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Anyone else a little let down by Day One?

gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in PAX Archive
Don't get me wrong, I had loads of fun, but I can't help but feel this year doesn't live up to last. Just like PAX outgrew the original location, I almost feel like they've outgrown the convention center too. There were A LOT of people here today, as expected, but there was a lot more confusion and disorganization this year than in past.

When we first came in, it was just a sea of humanity. Several different lines had formed, and no one was quite sure which was which, even the event staff all had different answers. Once we got to the front of the line, someone came running out claiming that this was not the correct line to get your lanyard and swag bag. Despite this, we still moved foward into the expo hall, without a lanyard or visible pass, and no obe questioned us at any point. Why even issue badges if you're not even going to check them? How many other people were able to just wander in with no badge? I'm going to guess lots.

The exhibition hall itself was just way too crowded, and the lines for everything was preposterously long. An hour and a half wait for a five minute demo of Chainsaw Lollipop? Give me a break (and on that note, don't bother, it sucked and was better when it was called Bayonetta). The lines to even get near Borderlands 2 or Max Payne were even worse, if you wanted to play either of these, you might as well have kissed half your day goodbye.

Ultimately it just seemed this year that despite the fact that everyone involved was aware of the crowd size, no one seemed ready to accomodate it. I don't mind large crowds, but surely the developers could have had more screens or allowed for shorter gameplay times to move the lines along faster. The food is the same as it always crappy and overpriced, and of course the convention center is not within reasonable walking distance of any other food. The panels this year sucked too, and no one seemed to be doing anything to stop people hogging TVs and games in the console freeplay room eiter, but that's another issue.

Hopefully given the fact that they've got a long term contract with the convention center, hopefully next year they can do a better job expanding the exhibition floor to utilize more of the available space, and encourage developers to do more to shorten wait times. Oh well, it was fun none the less.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    I blame most of this on the MCCA. One of the enforcers in charge of the lines in the queue room this morning mentioned that their line management was all set, but the "officers" just said "fuck it/you" and pulled all the restraining lines. People were let in without the swag bags/lanyards, and enforcers were handing out lanyards all over the place. Also, enforcers were checking badges in most of the lines.

    I am not disappointed. Spent the whole day on the expo floor chatting with reps, got to play a few really awesome games, some beta invites, met Jerry while he was playing Dyad... Mostly I'm fucking exhausted after being on my feet all day since we didn't hit any panels.

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  • UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    How were the panel lines? They were crappy at the original PAX East but I was hoping they would be better due to the bigger venue.

    I just don't want to wait 3 hours to see the Giant Bomb guys.

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

  • ph1l0z0ph3rph1l0z0ph3r Registered User regular
    How was the swag give away and lines?

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The Swag bag this year was almost totally disposable if you don't have any interest in Magic the Gathering. Getting other swag like shirts and stuff were usually contingent on waiting in line to play the demos. Lines for just about everything were ridiculous, even six month old games had lines of people waiting to play. Lines for Max Payne and Borderlands were 2 hours+. Just about everything else was at least an hour wait.

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  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

    Weren't the keynote, Q&A and Rooster Teeth ALL overfilled? Or did I fuck up by not having the patience.

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  • ph1l0z0ph3rph1l0z0ph3r Registered User regular
    Was Rockstar and 2K giving out swag? What did they give out.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Th
    Was Rockstar and 2K giving out swag? What did they give out.

    There were Borderlands and Max Payne shirts, posters, and stickers, but nothing was just being handed out, you had to wait in line and play the games first.

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

    Weren't the keynote, Q&A and Rooster Teeth ALL overfilled? Or did I fuck up by not having the patience.

    All those, the two bioware (dragon age and me3) and a few others I saw. Line management sucked, more than once I walked into the waiting rooms for the smaller halls and people were spread out everywhere with no semblance of lines while the enforcers were all out in the hall hanging out. Can't even blame them, they are volunteers, maybe pax needs more actual staff to keep things organized.

    That having been said out of the 4 panels I saw today 3 were excellent and the other was entertaining if not a complete mess.

  • shidoshishidoshi Registered User regular
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

    Actually, to my totally unexpected and outrageously grateful surprise, our panel (Press XY) pretty much filled to capacity.

