8 FEBRUARY 2014
So we've had our first lottery. How is everyone feeling? Pissed, victorious, cynical?
It was slow torture for many of us. We logged early into the waiting room (because that's what we do) and then spun ourselves out with anxiety waiting for the sale to go live; then it did and there was nothing to do but wait again while the yellow box patronizingly announced that other people were buying our badges and that maddening blue circle spun and spun.
My laptop that logged in early got up to bat right away and got Preview Night badges. My other laptop, under a friend's member ID, logged into the waiting room at 8:50 am and got in to buy badges at 9:58, which we thought was awful, but all four days were available. It was all just very slow. As far as I can tell, it was all fairly random and there was no connection between when you entered the waiting room and where you wound up in line. A friend who entered at 8:58 bought his badge at 9:20.
While it wasn't as glitchy as past years, people did run into trouble. Getting into the sale screen and having the session close prematurely; getting messages that their Member ID had already bought a badge; having the blue circle freeze; other random issues. If this happened to you, document everything and email CCI now. Last year they held a private sale for people who froze in the waiting room and sent the screen shots to prove it. There's no guarantee they'll make that kind of redress this year but it can't hurt to make yourself known.
No doubt everyone has an opinion on the new system. It's easy for me, a victor, to say it went smoothly; I'm guessing people who spent a long time in the waiting room were pulling their hair out. I will say this: the year when Registration crashed again and again and had to be rescheduled repeatedly wasn't better. The year we all camped outside overnight to pre-register and many of us still didn't get badges wasn't any better. There is no perfect solution here.
One minor change that might help: bringing back the numbering system that told people where they were in line. Not knowing seemed to drive people insane.
And if you were one of the people who emailed me a complaint about it not working on your iPhone, or expressing confusion because you want to go to Comic-Con for the first time but couldn't get into the waiting room - I have no sympathy for you. Pay attention! There's still a Darwinist element to Comic-Con where people who read updates and stay prepared are more likely to get a badge. If you think that's a pain in the ass, then you have no business going to Comic-Con, which is the ultimate pain in the ass on multiple levels.
That said, I have the deepest sympathies for those of you who didn't get a badge. My fingers are crossed for you regarding Open Registration.