"Portal" may have been a poor choice of a word for me to describe it, but the system still required you to be at your computer and log in. Many people didn't, or didn't do it promptly. The odds for people who did log in at noon were still better because the times went so much faster.
The system now basically hands you had a golden ticket before you even log into anything.
Now, the big question. Where did you find 2016 Gen Con web pages with housing policies info? They do not come up with a web search and all of the official housing videos from 2015 and 2016 have been pulled from youtube. All I found was an official announcement related to credit card changes. Where are you getting your quotes from? As you may have gathered in regards to your Facebook poll threads I like to evaluate sources of information- unless that site says you didn't have to log in right at noon because Gen Con would hold rooms for you based on your unknown random access time my point about wanting to log in right at noon is completely valid.
If one person had a random time of 12:00 and someone else had a random time of 12:01 but the 12:00 person didn't log in until 12:03 could the 12:01 person take a room the 12:00 person wanted? If yes you still wanted to log in at noon to maximize your chances- even if what you quoted above is completely accurate.
I can confirm the 'assigned a number' even if you logged in after noon from last year. We had Embassy Suites out of block at a very reasonable price so I didn't care but bought a badge just to see the number anyway and then promptly forgot about it. Logged in about 1 pm or so, give or take, and had a time (I can't remember the specific) but it was after 1, and I was very very very very very very glad I had the Embassy. My daughter had a better time, as in when we logged in she could get in the portal right away, did check, downtown was still available, but no doubles. So I guess you could say you had a better chance last year but not because of the system or your effort--you had a better chance because of OUR effort in obtaining downtown rooms ahead of time.
We were not as lucky this year, but that does not make me angrier at the folks who either a) bought 15 badges to get a better time(if they want to pay $10 for a 'lottery ticket' more power to them) b) were more persistent in seeking out of block rooms (My mother passed in January after a long illness, I was frankly not in a caring mood about hotel seeking) or c) just plain got lucky. It happens.
What WOULD make me irritable is if they put the free badge recipients into the pile. Yes, this includes me. (I gm the required amount of hours so at some point I will trade my badge for the gm one). At least put some money where your intentions are. What would also make me irritable is if it's found out later that someone or some organization, bought tons of badges just to 'sell' the downtown rooms. Much like concert tickets these days. Want that room? Okay, I will 'trade' you the room for $100 bucks. Sure it can't be done ON HERE but nothing prevents it from being done in actuality.
Makes me wonder how many badge holders that have attended before got a room vs new badges purchased. Or if someone got a low number then added on a bunch of badges to reserve additional rooms. Inquiring mind(s?) want to know.
Why would people log in before their allotted time?
Yes. Schedule flexibility, willingness to sit through h a server rush means nothing, and should mean nothing. the person who buys a badge 1 second after they become available, and 1 second before a housing cutoff deserve the same chance at housing.
Effort isn't part of the fairness of this process. Everyone in this housing lottery had the same chance per badge they purchased. now, if for some reason, they were struck ill, trapped without internet that Sunday or whatever, there is only so much GenCon can do. But they made this as fair as possible, within reasonable ease for GenCon to administer.
Your willingness to put in more effort under the old system is irrelevant, and not deserving of any extra chance at a reward. And, by viewing the decision of GenCon, they agree with this. And they'd be silly to go back to th old server rush system that even more peopel disliked.
In the end, none of this will convince you. You didn't get a room, therefore in your mind this system is bad.
And, actually, since the badge purchase cutoff was 36 hours earlier this year, you could make the case that it was harder to join the housing lottery this year compared to last year when you had right up until noon on Sunday. Your contention that Gen Con handed out more "free lottery tickets" this year is completely false—and not just because the entries are not, in any sense of the word, free, but because the entry date was earlier. You needed to pre-plan further in advance this year to enter the lottery.
You contend that your odds went down this year; but, as a pre-planner, it sounds like your chances actually increased. Some people who missed all the announcements about needed to purchase your badges by Friday midnight missed out on entering the lottery altogether.
The fact remains that the only difference between this year and last is that 1) the cutoff to enter the housing lottery was 36 hours earlier (Friday midnight instead of Sunday noon) and 2) housing lottery entrants were notified 36 hours earlier (including an email this year).
Otherwise, the lottery worked the same.
No pain, no Embassy Double!
As braewe confirmed, if you signed in late you still were assigned a number. If you were lucky you could still get a downtown room. But it was not the same number you could have gotten at noon.
However, according to the official housing email sent on 1/19/16:
"Never participated in Gen Con Housing Registration before? Don't stress.
The Housing Registration system was created to give all attendees a chance at getting the hotel room of their choice. Gen Con will randomize each customer's access to the Housing Portal to book lodging. Scheduling access to the housing portal also helps distribute traffic, eliminating request "time outs" and crashing. If a customer would like to reserve lodging during Housing Registration, they should go to their "My Housing" page on gencon.com, which is located under their name after they sign-in. All those participating must have purchased a valid Gen Con 2016 badge before receiving an access time.
When Housing Registration opens at noon (Eastern), all participating customers automatically will be assigned a random access time via their "My Housing" page. The "Make Reservation" button on your "My Housing" page will activate when you receive access to the Housing Portal. From there, you may make one reservation at a time. Important note: all reservations are completed in real-time. Until you select a specific room and begin the checkout process, that room may be reserved by another customer. Once you have started the checkout process, the room will be held for up to 10 minutes while you complete the transaction.
