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Constructive Feedback - West 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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Posts

  • krae_mankrae_man Registered User regular
    One thing I would suggest, is put a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the swag bags. Sony does this at PSX. It's great, I love the thing. Sell ad space on the bottle instead of a stupid flyer nobody is going to bother reading to help cover the cost.

    I also found the game and panel selection to be lacking this year. That ebbs and flows and is dependent on individual tastes so I'm not sure what can be done about that.

    I had terrible experiences with all the after parties I went to this year(especially the Bioshock Party) but that's not something PAX can do anything about.

    Also, can you make Seattle cheaper please?

    Rhea_starstormCanderson1989LazorzHeadhunter
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 6
    Pros:
    *The Witcher panel was fantastic
    *Enforcers were super friendly and helpful
    *Pax lines update in the app was great
    *Loved the charging station for devices in the handheld lounge.

    Cons:
    *Scaplers- one of them got into freeway park/outside line for expo hall before con opened- not sure if PAX can do anything about this but its super annoying
    * Lots of Sophie's choice(s) on panels at the same time- I realize this is done on purpose but it would be possible if all the panels could be recorded for later viewing rather than just a few theatres.
    *Nintendo Minute Panel should have been in the main threatre imo rather than in the Hydra.
    *Missed WOTC presence, cascade games didnt have a good magic the gathering selection (its been a tradition in the past to pick up an event deck at pax)
    *Some vendors had misleading price signs (bought a book for 30ish that was 15 & up, not under the 25 & up sign)
    *Idk if pax controls this but being an Oregonian I appericate when vendors include tax in the price, rayher than adding it on at the end

    Rhea_starstorm on
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    krae_man wrote: »
    One thing I would suggest, is put a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the swag bags. Sony does this at PSX. It's great, I love the thing. Sell ad space on the bottle instead of a stupid flyer nobody is going to bother reading to help cover the cost.

    I also found the game and panel selection to be lacking this year. That ebbs and flows and is dependent on individual tastes so I'm not sure what can be done about that.

    I had terrible experiences with all the after parties I went to this year(especially the Bioshock Party) but that's not something PAX can do anything about.

    Also, can you make Seattle cheaper please?

    Just wondering what happened with the Bioshock party? I had a ticket but skipped it, mainly because they oversold tickets.

  • hobbseltoffhobbseltoff Sammamish, WARegistered User regular
    Posting here for a friend. He was cosplaying as Boba Fett and had made a prop rifle to carry around. The rifle followed all the rules and was approved by the info desk when he arrived at PAX. He then went to the Hyatt to watch a panel and was denied entry to the building by the hotel security due to his prop rifle. PAX needs to coordinate with the satellite venues to make sure things like this don't happen as this is pretty unacceptable.

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  • krae_mankrae_man Registered User regular
    edited September 5

    Just wondering what happened with the Bioshock party? I had a ticket but skipped it, mainly because they oversold tickets.

    I got in line 3 hours early and was about 120th in line. We were told about 400 people were getting in. When the doors opened I was about 200th in line due to Cosplayers getting bumped to the front of the line. Okay still no biggie. But an hour after the party started the line had still barely moved. Whatever security they had was slow as molasses. They had 3 lines going(regular, cosplay, VIP) and it was just a giant logjam at the door that was taking forever.

    The other thing that happened is the invites specifically said "No bags allowed" so myself and most of the people in the line read the instructions and didn't bring bags. Well tons of people didn't read. Someone came out and told everyone sorry your bags are not going to be allowed, we're not budging on this and gave them all a wristband. Was the wristband to get back to their spot in line after they dropped their bag back off at home? Nope, it was to cut to the front of the line and go right on in to the party when it started. People who didn't read got to cut the line and everyone else got screwed. I bailed after waiting about 75 minutes after it started and almost 4 and a half hours total.

    People working the event kept coming out to count the line too and at no point did any of them say "We screwed up. You're not getting in. You might as well leave. Sorry"

    krae_man on
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    krae_man wrote: »

    Just wondering what happened with the Bioshock party? I had a ticket but skipped it, mainly because they oversold tickets.

    I got in line 3 hours early and was about 120th in line. We were told about 400 people were getting in. When the doors opened I was about 200th in line due to Cosplayers getting bumped to the front of the line. Okay still no biggie. But an hour after the party started the line had still barely moved. Whatever security they had was slow as molasses. They had 3 lines going(regular, cosplay, VIP) and it was just a giant logjam at the door that was taking forever.

    The other thing that happened is the invites specifically said "No bags allowed" so myself and most of the people in the line read the instructions and didn't bring bags. Well tons of people didn't read. Someone came out and told everyone sorry your bags are not going to be allowed, we're not budging on this and gave them all a wristband. Was the wristband to get back to their spot in line after they dropped their bag back off at home? Nope, it was to cut to the front of the line and go right on in to the party when it started. People who didn't read got to cut the line and everyone else got screwed. I bailed after waiting about 75 minutes after it started and almost 4 and a half hours total.

    People working the event kept coming out to count the line too and at no point did any of them say "We screwed up. You're not getting in. You might as well leave. Sorry"

    wow sounds like a mess.

    vespachica
  • RavenHuskyRavenHusky Registered User regular
    Like I said last year, either increase the quality of the swag bags, or do away with them entirely. With the Neo PAX Sivir skin codes and maybe the Superfight cards being the only worthwhile items in the bag, it's likely better to let the respective developers hand them out to make sure that it is only one per person, as well as to avoid situations like this where unwanted items are just being thrown away.

