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Constructive Feedback - East 2017

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
Please post civil constructive feedback of the show here

As always, it's fine to disagree and dislike things, just don't be a dick about it.

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«13

Posts

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    More tabletop space, or a separation of tabletop and "chill out" as many used the freeplay tabletop area to just chill and eat (can't blame em)
    More tabletop check-in/check-out people - it was very unhelpful to have some dude yelling at me every 2 minutes to stand in the checkin/out line while a limited number of people did that with 2-3 people standing behind them doing nothing.
    Line Signage - basically non-existent for tabletop or other things. Apparently the solution was people yelling at you condescendingly when you went to stand in a line
    Line blocks - I remember at one point I went to walk past a theater in the open area next to the line and was blocked by 4 enforcers who told me I had to go down stairs, then walk down the hall and come up the next set of stairs - despite a completely open aisle being present right next to the line.
    Gigantic PA shop in the expo hall - having space to look at stuff - cool. Pushing the line into the aisle where it stoppered up the whole expo hall - not so cool.
    Expo was lackluster, but not much PA can do about that

  • zeebergeezeebergee Registered User new member
    Please ask the autograph signers to hold 2 sessions (with a break in between of course)?
    Consider holding a lottery for line spaces - winners would need to check in with their badges to get their spot or it can be given to the standby line.
    Sort of like the cancellation line at Hamilton :-) This way, everyone feels like they have an equal shot at the meeting the celebs.

    Short autograph session for kids (16 and under? 12 under? What's a kid these days?)
    Additional sessions (tracks) geared towards kids - it was nice to see a tournament just for them, but if there was a special day or events for them, I can guarantee you'd have more families attending.

    That being said, I was pretty happy with the event and look forward to knowing more for next year.

  • cpc197ccpc197c Registered User regular
    1. :D Food on the floor was a good thing, and reduced some of the stress in the food court area it seemed.
    2. :D Enforcers were friendly and positive all weekend!
    3. :x Where were the scarves this year? I have been collecting them every year and I was very disappointed they were not present. Going to have a big hole in my wall without that.
    4. :D On the positive, the quality of the merch seemed to be up from previous years.
    5. :x I was disappointed by the internet at the BYOC. While I can understand being slow and capping bandwidth overall, the amount of capping and the very poor QOS was insane. We couldn't even load web pages, and once it did settle after the first day (while page loads still took forever) there were massive ping spikes every 1 - 2 mins. I have heard this wasn't an issue in past years, so hopefully it can be fixed for future years.

    Not really feedback, but as a side note the 'energy' seemed much lower this year than years past. There were much less big games being displayed, much less of a giant marketing push present at the show. This seems to be more because of the state of the industry right now (there seems to be less big games coming out). Big hitters like Blizzard were just merch booths, WoT wasn't even there, and the other larger hitters just had small VR experiences or were giant wastes of space on the floor (looking at you twitch partners booth / roosterteeth).

    Still had fun either way, so I'm hoping this was just a lull year in the industry.

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  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    POSITIVES:
    Tabletop seemed bigger this year.
    Enforcers were great as always
    Great indie presence on the expo floor.
    Great to see food trucks for an additional food option.
    For the most part expo floor was easy to navigate.
    Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a great final round!

    ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
    Would be nice to see a tweet regarding show exclusive merch being sold out (like they did more the LE pin.
    There was one part of expo turning left after the escalator that always seemed to be a logjam.
    Would have liked to see more shirts or hoodies in the email PA merch booth.
    Opening the doors early Saturday and Sunday for the cold was great would have been nice to have had that Friday as well.

    As always East was overall great, and will be back next year as well.

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Negatives:
    Line management seemed lacking this year. As someone that didn't spend a lot of times in lines you'd think this would be ok, but more than once I ran into situations where I couldn't get past a room because the line outside it had become anarchy and was taking up the entire hall (and not just before something opened, it's expected when a panel is actually starting, not 15 minutes before). I know the E's have had issues with staffing and that may be why.

    On the topic of lines, standing in the entrance lines Friday morning with a bum knee trying to juggle multiple bags of cookies for CB for 30 minutes while it was under 10 degrees was *not fun*. Also, out of all the times I walked in and out of the BCEC with a large metal brace on my knee that set off every single metal detector, I only got wanded once. This annoyed me because if I have to stand in line for security, I want it to actually be.. well.. security. I also on Friday noticed people walking into the "no bags" line, with bags, and getting thru. Not cool when there are people waiting 30 minutes to get thru the bagged lines. I was told later on there might be a door for med badges to get in without waiting, but no one was able to actually tell me where it was other than "Oh yea there's a med door"

    Positives:

    Tabletop was well executed and well organized. While not a big deal, it would be awesome if we coudl put signs on some of the support posts on tabletop that give 'areas'. It was difficult to find people at times without that.
    Indie presence was awesome. Some really great games there.
    Childsplay booth was a awesome add on. I got both a tshirt and a hoodie.
    Food seemed improved from previous years.

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    Drain
  • DraevonDraevon Registered User new member
    Lots of good memories of another fun PAX East. This was my third in a row. A shame its only once a year, but if was more often it wouldn't be as special. So many good Indie games to check out and great events/speakers in the theaters.

    It was disappointing though that this years event seemed to lack the large spectacles. In the past there have been large exhibits by the big companies. Last year Blizzard had the big set up for Overwatch and there was the Overwatch tournament on the big stage. Orcs Must Die had a huge set, as did Warhammer and World of Tanks. There was the giant Dinosaur and the massive Thresh walking around to go with the Thresh display. I hope the big companies aren't adopting an attitude that they don't need events like PAX anymore to promote their businesses and sell their products. The gaming community needs them to continue to make these events the best they can be. There was definitely a void this year with their absence.

    But... Can't wait for PAX East 2018!

    Cabadrin
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I missed the Childs Play hoodie - I meant to go back for one and ran out of time :( They looked super nice. Given the importance of charity, I would love to them moved up to the lobby next year, front and center for more people to see. It was sort of tucked in hidden behind other booths. I remember a few years ago there was a display for a charity (Ablegamers maybe?) that had great foot traffic - let's give the charities the push they deserve and create a positive first impression right at the door.

    On panels - I went to my first Game Show night and absolutely loved it. Also the Cartoon Network panel was super fun and the Enforcers working our queue room were terrific and led singalongs and were wonderful. I'm not sure who reads this thread, but having enforcers who love the content they are working is probably logistically a nightmare, but it made a great panel even more awesome. Being in a queue room with people singing Duck Tales or the Steven Universe theme to me is what Pax is all about - way more than Youtubers and eSports.

    However, I do wish that some panels had a bit more content - the Newegg one in particular was stuffed with people (presumably hoping to win a door prize) and there was just talking with nothing but "VR and eSports are saving PC gaming" stated over and over again. I at least expected some slides or some trailers showing the newest and hottest hardware, but nope. It was a total waste of my time. I don't know how you make sure a panel deserves to be a panel, but a panel consisting of no slide deck, no video clips, no q&a, just a few questions for their own discussion is absolutely not ok when the smaller panels seem to put way more thought into theirs.

    Also, if there is anything that could be done to block the cold from the stage areas it would be hugely appreciated. I coat checked my hoodie because I was hot everywhere else, but the You Don't Know Jack area was crazy cold from people coming and going on buses Sat evening.

    Overall great year though.

  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    Cons:

    - I'm still not a fan of the BCEC bar being closed
    - Panels seemed a little lacklustre. Not worse than last year, but I felt 2012-2015 had a better selection. Also, a bunch of the panels I attended needed the sound turned up higher, even after people yelled out to get it raised it was still hard to hear in the back.
    - PC Freeplay continued to be a failure of implementation for me. I wanted to try out some games I haven't tried. I go sit down at PC Freeplay, there's 60 games on the account....only 30 of which are installed, most of which are just huge titles that everyone has played. I'd love to see these machines loaded with some games people likely haven't played and might want to try rather than just LoL and the like. On the same note, a sign out front with what games are loaded on the computers would be very helpful for people to decide if they want to do it.

    Pros:

    - Free coat check and the free snacks/drinks at the Twitch lounge were nice even if I didn't personally make much use of them.
    - Getting into the convention was a little less of a mess than last year.
    - Seemed like more quality indies than ever on the expo floor.
    - Loved the return of the Bioware Base, it was sorely missed last year.
    - Expo floor organization/layout seemed better than ever, noticeably less claustrophobic.

    Neutral:

    - Weather. On the one hand, it was miserable to be outdoors. On the other hand, it kept the rest of the city indoors and I've never had a faster ride on the T or easier time getting into a non-Seaport restaurant on a PAX weekend than I did this weekend.



    Another note:

    I got more use out of the swag bag for the purpose of holding my stuff that I carried in to avoid the bag line (hat, gloves, phone charger, water bottle, snack) than anything else. A bin of empty bags over where the lanyards are would definitely encourage me/other people to not bring a bag to the BCEC and speed up security.

  • CabadrinCabadrin Registered User regular
    edited March 13
    PAX East 2017 marks the ninth PAX I've gone to and the eighth PAX East. This year was the first time I've gone as a non-Exhibitor and non-Enforcer in quite some time, so I got plenty of walking through the show floor.

    Positives:
    • Indie area just gets bigger and better every year.
    • Like last year, the aisles themselves were well placed, and I saw very few major logjams on the floor itself. Even MSI behaved itself (mostly).
    • Love seeing a China and Australia section! Some great games there, and the people were friendly and engaging.
    • Dauntless looked cool.
    • Plenty of 20x20 and 30x30 booths that were showing cool stuff. Really enjoyed seeing more of those booths with what seemed like mid-size game studios. And there were some very inventive booth types as well.
    • Free coat check at multiple locations was appreciated.
    • Tabletop area was large and in charge! Loved all the space.
    • Related, I thought that there were more tabletop booths than last year. Felt like a larger and more commanding space.
    • As always, Enforcers are polite, present, and knowledgable.

    Room For Improvement:
    • Major decrease in AAA games this year. Only a few 50x50 booths related to new games, and many others were for peripherals or hardware. Could be due to the prices getting higher and higher for show floor space? Seemed like only the companies that were selling things could justify the ROI. I felt like I largely ignored the AAA space.
    • WIPE DOWN YOUR VR HEADSETS. This isn't for the PAX section itself - I saw wipes present at each demo station that was run by Enforcers. This is for any exhibitor who failed to wipe down their VR headsets. It's not hygenic, it's not cool, and unlike my hands it's a lot more difficult to wash / purell my face. For this reason I stayed away from a lot of the VR experiences. I feel so strongly about this that I would recommend it be a rule for exhibitors in the future. Pink eye is real, people!
    • No ACAM / arcade feels like a let down. I loved getting some hands-on time at the vintage arcade machines, and them being gone feels like a larger loss than just their space. Is there a way to reach out / subsidize them?
    • Classic Console seemed very far away and spare when I visited. Not many people there, and not a lot of action. I would suggest making it closer to high-trafficked areas.
    • I'm not a big eSports guy, but I miss the size of the arena from last year. I thought it felt great and brought a lot of interest. This years it seemed like the eSports arena wasn't as large, and could only handle 200-300 people sitting.
    • Has ... has PAX East outgrown the BCEC? As much as I didn't want to believe it, it kinda felt like we were straining this year.

    Some final thoughts:

    I think this year's focus on merchandise booths for the 50x50 and other large spaces are a symptom of the rising prices of booths at events like this, plus the overall cost of hosting games at PAX. I don't think it'll be readily apparent in numbers for Reed/PA, but if I had to guess it would mean a diminishment of "spectacle" for the show floor, and PAX East getting less press and less excitement. Perhaps it has to do with the large number of shows these days, but for the first time I felt like PAX East was less exciting than the previous year.

    I also got a different vibe from PAX itself this year. The attendees gushed less, and were less amazed and wowed than previous years. They were happy and excited, but it felt more like a "normal" convention than something special, which is how it has felt in the past.

    Cabadrin on
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  • evanestalevanestal Registered User regular
    Positive
    • Moving around the expo hall, in general, seems to be getting better each year.
    • The number of Indie games is a great thing, they generally have much shorter lines and getting to meet creators is awesome
    • D&D sessions were are high point, lots of capacity and times
    • Steel Battalion room is still a fun place to play a game or two, hope it keeps coming back
    Could be better
    • I'm a Bostonian so less bothered, but why hold an annual conference in Boston during one of the coldest months? Last year we had snow and this year just missed a whopper (coming tomorrow). April is much better from a snow risk and temperature standpoint.
    • Found it much harder to get a tabletop demo this year, still not enough tables in tabletop
    • Food trucks left too early, food options are still rough
    • I miss the classic Arcade
    • It'll probably never happen, but I loved when the tabletop used to close at 2AM instead of midnight

    Sleep
  • craiolacraiola MARegistered User regular
    I'm going to try to be as organized as possible with my thoughts. This was probably by least favorite PAX East (of the 5 years I have attended.) But I don't think this is PAX's fault! (I unfortunately had migraines all weekend and was PMSing which basically ruined a lot of the fun for me.)

    Negatives (because I want to end on a positive note)
    Line Management for Panels
    I only went to one panel this weekend (The Mass Effect Andromeda Panel on Friday) but the lines for that and many other panels were insane. My friends and I showed up to the 2nd floor around 1:30 to meet up and noticed people had already started sitting in the queue area, so we joined them. At 2pm, an enforcer announced "Congrats squatters! You are now an official line!" While this worked out great for my friends and I (we were right at the start of the line) I can only imagine the headache for others. PAX specifically states line for panels don't start forming until an hour before the panel. However, the line formed 2 hours prior?

    I heard this was a huge problem for Markiplier and JackSkepticEye (who I have no idea who they are). They let people into the BCEC early thanks to the cold (THANK YOU BTW) but then people lined up at 7:30 and they capped the line at 7:39AM, a whole 3 hours and 20 minutes before the panel was scheduled. While this didn't effect me, I'd like to see PAX be consistent with its line policies and enforcing them. Maybe rope off the areas so people can't line up until an hour prior next time?

    The Expo Hall/SWAG
    So as others have mentioned there was a severe lack of AAA's present in the expo hall. While I understand the expo hall isn't just about the AAA's, I see less and less big companies attending and investing in PAX East each year, and this concerns me. Blizzard only had a Merch booth when in the past they had large booths for Overwatch and Hearthstone for example. While this gave me more freedom to try out the AWESOME indie games, I really missed having the excitement the AAA's bring.

    Along with that is SWAG. Yes, SWAG is not guaranteed, nor is it something PAX controls, but companies are getting cheaper and cheaper each year as PAX gets bigger and bigger. Bioware, I'm looking at you. If you wanted any sort of SWAG from Bioware, you'd need to spend half a day completing all of their challenges. What was your reward? A little ribbon to attach to your badge. That's right folks, spend 6 hours for a ribbon! Other companies were very much the same, offering stickers and a lanyard here or there. I noticed a lot of companies were giving out free SWAG from last year but only if you bought something at their booth. This left a really sour taste in my mouth.

    Cooler Master's raffle on Sunday was downright painful. It was dragged out, they were insulting people who won prizes but had swag from other booths, and even told us to boo someone at one point. This was really upsetting as the PAX community is not about this kind of stuff.

    Parties
    Once again out of PAX's control, but there were a severe lack of parties this year. Friday night was packed but there was nothing going on Saturday. Granted it was cold but that meant everyone took over the Westin lobby until the wee hours of the morning. I understand that this is very much bottom line oriented for the companies when it comes to money, but lack of parties, exhibitors, and SWAG, tells me that exhibitors no longer see PAX as a worthwhile expo to attend and this is extremely concerning to me.

    Date
    I think we've all see Khoo's infamous post explaining how they pick dates. So I completely understand that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. However, being one of the biggest, if not biggest conventions to call the BCEC home, you would think PAX would have a little more sway in keeping a consistent date year after year. If not that, then at least a consistent month. March just does not seem to work for PAX East. It's too cold in Boston, its too close the GDC, and it just seems to be a mess. My favorite PAXes have always been in April.

    Tabletop Organization
    Poor tabletop was really hidden and buried. I only found it when I was meeting up with friends. Would have been nice to have better signage!

    Positives
    Enforcers
    Outside of the line management I mentioned above, Enforcers were professional, well mannered, and extremely upbeat and positive. If an enforcer didn't have an answer to my question, they pointed me to someone who did. These guys don't have an easy job and I really appreciate them doing what they do so we can all have a great PAX!

    Twitch Prime
    The free bags were great, as was the free coat check, and twitch prime lounge!

    Indies
    I had a lot of fun playing indie games this year and love seeing their expanded presence!

    One last thing I want to comment on. I definitely feel a change in the type of Expo PAX has become. As gaming changes and PAX grows, I find myself enjoying PAX less and less and this makes me sad. I've seen a huge emphasis on streamer culture and esports, two things I'm just not a fan of. I understand that they are a large part of gaming, and definitely should have a presence at PAX, but I feel like they are kind of taking over PAX right now - especially streaming. I really hope that PAX can continue to push to evolve and grow but also remember the community that made it what it is in the first place. Maybe it might be interesting to see a separate eSports or Streaming track introduced?

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  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    evanestal wrote: »
    I'm a Bostonian so less bothered, but why hold an annual conference in Boston during one of the coldest months? Last year we had snow and this year just missed a whopper (coming tomorrow). April is much better from a snow risk and temperature standpoint.

    I'll point it out:

    April means Easter and Marathon Monday. That's 2 weekends that are absolute no-gos for holding PAX. And Passover isn't ideal either. So you've got maybe 1 weekend in April even theoretically open most years.

    May is also not an option because college graduations mean there's no hotel availability. (and the BCEC is used for some).

  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited March 13
    Liked:
    • The swag bag actually had beta and game codes this year :)
    • I complained about Twitch in the past and I still think some of their lounge areas are a bit exclusionary, but with the paid for coat/bag check and their obvious large presence on the floor, it seems they are helping bank part of the convention. So if that helps sustain Pax, I can appreciate that
    • I really like the Boston Convention Center, specially compared to the scatter that is Pax West. Security check, coat check, overall facilities folks were all great too. I'm even OK with the food served inside despite the price
    • Food trucks were great as always

    Disliked:
    • I've been to Pax East 5 times (2013 was my first ever Pax) - 2013 was cold and windy but bearable, 2015 was Blizzardmageddon and 2017 was downright scary with the high winds combined with super low temperatures - all in March. 2014 and 2016 were super nice spring weather - both in April. I'm not sure how hard it is to negotiate for dates with the BCEC but it would be nice if we were at EO March or April more often
    • What would it take to bring alcohol back? Not letting people walk away with drinks? I'm not a huge drinker by any means, but it's nice to have one at the end of the day to relax. It would also help on tips for the folks serving. That "No Alcohol" on the bar is the saddest sign ever
    • Booth raffles. There really needs to be enforcement on the booth size and layout if you are going to have raffles planned so it does not block the paths around it. Or make a "Raffle area" with 2-3 podiums and a lot of space around that every company has use/book for their raffles that is a bit out of the show area
    • I did not see the Cookie Brigade much this year :(

    SinoSamba on
    3DS FC: 3239-2323-6239
    millerm277
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    On the dates I agree that I wish it was always April but I believe those are set years in advance so they are locked in.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited March 13
    craiola wrote: »
    One last thing I want to comment on. I definitely feel a change in the type of Expo PAX has become. As gaming changes and PAX grows, I find myself enjoying PAX less and less and this makes me sad. I've seen a huge emphasis on streamer culture and esports, two things I'm just not a fan of. I understand that they are a large part of gaming, and definitely should have a presence at PAX, but I feel like they are kind of taking over PAX right now - especially streaming. I really hope that PAX can continue to push to evolve and grow but also remember the community that made it what it is in the first place. Maybe it might be interesting to see a separate eSports or Streaming track introduced?

    I completely agree with this. I totally understand that this is partially where the money is - but to be honest it felt like Twitch Expo more than PAX at times. I think everyone can share PAX - but their presence specifically felt really intrusive this year.

    Also, I'm somewhat short, below average in height. I saw several folks in wheelchairs and at least a few little people and of course some kids. Throwing prizes into a crowd is a giant dick move and should absolutely be banned. All it does is reward tall, often aggressive dudes. PAX is about inclusiveness - not physical abilities - and I think if you want to give stuff away it should be either random drawings or available by playing a game or something. Everyone should have a shot.

    Lindsay Lohan on
    millerm277SleepBloodsheedSinoSambaLe_GoatYoungFreyschussZombiewskisuretteCanderson1989TopherRocksMMMig
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    craiola wrote: »
    One last thing I want to comment on. I definitely feel a change in the type of Expo PAX has become. As gaming changes and PAX grows, I find myself enjoying PAX less and less and this makes me sad. I've seen a huge emphasis on streamer culture and esports, two things I'm just not a fan of. I understand that they are a large part of gaming, and definitely should have a presence at PAX, but I feel like they are kind of taking over PAX right now - especially streaming. I really hope that PAX can continue to push to evolve and grow but also remember the community that made it what it is in the first place. Maybe it might be interesting to see a separate eSports or Streaming track introduced?
    So much of this. I commented on this during last year's Constructive Feedback thread. I could care less about eSports, but I get that it's a money-maker and some people love it. The streamer aspect drives me insane. I've never found a single person that I enjoyed watching, because it's them pining over people who donate and it's boring as all hell. Now it's starting to seem at events like this that if you are not a streamer with your "Hi I am xxxxxx from Twitch" sticker, you're a second-class citizen. I love PAX, but it's starting to go a direction away from the regular gamers and more towards the mini-market of streamers and eSports.

    I only got to go one day this year, and that's how my friend and I saw things going. His response summed it up: "I'm really just not feeling it this year." This is our 7th year going and we find ourselves missing the days from 3-5 years ago. I guess such is the way of PAX becoming successful.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    millerm277BloodsheedSinoSambaTopherRocks
  • craiolacraiola MARegistered User regular
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    craiola wrote: »
    One last thing I want to comment on. I definitely feel a change in the type of Expo PAX has become. As gaming changes and PAX grows, I find myself enjoying PAX less and less and this makes me sad. I've seen a huge emphasis on streamer culture and esports, two things I'm just not a fan of. I understand that they are a large part of gaming, and definitely should have a presence at PAX, but I feel like they are kind of taking over PAX right now - especially streaming. I really hope that PAX can continue to push to evolve and grow but also remember the community that made it what it is in the first place. Maybe it might be interesting to see a separate eSports or Streaming track introduced?
    So much of this. I commented on this during last year's Constructive Feedback thread. I could care less about eSports, but I get that it's a money-maker and some people love it. The streamer aspect drives me insane. I've never found a single person that I enjoyed watching, because it's them pining over people who donate and it's boring as all hell. Now it's starting to seem at events like this that if you are not a streamer with your "Hi I am xxxxxx from Twitch" sticker, you're a second-class citizen. I love PAX, but it's starting to go a direction away from the regular gamers and more towards the mini-market of streamers and eSports.

    I only got to go one day this year, and that's how my friend and I saw things going. His response summed it up: "I'm really just not feeling it this year." This is our 7th year going and we find ourselves missing the days from 3-5 years ago. I guess such is the way of PAX becoming successful.

    I really hope they can find a middle ground for this. Its exciting in one way, because streaming culture is really a big part of the youth gaming culture. I'm sure there were things my generation did as gamers (I'm 27 for reference) that made those in previous generations say "Man I really miss the days of xyz, why is everything about [insert thing here]!" so I don't want to say "No lets not have this because it goes against the older culture!" but at the same time I think you're right, this is feeling more and more like Twitch Con than PAX. Its really sad to see tabletop become swallowed up more and more each year because of this. We also lost classic arcade this year as well.

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    SleepZombiewskistardust462TopherRocks
  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    The BYOC experience was not good. The lack of network bandwidth on Friday compared with the unhelpful response from Pax officials (IE it's for gaming and not downloading which completely ignores the reality of modern always connected PC gaming) led to the area basically being a ghostown. I don't know who made the decisions about the network for the BYOC area but I may constructively suggest that they need to do better in the future or bring back the outside partner to manage it. It was a waste of money and limited packing space as it was.

    2013 Prime Omeganaut
  • KusandKusand Registered User new member
    Good:

    Tabletop felt larger.

    My favorite indie floor ever.


    Bad:

    The PAX XP kiosks were a cool idea, but largely just caused more pointless lines, and getting a "win" that was a non-unique For Honor code to get currency for that game is stupid.

    The resolution of the automated PAX East picture I received through PAX XP is embarrassingly terrible. It's barely even worth putting on Facebook or anything. What the hell was in there, a small webcam? That was another botched great idea.

    Pinny Arcade still feels like a huge, grody cashgrab.

    TopherRocks
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    Kusand wrote: »
    The PAX XP kiosks were a cool idea, but largely just caused more pointless lines, and getting a "win" that was a non-unique For Honor code to get currency for that game is stupid.
    I totally forgot about those kiosks. When I saw that's how PAX XP was handled this year, I flat out threw out my Nope Pope card and walked away. Stand in a line like that for just one piece of the puzzle? Uh uh, now way, not wasting my time. It was more fun just going around and snagging the QR codes.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    HazelHalfBloodTopherRocks
  • DanQDanQ Registered User regular
    Encourage more cosplay with things like the cosplay lounge or contests or whatever. I'm sure the weather discouraged a lot of people, and it felt underwhelming seeing way fewer costumes crowding the halls. Biggest thing that would have me question coming back.

    TopherRocks
  • tbone2177tbone2177 Registered User new member
    Honestly, My first Pax, and probably my last. I did have a great time, but a lot of issues that I felt were daunting...first of all:

    Pros:

    The floor layout was east to understand.

    Good vibe with people...a lot less "stomp you for swag" attitude I've seen at other cons.

    Enforcers were helpful and friendly.

    A lot of great indie gaming.

    Gaming open til 12am

    Cons:

    First and foremost, the exhibit hall only open til 6pm but the con open til 12am? Why? My feeling is that cons have more vendors, which makes them money immediately, but developers only make money when the game sell, so basically they're giving out free handouts, that being games.

    I don't feel the panels were that great, and that has an immediate effect: big panels draw crowds out of the exhibit halls, which help with lines. Lines for food, lines for the bathroom, lines to test games, lines to BUY STUFF at the Blizzard booth.

    I went alone, and as such, board games weren't a big possibility for me...I know I could have signed up for a group in the arena area, but longer games go 2-3 hours, and the exhibit hall being open for such a short time, I didn't want to miss anything.

    I love gaming culture, but i'm more of a console player, and this DEFINITELY had a more PC gaming feel.

    TopherRocks
  • HazelHalfBloodHazelHalfBlood Unapologetic Dungeons and Dragons Enthusiast New HampshireRegistered User regular
    This had to be, honestly, one of my best Pax's I had ever attended! I don't know if after six years I've finally got the hang of doing this convention correctly or I unknowingly sacrificed my soul to Mike and Jerry. Either way, I had a blast! That being said I have a few points to add to this thread.

    1. For the most part, I chose to avoid the main Expo floor. Don't get me wrong! I LOVE seeing that is being presented in the main hall. I love testing new games and seeing what new products are coming out. BUT I just could not handle the crowds this year. Every time I tried to get anywhere in the Expo Hall, it was almost imposable to move. I totally understand that PAX is popular and that PA wants to make the largest amount of tickets available. But I look back on my first and the second year missing how available the Expo hall was.

    2. I love seeing how open the tabletop section was this year. It was still hard to find a table for free play, but I can appreciate that it's more popular over the years.

    3. The enforcers were AMAZING! They were happy and kind all weekend while trying to deal with very large crowds. I never once encountered an enforcer that snapped at me or was unreasonable.

    4. While PAX XP was a super cool idea, in theory, it caused a lot of lines that blocked up the walkways.

    5. THE PICTURE KIOSKS WERE SUCH A GOOD IDEA! The pictures were not of the highest quality but I think if the idea is flushed out more and improved it WOULD BE AMAZING.

    6. Sunday mornings entrance line was a terrifying disaster. When they let us in I, along with other Pax goers who were headed for the main Que line were almost taken out by people who were getting in line for the JackSepticEye autograph signing. While we walked through the BCEC to the main hall we had to avoid people running at full speed to the autograph line, nearly taking us and each other out in the process. The poor enforcers handled it really well but there was really nothing they could because they were not listening to them. I understand that handling these really popular autograph signings are hard and planning them out can be unpredictable, but there has to be a better way. Maybe selling/reserving tickets ahead of time like Boston or Rhode Island Comicon? Wading through the sea of panicked crying fans was not fun and honestly a little dangerous.

    7. I hope that the Binwin's Minions live games happen every year and can be hosted in a bigger room. It deserves as much attention as AI does! And it's sad that people had to be turned away because of space. I'm glad it was so popular!

    8. The quality of the Merch was top notch this year! A little sad we had no scarves, but the red Video Game sweaters made up for it!

    9. Late Saturday night I went to the food court to grab anything for dinner before MC Frontalot started his set. There were plenty of tables, and all of the servers were super nice and cheerful! It was great! I'm going to assume this is because so many other food areas had been opened around the convention. A+!

    I'm looking forward to next year!

    PAX East 2018 .... We Have Our...Passes [..] Hotel [..] Bus [..] Packed [..]

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    Proud Cookie Brigade Supporter
    jdthedm
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    So it may be beyond the control of PAX, and may have been the BCEC itself being shit, but when the expo closed, so did all the side doors. The shuttles from the parking lots would still drop you at a side door. At which point you would have to walk around the BCEC to stand in a long ass line at the front of the con so that the security staff could go ahead and not actually check your bag.

    Zombiewski
  • SnowDogSnowDog Central MARegistered User regular
    This is my seventh PAX East (missed the first one, still kick myself over that), I'm primarily a tabletop gamer, and I'm moving into my mid-40s. I attend primarily to reconnect with friends, immerse myself in gamer culture, and play board games. I absorb a little of the video game hype by osmosis but it's not my main attraction.

    Every year is great, and this was no exception, but there's always room to improve.

    + The tabletop area did seem a bit bigger this year compared to last
    + Felt like the food variety and availability was a bit improved.
    + The layout of the indie area and tabletop area of the expo hall was great. I liked being able to wander that area without having to fight through the AAA lines.
    + The lending library continues to be the biggest draw for me, kudos!
    + I managed to get into the Seaport and they are amazing.

    - I still saw people forced to play games sitting on the floor Saturday evening. The tabletop area really absorbs a lot of overflow from the expo hall when they close; like 6 to 9 PM is a rough time in tabletop on Saturday.
    - The quality of food was still pretty meh.
    - The security theater is lame, and security is wildly inconsistent. Friday I had to take out the big bulky stuff in my bag, but Sunday we were practically rushed through. Both times I could have been hiding _anything_ in my backpack and not been noticed. Why pay the huge price in time, money, and convenience for the security if we're not getting any real benefit from it? (I know, we "have to," but I also insist on complaining :) )
    - I fondly remember when the tabletop area would stay open until 2 AM. Then again, the older I get, the more ready I am to go back to the hotel and relax by midnight, so ....
    - Also, it would be great when that late night "want to unwind a bit" urge hit if I could order a beer...
    - People were smoking right by the doors (near the food trucks) and the smell was coming in. I know, it's no big deal, not going to get sick from a smell, but ... I don't know, even at my place of work people have to be further from the doors than that.
    Kusand wrote: »
    Pinny Arcade still feels like a huge, grody cashgrab.

    Which we are free to ignore, which is great. If silly pin trading funds a huge tabletop lending library, more power to it.

    SleepZombiewskisuretteDraevonTopherRocks
  • PainePaine Registered User regular
    :) :
    • The panel selection was pretty good for my interests, in that I was able to find something interesting to go to in almost every time slot. The average quality of those panels was slightly down from the heyday of early PAX East, but at least it wasn't 50% panels about how to be a streamer/indie dev. That said, I still wouldn't mind more panels about actual games and gaming, and fewer about how to make money as a streamer.
    • Enforcers did an excellent job of line management at the panels I went to. Lines were compressed at appropriate times and standing was only enforced when necessary. Admittedly, this may be because most of the panels I went to were not hugely popular and also drew an older-than-average crowd, so proactive corralling was not required.
    • Tabletop had more tables, at the expense of the queue area. Excellent trade-off, although still not enough table space for everyone that wanted some.
    • Indies on the expo floor continue to be excellent, I discovered a number of games I had never heard of before. AAA booths become more irrelevant every year, with no content you can't get online, which is great because maybe that will vacate space that can be used for more interesting things.
    • Bioware base was back. Although I would have preferred them having panels like in previous years, I understand the preference to demo an unreleased but finished game. The mini activities were fun and thematic, and didn't take very much time.
    • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes was the first Final Round in many years that I found entertaining and compelling.

    :( :
    • I heard stories of dysfunction at the panels and autograph sessions featuring famous streamers. Some of the problems associated with celebrities at PAX are unavoidable, like disappointing many people who didn't get to attend events for the one person they are a fan of. But one thing that could be done is to clearly and consistently articulate the rules about when lines start to form. I've always assumed that you could line up as early as you wanted for anything as long as no other earlier event was currently lining up in the same space. So as soon as a panel audience loads into a theater, the line is available for the next panel in that theater. Contrary to this, I saw people quoting supposed rules about a 2-hours-beforehand limit on forming lines. If this is a PAX rule, it is misguided and should be replaced with the above convention, as people who are not allowed to line up in the empty queue area will simply congregate in a mob at whatever distance away the Enforcers set. Let people line up as soon as there is space for them to do so; if they want to wait for 5 hours they should have that option.
    • BCEC food continues to be bad and overpriced. I know this isn't PAX's decision, but maybe they could bring it up with the company. Food trucks remain an excellent idea during years where it is not as difficult to go outside.
    • Many of the current problems at PAX could be eliminated by simply not inviting famous streamers. I know there is high demand for them, but PAX would still sell out without their presence, and the demand for them is exactly the problem. The majority of their fans are very young and very passionate, which leads to a lot of rule-breaking and difficult situations for the Enforcers. I don't think they're worth the headache.

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    suretteTopherRocks
  • akbogertakbogert Registered User regular
    edited March 13
    (This was my fifth East and my sixth PAX overall)

    I continue to feel that your enjoyment of PAX is some strange function of how you approach it and the con itself. For example, in prior years my attempts to hit up really popular games or panels ended up exasperating me, and I probably walked away less pleased with my experience than I needed to be. So when my PAX experience is deflated, I like to ask myself how much of it is my fault and how much might be someone else's.

    This year I walked away fairly happy, having decided to only do Friday and Saturday. My group showed up each morning around 10:15 to find the lines, while long, to be moving at a great pace. I found the security checkpoint somewhat laughable; while I am all for anything that makes getting in from the cold faster, the fact that we were to pass through the metal detectors with our phones in our hands (guaranteed to set off the alarm for every person who walked through them) raised the question of why bother with the detectors at all.

    As others have noted, the great strength of East continues to be its indie and tabletop sections, both of which seem to fit well with a Boston-based con and both of which are impervious to the budgetary and other considerations of the wider (and AAA) industry's concern with saving major surprises/launches for bigger or different shows (especially E3). It seems that movements towards supporting indie games (including having some of them available at the Microsoft/Sony booths were appreciated. Twitch's presence seemed on-par this year with its place in the industry and its assistance with things like seating and coats. I have Prime but I was glad that my Prime-less friends weren't being shafted or set aside. I miss the walls of beanbags but the lounges are a nice replacement.

    PAX feels more intimate and less exciting than ever before. For some that's a problem; for me, it means I don't feel like I'm missing out like crazy if I don't wait four hours to play a game or get into a panel. So it's a double-edged sword: we used to get awesome swag from panels and to try exclusive new stuff from upcoming games, but we also used to have to pick which game or panel and miss out on all the others. That's much rarer in 2017 and I think it's for the best.

    That said, I think PAX can do better, and I've felt this for a long time. There is no real reason for the excessive lines, which need to be constantly wrangled by enforcers for hours and contribute to congestion. Tickets sell out many months in advance for the con. So my personal feeling is this: panel attendance should be determined by lottery ahead of time. I'm happy to flesh out what I mean in greater detail later if someone feels it's a valuable contribution, but in brief there's no reason why people can't sign up for the panels they want in on, find out which ones they got a spot for, and then not have anyone need to wait on hours-long lines during the convention itself to secure entrance to the room.

    It's been done with some of the most popular demos on the expo floor -- like PSVR last year -- and it's great because everyone who wants a shot at getting in has an equal one (via lottery) and no one wastes precious con time standing on a line for something they're either definitely getting into or definitely aren't. Sure, have your overflow/if-someone-doesn't-check-in line for those who missed out but are willing to take a chance on still getting in, but those lines will be much shorter and won't be necessary. Lines are the worst thing about PAX and they aren't even necessary.

    ETA: Swag bags aren't a big deal but this is the first PAX I didn't even bother taking one. As a console gamer I get little from beta keys or PC part ads, and this time around there wasn't even a pack of Magic cards or something tangible to justify the space in my backpack. Also, PAX XP was a neat idea but my friends and I relied on the XP photo for our only group shot from the con, and the resolution of that image is so outrageously low and behind even modest cell phone cameras of the day that we regretted not just asking someone to snap a pic for us instead.

    In general I'd just like to say that usually after PAX I announce I'm not sure I'm gonna bother coming back, although I keep coming back anyway. This year I left positive that I want to come back. So overall, whatever it's becoming, I'm liking it. Thanks for another great one!

    akbogert on
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    suretteCanderson1989
  • joker5542joker5542 Registered User regular
    CONS
    BYOC- continues to go downhill yearly at least last year the internet issues got solved after the first day this year we couldnt play anything most of the time or even check emails i ended up on the bcec free wifi for the show
    Food venders is all good i like the fast and easy food but can we not have them completely around the whole byoc i went back to the hotel every night smelling of fryer grease that not a smell i want to go and smell all night on my cloths for the weekend.
    Pros
    i liked the bigger isle space made it easier to walk around, being the 4th year i have come this might have been the easiest to navigate the show floor.
    enforcers did a good job as always i did over hear one not let the cookie brigade set up a donation box on one of there tables seems a little dumb its for a great cause

  • PISURF1PISURF1 Registered User new member
    Was asked to move this post to this string.

    PAX East organization of autograph signing is a joke. People start lining up hours in advance, just to get in the line and wait for the signing. Sunday was no different. The Convention Center was supposed to open at 8am, but opened early to let attendees in from the cold. We got in at 8am, the EXPO officially opened at 10am. As soon as we walked in at 815am we found out the 11am autograph session was already full. What?? You don't open the doors until 10am, it was 815am and your already full? How is that possible? It was the one thing that my son really wanted to do at PAX East!! Apparently, people were allowed to start lining up at 4am for the 11am signing.

    So we decide that we would get to the line early for the 4pm signing. We ask one of the Enforcers who tell us that the line WILL START at 2pm. At 12 noon we begin to wait around just to get in line for the 4pm signing. At 2pm a substantial crowd has formed with no one directing people to line up. At 2pm it was a free for all to get to the start of the line with people pushing and shoving, Enforcers yelling, etc. The Enforcers let maybe 50-100 people and then promptly tell everyone the signing is full. We were literally the next people in line and had waited almost 2 hours, to get in line, which we would have then waited 2 more hours!!!

    There are a ton of suggestions, but after hearing from others that day and subsequently online, the issues with managing lines is a common occurrence at the conference.

    Very poorly run PAX East!!

  • MijaschiMijaschi Registered User new member
    I had one issue that's actually controllable.

    Security.

    I didn't pull everything out of my pockets and beeped every time I went through. I had my DSLR in a pouch at the top of my bag, and they never ever looked past it. I could've had ANYTHING in there. Never double checked, never asked to step aside for a wand.

    My badges were tucked inside my sweatshirt the entire weekend. I was asked once to have them visible by a vigilant enforced, but that was at 2pm on Sunday. It wasn't just me that had hidden badges or no badges. I appreciate people getting rushed in the building for their own safety from the cold, but why did anyone spend $150 on badges when they can experience the whole con for free?


    Other than that, I had a blast. Everyone was super friendly. Vendors, Enforcers, BCEC employees, attendees. Counting down the days until next year.

    akbogertTopherRocks
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    akbogert wrote: »
    (There is no real reason for the excessive lines, which need to be constantly wrangled by enforcers for hours and contribute to congestion. Tickets sell out many months in advance for the con. So my personal feeling is this: panel attendance should be determined by lottery ahead of time. I'm happy to flesh out what I mean in greater detail later if someone feels it's a valuable contribution, but in brief there's no reason why people can't sign up for the panels they want in on, find out which ones they got a spot for, and then not have anyone need to wait on hours-long lines during the convention itself to secure entrance to the room.

    It's been done with some of the most popular demos on the expo floor -- like PSVR last year -- and it's great because everyone who wants a shot at getting in has an equal one (via lottery) and no one wastes precious con time standing on a line for something they're either definitely getting into or definitely aren't. Sure, have your overflow/if-someone-doesn't-check-in line for those who missed out but are willing to take a chance on still getting in, but those lines will be much shorter and won't be necessary. Lines are the worst thing about PAX and they aren't even necessary.

    While I get people complain about the long lines, please do not do this. There are panels I specific go to PAX for and therefore I am willing to wait in line. If I missed a panel by chance and not choice it would honestly really hurt my enjoyment of this show. I like that you don't sign up in advance and you can make a decision on a panel the day of or a couple hours before.

    Paine
  • cpc197ccpc197c Registered User regular
    akbogert wrote: »
    (There is no real reason for the excessive lines, which need to be constantly wrangled by enforcers for hours and contribute to congestion. Tickets sell out many months in advance for the con. So my personal feeling is this: panel attendance should be determined by lottery ahead of time. I'm happy to flesh out what I mean in greater detail later if someone feels it's a valuable contribution, but in brief there's no reason why people can't sign up for the panels they want in on, find out which ones they got a spot for, and then not have anyone need to wait on hours-long lines during the convention itself to secure entrance to the room.

    It's been done with some of the most popular demos on the expo floor -- like PSVR last year -- and it's great because everyone who wants a shot at getting in has an equal one (via lottery) and no one wastes precious con time standing on a line for something they're either definitely getting into or definitely aren't. Sure, have your overflow/if-someone-doesn't-check-in line for those who missed out but are willing to take a chance on still getting in, but those lines will be much shorter and won't be necessary. Lines are the worst thing about PAX and they aren't even necessary.

    While I get people complain about the long lines, please do not do this. There are panels I specific go to PAX for and therefore I am willing to wait in line. If I missed a panel by chance and not choice it would honestly really hurt my enjoyment of this show. I like that you don't sign up in advance and you can make a decision on a panel the day of or a couple hours before.

    They could do something like Disney does, where you can start to sign up for panels on your phone earlier in the day but you can only have 2 or 3 reservations per day. That obviously needs tech, but may be OK. The youtuber sig panels though need a fix though. Seeing some of that chaos was not fun, even though I wanted no part in it. Maybe doing some pre-sales for those or pre-signups
    w.

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    ltgrunt
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    Positives

    + Best main hall layout ever for PAX East. It flowed well from table top to vendors to PC free play to arena to main hall with vendors interspersed.

    + Least number of capped lines I experienced to date. Only Mass Effect Andromeda had a screwed up line this year that I noticed, being capped way, way too soon. But other than that, I didn't run into a capped line problem, which I constantly ran into in years past.

    Negatives

    - Evening re-entrance security for Saturday was completely undermanned. Way too few security for way too many people trying to re-enter the convention after dinner. Since it was below zero degrees after windchill, waiting in line for almost 30 minutes, because only 1 line was open, was horrible, a total clusterfuck. Someone should be fired for not planning that right, for not shuffling around security to man the entrance line - that might be a harsh punishment, but that's how I felt after freezing my ass off in below zero temps for a seeming eternity. I spent more time trying to re-enter after dinner than I spent in any of the morning lines.

    - No arcade machines. There really needed to be arcade machines, even normal ones would have been nice. Better would be Japanese arcade machines like what Anime Boston did last year, but any arcade machine setup would've been a nice. That's always been a highlight in prior years, as it's rare to meet arcade players these days, ones who are decent to play against, outside of big conventions like PAX (or fighting game specific conventions).

    - Too few big titles are coming to PAX East. I think this is a consequence of having 4 different PAX conventions, so big publishers will go to the one that's closest to them or going to the one that's nearest their release dates. Unfortunately, I very much felt this at PAX East, as I saw the fewest previews of upcoming games this year compared to years past.

    - All the games in PC freeplay that I wanted to play were not installed. While there were lots of recent games on the PAX Steam accounts, only a small subset were installed, maybe 25% or so. This meant that nearly every game I wanted to play needed to download and install, which is nearly impossible to do in the 45 minutes allotted during freeplay.

    - All the Blizzard games needed your own battle.net account, so if you didn't own the game, you couldn't play it. This meant that the people in my group who didn't own Overwatch, couldn't play Overwatch in a team group setting, even though Overwatch was one of the advertised freeplay games, because there were no PAX battle.net accounts for them to use.

    hsu on
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  • jdthedmjdthedm Registered User new member
    • The enforcers were kind, and all of the BCEC staff were amazing to my group! This was a different experience to a previous year and was awesome!
    • If at all possible, confer upon us the knowledge of when queue lines are expected to start forming. Not as a hard figure, but as a general aid to those who are planning what panels they are going to attend, etc. The app, and multiple displays were extremely helpful. I met many who were "soft" queuing for Acq Inc on Sunday by sitting nearby where the line was expected to start. I was among them. If we had a rough idea when to expect the line to form, I would have spent more of the morning elsewhere. Again, I found the app and Twitter feed helpful, and the people I met in this soft line were amazing, so this is just a thought.
    • The sound stage for a couple of the tournaments were very close to the tabletop vendor area, and at times the noise output from this area was massive.
    • I had a blast! A really fun time. Thank you again to everyone who made it possible. :biggrin:

    "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gyax
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  • akbogertakbogert Registered User regular
    While I get people complain about the long lines, please do not do this. There are panels I specific go to PAX for and therefore I am willing to wait in line. If I missed a panel by chance and not choice it would honestly really hurt my enjoyment of this show. I like that you don't sign up in advance and you can make a decision on a panel the day of or a couple hours before.

    And my proposal is a way to get you into that one panel you absolutely want to get into AND save you several hours of waiting. I said I'd elaborate and I guess I'll do so a little bit here -- there are fairly straightforward ways of establishing a lottery system such that preferences are weighted. It's possible to ensure that everybody gets into at least one of their top three panels. And if you don't get into more than that using such a system, it's because you want to go to the most popular panels of the entire con. I'd say that the fact that you personally are willing to sacrifice a significant portion of your con time to get into all of those panels doesn't outweigh the benefit of getting far more people into at least one super-popular panel with no wait. That said, if the lottery seats are capped at, say, 90% of actual capacity, there will still be plenty of room for people in the aforementioned wait-and-see/after-lottery-winner line.

    (Also fwiw, the panels you enjoy the freedom of deciding to attend day-of are obviously not the panels you're attending PAX specifically for)

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  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    Other than the overall feeling that PAXeast is becoming a shadow of it's former self, I really can't pinpoint any particular pros or cons that really stand out.

    There is one thing that bothers me that doesn't necessarily fit in pro or con. There was a vendor there called Sudden Impact Retro Games. They sold reproductions of old Gameboy, Super Nintendo, etc. games. These games were marked as repros, but lookeed exactly like the originals (Pokemon Blue, Red, Yellow, etc.). They were also selling games on Sega Genesis like Super Mario, even using Nintendo's art on the carts themselves. Correct me if i'm wrong, but the big N has never let anyone reproduce exact copies of their games. I reported them to customer information on Friday afternoon, then went back on Saturday and they were selling the same stuff. This really ticked me off. I have the originals of the games they had repros off (and i'm mad that I took the time to get them, only to see copies being made at a quarter of the price). It's illegal and should not be allowed.

    This is like the early days of anime conventions, where companies would come in selling bootleg copies of anime soundtracks. Every major anime convention I can think of put a stop to that, and PAX should do the same.

    jdixon1972 on
    Lindsay LohanGeodSinoSambaCanderson1989TopherRocks
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    - Evening re-entrance security for Saturday was completely undermanned. Way too few security for way too many people trying to re-enter the convention after dinner. Since it was below zero degrees after windchill, waiting in line for almost 30 minutes, because only 1 line was open, was horrible, a total clusterfuck. Someone should be fired for not planning that right, for not shuffling around security to man the entrance line - that might be a harsh punishment, but that's how I felt after freezing my ass off in below zero temps for a seeming eternity. I spent more time trying to re-enter after dinner than I spent in any of the morning lines.
    This is the reason I got stuck eating con food both days despite really wanting to go find something else to eat. I was afraid to have to come back in and get stuck in a queue again in the cold.

    I also completely agree that repro carts have no place at pax.

  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    ++
    • The Twitch Lounge was pretty nice. I always expected it to be completely packed, but you could usually find a seat. It was nice to have snacks and drinks in there even though they were sparse most of the time. Maybe up the snacks and drinks?
    • I really like the Kickstarter room. It was nice chatting with the people making the games I back and finding new ones.
    • As always, I love the Indie Mega Booth and found more games to look out for.
    • Food stands on/near the expo hall were nice even though I didn't use them. Now the food trucks? Not sure if this is the first year for them, but they were amazing. That chicken on goat sandwich was fantastic.

    --
    • Every tournament I have ever been in at a PAX has had gold, silver and bronze medals. I spent most of the night Friday in the Audioshield VR tourney only to lose in a close finals. Super fun time. Until I had to remind enforcers about medals in general. And they only had a gold for the winner. When asked about silver and bronze, I was given a high five as a consolation prize. Suffice to say, it kind of took the winds out of my sails for the weekend. Especially when I saw on Sunday they had gold, silver and bronze for the Monster Hunter tourney my friend was in.
    • I got a burrito bowl in the BCEC. It came with a free GIANT PIECE OF TAPE in it.
    • I agree with the scarf sentiment. I'd usually buy one, but I think you stopped last year with them so it is whatever.
    • I would've loved to get the PAX hoodie (although YUCK $75!) or the pint glass, but the designs for the logo with all those lines just didn't sit well with me. You couldn't even tell it said PAX on the pint glass.
    • $40 for pin sets that cost $35 in the PA online store. What? Only $5, but still.
    • The lines to get in where just trash. They need to make the security stuff go a lot faster/smoother somehow. No one ever knows what is going on, the line takes forever and there are people cutting the line that I just waited in for 15-20 minutes. One day we entered near the food trucks and it was nice. The next day, that entrance was closed. Awesome.
    • Official pin trading line was cut off like 20 minutes before the end of the event.
    • People still suck when it comes to aisles. Like, DON'T STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE (or go at a 1MPH pace to look at a booth...pull over at the point...common sense). How hard is that to understand? If I wind up running into you, it is because you are in the way of everyone and we have nowhere else to go.

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  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    akbogert wrote: »
    While I get people complain about the long lines, please do not do this. There are panels I specific go to PAX for and therefore I am willing to wait in line. If I missed a panel by chance and not choice it would honestly really hurt my enjoyment of this show. I like that you don't sign up in advance and you can make a decision on a panel the day of or a couple hours before.

    And my proposal is a way to get you into that one panel you absolutely want to get into AND save you several hours of waiting. I said I'd elaborate and I guess I'll do so a little bit here -- there are fairly straightforward ways of establishing a lottery system such that preferences are weighted. It's possible to ensure that everybody gets into at least one of their top three panels. And if you don't get into more than that using such a system, it's because you want to go to the most popular panels of the entire con. I'd say that the fact that you personally are willing to sacrifice a significant portion of your con time to get into all of those panels doesn't outweigh the benefit of getting far more people into at least one super-popular panel with no wait. That said, if the lottery seats are capped at, say, 90% of actual capacity, there will still be plenty of room for people in the aforementioned wait-and-see/after-lottery-winner line.

    (Also fwiw, the panels you enjoy the freedom of deciding to attend day-of are obviously not the panels you're attending PAX specifically for)
    I'm sorry, but I have to thoroughly disagree with you. I've been on the wrong end of that sword and it is horrendously unfair. I showed up hours before anyone else to get tickets for a show, then they decided to do a lottery and royally screwed me over. Plus, the type of planning required for a lottery system like that for the dozens of panels, I just don't ever see something like that working.

    It sucks that panels are filling up so early like they are, but it should remain first come first served. The biggest issue is that those lines strictly need to enforce no cutting or holding places for people. The latter is being disgustingly abused more and more each year. Hell, they need to start issuing hall passes to people who need to hit the bathroom. It's silly, but apparently PAX has grown to the point where the crowd can no longer operate on an honesty system like it used to.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    Lindsay LohanltgruntklzPainertm416
  • lifefeedlifefeed Registered User regular
    Loved:
    - Indie Games on Demand. They should have even more space.
    - Meeting some RPG writers at their panels and booths.
    - The ever expanding focus on tabletop gaming.
    - Playing the Nintendo Switch.
    - When I made a decision not to wait in line for panels or games.
    - The security was great and easy.
    - My friend came with his son on Sunday to play Pokemon, and he *loved* it. I'm noting this here for him, because I'm pretty sure kids don't post to these threads.

    Mixed:
    - The food was, as always, better than average for a con, ridiculously subpar compared to anything else.
    - The enforcers were as good as always. But they seem to always underestimate how many seats are left in a room.
    - Coffee was everywhere, and solidly eh. There was a Starbucks in the Westin but always had a half-hour line. This is a fault of the Convention Center, they don't have enough respect for addicts.
    - Never cared for Twitch or Twitch streamers. I'm happy people are happy for them, but it made large swaths of the expo pretty boring for me.

    Bad:
    - Coat check line was ridiculous. And the coat check overflow wouldn't open up until a like half hour after the first one closed. I spent a lot of time walking back and forth, since no one seemed to know what was going on. What's wrong with just having multiple coat check rooms open at the same time? Also, just charge a buck for coat check. Charging even a token amount will reduce the line hugely.
    - Swag bags weren't even swag, just advertisements. They didn't even had the program in them.

    Missed:
    - The Reaper Bones painting demo.
    - The amount of raffles that used to be here.

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