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Constructive Feedback - West 2017

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Posts

  • MarsDragonMarsDragon Registered User regular
    vespachica wrote: »
    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.

    I wonder how much of that is because no one expected E3 to take that much pressure off PAX, and if that will continue next year or not. I think long-time attendees (and scalpers) got caught out by low demand this year, which may or may not change next year.

    I don't mind PAX badges being less in demand, since they were very difficult to get for a few years in there. Some release of pressure is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if the situation continues.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I am just getting too old and cranky for morning lines.
    I think this has been me for years, and I'm probably not even old!

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  • vespachicavespachica SeattleRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I am just getting too old and cranky for morning lines.
    I think this has been me for years, and I'm probably not even old!

    Waiting in the line to get in 2/4 days was circumstance. Usually I like to roll in around 11 because, I, too, am far too old for that stuff.

    PAX Prime Omeganaut 2011 // defeated by Lumines Live! on Xbox 360
    Madpoet
  • MagnusCarterMagnusCarter Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure the annex line fills the annex, but the times I've been near the front (not this year) they had security/enforcers on the escalators so you couldn't get to Expo until the main line had finished loading.

  • PavioPavio Registered 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.

    The thing you have to consider is that the outside line to the main entrance that can see the Annex is very far back in the main line. They started the main line on time, at the same time as the Annex, each day. Fewer people waited at the Annex at first but by Monday I was pretty far back even with being there about 45 minutes early.

    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
    vespachica
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure the annex line fills the annex, but the times I've been near the front (not this year) they had security/enforcers on the escalators so you couldn't get to Expo until the main line had finished loading.

    No, the Annex line lets you right up to the Expo Hall, I went in that way each morning and it was great. This is the first time they've tested it and it helps a lot.

    And here's why it's awesome: they NEED more entrances. The Expo Hall fills up so slowly that they tell people not to show up until an hour later! But, if they keep adding entrances, then you can plan for that--make sure people know (which they did announce), and then they can choose which entrance to go to so that if you want to line up early you can choose the one you think will be fastest.

    Basically, more entrances helps everyone and fills the Expo Hall faster and gets people to early panels faster, while meaning a shorter wait time for EVERYONE. It's win-win.

    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
    vespachica
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    For at least the last two years you've been able to line up at the annex for access to expo hall.
    It's always a matter of where in expo we want to go that decides which line. Bethesda? Annex. Warhammer? Main.
    But the point where the Annex line is visible to the Main line has been very far back in the main line - as somebody said. I did not enter the main line at all this year, but last year it went through Freeway Park before it went to the street side of the convention center. And the Annex line gets capped at a much shorter length due to limited space. (Probably less than what was in Freeway Park last year.)

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  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    For at least the last two years you've been able to line up at the annex for access to expo hall.
    It's always a matter of where in expo we want to go that decides which line. Bethesda? Annex. Warhammer? Main.
    But the point where the Annex line is visible to the Main line has been very far back in the main line - as somebody said. I did not enter the main line at all this year, but last year it went through Freeway Park before it went to the street side of the convention center. And the Annex line gets capped at a much shorter length due to limited space. (Probably less than what was in Freeway Park last year.)

    Yes, you've been able to line up there, but they haven't opened the doors right away. The last couple years before this one it was about a 30 minute wait before opening the Annex doors, which because of the shorter line still meant getting in to the building earlier. I've done that line every day every year for the last few years, and this year was an awesome change.

    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    edited September 11
    Pavio wrote: »
    For at least the last two years you've been able to line up at the annex for access to expo hall.
    It's always a matter of where in expo we want to go that decides which line. Bethesda? Annex. Warhammer? Main.
    But the point where the Annex line is visible to the Main line has been very far back in the main line - as somebody said. I did not enter the main line at all this year, but last year it went through Freeway Park before it went to the street side of the convention center. And the Annex line gets capped at a much shorter length due to limited space. (Probably less than what was in Freeway Park last year.)

    Yes, you've been able to line up there, but they haven't opened the doors right away. The last couple years before this one it was about a 30 minute wait before opening the Annex doors, which because of the shorter line still meant getting in to the building earlier. I've done that line every day every year for the last few years, and this year was an awesome change.

