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East 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.

Posts

  • nycguynycguy Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    I had a great time this year! This was my 2nd East and I really can't wait til next year.

    Lines: not as bad as I thought they'd be. Thursday was heavenly..please keep Thursday forever!
    Food: pretty terrible, but the food trucks were solid
    Activities/Events: too much to do and so little time to do it. Thanks PAX for putting on such great programming leaving me really torn at times with do I go to this or go do this instead?
    Expo: so glad the eMLS was moved to an outside venue! It was great to visit outside knowing it'd be packed, but still leaving the Expo free enough to showcase some other games
    Raffles: I wish the companies that tend to draw the big crowds of raffles were placed along the edges so that the overflow of standees waiting to hear their number called could have a place to stand. An enforcer asking folks to step in to the yellow lines and "get comfortable with everyone" blah blah...while I get it is well-intended, but in NYC for example...that could be construed as unwanted touching. For example, Corsair and ROG were well-placed with overflow space along the outer walkways... However, companies like Enermax doing large raffles it just wasn't a good spot for them; they would have been better off being on an edge somewhere. I should say this though...I thoroughly enjoy the raffles either way. I even won some cool gear and games totaling over $200 this year. I always enter raffles as I see them and do not wish for them to go away but rather just ask that they are more strategically placed in the expo hall. I’m sure it can be done! I am even willing to coordinate the organization of this if desired. :)
    Parking: A little weird this year, but otherwise still decent. I was told by an attendee that they wouldn't let you park in the East lot if you were too early or too late. Historically they'd fill the East lot and then the actual South lot, but whatever... I managed. Also weird there were no tweets or info disseminated when a lot became full. I swore I read somewhere that parking capacity would be announced somewhere. One day I got diverted to the Channel Street Garage and ended up paying about a 30% premium despite being further away
    BYOC: 1st timer with BYOC and definitely not the last. Everyone was fantastic

    overall, still an A in my book and I am grateful for all of those who put on such a solid show.

    nycguy on
    DisruptedCapitalistCanderson1989Dark Raven X
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    So a couple good and a couple things I would like to see.

    The Good:
    As always the attendees and the enforcers are great and friendly.
    The continued increasing of Live D&D is a trend I like to see (DCA, Acq Inc. and now Rollout as well).
    Expo Hall for the most part was laidout well and most of the time it felt like there was enough space to walk.
    Early in the morning and in the evening getting in was pretty quick.
    Having food trucks is great.

    Potential Improvements:
    I would like to see PSVR in VR Freeplay (if it was there I didn't see to see any signage).
    There seemed to be a lack of single player offerings at PC Freeplay if the screen was a full list of games. As someone who likes to try games via Freeplay before buying it would be nice to see more PC solo play options.
    In the RPG Freeplay area it seemed unclear when you needed to line up before s line got capped.
    Being told by an enforcer I easily had 10-15 minutes and the line getting capped while I was creating a character for said event was disappointing (I don't blame the enforcer at all).
    Maybe if D&D beyond is being pushed as hard as it is allow you to have a place in line and then leave to make a character without losing that spot in line. So an experience like mine doesn't happen?

    Overall great PAX like it always is and the minor criticism, is far outweighed by a great show.

  • harleyquinn228harleyquinn228 Registered User regular
    I thought this year was great. Last year I didn't get to go the whole weekend, so this was my first year actually getting to experience it for all 4 days.

