• To celebrate the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam, Xbox Games Studios has provided 5 Steam copies of the game and 5 Xbox One copies of the game! We will be giving these away in the Gaming Giveaways |OT|. Some Steam copies will also be given away to the PC Gaming Era community.
  • An old favorite feature returns: Q&ERA is back! This time we'll be collecting questions for Remedy Entertainment, makers of Max Payne, Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Control. Members can submit questions for the next 6 days, 1 hour, 36 minutes, 49 seconds. Submissions will close on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM.

New Feature: GiftBot 2.0 - The Ultimate Giveaway Tool

Cerium

General Manager
Administrator
Oct 23, 2017
1,226

Guess Who's Back?

The original GiftBot was a much-beloved feature that helped inspire generosity and joy throughout the community. Unfortunately, it did not survive the transition to ResetEra 2.0. At the beginning of the year we pledged that GiftBot would return. Since then we've performed several critical tech upgrades, including an improved version of Image Options and a number of new features.

Even so, fans of GiftBot have been left waiting for a successor. We knew that if we were going to deliver late, it wouldn't be enough just to port the original. We had to go above and beyond what the old GiftBot offered. And so we set our sights on implementing the concept in a way that has never been attempted before.

The result is packed with features we think you'll like. Let's get right to them…

A True User Interface – No More PMs!

GiftBot was previously an externally hosted bot that required members to send a private message in order to create and enter giveaways. Complicated syntax was required to interact with any part of the system, with little to no margin of error. All commands were text-based.

We were determined to find a better way.

From that ambition a brand new user interface has been constructed. Members can now access the Giveaways feature from the left sidebar or their account options. Press the Create Giveaway button, and you will be greeted with a slick and intuitive page that walks you through every step. No more worrying about a typo breaking your whole entry, no more struggling with syntax.


Getting a Giveaway Started

When you enter the desired thread URL, the system will now automatically check to make sure that the URL is valid and that the target thread is eligible. Locked threads will be invalid.

You will be offered the option of creating a giveaway anonymously, without your username attached. Please note that to prevent abuse of this feature, moderators will still be able to see who created an anonymous giveaway. The next step then is to decide if you want to create a raffle or a first-come first-serve giveaway. If you're creating a raffle, a convenient dropdown will allow you to select your desired length (anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week).

Adding prizes couldn't be any easier! Simply select the platform from a dropdown (or choose "Other" and enter the platform name manually) and then fill out the fields for the title of the prize and the prize code itself. Selecting the PS4 or Nintendo Switch platforms will automatically prompt you to include region information, as those codes are region locked.

These aren't the only tools available to giveaway creators. There are others that are brand new.

New Options to Limit Giveaway Participants

In the past one of the biggest headaches for giveaway creators and staff was trying to prevent users from exploiting the system -- a small number of individuals tended to follow GiftBot from thread to thread, entering as many giveaways as possible, trying to rack up prizes in a way that violated the spirit of the whole feature.

To address this and similar concerns, the giveaway creation interface includes a Participants section with a whole suite of options designed to give creators control over who can enter their giveaways. These limits can all be wholly disabled with the Everything Must Go option; as the name suggests, this is good for getting rid of codes when you don't care who gets them.

With past winner restrictions, giveaway creators will be able to limit entrants to members who haven't won any giveaways within the past hour, day, week, or calendar month. Note that the calendar month option is unique in that it counts only the current month and not a fixed duration. Options also exist to restrict entry for Junior Members or lurkers (members with less than 5 posts in the designated thread). It's even possible to grant entry only to members who have created a giveaway in the past 30 days, or members who have created a giveaway since the last time they won one.

All of these options are at your fingertips. Beyond those, Admins have additional tools to ensure that wins are not dominated by only a handful of users. Exploitative behavior is now easier to detect and deter.

Include Messages With Your Giveaways

Giveaway creators now have the option to include a friendly message that will accompany their giveaway. These messages are directly integrated into the posts as quotes, with the creator named as the quote author (unless they have selected the Anonymous option). This feature can be used for friendly greetings, information about the prize or the giveaway, or anything else that is appropriate.