Randomized access times may vary between a few seconds and a few hours after Housing Registration opens, depending on the volume of participants. Customers may refresh their "My Housing" page periodically without losing their access time."
As you may remember, the initial numbers were generated based on who was logged in before housing went live at noon. You logged in after noon, you got a later number.
All of my points about benefiting from being one of the people who actually tried to log in at noon last year still stand. To be a participating customer at noon when random numbers were assigned you had to have logged in before noon.
(edit- quote is now in italics for clarity)
Why didn't everyone do it? You left out one difference between this year and last year. Last year, above and beyond buying a badge, you had to log in by noon and wait out a timer hoping you would get something. There was uncertainty and, yes, effort that may very well not pay off. This year people got an email saying they got a random participation trophy, all they had to do was log in for a few minutes and claim their prize. See the difference?
Sure, Gen Con can continue with the random participation trophy approach next year. But you aren't going to convince me that giving a participation trophy to people who wouldn't have even participated in the housing lottery last year isn't lame, regardless of where my hotel room is this year.
(Before anyone says any "but I bought a badge last year so I was participating!" nonsense, note that I quoted the official email earlier stating if you wanted to participate in housing you had to log in, you couldn't just buy a badge)
Gharris, I don't know if it's just poor reading comprehension or what, but you just don't understand. Sorry.
Simply put, I have an official Gen Con email from 1/19/16 sitting in my inbox backing up what I say. If you are as lx about deleting old emails as I am it is probably in your inbox too- if not I will happily forward it if you message me your address.
The email says participation in housing was not linked to buying a badge alone, you had to both buy a badge and log in on housing day to become a "participant". The system did not know who was participating until it assigned random numbers to people logged in at noon. Nowhere does it say that people were assigned numbers ahead of time when they bought their badge. Buying a badge and being a participant in the housing lottery are clearly separate things.
I cannot find anything anywhere online backing up the information you presented. At all. I looked three times so this wouldn't come back to bite me later. 2015, yes, 2016, nothing except a blurb about credit card changes. Definitely nothing saying everyone who bought a badge got a random number for the housing lottery.
If you have a link to this information I am happy to look at it- I may very well have missed something. Just message me. If not authority of a verifiable email that supports my position prevails.
Now, if you are referring to my lack of understanding that the lottery is fair this year I would point out that I do understand that they are fair from a certain point of view, just like housing was also fair in previous years from a certain point of view. What does irritate me is the idea that people should stop criticizing the changes this year because they are supposedly completely fair and that's that.
You do realize that even if people were assigned a low number this year they still had to log in to reserve a room. So the fact that people were assigned a number prior to logging in means squat.
It has the same fairness as prior years without having to sit around all waiting for your number to come up.
At best you could argue that people that did not use their preassigned number dragged out the reservation by possibly using up a early time slot.
It boils down to thousands and thousands of people were perfectly happy with the system this year and a handful of people with sour grapes are trying to justify why everybody else should agree with them and be all up in arms. They feel like they were treated unfairly (their right to feel however they wish to but their feelings do not equal reality to everyone else).
Ok now, things are starting to get a bit heated, let's keep things civil please.
austicke is right. The only essential difference between this year and last year was the time which you were notified of your randomly assigned queue time. You did not have to be logged in to be assigned a random housing time for either year. Most people probably were logged in at noon on Sunday in 2016, on the off chance that they were assigned a time close to noon. But it was last year, as this year, immaterial to you being assigned a queue time. For both years, that automatically happened, if you had purchased a badge. Being logged in or not did not affect the assignment of a housing time.
Hope that clears things up.
Gen Con LLC
Thank you, Marian.
The follow up question is why would Gen Con send us a housing email that clearly said otherwise?
"If a customer would like to reserve lodging during Housing Registration, they should go to their "My Housing" page on gencon.com, which is located under their name after they sign-in. All those participating must have purchased a valid Gen Con 2016 badge before receiving an access time.
When Housing Registration opens at noon (Eastern), all participating customers automatically will be assigned a random access time via their "My Housing" page. "
That email says you had to log in to participate and the numbers were assigned to participants when the Housing Registration opened at noon, exactly as I said. People logged in at noon because the email told them that was when and how numbers were assigned. It does not say that everyone who bought a badge got a secret access number before housing went live.
Why are you now telling me something different?
Let it go. It doesn't matter how you selectively read things or nitpick wording. How it worked, and the ultimate lack of impact on the odds have been explained.
Process worked. In the face if huge demand, relatively few hiccups. Much better for all participants, knowing in advance what your time was. I hope their future tweaks work as well.
Gharris, you're beating a dead horse. The passage you quoted doesn't say you have to login to be assigned an access time. It specifically says, "When Housing Registration opens at noon (Eastern), all participating customers automatically will be assigned a random access time via their 'My Housing' page."
Automatically. No login required.
Perhaps you're hung up on the definition of "participating customers"? That is anyone who purchased a badge before the deadline.
However, this year and last year are exactly the same in that you need to access the My Housing page after your assigned time in order to reserve a room. Your time is assigned whether you use it or not.