Gencon process 2016
Posted by joelf847 gib_rebeg

gib_rebeg wrote:
Before I dive into the whole "Fair" - "Unfair" BS.
Does anyone know when Gencon will update the hotel list for this year with participating Hotels and their prices? Should be a few more added and I'm sure their prices will have changed again from last year.
Far as the "Fair". It's all realitive. Those stomping their feet and throwing a tantrum because they don't like the lottery system for the best hotels. If you don't want to show because of it. Then don't show. Gencon has been seeing record attendance year after year. So 50,... 100,... 500 don't want to show because of it. They really wont notice. Considering attendance was up nearly 5,000 over last year. They'll find plenty of people to replace you. And keep growing.
Personlly, conduct a poll. See how many like - Dislike - Don't Care about the lottery. And live with the results.
Or maybe we could go back to the way it use to be in Milwaukee. Get a hotel list in the mail. Check off the top 5 in order you would prefer, mail it back. Wait a month to get another letter telling you what hotel you got stuck with that you didn't want and have to live with that choice.
Personally, I'm fine with the lottery system. All is good.
I'd love the ability to pre-select my hotel choices and wait to see the results.  At least I wouldn't be stuck with my whole morning shot if I get a poor lottery choice waiting for my number to come up. 

And I applaud your prognostication, knowing that there will never be a year where the number of disgruntled former customers  outnumber the number of new customers.  Glad you're not running the show and don't want honest feedback from long time customers hoping to give one of their favorite vacation expereinces honest feedback about why they may not attend.  Even if I do attend, I want to make sure Gen Con gets my feedback on how to make the experience better, not sure why you seem against that.

Posted by gib_rebeg joelf847

joelf847 wrote:
gib_rebeg wrote:
Before I dive into the whole "Fair" - "Unfair" BS.
Does anyone know when Gencon will update the hotel list for this year with participating Hotels and their prices? Should be a few more added and I'm sure their prices will have changed again from last year.
Far as the "Fair". It's all realitive. Those stomping their feet and throwing a tantrum because they don't like the lottery system for the best hotels. If you don't want to show because of it. Then don't show. Gencon has been seeing record attendance year after year. So 50,... 100,... 500 don't want to show because of it. They really wont notice. Considering attendance was up nearly 5,000 over last year. They'll find plenty of people to replace you. And keep growing.
Personlly, conduct a poll. See how many like - Dislike - Don't Care about the lottery. And live with the results.
Or maybe we could go back to the way it use to be in Milwaukee. Get a hotel list in the mail. Check off the top 5 in order you would prefer, mail it back. Wait a month to get another letter telling you what hotel you got stuck with that you didn't want and have to live with that choice.
Personally, I'm fine with the lottery system. All is good.
I'd love the ability to pre-select my hotel choices and wait to see the results.  At least I wouldn't be stuck with my whole morning shot if I get a poor lottery choice waiting for my number to come up. And I applaud your prognostication, knowing that there will never be a year where the number of disgruntled former customers  outnumber the number of new customers.  Glad you're not running the show and don't want honest feedback from long time customers hoping to give one of their favorite vacation expereinces honest feedback about why they may not attend.  Even if I do attend, I want to make sure Gen Con gets my feedback on how to make the experience better, not sure why you seem against that.
Maybe you missed this part.

"Personlly, conduct a poll. See how many like - Dislike - Don't Care about the lottery. And live with the results."

And again, if the lottery system upsets you so bad, then don't go. Don't let it upset you. Or find housing by other means. I've gone years where I've booked VIA Hotwire, Hotel Direct even renting a private home to stay in.

Posted by garhkal father bloodlust

father bloodlust wrote:
I wish I could find a room outside the housing block for a reasonable price so as not to reward this god-awful system, but unfortunately as I said in another thread there's a ton of price-gouging going on outside the housing block.

What get's me is that price gouging always goes on, but is NOT seen as illegal, unlike say the gouging places do after say a natural disaster...  BOTH are gouguing, and both should be illegal..

Posted by garhkal gib_rebeg

gib_rebeg wrote:Maybe you missed this part."Personlly, conduct a poll. See how many like - Dislike - Don't Care about the lottery. And live with the results."
And again, if the lottery system upsets you so bad, then don't go. Don't let it upset you. Or find housing by other means. I've gone years where I've booked VIA Hotwire, Hotel Direct even renting a private home to stay in.
Not everone though, is as flush with funds to do that..

