Update Day 1 Wishlist processing
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Posted by crispixninja

Issue:
Upon clicking the button to submit your wishlist on day 1 at noon, the server is generally unresponsive due to load, and when that session's call times out, a second call is made to submit your wishlist, if that one fails, a third, so on and so forth.

The problem is that this incentivises submitting as many requests in as many different sessions as your browser will allow, just to see which one gets a response from the server first. This is only making the problem communicating with the server worse, and it really hoses people who don't understand whats going on behind the scenes, and those users generally have only 1 submission request going at a time, and unless they are super lucky, really get shafted in their position in line. We really shouldn't incentivize people to cram as many requests to the server as possible so that they can get a better spot in the registration line.

Solution:
Collect all wishlist submissions received in the first 10 minutes, randomize them, then process them. It would give everyone a much more level playing field when it comes to registration, and should reduce load on the server. Any wishlists received after 10 minutes can be processed in first come first serve order like the current does.

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Posted by dwintheiser

I can see at least two problems with this approach:

- Not being a web-head, I'm not sure how challenging it would be to code for randomization of submissions; this would especially be true with less than three months to go until 'go live'. If such a process wasn't already in place, this would be a bad time to implement it for this year.

- It would guarantee that nobody gets a reply from the server for at least ten minutes, and if you thought people didn't understand what's going on behind the scenes in the current system, wait until you hear the complaints about how unresponsive the system is when they're guaranteed to have to wait ten minutes to even think about getting a response (meaning the actual response is going to take longer, possibly much longer).

Not to mention that this doesn't actually dis-incentivize people from submitting multiple requests -- if anything, it further incentivizes it by treating any submission received in the ten minute 'window' equally, meaning that as many submissions as you can make in the first ten minutes gives you that many more chances to 'win the event lottery'. Under the current system, the time it takes you to physically go to your other browser instances and hit the submit button penalizes those submissions by having them be submitted physically later than your first submission.

Not a fan of this idea, sorry.

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Posted by crispixninja dwintheiser

dwintheiser wrote:
I can see at least two problems with this approach:
- Not being a web-head, I'm not sure how challenging it would be to code for randomization of submissions; this would especially be true with less than three months to go until 'go live'. If such a process wasn't already in place, this would be a bad time to implement it for this year.
- It would guarantee that nobody gets a reply from the server for at least ten minutes, and if you thought people didn't understand what's going on behind the scenes in the current system, wait until you hear the complaints about how unresponsive the system is when they're guaranteed to have to wait ten minutes to even think about getting a response (meaning the actual response is going to take longer, possibly much longer).
Not to mention that this doesn't actually dis-incentivize people from submitting multiple requests -- if anything, it further incentivizes it by treating any submission received in the ten minute 'window' equally, meaning that as many submissions as you can make in the first ten minutes gives you that many more chances to 'win the event lottery'. Under the current system, the time it takes you to physically go to your other browser instances and hit the submit button penalizes those submissions by having them be submitted physically later than your first submission.
Not a fan of this idea, sorry.

"It would guarantee that nobody gets a reply from the server for at least ten minutes"

*** This is not correct.

"wait until you hear the complaints about how unresponsive the system is when they're guaranteed to have to wait ten minutes to even think about getting a response (meaning the actual response is going to take longer, possibly much longer)."

*** With 8000 people in line last year, it took an hour and a half to get those wishlists processed. The server can simply confirm that it received your wishlist and it would be added to the queue for randomization any time within the first 10 minutes. The additional 10 minutes is irrelevant to essentially everyone except the first couple hundred wishlists who get processed first.

"Not to mention that this doesn't actually dis-incentivize people from submitting multiple requests -- if anything, it further incentivizes it by treating any submission received in the ten minute 'window' equally, meaning that as many submissions as you can make in the first ten minutes gives you that many more chances to 'win the event lottery'"

***This is completely wrong. You get 1 wishlist per account. It doesn't matter how many times you attempt to submit your wishlist in the first 10 minutes, it's only ever going to be processed once. Once a wishlist is processed,a user can make changes to their list and resubmit it, on the standard first come first serve basis. 