    Hotels: I think that 98% can agree that the reservation system this year blew. Even if it worked out well for you in the end, there was an added layer of stress. I also LOVED (see also, hated) that the Wesin had a bunch of construction that was not mentioned on the hotel's site, and the lovely jackhammer woke me up promptly at 8am. I did however actually love having a room facing the BCEC, perhaps you saw some pacman post-it art? Twas me/my husband and my friend. =)
    Westin Specific: I know this isn't strictly PAX's doing or anything, but I feel less welcome in the Westin after the initial night as a PAXer. I am so thrilled they allow us the space for the night before for games, but then they closed it off for us the rest of the weekend. The only places to hang out and game are the 10 or so SMALL tables by Sauciety and if you can get a spot by the bar. And then when the Sauciety bar closes, you are SOL because you can't bring your own beers down(confiscated) and it takes an hour to get a drink from the other bar. Again, not strictly anything to be done, but I appreciated when they at least let us have those tables down stairs for nights through the con. They had a few other events happening at the same time, so I understand somewhat, it was just annoying.
    Lines:I agree with the other comment, I love Thursday, I hope they keep it a 4 day con and that it doesn't sell out all 4 days bc man, was that an amazing day. Got through so many booths and games, and then relaxed a bit on the crazy days.
    Food: The food trucks are always a welcome things, but hot DAMN those lines. It seemed that the quality of the food inside has improved, though the prices are def hard to deal with.
    Merch: They had some great options for merch this year. However, they didn't keep a supply set aside for each day. It took me a while to decide if I wanted the Video Games crew neck just because I didn't know if I would be spending my mortgage on other things at the con, and they were all gone by Saturday. In previous years, they at least kept some boxes back for each day so if you didn't get there till Sunday you at least had a chance. I am super bummed I didn't get the maroon version, I stared at it all weekend
    Enforcers: As always, they were helpful, kind, and ever-present. I hope every one of them feels appreciated.
    Mini-Map: A fantastic thing to have. The app works alright most of the time, but it's great to have a paper map to throw in your pocket instead of carrying around the entire show book.
    Bag Check: Never great. The no bag line wound up being longer at times than the bag line, sometimes because it wasn't being watched closely and people just jumped in, and most times because they only had 2 detectors for no bags.
    Events/Activities: Some amazing things this year, some returning, some new. I loved all the D&D being shown in the main theater, great to see so many different styles of play and story telling. The PAX Bake off was hilarious. There were many times that things overlapped and I was sad to miss one or the other.

    Overall, a great year, great experience, GREAT weather. Thank you to all who help throw this shindig every year, even in the slightest way. Planning, enforcing, forums, exhibitors, etc. It wouldn't be as awesome without everyone giving it their all.



  • millerm277millerm277 Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    Big picture: Pretty solid year.

    Positive:
    - The event seems to have found a better balance with things like streamers/eSports and the rest of the event. Some of the more recent years had felt like that was overshadowing everything else, and I didn't feel that this year.

    - Indies were great and in general I found a lot of interesting new games on the show floor, which is fantastic and a big part of what I like to discover.

    - I felt the panel lineup was a significant improvement overall. More decent content there.

    - People seemed to be largely in a good mood, better than usual! Met more new (and old) friends than usual.

    Negative I'm going to rant on a bit: Entry lines

    This is really a complaint on behalf of others. I've been coming a long time. I know when the Westin Skybridge opens, I know where the other entrances on the building are, how people tend to flow throughout the day and all that. I didn't wait more than 5 minutes to get in on any day. But a large number of people aren't me. They show up, get very little direction and get in a giant line stretching all the way over the bridge.

    The lines out front peaked at by far the worst I have ever seen for both the convention and anything else I've attended with similar security, including giant concert venues/stadiums (which see similar arrival waves). The TSA on a major holiday is not the comparison that should come to mind for how hard it is to get to get in the door to a convention, and it starts the day off wrong for a lot of attendees, particularly new ones.

    At this point we've had the same security measures for years. There has to be a way to improve this and get people in the door in a more reasonable period of time.

    millerm277 on
    Canderson1989
  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Went every day (Have not missed one day of PAX East in 10 years) and had a great time even though I had to solo Fri and Sat. Friend I usually go with could not make it this year sadly.

    As always PAX puts on a stellar show every year. I never seems to get "better" but it never gets old and is ALWAYS a blast and a lot of fun every year.

    Just a couple of things:

    Enforcers: Thank You Thank You Thank You. Without you the show would probably a complete mess. Just helping to keep order around the convention is a world of help. Helping with keeping people moving and orientated is great. Quite a few times, even after 10 years, I needed some help and they where ALWAYS super helpful and friendly. Entertaining people in long lines is also quite welcomed. Again I can not say it enough Thank You.

    Food: Yeah we all know convention food blows and is highly over priced garbage but on that note we also all know what we are getting into if we do not pack a lunch. The food trucks seems to expand every year and that is awesome. Much better food choices at a more reasonable price. An $11 "Hot Chick" sandwich cooked to order from https://www.complimentsfood.com/our-foods is a million times better than a $12 cold pre-made "ham and cheese" sandwich from the convention center. I got one every day :P It was amazingly good.

