When we launched the beta ticket contest here, we wanted to have a fun little contest that people would enjoy, and that allowed people to have some impact on their chances at winning. The engagement by the community was, however, somewhat staggering – with well over 250,000 tickets traded! It was a great contest. There were a ton of smiles, emotes, praise, and overall excitement and fun over this contest. And after all, that’s what this is all about… fun. We’re gamers after-all. So why not add some “gaming” into the mix? The give-away should be fun. We think it was – and are glad most of you did too. We wish everyone luck in the drawing, whether you have 1000 tickets or 10 tickets. The good news is that even those who don’t make it in now, need only wait another 40 days or so for the real games to begin. Getting into the beta in “mid-august” vs. open beta really isn’t all that different. I mean we’ve got a good 5+ years of play ahead of us anyway right?
Now, while we’re on the subject of the contest, some complaints/criticisms have surfaced, and I think it’s worth addressing them.
Complaint 1: New visitors are here for the contest, only the contest, and will then leave. That’s OK. We’re confident in our site, and confident that many of those visitors, having seen what we offer, and met the rest of the community, will stay (or return eventually). This was a contest about community interaction and community building – and that’s what we’re seeing. Growth is good, especially when the site is a true community site – with a wiki, op-eds, forums, chat, blogs, and podcasts (with, eventually, community involvement). There will always be addicts, regulars, passerbys, and everything in between. There is plenty of room here for everyone.
Complaint 2: This was a spamming contest. While the contest is certainly more, shall we say, active, than expected, you needed to receive, not give tickets for entries. While certain people took to spam requests for prizes, ultimately it was up to each community member to reciprocate, or not. While the old adage “give, and ye shall receive” probably holds true with a contest like this, spamming probably runs afoul of the real intent of the adage. If we do a similar even in the future we may add some elements or rules to combat spamming, but overall I think the community handled the situation well.
Complaint 3: The contest is slowing down the site. This one is true. As many will remember, we upgraded just over a month ago to some pretty sweet specs, and while we didn’t necessarily intend this contest to test the system, it’s not a bad side-effect. Remember, unlike the other larger fan sites, there is no conglomerate behind the scenes here who can easily throw money and solve these problems. We think that overall there are way more positives than negatives to being independent at this stage – and that’s why we have remained independent thus far. So all we can say is that we’re constantly monitoring the server loads, and, if this keeps up post-contest and post-release, we’ll do what needs to be done to alleviate the stress.
Complaint 4: Where are the codes? We’re waiting on Square Enix at the moment to provide them. We’re hoping that we’ll have them in the next few days, and apologize for the delay, even if it is out of our hands. Presumably Square Enix is balancing the testing and server stability with any influx of new testers, and had to delay a bit. We’re crossing our fingers, and will certainly distribute codes to the winners as soon as we can.
We like to think that we have put together a pretty nice site here. I know there are a lot of us that spend too much time thinking about and working on the site, how it looks and how it works. What we add, or change, or improve. And that’s all well and good. But there are a lot of nicely designed sites that fizzle out. And there are a lot of lacking sites that withstand the test of time. I think the design, operations and features gets you… maybe 25% of the way there. The other 75%? Community.
For those that have been with us since FFXIclopedia, I may sound like a broken record, but if anyone asks why this site is what it is, the answer is (borrowing a page from Bill Clinton): “It’s the community, stupid.” New or old. Addict or passer-by. Editor, blogger, reader, poster or listener. Every component adds something to the community, making the community stronger, and thus making the site stronger.
As we’ve said before (and a bit above), the team behind the scenes here are just a bunch of guys and gals who – like you – are excited about Final Fantasy XIV. We promise to do our best to maintain the site, and expand the site, in ways that benefit the community. If there are things you see that you like, let us know. If there are things you see that you don’t like, let us know. 100% of emails sent to the staff are read and taken to heart. Frankly, since we’re gamers too, most requests we agree with, and while they might not get implemented immediately, they go on our list (which is finally shrinking) of stuff we want to add to or fix on the site.
So with all that, we say thanks to you – the community. We’re glad you had fun on the site these past few days. And we hope you continue to have fun, meet friends, and find (and share) information with us here at Eorzeapedia.