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Thread: Lottery

  1. #26
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    I too miss the lotteries, and have pretty well given up on ever seeing another one, but I still have a small amount of hope. After all, we got Hobnanigans back in the game, and I sure as heck never thought that would actually happen.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Burrito View Post
    As someone who works in IT, I find it very hard to believe a storm "fried" the ability for them to do lotteries. There are (or should be) too many safeguards and redundancies in place for this to happen.

    I am guessing whomever was working on the system was axed, and the position that person was working was never re-filled due to the cuts at Turbine.

    IMHO, Lotteries have sailed into the west and we will probably never see them again.
    This is probably close to the truth.

    Code is being backed up, and a company like Turbine certainly has several backups in off-site locations that contains backup of code.

    The lotteries are just not a priority. What most likely happened is that with all the code changes to the website, the code that was for the lotteries didn't work anymore, and needed to be rewritten. And since there were other priorities (such as, at the time they stopped the lotteries, releasing Helms Deep) the lottery thing was just shelved for now, until someone has some time to make it a new project. I think it went by the wayside along with player/kinship information. It made many sites like guildportal completely worthless, as one of the best features was being able to approve/deny people based on their in-game character, and to assure there aren't any non-kinnies that were applying, etc.... The backend that supported all of that, also supported the lottery system I believe, and it was just not deemed a priority. And yeah, if you lay off 80 people, a lot of projects that might not add to their bottom line in sales ($ <--> TP <--> Mithril) probably got shelved.

    Then again, the Hobsnaningans festival was cool!
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  3. #28
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    All I can say is what I've said is the actual truth and facts. What you do with them is entirely your call. More than 15 years in IT prior to taking this job taught me nothing is outside the scope of posibility and the more strange it sounds the more likely it is to be true (I could share some serious horror stories and real jaw droppers from previous employers. )


    We have had initial meetings on making an entirely new system that hopefully avoids many of the major issues and problems of the old system. There is not ETA at this point and this is still very much a whiteboard project. Once/if it moves past that I'll share more.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    All I can say is what I've said is the actual truth and facts. What you do with them is entirely your call. More than 15 years in IT prior to taking this job taught me nothing is outside the scope of posibility and the more strange it sounds the more likely it is to be true (I could share some serious horror stories and real jaw droppers from previous employers. )


    We have had initial meetings on making an entirely new system that hopefully avoids many of the major issues and problems of the old system. There is not ETA at this point and this is still very much a whiteboard project. Once/if it moves past that I'll share more.
    Sapience, I am always amazed by your professionalism and patience when you answer the same question over and over and over again

    I really enjoyed the lotteries, and while I would love to see them come back (who doesn't like free stuff), it seems that the hobbit presents have mainly filled the void.

    Although I have yet to see a horse in the hobbit gift.

    and I'd LOVE to hear some of your horror stories!
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burrito View Post
    As someone who works in IT, I find it very hard to believe a storm "fried" the ability for them to do lotteries. There are (or should be) too many safeguards and redundancies in place for this to happen.

    I am guessing whomever was working on the system was axed, and the position that person was working was never re-filled due to the cuts at Turbine.

    IMHO, Lotteries have sailed into the west and we will probably never see them again.
    Having only recently retired from 30 years in IT -- I have zero problem understanding what happened.

    Yes, it is (sadly) both quite normal and frequent for a single PC to never be backed up.

    Assume the Lottery system was a "project" that was originally developed on someone's desktop. Since it took virtually zero resources to run, it was simply allowed to run in that environment -- called a zero maintenance situation. It was not a critical component, so it was never migrated into the "Machine Room." It was probably never even plugged into any kind of UPS, maybe only a power strip. Even one with at $50,000 guarantee only replaces the PC -- not its contents.

