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Constructive Feedback - East 2017

2

Posts

  • SatoruSatoru Registered User regular
    tbone2177 wrote: »

    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 think you understand how absolutlely exhausting it is to run a booth from 10am-6pm. Then do it for 3 days. On top of the build up and tear down afterwards. The expo area couldn't be open for longer than that without the staff being totally burnt out. Even places like SD Comic Con have basically similar hours for the expo hall. No one wants to be working till midnight manning a booth.

    The con is open till 12am as there are after hours shows like the concerts, panels, as well as the tabletop freeplay area.
    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.

    The tabletop areas usually have orange cones for groups that are LFG so look for those. Also many booths will demo card games for you which generally are fairly quick affairs.

    klznevermore13akbogertstardust462rtm416
  • DanQDanQ Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    ++
    • 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.

    Wait... when have there been bronze and silver medals? I've done tournaments for like 5 years andnhave never seen one or never seen anybody walking around with one.

  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    Not sure I agree with all of this negative sally talk about PAX losing what it once was. It isn't THAT different from previous years and this is my 7th pax east. Yes there are changes but that is more reflective of the state of the industry. Indie dominated the show floor this time around and that is a result of the state of the industry. There were still a lot of games to play on the show floor. I could list all the ones I played but that'd be too long. Let's just say they were all indie. All of the panels were still gaming related, and yes some were about streaming but it isn't fair to ignore streaming so of course there will be some panels about it. I did not attend a single panel about streaming but still managed to attend 7 panels that were all interesting. And there were still some that I wanted to attend but couldn't due to conflicts. Same goes for esports, another aspect of the state of the industry. ESports has the right to be at PAX and was there but it didn't take over PAX. I barely noticed it except for the merch booth and a few booths that had some esports content. But streaming and esports did not dominate the show floor. Indie was definitely the #1 presence at PAX this year, and I for one won't complain about that.

    Classic console, console freeplay, tabletop (and a lot of people have been saying it had more space this year which is a good thing), and the tourneys were all still present. Omegathon was still there too. The keynote was really good this year also. So PAX this year was still a normal PAX with some slight changes due to normal industry fluctuations.

    surette
  • ltgruntltgrunt Registered User regular
    This was our fourth PAX East; I finally feel like I have a handle on what I'm doing and I don't feel lost and overwhelmed by the size of the thing. It wasn't a bad year, at least not in my estimation. However, this is the first year that I've had enough things happening around the same time that I really felt the sense of disappointment from knowing that I definitely wasn't going to be able to see and do everything that I wanted.

    The lines have always been an issue for me. I know Jerry has described PAX previously as "lines punctuated by fun," but it feels like that's gotten out of control. Having to decide not to see a panel at 1:00 because I'm interested in a panel at 3:00 and I can't take a chance on the 3:00 line capping before my 1:00 panel gets out is putting a damper on things. The Acq. Inc. line is even worse, because it never seems to follow the "lines start 1 hour before" rule that other panels at least occasionally adhere to. We had to leave the 10:00-11:00 History of Zelda panel at 10:30 because I got the notification that the Acq. Inc. line was starting. Then we spent 2.5 hours standing and waiting. I don't think lottery systems are going to make anyone happy, because the Acq. Inc. show is one of my Must See events each year, and missing out on it by chance would be rage-inducing. I'm curious if they've looked into restricting the line start times to 15-30 minutes before each panel and having the Enforcers shoo away anyone who tries to camp out or hover too soon. I feel like these endless lines are just a product of "it's always been this way," and if we could just re-teach everyone to line up later it might help everyone get to see and do more stuff.

    The D&D Adventurer's League games were running on 2-hour blocks and ditched last year's wait lists in favor of having people show up 30 minutes ahead of time. It worked out well, and we were able to get into a few games over the weekend. The 6:00 game Saturday evening pulled a bigger crowd, but they were able to pull in a couple pinch hitter DM's and got people playing. Getting to play a few games of D&D (and take a break from being DM for my home group) was a big positive for this year.

    What was up with the Staff pin trading event this year? We weren't able to hit all of the staff tables like we did the past three years; the Enforcers seemed to be rushing the groups through with shorter trading times than last year. We got some lunch after we went through, and around 4:30 I went back to see if I could run through again to get the staff pins we missed, but the line entrance was taped off. The group that was still waiting was easily small enough to get through well before the 5:00 cutoff time for the staff trading, especially as fast as the Enforcers were rushing everyone through. Also, why was there not a PA signing event?

    With the exception of Bethesda's corner, the Expo Hall seems to be getting better every year regarding flow and crowd sizes. I'm not as disappointed in the lack of AAA games on the show floor, mostly because when there are AAA games the lines to play them are always too long to bother with. I did like the way that Kabam booth handled their Transformers: Forged to Fight demo on Saturday. It was a short demo and they were cycling people through at a reasonable rate.

    The BCEC food seemed better this year. Maybe I'm just accustomed to it? Finding a hidden food counter around the corner from one of the escalators on the expo floor was a big plus. Also, the Canadian bacon, egg, and cheese on pretzel bread sandwiches Saturday really hit the spot for a cold morning.

    I liked the Twitch lounge a lot more than I expected to. The free drinks and snacks and the charging stations were nice bonuses.

