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    1otM

    Akeya
    Akeya

    Twilight Dragon


    Twilight Dragon

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    Lineage : Draconic Heritage
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    Experience : 8,205

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic
    Second Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic
    Third Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic

    1otM Empty 1otM

    Post by Akeya 21st January 2021, 12:12 pm

    Idea I had regarding Items of the Month which might be worth considering.

    Create a rule of some sort which prevents people from purchasing IotMs in bulk. It could be one purchase per post, one purchase per account, or just one purchase per person every 1-5 minutes. The exact mechanisms of the rule could be discussed but it should work towards the goal of making IotMs more accessible while those who are faster still have the first pick and can get the stuff they really want.

    Of course the people who are routinely fast might feel like this puts a limit on what they can get out of being fast but frankly if you're fast you still have first pick which is already a very significant reward given how each IotM tends to be very unique.

    Only real downside I can immediately think of is that people would have to create some kind of tier list so if their first choice is already taken their post can count for their second choice instead etc.


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    1otM CADlsHa
    Between the Sun and the Moon, where it is neither Day nor Night, the Dragon of Twilight sleeps.

    Character|Magic
    Samira Nassar
    Samira Nassar

    Celestial Avatar


    Celestial Avatar

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    First Magic: Celestial Avatar Summoning
    Second Magic: Celestial Avatar
    Third Magic: Avatar Aspect

    1otM Empty Re: 1otM

    Post by Samira Nassar 21st January 2021, 11:32 pm

    I wasn't really going to mention anything about this since I don't care much about IOTM these days besides purchasing the Gimmicks, and it seemed like overall no one had taken an issue with how IOTM worked, especially given the "first come, first served" phrase, but since there is an actual discussion and suggestion thread about it I'll add my input as support.

    For a long time now I have noticed the whole purchasing in bulk whenever the IOTM threads are opened. I don't really mind if someone does this if they haven't purchased anything in ages or did actually wait a bit to give others a chance, but usually, when looking back through the archives of past IOTM, it's the same people over and over purchasing for their mains and legion of alt accounts right as it opens nearly every month. Not going to judge there really since it's allowed and they're entitled to do so. That doesn't mean it shouldn't change, however, especially when it comes to very obvious powerful items and lineages that you can't get anywhere but IOTM. It isn't exactly a site-wide fun thing when only a few people are able to grab the really good things every month. I can generally always predict what items will be the hot ticket items and who will take it by this point, and it makes it seem like IOTM is only there to feed items to a select group of people. It's not, I know, but it looks that way when you go back and look at all the IOTM threads.

    So, I am in support of some kind of change to how IOTM works whether that be stopping bulk buying or something else. It doesn't have to be anything major, but it should definitely be something that allows other people of the site to get good items from there as well. The first come first serve rule doesn't work well on its own when greed exists and has no moderation.


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    Ahote
    Ahote

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    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Forbidden Flame Arts
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    1otM Empty Re: 1otM

    Post by Ahote 22nd January 2021, 12:24 am

    Hi, hello, yes. It is I, Ahote. I'd like to start by saying that the following input and the opinions I share are my own and don't reflect staff's, so take me with a grain of salt.

    I don't participate in IOTM sales for a few different reasons: the prices, the themes, and how quickly inventory is bought. Now, let me clarify that I am not knocking the prices chosen for IOTMs or the themes themselves, but I simply just do not have the funds to purchase the things I want, and that's only if the theme is suitable for the character(s) which I want to buy them for. This leads me to my next point and the subject of the suggestion.

    The "First Come, First Serve" (FCFS) rule isn't the potential issue, as you all have mentioned, and is the right approach to sales with hot-ticket items. However, it does seem redundant or ineffective when there is no moderation on the number of items you can purchase at one time. In other words, it's like an FCFS store sale with no limit per customer, so the first people in line end up collectively buying up most of the stock, leaving very few hot-ticket items for everyone else. This doesn't violate the FCFS rule, but it does leave much to be desired.

    I have to agree with Akeya and Samira in saying that there should be a change or additional constraints to the IOTM purchase process. I believe any of the suggestions they've made would offer a step in the right direction for a more pleasant and fair shopping experience.

    ok bye


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    Aurora
    Aurora

    Cosmic Herione


    Cosmic Herione

    1 Year Anniversary- Player 
    Lineage : Champion of Tudigong
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    Age : 23
    Experience : 603,136

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: First Gen Earth Demon Slayer
    Second Magic: Third Gen Earth Demon Slayer
    Third Magic:

    1otM Empty Re: 1otM

    Post by Aurora 22nd January 2021, 12:51 am

    I don't have much to add to this discussion other than that I find it a good idea to make iotm more available for all.


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    1otM N9AxYLD
    1otM Sy03Rxz
    Aurora

    Theme:
    1otM VqXf5Zv





    Old stuff:
    Serilda Sinclair
    Serilda Sinclair

    Ice Queen


    Ice Queen

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    First Magic: Voidwalking
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    1otM Empty Re: 1otM

    Post by Serilda Sinclair 22nd January 2021, 9:38 am

    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.