Posted by father bloodlust

Yeah, the problem with booking an out-of-block downtown room for those dates is that those rooms tend to START at somewhere around $300/night and get more ridiculous from there (I've seen up to $600 or so per night being charged).

Posted by ryric nialith

nialith wrote:
 

Do you have any evidence to support the claim that someone logged in 10 minutes after the housing rush started and got a spot at #500? That doesn't even seem possible as the system would have started assigning spots immediately at noon and would have flown past #500 in a heart beat. Unless the system knew exactly how many spots to assign out, it's not just assigning random numbers to people. It's likely starting with #1, assigning it to someone, picking someone for the #2 spot, then moving down the list till it runs out of people to assign. Who knows though. Also, a lottery is the epitome of "fair". Everyone one has an equal chance at grabbing an early spot. What I don't understand is the need for everyone to show up at noon to log in. Why not have an option when you buy your badge to opt-in for a housing lottery slot? Have a cutoff time for purchasing a "badge with housing" option, then as someone else pointed out, send an email out with your spot in line. If you buy your badge after that, you have to move to the end of the line after everyone that purchased early. Then maybe have people log in at noon or at least ahead of your spot in line to verify you will indeed be using that spot. If you don't log in, system skips to the next person in line. Maybe have it so you could fill out your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices ahead of time along with any payment info so it has it all there to save time. 
I'm sure the Gencon folks are looking at ideas to make this a more pleasant experience. I volunteer each year and trust me, they really do want everyone to have the best time possible. It's not a cash grab here. They genuinly care about how this show goes. The show is pretty much a victim of its own success. 
Not specifically #500, but it was a known(after the fact) error last year that if you waited to buy your badge until after the housing queue started, you could instantly jump right in to housing. So if you bought your badge between Friday and 11:59 on Sunday, you logged in at noon and were assigned a time between noon and about 5 PM. If you bought your badge at 12:01 on Sunday, you logged in at 12:01 and skipped the housing line completely and went right in. It's unknown(publically) how many people took advantage of this but it was acknowledged that it happened. This is why last year's lottery system was anything but fair - there was an exploit that let you skip the whole process. There were also apparently errors that caused people to lose their place in line. My hope is that correcting for these issues might make the lottery less onerous this year but I guess we'll see.

Since they are going to stick with the lottery, I too would love it if we could just get an email with our time without logging in at noon on Sunday. Seems like it would prevent load on the servers, plus I could know right away if my time is, say, 4 PM that I needn't bother.

There was another problem with last year's system - if, due to a bad time, you took a room outside your preferred area, you couldn't change it in the housing system. Once you had a room it locked you out of getting another. This happened to me and a friend last year - my friend settled for a 6 mile away room, but Monday, a few downtown rooms opened up - but my friend couldn't even look at them in the system because he already had a room. His wife couldn't look at them because he had bought her badge so she didn't have her own housing info. I, who was rooming with a different friend, had to go in and reserve the room, then my friend had to cancel his distant room, and we both had to call in to transfer the room to him. This process is a hassle for both us and Gen Con staff and I hope it's improved this year.

Posted by jhs

Nialith above makes a has a great suggestion, I hope it doesn't get lost in the thread: have everyone who registered for a badge get an email prior to the opening of the hotel queue saying what time you could log in.  Possibly the night before?  That would make the process less annoying, as you wouldn't have to be at a computer at noon just to be told that you don't need to be at a computer for hours.

Posted by jhs

Actually, sorry, that was ryrics suggestion.

Posted by truelink

Ryric is correct about the bug in last years lottery. I expect it to be fixed this year. I imagine most people who took advantage of that bug did so on accident. They heard it was hotel day and hadn't bought a badge yet. Though, there are probably a few people that did it on purpose expecting the possibility of that bug -- I know I expected it (but only had one badge, so I didn't test it.)

That being said, bugs happen. Nobody is perfect. If you happened to get a bad place in line, like myself, you had to rely on friends or check to forums for someone dropping a room. Most people don't check the forums (especially the old harder to find ones,) so finding a room there was quite possible.

Also, while there was an exploit in the lottery for its first year, that doesn't mean people didn't exploit the old system too. It was exploitable as well. When fixed, the lottery is a good system. Now I'm crossing my fingers for a good spot in line and forcing everyone in my group to buy their badges early.

