If you notice, the person who dropped out this past round was a pawn. Once a member turns back into a pawn, they cannot play the ponds. So, their last bid as a member, is the forced bid, until they drop out as the lowest bid. People just looked for that, and knew that anything over 487 would be safe. So, many bid 488.
oh, that was me actually. I didn't know whether or not a chess type pond would actually effect people's chess ratings, and I didn't want to be responsible for you losing a bunch of points in chess since you were way higher rated than everyone else. How I did that is irrelevant now since that appears to be fixed.
It would a nice feature though if ponds could be unrated though. If I could have, I would have made all ponds for finding and reporting bugs unrated so we wouldn't have to worry about that to begin with.
Well, anyway, I tried all the bugs I found before, and it looks like all pond bugs are fixed now, as I can't find any more.
Vikings: no special testing ability - just some interesting URL hacks and such which Fencer did not put safe guards in.
There use to be other similar bugs awhile back that allowed people to read private fellowships, pawn to get more then their allowed games, allowing tournaments created in other fellowships, plus other things which I helped track down a long time ago for Fencer to put a block on.... but I never spent much time to see what game hacks I could do - since most are obvious when done - except for possible a few new ones they found, which hopefully they sent the details to Fencer so they can block those.
rabbitoid: If you would have accepted your invite to the ponds plus fellowship, you would have already known all about the chess pond, including the fact that your chess rating would take a beating too
My personal opinion - for the first few rounds, to possible save 10-20 points - there is no point in bidding too low. That is if I think the low bids will be between 70-80, I will bid probable closer to 100. Again, 10-20 points in my opinion is not that important. Much more important to be around at the end. (That is in later rounds, there will be bids with over 1,000 between them - so what is 10-20 points? not much)
For new users, some general tips (everyone plays different so feel free to follow or ignore):
Check recent ponds - see what bids fell in the first few rounds - make sure you are higher then that.
Keep an eye out for players whose membership drops to pawn status. After they chance to a pawn, they can no longer bid - so their last bid will continue until they fall.
Keep an eye out for the lowest player. If they only have 1 point left, it is funny to still see people bid 1,000+, since they would just need to bid 2 to stay in.
The 500 point bonus can be good - BUT if you have to bid more then 500 points higher then what you normally bid - they it is not really very good. (Except for the times when your goal is to keep others from getting it.)