Revamped Giveaway Posts

The glow up is real. Extensive custom coding has allowed us to add slick and unique styling to giveaway posts, including a very visible header. Colorful icons next to each prize will denote the associated storefront or platform. If the giveaway is a raffle, a live countdown at the bottom of the post will display how much time is left until the end. Any restrictions placed on entrants by the giveaway creator will be indicated with gray icons near the top right of the post -- mouse over these icons for more details via tooltip.

When a giveaway post is quoted, it will display as linked text including the name of the giveaway creator and the number of prizes included.

Entering Giveaways

Like giveaway creation, entering a giveaway used to involve PMs to GiftBot and precise syntax, including strings of code to identify a prize. With GiftBot 2.0, it's as simple as clicking a button. Every giveaway post will have an Enter Giveaway button visible to members. The button will bring up a dialogue where you'll pick the prize(s) you want to enter for. If the giveaway creator has chosen to allow users to enter for multiple prizes, the options will be presented as check boxes. Otherwise you will have to select just one. A foolproof process.

Alerts for Raffles You Don't Win

One of the cool new benefits of integrating GiftBot directly into our forum software is that it can now take advantage of the alert system. Whenever a raffle you have entered ends, and you do not win, you will be automatically sent an alert to inform you of the outcome. You will also receive an alert if a raffle you have entered is cancelled. No longer will users have to go looking to find out what happened to their entry.

Track Your Giveaway History

With the original GiftBot there was no way to track the giveaways you created or won. This time around we're delighted to provide a convenient way to do exactly that. In addition to the Create Giveaway button, the Giveaways page also includes three separate tabs for your Active, Past, and Won giveaways. Users will now be able to track and locate any giveaway they're involved in, either as a creator or an entrant.

Improved Reliability

Because the original GiftBot was hosted externally, it was prone to breakdowns and service interruptions. Each outage would need to be addressed manually, creating work for the team and frustration for the users. GiftBot 2.0 however has now been directly integrated into our forum software, meaning that as long as the site is up, GiftBot 2.0 should remain online as well. The site and the bot are now one.

Era Clear Integration

We were previously pleased to introduce direct Era Clear gifting, which can be done via the recipient's profile or your Account Upgrades page. We've taken the feature a step further by allowing members to purchase Era Clear to include as a prize in giveaways. Simply select the Era Clear 1 month or 1 year options from the platform dropdown while creating a giveaway; the winner will have the prize applied to their account automatically!

Developing custom features like GiftBot 2.0 doesn't happen easily or cheaply. If you'd like to support the site, buying or gifting Era Clear is a great way to do so directly.

Bottom Line

Bringing GiftBot 2.0 to life took nearly as much effort and resources as ResetEra 2.0 itself -- as usual, no expense was spared. This is completely custom work. Built to our specifications, coded from scratch, made exclusively for you.

Thanks are due to Jawmuncher, JaseC, and especially ColdSun for their help with the design plan of GiftBot 2.0. Thanks also to the staff who dedicated their time to testing it before it went live.

A feature like no other, for a forum like no other. Let the gifting begin anew!
 
OP
OP
Cerium

Cerium

General Manager
Administrator
Oct 23, 2017
1,226
GiftBot 2.0 Launch Giveaway Extravaganza

To celebrate the launch of GiftBot 2.0, we're holding another massive giveaway, this one involving more than 32 awesome prizes -- and that's before members even get started! Please thank Ubisoft and SNK for contributing some incredible games on short notice. Members are welcome and encouraged to use GiftBot to run their own giveaways in that thread during this festival of generosity.

