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.
"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.
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).
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.
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.
Actually, sorry, that was ryrics suggestion.
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.
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
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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.
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
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.