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  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    RavenHusky wrote: »
    Like I said last year, either increase the quality of the swag bags, or do away with them entirely. With the Neo PAX Sivir skin codes and maybe the Superfight cards being the only worthwhile items in the bag, it's likely better to let the respective developers hand them out to make sure that it is only one per person, as well as to avoid situations like this where unwanted items are just being thrown away.

    Agree, I didn't even bother getting a swag vag this year because its been all ads for the last few years

  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    Here's my take on PAX West 2017:

    Pros:

    1) Better layout of the expo hall with a reduced number of games that were of higher quality.
    2) Access to expo hall split into two entrances and not just one.
    3) Tabletop gaming area spread into Levels 2 and 3 as well as the Olive 8 Hotel was a good move as it raised their profile.
    4) Relocation of the Media room back into the Annex makes a great deal more sense and helped a lot with using it as a base (this is a little niche I know, but it's important to note).
    5) Having the VR and swag bag pick up over at the Westin is a good idea and should be maintained until the extension to the WSCC is constructed.

    Cons:

    a) Security for WSCC remains a problem; they can very extremely zealous at times with enforcers and 2-3 security staff checking my badge to the point of questioning why was it yellow.
    b) PAX Unplugged cannibalised a lot of tabletop from PAX West, which is a shame but predicable. Wizards of the Coast and Paizo were notable for their absence. Similarly the independent RPG sessions that were a lot of fun at PAX West 2016.
    c) Aggressive ticket touts remain a problem to the point of one woman being confronted by two of them as she tried to sell a Saturday ticket. She was so cowed by the experience she refused to sell to either of them as she ran off into the WSCC. She vanished into the venue before I could get to her to see if she was OK.
    d) Nintendo need to get over themselves with the whole 'you need to line up for 3 hours and get a permit before you can even think about going to our booth.' At least that the impression I got from them, hence me ignoring them completely.

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    Rhea_starstorm
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    kropotkin wrote: »
    Here's my take on PAX West 2017:

    Pros:

    1) Better layout of the expo hall with a reduced number of games that were of higher quality.
    2) Access to expo hall split into two entrances and not just one.
    3) Tabletop gaming area spread into Levels 2 and 3 as well as the Olive 8 Hotel was a good move as it raised their profile.
    4) Relocation of the Media room back into the Annex makes a great deal more sense and helped a lot with using it as a base (this is a little niche I know, but it's important to note).
    5) Having the VR and swag bag pick up over at the Westin is a good idea and should be maintained until the extension to the WSCC is constructed.

    Cons:

    a) Security for WSCC remains a problem; they can very extremely zealous at times with enforcers and 2-3 security staff checking my badge to the point of questioning why was it yellow.
    b) PAX Unplugged cannibalised a lot of tabletop from PAX West, which is a shame but predicable. Wizards of the Coast and Paizo were notable for their absence. Similarly the independent RPG sessions that were a lot of fun at PAX West 2016.
    c) Aggressive ticket touts remain a problem to the point of one woman being confronted by two of them as she tried to sell a Saturday ticket. She was so cowed by the experience she refused to sell to either of them as she ran off into the WSCC. She vanished into the venue before I could get to her to see if she was OK.
    d) Nintendo need to get over themselves with the whole 'you need to line up for 3 hours and get a permit before you can even think about going to our booth.' At least that the impression I got from them, hence me ignoring them completely.

    I had no problem getting into the nintendo booth on saturday without a fast pass. I thought it worked alot better than them just allowing people to swarm then booth like in the past. They also were accomadating to one woman with a medical badge and made it a priority to let her play metroid. Sad to hear you had a bad exp with them.

  • RedtailRedtail Registered User regular
    I had a great time for my 5th PAX, I also brought a friend along for his first convention ever who was a bit overwhelmed but still had a good time.
    Pros:

    Cons:
    *Scaplers- one of them got into freeway park/outside line for expo hall before con opened- not sure if PAX can do anything about this but its super annoying

    On Saturday morning there was a scalper walking up along the 9th street queue trying to buy and sell. Then on Sunday morning there was one walking around and IN the line. I figure the park is probably a public space and you cannot prevent someone from walking around, but this guy was walking around and trying to buy/sell and pushing around in a already packed line. It's pretty annoying and my friend was surprised that the scalpers are allowed to be so bold.

    Rhea_starstorm
  • Bladed CicadaBladed Cicada Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    Still love the people - the developers, attendees, booth workers etc. But I think, for me at least, Reedpop has done to PAX what AEG did to bumbershoot. Just another con/festival that is run as a business first. Both started as events for the people, and largely, by the people and have now become huge cash grabs that would downgrade the experience if it helps the bottom line. Both have had huge increases in being focused on marketing and consuming. The people on the ground work hard to make events like these happen and it makes me just a liiitttle miffed when their passions are exploited for the monetary gain of a few people at the top that couldn't care less about their respective fields.

    Bladed Cicada on
    jamsyarbots
  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    Pros:
    *Pax lines update in the app was great

    Cons:
    *Missed WOTC presence, cascade games didnt have a good magic the gathering selection (its been a tradition in the past to pick up an event deck at pax)

    Those were two big ones for me as well. Loved the line updates and severely missed WoTC and wish they would have continued off of last years D&D Acq Inc floor.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the Pinny Pals After Dark panel, should continue to include that community into more of the official panels/events.