  • TrandescentTrandescent Registered User regular
    ..eh. I waited and didn't get in the Borderlands 2 booth, but otherwise had an enjoyable time.

    The CS:GO tourney at the Nvidia area was a complete disaster. I got drafted from BYOC to play, they told us our team won 3rd because the enemy team forfeited and then told us we were actually 4th. It took them over 3 hours to tell us that we would get nothing. The 4 gigabyte flash drive is nice, though.

    Yeah. PAX this year just seems.. dull.

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  • wraithewraithe Registered User new member
    To answer the original question, no, not one bit.

    It seemed much the same as day one last year. I will note, there were some differences of course:

    I didn't care much for the more restricted "flow". Last year, things were a lot more open. And I understand why they changed it, but it's a bit of a negative. This negative is heavily offset by WHY they changed the flow - to accommodate the giant free play PC area, which is awesome, even if I didn't use it. :).

    Tabletop gaming area felt smaller, even though I believe it's the same size, just broken up differently - making it feel kind of cramped (again, compared to last year).

    Only did one panel, but it was full, which surprised me, as I thought the topic wouldn't be much of a draw. :)

    I will say that it sure felt like WotC owned the place. (which I could use many different emoticons to express my feeling about that, but that's just me. :))

    Anyway, I'll see what I think tomorrow, but all three of us had fun, and are looking forward to tomorrow.

  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    Good time, but a little disappointed by the lines in the exhibition hall. Was really wanting to play borderlands and max Payne but was told the waits can be 2+ hours which is ridiculous. I only Managed to play 3 major titles in one day and luckily i went in line when they were not to bad.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    I was disappointed today for a couple of reasons

    For one thing, and I know this sounds really silly, I barely saw any of the PA crew outside of panels. Last year I saw Khoo numerous times, as well as Kiko and a few others. I didn't see Khoo at all today and barely saw the others. I know there are a load of people and it's possible not to see any of them all day but last year, they were front and center handing out swag bags and laynards to the people going to the keynote. They're busy people, but I felt a bit let down just the same

    I also think a lack of interesting panels also disappointed me. Kris and Scott not being able to make it was a big blow and I didn't feel fulfilled by the panels that were offered (notable exception was the transgender issues in gaming panel. Time very well spent)

    Another explanation could be that I'm a little burnt out. The event only happens once a year but this year, I have a wedding coming up in May and am moving to a new place next weekend. That many stress factors combined with waking up early plus not having the same feeling I had last year didn't make me feel content


    On the plus side, I was first in line for the keynote. That's something to be proud of

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  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

    The fallout DLC Panel was pretty packed

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    avsfan590 wrote: »
    Good time, but a little disappointed by the lines in the exhibition hall. Was really wanting to play borderlands and max Payne but was told the waits can be 2+ hours which is ridiculous. I only Managed to play 3 major titles in one day and luckily i went in line when they were not to bad.

    You know you're buying those games though. I mean wanting to check them out is great and all, but the awesome part of PAX is checking out all those indie titles with small lines. You get to see some awesome titles, spend time actually talking to the devs instead of marketing people, and in the end may make someone's day by appreciating their hard work. Seriously? Fuck Max Payne, Borderlands, and all the others. I'll spend time playing Dyad, Awesomenauts, SuperTime Force, Lawnmower Challenge, and Retro/Grade all day and be far happier for it.

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  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    avsfan590 wrote: »
    Good time, but a little disappointed by the lines in the exhibition hall. Was really wanting to play borderlands and max Payne but was told the waits can be 2+ hours which is ridiculous. I only Managed to play 3 major titles in one day and luckily i went in line when they were not to bad.

    You know you're buying those games though. I mean wanting to check them out is great and all, but the awesome part of PAX is checking out all those indie titles with small lines. You get to see some awesome titles, spend time actually talking to the devs instead of marketing people, and in the end may make someone's day by appreciating their hard work. Seriously? Fuck Max Payne, Borderlands, and all the others. I'll spend time playing Dyad, Awesomenauts, SuperTime Force, Lawnmower Challenge, and Retro/Grade all day and be far happier for it.

