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Anyone else a little let down by Day One?

2

Posts

  • UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    Enforcers are good people. There is a general organization problem with pax but it's not the enforcers fault. They just need to be briefed better. Having the information desk not have maps is really stupid.

    The giant bomb panel had some major mic issues tonight, which was really frustrating because I was looking forward to that.

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  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    I had a great time and took many good cosplay photos. But, as a one day pass holder, I didn't bother to wait for anything except Max Payne 3. And even then, the demo was short, and they ran out of t-shirts just as I finished the demo.

  • CatalepticalCataleptical New JerseyRegistered User regular
    There definitely seemed to be more organization today. I don't know if they were steeling themselves up for the biggest day or what, but Day 2 seemed to be the standout so far. Hopefully the demo lines will be a bit shorter tomorrow. Not holding my breath, though.

  • testsubject23testsubject23 King of No Sleep ZzzzzzzRegistered User regular
    I haven't been at all disappointed. OK, maybe with the BYOC network issues and some of the panel A/V problems, but these things happen with an event this size...
    On the whole I'd say it's the best PAX East yet - the line management for panels seems better this year, and there's MORE of everything - more Expo floor, more panel rooms, more freeplay PCs. Even the food seems better, but maybe that's just me getting used to it. :)
    I've been having a BLAST, anyway. I think you need to temper your expectations - this is PAX, you will NOT be able to see and do everything you want to, but you will always be able to find something awesome to do/see at any point of the day.
    The big titles on the Expo floor will *always* draw massive crowds and huge lineups. Last year the lines for TOR filled up for the *whole day* within the first few hours of the Expo hall opening, so I'd say that this year's still an improvement. If you don't want to waste half of PAX waiting in line to play Borderlands 2 or Max Payne 3, *then don't*. There's a fuck-ton of other amazing things to see and do, so just go with it. Check out the indie showcase. See a panel. Go play something in tabletop. I can't imagine how anyone can be dissatisfied with all this awesome.

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  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    I got to play max Payne 3 but dedicated around 2 hours to the wait for 4 minutes of gameplay and a few stickers. Boderlands 2 and assassins creed 3 were virtually unplayable unless you dedicate a half to 2/3 a day to waiting in line. On day 1 I had the same problem as most people when trying to find the coat check. The enforcers were really nice but all said something different which was really confusing and annoying. Good thing was, most games were playable and had a very short wait including Jet set radio and witcher 2, even farcry 3. PC free play was Awesome, played CS:GO for a while before the fallout:nuka break screening which by the way was great. I pretty much saw 99% of the show room floor and saw most of the panels I wanted to see in 2 days. Kinda bummed about no canadian meet ups though. Was a pretty good first year PAX EAST experience for me overall.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Yeah I'll definitely agree that with the exception of MT and Expo, things seem to be a little disorganized. I would likely chock that up to the fact that there are a significantly large amount of new E's this year, and the show is simply much larger.

  • tozarrtozarr Registered User
    I spent most of day one milling around checking out indie games and whatever seemed to have the shortest lines, which happened to be the nvidia pc gaming area(I think it was because it wasn't an easy area to actually get to, i spent the better part of an hour of being distracted by every shiny object while trying to find the entrance) Everything I wanted to see seemed to have a line around the block(even Riot's booth for League of Legends, i couldn't figure out why everyone was so excited to see a game that's not only been out for years, but is also FREE). I never did find the line for the lanyard/swag bag(I ended up snagging a lanyard from EVGA most of the way through day two), and even though i kept my badges in my pocket, only one person(a random convention police officer at the top of an escalator) asked to see my pass. And only on day one, on day two no one asked, I just walked into the building and straight into the expo hall. Day two I was more organized in what I wanted to see(first year at PAX), and even then the only big things I saw were Firefall, XCOM, and Tera.

    However, even with the long lines, the staff for each company were all fantastic and helpful, and more than willing to answer any and all questions. About half of my time in the Firefall line was chatting with the rep about how the game worked, which was worth the time spent standing in line anyway.

    Would I do it all over again, having had this experience? Hell yes. I don't have any previous PAX experience to compare to, but as a first time attendee, the good experiences have more than outweighed the bad.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    Day Two overall was definitely more organized, but the lines were worse (as I expected they would be). The best thing I could say for next year would be

    A. Expand the exhibition hall floor, they had a ton of unused space this year, I'm not sure if that's because they weren't able to use it, or they just didn't, but they could have easily doubled the size of the floor, and it would have been way less crowded.

    B. Rather than have people queue up in endlessly long lines, implement a system where people get wristbands or something and then come back at a designated time to play the game. That way you don't have to wait in line all day, you don't have to worry about people in line crowding the exhibition floor, and people get more free time to see more things. This actually seems real simple, not sure why this hasn't been done already.