  • KuroFluffKuroFluff Registered User new member
    I was volunteering to facilitate a half-dozen story games at Indie Games on Demand only to hear that is got canceled this year (and only a few weeks before PAX started). I met at least half a dozen people who lamented that there were no (or at least very few) role playing games. Really hope Indie Games can return next year.
    This was my first PAX and that was the only sour note. Otherwise, I enjoyed PAX a lot. Well organized.

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    Redtail wrote: »
    I had a great time for my 5th PAX, I also brought a friend along for his first convention ever who was a bit overwhelmed but still had a good time.
    Pros:

    Cons:
    *Scaplers- one of them got into freeway park/outside line for expo hall before con opened- not sure if PAX can do anything about this but its super annoying

    On Saturday morning there was a scalper walking up along the 9th street queue trying to buy and sell. Then on Sunday morning there was one walking around and IN the line. I figure the park is probably a public space and you cannot prevent someone from walking around, but this guy was walking around and trying to buy/sell and pushing around in a already packed line. It's pretty annoying and my friend was surprised that the scalpers are allowed to be so bold.

    I think the most ridiculous of this was there was a guy walking the will call line on Thursday trying to get passes. Like, sir, we don't even have them ourselves, much less want to sell them to you. I saw another guy who, for better worse, wanted to grab a pass from one of these guys one day, and he was told "No, I'm not selling them. Only buying them." Why? Just so you can give them to one of the other scalpers standing out front with a huge stack in their hands? I know the scalpers are out of PAX's control, but it just seemed like they were especially aggressive this year.

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    Rhea_starstormvid
  • alchahestalchahest Edmonton, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Pros:
    - Everyone I shared a line with was friendly
    - As always, I love seeing the indie games and smaller companies get a chance to show off their amazing new products.
    - Olive 8 game testing was a really interesting experience and I hope they got as much value from the feedback as we got fun from playing
    - I don't know if it's the CDN dollar being more favorable this year than it was last year but I felt I got a lot more value out of food purchases than I did last year
    - One of the Uncle Games employees had some burritos in hand, and I asked where she'd gotten them - she instead just handed them to me and said she'd bought too many and my friend and I could have them
    - the Cosplay was incredible, fantastic work everyone who put in all that time and effort.



    Cons:
    - Extremely warm in almost every area of WSCC (Except skybridge)
    - Things like the board game stores really don't offer incentives to buy while at pax - if I can get something cheaper at home and there's no pax exclusive. I did buy at Uncle Games, because the staff is friendly (and loaded with spare burritos), but, I didn't feel encouraged to purchase from other vendors
    - Swag Bags are 90% advertising. At least this year some of it was applicable to me (the sivir skin)
    - (this is not PAX's fault) Riot's party was at a venue with a capacity of 1100 people. Whoever made that decision for hosting an in demand party for the most profitable game in the world with live music should re-examine their career choice. They could have made so much more money at a larger venue.
    - Media cutting lines - A better system would be having proxies taking up a normal spot in line and swapping in the media once they've reached the front of the line. Makes us paying congoers feel kind of garbage to know our eyes on a thing isn't valuable to exhibitors.

    Rhea_starstorm
  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    alchahest wrote: »
    Cons:
    - Extremely warm in almost every area of WSCC (Except skybridge)
    - Things like the board game stores really don't offer incentives to buy while at pax - if I can get something cheaper at home and there's no pax exclusive. I did buy at Uncle Games, because the staff is friendly (and loaded with spare burritos), but, I didn't feel encouraged to purchase from other vendors
    On part 1. It was WELL above average temperature for Seattle this year. The average high is usually 12-13 degrees cooler than it was this year.

    Part 2. It all depends on the vendor. Flying Frog Productions were giving PAX exclusive content and while there games were slightly higher than Amazon/Online, you could than get add-ons for 50% off, saving up to $40 there.

    Spokane_SnowMan on
  • sediroxsedirox Registered User regular
    Props to @Official_PAX for toning down the "PAX West is xx% complete" tweets this year!

    Visual line updates in the app was A+ too!

    RiDEIncreaseBlueevery day's greatPavioBladed CicadaMadpoetCroatian Sensationjamsyarbots
  • IncarnadineIncarnadine Registered User regular
    alchahest wrote: »
    - Media cutting lines - A better system would be having proxies taking up a normal spot in line and swapping in the media once they've reached the front of the line. Makes us paying congoers feel kind of garbage to know our eyes on a thing isn't valuable to exhibitors.
    FYI, for anyone that doesn't know, this is entirely up to the individual exhibitors. Letting them know directly how this makes you feel is the only way to make it change.

    CKingRhea_starstormTOGSolid
  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    alchahest wrote: »
    - Media cutting lines - A better system would be having proxies taking up a normal spot in line and swapping in the media once they've reached the front of the line. Makes us paying congoers feel kind of garbage to know our eyes on a thing isn't valuable to exhibitors.
    FYI, for anyone that doesn't know, this is entirely up to the individual exhibitors. Letting them know directly how this makes you feel is the only way to make it change.

    And many times they are working on appointed times/schedules. IE media set up to try the demo at 2:30. So while it appears they are skipping the line, they just simply had a time slot they were put in.

    TOGSolid
  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    A con that I'm not sure anyone can really help: people stopping in the middle of the expo hall floor, or just not paying attention to what/who's around them. I couldn't tell if it was worse this year overall or if it was because this was my first year with a mobility device, but a lot of people either hurt themselves or me and I hate that either one happened.

