It’s been a long time since we wrote one of these! The load from Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is clearing up, which means we can sit back and reflect a little. Like Let’s Go, BDSP is a relatively smaller game much less Pokemon to work with. Honestly, it was refreshing to have much less to think about when coming up with listings. The game was fast enough to get through, and the way this game was made allowed research to be done quick.
Rawkhet has come a long way since Sword and Shield’s launch. Back then, orders were fulfilled using just one console and later load balanced between two. Processes definitely weren’t as developed yet. After the terrible sales from Let’s Go, we couldn’t gauge the interest in SWSH and really thought it’d be another non-event. In BDSP, we ramped up our capability pre-launch, load balanced across five consoles from the start. Processes were quickly put in place and adapted within the first few hours of launch. Unlike previous launches where preparation times sometimes reached 24-36 hours, the average preparation time for BDSP was between 6-9 hours, never exceeding 24 hours.
Load By Launch
As with previous launches, we see a massive surge on launch which eventually enters a downtrend before finally plateauing (still in progress for BDSP). It’s quite interesting to see significant growth over the years and with the launches side-by-side.
In SWSH, it was common for customers to forget to connect to the Internet in the Y-Comm before searching for a trade partner. Without easy visual cues while searching, this was something we had to troubleshoot often especially for customers who don’t read the Trade Guide. BDSP made this easier by having colored floors in their Union Room, blue for Global and green for Local. Adding this messaging to the Trade Guide and collection messages has proven successful, and nearly every order has gone off without the need for any troubleshooting.
One major change in thought is the lack of a decoy Link Code. In SWSH, we employed a decoy Link Code in the Order Ready emails, with a note in the Trade Guide that the code should not be used. This was done to prevent customers from bugging us for the Link Code, and to catch anyone who did not read the Trade Guide. In BDSP, our tactic was to explicitly specify that customers will only receive their Link Code when it is time to trade. This is coupled by even more explicit messaging on directing users to the Trade Guide. This supposed A-B testing seems to have shown that our later tactic works better and is perhaps less confusing.
Therefore, we will be updating messaging and the Trade Guide to reflect this new way of communication that will hopefully make things clearer and easier.
As highlighted in the Crown Tundra’s After Action Report, one major capability upgrade to Rawkhet was automation. Trades are generally carried out by bots, although a human is still needed as a bridge between the customer and the tech. We’ve been working on automating that too, since that would open the way to 24/7 collections. For BDSP, automation was adapted quite fast and helped to free up a lot of time to be spent on innovation. Currently, our bots should even be able to account for problematic trades such trade evolving Pokemon.
It’s December and it might be time for us to take a break from trading Pokemon. We will probably announce a break period towards the end of the month. Trading Pokemon every single day for the past year has been exhausting. BDSP’s launch kept us so busy, Thanksgiving was mostly spent alone. Coupled with what a year it’s been from the pandemic, it’s about time we took a break to recover our mental health.
We’re ready for a trial run of Custom Pokemon! Currently, we’ll only do teams of six. The Teambuilder is ready, and you can now order Custom Pokemon for BDSP at this listing.
We’d like to thank all our customers for making such an amazing BDSP launch, and for many of you for sticking with us through all the past launches. As we head into Christmas, here’s hoping everyone stays safe, warm, loved, and happy. Take care, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
The Status Page (Archive)
Here are all the updates that were on the Status page for this launch:
- 11/29/2021: Amazingly, we’ve left our LGPE and SWSH carts at another venue. Those orders will unfortunately be delayed by quite a few hours as we work to get them back. BDSP, Home, and 3DS orders will proceed as normal.
- 11/25/2021: Happy Thanksgiving! Responses and queue times (for both preparation and collection) will probably be slower today, with a potential 3-5 hours where we cannot respond to messages this morning.
- 11/19/2021: New listings are up for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Custom Pokemon is currently not available for BDSP. Expect surge pricing for BDSP listings at this time. We are also experiencing a surge in orders, and may take longer to respond. Thank you for your understanding.
- 11/12/2021: We are currently preparing for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and expect to have support on or just after launch day. We are also experiencing a surge in orders, and may take longer to respond. Thank you for your understanding.