System Fail Again
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Posted by ryvre

I'm pretty sure location does not matter overly much.  My group had 5 people clicking the button at the same time:
1- Me in NY: #2,500ish
2- A friend, sitting across the table from me: #3,000ish
3- Another friend at the table with me.  Had an error on his phone, then logged in on my computer and hit the button about 30 seconds or so later than me: #1,500ish
4- A friend in Chicago: #2,500ish
5- Her boyfriend, in the same room as her: #1,400ish

One of our lowest numbers in the queue went to someone who definitely clicked the button last...

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Posted by truelink

Ryvre, thank you for that data. Do you know if the error your friend got was a 503 error?

For my own personal interests, I've been curious about those. The 503 errors were happening on all pages across the site because the webserver couldn't respond to all of the requests. But depending on how the site is set up, it doesn't necessarily mean that the submissions of the people who received them were lost. After all, if you were to return to the site and then resubmit, it would just show you the slot you were already in since being on the site is not necessary to maintain your place in line once it is determined.

Of course, I don't actually know if this is the case. I'm just curious.

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Posted by ryvre

The countdown was off on his phone.  It showed over two minutes left when my button went live.  He refreshed, and got the 503 error.  (He may have poked the un-live button a few times before switching to my computer.  I'm not sure if that would submit the list if it was supposed to be live.  It didn't appear to be doing anything.)  When he logged in on my computer, the button to submit his list was live.  Do you know if the button appears while you're in the queue?

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Posted by truelink

I'm not confident enough in my memory of the situation to say whether the button remains while you are in the queue. My queue time was very short and I only had one tab open this year (after my double submission issue from last year) and only clicked the button once. Then I immediately went to the forum to finish my place-in-line topic.

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Posted by brotherbock thejoltess

thejoltess wrote:I guess I am wondering, if people are so defeated by what they didn't get at event registration, why is attendance so high and why is it growing so much each year? If everyone not getting exactly what they wanted every year is ruining Gen Con, then why aren't people dropping off in droves?
 

Because it's only a big deal when the irritation is fresh. Seriously. 

Quick, everyone: what games did you miss out on last year? 

No one remembers. And it didn't affect anyone's enjoyment of the Con last year at all. 

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Posted by rbree brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
thejoltess wrote:I guess I am wondering, if people are so defeated by what they didn't get at event registration, why is attendance so high and why is it growing so much each year? If everyone not getting exactly what they wanted every year is ruining Gen Con, then why aren't people dropping off in droves?

Because it's only a big deal when the irritation is fresh. Seriously. Quick, everyone: what games did you miss out on last year? 
No one remembers. And it didn't affect anyone's enjoyment of the Con last year at all. 
Two you too can Cthulhu games, x-wing, and bolt action.... yeah I remember.
 

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Posted by truelink

I missed three tickets for Privateer Press speed-painting round 5, but that was due to my own mistake with double booking. :p

I still had a great GenCon.

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Posted by brotherbock truelink

truelink wrote:
I missed three tickets for Privateer Press speed-painting round 5, but that was due to my own mistake with double booking. :p
I still had a great GenCon.

There's my point (and Robin up above had to be cheeky too by remembering :)

Not blasting people for being upset now, just saying that no one I've ever met spends their con bemoaning the games they didn't get into at prereg. Maybe there are people who do, I guess. But I don't know 'em, and probably don't want to.

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Posted by rbree

I can go back about 3-5 years remembering what I  got shut out of.  A big part of it was 5 straight years of being shut out of every You too can Cthulhu game I tried for.   Missing a particular game has never ruined my experience but I like a lot of different kinds of games.   I see how a person with a less diverse taste could be put out if they didn't get anything they wanted.   If you only ply a certain edition of D&D or, X-wing minis, or call of Cthulhu for instance. 
 

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Posted by mystykal

I too got bad luck this year for events as it locked up and I ended up 6500 or so. 

 I will go, I will have a blast with my son. its just hard to explain to a 12 year old we won't be playing the games you helped me pick out because of a random error.

 Wish list should be automatically submitted, with no more than 5 events processed from any list, then move to next person. Its super simple for them to do this, and would help make a more even playing field for everyone.

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Posted by brotherbock mystykal

mystykal wrote:
I too got bad luck this year for events as it locked up and I ended up 6500 or so. 
 I will go, I will have a blast with my son. its just hard to explain to a 12 year old we won't be playing the games you helped me pick out because of a random error.

I've said elsewhere, please remember the generic ticket option. There will be no-shows, its an immutable rule of the GC universe. You can also contact the GMs before the con, right now, about options. They may have more space, they may even decide to offer another slot of the game if they get enough interest. 

Remember that the GMs are people, go talk to them :) If their email wasn't listed, contact Derek and he can pass along a message or get contact info. 

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Posted by steffles

Also go back and check if events opened up.  We just returned two tickets to T.I.M.E. Stories last night because my husband had no patience to wait until GENCON and bought the game (I'm so glad he bought it).  

