- Oct 23, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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!