users stupidity and a fault from the dev side. Enso_EX was supposed to be a enso with more customization, with a better SD2Vita support and features like choosing the logo, choosing to install the tai folder in ur0 or vs0 (still have henkaku enso even after restoring the vita). And an update blocker. So where did it fuck up? - User’s stupidity: They see a button, they press it.
Most of the users who had a problem with Enso_EX were people pressing yes to install the SD2Vita plugin........When they had no SD2Vita (the others were people which SD2Vita were incompatible, or people using update blocker). And the thing is that using the SD2Vita plugin will stop the PSVita reading the memorycard slot AT ALL. So yeah, if don't have a SD2Vita no way for you to fix the problem. Can't restore the system, Enso will still work. The only thing left was to reinstall the firmware. But here's come the main problem. - dev fault: despite not predicting the average user stupidity (huge mistake, on the internet, always think that the user is dumb) there was a flaw in the update blocker. It blocks updates...but also reinstalling the firmware. Yep, you know what happens next, with no memory access and no way to reinstall the firmware, their Vita was practically doomed.
I saw many people complaining about it and crying all over the networks, never knew much people tested Enso_EX, not many people tried SKGleba software before since he was focusing on testkit mods. + at the time I was in an argument with SKGleba and we refused to talk to each other. So I had to test and read code until I found the trick. There was a bypass implemented (which SKGleba said was just leftover code he forgot to remove, fortunately or the situation would have been more dramatic). Charging the Vita will disable the update blocker patch and being able to do the firmware reinstallation. And so, we had a wave of users with their broken Vita on the servers and helped them even if sometimes I had to sleep at 2-3 am when there were a lot of people in the queue or having trouble doing the process. I also ended up writing the Enso_EX FAQ on reddit since I rarely go to Reddit and people didn't know what to do there. You can find the link here and read the debate that happened at the time. Probably the period on the scene when I spent most % of my time. This also included using my phone while in class to answer (Yeah I know it's bad but who cares I just preferred helping instead of studying history. And I don't regret it. I had good marks nonetheless.)
Since then, SKGleba was awarded the nickname of brick master (Even though what happened was hardly what we can call a brick). But fortunately, the recent releases of Enso_EX is nothing compared to what it was. One of the most powerful tools in the scene which also saved my Vita from an unrecoverable brick in normal times. We managed to avoid a lot and a lot of bricked Vitas and the loss of a dev which surely would have dramatically changed the scene. Fun fact, it took someone 2 years to fix his Vita since QCMA refused to work.
Wew. Being a helper sometimes is hard but hey it's fun to help people and make them able to enjoy what the Vita scene can offer. After all, it would be a shame if 30% of the people drop their Vita when no one helps them with their problems. The underground community is the only thing left to keep the Vita alive. We need to treasure it. (Even if sometimes it means sleeping only 3 hours right before school begins. But I’m just an extreme case)