    Something that probably can be helped, go back to no lining up for panels or autograph sessions more than 2 hours before they start, as well as no loitering. I loved when this was a thing, because I had plenty of time to wait in line on the expo floor for a demo or two and then I could shoot over to sit in line for a panel. Now it's either a panel or the expo hall.

    But overall, as usual, PAX was amazing and hubby and I had so much fun. Cannot wait for next year!

    vespachica
  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    CKing wrote: »
    A con that I'm not sure anyone can really help: people stopping in the middle of the expo hall floor, or just not paying attention to what/who's around them. I couldn't tell if it was worse this year overall or if it was because this was my first year with a mobility device, but a lot of people either hurt themselves or me and I hate that either one happened.
    I would say while overall it can't probably be helped, it may be a good idea to make the "don't stop in hallways" signs more all-encompassing. Right now they specifically only state "don't stop in the aisles for cosplay photos" but with all the cool booths and displays at PAX cosplay photos are certainly not the only reason someone would stop. I think generalized "no stopping in the aisles" signs may help, assuming people are giving them any mind in the first place of course.


    I don't have a big list of my own thoughts yet but something my whole group noted all weekend so I want to make it known was the almost complete lack of PAX banners this year. The ones hung up on lightposts around the general PAX area. Usually they're everywhere with a bunch of different slogans, but this year we hardly ever saw them, and I think there were 3 different slogans, tops. And when we did see them the layouts were awful, with sometimes 4 of the same sign in a cluster rather than rotating the different slogans like in years past. It was like someone had gotten a new deck of PAX signs and failed to shuffle them before putting them up. We actually have a tradition of taking a photo with one of the "Welcome Home" signs every year and we ended up not finding any until the last day, so while it worked out it was kind of stressing us out.

    CKingbacon_avenger
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Pros:

    *Idk if pax controls this but being an Oregonian I appericate when vendors include tax in the price, rayher than adding it on at the end

    To your last point, I believe it's up to the vendors. I know some vendors included everything in the price such as Bungie, while others added taxes at the end. I think it's a mixture of the vendors themselves being unsure about how it will total out properly or just sticking to their usual online tools to total, but I don't think it's a thing PAX controls.

    As for me, I felt that the line capping was really inconsistent this year. Yes, enforcers were better about shooing off line sharks, but I was consistently told to come back in five minutes and return to see 40+ people were let into the newly capped line. Granted this mostly happened at Monster Hunter and Square Enix (Evil Within and Bethesda surprisingly didn't have issues), but it was frustrating all the same.

    Also the PAX XP stuff confused the heck out of me this year. I didn't realize until Day 3 that there were multiple kiosks per stage number. Maybe I just didn't read into it enough? I know a lot of folks didn't understand the difference between those and the Direct TV towers either.

    That being said, I loved the Direct TV towers and visual line queues in the PAX West app. I thought organization wise a lot of things were solid this year. Standing outside waiting for Acquisitions in direct sunlight was a real bummer though. Granted that's out of PAX's control and the enforcers were handing out free water to folks like the awesome folks they were. Thanks everyone!

    IncreaseBlue on
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Overall PAX is awesome indeed - here are just a few comments and suggestions for increasing the awesome next year!!

    I was kind of shocked how so many formerly occupied tabletop locations in the convention center were empty!! Was this really killed by PAX Unplugged? If so, that seems like a major problem!! :(

    D&D was greatly missed!! Last year D&D Adventurer's League, Learn to Play, and Acquisitions Inc. internships were incredibly popular and filled up within minutes - it is almost Nintendo-like where something is so popular that you decide to discontinue it.

    So even if D&D was missing, then you can still play Pathfinder, right? No! For reasons unknown, Pathfinder society was also missing! Another awesome thing that was missing was Reaper's paint-your-own-miniature room - I missed that!! You could buy lots of tabletop RPG dice but the only semi-organized games seemed to be at the Classic RPG Library room, but that wasn't well-publicized and didn't seem designed to scale to more than a few tables and games. Self-organized RPG tables should definitely be promoted, facilitated, and expanded as well. Conventions are great for organized games, especially epic games, and I would love to see D&D return!!!

    Line tracking in the app is good, but the great thing about @PAX_Lines was that they used to notify you BEFORE the line filled up so you could get there in time!! The first tweet about the Nintendo Minute session was saying that the line was full. :( So... the app needs line notifications, desperately!!

    Speaking of which, the Nintendo Minute should definitely have been in the main theater anyway!! In general Nintendo stuff was a mess, with having to get there at 10:01 to get a My Nintendo slot so you could come back later in the day, to the Nindies Arcade not opening until 12 noon (who thought that was a good idea?) and then having a horribly slow 3+ hour line if you didn't manage to get one of the coveted My Nintendo slots.

    It was also kind of horrifying that the Acquisitions Inc. line opened up 3 hours before the start - do we really want a PAX where you have to burn 3 hours of prime gaming and fun time waiting in line? Fortunately you didn't really need to get in line until about an hour before, but 3 hours seems like a bad precedent. I hope it doesn't turn into 4 hours and doesn't spread to more sessions.

    I liked the new "strategy guide" map that was handed out - but the main event guide desperately needs a "welcome to PAX" letter at the very beginning of it to give it a friendly and personal feel and to convey the warmth and fun of PAX as soon as you open it up!!