    C. Get the developers to shorten their demos. My buddy waited 2 and a half hours to play Spec Ops, then when he got there he got to play through the entire demo which went on for close to 40 minutes! No shit the line was long as hell, when your demo lets people play seemingly forever. 10-15 minutes is a perfect length of time to play. The Borderlands 2 demo went 15 minutes exactly, which was fine. You got to see the game, play it, and that was it. The line was long, but it moved.

    D. If you can't increase the size of the exhibition floor, than cap the number of passes. I'm sure PAX has a high break even point where they have to sell at least X many passes to not lose their shirt on the whole thing, but if the show is so overcrowded that you're getting threats from the fire marshall, than someone is doing something wrong. I'm not saying the show should be empty, with no lines for anything, but there has to be a happy medium. Lines for the mens room, lines for console free play, lines for food, things that should have had lines did.

    Overall though I was pleased and might be back next year if it doesn't coincide too closely to next years big Wrestling show in New York. The concerts tonight were fantastic, VGO was amazing, and the two guys afterwards were great as well.

    I had a three day pass, but left tonight due to the holiday and family commitments. I imagine that the lines and the crowds tomorrow won't be as bad as a result, but that a lot of booths might pack up and ship out early if they haven't already for the same reason I left. I'd like to know if the crowds dissipate any tomorrow, it definitely seems like the day to be there.

  • dareitusdareitus Registered User
    A. Expand the exhibition hall floor, they had a ton of unused space this year, I'm not sure if that's because they weren't able to use it, or they just didn't, but they could have easily doubled the size of the floor, and it would have been way less crowded.
    -Maybe.
    B. Rather than have people queue up in endlessly long lines, implement a system where people get wristbands or something and then come back at a designated time to play the game. That way you don't have to wait in line all day, you don't have to worry about people in line crowding the exhibition floor, and people get more free time to see more things. This actually seems real simple, not sure why this hasn't been done already.
    Wristbands don't work because people "Multi-Queue," grabbing wristbands for as many games as possible and eating up time where ever. It also makes it more difficult for people who arrive later in the day to compete with those who have gathered up all kinds of wristbands earlier in the day. That and the organizers then have to try and track down who's up every time someone finishes a demo instead of just taking the next person in line. With all the noise and chaos that's impossible. Lines are just how things work, get used to it or don't go to Cons. You probably wouldn't like Six Flags either.
    C. Get the developers to shorten their demos. My buddy waited 2 and a half hours to play Spec Ops, then when he got there he got to play through the entire demo which went on for close to 40 minutes! No shit the line was long as hell, when your demo lets people play seemingly forever. 10-15 minutes is a perfect length of time to play. The Borderlands 2 demo went 15 minutes exactly, which was fine. You got to see the game, play it, and that was it. The line was long, but it moved.
    PAX has almost 0% Say in what Developers do with their demos. Some games require longer play periods to demo. Smite, like LoL and DotA, can not be played in 15 minutes, the average game is 45-90 minutes. That demo is that long because that's how long a game is. The Spec Ops The Line Demo consisted of 2 missions from the game, one for training and one to get an idea of later content. It was the size of most XBL/PSN downloadable demos and was adequate to demonstrate the games story, characters, and unique qualities. Since Spec Ops is essentially "Just another cover shooter" they need a longer demo to prove to people they stand out. (IMHO They did, I enjoyed the game and Pre-Ordered it)
    D. If you can't increase the size of the exhibition floor, than cap the number of passes. I'm sure PAX has a high break even point where they have to sell at least X many passes to not lose their shirt on the whole thing, but if the show is so overcrowded that you're getting threats from the fire marshall, than someone is doing something wrong. I'm not saying the show should be empty, with no lines for anything, but there has to be a happy medium. Lines for the mens room, lines for console free play, lines for food, things that should have had lines did.
    The number of passes is capped, that's why they say Sold Out on the front page. Because they sold them all. Because there was a limited number. A cap. Most likely the overcrowding is due to Counterfeit Tickets, something that was a huge problem last year and likely still effecting PAX 2012.

    Try again maybe?

  • dareitusdareitus Registered User
    tozarr wrote: »
    even though i kept my badges in my pocket, only one person(a random convention police officer at the top of an escalator) asked to see my pass. And only on day one, on day two no one asked, I just walked into the building and straight into the expo hall.

    I've only been asked for my badge when signing out Tabletop Games or Console Games in the Free Play areas, or when I entered concerts. I had my badge in my pocket for well over 10 hours today and never once was asked to show it. I regret buying one because apparently they aren't needed.

