I've already voiced my thoughts about this to Akeya and a handful of staff members on Discord, but for the sake of thoroughness I will lay them out here in the formal discussion as well. Sorry ahead of time, I have accepted that I'm physically incapable of voicing my opinion without it being a novel and breaking down my thought processes in detail, despite how hard I try each time to be concise. There's a tl;dr at the bottom if you prefer.
Personally, I have no issues with the current way that IotM works. I don't know that it was necessarily designed with the intent of being a bit of an urgent, fast paced, too-slow-by-a-millisecond-and-you're-shit-outta-luck style of store. If anything, it's evolution into that is probably partially my fault, cause I remember when I made my very first IotM purchase everyone in discord was rather chatty about how quickly I had slapped my requested purchase down and how I had been waiting like a hawk for the thread to open so I could make the purchase. After that, I feel, is when the trend sort of started.
But the truth of the matter is that for at least the last year or two, that's just how the nature of IotM have been. Pretty much everyone but the newest of newbies knows that ahead of time, and knows that -- like everyone else -- you have to plan ahead and be as ready as you possibly can, and even then you still may not come out with what you wanted, or anything at all. I don't necessarily want things every month, and more times than not when I try to buy something I wind up getting beaten by someone else. And that is fine with me. I understood when I chose to participate that there was a very likely chance that I'd miss out, even on days when I have to wake myself up at 4 or 5 in the morning to even give it a go. Is it frustrating? Yeah, sure. For a bit. But after a few minutes of being grumpy, (or maybe an hour, depending on how badly I wanted an item), I move on with my life. I can't win every time because other people deserve items too, and if they are quicker on the draw than me then that's all there is to it.
And as to people trying to purchase multiple items at once, well... I suppose I can see how people view that negatively, or view it as being greedy and unfair. I don't, personally. The truth is that everyone on the site has the same chances as everyone else to get items, it just comes down to luck and whether or not they feel strongly enough about the items to gamble their time. Staff certainly does plenty to give everyone an equal chance. They post the items a full 48 hours before opening them to be bought, giving everyone plenty of time to look through them and decide if they want anything. They change up the times every month that the list is posted/opened so that no one time zone is being favored over another. They follow the same procedures every time so people know what to expect. There is certainly the argument that some people's internet isn't as reliable as others, but to be honest there's really not anything that staff can do about that. They can't account for everything, and while I can certainly understand how people can be frustrated with the purchase of items in bulk, I will take a firm stance in my opinion that I don't think allowing others to do so is unfair. I do think it is plenty fair, because everyone is allowed the same chances and opportunity to do the same thing. If other people are looking in at the IotM and choosing not to try because they are intimidated by how quickly everything happens, already resigning themselves to losing, well... that's their choice.
That being said, however, I also want to state my opinion that I don't believe this suggestion is a bad one. As Akeya put it to Mythal and me privately, just because a system is already fair doesn't mean there aren't necessarily ways to make it better, and while I wholly support the current system I also would not really be upset if a limit was put in place to moderate how many attempted purchases a player can make at once.
However, I've been thinking the issue over since we had discussed it yesterday, and I think part of me wonders if limited purchases is realistically going to have the results people hope it would have. Bear with my train of thought please, and keep in mind that I'm not criticizing the idea at all, merely attempting to dissect it fully. Recall that when IotM are opened, the purchasing comes down to literal milliseconds. Now, if we say that people can only attempt one purchase at a time, that means the first person to successfully post gets what they wanted. Cool! Maybe the second person does too, and so on down the line. But maybe that second person doesn't get it, because they wanted the same item that the first person wanted. So, they decide they want to try for a different item on their list. They spend the precious few 3-4 seconds it takes to copy their prewritten purchase coding into a new post and get it up, but in a shop where time is measured in milliseconds, 3-4 seconds may as well be an hour. During that time, another person has already stepped in and purchased the secondary items they would have wanted and that person gets nothing, despite preparing and having been quick enough originally to be the second person to get a post in. That would, personally, frustrate and anger me way more than the current system.
So of course we could lean on the suggestion of there being tiers with each post, that maybe you just list the few items you want in order of which is more important to you, so that if the people ahead of you purchase some of the items you want then maybe you at least get the chance to get something. But to that I have to ask, how is that any different than how the system currently works? This last IotM I wanted the Lineage and the Lacrima and posted for both, but only got the Lacrima because I was beaten to the Lineage. Sure, we can say that each person still will only get one thing approved per post, but then we're basically forcing staff to have to analyze each post and math out who gets what, and whether a person still winds up with more than one item because maybe no one else behind them attempted to purchase their secondary items, so those purchases can still be approved. Even as someone who is not a part of staff, that sounds exhausting, and I don't think it's fair to expect them to do that when they already have spent hours of their time making these items, coding and formatting them, making graphics, organizing the thread, planning when to post it, and making themselves available to open it up and take the time to approve the purchases properly. And that's not even counting the hours and days, if not months, that they spend working on improving every other facet on the site.
More than anything else, I don't think the IotM is something that should be a complicated process. If we take away from its simplicity, I worry that it may result in more frustrations than there may already be, and after giving all of this some thought I'm not entirely sure that limiting things will necessarily make it easier for others to successfully purchase items. I could be talked around on this if someone can reassure me that I'm looking at all this wrong, but currently I think I stand on the hill of wondering if this idea, while simple on the surface, may not be effective toward the result its aiming for.
tl;dr, I am fine with the current system and am okay with the suggestion as well, but would want to ensure that it wouldn't wind up complicating things more than they need to be.