    So the Switch seems like an almost perfect console for PAX!! I really wanted to see more pick up Switch gaming as well as 3DS gaming (and heck, PSVita as well for those of us who love that console) in the handheld area and in lines as well. Attendees, we need to step up our Switch game! Also I think that the handheld section could have helped to encourage, organize, and facilitate pick-up games. For example, having tables or flags that people could use to designate which multiplayer games they wanted to play or organize might help. Or even just having white boards showing what games were being played each hour, and if they had any slots left. Maybe there could have been some docking stations too, although I do note that the console area did have a bunch of Switch consoles set up for particular games. Also encouraging free play during the tournaments for each game might be a good idea, especially if that were advertised as well. I think some games are so popular (MarioKart, Splatoon, Super Smash Bros., Monster Hunter) that they kind of deserve dedicated time and space somewhere (maybe in some of the empty tabletop rooms?)

    I was also bummed that Bungie left early (4pm) on Sunday. Monday attendees obviously got left out as well as anyone who came later in the day on Sunday!! Isn't Bungie local anyway? It would be nice for Paramount exhibitors to stay for all of PAX!!

    I wish that Blizzard would come to PAX less rarely and have a larger/better presence. Or any presence at all, for that matter. I saw more Overwatch cosplay than anything else - it is a huge missed opportunity!!

    PAX XP was interesting but a mess - there were huge lines for the kiosks and sometimes the scans didn't work right. I kind of gave up on it after a while.

    I second the desire for more PAX banners outside the WSCC as well as more fun signage, game-related banners and displays in the WSCC itself!! It didn't feel as PAX-y as it had in the past, more generic!!

    @Official_PAX still tortures us with those awful "PAX is x% complete" tweets of gloom as well as annoying "sponsored" tweets which inexplicably lack the requisite #ad or #sponsored tag, making it harder to filter them. There are some (idiots) who like these tweets, but most people really hate them. :(

    Seattle was a lot warmer than it has been in previous years, which was nice, but it seemed really hot and humid inside as well!! The show floor got really unpleasantly hot, which was surprising!! The air conditioning didn't seem to be working well.

    By the way in general the main Expo hall seemed pretty great!! I for one welcome our giant Dragon and Dinosaur overlords!! There were a ton of great games and some really cool booths and displays. Lines were often capped which was frustrating, but I still ended up playing a bunch of games and getting some cool stuff.

    Co-locating most of the vendors on the 6th floor was actually not a terrible idea - I think it drove more traffic there, making it more crowded, but it was also nice to be able to shop in a single area. Also people probably buy more stuff that way!!

    Who knew that youtubers were apparently semi-celebrities - more power to them I guess? As long as they make people happy and expand the gaming community. But I would have liked to see more sessions devoted to the games themselves!! I always enjoy panels with developers and publishers, as well as panels about really great games that I might not have heard of.

    I am a bit put off by the marketing and promotion of Twitch, and even more by DirecTV and Geico, but I guess it pays the bills? On the other hand it is GREAT to be able to stream panels and also to watch them later in case you missed them!!! And Twitch is fine for that and greatly appreciated - in fact having more would be great!

    Swag bags. They are so sad. Slightly better than last year, but they seem to be dying, which is really too bad because they used to be really cool!! Make swag bags great again?

    Not a show attendance thing, but as I noted my hotel reservation vanished during the time I was entering my payment information. You should have at least a couple of minutes to do this, but instead it seems that your reservation can vanish while you're checking out! The badge sale seems to give you a reasonable amount of time to enter your credit card info, and it would be nice if onpeak could do something similar for the hotel reservations.

    every day's great on
    Bladed Cicada
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Also pretty much everyone who helps make PAX happen is part of the awesome and generally really positive. And, I really like the feel of a convention that isn't just for marketing and media but is actually for gaming fans!!

    Oh one more thing - it would be great to expand the preorders for PAX swag and merch! And can we get a set of RPG dice? Hmm.... :) Though I've given up on the LE pins after failing multiple days (and years) in a row (and also having to line up for the convention center vs. merch lite.)

    every day's great on
  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    I wonder if PAX deserves a dedicated cosplay photo area? They sort of seemed to be doing that in the park area but it was also full of smokers. I would have been psyched to see a dedicated overwatch photo op, for example.

    Rhea_starstormCanderson1989Redtail
  • CodextehFishCodextehFish Vancouver, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Pros:

    -The flow of the Expo hall. Even though there were still huge attention grabbers on the floor (looking at you, ARK dinosaurs and Monster Hunter dragon) it was much easier to move around than usual, to a point where my crew and I all commented that it felt less busy on the floor than usual.

    -The quality of the panels. I am not a huge fan of the samey-samey "here's how you get in to the industry" or "let us crow about how cool our kickstarter was" panels - I like panels where a question is posed and the panelists then try to answer. IE: I am a fan of stuff that makes me think and engages me. There were a LOT more panels like that this year and I really enjoyed it.

    -Line enforcer at Bethesda: I don't know who she was, but the lady that ran the Wolfenstein demo line was probably one of the best enforcers I've ever seen. The Bethesda people were... aggravating. I went around at 2:30pm on Saturday and a Bethesda staff person said they were capped for the day, but came back later and there were a tonne more people in line. While the enforcer was "upping" the time waited (the line was about an hour and a half in total, she said it was closer to three) it meant that it got people through effectively and she never really put a hard cap on it. She was engaging, high energy, and kept that line engaged like a champion. She is amazing and should be brought back for every pax if possible.