    Personally, I see the lotteries as having been replaced by Hobbit Presents. No difference. Both are pure #### shoots - or rather Slot Machines

    Other than a sales tool to get players to "Like" LOTRO on Twitter and Facebook; they really have no redeeming value.
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  6. #31
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    I know you miss the lotteries, but they were actually a bad idea from the start. Why? It was a system that required players to sign up for it outside the game. Many players did not even know that a lottery system was in place. The lotteries were not posted on a consistent and regular basis, so, most people did not waste their time logging into it to find out if a lottery was even running. It took days to end and possibly get rewards. You were never notified in game if you won unless you got an inventory item or checked.

    As someone who used to work for a lottery software company "Gail Howard's smart luck software" I can tell you that this lottery system was mostly ineffective for the goals intended. For a lottery system to work towards drawing people into it you need there to actually be a game involved. The person entering must feel as though they have won something or were personally involved. This is part of the reason that you have to pick a number and most people choose to pick their numbers instead of using the random generated ticket system (although some people like the convenience of that system). For a lottery to generate buzz it needs to be a big prize and not a small one. getting a cosmetic Halloween mask does not make people want to spend time waiting to win or call their buddies over to enter.

    I for one am glad that the lottery system is gone. I am also glad that they are looking into a better system. I would be happy to help them design a better in game system that will help bring people into the game more (not a programmer - former lottery software tech rep) instead of having them feel that it is a waste or time or too much work to enter it. A new in game system or changes to the hobbit present system would be a much better way to go than the old lotteries as they were setup before.

  7. #32
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    Here is some advice on the subject for free.

    1. Change the name of scrap reward, the icon used, and the possible amount received.

    Psychology should play a higher role at turbine rewards than it does. Silver Scraps? Does that sound like you won something or does that sound more like you found someone's garbage lying around? The name of a reward should sound special. Silver Pile, Silver Coins, or better yet, why do you have to call it "Silver" at all. Make a special icon for it that simply looks like treasure and call it a "Stashed Horde" or a "Treasure Pile" no matter what the amount is. That way, psychologically the person feels as if they won something better even if the amount is smaller. For a split second, the person who wins [Treasure Pile] from a hobbit present will hope that they indeed won a large sum. It will only be after this that they will either be a little disappointed in the amount if it is small. As well, there needs to be a chance, yes a real chance no matter how small that the same item can be worth a lot more, such as 20 gold or even 30 gold. This way, players will open hobbit presents with more regularity and will brag more about special high amounts. As well, when they type in to the chat what they received it will say, [Treasure Pile], instead of [Silver Scraps].

    2. Create a larger variety of rewards.

    Right now the only food item won from the hobbit present is Dale Crams. Dale crams are awesome. So why not have trail food, drink food, and resistance food offered as well? What about special pipe weed, regular fireworks, more cosmetics? In short, the rewards from the hobbit present need to be expanded to include a larger variety of items. Players can predict now what they will get and open present in a rather hum drum routine way. The lack of rewards offered limits the psychological payoff of opening the present. The idea that it could be anything is rather removed from the players mind after opening 30 or so presents.

    These are just 2 ideas that make your current system better and get more people involved in the game and increase the enjoyment of the game for other players.

  8. #33
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinkhan View Post
    I know you miss the lotteries, but they were actually a bad idea from the start. Why? It was a system that required players to sign up for it outside the game. Many players did not even know that a lottery system was in place. The lotteries were not posted on a consistent and regular basis, so, most people did not waste their time logging into it to find out if a lottery was even running. It took days to end and possibly get rewards. You were never notified in game if you won unless you got an inventory item or checked.

    As someone who used to work for a lottery software company "Gail Howard's smart luck software" I can tell you that this lottery system was mostly ineffective for the goals intended. For a lottery system to work towards drawing people into it you need there to actually be a game involved. The person entering must feel as though they have won something or were personally involved. This is part of the reason that you have to pick a number and most people choose to pick their numbers instead of using the random generated ticket system (although some people like the convenience of that system). For a lottery to generate buzz it needs to be a big prize and not a small one. getting a cosmetic Halloween mask does not make people want to spend time waiting to win or call their buddies over to enter.