"Under the current system, the time it takes you to physically go to your other browser instances and hit the submit button penalizes those submissions by having them be submitted physically later than your first submission."

***This is also woefully incorrect. The timeout for a call was I think 2 minutes, one user submitting a wishlist using a single session trying to get a spot in line would have 1 attempt every 2 minutes. A user with 10 instances calling the server gets 10 attempts to call the server in the first 2 minutes, 20 attempts in 4 minutes. By comparison a user with one call repeating once every 2 minutes would have 2 attempts in 4 minutes. Get it?

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Posted by selene314

How about letting players submit their wishlists in advance?
Make the "submit" button available for the whole two weeks that wishlists can be built. 

Each badgeholder would get assigned a random number, just like the housing lottery. At noon on Sunday, the system looks at each account in that order. If they have submitted a wishlist, it gets added to the queue.
The randomized order could be kept secret to avoid gaming the system with multiple accounts.

They would have to stop accepting wishlists while this process was running, but I can't imagine building the queue would take more than a few minutes. Then it could re-open and later submissions would get added to the back of the queue.

There would need to be a big warning on the "submit" action about coming back between noon and 2pm Sunday to check out. But we already need that warning about carts expiring, and this way people would have time to read it.

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Posted by nascragman

Just play Nascrag.  We might have *eventually* sold out last year, but we won't sell out on event registration day.

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Posted by crispixninja selene314

selene314 wrote:
How about letting players submit their wishlists in advance?
Make the "submit" button available for the whole two weeks that wishlists can be built. 
Each badgeholder would get assigned a random number, just like the housing lottery. At noon on Sunday, the system looks at each account in that order. If they have submitted a wishlist, it gets added to the queue.
The randomized order could be kept secret to avoid gaming the system with multiple accounts.
They would have to stop accepting wishlists while this process was running, but I can't imagine building the queue would take more than a few minutes. Then it could re-open and later submissions would get added to the back of the queue.
There would need to be a big warning on the "submit" action about coming back between noon and 2pm Sunday to check out. But we already need that warning about carts expiring, and this way people would have time to read it.

This would also be an acceptable alternative to the current system.

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Posted by perloo selene314

selene314 wrote:
How about letting players submit their wishlists in advance?
Make the "submit" button available for the whole two weeks that wishlists can be built. 
Each badgeholder would get assigned a random number, just like the housing lottery. At noon on Sunday, the system looks at each account in that order. If they have submitted a wishlist, it gets added to the queue.
The randomized order could be kept secret to avoid gaming the system with multiple accounts.
They would have to stop accepting wishlists while this process was running, but I can't imagine building the queue would take more than a few minutes. Then it could re-open and later submissions would get added to the back of the queue.
There would need to be a big warning on the "submit" action about coming back between noon and 2pm Sunday to check out. But we already need that warning about carts expiring, and this way people would have time to read it

While I'm sure there are many details to iron out here, I fully agree with the general idea. But this has been proposed in the past, and obviously GenCon is not taking us up on it. So I'm assuming there is a complicating factor I don't see, and wondering if TPTB can shed any light on that, or direct me to the thread where it was previously explained? 

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Posted by orionwiseman

The issue is demand not the method being used. While it might be helpful to use a similar system to the housing portal the results will be similar.  There are less coveted game slots than there are players who want them.  Fortunately GenCon is full of great events that can fill up four days of gaming even if you don’t get your wishlist choices. 

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Posted by cinnibar

There is a liability here for Gen Con if they do any randomizing, specifically they become 'in-charge' of winners and losers in the event-grab.  (Simplistic case: the choice of computer randomization 'seed' predetermines all 'random' effects, technically, who chooses that any why did Gen Con select a value that discriminated against 'me'?)

I imagine Gen Con does not want to detail with this legal issue when they have the arguably fair alibi that 'it is the internet' and 'you are responsible for submitting your own requests'.