    Cons:

    -This is something I've already put in the survey and I cannot really expect PAX to do anything about it, but I had a couple of really bad experiences on Sunday. The main one was I went to an indie mega booth game and was ignored for male fans in the crowd who were there well after me, as well as telling controls to men who arrived after me when they were complicated. There were also people pulled out of the crowd despite the fact that I had been waiting in the designated line for a turn. He (the man from the company) didn't even react when someone from the group of men he pulled in pointed out that I had been waiting and it was up to me to tell him that it was ok for him to play with his friends (because I didn't want to mess up THAT guy's PAX). This happened first thing on the Sunday and kind of had me very upset for a good hour after. I have never, ever had this happen at PAX before and it was just... not a good feeling. It isn't like there weren't a lot of women in the crowd this year, so if it happened to me did it happen to anyone else? That's a rhetorical question, and the whole situation just really upset me.

    -Swag bags. I forgot they were at the Westin. I get it that there wasn't much in them this year, but man. Kinda sucks that they are so far out of the way.

    -Monday expo hall line procedures. I got there early and ended up lining up under the building as I had the other days (I didn't know freeway park was an option) only to see the Annex line go in about 10 minutes before we did. Other days the line I was in moved right at 10am, but not this time. I had been hoping to Bethesda it up but it was already full. I am sure the plan was to keep trampling to a minimum (great job on that btw), but it did mean that almost all of Bethesda was capped by the time I got there from people coming through the Annex. Better communication as to which line is the best one to get in would be appreciated, that way people could choose strategically.

    -Twitch's show floor space. They pay damned good money to be there, I get it. I also get that there is a certain amount of people who are going to PAX solely to see the Twitch people, but do they have to have such a huge floor space where NOTHING is happening most of the time? It feels like such a waste of space for something that I, admittedly, have zero interest in. Though I am sure there are those who can say the converse - maybe give them something like a base (ie: Bioware or Bungie's thing) rather than taking up the floor.

    -Too many panels on Friday/Saturday that I wanted to see, very little on Sunday/Monday. Friday I only spent an hour in the expo hall, because there were so many amazing panels. The panels that I cared about were all shoved in and around the same times on Friday/Saturday and it was really disappointing to miss some.

    -Also: that Bioshock party. PAX really has nothing to do with that, but if someone from IGN stumbles in here just know that there's more people pissed at that situation than the 10 or so positive tweets you are promoting on Twitter at the moment. It was a total gong show.

    -I MISSED THE CANADIAN INDIE ROW. Now this entirely depends on who can come to PAX, but it was cool having my countrymen have an area. It was nice seeing the Polish indies doing something similar this year as well.



    I know I have written more cons than positives, but if you take out the three that aren't really related to PAX they're kind of equal. I enjoyed this PAX far more than many I have been to recently. There's always way more than I can do comfortably in a weekend, and I know that's the point, but this year I felt pretty comfortable and had a fairly good time. Aside from Saturday night and Sunday. But that's just how it was.

    Attendee:
    Prime: '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15
    West: '16, '17
    East: '14, '15, '16, '17
    South: '15, '16, '17, '18
  • sediroxsedirox Registered User regular

    I wish that Blizzard would come to PAX less rarely and have a larger/better presence. Or any presence at all, for that matter. I saw more Overwatch cosplay than anything else - it is a huge missed opportunity!!

    THIS! They had a huge booth at Anime Expo and SDCC this year so I was hoping from one at PAX but nada.

    I guess lugging their whole setup to Seattle is harder than driving to LA or San Diego :/

  • NullthreadNullthread Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Pros:

    - Good job with the Strategy Guide pamphlet. I've been designing convention programs for like 10 years and having a fold out separate map is a great idea for a convention of this size. I would further suggest having a highly visible anti-harassment policy (such as ECCC's "Cosplay is not Consent").
    - Spatial division of hardware / streamers / AAA / indies is good. It means I can knock out a portion of the floor knowing that it is not in my interest and spend more time in the areas I love.
    - Hand sanitizer stations are getting filled up! I only encountered one or two that were empty, which is a step up from last year where I had dirty hands more often than I wanted to.
    - Loved all the panels I attended- quality seems to be going up, at least in the types of panels I am interested in. Thanks for having more streamed channels so I can watch what I missed later.

    Cons:

    - Where. Was. Games. on. Demand?! I come here to hang out with Olympia buds and try new story games/RPGs. You are losing huge PNW culture by not having Games on Demand. In general the Tabletop Area was not looking too good... this is a huge part of gamer life, please give it the love it deserves!
    - Just kill the swag bags already - waste of paper, no more good stuff as before (no beta codes, not many discounts, etc.)
    - WotC/Paizo, I realize was their choice, but definitely leaves a void at PAX.
    - I only attend PAX because I live here, so basically I just have to pay for the price of admission. Much like anything bought by a company and run like a for-profit business versus a community, it's become too corporate for me. I still had a lot of fun and probably would go again, but part of this is because I know what to look for and what I like!

    I have suggestions of where to move stuff and why, but that means looking at the map and shuffling things - but in general, there's room for improvement on keeping activities better distributed so no dead spots happen, and everything gets the love it deserves.

    I'm sure there's more but that's all I can remember right now!

  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    This year was the first time all 5 of my brothers and I (and one nephew) were able to go PAX together! And the first time for a couple of them, so I was able to hear from their perspective this year too. All around, we had an awesome time.

    Pros:
    -#1 highlight was playing in the Overwatch tournament at the HP Omen/PAX Arena. We made it to Friday's final matchup (and lost) but that got us into Sunday's top 4 (which we also lost). It was a blast. It was well organized and they were able to draw a crowd with it. It was an awesome experience, I hope there is more like that.
    -Expo Hall has had a good flow for the last couple years.
    -Acq. Inc. was great as always.
    -More than I can list here. I always appreciate the attendees and line conversations with random PAXers. My friend was dressed as Ahri from League and she was stopped constantly for pictures but everyone was super nice about it.