    Last year I went in at 10am every time I was in the annex line o.O
    I mean, you have to go up the escalators, but that's not a big deal given you end up where you want to be rather than on the opposite side of the expo hall.

    The Aviatrix on
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    vespachica
  • AldDaedrothAldDaedroth Registered User new member
    I'll start by saying I really enjoyed PAX West 2017. Great show, as always.

    A few things that I especially liked:

    The Enforcers were great this year, especially the ones helping with the Bethesda VR line. I finally got into the line on the last day and everyone was super nice to us.

    People at the PAX merch booth were really nice, too, though I bought two shirts and didn't realize until I was packing to leave that they'd given me the wrong size.

    The demos: I loved the demos I played this year, especially the Bethesda ones (VR and Evil Within 2).

    Some negatives:

    The swag bags: to be honest, some years I just skip them because they're always in some far off location (okay, maybe not that far off) and the contents never seem worth the walk. This year when I picked up a bag after hoofing it all the way to the Westin, I made the mistake of looking inside it -- you know, to see if there was actually something in there -- at which point this woman immediately barked, "No digging through the bags!" Sorry, was I digging? I thought I was looking. I assume this was an Enforcer; I didn't look up because I didn't know what other minor infraction I might have been in the process of committing. And though most Enforcers are awesome, every so often you come upon one who is just dying to declare martial law. (Again, this was the only Enforcer I was less than thrilled with.)

    No D&D: this was a bummer. I know PAX Unplugged is a thing now, but what if you can't go to PAX Unplugged?

    No Blizzard: I very much missed the awe-inspiring spectacle that is the Blizzard booth.

    The Bioshock party disaster: in short, this event required tickets and tickets were given out. The number of tickets given out exceeded the capacity of the venue but that in itself is not such a big deal. Not everyone shows up, afterall. It's like overselling a flight. I don't love the idea, but I see why they do it. The real problem was that IGN/2K changed their collective mind about who they wanted to admit. They decided they didn't want to admit all the ticket holders. Instead they wanted to admit all the people in costume. Imagine opening night of a new Star Wars movie. It's sold out but you have a ticket. You show up for the movie only to find that lo and behold, the theater has decided not to honor tickets. They've decided to admit these other people instead, the ones dressed up like Wookies and Jawas. They can tweet pictures of all the Wookies and Jawas and it will look way cooler than pictures of regular ticket holders. That's essentially what happened. A lot of us showed up two (or more!) hours early even though we had tickets because we knew they'd given out more tickets than they had room for. I didn't go in costume, but I had bought clothing specifically for the event. A t-shirt and specific pants -- we're not talking hundreds of dollars here, but still. Other people paid for transportation specifically for the event. Upon arrival (again, hours early), the word went out that suddenly tickets weren't required. What?! That's right, no tickets required. Instead, you needed to be in costume. Or you needed to have gotten there about 4-5 hours early so that you were one of the first people in line. Everyone else wasted an evening in line with no hope of ever getting through the door. I went back to my confirmation email and I think that's where I found a link to contact the organizers. I wrote a civilized complaint about the way the party was handled and submitted it, after which I got an autoresponder message from someone named Kiersten Slader. I waited a few days for a response. When I didn't get one, I sent an additional email message (still civilized) and received no response to that one either. I was really bummed out initially but due to the complete lack of response, I'm now just really really angry. It's put me off IGN, a site I've been reading in one capacity or another for well over a decade, and I'm sad to say it, but it's put me off Bioshock and 2K as well. I will no doubt reach the point where I am able to look at one of those games (previously among my favorite) again, but it won't be any time soon. I can't say the same for IGN. I've unsubscribed from their email lists and deleted their app from my devices. I'm done. Thanks Kiersten for wrecking this for me.

    How late the dates for PAX West were announced: I understand why the ticket sales have to be sprung on us. I don't understand why we can't know the dates of the show in general. The longer you wait to get a plane ticket, the more expensive it is. You also have to request time off from work. That, too, must be done in advance. The earlier we know the dates, the better.