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    dareitus wrote: »
    A. Expand the exhibition hall floor, they had a ton of unused space this year, I'm not sure if that's because they weren't able to use it, or they just didn't, but they could have easily doubled the size of the floor, and it would have been way less crowded.
    -Maybe.
    B. Rather than have people queue up in endlessly long lines, implement a system where people get wristbands or something and then come back at a designated time to play the game. That way you don't have to wait in line all day, you don't have to worry about people in line crowding the exhibition floor, and people get more free time to see more things. This actually seems real simple, not sure why this hasn't been done already.
    Wristbands don't work because people "Multi-Queue," grabbing wristbands for as many games as possible and eating up time where ever. It also makes it more difficult for people who arrive later in the day to compete with those who have gathered up all kinds of wristbands earlier in the day. That and the organizers then have to try and track down who's up every time someone finishes a demo instead of just taking the next person in line. With all the noise and chaos that's impossible. Lines are just how things work, get used to it or don't go to Cons. You probably wouldn't like Six Flags either.
    C. Get the developers to shorten their demos. My buddy waited 2 and a half hours to play Spec Ops, then when he got there he got to play through the entire demo which went on for close to 40 minutes! No shit the line was long as hell, when your demo lets people play seemingly forever. 10-15 minutes is a perfect length of time to play. The Borderlands 2 demo went 15 minutes exactly, which was fine. You got to see the game, play it, and that was it. The line was long, but it moved.
    PAX has almost 0% Say in what Developers do with their demos. Some games require longer play periods to demo. Smite, like LoL and DotA, can not be played in 15 minutes, the average game is 45-90 minutes. That demo is that long because that's how long a game is. The Spec Ops The Line Demo consisted of 2 missions from the game, one for training and one to get an idea of later content. It was the size of most XBL/PSN downloadable demos and was adequate to demonstrate the games story, characters, and unique qualities. Since Spec Ops is essentially "Just another cover shooter" they need a longer demo to prove to people they stand out. (IMHO They did, I enjoyed the game and Pre-Ordered it)
    D. If you can't increase the size of the exhibition floor, than cap the number of passes. I'm sure PAX has a high break even point where they have to sell at least X many passes to not lose their shirt on the whole thing, but if the show is so overcrowded that you're getting threats from the fire marshall, than someone is doing something wrong. I'm not saying the show should be empty, with no lines for anything, but there has to be a happy medium. Lines for the mens room, lines for console free play, lines for food, things that should have had lines did.
    The number of passes is capped, that's why they say Sold Out on the front page. Because they sold them all. Because there was a limited number. A cap. Most likely the overcrowding is due to Counterfeit Tickets, something that was a huge problem last year and likely still effecting PAX 2012.

    Try again maybe?
    hey man the dude has some good points. the wrist band idea DOES work, they do it at DISNEY WORLD (a little bigger than six flags... just a little). you can either wait in line and get in 45min-hour later, or take a ticket and come back 2 hours later. it's fair because people in line see it first and the other guys get to check other stuff out.

    longer demos DO suck because they make the lines even longer. if you have the kind of game that needs a 20+ demo you're better off just doing a panel and show them how to play it.

    PAX is very lax on regulations. they do great but 'security' is at a minimum, which is fine but the enforcers do need help sometimes. people at the show can be assholes sometimes, i always see people cutting when the enforcers aren't looking. the lines situation does need some work to make them manageable, especially since i was literally in a pen of tables waiting to even GET IN LINE for borderlands 2.
    i really enjoyed the demo but i was in a line for the line, and that's fucked up

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    If people arrive later in the day, they ain't seeing shit anyways, the lines for all the big stuff yesterday were closed by 2PM.

  • DaenythDaenyth Registered User regular
    The biggest downside to me was the disorganization. There were some things I had to ask for directions for 3 times - I got a different answer each time. No one knew what was going on. I feel like the MCCA doesn't know what to do with an event this size, and it's also difficult to have the enforcers up to speed if they're in one area all day. More signs would have helped I think.

    The panel lineup was also lackluster this year. I had the most fun wandering around people watching and trying things out in the tabletop area. Taking photos of the cosplayers was also fantastic, as were the people in the crowd for the most part.

  • Good Looking Fat GuyGood Looking Fat Guy Registered User regular
    The only thing really annoying was Apicary crashing the Rooster Teeth panel.

  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    the lines were pretty brutal, but the organization must have been much better on sat because I had a different experience than you

  • JerYnkFanJerYnkFan Registered User regular
    This was my first Pax so I don't know what it's been like the previous years, but compared to other cons I've been to, it was pretty well organized and while some lines were long they moved pretty fast. Like the other guy said go to San Diego and your definition of lines may change. The one year I went the Lost panel that was at 10am was capped by 7am. Also I remember going to Star Wars Celebration V and on a Thursday they hadn't finished letting in the queue line at 11:30am and the con opened at 10am.

  • MissMoogleMissMoogle Registered User regular
    I also agree with a few points in the original post. Now that I've completed my PAX 2012 experience, I can say i enjoyed PAX 2011 more. I'm not here to blame anyone because sh*t happens and you have to plan for the unplanned to happen, but there certainly were some super unfortunate choices when it came to line organization. The entrance line all three days was a joke, especially the first day. It worked perfectly last year, I don't know what went wrong this year, but by the final day I just said forget it and didnt even bother trying to get in through the exhibition hall c entrance.