    PAsig.png
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    I just wanted to quickly touch on the subject of when you are allowed to line up for a panel. It has always followed the following rule (which i know from enforcing theaters). Lining up for a panel is allowed as soon as the previous panel has finished loading.
    For satellite theaters that is generally an hour and a half before the. extra panel (people tend to start lining up about an hour before their panel). For the main theater it tends to happen earlier oftentimes because the panels are rarely back to back (except Friday morning).

    It may not be the best system but it's consistent, also @Paxlines gets updated pretty regularly to give you a good idea of what is filling.

    nevermore13 on
    Paine
  • klzklz Registered User regular
    Interesting to see how the gripes have gone from LoL to eSPorts to streamers as the death of the con from people who are not part of those communities.

    From my perspective:

    Pros:

    It was a lot easier to move around the Expo Hall Floor. This could also be a side effect of GDC and the consequential fewer AAA games being on the floor, but it was refreshing.
    With possibly the exception of Bethesda and Twitch, the line management and capping made it much better than the clogged passages near Riot's booth in the past.

    Tabletop map in the program guide! Needs to be added to Guidebook to, but it's a long missed piece of the whole.

    Not sure if it came from PAX suggestions or just as a consequence of the freeloaders, but the minor work needed for a lot of the giveaways seemed to make it easier to get if you work part of the show and can't get into the Expo Hall before the afternoon. That speed bump tells me that anyone who came in later in the morning still had a shot at a fair amount of the free stuff without having to deal with raffles. Those raffles also make it hard to get around when they are up (such as the notoriously crowded MSI raffles). Maybe force them to hold the drawings and have signs up with the winning tickets for people to come check during the last hour might help. I do understand the excitement factor, of course.

    Cons:

    It would have been nice to spread out the game show stuff into Sat night too. Lots of interesting competing panels on Fri led to a weird Sat night series of panels I wasn't too enthusiastic about checking out. It seemed Friday night's panels also scavenged from each other too.

    Why wasn't Binwin's Minions in a streamed theater? Acq Inc is popular enough and this seemed like it could have worked out just as well?

    So many people whining overall about how popular the event is and how hard it is to get into anything while simultaneously wanting to do more than 12 things a day. It's not realistic with around 80k people, and hearing people being so selfish or griping about not getting more than 4 free shirts a day is upsetting to see. I like that the limited free swag is helping to keep away the speculators/scalpers and letting more fans and gamers in.

  • Anon48Anon48 Registered User new member
    The lines for autograph sessions were ridiculous. Especially when it comes to big-name youtubers, there will always be too many people who are willing to get in line several hours before PAX is ready to accept them. The Markiplier and Jacksepticeye signings were early enough in the day that people were waking up before dawn to get in line for them outside. Please give out the autograph tickets at the security gate, where everyone is actually standing in the order they arrived, and the lines are still under control. I was almost first in line outside for the Jacksepticeye signing, and waited for hours in the cold. Still didn't get a ticket because people started running and acting crazy once the security doors opened. Enforcement of rules should have been much more strict. Those tickets could have been handed out right at the gate (or even as part of a separate line - there were definitely enough people there to fill it up), rather than trying to guide a giant mob of rushing people across the BCEC just to line up again somewhere else.

    If the youtubers are willing, PAX could offer multiple signing sessions, and enforce the fact that fans can only attend once (possibly by hole-punching the PAX badge? Something like that?). This would allow more people to attend, and possibly reduce the frantic feeling of the lines.

  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    DanQ wrote: »
    redfield85 wrote: »
    ++
    • 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.

    Wait... when have there been bronze and silver medals? I've done tournaments for like 5 years andnhave never seen one or never seen anybody walking around with one.

    Yuuuup. I got silver and my friend got bronze back at Prime 2011 and I saw tweets this year of silver as well.

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  • ZombiewskiZombiewski New JerseyRegistered User regular
    tbone2177 wrote: »

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

    Did you try the Console rooms? Classic Console is always a highlight for me, as I can play games I can't easily get my hands on--I finally got to try Bonk's Adventure on the TGFX-16.

    PROS
    Enforcers continue to be outstanding.

    Diversity is going up. I popped by the Diversity Lounge and was happy to see a broad range of issues represented, particularly Native gamers. This diversity was reflected in the panels, some not even specifically about games but about issues facing the gaming community, which was great. And even further reflected in the attendance. I'm a cisgender hetero white guy, but every year that I see more people who don't look like me, my heart grows so big it damn near bursts out of my chest. I was really happy to see, for example, a group of tween girls in Classic Console arguing about the Genesis, and well...all the feels.

    Food on the floor. Especially with the weather so bad, it was nice to have options on hand.

    Indies. In general AAA titles don't interest me, and the most interesting experiences are coming out of these small developers. A Tony Hawk style rythym game about breakdancing kids? Game of the show.

    CONS
    Line management going in to the convention center by the BCEC staff. Their security theater becomes more and more ridiculous each year, and they do a terrible job of directing people and organizing lines so it's obvious what line to join where. And they continue to do BS like open a line behind people who've been waiting for 30 minutes, so people who just arrived can walk right in.