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Posted by crispixninja cinnibar

cinnibar wrote:
There is a liability here for Gen Con if they do any randomizing, specifically they become 'in-charge' of winners and losers in the event-grab.  (Simplistic case: the choice of computer randomization 'seed' predetermines all 'random' effects, technically, who chooses that any why did Gen Con select a value that discriminated against 'me'?)
I imagine Gen Con does not want to detail with this legal issue when they have the arguably fair alibi that 'it is the internet' and 'you are responsible for submitting your own requests'.

This is not even remotely a legitimate concern. 

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Posted by mhayward1978 crispixninja

crispixninja wrote:
cinnibar wrote:
There is a liability here for Gen Con if they do any randomizing, specifically they become 'in-charge' of winners and losers in the event-grab.  (Simplistic case: the choice of computer randomization 'seed' predetermines all 'random' effects, technically, who chooses that any why did Gen Con select a value that discriminated against 'me'?)
I imagine Gen Con does not want to detail with this legal issue when they have the arguably fair alibi that 'it is the internet' and 'you are responsible for submitting your own requests'.

This is not even remotely a legitimate concern. 

Correct.  Also, this is essentially what Gen Con does with the housing lottery, if there were any "liability" issues they would have shown up in that process.

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Posted by mhayward1978 crispixninja

crispixninja wrote:
Issue:
Upon clicking the button to submit your wishlist on day 1 at noon, the server is generally unresponsive due to load, and when that session's call times out, a second call is made to submit your wishlist, if that one fails, a third, so on and so forth.
The problem is that this incentivises submitting as many requests in as many different sessions as your browser will allow, just to see which one gets a response from the server first. This is only making the problem communicating with the server worse, and it really hoses people who don't understand whats going on behind the scenes, and those users generally have only 1 submission request going at a time, and unless they are super lucky, really get shafted in their position in line. We really shouldn't incentivize people to cram as many requests to the server as possible so that they can get a better spot in the registration line.
Solution:
Collect all wishlist submissions received in the first 10 minutes, randomize them, then process them. It would give everyone a much more level playing field when it comes to registration, and should reduce load on the server. Any wishlists received after 10 minutes can be processed in first come first serve order like the current does.

This is a good idea, and has been proposed in the past (along with a similar idea of being able to pre-submit your wishlist say, any time up to 24 hours in advance, and the processing begins by randomizing all pre-submitted wishlists at 9 AM).

Hopefully one day Gen Con will address this.

The fact that there is a "skill" element today and that taking advantage of it puts extra load on the servers is very unfortunate.

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Posted by mhayward1978 crispixninja

crispixninja wrote:
Issue:
Upon clicking the button to submit your wishlist on day 1 at noon, the server is generally unresponsive due to load, and when that session's call times out, a second call is made to submit your wishlist, if that one fails, a third, so on and so forth.
The problem is that this incentivises submitting as many requests in as many different sessions as your browser will allow, just to see which one gets a response from the server first. This is only making the problem communicating with the server worse, and it really hoses people who don't understand whats going on behind the scenes, and those users generally have only 1 submission request going at a time, and unless they are super lucky, really get shafted in their position in line. We really shouldn't incentivize people to cram as many requests to the server as possible so that they can get a better spot in the registration line.
Solution:
Collect all wishlist submissions received in the first 10 minutes, randomize them, then process them. It would give everyone a much more level playing field when it comes to registration, and should reduce load on the server. Any wishlists received after 10 minutes can be processed in first come first serve order like the current does.

This is a good idea, and has been proposed in the past (along with a similar idea of being able to pre-submit your wishlist say, any time up to 24 hours in advance, and the processing begins by randomizing all pre-submitted wishlists at 9 AM).

Hopefully one day Gen Con will address this.

The fact that there is a "skill" element today and that taking advantage of it puts extra load on the servers is very unfortunate.

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Posted by laufersweiler

Heck, if that were a concern the could roll dice for the seed.

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Posted by johnnyquest

I would be in favor of anything that would make it so that I don't feel compelled to spend several hours trying to find events.

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