  • alchahestalchahest Edmonton, CanadaRegistered User regular

    How late the dates for PAX West were announced: I understand why the ticket sales have to be sprung on us. I don't understand why we can't know the dates of the show in general. The longer you wait to get a plane ticket, the more expensive it is. You also have to request time off from work. That, too, must be done in advance. The earlier we know the dates, the better.

    this right here is a huge issue for me - I have a very hard time booking time off in the late summer/early autumn, especially around september long weekend. if I don't book in january it requires a heck of a lot of begging and pleading and working extra hours elsewhere to make it work. but if I just book off that time and it turns out not to be over september long, then I am very unlikely to be able to reschedule it. And of course the more expensive booking for being closer to the date.

    BLaZuRECroatian Sensation
  • SkeleVaderSkeleVader Your Friendly Dark Lord of Destruction Registered User regular

    How late the dates for PAX West were announced: I understand why the ticket sales have to be sprung on us. I don't understand why we can't know the dates of the show in general. The longer you wait to get a plane ticket, the more expensive it is. You also have to request time off from work. That, too, must be done in advance. The earlier we know the dates, the better.

    I asked this question during Ryan's AMA before South.

    He said:
    "Yeah historically we've done it to prevent people from scooping up rooms ahead of time, or trying to undercut the show. Plus it's nice to be able to make it a big announcement and everything. You aren't wrong though, it's something to consider."

    I understand wanting to make it a big announcement, but they really need to do it earlier so we can all lock in travel instead of having to cross our fingers and hope it is on Labor Day weekend again.

  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    Pro tip... The convention center lists their upcoming events on their own calendar. While they DON'T list PAX until after it's dates are announced, you can see what OTHER EVENTS are scheduled... So if you see events scheduled for the weekend before and the weekend after Labor Day... Then you know PAX is on Labor Day weekend even if they don't announce it.

    CKingvespachica
  • DustyStarrDustyStarr Registered User regular
    For the most part PAX was awesome, but there were a couple of things that made it a little less enjoyable.

    A big thing was the line for Nintendo. I'm not sure if this was a PAX problem or a Nintendo problem, but the line space provided for Nintendo, when they have like 10 games they invite you to play all of and probably one of the hottest games there (Mario) was just TINY. Most indie booths had longer line space than Nintendo had, I just don't understand that at all.

    Not to mention that I do not understand the line capping procedures; when there is a huge space open to get in line, at the moment there is no one out there holding the "line is capped" sign, and I get into line but am then told to leave because it is not open yet... and I was just supposed to know, like, telepathically or something? So I'm asked to leave and I do and as I wam walking away they open the line and it fills up and caps instantly when I am not even a few steps away... like, what was even the point of not letting my friend and I in, to hurt our feelings? This happened a NUMBER of times honestly, where I would politely ask "do you know when the line will open?", they say not sure, and it opens and closes while I am walking away. Once would be one thing but that happened over five times.

    I had a friend with me who really just wanted to go to the Nintendo booth, and he was not having the best time because he has issues with crowds and loudness (he has a form of Autism), and when I tried so hard to do what I could to get him in but it always ended in disappointment or feeling like we were lied to or intentionally deceived... just mad me feel so bad.

    We also had one enforcer who was a jerk (only one though, the rest were awesome), who just totally bitched me out because I was trying to ask a question about the line. I get they probably got it a lot but it was Friday, I have not done PAX West in years, and I just wanted some info and we were treated like shit. I guess that's the big thing really; we were treated like garbage just because we wanted to do what we came to PAX to do.

    Sorry I kind of went on a little rant/tangent there, but that was the biggest thing that soured the experience for us. Line capping was an issue in general though, and I suppose it might be the nature of the best, but it made certain parts of the expo hall just feel pointless. Feels like there should have been ways to allow more people to actually play the big upcoming games.

    Aside from that as sad swag bags were a pathetic joke.

    Anyways I don't want to sound too negative, I had a great time, but I really think the lines and availability for getting into the big company's booths should be addressed and made a bit easier.

  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    I really appreciated the booths that had a reservation system. The VR Freeplay was the best of them, with the combination of reserved slots and a standby line. I would love to see an official PAX reservation system that the convention could offer to all booths, to make this the norm. I know the lines are tradition, but we have been shown a better way.

