Should Alice get a higher priority to get into Fantastic RPG than Bob?
Say you have 50 slots for events. You also then get 50 Priority Points (or 100, the exact number doesn't matter for example of concept). The more points you give to an event, the more you want it.
Bob has 40 events on his wishlist and 100 Priority Points to spend. He gives Fantastic RPG 10 Priority Points, his highest amount for any one game. Alice lists only Fantastic RPG, and gives it all 100 points.
The system allocates first by Priority Points. All 100 point entries across all wishlists get considered, with ties for limited tickets broken now maybe still by chance. Then 99 point entries, etc.
So Alice only wants one game, but wants it really badly, and is likely to get it. Bob wants a lot of games, will be happy with other options, and may not get that one.
Exact details can be hammered out. How many points total, is there a maximum any one event can get (does it turn out in reality that Bob will usually get nothing from his list when thousands of people are in the mix? Then put a cap on points per game, etc.)
If Boardgamegeek can run the complicated algorithms of math trades, this should be possible. It would require early submission of lists, no "you must click now" button (and why was it even possible to click that button twice? That seems like an obvious design flaw...if you want to resubmit a different list, there should be multiple steps to avoid accidental double submits.)
Anyway, there you go. :)
That's an interesting idea - but it seems like a lot of work for GenCon (must make a UI for users to set and edit point selections).
If we could wave a wand, then yes I agree having some sort of "currency" you can spend and having a sealed bid "auction" for slots in games does a good job of creating a system where the most people get what they most want.
Maybe there is even some off the shelf software they could use to manage this.
GenCon could also implement a digital version of Board Game Geek's idea by letting people mark stuff they want (but couldn't get) and stuff they are willing to trade, and then doing a batch process to swap around things such that everyone is happier.
That also seems like a ton of work ;).
Gen Con LLC
On the other hand, there are a lot of programmers on the forums over the years who have offered *free* labor to GenCon to fix various problems they saw. Some are still here on the new forums.
Throw it out there, let someone volunteer to code up a system, and see what they produce :)
My suggestion would be something like allowing sub-wishlists; you can put multiple items into one wishlist slot, and when the system tries to process that wishlist slot, it'll go through the sub-list until it finds a game with tickets, then gets tickets for that game and deletes the rest of the sub-list from the wishlist. That would at least solve the issue of someone getting too many tickets to something (assuming they planned it out ahead of time).
I can't remember the order things were, so....
1) I don't like the auto-buying idea. We usually have 2-4 people in our group submit wishlists. (I know we are far from the only ones doing this!) And it would be very very very very possible to end up with 3 entire group purchases of an event. For some reason this year the system allowed overlapping. We could eliminate thig by removing from cart this year, with an auto-purchase we could not. Also person 1 might get the second item on the wishlist, and person 2 might get the first. Then decisions must be made.
2) I agree with expanding the time to 3 hours for cart expiring. 2 is entirely too short, although it can be solved by keeping active, that is pretty nail-biting.
3) I would HATE the idea of not being able to buy for a whole group. We have a first-timer attending this year. Even though we tried to explain how wishlists and friending work, and got him to friend folks, here is what happened: he did not add anyone else to his wishlist, and only put himself. Everyone submitted. Between various hangups and such, all of us old-timers got super high numbers this year. He got a relatively low number. Result? He will be attending his first choices alone since he got all but one of his choices, and the rest of us will be hitting later choices. He at first wanted to just drop everything, but by then, even our 5th and 6ths were sold out...he 'gets' it now...but if NONE of us could buy as a group then we would ALL be playing solo.
To make it clear, we are not a group who plays together every week. We have folks from as far away as the Netherlands, so playing together is a very important part of our con. playing together > getting first choice
We are still trying to come up with a solution for this year--we did 'split the party' when a ticket opened, but meh.
4) As someone who has tried to get the True Dungeon thing, I /hearily/ endorse the button for 'do not get if another is already there'. It'd be grand for anything with multiple options. I really really really want something, but not 8 somethings. So I really could put 8 same events on the wishlist and not have to worry about getting all 8 and nothing else.
5) I used to be against the round robin thing. I still can take or leave it but I see some merit in the idea. ESPECIALLY if it means wishlists are auto-submitted. Wouldn't that also mean that each person's wishlist could only be submitted once, instead of 15 in different browsers? It wouldn't eliminate each person in a group trying, and would favor groups, but it already favors groups and this way wouldn't quite as much. Yes, I like hitting the 'lottery' but I can see the argument. I so not think, however, that just because person A only has 1 item on a wishlist that their priority should be higher than person B who has 50.
6) PLEASE consider some sort of auto submission.
Nothing is a perfect system, but the best we can try for is maximized preferences across a maximized number of people.
Still hoping for a system that allows people to submit wish lists BEFORE a deadline rather than AFTER it.