It all starts after the last year’s PAX Prime ends. You think “Wow, that was pretty fun, I should do it again next year,” and then you go on for the rest of the year, probably not thinking about PAX until sometime around Spring Break. The F5 spamming on prime.paxsite.com commences sometime in mid-April. If you were smart enough to know how to have Twitter send Tweets from certain accounts directly to your phone, you briefly have an episode of cardiac arrest every time your phone shows @Official_PAX, thinking they are announcing the release of passes. The more paranoid folk look at past release dates, and find that they consistently go on sale on a Wednesday at around 10 a.m. PST. Your worst fear is to be too late because you know every single ticket, even the Monday passes, go out of sale in not even an hour, and the time window gets smaller each year. What happens if you’re in a class where you can’t look at your phone? Driving? The suspense is real every year.
The method the fine people at PAX used to use to give out tickets has been rather infuriating. People would F5 spam the sale page, scalpers (may they burn in the deepest pits of Oblivion) would get up to 20 badges, and occasionally the server would crash. Why not have where the passes are put on sale in increments and not all at once? What about those people who bulk buy and mark it up on Craigslist or Ebay, how could they thwart that?
It’s something that causes many of the students of RAHS to live in a world of fear and anticipation at the same time. Imagine the War Room as conveyed in Dr. Strangelove, with the Big Board displaying prime.paxsite.com and the official PAX Twitter feed being watched by a bunch of RAHS students with khaki and unkempt button-up shirts. And this year, Penny Arcade switched it up: the badges went on sale on a Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PST, taking all of those nerds off guard and causing a mass panic. But it was okay, because instead of being in middle of a block period it was during lunch, allowing the collective wails of tickets going on sale to not disturb class. Now, if we were in a different time zone, where they could have gone on sale at 4:00 a.m. Therefore, we lucked out with being in the same timezone as Penny Arcade Expo, the organization who runs PAX.
Over the past few years Penny Arcade has made significant improvements to the ticket system. Due to the heavy load that they get in the immediate seconds when they announce the release, they’ve had to use many different servers to handle the load. They’ve also have a queue system going on, so it’s still on a first come first serve basis. Oh, and don’t F5 too hard, or you’ll get sent back in the line. They’ve got this system down rather well, they have safeguards that prevent people to single handedly buy enough passes for their “family” and “extended family” and their “neighbor’s family”, who all happen to pay them back right outside the Convention Center at a 300% markup. They’ve practically done all they could do to make it as fair as possible, you just have to be quick about it.
In order to not start complaining because you were too late in getting badges, it is recommended to have a Twitter account that follows PAX’s official twitter, and have Twitter send automatic text messages to your phone whenever they tweet. It’s usually about relevant stuff, not like Jaden Smith’s tweets. PAX is something that requires patience and preparation when it comes to sales.