    I for one am glad that the lottery system is gone. I am also glad that they are looking into a better system. I would be happy to help them design a better in game system that will help bring people into the game more (not a programmer - former lottery software tech rep) instead of having them feel that it is a waste or time or too much work to enter it. A new in game system or changes to the hobbit present system would be a much better way to go than the old lotteries as they were setup before.
    The problem with your argument is you don't know what the goals of our lottery system were, why we built it, or what we expected from it. From our standpoint it exceeded every expectation we had for it. So much so that we were able to crash the entire site by offering up the right items in the lottery to drive insane engagement. That was the point. Engagement outside of the game.

    That was actually one of the problems with it. it was so successful, so popular, and so frequently visited it actually put our website under exceptionally heavy load when lotteries were active. This is why one of the mandates of the new system is to make it light weight and simple. So we don't have the old issue of putting up a lottery and players almost immediately seeing a "Site is under maintenance" message do to the servers being crushed under the load. Basically, the old lottery system was so popular that running one created a kind of DDOS on our own systems.


    By the way, a lottery is inherently a question of luck. There is no "game" involved in a lottery. It is a "I want to win advertised prize X" and you buy your ticket and see what happens. No game involved. Skill will not improve your chances. Playing more often won't either. It's about luck. Which is exactly what the LOTRO Lottery was and likely will be again. The same is also true for slot machines, raffles, and their like.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    The problem with your argument is you don't know what the goals of our lottery system were, why we built it, or what we expected from it. From our standpoint it exceeded every expectation we had for it. So much so that we were able to crash the entire site by offering up the right items in the lottery to drive insane engagement. That was the point. Engagement outside of the game.

    That was actually one of the problems with it. it was so successful, so popular, and so frequently visited it actually put our website under exceptionally heavy load when lotteries were active. This is why one of the mandates of the new system is to make it light weight and simple. So we don't have the old issue of putting up a lottery and players almost immediately seeing a "Site is under maintenance" message do to the servers being crushed under the load. Basically, the old lottery system was so popular that running one created a kind of DDOS on our own systems.


    By the way, a lottery is inherently a question of luck. There is no "game" involved in a lottery. It is a "I want to win advertised prize X" and you buy your ticket and see what happens. No game involved. Skill will not improve your chances. Playing more often won't either. It's about luck. Which is exactly what the LOTRO Lottery was and likely will be again. The same is also true for slot machines, raffles, and their like.
    Only time I ever had a problem entering a lottery was when you gave away tps. Man people just got crazy when you had those lotteries. lol

  10. #35
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    You are right, i do not know what the goals were. I assumed there. Sorry if i upset anyone. However, I understand that no skill was involved in the lottery that you used to have. But like the horseshoe, people will play lottery type games more if they "think" there is a strategy involved that does increase their chances. People want this and enjoy this. This is why today's state lotteries are never a just, buy a ticket and get an equal shot type lotteries. People want to think that they "picked" or helped cause the outcome. State lotteries, gambling, horse races, all of these tried and true gambling methods prove this. It is game theory 101 essentially.

    I am glad that the old lottery was so successful and I appreciate that Turbine is going to make another system or improve the ones that they have. Can't wait to see what they come up with. Now please approve the Meet and greet video so I can start posting about it. If you want me to change anything let me know.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    ..That was the point. Engagement outside of the game.

    That was actually one of the problems with it. it was so successful, so popular, and so frequently visited it actually put our website under exceptionally heavy load when lotteries were active.
    *smiles and fondly remembers logging into the community site while at work in order to enter the lotteries*

    I'd love it if we could get that back. I mostly stopped visiting the forums (I only check the Dev Tracker - that's how I got here) around the time that the lotteries broke / the new site was introduced.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    The problem with your argument is you don't know what the goals of our lottery system were, why we built it, or what we expected from it. From our standpoint it exceeded every expectation we had for it. So much so that we were able to crash the entire site by offering up the right items in the lottery to drive insane engagement. That was the point. Engagement outside of the game.