    Actually I agree the indie games are prett good at the show and only had a 5 min wait

  • DanUNGDanUNG Registered User regular
    It definitely was a lot more chaotic at the start, and I feel like MCCA is to blame. Otherwise, it feels normal. *shrug*

  • CatalepticalCataleptical New JerseyRegistered User regular
    I have to agree that it felt a little underwhelming. This was our first PAX, but we went along with friend who attended last year. We walked into the Convention Center and had no idea where to go to pick up our bags. There were lines everywhere with no indication about what to do. We eventually asked where the coat check and queue room were and got 2 different answers. By the time we actually found everything and got onto the floor (with no one ever checking our badges), the morning was over. The one thing we had wanted to to do was go to the Felicia Day event/signing, and the Xbox booth microphone wasn't working/on/real(?) so that was a bust. We asked an Enforcer when the signing would be, he said come back at 3 when they'd start lining people up, but 5 minutes to 3 when we headed back there, they had capped the line that wasn't even supposed to have been started.

    Don't get me wrong...there were a lot of good things about today, and it is a huge event, but the disorganization was a huge negative. There are 2 more days, so I'm still trying to be optimistic. All I'm saying is more signage would help.

  • sillyzombie666sillyzombie666 massRegistered User regular
    to many enforcers not knowing where any thong was but giving directions any ways they kept referring to console free play as the arcade, so when i asked for the arcade they kept telling me to go there, then people who worked jam space sent me completely opposite spots it was annoying as fuck

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  • Brew78Brew78 Registered User regular
    Except for the keynote, I don't think any of the panels filled up, or if they did it wasn't until the very end. The panels this year were just kind of lousy IMHO.

    Weren't the keynote, Q&A and Rooster Teeth ALL overfilled? Or did I fuck up by not having the patience.

    They keynote was fairly full, the Q&A may have been to capacity, but Rooster Teeth had plenty of space.

    I spent the entire morning in the Main Theater, and wondered what the line looked like outside and if they weren't letting people in or if there was just no one in line.

    There did seem to be a lot of disorganization this year compared to last year.. No one knew what any one line was for, no one knew where to get a lanyard, I didn't see a single pile of guidebooks or anyone even handing them out and just happened to find one left on a table just before the concerts. Panels were 15-30 minutes late, which throws off planning - cut out early and miss content, or risk missing the next. One panel I tried to get into just a little late (Gaming as a spectator sport) an Enforcer told me it was overfilled, closed and locked down and no one else would be let in, so I left. Moments later, a friend of mine showed up (he was just a little bit behind me), no one was there, he walked in and said the place was half empty!

    But its still PAX and its still great to see everyone. Glad I got to see Minibosses last night and wish I didn't have to leave early to catch the T. VERY much looking forward to tonight's musical lineup, I'm driving! And.. $12 vs $25 for parking? Eff self-park, I'm going valet!

    Speaking of which, its Go-c'clock. No posts in the carpool thread...
    See you bitches there!
    (Hopefully I can actually find other people in a line who want to play MK7)

  • LucaLaSmokeLucaLaSmoke Registered User
    Yeah it was a little soft, we ended up dedicating the first day to scouting the area so we know what to get to today. Wake and bake and play lol... Although we did love all the free stuff. Need a picture on that Aliens machine.... We are visiting from new York city, any cool after parties going on ?

  • LucaLaSmokeLucaLaSmoke Registered User
    Was Rockstar and 2K giving out swag? What did they give out.

    I got a few stickers, lol

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Day 2 is just as much fail so far. The place JUST opened, and already a 2 and a half hour line for Borderlands 2. Ugh

    Edit: Scratch that, Borderlands 2 is a 4 hour wait. Forget that jazz.

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Double post

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  • TragTrag Registered User regular
    my only real complaint is that there are no bean bags this year, after they diminished in amount last year. the beanbags were an integral part of the PAX experience to me :c

  • SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
    Trag wrote: »
    my only real complaint is that there are no bean bags this year, after they diminished in amount last year. the beanbags were an integral part of the PAX experience to me :c

    there are tonnes of beanbags!! Follow the yellow brick road to the Hand Held Lounge! :)

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    I just took a quick walk around, and it's literally wall to wall people. Lines for just about everything in the exhibition hall have been capped, I've heard some enforcers saying that the fire marshall doesn't like that there's so many people here. Way to go PAX, book the show beyond capacity and make sure no one gets to have any fun!