    There were two other occasions that REALLY frustrated me concerning lines, and in both situations the enforcers straight up let people run which I found ridiculous. The first one was while waiting in line for the ME BioWare panel and the second was today right before the x-play taping. I got in line for both of these 2.5 hours in advance. For the ME one, we were waiting to be told when we could form the line to get in and the enforcers said that when they moved their hands we could run to get in line. This COMPLETLY defeats the purpose of forming a line!!!! Same thing with the x play taping. I decided to skip the expo hall today so I could get in line super early and have a sweet seat for x play. But as soon as we got to the doors they put us in these lines and then said it was a free for all. People who showed up 10 minutes before they opened the door (who could clearly run faster than me) got seats in the front row even though i had been in line for 3 hours. When I told an enforcer how ridiculous this is she laughed at me and the rest of the people who had been waiting for hours.

    I didn't experience any disrespect like this last year and I realize that things can't be perfect, but it sure felt like people just didn't know what they were doing this year. Enforcers encouraging people to run to get in line? Yeah thats not really looking out for our safety.

    Those are my only few negative thoughts on my PAX experience. I felt like there was a better selection of games last year, but that didn't really make me unhappy. I met a ton of amazing people, got some awesome swag, and got to stay at the Westin which improved the conditions ten fold compared to Where I was staying last year. I had a great time this year, but I agree that it's hard to not compare it to last year as far as organization.

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  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Overall I think most of us (I can definitely say I did) had a great time. There were some things as an observer a lot of us can say "oh that would be easy to fix", and some of them (like giving good directions, or having maps in more areas, or basic line instruction) are easy fixes, but some are not, or may seem easy to us but the powers that be know better.

    All in all it was a great time. There were a couple negatives, but considering there were so many people there, there were a lot fewer than any 'normal' people crowd of that size. I really think people should do studies of how great geeks are together and how friendly, compassionate, helpful, and even loving people can be towards complete strangers.

    The only 2 major negatives that stand up in my mind were the idiots calling the presenters names during the N00dz or gtfo presentation and the poor girl who got kicked out for helping us get the giant beach ball Saturday night. The N00dz idiots were quickly fixed (presenters made their presence quickly known), the beach ball thing I think was mishandled.

  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    The beach ball girl was kicked out? Why?

    How were the lines on Sunday compared to friday and saturday? Just as bad?

  • GrimRupertGrimRupert Registered User regular
    1) You will NEVER get to see EVERYTHING a convention has to offer, no matter what size. Even small conventions in hotels organize multiple panels in the same time slot to try and give everyone something to check out. Part of the experience is simple sacrifice. Do you want to play Max Payne 3 more than you want to play other games? Does this panel take higher priority than others?

    2) Wrist bands is a terrible idea, because no matter what people WILL get in line. What you'll see is a bunch of people getting in line for wrist bands at the crack of dawn, all of the wrist bands going away and then people bitching from 11am to evening that it's just not fair that it was first come first serve. And this is assuming specific wrist bands have specific times allotted to them. Either way, you're probably going to get in line for one game in the morning, get a wrist band, but NOT get a wrist band to another game. People will still bitch.

    3) Take it up with the developer if you don't like how they organized their section of the show floor. Sometimes they may not have even considered it. The Theatrhythm displays were side-by-side, but today you had everyone in line for the left display while a handful lined up right behind the right one. There was no help to indicate where the lines were supposed to start. I just know a bunch of us lined up on the right side because it was shorter, and some folks might have been under the impression it was all just one line for either station. That's not PAX's fault, that's Squenix's for not taking lines into account.

    I'd like to give a nod to Sega and Gearbox for Aliens, though. They not only tried to make the most out of their space, they gave those who lined up a worthy time investment while keeping things moving. You squeezed into a room to watch the campaign demo, then were shuffled off to line up for multiplayer where one group watched the Gearbox crew play the Aliens in competitive multiplayer, letting everyone know how it worked, and then moved them on to play against the Gearbox crew as marines. This was an excellent idea, as it allowed the line to keep moving, people kept on having things to do, and it was informative. You got a good investment in time for being in line. Of course, I was also in line at the expo hall 8:30am Saturday so I could see it. They opened the doors at 8am, after all.

    Maybe in that regard it would be better to communicate that doors open at 10am, but lines start earlier. Friday I was outside the convention center at 7:30am to line up for the keynote. But again, this is the convention experience. No different than Otakon. At most, I'd say PAX should do as Otakon and allow people to line up Thursday evening to pick up badges and swag bags if they need.

    4) The Enforcers being volunteers is a necessity. Once you get "professionals" to help, then the price of the convention sky rockets. What may be required is a bit more time in training them (I have no clue how that process works), and if you do need to have some professionals, then just have them in leadership positions. Have one lead IT/tech guy for the BYOC and PC tournaments, for example.