Major Feature Expansion Patch

We're not content to sit on our laurels! We've taken GiftBot's evolution to a whole new level with a number of ambitious new features:
  • Cancel Your Entry: Perhaps our most requested feature! If you've entered a giveaway by mistake, or have changed your mind, you now have the option to cancel your entry into that giveaway by pressing the same button.
  • GiftBot Alerts Options: On the Preferences page users now have the option to enable or disable Alerts and Push Notifications for GiftBot related functions.
  • Entered Giveaways Tab: You can now track which giveaways you're currently entered into by checking the new "Entered Giveaways" tab on the giveaways page.
  • Captcha Protection: An advanced captcha has now been added to the giveaway entry dialogue to further deter exploitation by scripts or bots.
  • Display Number of Entrants for Each Prize: New giveaways from now on will display the total number of current entrants next to each prize on offer. That number will update automatically with each refresh. Giveaway creators have the option to disable this if they so choose.
  • Threadmarks Integration: We've proven how much generosity there is on ResetEra -- so much that we need a better way to organize and track it! From now on, by default, all giveaways will be automatically threadmarked and sorted into a unique threadmark category (Giveaways) located in the same place that Staff Posts and normal Threadmarks are found. Select "Reader Mode" from that dropdown and you can view all of the giveaways at once! Giveaway creators can choose to opt out of this.
 
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Delphine

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Moderator
Mar 30, 2018
1,799
France
I have never known the ancient bot, because I'm quite recent to Era, but I'm so goddamn excited about this feature, it's such a well-rounded amazing one, so much work and love was put into making this, it's easy and fun to use, I hope it'll provide a lot of happiness throughout the forum! Thanks so much to everybody who took part in making it come true, and let the fun begin!

 

Edge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,326
Celle, Germany
God damn, that whole system looks amazing. Very well integrated, very stylish and easy I'm impressed.
Thought you lost it a little bit lately Era but this impresses me.
 

Edge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,326
Celle, Germany
A little suggestion. Could you add the explanation of the restriction symbols to the OT here? I have no idea what half of these symbols mean when I look at them in a giveaway.
 

PaulLFC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
969
Fantastic, it works so much more cleanly than the previous version. Well done to all involved.

A (very pedantic) bit of feedback: When the popup appears to choose your prize after clicking 'Enter Giveaway', the region information which is displayed in the original post isn't replicated in the popup. For example, the raffle post will say 'PlayStation 4 (US): Samurai Shodown', but the popup only shows 'Samurai Shodown' with the PS logo, and omits the region information.

This is far from a huge issue, but would help reduce instances of someone entering a giveaway for a code they can't redeem in their region.
 

crazillo

Member
Apr 5, 2018
1,860
Stuttgart, Germany
This is a great future, kudos to everyone involved. I will definitely giveaway something. In addition, I also have some older physical games I'd really like to give to someone who wants them more than me. But this system is restricted to digital codes to make sure they are valid and eligible, right? This would totally make sense, of course. Maybe I should find another way for gifting those physical items.
 

cbajd5

Member
Oct 25, 2017
211
Great update, but I have one quick question: Is there any plan to allow (or am I just overlooking an existing way) for a user to directly create a giveaway from a thread (like from a create giveaway button in the thread view) instead of having to go to their giveaway page and create giveaway and copy/paste the thread URL?
 

rabathehutch

Member
Nov 1, 2017
127
This is really great - nice work to everyone who designed it!

One suggestion brought about by my own stupidity (though I'm sure it will happen again) is to have a check on the title of the game? I accidentally put the code as the title, maybe just something that flags a confirmation box if the title is a random alpha-numeric string with hyphens in between.

Obviously the pop-up box is already there for verification but an additional check can't hurt.
 

ColdSun

☠️ Astra inclinant, sed non obligant. ☠️
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
1,016

I'm so glad to see the positive feedback from the community.
Personally, I've always been absolutely floored by how generous some of the giveaways in the past have been. This really is a community that shares beyond reason.
 

weemadarthur

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,243
Query: has the giveaway-creation history been imported from Giftbot 1.0, or does this version start from scratch, with regard to the “pay it forward” etc options?
 

Choppasmith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,670
Beaumont, CA
Just one minor quibble. I’m browsing on my iPad and I’m unable to discern what some of the restrictions are. I see the icons but there’s no way to tell what they are. I assume I’d be able to highlight them with a mouse over if I was browsing on PC?
 