    Can we somehow have menus for the food trucks INSIDE by the doors before leaving the BCEC or at least a listing of trucks so we can go to their website to see potential menus? If for some reason you do not want food from the trucks you have to wait in a huge line to get back into the convention center. (A little secret while a bit of a walk, under 10 mins, you can walk around to the main entrance to get back in faster. There was no line there). This would be super helpful. This also goes to the BCEC. MENUS and where the food is located so you don;t have to walk around everywhere seeing whats there for food and stuff.

    Also can we do something about having to walk through the smoking area to get to the food trucks. Maybe I missed another entrance to the trucks but every day I had to go through a crowd of smokers and vapers (both disgust me to no end) breathing in that crap just to get to the food truck and back to the BCEC. Maybe a smoke-free entrance somehow?

    Raffles: This comes up EVERY YEAR. PLEASE do something to put an end to or at least wrangle it in a bit more. This year I noticed a few more enforcers creating "barriers" to limit people looking at the raffle and moving people along if they did not really need to be stopping there. There has to be a better way and there most likely is. This is my most hated thing about this show.

    Security checkpoints:Getting in it to the BCEC every morning is nothing short of an adventure all in itself. I waited longer to get in Friday morning than I did for anything on the Expo floor.
    I get it we need security. I'm not against that even if I feel it serves very little purpose. If people want to get something into the BCEC bag checks, metal detectors and a handful of dogs are not going to stop them. But that is my opinion.

    Maybe next year can we get rid of the bag and no bag lines? This year it seemed like the no bag line took forever to move along. I had a bag everyday but I overheard someone on Saturday say they brought an empty bag just to get in the faster moving line.

    I noticed that where the split between bag and no bag was a small stanchion sign that said "Bag Check Line". There was as far as I could see no sign directing the no bag people to the other line. Maybe should have a "No Bag Line" sign next to it or even an enforcer/security directing people better there. I saw MANY people with bags that did not see the bag check sign and continued to follow the flow of the crowd to the no bag line only to have to back track and hope people where nice to let them "cut" into the bag line (which they always did).

    How about just keeping it one line? People line up halfway around the BCEC as per usual and just head to a super long queue system that leads up to a whole bunch of metal detectors, tables and security personnel.

    Cookie Brigade: https://www.cookiebrigade.org/wp/ One of my most favorite parts of PAX. Thank you PAX for allowing them to do what they do every year. Most people may not know this but they are not welcomed by the BCEC. In fact they are technically not allowed to give away their cookies there. PAX still welcomes them there every year though so they can continue to raise THOUSANDS of dollars for the Child's Play charity. I have been told that in the past they have asked to leave the BCEC.

    The fact they are not welcomed is, to me, completely unacceptable. Since 2010 (First PAX East) They have raised over $160,000 giving away cookies for a donation if you so choose to donate. Last year they raised almost $30,000 at PAX East alone. This is PEANUTS compared to what the BCEC makes in more than just food alone for the whole convention. I do not understand why they are not allowed to be there. People donating a few dollars to get a cookie is not going to stop people from buying convention foods if they where planning on doing that anyway.

    I am not sure what can be done to prevent this from happening again next year but they should be allowed to roam the BCEC freely to raise money for a great charity without the fear of being removed from the building.

    So that's my rant. Went on a bit longer than I expected.

    See you all again next year.

    Gvug9Tu.png
    suretteRhea_starstorm
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Sepioth wrote: »
    Cookie Brigade: https://www.cookiebrigade.org/wp/ One of my most favorite parts of PAX. Thank you PAX for allowing them to do what they do every year. Most people may not know this but they are not welcomed by the BCEC. In fact they are technically not allowed to give away their cookies there. PAX still welcomes them there every year though so they can continue to raise THOUSANDS of dollars for the Child's Play charity. I have been told that in the past they have asked to leave the BCEC.

    The fact they are not welcomed is, to me, completely unacceptable. Since 2010 (First PAX East) They have raised over $160,000 giving away cookies for a donation if you so choose to donate. Last year they raised almost $30,000 at PAX East alone. This is PEANUTS compared to what the BCEC makes in more than just food alone for the whole convention. I do not understand why they are not allowed to be there. People donating a few dollars to get a cookie is not going to stop people from buying convention foods if they where planning on doing that anyway.