    Tabletop seems to get smaller and smaller each year. It's cool that Tabletop is getting its own convention in Philly (did I miss the announcement or something? The first I heard of it was in the guide), but when the hall closes, tabletop gets slammed. And PAX probably doesn't have any control of this, but I'd like to see bigger boardgame publishers invited, with more demo space.

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  • PainePaine Registered User regular
    ltgrunt wrote: »
    I'm curious if they've looked into restricting the line start times to 15-30 minutes before each panel and having the Enforcers shoo away anyone who tries to camp out or hover too soon. I feel like these endless lines are just a product of "it's always been this way," and if we could just re-teach everyone to line up later it might help everyone get to see and do more stuff.
    I'm sorry, but that's insane. The people who wanted to see the panel would just loiter somewhere close by in a mob and block traffic. The whole point of the queues is that they are a place to wait that's out of the way, and they preserve the order people arrived in. The current system is by far the best option, the people who are willing to sacrifice time waiting in line are the people who care the most about that panel, therefore are the people who should get to see it.

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    Le_GoatKeroaniltasurette
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    edited March 14
    klz wrote: »
    Interesting to see how the gripes have gone from LoL to eSPorts to streamers as the death of the con from people who are not part of those communities.
    The issues with LoL were the overly loud/annoying crowd and the fact that they were placed right next to the escalators, causing tons of issues. Has eSports really been a major griping concern? I just flat out don't care about it and thought it was strange to see a decent size devoted to eSports. Hey, if people like it, whatever. I just walk by it. And I've already expressed my disdain for streamers getting preferential treatment, so I won't put anyone through it again.

    I don't think "death of the con" is really what anyone who has had an issue with these believes is happening. PAX East has been going on for almost a decade. Entire music genres come and go during that phase, so it's not surprising when people start saying they miss what they would call "the good old days." I'm willing to bet that 7 years from now, a lot of people who just started going and love PAX will start feeling similarly over different topics. PAX East is thriving, and for some of us it's not the stuff we're into. For the others, it's stuff they love, so good for them and keep having fun (no sass intended).

    Le_Goat on
    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
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  • davidt93davidt93 Registered User new member
    This was my 6th PAX East in a row, and like always, it's better than Christmas. Everything went swimmingly that I experienced... Except for a couple of things...

    1) Console Tournaments need to be run A LOT better. This was my second year in a row competing in the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle tournament, and both times, it seemed like it was thrown together last minute, as if they forgot they had to run a tournament. This time around, they had forgotten to actually unlock the levels to play, so they had us wait an hour past the "start" time to get it set up. They only used one TV for 30 people, with two people on at a time. I was literally sitting there from 12 to 2 by the time I actually got to play. It wasted my time and I will never go to a console tournament until those who run them actually want to prepare for them.

    2) Nintendo is the Disney of video games. Obviously every gamer wants to get into their booth. So shouldn't their's be bigger so that they don't have a 3 hour wait? And last year when there was no wait, there were massive crowds shoved in one tiny space. They need a bigger booth.

  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    davidt93 wrote: »
    This was my 6th PAX East in a row, and like always, it's better than Christmas. Everything went swimmingly that I experienced... Except for a couple of things...

    1) Console Tournaments need to be run A LOT better. This was my second year in a row competing in the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle tournament, and both times, it seemed like it was thrown together last minute, as if they forgot they had to run a tournament. This time around, they had forgotten to actually unlock the levels to play, so they had us wait an hour past the "start" time to get it set up. They only used one TV for 30 people, with two people on at a time. I was literally sitting there from 12 to 2 by the time I actually got to play. It wasted my time and I will never go to a console tournament until those who run them actually want to prepare for them.

    2) Nintendo is the Disney of video games. Obviously every gamer wants to get into their booth. So shouldn't their's be bigger so that they don't have a 3 hour wait? And last year when there was no wait, there were massive crowds shoved in one tiny space. They need a bigger booth.

    The issue is that Nintendo is the one who decides how much they pay for the booth, and in turn their booth size, so if they don't want to pay for a massive Sony sized booth, there isn't anything Penny Arcade can do about it. That said their booth was about twice as big as last year, so maybe it will grow next year as well.

    Wishes he could change his username
  • akbogertakbogert Registered User regular
    Le_Goat wrote: »
    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.

    I do think it bears pointing out that turning something into a lottery system after people have been waiting for hours (while terrible, sorry you had that happen to you) is nothing like having a lottery system from the beginning. What you described is horrendously unfair, but you did not describe what I proposed. The lottery system is not nearly as complex as you're implying -- once all panels (or at least all big ones) are scheduled, a simple ranked-survey-based lottery system is straightforward to implement.

    I've already indicated that by reserving only a percentage of the capacity for the lottery, there would still always be room for people (like you, from the sound of it) who see value in sacrificing massive portions of con time to camping lines. Meanwhile, the vast majority of PAX attendees interested in panels get to see the expo floor/game rooms AND panels, instead of being forced to pick one or the other. I think it's a more equitable and enjoyable system for more people, even if it results in a less satisfying experience for a minority of more hardcore panel attendees -- the very ones who've been inured to the current system and accepted it, while others have foregone panels entirely because of prohibitive wait times. So in proposing it, I was prepared for a degree of backlash; after all, people who go through the trouble of creating an account and posting in the forums are going to by definition represent the most invested/dedicated con-goers, and the proposal may benefit them less than other groups.