    That was actually one of the problems with it. it was so successful, so popular, and so frequently visited it actually put our website under exceptionally heavy load when lotteries were active. This is why one of the mandates of the new system is to make it light weight and simple. So we don't have the old issue of putting up a lottery and players almost immediately seeing a "Site is under maintenance" message do to the servers being crushed under the load. Basically, the old lottery system was so popular that running one created a kind of DDOS on our own systems.
    I don't remember having "Site is under maintenance" issues during lotteries, and I played them religiously, every day, sometimes checking a few times a day during Lottery events. I've definitely done my share of internet giveaways: beta keys, item codes, etc. that other sites have done and I do remember issues with many. Just not LOTRO. I'm not saying they didn't happen, nor am I going to argue against the server team and their logs, but I'm just saying that as a player, I don't remember having any problems entering a lottery that I wanted to. I may not have won what I wanted to, but I was always able to check those little boxes. Even got a couple mounts, some other nice stuff. If players were reporting issues, I'm going to suspect it was a "I can't enter, pity me, so give me free stuff plz!" scam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    By the way, a lottery is inherently a question of luck. There is no "game" involved in a lottery. It is a "I want to win advertised prize X" and you buy your ticket and see what happens. No game involved. Skill will not improve your chances. Playing more often won't either. It's about luck. Which is exactly what the LOTRO Lottery was and likely will be again. The same is also true for slot machines, raffles, and their like.
    I'm happy with the Hobbit Presents as a replacement. It gets me to log in daily, and sometimes I'll stay and play a while, look at store sales, etc. The website lottery didn't really make me interested in wanting to play, only if I won something would I log in and get it out of the mail, before it expired in 14 days. (occasionally I'd forget and lose winnings, too) So, IMHO, keep the Hobbit Presents, but maybe add some more interesting stuff and change it up, have special "present days" or something. I kind of get the same things over and over, a lot, building quite a collection of armor.

  13. #38
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szul View Post
    I don't remember having "Site is under maintenance" issues during lotteries, and I played them religiously, every day, sometimes checking a few times a day during Lottery events. I've definitely done my share of internet giveaways: beta keys, item codes, etc. that other sites have done and I do remember issues with many. Just not LOTRO. I'm not saying they didn't happen, nor am I going to argue against the server team and their logs, but I'm just saying that as a player, I don't remember having any problems entering a lottery that I wanted to. I may not have won what I wanted to, but I was always able to check those little boxes. Even got a couple mounts, some other nice stuff. If players were reporting issues, I'm going to suspect it was a "I can't enter, pity me, so give me free stuff plz!" scam.
    The entire reason we stopped doing flash lotteries(announced on twitter) was because we'd immediately hear back "Nice time to plan maintenance." That was the site going down under the load. It happened, literally every time we ran one. So we stopped. Even we couldn't load the forums when it happened. it would clear up in a 5-10 minutes and all would be normal again, but it was not fun for those trying to enter during those 5-10 minutes.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    The entire reason we stopped doing flash lotteries(announced on twitter) was because we'd immediately hear back "Nice time to plan maintenance." That was the site going down under the load. It happened, literally every time we ran one. So we stopped. Even we couldn't load the forums when it happened. it would clear up in a 5-10 minutes and all would be normal again, but it was not fun for those trying to enter during those 5-10 minutes.
    I dont know what if anything your Offerpop usage costs you, but since they seem to let you do X random entries from a pool of entrants, perhaps they could be used to help with some of the larger prize lotteries, that at least have a key associated with them.

    Is there anything stopping you from generating on demand a product key for anything that has an account level product-token? Or do you have to create specific product bundles for them if they dont already exist as their own separate offers? If not, this seems like it'd be good system for giving away the old formerly retired rewards if that winds up making it through development.

    In the meantime, you might be able to use it to do a few high value prizes if the system as is without hassle can generate codes for things that are player facing only as directly-logged in offers via the LOTRO market. Ex: (Class Steed Bundle..)