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Posted by flamepulse firvulag

firvulag wrote:
Yeah I usually have to "game" the system.  For one thing I keep my wish list open in two separate browsers and two different windows.  I submit in both, then open up new tabs of the same page in both.  I never "refresh" unless I have an active window somewhere.
The gencon webpage seems to be (and always as been) optimized for IE so if you're trying this in FF or Chrome you're at the very least lagging a few seconds behind IE users (I've tested this for a number of years), which can be crucial.... as you're learning.
Then resubmit your wishlist even after paying for your cart items...you never know what will be released two hours from now.

ever think this might be part of the problem?  people opening multiple connections causing unnesasary strain on the system?  5000 people all opening up multiple tabs to the page is adding strain exponetionally
 

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Posted by mhayward1978 flamepulse

flamepulse wrote:
firvulag wrote:
Yeah I usually have to "game" the system.  For one thing I keep my wish list open in two separate browsers and two different windows.  I submit in both, then open up new tabs of the same page in both.  I never "refresh" unless I have an active window somewhere.
The gencon webpage seems to be (and always as been) optimized for IE so if you're trying this in FF or Chrome you're at the very least lagging a few seconds behind IE users (I've tested this for a number of years), which can be crucial.... as you're learning.
Then resubmit your wishlist even after paying for your cart items...you never know what will be released two hours from now.
ever think this might be part of the problem?  people opening multiple connections causing unnesasary strain on the system?  5000 people all opening up multiple tabs to the page is adding strain exponetionally
 

GenCon's decision to implement a system that rewards this behavior ensures this behavior.

They should either have enough servers to handle the (artificial) demand, or institute a registration system that doesn't encourage people to load 10 pages at once.

Blaming the customers for engaging in behaviors that align with their interest is not going to get anywhere productive.

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Posted by brotherbock mhayward1978

mhayward1978 wrote:
flamepulse wrote:
firvulag wrote:
Yeah I usually have to "game" the system.  For one thing I keep my wish list open in two separate browsers and two different windows.  I submit in both, then open up new tabs of the same page in both.  I never "refresh" unless I have an active window somewhere.
The gencon webpage seems to be (and always as been) optimized for IE so if you're trying this in FF or Chrome you're at the very least lagging a few seconds behind IE users (I've tested this for a number of years), which can be crucial.... as you're learning.
Then resubmit your wishlist even after paying for your cart items...you never know what will be released two hours from now.
ever think this might be part of the problem?  people opening multiple connections causing unnesasary strain on the system?  5000 people all opening up multiple tabs to the page is adding strain exponetionally

GenCon's decision to implement a system that rewards this behavior ensures this behavior.They should either have enough servers to handle the (artificial) demand, or institute a registration system that doesn't encourage people to load 10 pages at once.
Blaming the customers for engaging in behaviors that align with their interest is not going to get anywhere productive.

Except that it's not in their self interest if it's causing a problem. A classic prisoners dilemma, egoists will wind up in the worst possible situation. Like all traffic jams, highway or Internet. 

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Posted by garhkal father bloodlust

father bloodlust wrote:
Yeah, I think people are more angry about losing events due to system failures than the loss of the events themselves. I think there's a general feeling that GenCon, as the longest-running game convention in the world, should be better than that, especially with attendance constantly increasing.
Am I in the ballpark?

It certainly seems more are irked that we keep getting crashes year after year, than just losing an event or three..
Especially when year after year, we get 'reassurances we have load tested things, so we should not see any issues unlike prior years'..
papalorax wrote:
a "fair" way would be to not process the entire wish list of the people at the front of the line...I think the biggest problem is that the current system produces winners and losers instead of a compromise where no one might get "everything" they want but everyone gets "some" of what they want.

Sort of a 'share the pain' method..  Everyone takes a little hurtin, rather than a few taking all the hurtin.
mhayward1978 wrote:
thejoltess wrote:
I guess I am wondering, if people are so defeated by what they didn't get at event registration, why is attendance so high and why is it growing so much each year? If everyone not getting exactly what they wanted every year is ruining Gen Con, then why aren't people dropping off in droves?

I'd speculate it's because a huge chunk of attendees, perhaps even a majority, don't pre-register for events the day registration opens.  For these people any issues that occur within 3 hours of registration going live are completely irrelevant.Lots of people come for just one day, and walk around the dealer hall.
Lots of people just play Magic, come to do the Costume Contest, the Anime films, True Dungeon, or enter into some long tournament that doesn't typically sell out instantly.
I mean - around 6,000 is the highest number I've seen quoted for the waitlist.  There are many, many more people than 6,000 coming to GenCon this year.

Good point.  I do see a lot more coming just for specific stuff, and a good chunk do seem to be only 'day traders' (so to speak)..

 

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Posted by dbachman

And you can turn it around....

Is there anyone out there defending the system who didn't get a low queue number and most if not all of their choices?

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