    5) There was only one panel that the enforcers did things strangely to me, and that was the Extra Credits panel. There was a room dedicated for the theater line that I waited in, and after filling in the front third of seats they forced everyone else to the far left segment. So basically, row two column three of seats, which are not quite ideal. Then they opened the doors and let the people in the hall sit in the more ideal seats. This had me confused because 1) wouldn't the hall have been overflow? All the people AFTER the line in the hall formed? And 2) if not, then why were there two separate lines? Either way, it had been an inconvenience.

    But that's it. An inconvenience. I understand that you paid for an experience, but there has to be some understanding that it's not perfect. It's a huge convention with a lot of hands involved trying to please as many crowds as possible. Did you know there were people that rarely left the tabletop area? Suggestions to expand the Expo hall floor would likely crowd that area. Do you think one takes priority over the other just because you don't care about table top games?

    Have some patience and understanding. Let the convention staff know about incidents that have hurt your experience (such as MissMoogle's) and be nice about it. They listen and they understand.

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    I agree that paying the enforcers would not be economically feasible, but there definitely could be a stronger vetting process when choosing them. From what I saw it was about 50 / 50 between those that genuinely cared, wanted to help, and wanted to do a good job, and those that were just there to screw around and not care otherwise. Big props to the guys in the console free play room, that can't possibly be an easy thing to manage, but they seemed to have no problem doing it.

    Speaking of the console free play room, that's definitely one area that has a lot of room for expansion next year, and I think it'd be an easy place to expand as well. I think they might have underestimated the demand, after about 3PM the lines there became unreasonable as well, but that could easily be fixed by finding more volunteers to bring in more games and consoles next year. My biggest passion in gaming in the NES, I've got a fairly large collection of nearly 200 carts, just about all the classics, and would have gladly boxed it up to share. Maybe next year they can expand it into a bigger room.

  • EthrinilEthrinil Registered User regular
    I have been to all three years of PAX East. Each year, the con has increased in size and scope and with that I can only imagine that the planning for it must become that much more difficult. I can say that this event was great. I only so a bit of disorganization right at the start of the convention with the swag bags and lanyards, but they got that worked out by noon. There was never a time at which I could say that I was completely confused/lost, or a time an enforcer couldn't point me in the right direction. (except for cheap food.... that was hard to come by).

    As far as security/badge checking goes, while some people may not have been checked, or felt that buying a badge was pointless, I only made it onto the expo hall floor a handful of times without getting checked. I also got spot checked (in a large group) on the floor by a couple of enforcers making their rounds.

    I did find there to be less panels I wanted to attend, but my lack of attending panels was replaced with my attendance of the tabletop area.

    I had an amazing time this weekend and I am already wishing it was next year so that I can attend again.

  • SlaughterBeastSlaughterBeast Registered User regular
    I just want to state, I had an awesome time. Sadly I wasn't there Sunday. Cross my fingers that PAX won't be on Easter weekend again.

    No real complaints here. There are going to be lines. Popular games will have people there because they are popular. You have to expect only so much from a volunteer work force. If there were folks slacking/not doing anything. Guess what they probably won't be an enforcer again.
    Just assuming things can easily be expanded and your solution of getting more volunteers is easier said than done. What we don't know is the paperwork/fire codes/ridiculous laws that the company has to deal with to set this con up and keep it running. As for the volunteers, volunteers will come out if they want. Volunteer next year. Also technically PAX East is only 3 years old. I've never been to PAX Prime but i can assume it is different. Its at PA home base, and I assume they have a general idea of how crowds will look and other stuff. PAXEast has grown every single year. You don't know how large this can grow to.

    Pure example of Pax awesomeness; My friend lost his Kindle. We just assumed it was gone. But guess what, someone actually gave it to security and my friend got it back.

  • SlaughterBeastSlaughterBeast Registered User regular
    Also had my badge checked multiple times.

    But as you can look at my avatar, i am a shady looking character

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    We had a great time, the only thing I'd like to recommend is find a way to do one swag bag per badge because on sunday, we couldn't get one by about 11ish...and I know from prior years people love grabbing multiples if there are cards or codes in them.

    Otherwise we had an awesome time and I thought it was as well organized as last year. We missed meeting joco too, kept asking when he'd be back, was always told 30 min but he never came back this afternoon, the kid was pretty disappointed.

    Along with that, lower the price on sunday, it's shorter and half the time things are sold out, booths are low on freebies or exclusive items, and there are no concerts.

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  • gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    If someone was looking for a swag bag, I would have gladly gave mine away. Other than the program and the XBox Live code, there was literally nothing in there I wanted. Not that I'm complaining, free is free, but if you had no interest in MTG, there wasn't much in there for you. Just about everything in mine ended up in the trash, including the copy of Rift (I use a Mac, not a PC, and I doubt I would have played it anyways).