    I don't know if you can make the twitter entries and facebook entries use the same prizepool, but that'd be nice. While the ability for players to get something from participating in multiple sites such as TP giveaways on Facebook and twitter, it'd likely make the pool of entries fairer overall.

    Especially if you could somehow do a 'Must have been following for <X> time already'..
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  15. #40
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    Another thing to keep in mind regarding lotteries and giveaways, is international law. The design of the former lotteries was in a way that allowed everyone to participate. The old lotteries getting fried gives the perfect excuse to give it a revamp, and those laws need to be kept in mind. Things tend to take longer when you have to deal with laws.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    The entire reason we stopped doing flash lotteries(announced on twitter) was because we'd immediately hear back "Nice time to plan maintenance." That was the site going down under the load. It happened, literally every time we ran one. So we stopped. Even we couldn't load the forums when it happened. it would clear up in a 5-10 minutes and all would be normal again, but it was not fun for those trying to enter during those 5-10 minutes.
    Well, for flash lotteries that's no surprise, those are/were a horrible idea for many reasons from a player perspective. I'd guess most people here refer to the "classic" lotteries that were running for multiple days.
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  17. #42
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimdi View Post
    Well, for flash lotteries that's no surprise, those are/were a horrible idea for many reasons from a player perspective. I'd guess most people here refer to the "classic" lotteries that were running for multiple days.
    Considering how many people complained when we stopped doing them, I'm going to guess the majority doesn't share your opinion. Far more people complained we stopped doing them than every complained that we did them that way. So I'll assume you mean "from my perspective."

    Once in a while we'd still have load issues if we put something highly desirable into a lottery and word spread. It wasn't as severe or as long, but it did happen. Some of it was due to the lotteries being very 'heavy' from a server/performance standpoint. The new system is hopefully going to be much more light weight.

  18. #43
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    Sap, I could be remembering it wrong, but did you say that a return of the or "a" lotto system would likely come with a revival of the character data being accessible again? Is a return of the character data inexorably linked to the lotto?
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  19. #44
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comstrike View Post
    Sap, I could be remembering it wrong, but did you say that a return of the or "a" lotto system would likely come with a revival of the character data being accessible again? Is a return of the character data inexorably linked to the lotto?
    No I didn't. The two, hopefully, aren't tied together. If we had to tie them it would never get done. There is a lot of work to be done just to get lotteries back. Fortunately this falls mostly on the web team and not the game team so it won't mean doing either this or a game update. Still, I would not expect it in any variety of soon you care to use.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Considering how many people complained when we stopped doing them, I'm going to guess the majority doesn't share your opinion.
    Well, neither of us can say anything about the majority of players. Of course you'd see a lot of complaints about stopping flash lotteries given how they were connected to social media channels (and people will always complain if free stuff goes away no matter what). Number of complaints are a bad metric anyway for quality, of course most people prefer a bad implementation over no implementation of a feature.
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  21. #46
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    I would Love to see lottery's come back they were entertaining.

  22. #47
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimdi View Post
    Well, neither of us can say anything about the majority of players. Of course you'd see a lot of complaints about stopping flash lotteries given how they were connected to social media channels (and people will always complain if free stuff goes away no matter what). Number of complaints are a bad metric anyway for quality, of course most people prefer a bad implementation over no implementation of a feature.
    Actually I can say a lot about the majority of players on this issue. Mostly because I can see the real numbers in terms of players per month, per day, and per server, entries per lottery per server by account, etc. When spikes occurred, when they didn't, which servers entered most, who had the most characters enter, and on and on.

  23. #48
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    How about a giftbox in the store for say 50tp so we can regift a hobbit present to a fellow kinnie. (sorry hobbits no offense)
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  24. #49
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    I would hate to see Lotteries go away. I won some fun stuff I'd otherwise never have gotten.

    Also..I agree with Deliguy above about the regifting idea.

  25. #50
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    I do so love the lotteries, as not being in the US I can't enter normal competitions for Lotro

    Do hope they make a return in the future in whatever form as they were always fun

 

 
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