    I am not sure what can be done to prevent this from happening again next year but they should be allowed to roam the BCEC freely to raise money for a great charity without the fear of being removed from the building.
    There is a permanent solution to this being worked on by our good friends at the Cookie Brigade. As far as why, food service laws/contracts. Disclaimer: I do not speak for CB at all.

    iltaXenigmaRhea_starstormishtraDark Raven X
  • SnowDogSnowDog Central MARegistered User regular
    Ninth year PAX East veteran here (yes, I still regret missing year one).

    Disclaimer: I come to PAX to play tabletop games and be surrounded by nerd culture, and that's just about it. I have never attended a panel, concert, or party at PAX. I usually wander the expo hall for a 15-30 minute tour. So all my opinions represent the far weird side of PAX attendees, yes, I know.

    I loved PAX this year.

    The tabletop lending library was great -- efficient, friendly, and insanely good selection. I can't say enough good about the library folks. You make PAX work for me.
    There were fewer round tables than there used to be, but more than last year, so that's great. The spacing between the tables was fine, there seemed to be enough tabletop space, etc. Keep it up.
    While I personally didn't make use of First Look, but I was glad to see it available.
    I also LOVED to see the dedicated RPG space. It made my grognard heart happy to see so many people waiting in lines to play D&D and other RPGs. I love that Indie Games on Demand get First Tier treatment and aren't trying to beg table space. It's phenomenal to see this part of the hobby grow this much and into such diverse areas.

    Finally, PAX Thursday is turning into "better than Christmas" in terms of quality of experience. Room to breathe, ample selection of games, everything great about PAX with 2/3 the people clogging it up. I understand every day can't be like Thursday, but I hope Thursday never turns into "like every other day."

    Yes, the lines to get in were no fun. The lines getting back in from the food trucks were no fun (the food trucks themselves, though, were A+). I agree with others who say it would be great to have menus posted, or at least a link to them from the PAX site, or something. I'd also love to know when they leave. Especially when you're mid-board-game, it can be tough to time things.

    Only other minor nitpick was the Sunday noise level -- whatever was going on on the expo hall floor at like 11, 11:30 maybe? Really loud music and announcers, to the point where even in tabletop some distance away, we had to shout to each other. Then again, as I said, I understand I represent a weird sub-population of PAX attendees, and others may enjoy that level of sound.

    Enforcers, great job as always. And kudos to the true unsung heroes of PAX, the tireless janitorial crew working those rest rooms.

    ilta
  • iltailta Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    Overall, this was a pretty great PAX for me! I was wandering the expo floor almost the entire time, and still discovering new games I somehow hadn't managed to see, right up until the closing half hour. 98% of the developers were super nice and willing to chat; the sellers were all kind and helpful and not at all pushy. Every exhibitor seemed to be having a really good (if exhausting!) experience, and most of them seemed to have done well in terms of selling what they brought. I very rarely had to wait to play anything (I avoid the AAA section like the plague and just stroll around the indies and tabletop), and most of the demos were well-tuned to the flow of PAX, giving enough of a taste without making people wait too long to jump in. The panel coordinators -- both the contact ahead of time and the enforcers running the panels -- did an excellent job of dealing with issues and answering questions, helping my own panel to go off as well as it possibly could have. Just a great convention, filled with and staffed by excellent humans.

    Thursday remains the absolute best, and I echo the others who hope that it remains exactly as it has, with smaller crowds and a more relaxed environment overall. A great way to ease into the weekend.

    The hall was laid out extremely well, and getting from one area to another was very easy. The hanging signs (like the Poland games area and the Indie Megabooth) really helped with wayfinding, and it was very rare that I couldn't get moderately efficiently and effectively to wherever I wanted to go on more or less my first try. The paper map was also nice. The main PAX Merch Booth worked smoothly and efficiently, as it always does, but it seemed to move extra well this year -- probably because the checkout line was shunted away from the escalators. Smart choice, whoever made that call!

    Some new areas for improvement / suggestions for others:

    For my panel, I provided a permalink to the slideshow, so that attendees could check it out at their convenience (bit.ly/cosplayslides if you're curious). I strongly recommend this as a suggested best practice for other panels! So nice to not have folks trying to scribble things down or crane their necks if they can't get a good view of photos on the screens, and knowing they could check things out later meant I didn't feel quite as bad when we had to skip some things for the sake of time.