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    This was my first year so, I couldn't judge. I enjoyed my time there, and chalked the chaos up to it being a convention. I mean, you have to expect something that large to not be perfectly organized but, they did quite a good job in all the areas I visited, especially the SEGA and 2K booths. And seriously, are you saying that you shouldn't have to wait in line, at a gaming convention? Good lord, that sounds like some serious entitlement. When you're in a big event, you're going to have to wait in line. I didn't mind the wait for Borderlands 2 (I waited an hour and half) because, the wait was so long due to them giving convention goers a long enough time to actually try out the game, rather than give you 3 minutes and then throw you out. As for the whole swagbag thing...wait, everyone was supposed to get a swag bag? I didn't get one, damnit! D:

    Edit: Anyway, I'd definitely want to go to PAX East next year. Hopefully for more than 1 day, too!

    Conando on
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    I gone to E3 and SDCC and felt that this Pax (my first) was manages better than either of those.

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  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    Ok, I first have to say that I thought this was the best Pax East yet.

    Second, I can understand some of these questions coming from first timers, but seriously, a large majority of these questions/complaints sound as if they are coming from experienced Pax attendees. This is my third Pax East, so I've learned a few things over the past few years. It's a given that some booths are going to be packed, and it's always going to be their responsibility to manage their lines. It's a given that Enforcers are not perfect. They are not paid, so basically you're getting people who are hard core gaming geeks that probably want to get into Pax for free and don't have degrees in crowd management. It's a given that technology is not perfect. There will be the inevitable sound/video problems. There will be internet/connectivity problems. There will be lighting/stage issues. It's a given that line management for panels will be problematic or in some cases a complete cluster f**k (and yes, i'm especially pointing out the handling of the Xplay panel, totally unfair in all respects). And finally, it's a given that it is not a god given right that you must get swag at every freakin booth you visit. The main reason these companies are here are to display their warez. And yes, if they want to force you to stand in line for 2 hours to watch their 3 minute game video or play their 5-45 minute game demo, it's totally their choice.

    Finally, you know what? Despite everything listed above, you will most likely still keep coming to PAX. You'll be trolling the forums at the faintest hint of any sign of tickets going on sale or hotels beginning to offer rooms. You'll still keep buying anything PAX related. You'll still be waiting with baited breath, wondering who'll be at the concerts, what vendors will be there, and what parties you can possibly sign up for/sneak into. And most of all, you'll attend the next Pax (either Prime or East) and this whole game will start all over again. The whole history repeating itself thing definitely applies here. Yes, the PAX organizers will try to learn from all these mistakes, but they will always happen again in some form or another.

    You know what? I tolerate all these things because we as gaming fans have been snubbed by the american industry for far to long. We have had to set back and let the media tell us what we should be playing, what we should be buying, what we should be telling others about. E3? It's a complete joke and a reason to get the gaming media together to give them the elite swag that us, the fans, aren't good enough to get. The CES? Yeh, a show that at one time embraced gaming, then snubbed it, only to realize that it truly is a money making machine. It's also a whore to the electronics media spin machine. Even Nintendo and certain other companies think it's better to have special media only events. It's one humongous spin machine. A game may be utter crap, but give the media perks and they're bound to pimp out anything.

    Pax provides that one glimmer of hope that we may eventually be offered the chance to make up our own minds about products before someone else can spin it any which way they like. Because of this, I can feel confident in buying a game and it not being utter crap. And if you buy a game you actually like, you wont run into that dreaded "You can't return the game because it's been opened" line that every major retailer has adopted. I liked the fact that they put a tighter reign on issuing media badges this year. It's not for them, it is for us!

    If I have read previously posted material correctly, I gather that Pax is a for profit event. That is fine with me. You can't expect, however, that they have the resources to place guards at every entrance to police for counterfeit badges. You can't expect them to have a vetting process on the level of FBI agents for enforcers. You can't expect that they would have the resources to pay every enforcer. You can't expect that they would have that much pull to get every major industry player to come to their event. You can't expect that they would have the resource to manage lines like you would find at any major amusement park or venue. If you do expect this stuff, you would literally have to pay upwards of $200-$300 for a single day pass, not to mention what a 3 day pass would cost.

    Pax East does not have the convenience of being in the middle of a major metropolitan area like Prime does. I think the organizers do their best to put together a great show while still trying to give its attendees the best of all things (ie. shuttles from farther hotels, instructions to get to restaurants, instructions for doing stuff in the city, etc.). Most of all, the majority of this could not be done without volunteers and sponsors.

    The bottom line is this. We can post our bad experiences and problems here. Yes, it will surely help them in planing for next year. Nothing will be perfect, however. We just need to go into every Pax with the 'Nothing will be perfect' attitude and just enjoy it!

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    The only booth I found to be a bit disorganized was Nintendo's 3DS station. They organized the Kid Icarus and Mario Kart parts but, the same people would be on the Spirit Camera, Mario Tennis Open, and Resident Evil kiosks for a seriously long time. Hell, I played 2 full tournaments on Open until I decided "You know, I've been on this an awfully long time".