    Rhea_starstormPavio
  • oldskoolboarderoldskoolboarder Registered User regular
    Annex entrance definitely gets you in faster. BUT, we hit the Bethesda line at 10:05 AM on Monday and by then, it was already at 3 hours from the overflow line.

    Online VR reservations would be nice.

    The Sony Experience app reservation is a joke. We got 1 res for Sat and they always seemed to get booked in about 10s.

  • HeadhunterHeadhunter Registered User regular
    Hoping the line update feature in the app is updated more frequently.

    I missed out on a couple of highly anticipated panels by relying on the status, which turned out to be inaccurate when I got to the theatre and capacity had been reached long before I arrived.

    "Perception is reality." -unknown
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Guy and PAX VR Freeplay Manager SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    DustyStarr wrote: »
    A big thing was the line for Nintendo. I'm not sure if this was a PAX problem or a Nintendo problem, but the line space provided for Nintendo, when they have like 10 games they invite you to play all of and probably one of the hottest games there (Mario) was just TINY. Most indie booths had longer line space than Nintendo had, I just don't understand that at all.

    Amount of line space, number of demo stations and length of demo are all things that are up to the exhibitor. But even then sometimes not even up to the same person. One person might design the booth based on information or assumptions, and then another person might decide to change the length of the demo, making the line space inadequate.

    Lines and the capping\uncapping situation is hard. We don't have space often for everyone who wants to line up for a thing. If we tell people when the line will uncap, then we have the problem of people hovering nearby or circling the booth over and over which causes traffic problems. Its a challenge we continue to try to find the best solution for, and i'm sorry in this case it did not work for you.

    I'm extremely sorry you had a bad experience with an Enforcer. Manning the capped lines in the Expo hall is one of the hardest jobs we ask of them, and sometimes they don't hold up well under the pressure. In the future, please come to the info booth if you have a bad experience, with a description of them, what happened and where it was, and we will escalate. It might be that we need to get them moved to a different spot where they can be more successful.

    Far as allowing people to play the games they came to PAX to see, let me help you with a sense of scale. Expo is open for 8 hours, for a 10 minute demo with a 1 minute turn over, thats about 44 demo's per station. I don't know how many stations Nintendo had, but even 20 would only be 880 demo's a day. Likely much less then the number of people who would like to play. Super popular things (and people, ie youtubers) don't often have the capacity to cater to everyone that might want to interact at PAX. Tis the nature of the beast.



    -Beker/Erick
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    Rhea_starstorm
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Guy and PAX VR Freeplay Manager SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    Headhunter wrote: »
    Hoping the line update feature in the app is updated more frequently.

    I missed out on a couple of highly anticipated panels by relying on the status, which turned out to be inaccurate when I got to the theatre and capacity had been reached long before I arrived.

    Sorry about that, if you want to send me (eblandin@penny-arcade.com) the panels you noted this for, and if possible, the time you showed up, we can follow up with the Enforcers who were supposed to update it and see if we can do better. It could be there were disruptions or connection problems that made updating it hard, but we want it to be a useful tool (as I think it is in many cases) so as always we will work on improving.

    -Beker/Erick
    NDoOjUb.png
  • serylisserylis Registered User new member
    PAX was an interesting experience for me this year.

    Pros:
    The Enforcers, as always, were awesome.

    The Exploding Kittens/Bears vs Babies booth was entertaining, both to watch and to participate with.

    It was slightly easier to navigate around the expo halls, although the thick carpet pads are horrid with wheelchairs, but we made due.

    The "strategy guide" was a neat addition to the lineup, and I actually pulled it out to use every once in a while (even though it was my 10th PAX this year).

    Cons:
    There were no booths/groups showing up and coming trailers. I know there really weren't any last year either, but for me that is a way to sit and relax while still in the expo hall. Honestly, I'm more of a lone gamer, so I don't really like demoing things with hundreds of people walking around me (I have bad anxiety), so that part of the expo hall has never really drawn me. Granted, if its a game I really like, I will demo, but still. Didn't bother at all this year.