    It would have been nice to get a heads-up that there were other similarly-named panels, or panels covering similar ground. In my case, my panel was "Cosplay Photography 101"; there were other panels named "Cosplay Photography" AND "Cosplay 101"; I would have happily renamed my panel to avoid confusion with either of these, and/or worked with them directly to make sure we were all covering different territory (it turns out we were, mostly, but we very well might not have been). There's no reason to keep panelists in the dark about what the rest of the con is shaping up to look like! Let us work together to make sure we're all offering a clear and non-overlapping experience to attendees.

    It would also be cool to hear some feedback on panel applications -- both when they're accepted, and when they aren't -- so that we know what the panel-choosers liked about the pitch, or didn't like. This is especially true for rejections -- if I hear "we have a lot of this kind of panel submitted every year" that's a different kind of rejection than "we don't think attendees will be interested in this topic" or "we're not seeing the expertise we'd want on your topic" or whatever else. Similarly, knowing that one part of a panel application was received especially well means that I will try to emphasize that aspect in my panel plans, and bring similar ideas for future PAXes. Don't make me guess what will be a hit with your judges; tell me why you picked me, or didn't, and I'll be able to tailor my approach to make my panels the very best they can be.

    It would be helpful to encourage devs to communicate the expected playtime of a demo. In one case, I ended up playing a game for rather a long time, because I kept expecting the demo to end. Eventually the dev, politely, told me that I was actually just playing the full game. I felt like a jerk! If I had known, I would have left much sooner to give other folks a chance to jump in! Sorry to that nice dev, and to anyone else who had to wait around as I played many levels of a puzzle game and lost all track of time. Similarly, there were probably other games that I got a taste of, but left just before the demo ended, because I didn't want to take up too much time or space. Good demos are just enough to give a taste, and should clearly communicate when they are approaching a stopping point.

    Now that PAX Unplugged is a thing, the dozen or so tabletop-area exhibitors felt very lonely, especially after many of them shut down at 6:00, which didn't use to be the case. Many tabletop companies (Renegade, North Star, Dire Wolf, Archon, Dwarven Forge, etc) were off in the main expo hall area -- which is great for them, because more foot traffic, but less great if you want to get an after-hours demo or go shopping for board games after 6:00. And a number of former PAX tabletop stalwarts (Mayfair, which is now Asmodee, Reaper Minis, Stronghold, CMON) were very much missed this year.

    The app could do more, especially by letting exhibitors put in a searchable paragraph about what they're bringing, anything special they're doing, whether there will be prizes to try to win, etc. I don't always know which indie dev is making a cool game; help me remember who I met, or plan who I want to meet, by letting me search by game title, platform, key terms, etc. Same with board games, accessories, game design colleges, whatever. Tag them with meaningful tags so I can discover them! In short, you could be giving us so much more than just a list of companies! (And also, don't separate the tabletop exhibitor list from the regular exhibitors; since as I mentioned many tabletop companies are now in the main expo hall area; separating them into two lists meant I had to search twice each time to be sure I wasn't missing anyone. No need for that, or let me tag whether I want to search for one area, the other area, or both at the same time).

    ilta on
  • iltailta Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    The same old areas for improvement that seem to come up every year: hotels, lines, some lingering D&D issues, and raffles:

    One notable step backwards this year was the new hotel reservation system, which was, not to put too fine a point on it, a mess on nearly every level. I never thought I would miss OnPeak but here I am, missing it. This new company was not at all ready for primetime, both when tickets went on sale and in the months that followed. Crashes, dropped reservations, inability to adjust or combine reservations, lack of communication, and just general UI wonkiness all conspired to make hotel booking a negative and unnecessarily-stressful experience for me and (judging by other posts on this forum over the last few months) for many others as well. I only ended up getting a room at all because someone posted here that the hotels were taking bookings at the convention rates if you called them directly. Once I did that, it all worked out fine, entirely because I was no longer dealing with the official reservation system. Please find a way to stress-test these third party companies and insist that they improve their usability and stability. The level of traffic should not at all be a surprise at this point, and companies should be ready to take it on, and certainly if we're going to bring in new companies the experience should be IMPROVING year-to-year, not getting worse.