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    Akeya
    Akeya

    Twilight Dragon


    Twilight Dragon

    Dragon VIP Status- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Dragon Slayer- Rich- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Character History!- Magic Application Approved!- Get A Pet!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Draconic Heritage
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    Mentor : Whedalsin
    Experience : 8,205

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic
    Second Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic
    Third Magic: Twilight Dragon Magic

    1otM Empty Re: 1otM

    Post by Akeya 22nd January 2021, 10:59 am

    @Serilda Sinclair wrote:Lots of stuff.

    So I'll be doing this point by point for improved readability.

    • First of all I don't think you have to consider yourself the instigator because any First Come First Serve system is going to inevitably result in lightning-fast applications as long as there's a decent amount of participants and there's stuff worth getting.

    • This thread isn't really about the First Come First Serve system. I mean if people actually want to talk about that I'm not going to tell them to stop but I'd prefer it if we focused on the bulk buying since that seems like a topic more people are concerned about and it's easier to find possible solutions for.

    • The point with the bulk buying is that while the current system is fair in the sense that anyone can be the winner I'd argue that there are factors to consider beyond pure fairness. In this instance you could say that while the system meets the criteria of being fair it's not necessarily enjoyable in that it's, in essence, a Winner Takes All system (nobody has gone so far as to buy every limited item yet but the current system allows for it). Anyone can be the winner but the winner then can grab a disproportionate amount of rewards from a very limited stock of very useful/unique/powerful items and leave the rest of the community with significantly less. In a community where you're trying to make everyone have fun (so far as possible/within reasonable limits) the latter is something which I'd say you'd want to remedy if possible. You can't make the system perfect but you can keep aiming to get closer to perfection, and a flaw in the system doesn't have to break the system to the point of making it unusable before change can be considered.

    • I'm rolling paragraphs 6-8 into one because they all address effectiveness of the proposed change. I agree that there is the potential issue that someone loses out on their second item because they only listed their first item and that one got grabbed by someone before them, which is why I suggested the tier system. And I also understand that it might at first sound like a tier system might excessively complicate the process or put an unreasonable burden on staff, but let me go through the process as I would imagine it. Imagine a hypothetical scenario in which we say that you can only purchase one item in the first hour and after that it's free for all. What happens then is as follows:

      1. The IotMs become available for purchase.
      2. The first handful of shoppers post, each having created a tidy numbered list showing their priorities.
      3. Staff A checks the first post and processes their highest priority purchase. The rest of the list is dropped.
      4. Staff A checks the second post's highest priority purchase and checks whether this has already been bought by the first poster. If not, the second poster gets their highest priority item. Otherwise the second poster gets their second highest priority item processed. The rest of the list is dropped.
      5. Staff A repeats this for every post which comes after until every post is processed.
      6. After an hour has passed since the thread opened people can just do whatever. Buy in bulk, dance back and forth, do the worm.


      This might sound like a lot of hassle but from my understanding staff already does all of this. Every time someone purchases something you have to check all previous posts to see if it's been bought already. Every time someone purchases several items you have to check all the previous posts for all those items. The only difference this time is that you have a tidy list with numbers telling you in which order to check. And the moment you reach the first number which hasn't been bought yet you can ignore the rest of the list and move onto the next post.

      Arguably this could actually reduce the burden on staff by having the purchasers do some organizing so staff doesn't have to juggle to remember everything in their head at the same time. On top of that with this system you'd have to check less prior purchases: if you've already processed four purchases then for the fifth post you only have to check one purchase for each of the previous four posters. In contrast to the current system where you might have to check six prior purchases to see what is still available for the third poster (the first and second poster were very enthusiastic).

      Rules can result in systems becoming unnecessarily complex, but there are also instances where a small amount of organization reduces complexity. I think this would be one of those instances because you're not adding any additional tasks, you're making an already existing task tidier. Even in the worst case scenario you'd only have to check one item for the first poster, two for the second, three for third, four for the fourth etc. etc., in which case you'd probably very quickly memorize which items have already been purchased which would expedite the process.


    That last point was a bit bigger than I thought it'd be, so I'll add my own tl;dr.

    TL;DR: The current system works but I believe it can be improved, and this improvement might actually reduce the burden for staff rather than increase it because it would shift the burden of organizing purchases to the shoppers and a little bit of organization increases oversight.

    EDIT: as a minor additional bonus it would also mean that shoppers wouldn't have to try and figure out how many things they can afford at the same time so they can just put anything they want and which doesn't exceed their current liquid assets (Jewels/CC) on the list because they'll only ever get one of those items. And the increased size of the lists doesn't matter for staff because only the highest available number matters.


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    1otM CADlsHa
    Between the Sun and the Moon, where it is neither Day nor Night, the Dragon of Twilight sleeps.

    Character|Magic

      Current date/time is 3rd March 2021, 6:09 pm