Monday, February 18, 2013

I don't know how to answer...

So, the usual thing happened: the long weekend was DunDraCon, and I attended. Thing is, like last year, I only attended for one day; there just wasn't enough of a value proposition for me to attend more than that. The trouble is that I won't even bother trying to get into any games there.

Let me explain. My first DunDraCon was four years ago, and I went for a weekend pass. I did online games registration, and I lucked out; I got into my first choice of game for the first slot. That was a blast, thanks to Sean Nittner's excellent work in getting the situation complicated. If you ever get the chance to play the Burning Wheel scenario The Gift, do so, and if it's Sean running it, be VERY glad!

What I didn't realise at the time was I was lucky as hell. See, DunDraCon has a game assignment system which uses a random number generator to  decide who gets to be in which game. This means you've got no guarantee of getting into any game at ALL, never mind the one you want to play in.

Ryan Macklin has outlined his problems with the shuffler system more eloquently than I can. Suffice it to say: I don't even try to get into games at DunDraCon any more. I don't even attend KublaCon, because it also uses a shuffler, and doesn't have as attractive a seminar track. I attend DunDraCon mainly for the City Building seminar that tends to happen on the Saturday, and whatever other panels Kenneth Hite happens to be on, since he's always worth listening to and potentially debating with.

But the survey asks how satisfied I am with how the system works. There isn't a box for "not applicable" or "broken as designed". My only real option is to keep on complaining on the publicly accessible internet and not paying for a full weekend pass. They could make almost twice as much money from me; but until the shuffler is removed, I simply don't see enough value in paying for the whole weekend; it's better for me to wait until the seminar track is visible and then plan to pay at the door on that day. I wouldn't save any money by pre-registering (and that means the con misses out on getting my money early, with attendant problems) and so it's just not worth it.

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