    Security Theater remains a joke, but there's not much that can be done about that, I guess. What COULD be improved, and what made it extra-frustrating, is that there was no consistency about the policies day-to-day.

    Namely: on Thursday, the side doors (on Avenue D) opened at 10 promptly and I was waved right through the security as I walked by, entered the quickly-emptying queue line, and went more or less immediately to the floor. On Friday, people were told that the side doors would similarly open at 10 and formed up at about 9:50, but 10 came and went with no doors. The line grew longer and longer. Another BCEC person came and said that they wouldn't open the door until the queue cleared (this happened by 10:10; we could all see it, and so could the BCEC staffers) and then BCEC folk said actually, maybe 11:00, and possibly not at all (?!). I saw a woman with an exhibitor badge turned away, and another with a media badge; both were told to go up front to the main entrance, which is insane. By about 10:20 I abandoned the side door and went in at the front myself; I don't know when that side entrance actually did open up that day. On Saturday I got in early enough at the front and went straight to make-a-strip (which was fantastic, as always!), so I don't know what the side door situation was. On Sunday, I again ignored the side entrance and ended up directed into a ridiculously long queue line inside the BCEC that wrapped literally from the info booth area all the way to the entrance that spat out between tabletop and the rest of the expo floor. Enforcers were insisting that everyone entering through any entrance use this one massive line, which condensed into one escalator that led to one door. Most of the time it didn't seem to move at all. To rub salt in the wounds, when I finally got down that escalator I saw that the side doors had been opened up, and were spilling directly into this line with no rhyme or reason, compounding the problems already in place. It took the better part of an hour to get to the floor, all of which was PAST the bag check. It should not take that long on any day to get from the entrance of BCEC to the show floor, especially not on a non-sold-out day.

    Ultimately, whatever the policy is going to be at the side entrances, and in terms of lines, it should be consistent and well advertised and, ideally, efficient. The Expo hall has several ways in and at some point (10:00? Once the official queue area is empty? 10:30, regardless?) attendees should be directed to use multiple doors, close to multiple entrances, so that the expo hall can be quickly and efficiently filled. This is 10 years of doing PAX East, and 6 years of post-marathon security theater. It shouldn't be a mystery which door or line policy I'm going to get each morning and we shouldn't be funneling thousands of people down ONE ESCALATOR when we have half a dozen entrances we can push them through.

    And exhibitors absolutely shouldn't be getting turned away or told to hike around the entire building and made to wait with the rest of attendees to get to the booths they need to be manning.

    D&D area was cool and superbly well-staffed, as always, but I was sorely disappointed that there was only Tier 1 content the entire weekend. Not a single adventure for my Tier 2 character. I get that Tier 1 is always going to be the way in, and it's wonderful to see so many people new to tabletop RPGing (I was you at the first PAX Unplugged!), but having other options besides ONLY intro level adventures helps take the pressure off and also helps more experienced players join parties that aren't entirely level 1s that a stiff breeze can blow over and with no spells or cool powers. Serve a wider variety of people. And if the problem is that there's not enough space to meet the needs of Tier 1 players while also offering something for others, consider allocating more space for D&D.

    I still don't know why there's a queue area marked off in the main floor area when that is such prime real estate that goes to waste 75% of the day, and there are numerous side rooms and hallways that could be allocated for that instead. At least it was smaller than previous years.

    Finally, live raffles are awful and they should just be banned already, like many on this forum ask for every year. They're a hazard, especially at those tiny 10x10 booths on the side aisles. As are autographs happening in those same booths (looking at you, Cyanide and Happiness folks -- I love you, and your card game is fantastic, but c'mon, get a bigger or better-placed booth next time if you're going to have your artists signing cards. Or ask for a spot in the autograph area).

    ilta on
  • iltailta Registered User regular
    Again, I want to clarify that my suggestions are all ways to improve an already-mostly-excellent experience. I don't do a lot of cons but I look forward to my two PAXes a year (East and Unplugged) and even though the pain points are painful, they are not enough -- not by a long shot -- to outweigh the great work that I see being done by everyone involved, and the even greater work that I am sure I as an attendee and sometimes-panelist never even get to see. Congrats on a wonderful 2019, see you all in Philly and 2020!

  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    There is a permanent solution to this being worked on by our good friends at the Cookie Brigade. As far as why, food service laws/contracts. Disclaimer: I do not speak for CB at all.
    Glad to hear that hopefully something is being done. While I get that there are food contracts with various places and such they are a charity asking for a small donation in exchange for a FREE cookie. They are hardly taking potential food sales from anyone.

    @ilta Thanks for also mentioning the raffles. I still do not understand while these booths are allowed to continue to do this every year. They are unnecessary, a nuicense and a huge safety concern. Why do we have to wait for someone to get hurt before we stop it?

    Also that queue area near tabletop is used later for autograph sessions I believe.

    And Finally .. Yeah people with special badges (Exhibitor, Media, Medical, Enforcer, Etc) should have their own side entrance and should not be forced to use the main lines.

    It does amaze though me how every year line management is a disaster after ALL these years of PAX

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  • iltailta Registered User regular
    Sepioth wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    There is a permanent solution to this being worked on by our good friends at the Cookie Brigade. As far as why, food service laws/contracts. Disclaimer: I do not speak for CB at all.
    Also that queue area near tabletop is used later for autograph sessions I believe.

    Oh, I know, but autographs (and Pinny trading) aren't happening all the time and that area mostly just sits empty. There are so many places where autographs, and the lines to form them, could happen; they don't need to take up space on the floor. It's been far worse in previous years -- one time it was an entire third of that back section. It was much better this year, but even so the RPG area could be expanded significantly if the queue area was moved to the surrounding hallways and rooms. Even just empty tables for tabletop freeplay would be a more useful use of that prime real estate.

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    edited April 2
    This was my 9th PAX East and my decision to only go Thursday and Friday is perfect for me. I avoid Saturday's like the plague. I would have considered snagging a Sunday pass day-of had I not woken up Saturday morning feeling like the plague I was attempting to avoid (curse you PAX Pox!) Overall, this was a damn fun time, mostly due to Thursday.

    PROS:
    • Thursday Thursday Thursday. I cannot rant enough about how incredible Thursdays are. As I said last year, Thursday feels like PAX East 6 years ago and I love the hell out of it. I was considering skipping a year of PAX when they offered Thursdays, and now I get exactly what I want from PAX. I even got to try out some demos which usually have a crazy long line, something I tend to avoid thanks to massive crowds.
    • Seeking out Josh for the Pisces pin; this was awesome. I don't care about the pins, but my friend needed to find Josh for a specific Zodiac pin, so we spent two days asking people who had no idea who the guy was. Eventually, we heard from the folks at Child's Play that he had a camera with a live feed which we could use to find him roaming the floor. It turned into a game, especially given the shotty reception only allowing for 5 seconds of footage to determine his location. We'd run over to where we thought he was, tune in, then point and run. Eventually we found him, and Josh was cool as hell about trading for the pin. The amount of fun we had just tracking him down was beyond worth it. Not sure if this is something that could be repeatable for other things, but I would totally get involved in something like this at future events.
    • Even though I didn't attend a single panel this year, the lines map was a fantastic idea and I hope it continues. Great improvement.
    • Floor layout (even on Friday) felt a lot less congested. I can't speak for the mayhem of Saturday, but navigating around the Expo Hall seems easier that previous years. Perhaps it was due to all the empty space in the middle near the plethora of VR setups.
    • Great indie presence with a lot to offer. For me, indie games and tabletop are what I go for at PAX. We all know about the AAA titles coming out, but these gems are harder to find, even when you know the genre you're looking for. Very stoked for Rad when it comes out.

    CON:
    • Always the complaint, the entrance lines are still a concern, and one that I do not know how handle it better. As someone already stated, attending for many years has lead to some wisdom that is not commonly shared. I know where to go and when in order to reduce line times. On Thursday, we walked past the initial line near the bridge to scout ahead and saw the the other line was over half the size of the former, so we just jumped in there. Maybe signage showing that there are multiple lines would help reduce the cluster in the first line.
    • Whatever happened to the Assassin's Ball? I only did it once and it was tons of fun. Forced me to be more social and was a game within the convention.