    In any case, as this thread is for constructive criticism and you've received a handful of agrees while I've received none, I'll withdraw from subsequent debate on the matter. Just wanted to put it out there once so as to be able to say I'd tried ^_^

    paxattendsig.png
  • KeroanKeroan Chicago, IllinoisRegistered User regular
    I had a total blast this year! I'd like to thank the patience of the con-goers and the help of all the enforcers for being awesome. I know that these take a lot to put on and I had a lot of fun even though there was a lot more standing in line this year. Some things that I'd like to highlight:

    Twitch Prime Lounge - God bless Twitch Prime for having couches and a stream of some of the events going on. I watched multiple events in there over every single day of the con and picked up some killer snacks too! I really appreciate that from them. I wish there was more like that - maybe a theater set aside for streaming events in a small corner? When I was in the AI panel, all I kept thinking about as I was squashed into my seat were how lovely those cool couches would have been.

    I'd also like to thank the con security - though some people felt it superfluous, I appreciate that the line was constantly moving when it was this cold outside. I know it's often hard to please people who are freezing to death but I never felt like it was too long or too cursory.

    Also, thanks to the PAX XP team - I do love reading Jerry's stories and finding all the circles was quite fun. This was the first year that I bothered with PAX XP since 2013. I appreciate the greater connectivity with the app.

    Another great thing, the roving jackbox tvs! What a fantastic idea! I had never seen a Jackbox game before so they were great fun to participate in when waiting in long lines.


    Only a couple cons for this... con:

    I didn't appreciate being squashed in line for Acquisitions Incorporated way early - the minute we dropped in line, they forced everyone to stand and nearly physically squeezed everyone into every available space. It was quite painful to stand for 2 hours without relief and though I understand the reason (AI is incredibly popular and the line forms insanely quickly), the line wasn't even at 50% nearly an hour later. I would have appreciated even a little time of looser line before the final push.

    Also, the hallways were crowded in a way I had never experienced before on Friday - I had to escape the floor and go up to the Prime Lounge to recover because it gave me so much stress. I think it was a combination of the PA merch line squashing the available room on the immediate left side of the con, and crowds trying to see the floor. I'm not entirely sure how that could be improved because I know how difficult placement of big booths can be... perhaps PA should move their merch to a back corner or perhaps the mid point between the con and tabletop? It would draw people further into the con instead of swamping the edges.


    Anyway, here's to a successful and wonderful year of PAX East!

  • DanQDanQ Registered User regular
    davidt93 wrote: »
    This was my 6th PAX East in a row, and like always, it's better than Christmas. Everything went swimmingly that I experienced... Except for a couple of things...

    1) Console Tournaments need to be run A LOT better. This was my second year in a row competing in the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle tournament, and both times, it seemed like it was thrown together last minute, as if they forgot they had to run a tournament. This time around, they had forgotten to actually unlock the levels to play, so they had us wait an hour past the "start" time to get it set up. They only used one TV for 30 people, with two people on at a time. I was literally sitting there from 12 to 2 by the time I actually got to play. It wasted my time and I will never go to a console tournament until those who run them actually want to prepare for them.

    2) Nintendo is the Disney of video games. Obviously every gamer wants to get into their booth. So shouldn't their's be bigger so that they don't have a 3 hour wait? And last year when there was no wait, there were massive crowds shoved in one tiny space. They need a bigger booth.

    The size of the nintendo booth is on nintendo. They are the ones to lobby for a bigger booth or more staff.

    rtm416
  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered 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)

    Cannot agree with this. Lotteries due to being random, even with some weight system, will always leave someone that really wanted in out and someone that was barely interested but entered the lottery just because in. I would be OK with a system similar to the way PS VR was doing, which is a phone sign up. Probably open up sign ups for panels 1-2 hours before they happen so people cannot just spam a bunch of panel sign ups while waiting on the queue line early in the morning.

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  • akbogertakbogert Registered User regular
    SinoSamba wrote: »

    Cannot agree with this. Lotteries due to being random, even with some weight system, will always leave someone that really wanted in out and someone that was barely interested but entered the lottery just because in. I would be OK with a system similar to the way PS VR was doing, which is a phone sign up. Probably open up sign ups for panels 1-2 hours before they happen so people cannot just spam a bunch of panel sign ups while waiting on the queue line early in the morning.

    I'm for anything that moves us away from having to stand/sit in one spot for hours. Making a panel's queue digital and clearly signaling its opening time ahead of time seems like it would be a significant improvement. That said, the follow-up concern is whether it is fair to require everyone who hopes to get into a panel to have a phone/device with good connection service on their person AT the center day-of. That's the main reason I'm suggesting it be done in advance of the actual con. Flawed or not, though, I definitely think it's a better idea than what we have.

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  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    davidt93 wrote: »
    1) Console Tournaments need to be run A LOT better. This was my second year in a row competing in the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle tournament, and both times, it seemed like it was thrown together last minute, as if they forgot they had to run a tournament. This time around, they had forgotten to actually unlock the levels to play, so they had us wait an hour past the "start" time to get it set up. They only used one TV for 30 people, with two people on at a time. I was literally sitting there from 12 to 2 by the time I actually got to play. It wasted my time and I will never go to a console tournament until those who run them actually want to prepare for them.

