Much like what we did for The Isle of Armor, this is our after action report for the latest Crown Tundra DLC. It’s coming in a little late, 3 weeks after the launch (compared to the week after for IoA). But this has definitely been a turbulent time in the world, with fatigue on everyone’s minds together with an emotional rollercoaster (especially for those of us in the United States).
One of the major changes we did for this launch was to close Checkout instead of allowing it to run and result in a snowball effect, as we experienced in the previous release. We took longer to prepare this time as we wanted to enjoy the game and all its intricacies before starting to trade with customers – and truth be told we weren’t running at max capacity during launch as we were still playing through Dynamax Adventures.
This launch saw a 8x spike in usual traffic, which is also our all-time-high. However, we never really saw preparation times go above 24 hours, instead staying generally around the 12-hour mark during launch. We learned a lot from IoA and drastically changed how we handle order preparation, and we couldn’t be prouder about the efficiency at which orders were completed.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Clarke’s Third Law
A big part of how we managed this round was due to automation. With the Teambuilder – a major timesaver – out of the way, we moved on to another project we had been meaning to get to for a long time. Our trades are now automated, freeing up a lot of time for us to do more preparation work and honestly, our full-time jobs. Rawkhet’s automated trading system is capable of handling the toughest customers – from Pokemon that evolve (even if the Pokemon learn moves on evolution!) to people who randomly cancel.
More Communication Conflict
Rawkhet’s biggest problem has always been customers who don’t read or follow instructions, and this is probably the next big thing we intend to tackle (somehow). Clearly, despite many improvements to highlight the Trade Guide (which is mentioned 4 times to the customer by the time they pick up their Pokemon), a small number are still allergic to reading. It’s still extremely frustrating because it brings the queues to a standstill while waiting for these customers, who are sometimes extremely unreasonable.
One order that comes to mind is a customer that purchased a single Custom Pokemon and provided a mess of an order, despite multiple signs about using the Teambuilder for complex Custom orders. Unfortunately, this customer decided to be extremely rude about something that is ultimately 2 USD and refused to follow steps to correct his order. He’s now banned, because ultimately we cannot allow one bad apple to affect the other 100+ orders we were getting at the time, daily.
Generally, people remember the negative things more than the good. It’s orders like these that affect our mood, and we will not tolerate attacks on our staff. That said, we want to thank the vast majority of our customers, the >99% of you that have been a joy to work with all these years.
Based on customer feedback over the past 3 weeks, we also want to introduce two new listings:
- Victini: Many people were hunting for Victini when the DLC dropped, too bad it’s not actually catchable in-game. As one of the more highly sought after Mythicals, we’ve decided to give Victini its very own listing.
- Mythical Package: This also calls for a full Mythical package comprising of every Mythical Pokemon, basically Pokemon that cannot be caught in-game.
But wait, there’s more! We expect to launch some huge new listings next week, so stay tuned.
The Status Page (Archive)
Here are all the updates that transpired from the launch of The Crown Tundra to this post.
- 11/11/2020: Official post is live: Melmetal-Gmax has Arrived!
- 11/10/2020: Melmetal-Gmax is released! We have added it to the Gigantamax Package, in our backend, and will be reflected in the listing description later. All pending orders have had Melmetal added automatically.
- 11/7/2020: It’s a beautiful day today in the USA.
- 11/3/2020: It’s Election Day, please expect delays. Be safe out there.
- 11/1/2020: We’re a little behind on orders this weekend, please expect preparation to be towards the tail end of the 24-hour target. Sorry about that.
- 10/29/2020: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be pausing the trade queue at 8:30am Pacific and missing the rest of the AM slot. Trade hours should resume around 7pm Pacific. Sorry about that.
- 10/29/2020: 4 days after our Crown Tundra DLC launch, the entire backlog is cleared and we are back to our normal scheduling. Nearly all our orders were prepared within the 24-hour window despite the 8x surge and all time high traffic. This is a huge testament to the refined processes we have put in place, and our learnings from the past. Thank you all for your support!
- 10/29/2020: Except queue fully cleared!
- 10/28/2020: Soft-launch of the Past-Gen Legendaries listing is live, and the Except queue has been processed!
- 10/28/2020: Given the load, we’re doing surprisingly well keeping preparation time below 24 hours. This should clear up even faster than expected, by tomorrow. Our Past-Gen Legendaries listing is nearly prepared too, and the stuck orders (in the “Except” queue above) will be processed soon.
- 10/26/2020: We’re doing our best to keep up with the orders, which is currently at 8x the load of our normal day-to-day (and coincidentally, our daily all time high). Please expect order ETAs to be on the tail end of the 24-hour time budget, or even exceeding it. Sorry about that.
- 10/25/2020: Orders have been reopened.
Email receipts might be delayed at this time. Don’t worry!
- 10/25/2020: Sword and Shield orders are scheduled to reopen on October 25 at 9pm Pacific. Thank you for your patience!
- 10/23/2020: Perhaps we were a bit over-zealous with our Oct 24 estimate. Looking more like Oct 25 at the moment.
- 10/21/2020: Listing Updates for The Crown Tundra DLC
- 10/20/2020: Checkout for Sword and Shield listings have been disabled. See you on the other side.
- 10/19/2020: While waiting for Crown Tundra’s release, check out our flagship Pokemon Home Living Dex collection, encompassing all Gen 1-7 Pokemon for you to quickly add to your Crown Tundra Dex when it releases!
- 10/18/2020: The Crown Tundra DLC releases on October 22! In preparation for this, please note that Sword and Shield orders will be disabled on October 20 and existing orders must be collected by October 21. Orders and trades are expected to resume around October 24 after we have refreshed our listings. 3DS, LGPE, and Home listings will still be purchasable.