  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    As for the location about the convention center. Yeah, sorry guys. We Bostonians are a bit empty on space right now, so the location where the BCEC is found is pretty out of the way, there's not much there at Southie's water front. Good news is the city wants to build that area up. But hey, it's also the largest convention center in all the Northeast, so it's the best place for PAX really.

  • ErickaJoErickaJo Registered User regular
    This is our third PAX East, and we had a pretty great time. We learned a few things the first two times: first, if it's a game that you're probably going to buy anyway, don't wait in line to play the demo (unless the swag is amazing). You could be learning how to play a new game in the time you stand in line. Second, don't discount the awesome indie games. This may very well open you up to something new that you will absolutely love and the wait time is almost nothing. Third, if there is more than one person in your party, don't feel the need to go to the same panels. Between the three of us we attended over ten panels with only one overlap. We all shared the info and no one felt like their day was ruled by panels. Fourth, do not fear the tabletop area. Board games are a great way to break up an expo-floor day.

    Reading over that, it looks like I've gotten more selective with my PAX planning, and it's been great. I try not to kill myself. I got to have a nice, rich, and relaxing three days at PAX. Also, this year we sprung for a room (we live about 40 minutes north) and we are never driving down and back each day ever again.

    I wasn't a fan of the queue rooms, but hearing that many of the Enforcers are new makes me hopeful that this will be better next year. I will say that whenever I looked up, I could find one of our favorite Red shirts, and I loved that. The only place where I was absolutely hating on the crowd organization was the food court. And no one can help that.

    I had a great weekend, and I'm trying to figure out why I haven't yet made plans to get to Prime for the first time :) Maybe this will be the year.

  • JoTheShmoJoTheShmo Registered User
    There's nothing that PAX can do about it, but I agree with the complaints about the demo length
    I waited for 2 hours to play Spec Ops, but found myself bored with the demo within 20 minutes.
    It got the point where I actually left the demo before finishing, regardless of the fact that I spent all day trying to get in.
    I would have much rather waited in a shorter line to play a shorter demo, so I could get a taste of the game, instead of this high-risk high-reward time investment.

  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    Day Two overall was definitely more organized, but the lines were worse (as I expected they would be). The best thing I could say for next year would be

    A. Expand the exhibition hall floor, they had a ton of unused space this year, I'm not sure if that's because they weren't able to use it, or they just didn't, but they could have easily doubled the size of the floor, and it would have been way less crowded.

    Fire codes. No expando. the only unused space were fire code mandated channels for movement, and PC Freeplay / BYOC / Tabletop Freeplay (And no, none of those are going away for Exhibit space- Most people come to play games. Fire code mandated channels won't go because the BCEC likes being alowed to run.)
    I agree that paying the enforcers would not be economically feasible, but there definitely could be a stronger vetting process when choosing them. From what I saw it was about 50 / 50 between those that genuinely cared, wanted to help, and wanted to do a good job, and those that were just there to screw around and not care otherwise.

    I have absolutely not met a single enforcer at all in 3 years of PAX going that didn't give a shit. I met plenty of very tired, overworked enforcers that had to deal with me or another person who was pissed off due to the god-awful layout of the BCEC, but never one that didn't care- it's not a free pass. It's a "Work 18 hours for this pass, minimum" To put that in perspective, from the random sampling of enforcers I've talked to, that means they lose at least $360 considering if they were paid that time. In many cases much more, as a larger percentage of enforcers are Software Developers than the normal slice of population. FYI, the barest, absolute, I-won-the-lotto shift for enforcers is 12 hours total for the weekend. Most work 20+ hours, but 20 is what most do, roughly (6 hours a day, plus some little bits to fill in for whatever).

    It's work, and while I understand you might not like how some enforcers did that work... I didn't volunteer this year, did you? East needs more enforcers. They WANT more enforcers. They just don't have enough apps- and believe me, I know they deny some, even with knowing they need more.
    Speaking of the console free play room, that's definitely one area that has a lot of room for expansion next year, and I think it'd be an easy place to expand as well. I think they might have underestimated the demand, after about 3PM the lines there became unreasonable as well, but that could easily be fixed by finding more volunteers to bring in more games and consoles next year. My biggest passion in gaming in the NES, I've got a fairly large collection of nearly 200 carts, just about all the classics, and would have gladly boxed it up to share. Maybe next year they can expand it into a bigger room.

    They're out of bigger rooms for several years until the BCEC completes its expansion projects. (No, I'm not kidding- the BCEC is expanding, and it's at least partially because of PAX.) Before you say "Well go somewhere bigger then lol." I'll note that there isn't anywhere bigger on the east coast. This is it. That's as big as it gets east of Vegas at this time.
    If someone was looking for a swag bag, I would have gladly gave mine away. Other than the program and the XBox Live code, there was literally nothing in there I wanted. Not that I'm complaining, free is free, but if you had no interest in MTG, there wasn't much in there for you. Just about everything in mine ended up in the trash, including the copy of Rift (I use a Mac, not a PC, and I doubt I would have played it anyways).