    Charging money for a raffle. I'm sorry, but that is skirting the Washington State Lottery Laws very closely, especially since this is an all ages event. Also, it completely put me off of their raffles to begin with. I've never won anything in any of the raffles over the last 10 years, why would I pay to not win anything this time too? And yes, I know that this was only one or two booths, but still. I feel they need to look a little closer to the laws before doing that again.

    Another thing with one of the booths: I was at Coolermaster for almost 30 minutes trying to ask them some questions about one of their mice, and was completely ignored by both of the men working that booth. They helped men and women while I waited, and then helped more people who showed up after me, and finally I just left. I figured, well if they don't want my money, they don't get my money. It was frustrating and set the tone for the rest of that day for me.

    I felt Twitch had way to much space on the expo hall floor, and was rarely in use (at least whenever I walked by it wasn't). That whole area could have been moved to a different location and still would have done the same. But, they probably paid a bunch of money, so thats what we got.

    I missed the Reaper Paint your Mini, and the DnD stuff, and all of that. I understand that they will most likely be prominent at PAX Unplugged, but honestly the only reason I can come to this PAX is because I live in Seattle.

    (Cards Against Humanity not in the theater below PAX was something that was sorely missed) I know, it hasn't been an official part of PAX for a while, but still!

    What swag bags? I miss the days when they actually tossed in deodorant samples (some people still need reminding sometimes)

    Things to consider for next year's PAX:

    The AFK room is nice and all, but honestly a lot of your attendees are parents who would appreciate a room to go where they can let their toddlers run around like crazy for 15 minutes or so. Not a daycare or anything like that, but an out of the way room where we can let the little ones play with blocks, or jump around like a crazy child for a while so they don't get so cranky while strapped to a carrier and unable to press buttons while mom or dad is demoing a game. I'm sure if you ask nicely, there are plenty of people who would donate gently used toys or coloring books or something to this cause, I know I would.

    I feel like I have a lot more negative things to say about this years PAX, but most of them have already been mentioned in previous comments in this thread.

    Rhea_starstorm
  • bacon_avengerbacon_avenger Defender of Pork Products Pacific NW, USARegistered User regular
    My thoughts on this year:

    - This year seemed to be a lot less 'crowded' and less 'intense', as it were. I know it was sold out, but the 'spectacle' wasn't there this year IMO. Getting around felt a lot easier, both in and outside the expo hall. While I missed seeing all the things that were there in previous years (which probably isn't something that PA has much control over), being able to actually get around without having to almost shove my way through people was good.

    - I noticed a lot more attendees that bought their smalls with them, very cool to see.

    - There seemed to be a lot less scalpers and people trying to guilt me into buying their R&B CD's, this I liked as well.

    - Disappointment was had by the lack of banner hangings. I only saw the 'whimsey' one around the convention centre itself, and just happened to see the 'graphics' one by chance as I happened to pass by the Westin on my way home, and even then it was one, maybe two, around both areas. Never did see the 'welcome home' one at all, which was a huge disappointment.

    - The Prime (it will always be Prime to me, #SorryNotSorry) exclusive merch. I got my LE pin and shirt, obviously, but I really didn't care for the design of the pin graphic or the shirt construction and graphics (uninspired and 'generic' come to mind). The first one with the west branding, the polygon design, was fairly different, and I really liked the retro cartridge designs from previous years as well. This year, not so much, and seeing what was basically the same design as last year on things like the bag and water bottle, left me underwhelmed.

    - What was with the messages that were played at the beginning and end of the panels that were in the steaming theaters? 'Please silence your phones', 'leave via the doors', and 'this panel is listed as 13+' things? Yes, it's the polite thing to do (I do recall one panel that had a bunch of people talking rather loudly in the back that drowned out the talk at times). I don't know if this was a local law thing, ReedPop, or what, but it took away from the 'community vibe' and made things feel more 'commercial' and 'impersonal' than before, especially at panels that took place later at night.

    I know that several of these things may not be under PA's control, but I wanted to get my thoughts and observations out there.

    PAX Prim..err, West 2018 Checklist:[ ]Hotel [ ]Time Off [ ]Badges [ ]Challenge Coin [ ]Name on Forum Badge
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    Rhea_starstorm
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