I'm trying to withhold judgment on the new system until we have more information and see it in action, but I'm not entirely entirely happy about it either. I'm happy that the con seems to be actually trying to make a change, and I'm trying to be optimistic that this will be a good change (I think that it'll likely benefit me and people like me, at the least), but I know this con, and the new system has the potentially to really screw a lot of people over. The lack of communication is especially frustrating. (I posted a big rant about this on tumblr yesterday, actually)
If this were another con, I'd trust that they could get AA selections done with enough time before hotels go up that artists could be in a special priority group, but I foresee issues there. This still doesn't answer the question of press, dealer's, and other special categories. A lot of people who wait to find out about guests, panels, and other events before registering will have a harder time, as will out-of-state people who don't buy a badge until they can get a hotel.
I'm also wondering if special accommodations will be made for those with disabilities who may require a closer hotel, but I don't know if those have ever been made in the past.
I mean, the hotels will open up to the general public eventually, but since this system is so new, there's no telling whether they will all sell out before then. If this system works, it may help to reduce hotels panic in future years, which may help the situation, but who knows.
Really, a lot of this could be solved with making badges refundable up to a certain date. It won't fix all the potential issues, but it'll fix some of it. Communicating a lot of this a lot earlier, and having solid plans in place (that have been made public) for particular concerns, as well as overall improved communication and timing (such as getting AA stuff done earlier, getting press and dealer reg up earlier, etc.) would solve most of the issues with this system.
But trying to stay positive: I'm glad that they're trying to do something about the hotels situation, and I hope this works. I think that this system still favors those who attend regularly or who are relatively local and know they are coming (or aren't out a whole lot if they can't get a good hotel room). But it's at least an effort.
I'd still like to know about those of us who had started the reg process early without paying, and paid later. I was able to get the December price, even though I paid yesterday, so I'm assuming that places me earlier in line than if I had started the process yesterday, but I'm not sure.
I'm also not sure if I just found a loophole for those who want to wait until they can get a hotel or on other information before they buy a badge , if it's true that you can start reg without paying and still get your place in line