Lakeside

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,194
Minor quibble but can we move the Giveaways link somewhere less prominent? If people are like me, they hit "Watched Threads" a LOT of times per day. I'm finding that I now hit "Giveaways" instead, especially on mobile.
 
OP
OP
Cerium

Cerium

General Manager
Administrator
Oct 23, 2017
1,226
Glad that everyone seems to be having fun! We're absolutely tracking and collecting feedback in this thread and the big giveaway thread.

We'll be prioritizing the rare bug reports we've received, and once those are resolved we'll move on to further QOL/feature updates.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,260
Brazil
Awesome!

Only thing missing is a way for it to inform me which games I already own on steam (which we had on the last bot thanks to a browser extension) but considering I am putting to browser extension standards, you guys did a VERY awesome job
 

rpm

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,492
the 24th century
I believe I found a bug with GiftBot 2.0, I'm quoting it here because I'm not sure if the thread I posted in is a general bug reporting thread or if it's a bug reporting thread specifically for the May update
Not sure if this should go in the GiftBot 2.0 thread or here, I guess here.

GiftBot PMed me saying I won a giveaway and gave me the key, and then 9 minutes later sent me a notification that said I lost.
When I checked the giveaway post (after I got the notification saying I lost), there was indeed another user's name next to the key I won.
The game I won was "Anima: Gate of Memories". It says "Jakenbakin" won, when it sent me the key previously.
This happened to another user in the same giveaway: user Jsunu (in post #2306 of the Giveaway Extravaganza thread, trying not to tag/quote since I don't want to bother people" says they won "Roombo: First Blood", when the giveaway post says user leburn98 won.

The giveaway in question is quoted below.
 

dark494

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
1,965
Seattle
So bit of feedback to make entering giveaways clearer and less confusing. As an example, take this giveaway.

Users are listing multiple keys for a game as repeat entries, so when something like this happens where they have it for multiple platforms and the post lists them as such:


Clicking to enter the giveaway presents you with the options without the platform


Which is confusing.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,451
Already found a glitch with the bot. Since the giveaway time had expired, it became a first come first serve. Went to try my hand at one of the open keys but in the time I submitted, it was taken. Now I can't try anything that is left.
 

GiftBot

Official Giveaway Bot
Verified
Mar 7, 2018
3,549
This giveaway has unfortunately been cancelled.

Giveaway

Restrictions:
Hello, I am bot! I come bearing 1 gift from Mingoguaya Mingoguaya!

This is a lightning raffle that will expire in 1 hour. The winner will be drawn at random! Any prizes leftover after the deadline will become available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Mingoguaya said:
Unfortunately, my PC is so old it can run the game, so my loss is your gain! :)
Thamks for @Conkerkid11 who gifted the code originally to me.

These are our awesome prizes:

  • Steam: Yooka-Laylee
 
OP
OP
Cerium

Cerium

General Manager
Administrator
Oct 23, 2017
1,226
Information
We have deployed our first GiftBot patch! These are the urgent issues we felt needed to get fixed ASAP -- another patch with lower priority bugs will soon follow.

Patch 1 Notes:
  • Cancelled giveaways will no longer continue to pick winners and distribute prizes. Cancellations should now work as intended.
  • Raffles should no longer produce any duplicate winners, nor distribute multiple copies of the same prize to them.
 

Putosaure

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,257
France
Only on the giveaway thread, I can't reply anymore on the last pages, but for example on page 1 the text field is normal. On the late pages, it's just like this :

 

GiftBot

Official Giveaway Bot
Verified
Mar 7, 2018
3,549

Giveaway

Restrictions:
Hello, I am bot! I come bearing 3 gifts from cptodin cptodin!

This is a quick raffle that will expire in 6 hours. The winner will be drawn at random! Any prizes leftover after the deadline will become available on a first-come first-serve basis.

These are our awesome prizes: