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South 2019 Constructive Feedback

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
Hey folks, it's that time again! Please leave your feedback for the show.

Reminder: not liking things is fine. Being a jerk is not fine.


  • BrackardBrackard Registered User regular
    Couple of thoughts from my yearly recap:

    1) Acquisitions Inc to later in the evening was a great move. Acq Inc is lots of fun, but having to account for half the day for it was a tough sell. I got best of both worlds with this move, so thanks.
    2) I don't remember the board game learning area from last year / previous years? Either I missed it, or it's new. Either way, it was very cool.
    3) Omegathon. Round 1. You REALLY didn't think the Omeganauts wouldn't have purchased the game and memorized the cards? I was so hoping you would have surprised them with home made cards...
    4) The only thing I was disappointed with was the panels. The number and types seemed to have really declined over the last couple years. It may simply be the smaller nature of South, and we just have to set expectations accordingly, but the number and variety have simply been lower the last few years.

    All in all though, I had a great time, and look forward to it next year!


  • ElectropowElectropow Master of Da Ways Registered User new member
    Video feed of the panelists on the projector screens when they have nothing to put up. THANK YOU! This has been my number one complaint through all past PAX South.

    It felt like there were too many "just vendors" on the show floor, which made the floor feel smaller than past years, even though that's not the case.

    Merch rewards apparently changed this year. Past years when I spent more than $100 I got duplicates of the patch/snapbracelets/cloths/sunglasses/pins/etc. This year I was aggressively told that it was one additional bonus item for every $100 spent after the first $100, and that this had been how it has been handled at past PAXs, including South, which has obviously not been the case.

    Reaper Minatures could, as always, use more space.

    Wasn't very fond of the goopy/drippy theme. Adding the pizza details is a mild sidegrade.

  • ahstoddardahstoddard President-kidnapping Ninja Houston-ishRegistered User regular
    *I can understand moving Acq Inc to the evening, it makes perfect sense, but like 85% of my reason for attendance is the concerts, so not having that on Saturday night hurt me a bit. I don't really have a solution, so I just have to get over it and find more time for the Jamspace room.
    *The Arcadia/XP was much better this year, especially the prize. I don't drink coffee so the mug is just hanging out with my Club PA one, but I still like it.
    *Overall this may have been my favorite year, or at least close. Obviously if I was able to cherry pick the vendors I wanted in attendance it would have been better, but I'm not God. I like having a broad mix of vendors in terms of company size with only a few being of absolutely zero interest to me.

  • mig0mig0 Registered User regular
    The pizza shirts sold out on Friday, that sucked. I wasnt fond the the drippy theme but still bought shirts and a tumbler and a hoodie, mainly making up for not getting the pizza shirt.

    I like the metal tumbler but no flip top lid kind of sucked and it was smaller than last year's. I wish that the tumbler design used at west 2018 would be the tumbler design used everywhere/all years, aside from colors and the pattern.

    Panels have always been underwhelming to me but I really really liked the community panel Saturday night.

  • edgeofbladeedgeofblade Warlock Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    After being out of the scene for a few years, I was happy to come back to find PAX in good shape. That said, constructive criticism... loading....

    1. I missed the Saturday night concert. Also, I don't think Knight of the Round went over as well as we thought it would. Respect to those guys as musicians, but I don't think the music scratched the nostalgia itch the way we expect gamer bands should. And it's kind of a shame that's what they get judged on.
    2. The digital swag bag was a good idea, logistically. I miss "real" swag bags with real stuff, but a digital bag is better than a flat, depressing bag of paper.
    3. The classic arcade needs more pinball. A lot more pinball.
    4. Also did not like the drippy pizza theme. It looks like Nickelodeon threw up on it. I feel like someone thought "gatekeeping 90's kids" theme was a good idea.

    Overall, good game had fun.

  • zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    The good: Felt like the best South ever! Increased big company presence (WHAT UP SONY), beefed up panel lineup (so much live D&D! WWE!), and generally felt operationally smooth all over. Largest pinny arcade presence to date!

    The bad: Swag was almost nonexistent. Very few booths seemed to be giving things out. I'm aware that this really has very little overall bearing on the show experience, but it's a noticeable change from East and West where around a dozen t-shirts will materialize in your luggage as you leave. Also, hurry up and grow this PAX into a 4-day show! East and West have spoiled me, and I was ready for one more day...

    The ugly: Merch... this design really did not speak to me. I get that it's not "for" me, but I didn't even want to buy a show shirt this time around. I'm hoping this isn't the theme for the entire year.

  • dasnoobdasnoob ArkansasRegistered User regular
    We had a large group of over a dozen. Everyone was disappointed that Acquisitions Inc was moved so late and in fact none of us ended up going.
    General dissatisfaction in the panels. I attended a few and one of them was literally putting people to sleep.

    The only other thing was we all thought the expo floor space could have been better used. There was a lot of empty space that could have been used to move booths out and make the lanes a bit larger which would have helped so much.

  • LhoLho Registered User new member
    Good stuff: Big company presence (Capcom / Bandai), fast entry lanes into the convention center and improved PAX XP experience (way better with the proximity badges instead of the mobile app and scanning QR codes, I remember reading on Reddit that in the first PAX South some people ripped off some of the stamps with the codes) and the enforcers had to print new ones.

    Bad stuff: No PAX South swag bag :( and also very few booths giving free stuff, first PAX I left with quite some free pins, a Nintendo T-shirt, lanyards, etc. Also, I understand that the mayor company booths (Capcom with RE2 and DMC5 and Bandai with Jump Force) would have the biggest attendance, but even so, I feel that you lose a lot of time waiting in line to play those games, some sort of registry to obtain a turn number would be nice, so you can roam around the expo floor while everyone is playing according to their turn, instead of waiting 2+ hours standing in line missing everything; also I read some comments above that there was a Digital Swag Bag I wasnt aware of, I didnt see any sign where you could receive it :bigfrown:

    PS. Please make the Arcade area bigger :biggrin:

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited January 23
    Lho wrote: »
    also I read some comments above that there was a Digital Swag Bag I wasnt aware of, I didnt see any sign where you could receive it :bigfrown:

    There was also a large standup sign in the lobby detailing this

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • shdwcastershdwcaster West Dakota?Registered User regular
    BYOC continues to be an awesome and chill place to be. I'm glad that we're able to continue using the loading dock entrance for load/unload on Friday and Sunday for BYOC folks.
    Lines for the Merch Lite booth seemed both shorter and faster this year than two years ago (I missed South 2018 to attend East instead).
    There seemed like a good mix of booths across the Expo hall and tabletop area, although it did seem like a few of the booths in the Expo hall would have more appropriately been in Tabletop.
    I also appreciate the move of the AcqInc panel to Saturday night. Adding the Sunday C-Team panel was also cool.

    Room for Improvement:
    Security theater. This is Texas, not Boston. Metal detectors and perfunctory bag checks don't actually make people safer, they just waste time and look secure to people who don't know better.
    Inconsistent Enforcer Instructions on Sunday. Friday and Saturday, media were allowed in through the exhibitor entrance. Suddenly on Sunday, this was no longer the case. If the media entrance is going to change mid-show, then at a minimum, a quick email to the media mailing list ought to be in order to let folks know that procedures are changing. The next issue was access to BYOC. On Friday, we were let in early for load-in and setup as usual. On Friday and Saturday we were let in by the entrance to Tabletop. On Sunday this abruptly became not the case, and when I asked one of the enforcers doing line door control about it, I was told that I was mistaken, and that had been the case for Saturday as well. It most certainly was not the case for Saturday, as I and a number of other BYOC folks can attest.

    Final Thoughts
    I've been able to attend West, East, and South now. I've been a regular attender, exhibitor, and media. South is by far my favorite show. West was my "home" show for many years, because I lived near Seattle. Since I'm now a South Dakotan, and all PAX events are roughly an equally inconvenient distance away, I consider South to be my PAX home. It feels a lot like how West did, maybe seven or eight years ago before it outgrew the WSTCC. I love it.

    This was the first year that I brought one of my kids, and my teenage son had a blast. He's already looking forward to next year, and telling his sister how much fun she's going to have as well! It means a lot that I can go to PAX (any PAX, really, but South is a lot less overwhelming to newbies) turn a thirteen-year-old-boy loose, not see him for hours until a pre-planned rendezvous time, and not feel worried about whether the kid is going to get himself into trouble.

    Thanks to everyone involved for another great year.

  • LhoLho Registered User new member
    whypick1 wrote: »
    Lho wrote: »
    also I read some comments above that there was a Digital Swag Bag I wasnt aware of, I didnt see any sign where you could receive it :bigfrown:

    There was also a large standup sign in the lobby detailing this

    Sorry, I'll be sure to check on Twitter for the next PAX :sad:

    About the standup sign I'm truly sorry that I should have totally missed it the 3 whole days, I remember entering through the query zone on Friday and directly through the lobby on sat and sun but I don't remember seeing anything, only the Merch stand on my right, the PAX XP register help module and some little booths on the left :bigfrown:

    I will be sure to check thoroughly next year :biggrin:

  • zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    edited January 24
    zeale was warned for this.
    Edit: My comment wasn't very nice. I apologize and I'll keep things civil!

    zeale on
  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    The sign was right by the giant logo. Going from the main entrance by merch lite means you would've walked right by it.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 24
    zeale wrote: »
    Lho wrote: »
    Sorry, I'll be sure to check on Twitter for the next PAX :sad:

    About the standup sign I'm truly sorry that I should have totally missed it the 3 whole days, I remember entering through the query zone on Friday and directly through the lobby on sat and sun but I don't remember seeing anything, only the Merch stand on my right, the PAX XP register help module and some little booths on the left :bigfrown:

    I will be sure to check thoroughly next year :biggrin:

    So you're willing and able to come to this specific forum to discuss your PAX South experience, acknowledge your awareness of PAX XP (and the associated required app), and the PAX subreddit, but the official PAX twitter account and other context clues surrounding the digital swag bag eluded you? It's also still there.
    I don't believe this is helpful.

    zerzhul on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 24
    Lho wrote: »
    whypick1 wrote: »
    Lho wrote: »
    also I read some comments above that there was a Digital Swag Bag I wasnt aware of, I didnt see any sign where you could receive it :bigfrown:

    There was also a large standup sign in the lobby detailing this

    Sorry, I'll be sure to check on Twitter for the next PAX :sad:

    About the standup sign I'm truly sorry that I should have totally missed it the 3 whole days, I remember entering through the query zone on Friday and directly through the lobby on sat and sun but I don't remember seeing anything, only the Merch stand on my right, the PAX XP register help module and some little booths on the left :bigfrown:

    I will be sure to check thoroughly next year :biggrin:
    no reason to apologize, sometimes one just misses things. Now you know where it is for next time! Doesn't hurt anyone else that you didn't know :)

    as an additional data point, I definitely didn't see the sign, myself. A good place to look if you can't find information on a thing for future cons is the information booth, which should be marked on any given pax map. the folks there can likely answer most of your in-con questions, or at least point you to the right place to get an answer.

    zerzhul on
  • mig0mig0 Registered User regular
    I want to add, I was disappointed in the significant lack of swag. It seemed that CEs were missing. No HyperX, I remember when Zotac was around along with other companies selling keyboards... its dwindled to just Cougar, no Aorus, no Alienware and other companies. Just Lucid Sound and the other headset company whose name eludes me (astro? aero?). Geico was missing also I think.

    Was it ever explained why Twitch stopped coming and what could have them come back?

  • HawkeHawke Registered User new member
    I think there may be some floor space in the main hall for more VR and Arcade as many folks have been asking for.

    I am disappointed PAX management cut off the adult beverage sales in the courtyard on the second day. We've enjoyed that in years past as a way to get outside, enjoy a beer, and get back into the convention quickly. I'm not sure what the story was, but it never was crowded and never saw anyone get out of hand in my years of coming. If I had to guess, the end result will be people who would be trouble will leave the convention and feel the need to have a few extra since they don't want to leave again and actually create an issue.

  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I'm kind of disappointed that out of all the panels there weren't any featuring writers this year that I could see. I really enjoyed the ones from last year, and not just the Rothfuss one, along with the book signing.

    PAX XP was much more understandable this year compared to last, and I liked the little prize for getting all ten of the places of power, even if I wasn't much into the actual story, even once I twigged on to the fact that Cowboy Yellow and Cowboy Blue were Gabe and Tycho.

    Did not like the drippy theme this year at all, on anything that featured the design.

    Did not like seeing the military doing faux-recruitment at a video game/board game convention again, but at least this year they weren't specifically hyped up in the program.

    Other than those minor complaints things went pretty swimmingly. The multiple metal detectors made getting in pretty simple, didn't have to wait in line long at all on opening day.

    PSN: AuthorFrost
  • PirateTruckPirateTruck Registered User regular
    I had a lot of fun being with a group instead of solo this year. I heard people saying attendance was noticeably smaller this year, but I couldn't tell. On Saturday at least. Friday did feel light. Here are some of my thoughts:

    - At South there is always talk about a lack of big names in the Expo Hall. I can see that argument but since I was expecting it this year it actually made it fun to just focus on so many indie games. So I won't make that complaint anymore.
    - My only negative experience: I don't know if PAX can do anything about this or if it is the responsibility of the booth, but getting into the Days Gone line was incredibly inconsistent and frustrating. Their line was very short and would cap fast, which is probably due to their booth design with merch in the corner. However, when we tried to stand nearby and wait for the line to open, we were told by the exhibitors that we weren't allowed to linger around. We moved further away, staying out of traffic, but were still told by an Enforcer we had to leave. Yet as we passed by the booth multiple times during the weekend to see if we could get in, we watched other groups stand right in the middle of the aisle until the line opened. I know it sounds like I'm just griping, but one time we were told we can't stand around waiting, and then another group walked up right after us and just stood right in the middle of the aisle and were let in a few minutes later.
    - I also was not a fan of the melty PAX logo, but I bought a tshirt anyway because that's always my souvenir.
    - I know this has nothing to do with the show's control, but the cosplay seemed better than past Souths.
    - I loved the massive amount of tabletop space and it was cool seeing it so filled up with players.
    - I enjoyed PAX XP and thought the prize at the end was worth it.
    - I understand how hard it has to be to man the VR freeplay area, but that line is soooooo slow. The room could easily double in size and number of headsets and there would still be a line.
    - My biggest regret is that I didn't go to Mariachi Entertainment System until the last 15 minutes of their set, and then realizing I didn't go see them at all at past shows. They were amazing! I definitely hope to see them at future shows.

  • PreacherChePreacherChe Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    The major thing that colored my experience this year was my best friend, who has been to every PAX South with me, had the flu this year. I had a great time with my 14 yr old daughters, and it was great to get away from work and such, but it just wasn't the same without him.

    I'll start with one "wth" thing - On the official PAX South Facebook page, on Sept 13th, they posted "What do you want to see at PAX South 2019?" Out of over 50 replies, mine was the ONLY one on which official PAX account clicked "like". It was weird enough that they did, so yes I took the time to check the rest and scratch my head trying to figure out what was unique about mine. The first thing I said was simply "something new/different" - so, maybe this was what they "liked". If so, I saw nothing new or different this year, at least not materially different enough that I noticed it. Definitely feels like this PAX has stagnated. :(

    Other things I suggested in my FB reply:
    • More celebs (YouTube, Twitch, gaming/geek community, etc.) - 👎 nope, at least not the type I would have noticed
    • Pat Rothfuss - 👎 nope - I was really hoping to introduce my daughter who I finally got to read his books and is in love
    • Acq Inc - 👍 yes, and while I know some have complained about the Sat evening time, it worked better for me
    • more VR (and more centrally located) - 👎 it wasn't centrally located, so I didn't bother to check it out
    • embrace cosplay more thoroughly - 👎 there was one(?) cosplay related panel - that's not embracing - like would it hurt to have a cosplay contest?

    Additional stuff:
    • 👎 The length of the line to get into the main entrance was absolutely ridiculous. Maybe it was the addition of the completely unnecessary metal detectors - I saw several folks set them off and just get waved through (security theater much?). I don't recall there being a line after 10am in previously years, and on this past Saturday around 10:45am we started in line waaaaay around the corner of the building. That said, we were passing through the metal detectors 10 minutes later, so they did keep it moving. 👍
    • 👎 Bleh on the melted cheese theme this year and the related merch. This seems to be a common opinion. I was able to buy an LE pin easily late on Saturday morning, which never happens for me. 👍? (Bought it a bit out of protest, because even though I dislike the design, I'm a near-obsessive completioninst collector of LE pins.)
    • 👎 The panels were meh. I added a few on my schedule, but ended up not going to a single one (except Acq Inc on Sat night).
    • 👎 Briefly mentioned above, celebrity attendance has dropped significantly. Maybe there were streamers or some such there - my kids knew a few - but, this is the first year I didn't bother at all to get a single autograph. (It was cool the WWE dude was there and seemed to be into the scene, even though I didn't really know who he was. 👍)
    • 👎 Verizon reception was non-existent in the expo hall and surrounding areas, except in a few unique spots, on Saturday and much of Sunday. I saw comments about this being a venue issue, but jesus this sucks when trying to get ahold of your kids to sync up.
    • 👎 True Dungeon is just too darn expensive. Last year left too bad of a taste in my mouth for that kind of expense, so we skipped it this year.
    • I saw someone mention more room for Reaper and I second this. I treat my visit to the Reaper booth as a meditation away from the madness of the rest of the con, and it's now kinda difficult to get a seat - used to just be able to walk up and spend a while.

    A few brief key positive things that I want to recognize:
    • 👍👍 PLENTY of seating near the eating areas - definitely has improved each year (more food options would be nice, though)
    • 👍 Plenty of seating for board gaming
    • 👍 PC free play was much easier to quickly get set up on Discord and get going, and the line moved quickly - very well managed area

    This was leading up to be my last PAX South, because the con seems to be stagnating and it's getting hard to justify the expense. Since my friend wasn't able to go this year, I'll probably be there next year to treat 2020 as my final test. For the love of God, please do something new and different, because I really want to look forward to going due to the con experience, not just the getting away from work part, which I could do for a lot less money closer to home.

  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Saw this mentioned in the Lootbox thread in D&D and figured it bears mentioning here too. The booth with the $40 lootboxes seemed unnecessarily predatory and when I was walking around seeing people open their boxes I didn't really see any of them muster more emotion than meh at best.

    PSN: AuthorFrost
  • mig0mig0 Registered User regular
    edited February 3
    Tmobile was useless. I have a verizon MVNO phone that had poor connectivity on Friday but over the weekend was tolerable.

    How much of the changes to South is due to it being around MLK weekend, rather than 2 weeks later at the end of January which is when it used to be? Last year I hated being downtown on that Monday because a lot was closed and I vowed to stay an extra day but this year I felt over it and was ready to go home by Monday.

    mig0 on
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