    All tournaments need to step up their game. VR, console, handheld. Tabletop seemed to be OK.

    VR - had only gold medals
    Console/Handheld - not letting people know of official rules/us having to inquire and enforcers shrugging and saying OK

    If I am playing in a tournament, I want to know all of the rules so that things are even throughout. Our first round of Mario Kart 7 had AI drivers when it wasn't supposed to. Tony Hawk 2 was fine, but one enforcer wasn't so sure on what game type we were using and didn't understand the game. Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball games were so quick and if we didn't inquire, would've been one and done and not best of 3.

    And let people know what they are playing for. If I had known I wouldn't receive a medal for getting second in the Audioshield VR tourney, I probably would've played in something else.

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  • SnowDogSnowDog Central MARegistered User regular
    Zombiewski wrote: »
    And they continue to do BS like open a line behind people who've been waiting for 30 minutes, so people who just arrived can walk right in.

    From the standpoint of line management, this isn't BS. They don't care how long you've been waiting, they just want to get people moving.

    We had a situation on Saturday where they shuttled a bunch of us through a side door (valet parking door) ahead of other people in line. I'm sure we got some nasty looks. In the end, we ended up walking underneath the BCEC through the parking area and back outside to line up by the food truck door. I think we ended up waiting longer than we would have if we hadn't been shuttled "ahead". But that was the most efficient way for the BCEC to move people around. Their goal isn't to maximize your fun, their goal is to minimize chaos.



    Le_Goat
  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    I have found that tournaments are hit & miss based on the individual enforcer/s running the specific tournament. I attended a bomberman tournament at prime 3 years ago and it was a chaotic mess. The enforcer didn't have consistent rules and there was no organization on who was participating. Then the following year it was much better. Unless PAX itself specifically lays out a set of ground rules on how each individual game tournament runs (based specifically on how that game plays) that the enforcers can follow this problem won't improve. Leaving it up to individual enforcers on how their game tournament should run will leave it in this wild west style that people are complaining about. Some will be good, some will be bad.

  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    Also did PAX finally do away with swag bags? I don't think I saw any at east this year and no one is complaining about them. Man I'm a sad puppy, it was kind of a cool tradition to have people complain about swag bags at the end of PAX each year lol :)

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    PurpleSky wrote: »
    Also did PAX finally do away with swag bags? I don't think I saw any at east this year and no one is complaining about them. Man I'm a sad puppy, it was kind of a cool tradition to have people complain about swag bags at the end of PAX each year lol :)
    The swag bags seem to have been permanently moved to the lower level outside the queue room. You didn't miss much, so don't fret, unless you like the unique Super Fight cards.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
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  • nevereatshreddedwheatnevereatshreddedwheat Registered User new member
    edited March 15
    The concert situation didn't impress me again this year. Is there a reason MC Frontalot has to play every PAX East? Don't want to bash the guy, but even if I was a fan I think at this point I wouldn't be that excited about seeing him again and again. It would be nice to get some new blood in.

    nevereatshreddedwheat on
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  • mightypantsmightypants Registered User new member
    1. I understand the trickiness of scheduling, but would loooove to see PAX East move back to April. Last year was so glorious.
    2. I also felt the panels looked less appealing this year (can't say they were less good, because I didn't go to any!). I suppose this isn't all that "constructive," since I suppose this depends largely on people's submissions, which are out of your control.
    3. How about standup comedy in place of some portion of the concerts? I know it's been suggested before, and I think the response (during a Q&A) was something like "we're not...against it, but...shrug." I think it would be a really nice contrast. Comedians who come to mind who may be a good topic match (i.e. they talk about nerd things) for the show: Kumail Nanjiani, Dan Telfer.

    All that said, the things that make PAX awesome were still awesome for me, so thanks for all the awesome.

  • FunnelKing27FunnelKing27 Registered User regular
    Make the Swag bag an actual bag. Like those giant sexy overwatch bags everyone was walking around with.
    The swag bags are a waste of paper and plastic as they stand. They were not even worth picking up. I saw a suggestion earlier to put bags around the con so people would be less inclined to bring a bag through security. Just give everybody a nice empty bag AS the swag bag and eliminiate plastic swag bags filled with poop , boom! 2 birds 1 stone lol.

    Con was great this year. I dont have many negatives. I wish there were some better console games on the expo floor. All the best games were PC and I suck with a keyboard & mouse lol(still gave them a go). But I know that is just the industry right now. I also want to say that against popular opinion. I miss RIOT and the chaos they brought. I miss all of their awesome cosplays.
    Twitch Prime lounge and free coat check were both great. Thank you Twitch.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    This was the first year I went that I didn't attend any concerts. I understand that the JoCo cruise had a bunch of talent on it and crossed over with PAX so maybe that impacted things? I think my issue is more that there wasn't anything light hearted/fun to replace the Paul and Storm type of show.

    I could be wrong from the descriptors but I think 4 of the 6 acts were video game cover acts? Videri String, Bit Brigade, One Ups, and Viking Guitar all sound like they are at their cores, covers of video game music in creative forms. Nothing against that, but it's just not my idea of a good variety even if they are different in styles. East 2013 stood out to me, where one night we had Sam Hart (who was wonderful), Frontalot, Paul and Storm and JoCo. I know some people have gotten bored of those acts but at least they are fun, and super accessible to a wide variety of people.


  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Fantastic Registered User, Moderator mod
    Keep in mind Reed got space for East at the BCEC for the next ten years or so back in 2011 or 2012, I think. They took whatever dates they could get, including the infamous PAX Easter which overlapped with Anime Boston.

    Looking at dates for the next decade, they seem to have significantly more late march/early april dates.

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    Le_GoatConsti2tionstardust462TopherRocks
  • klzklz Registered User regular
    akbogert wrote: »
    SinoSamba wrote: »

    Cannot agree with this. Lotteries due to being random, even with some weight system, will always leave someone that really wanted in out and someone that was barely interested but entered the lottery just because in. I would be OK with a system similar to the way PS VR was doing, which is a phone sign up. Probably open up sign ups for panels 1-2 hours before they happen so people cannot just spam a bunch of panel sign ups while waiting on the queue line early in the morning.

    I'm for anything that moves us away from having to stand/sit in one spot for hours. Making a panel's queue digital and clearly signaling its opening time ahead of time seems like it would be a significant improvement. That said, the follow-up concern is whether it is fair to require everyone who hopes to get into a panel to have a phone/device with good connection service on their person AT the center day-of. That's the main reason I'm suggesting it be done in advance of the actual con. Flawed or not, though, I definitely think it's a better idea than what we have.

    Memories of how bad the Pax East ticket sale went the year they told everyone 24 hours ahead that passes would hit at a specific time, Comic Con pass buying experiences (San Diego and NY) and sales for popular concerts would argue that this is not a good idea. It's still a lottery with servers melting down for specific panels, or worse, if you do that for all of the panels at the same time. The scale may be smaller, but if even 20,000 people hit the servers at the same time to sign up for a signing, I'd argue there isn't much infrastructure that you could have on demand like that that could handle that kind of crush fairly. Then you need someone to manage the queue and validate who is actually supposed to be there, overstressing the already overworked Enforcers. I'd argue it would cause far more work for little to no benefit.

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    While akbogert's idea is interesting and worth considering, I can easily see how the topic will totally derail this thread. I'd be curious to see it further explained and debated in another thread, one that I would partake in. I personally have held back from responding anymore because it would shift the thread's topic away from Constructive Feedback and solely on How to Handle Panel Attendance better.

    Just an idea. No harm intended.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
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    akbogertltgrunt
  • deestardeestar [E]nforcer PAXEast Vermont Registered User regular
    edited March 15
    Keroan wrote: »
    Con was great this year. I dont have many negatives. I wish there were some better console games on the expo floor. All the best games were PC and I suck with a keyboard & mouse lol(still gave them a go). But I know that is just the industry right now. I also want to say that against popular opinion. I miss RIOT and the chaos they brought. I miss all of their awesome cosplays.
    Twitch Prime lounge and free coat check were both great. Thank you Twitch.

    This isn't really a requirement for PC gaming anymore, almost all of the games I have in my Steam/Origin/Good Old Games libraries are compatible with a 360/XB1/PS3/PS4 controller all you have to do is plug and play.

    deestar on
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  • akbogertakbogert Registered User regular
    edited March 15
    klz wrote: »
    akbogert wrote: »
    SinoSamba wrote: »

    Cannot agree with this. Lotteries due to being random, even with some weight system, will always leave someone that really wanted in out and someone that was barely interested but entered the lottery just because in. I would be OK with a system similar to the way PS VR was doing, which is a phone sign up. Probably open up sign ups for panels 1-2 hours before they happen so people cannot just spam a bunch of panel sign ups while waiting on the queue line early in the morning.

    I'm for anything that moves us away from having to stand/sit in one spot for hours. Making a panel's queue digital and clearly signaling its opening time ahead of time seems like it would be a significant improvement. That said, the follow-up concern is whether it is fair to require everyone who hopes to get into a panel to have a phone/device with good connection service on their person AT the center day-of. That's the main reason I'm suggesting it be done in advance of the actual con. Flawed or not, though, I definitely think it's a better idea than what we have.

    Memories of how bad the Pax East ticket sale went the year they told everyone 24 hours ahead that passes would hit at a specific time, Comic Con pass buying experiences (San Diego and NY) and sales for popular concerts would argue that this is not a good idea. It's still a lottery with servers melting down for specific panels, or worse, if you do that for all of the panels at the same time. The scale may be smaller, but if even 20,000 people hit the servers at the same time to sign up for a signing, I'd argue there isn't much infrastructure that you could have on demand like that that could handle that kind of crush fairly. Then you need someone to manage the queue and validate who is actually supposed to be there, overstressing the already overworked Enforcers. I'd argue it would cause far more work for little to no benefit.