    Cons:
    -This goes along with my experience in PAX Arena, but at PAX East there was an attendee tournament each day. At West this year, there was some of that (which I was able to participate in) but it wasn't like East where each day was for the attendees. Honestly, I'd like to see a mix of both--maybe that means a bigger area for it?
    -Needs more upcoming AAA games--I want to know if I should be getting Anthem or Destiny 2!
    -This wasn't PAX's fault, but Bioware really blew their party. You don't RSVP thousands of people and make them come to another section of the city only to find out that they'll never be able to get in! Huge fail.
    -Really missed WotC/all D&D presence. Last year's Internship Program was a ton of fun and I was hoping to go through it with my brothers. I was sad to see no presence this year.
    -OK and this last one--I bought a 3XL black PAX shirt. The tag says 3XL. Unfortunately, it is really small! I am a big guy--I noticed when I tried to put it on this morning and couldn't. I had a friend at work who is a dude who is about 130 pounds and 5 foot 6, and it was tight on him! I'm going to try pax_questions but I'm open to suggestions.

    Pavio on
    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Guy and PAX VR Freeplay Manager SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    It was also kind of horrifying that the Acquisitions Inc. line opened up 3 hours before the start - do we really want a PAX where you have to burn 3 hours of prime gaming and fun time waiting in line? Fortunately you didn't really need to get in line until about an hour before, but 3 hours seems like a bad precedent. I hope it doesn't turn into 4 hours and doesn't spread to more sessions.

    This is a result of last year, when we started the line later, and people hung around across the street and in all the nearby sidewalks, and rushed across the street when the line started causing a dangerous situation with traffic. As you noted, you don't need to get there that early to get a space, but if the pre-line crowd causes a dangerous situation, we will seek a solution that is not dangerous, and in this case opening the line earlier does that. We would also prefer people don't come as early, but they do, so this is where we are. For the other theatres this kind of thing does not present as dangerous a situation as they are all indoors, so the need is not as great to solve it.
    Pavio wrote: »
    OK and this last one--I bought a 3XL black PAX shirt. The tag says 3XL. Unfortunately, it is really small! I am a big guy--I noticed when I tried to put it on this morning and couldn't. I had a friend at work who is a dude who is about 130 pounds and 5 foot 6, and it was tight on him! I'm going to try pax_questions but I'm open to suggestions.

    Sounds like you might have received the smaller fitted\ladies shirt. Email customerservice@penny-arcade.com and they will try to help.


    All the other great feedback is being noted, thank you all, keep it coming.

    -Beker/Erick
    NDoOjUb.png
  • vespachicavespachica SeattleRegistered User regular
    Pros:
    -It seemed less crowded this year! Lots of room to move.
    -Great YouTubers for my kid. ;)
    -A lot more tabletop space this year, it seemed like (to actually play the games).
    -Enforcers being open to feedback even from a stressed and sweaty mom (see below) and making the Markiplier signing go so much more smoothly.

    Huh:
    -I feel like we have reached a tipping point with badges. I had an extra set and couldn't sell them on Reddit and could barely give them away. On the other hand, I worry if it becomes less popular it will eventually stop.

    Cons:
    -@#$%@! Opening lines for the signings (aforementioned YouTubers) over 5 HOURS EARLY. I mean, WTF.
    -The JackSepticEye signing was a major clusterfuck. Tape down on the floor and assholes not obeying the lanes. The lanes were far too large. I complained because this is not my first rodeo. Last year they were done SO WELL with the YouTubers and this year it was like they threw every single good thing about last year out and made it a total fucking shit show. Sorry for all the swearing. I guess I still have Feelings About That. (I did get a mom chair for Markiplier and I was very appreciative! No need to wait on the floor when I wasn't going to get anything signed!)
    -Games in the board game library missing not only pieces, but pieces that render the game unplayable.

    All in all, I do think it was a fun year. I'm excited for a few games to come out and my kid was elated to see her generation's TV stars again as well as make friends in line and, well, that's what PAX is about.

    PAX Prime Omeganaut 2011 // defeated by Lumines Live! on Xbox 360
  • IncarnadineIncarnadine Registered User regular
    -Monday expo hall line procedures. I got there early and ended up lining up under the building as I had the other days (I didn't know freeway park was an option) only to see the Annex line go in about 10 minutes before we did. Other days the line I was in moved right at 10am, but not this time. I had been hoping to Bethesda it up but it was already full. I am sure the plan was to keep trampling to a minimum (great job on that btw), but it did mean that almost all of Bethesda was capped by the time I got there from people coming through the Annex. Better communication as to which line is the best one to get in would be appreciated, that way people could choose strategically.

    The way I understood it was that the freeway park line and annex line enter first. Then the 8th Ave. line. Then any other doors open up. What may have caused confusion on this process is that they were letting the 8th Ave. line into the building (but not into the expo floor in front of the park line) if it looked like it was going to start spilling into the street.

    Since I was never in line for show open, I don't know if this is how it worked in practice, so take it with a grain of salt.

  • hidrnickhidrnick Registered User new member
    - Contact Proctor & Gamble - it shouldn't be that hard to get an Old Spice booth on the ground floor of the convention center.
    - MOAR hand sanitizer. There should be copious quantities to slather on your bodies everywhere people gather: queues, restrooms, water fountains, cash registers, Enforcers, etc.