    If you want to game, get a PC. Okay, I'm just teasing. If you didn't want it, leaving it on a table on tabletop freeplay would have been a better use. Or hell, hand it to an enforcer and say "Eh, I don't need any of this. Any of you do?"

    Some enforcers don't get any swag at all (including the default bags) until the very very end.
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    Ok, I first have to say that I thought this was the best Pax East yet.

    ...

    Pax East does not have the convenience of being in the middle of a major metropolitan area like Prime does. I think the organizers do their best to put together a great show while still trying to give its attendees the best of all things (ie. shuttles from farther hotels, instructions to get to restaurants, instructions for doing stuff in the city, etc.). Most of all, the majority of this could not be done without volunteers and sponsors.

    The bottom line is this. We can post our bad experiences and problems here. Yes, it will surely help them in planing for next year. Nothing will be perfect, however. We just need to go into every Pax with the 'Nothing will be perfect' attitude and just enjoy it!

    Yes, it was the best PAX yet. Prime or otherwise. Because this PAX is the Best PAX. No matter what This PAX is.

    Second.. we are in a weird location. We're a $4 cab ride from absolute central boston goodness.... but we're not walk a minute and go "WOOT BARS AND MAGIC AND PUPPIES AND BURGERS AND OMG IS THAT A UNICORN STUFFED WITH LOBSTER STUFFED WITH CRAB!?!"

    But we're not as far as most think. We're just not as close as most of us want either.

    Really... Troll the forums, find out "The Forum Plan"

    And make it awesome.

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

    Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
  • ConandoConando Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Didn't know about the BCEC expanding. The damn thing is quite big to begin with but, like I mentioned before, that part of South Boston is fairly open so there's certainly space for more.

    Conando on
  • fyeahckingfyeahcking Registered User regular
    ErickaJo wrote: »
    This is our third PAX East, and we had a pretty great time. We learned a few things the first two times: first, if it's a game that you're probably going to buy anyway, don't wait in line to play the demo (unless the swag is amazing). You could be learning how to play a new game in the time you stand in line. Second, don't discount the awesome indie games. This may very well open you up to something new that you will absolutely love and the wait time is almost nothing. Third, if there is more than one person in your party, don't feel the need to go to the same panels. Between the three of us we attended over ten panels with only one overlap. We all shared the info and no one felt like their day was ruled by panels. Fourth, do not fear the tabletop area. Board games are a great way to break up an expo-floor day.

    Reading over that, it looks like I've gotten more selective with my PAX planning, and it's been great. I try not to kill myself. I got to have a nice, rich, and relaxing three days at PAX. Also, this year we sprung for a room (we live about 40 minutes north) and we are never driving down and back each day ever again.

    I wasn't a fan of the queue rooms, but hearing that many of the Enforcers are new makes me hopeful that this will be better next year. I will say that whenever I looked up, I could find one of our favorite Red shirts, and I loved that. The only place where I was absolutely hating on the crowd organization was the food court. And no one can help that.

    I had a great weekend, and I'm trying to figure out why I haven't yet made plans to get to Prime for the first time :) Maybe this will be the year.

    ErickaJo, you've expressed my sentiments *perfectly*. This was our crew's second year, and also had an awesome time. I may be seeing if I can make a Seattle trip, too (from DC). Only had one blip re: Smash tournament organization, and it really didn't bother me too much.

  • University OgreUniversity Ogre Registered User regular
    I loved all of PAX just like I did last year. I'd have paid a lot more than I did for the chance to go. The ONLY thing that kind of confused/annoyed me at all this weekend was that PC Freeplay would enforce their time limits even when 40%-60% of the computers were not being used. It didn't make sense to me on Sunday that I had to quit in the middle of a ladder game in SC with my friends to get back in "line" and then immediately be placed on a different computer. Maybe they just wanted me to get a quick lap around the perimeter in to stretch.

  • clutch10clutch10 Registered User
    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.

    This is just my point...if the organizers/exhibitors understand that anticipation for these marquee exhibits is high, then why not change the approach? Offer wristbands for demos, change the staging for guided demos, etc. I think everyone expected there to be some lines, but, c'mon, 2+ hours for a 30-min. presentation? That's plain absurd.

  • WizardWizard Registered User regular
    I had a pretty awesome PAX, but most of the complaints here are pretty warranted. Not sure how to really resolve those though, as many of them come from PAX just being so big.

    That said, I now have a signed copy of No More Heroes for the Wii by Suda51. So my Day One was the best day of PAX. EVER. OF ALL TIME.

  • ChimneyImpChimneyImp Shifty Eyes BostonRegistered User regular
    @OP: Nope. Not disappointed one bit.

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