    I don't care how bad the experience is -- telling people in advance when ticket sales will open is still fairer than springing it in the middle of a work day with no warning. Certain people will always have an unfair advantage getting into the con under that system. If anything, I'd argue for using the same proposed lottery system for getting PAX passes at all -- give people a period of time to enter for them (say, 24 hours) and then alert people they've won & have 24 hours to confirm/pay or lose their slot(s). Server crush goes away and everyone who wanted to try to go to PAX had an equal chance to do so. No one will ever convince me that someone with the ability to hover their feeds all afternoon deserves to go to PAX more than someone who might be at work in a meeting when tickets go live, after all.

    But as for panels, you've raised a valid point that I honestly haven't considered thoroughly enough. I suppose in my head, you'd be mailed wristbands or something coordinated with the panels you had been preapproved for, but I can see how that'd be more costly/complicated than I'd initially thought. Such a system would avoid the extra stress on enforcers -- pretty easy sight-check as people walk slowly by -- but might be prohibitively expensive to implement. I'll have to think more on the topic but for now that does seem to be a dealbreaker.

    ETA: I agree with Le_goat that at this point the discussion has taken enough space here. I'll justify keeping this particular response in place because it entails a separate, if related suggestion, to implement a lottery system for PAX tickets themselves (indicating how many tickets, up to 4, one would like if securing an early enough position to get any).

    akbogert on
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  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    Look, the ticket situation has been debated over and over since the very first PAX West and it's not going to change. There's been years I got 3 day passes and years I could only get a Friday or Sunday. I've been attending east since the beginning and have to say that the only time ticketing was really screwed up was when they announce them a day ahead. I hate twitter, but the only time I use it is after PAX West (or if they say don't worry, tickets wont go on sale on this certain month. I kind of have a system now. There are programs that monitor the ticket sight, twitter emails me and texts me, not to mention a small network of friends I've formed that all stalk the sight and have formed a text group that shoots out texts to everyone in the group. I guess you have to do the best with what you have.

    klz
  • yutani sanyutani san MaineRegistered User regular
    I have been going since 2013 and I'd rate this year as mediocre.

    The GOOD:

    1) Twitch Prime Lounge - Im so sad to see a lot of hate on Twitch. The lounge especially was so generous of them to offer to congoers. It was relaxing. I went multiple times a day and always found a place to sit within a few minutes. I got cold drinks and snacks. The day they had the pretzels and cheese was awesome, among like 10 other snack choices. It was a "cool" place to chill, and I really appreciated having it. Thank you Twitch for doing it.

    2) Enforcers and Security Staff - Enforcers were great, I found no one was rude and shouty like in years prior. They were efficient at moving people blocking the way and were even helpful with finding places to stand safely, for example during raffles. The security staff doing bag checks was as fast as their could be, and I have a ton of respect for them remaining professional and quick during the nasty cold weather. I also noticed a lot of cops walking around inside the convention. I never noticed that before, but it felt really safe.

    3) Food Trucks - Always teh best. Sad I couldn't enjoy them as much this year because of the weather I bought food inside a few times unfortunately.

    4) Scheduled Demos - I LOVED this. I signed up for an Oculus demo, PS VR and Crash Bandicoot. I didn't have to wait in lines, I just signed up when I needed to and got to spend my time otherwise. I know not everyone can do this and you have to be quick, but if you put in the work, its worth it. Id love to see other booths adapt these models. Anything to avoid a 3 hour line.

    5) The shuttles - Great as always. This year however it did feel like I was waiting longer for shuttles to show up and to get going. Its possible there were less because of the weather on Friday. Also, I wish on Sunday shuttles were going all day. Its so bizzare to me that they stop in the afternoon. Id like to leave a bit sooner so I can make it home at a reasonable hour.

    The BAD:

    1) The Panels - Now, this is going to be subjective. I didn't go to a single panel this year. The only one I wanted to go to was Mega 64 and you scheduled it for Sunday afternoon at 4:30... the reality is a lot of people have to head out to make their planes / trains / busses home. For a panel that is always filled to capacity and has to turn people away, I think this was scheduled at a terrible time. I couldn't find any other panels that were interesting enough for me to attend, compared to previous years when I can easily want to go to 2-3 a day. Not sure Pax can do anything about this, but just my thoughts.

    2) The Expo Floor - Again something that isn't really what Pax can fix, but there was nothing BIG this year. No fancy attractive booths. Everything was very toned down and boring. Compared to previous years, this was the worst expo floor in my time at Pax. I miss Riot so much, and I know many people don't, but it's been going downhill since they left, and with them gone entirely this year, there was a feeling missing from the atmosphere. Also, Blizzard only having merch was very sad. The indy section was pretty good though, and I thought the actual layouts were really good.

    3) Pax XP prizes - I didnt realize all I would get was a tiny carabiner for running around scanning those stations. I really enjoyed the hunt, but the prize should be better. How about an exclusive pinny or something? Please make it worthwhile. THe prize towers were cool, but handing out a non-unique code as a prize was not cool either. I won 2 water bottles all weekend.

  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Just a quick reminder for the folks that commented in this thread to also fill the survey. I got mine today and pasted some of my forum comments in it.