  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    Wizards of the Coast being missing: Seeing as their parent company (Hasbro) is running their on convention this weekend, this was not a surprise.

    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I should note that Badman is fucking awesome
    XBL- Evil Badman; Steam- EvilBadman; Twitter - EvilBadman
    vespachica
  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    Pavio wrote: »
    Pros:
    -#1 highlight was playing in the Overwatch tournament at the HP Omen/PAX Arena. We made it to Friday's final matchup (and lost) but that got us into Sunday's top 4 (which we also lost). It was a blast. It was well organized and they were able to draw a crowd with it. It was an awesome experience, I hope there is more like that.
    I actually wanted to give some opposing feedback on this. My group signed up for Omen's Overwatch 3v3 tournament for funsies, not realizing people actually take these things pretty seriously (we got our butts kicked so badly it put us in a bad mood). We were given a 12:30 slot on Friday. We showed up around 12:15 and the match going before us is still in full-swing. Their rounds were very entertaining to watch as they were all really skilled players but we ended up not going up until closer to 1 after being told the whole event was running about 30 minutes behind. And that took some figuring out as one of the booth reps seemed to practically be third-party by how little she knew about the tournament going on in front of her.

    Once we did get up we had time to change any necessary binds which was great, the actual physical setup worked well and they did have an adequate space for an audience to stand without blocking traffic. But after we'd gone through about 3 or 4 rounds of losing we were told they'd changed the setup for the tournament after the prior round and we would now be leaving the stage. I can't even figure out what they changed it to, it was originally first to 3 (best of 5) and I think they told us they changed it to best of 3, but we only got 1 actual match in. Maybe they just saw we were spinning our wheels and wanted to get caught up on their already late line, which on the one hand I can understand, but coming off a string of really almost embarrassing losses it didn't help any of our moods.

    I do think it's cool to have setups like this that let us regular Joe players feel like real e-sports pros with an announcer and everything, but they definitely need to be more on top of communication. If Pavio was able to get their slot on time later the same day they must have been able to rectify the slowdown from before, and maybe my group was just the unfortunate team of baddies that let them do that, but it definitely made for a grumpy first day afternoon.

  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    edited September 8
    Scunosi wrote: »

    I do think it's cool to have setups like this that let us regular Joe players feel like real e-sports pros with an announcer and everything, but they definitely need to be more on top of communication. If Pavio was able to get their slot on time later the same day they must have been able to rectify the slowdown from before, and maybe my group was just the unfortunate team of baddies that let them do that, but it definitely made for a grumpy first day afternoon.

    Interesting--we were in the afternoon slot on Friday and it went pretty smoothly, though it was the setup of winning 2 out of 3 from the get-go for us.

    As for people taking it seriously, I wouldn't say that's the problem exactly--I hope people take it seriously. But I do think that they need to keep pros from being able to participate with the amateurs, which is why I recommend separate tournaments. We lost to Grand Masters on Friday and then again to different Grand Masters on Sunday. Our group of brothers hasn't been playing since about April (busy with work, then when I got done with all of that PUBG existed), and one of the 3 of us only played for a couple months ever so he only knew one character well (Mei). But we still had fun, we knew winning was a long shot.

    At PAX East, I made it to the top 8 teams left in Rocket League. Unfortunately, there were two actual pro teams there--they came in their uniforms and told us that they were in town for a pro Rocket League tournament the next day, and one of those pro teams ended up winning.

    So yes, I would like to see some changes, but overall I want to emphasize that I'm glad we even get to do them!

    Pavio on
    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
  • CodextehFishCodextehFish Vancouver, CanadaRegistered User regular
    -Monday expo hall line procedures. I got there early and ended up lining up under the building as I had the other days (I didn't know freeway park was an option) only to see the Annex line go in about 10 minutes before we did. Other days the line I was in moved right at 10am, but not this time. I had been hoping to Bethesda it up but it was already full. I am sure the plan was to keep trampling to a minimum (great job on that btw), but it did mean that almost all of Bethesda was capped by the time I got there from people coming through the Annex. Better communication as to which line is the best one to get in would be appreciated, that way people could choose strategically.

    The way I understood it was that the freeway park line and annex line enter first. Then the 8th Ave. line. Then any other doors open up. What may have caused confusion on this process is that they were letting the 8th Ave. line into the building (but not into the expo floor in front of the park line) if it looked like it was going to start spilling into the street.

    Since I was never in line for show open, I don't know if this is how it worked in practice, so take it with a grain of salt.

    I was in the Freeway park line and the Annex line was definitely getting in first, which was annoying. BUT that said, it was a minor annoyance.

    Attendee:
    Prime: '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15
    West: '16, '17
    East: '14, '15, '16, '17
    South: '15, '16, '17, '18
  • vespachicavespachica SeattleRegistered User regular
    I think the Annex line is shorter which maybe made it seem like it was getting in first? I mean, both lines were moving when we were going in.

    I mean, no, no, Annex line sucks. Don't get into the Annex line. Why would you want to go in there? ;)

    PAX Prime Omeganaut 2011 // defeated by Lumines Live! on Xbox 360
    Pavio
  • CodextehFishCodextehFish Vancouver, CanadaRegistered User regular
    It was definitely moving while we were not. I am six four and can ssee over the crowd :p

    That being said, minor thing. I think I am just getting too old and cranky for morning lines.

    Attendee:
    Prime: '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15
    West: '16, '17
    East: '14, '15, '16, '17
    South: '15, '16, '17, '18
    vespachica
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