  • rnicollrnicoll Registered User regular
    I just took a quick walk around, and it's literally wall to wall people. Lines for just about everything in the exhibition hall have been capped, I've heard some enforcers saying that the fire marshall doesn't like that there's so many people here. Way to go PAX, book the show beyond capacity and make sure no one gets to have any fun!

    There was a serious problem with forged tickets at PAX Prime 2011 (which is why ticket re-sales aren't available through this forum, for example), if there's a real issue with overcrowding then I'd consider it much more likely to be due to forged tickets than legitimate ones.

  • bottledgoosebottledgoose Registered User
    shidoshi wrote: »
    Actually, to my totally unexpected and outrageously grateful surprise, our panel (Press XY) pretty much filled to capacity.

    And well should it have been; it was an excellent panel.

  • The_SavesThe_Saves Magistrate of Crazy Town KirklandRegistered User regular
    The disorganization was very apparent, but my friend and I still had fun. The biggest disappointment is it seems that subway near the marriott gave me food poisoning. Had to leave Khoo's panel early. Then became motion sick on the shuttle due to a driver obsessed with using the gas and brake in rapids secession. Needless to say I was puking the whole night. Missing half of Saturday trying to recover...

    Ummm...
  • MrSlothMrSloth Registered User
    I've played a lot of indie games (or just smaller non-indie games) with very little waiting. Doesn't help you if you want to see something big but if you want to play games you'd never see otherwise it works out nicely.

  • LaemkralLaemkral Captain Punch King Registered User
    Clearly none of you have ever gone to San Diego Comic Con, what I'm seeing on Saturday is NOTHING compared to how packed SDCC gets. The crowd level is perfect, not so thick I can't walk wherever I go, and most of the panel lines haven't been all that horrible. Yes, everything is packed, but that's better than there being not enough people and really small crowds, then we wouldn't have PAX for long. This is what a convention is, people.

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  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    Not let down at all. This is my first PAX and I am enjoying almost every part of it. I can move around just fine, everyone I have talked to has been wonderful, and I was able to talk to Jerry briefly after the Make A Strip panel.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    I met Jeff Green this morning for the first time after being a fan of his for at least 15 years. Got a nod and fist bump from Ryan Davis. Spent some quality time in the classic arcade (the above poster was right, enforcers are giving bad directions here). Enjoyed the WoW insider panel more than I thought I would (went with the wife for her sake). Eating lunch now and heading to PC free play next.

    Fun is there, just stop looking at the giant games. You are setting yourself up for disappointment.

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  • The_SavesThe_Saves Magistrate of Crazy Town KirklandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Phone managed a delayed double post....

    Sorry

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    Ummm...
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    I've had a fantastic PAX thus far. I've been able to see everything I want to see, and have no problem getting around. Then again, I didn't come to PAX expecting it to be empty and expecting popular things to not be popular. Maybe my reasonable expectations have something to do with my enjoyment.

  • clutch10clutch10 Registered User
    I agree that this year was a bit of a letdown from last year. Very disorganized from the outset, and the lines are just too long to be reasonably considered. I agree the indie games were easier to deal with, but really the vast majority of us were there to see the bigger games (MP3, Borderlands 2, etc.). If you have a 1-day pass, how can you rationalize spending almost half (or more) of your day standing in line?

  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    clutch10 wrote: »
    I agree that this year was a bit of a letdown from last year. Very disorganized from the outset, and the lines are just too long to be reasonably considered. I agree the indie games were easier to deal with, but really the vast majority of us were there to see the bigger games (MP3, Borderlands 2, etc.). If you have a 1-day pass, how can you rationalize spending almost half (or more) of your day standing in line?

    If a vast majority of you were there to see it, how would you expect the line to be small?

    Day 2 has rocked my gorram socks off.

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  • marmaduketwistmarmaduketwist London, UKRegistered User regular
    This is my first PAX and so far I have had a great time. I was under no illusion regarding waiting times having been to a few conventions in Europe and one in Vegas.

    I have to say the Enforcers make PAX what it is. Not only do they offer help in a polite manner, but they entertain us all.

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