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  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Fantastic Registered User, Moderator mod
    Positives
    • Expo Hall seemed real organized this year. Foot traffic flowed real smoothly, and there were fewer booths with congestion.
    • Letting people in early on Saturday and Sunday was an A+ move
    • Food at the convention isn't perfect, but lines seemed manageable this year. Food trucks likely helped.
    • Swag bags were somewhat better, possessing actual games and beta invites.
    • Enforcers were helpful, as always.
    • Pins not being available on Friday sucked, but picking them up on Saturday was a breeze.
      Free coat check worked significantly better than I expected. The line was relatively fast for a cold weekend like this, and I had no issues.

    Negatives
    • Exits from the convention center were a pain. Food trucks are RIGHT there, we have two ways out of the building, and yet we're told to go back to the front entrance and go all the way around to the trucks. This was super obnoxious, and if you're going to have just one exit then put the food trucks there.
    • PAX XP is an enormous pain to do. Besides the scanner now making lines for XP a thing (because we need more of those), you also have to do them in a specific order. People behind this need to understand that we have one weekend, and that most people don't want to spend it figuring out which order to scan their badge at some kiosks. I feel it's overcomplicating a fun, simple game to play while walking around.
    • Again, the swag bag still feels weak. I want keychains and widgets as opposed to a bag full of cards, 90% of which are just ads/coupons. It depresses me seeing newbies sit in line for these things, knowing they're going to be pissed when they finally get it. Seriously, just mercy kill it.

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  • Consti2tionConsti2tion Registered User regular
    edited March 16
    My Biggest Complaint for this convention... Handing out what I'm 99.99% certain was supposed to go in the swag bags, as an ' Instant Win ' prize for the Prize towers. Those Ubisoft For Honor credits are pretty much useless.

    I definitely would like to see a unique PAX XP Pinny Arcade Pin for completing the story next year instead of a useless carabiner which I have dozens of already.

    Consti2tion on
  • BlitherPantsBlitherPants Registered User regular
    edited March 16
    We only went on Saturday. Just a few things:

    + The Thrown Controllers panel was great and high-energy. Definitely would love to see more like that!

    + Thanks for letting us in quickly on Saturday! The wind was killer >.<

    + I don't know if BCEC temperature is something PAX staff has any control over, but this year it was considerably less sweltering than previous years. It could also be because of the winds blasting in whenever a door was open, but it was really nice :+1:

    - The center is probably booked years in advance, but, March is not a good month for PAX East because the weather can be pretty awful. Last April was great, and two years ago, well, we all remember Snowmageddon...

    - Since Sm4sh is such a popular game, maybe you could hold more than one (or a larger) tournament for it? I didn't get to sign up because it was full within fifteen minutes and I was really looking forward to it.

    - Bag check also filled too quickly, so we ended up carrying a big gym bag with our very heavy winter coats all day.

    - The one panel we sat in line for, the Enforcers kept forcing us to stand up whenever we sat down. I found this to be unnecessary because the line had already packed tightly and it wouldn't need to move any time soon. At the end of the day, your feet really start to hurt :\



    Anyway, sorry for whining, thanks a lot, and I'll hopefully see you all next year! ^-^

    BlitherPants on
  • melzwaymelzway Registered User regular
    This was my 5th PAX East and I really have no major complaints. The Enforcers are always helpful and pleasant. The Expo Hall was fairly easy to navigate. I just had an incident in the Merch-lite line which stressed me out but I was able to get what I wanted with no problems. It would be nice to have the classic arcade back.

  • Cobalt BlueCobalt Blue Registered User regular
    edited March 17
    My friends and I had an amazing time at PAX! We're still going back and forth between talking about what happened this year and plans for next year :)


    PROS:
    • Early entry - Thanks a ton for letting us crazies enter the building early on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Expo room flow - The traffic seemed to flow pretty well in the expo this year. I think I only got 'trapped' in traffic once or twice, that's progress.
    • Twitch - I've seen people here and elsewhere railing on Twitch and that's just madness. One of the major forces in gaming showing such substantial support for PAX is a GOOD thing. I get if you're not into meeting streamers - neither am I. But everything I love about PAX was still here so.. no harm there. The lounge was really nice, and coat check on the house, yes please. To some extent, I question whether the Twitch meet+greet belongs in the expo hall, as nothing is being expoed, and is the cacophony of the expo hall really the place you want to have a chit-chat? But the other Twitch booth, where indie devs are given a spotlight to show their stuff, is unequivocally awesome and should not be underestimated.
    • Console freeplay - had all of the new releases I was hoping to take for a test drive. Yay! No Nintendo Switch but that's understandable.
    • EVE Online panel - I know PAX are not the ones putting on the panels, but I had to shout this one out anyway - maybe my favorite panel ever!


    CONS:
    • Classic Arcade - Noooooooo! Where was this paradise of old-school gaming? I heard there was some last-minute snafu, so I am dearly hoping this was a one-time absence.
    • PAX XP - Nitpicking here, but this version was not that fun compared to previous years. With the old school game, there were various ways a QR code could be 'hidden' in the conference, it made for a rewarding hunt
    • Outside line shenanigans - New lines for recent comers, and bag people checking in the no-bag line. Stop with this. If you open a new line, pull people from the front of the lines who were waiting. If shenanigans become the norm, then people might not behave so orderly in line.

    Cobalt Blue on
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