Posted by ematuskey

How far away is the college?  ;)  I stayed in dorm rooms in London during the Olympics and thought it was a great budget alternative to a hotel room!  Gamers can't be any worse than college students in regards to how hard we'd use the facilities, right?  :D 

Posted by valkyre
#61

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Posted by nialith

The closest dorms would be on the campus of IUPUI at University Tower. It's about a 30 minute walk away from the convention center. Classes start on August 22nd. There is another residence hall being built but I think it's not opening until right before classes start. 

Posted by garhkal noone

miked wrote:

Or maybe we could go back to the way it use to be in Milwaukee. Get a hotel list in the mail. Check off the top 5 in order you would prefer, mail it back. Wait a month to get another letter telling you what hotel you got stuck with that you didn't want and have to live with that choice.
Personally, I'm fine with the lottery system. All is good.

You're wrong you were told the dorms.  Which I never minded at around $20 a night ment more money for buying things.  But I do wish that GenCon would work with the University in town and see if they could come up with something simualer.  Put them in touch with the Univeristy of Wisconson to help set it up

That's one of the things i loved about when we were up in Milwaukee.  Staying and UWM Shamberg hall..
ematuskey wrote:
How far away is the college?  ;)  I stayed in dorm rooms in London during the Olympics and thought it was a great budget alternative to a hotel room!  Gamers can't be any worse than college students in regards to how hard we'd use the facilities, right?  :D 

Which one?  Looking at the downtown map for Indi, i see just to the northwest of military park, the Uni of indiana natatorium, School of engineering and tech and the dentristry school. 

Posted by helenbb joelf847

joelf847 wrote:
I'd love the ability to pre-select my hotel choices and wait to see the results.  At least I wouldn't be stuck with my whole morning shot if I get a poor lottery choice waiting for my number to come up.

Believe it or not, this method sucks too. I attend SDCC every year and this is what they do for hotels. It's horrible. They time stamp the requests and *supposedly* allocate rooms based on the timestamp of when each request was received. So it's a mad scramble to get your massive form filled in and submitted as fast as you can. And if you're not done in less than a minute or so, you can kiss downtown hotels goodbye. Not to mention that it's actually a black hole, with no one knowing how priority for rooms is really determined, and there are many suspicions that rooms are allocated in some other mysterious order and *not* by timestamp.

The vast majority of people pick their hotel choices, then end up with something they never wanted and are forced into endless waitlists to hope and pray that something better comes up, which only happens about 10% of the time. 

Last year was my first year at GenCon, so I can't speak to the previous 'mashing of the button' system (although I expereinced that at SDCC for many years for badges) but I felt like the hotel lottery was a reasonable way to do things. At least you know, and once you get in you can pick your hotel from a live inventory, so you have a choice in what you get. And if (like me last year) you don't want any of the choices you are offered, then at least you're not stuck with some hotel you don't want, and you're free to get a room outside the block.

I do like the idea of being mailed your time in advance, but I would worry that this would lead to people selling 'good' times to others, essentially creating a 'scalping' situation.

Personally, I booked a room last summer for 2016. It's cancelable, and if I don't get lucky in the lottery, I'll be using it. It seems from discussion in this thread that you guys would think it is expensive, but after paying out of block for SDCC hotels, I find it to be insanely cheap. But certainly if I can get a room in the block and save money, I'm all for that! :D

Posted by njseahawksfan

I had the extreme bad luck of having a great lottery number (5 minutes after portal opened) and being unable to actually access the portal until 2 hours after the portal opened due to "The Bug".  Yet, I fully support the lottery system.  Why?  Because the theory of system is fair, unlike every other proposal that gets posted on the boards, which are all variations on the "use my method because it directly benefits me" theme.  Last year was a glitch ... a horrible glitch that made me think I was going to get a downtown room, only to have the rug pulled out from under me ... but a glitch all the same.  I have no reason to believe that the glitch won't be fixed for this year.

I'm also a bit skeptical at the assertion that a majority of people are strongly opposed to the lottery system.  I seem to recall last year, there were about 5-10 posters responsible for 80% of the negative posts on the system.  That seems to be about the same ratio here.

Don't get me wrong, I think there are plenty of people who wish that the lottery system wasn't required (ie there were enough downtown rooms for everyone) but if there has to be system put in place to ensure that people can't game the system and get an unfair advantage over others, the lottery is best concept that I've seen put forward so far.

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