    Since I only went Thurs/Fri, a lot of the other cons didn't seem to apply, or I was lucky enough to avoid. This was a fantastic PAX that was totally worth getting sick over. My two-day method is working perfectly for me, as I felt slightly sad when Friday came to an end, wanting just a little bit more.

    Le_Goat on
    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    ishtra
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I will say that I very much noticed the improvements this year on the expo floor. I can't count the number of times I found myself lookin around at the expo hall and thinking, "man this whole thing has come a long way since the Hynes". The improvements from last year are more subtle than when considering the improvements from years where the middle section of the expo space between expo and tabletop were used for nothing and acted as a vast desert between the two. However it seems like whoever's planning the main hall has really nailed down the whole continuous flow from the front escalators all the way to the back wall of tabletop thing. Taking in the walk from escalator to back wall left you with very little space where you were not located next to something to see and/or do so your walking from one section to the other never felt wasted. As well I only ran into congestion on the floor a few times, and even when congestion popped up getting to some alley, and finding your way to a main thoroughfare and around the blockage to get to what you wanted was always easy. Really the logistical arrangement of AAA producers, big name hardware producers, arenas, and the indie megabooth, as well as the management of the lines for each to control the flow of people was downright impressive this year. The only places i ran into congestion was when some indie or boardgame was catching way more attention than one would normally expect, or once when a raffle was going down.

    I think the only complaint I can really find for this year echoes the other responses here. We need a better more clearly defined policy on side doors in the morning and throughout the day. Especially since all the shuttles drop folks there. At the very least the shuttle's shouldn't drop passengers in front of an entrance that is closed (as they did pretty much every time I took it this year). Considering next year's timing (the end of february) this particular issue kinda needs to be addressed because it may leave folks standing or walking out in a cold they aren't really geared to deal with.

    Really outside of the side door usage issues this con really has come a long way from where it started on all other fronts and it's really impressive to consider it next to previous years. It feels like PAX East has really found its stride here and everyone I know that's been hitting this con for years now is in fairly wide agreement that this is really one of if not the best of the showings y'all have made in the past 9 years.

    ilta
  • XalaraXalara Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    • The issues with the AV equipment during the Gearbox panel must never happen again. Granted, that's more an issue with ReactionAV, but it's PAX that takes the blame.
    • The cosplay prop check was weird with a heavy focus on weight and "pointy" bits and less focus on common sense. I know PAX is fairly unfriendly to cosplay but it really needs to learn from BlizzCon and Emerald City Comicon in this area. It's especially weird when it's so easy to circumvent the prop check by going down to the hardware store and grabbing some zipties of the correct colour. At the very least, it would be nice to have Enforcers doing the check who are familiar with cosplay because I've never really gotten the impression that any of the Enforcers inspecting my props are all that familiar with how cosplay props are built.
    • This is more for PAX West, but I don't know where else to put it. If West is going to adopt metal detectors like Emerald City Comicon (both are ReedPop shows) there needs to be more of them and there needs to be a wider perimeter that let's people go into the freeway park and come back in without being scanned. Granted until the WSCC expansion happens this is going to be a cluster no matter what if metal detectors start being used for PAX West
    • With the lack of "big games" outside of Borderlands, the one stop shop nature of PAX East really showed just how much PAX West needs that convention center expansion. Both shows had a lack of "big things" but East's set up makes it far better to explore the smaller games, and shows just how much West needs the expansion.

    Xalara on
  • preddenpredden Registered User new member
    Longtime attendee making my first posting here. I come to PAX-East every year with a group of friends from Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. We always have a lot to talk about on the long car ride home after each show, so here are a few of our thoughts on PAX-East this year.


    Thursday is the best part of the event for us. Many have already said it before about how less congested this day is.

    Main floor layout was improved this year. It seemed to have better flow.

    Attendees seemed better behaved this year. We did not encounter as much juvenile nonsense/rudeness as there has been in years past. Even etiquette in the rest rooms seemed improved. We also noticed significantly less “gamer funk.”

    This was the first year we tried taking advantage of the tabletop area, and we enjoyed it quite a lot.

    We are consistently stymied by how this security line situation never improves.

    Panels. Ugh, we have so many issues here that there is no way to summarize everything. We all agreed that there are too many panels on things that are pointless. (The Business of Butt Jokes? Really?) There seems to be entirely too much overlap in multiple panels (Cosplay being an offender here. Do we really need that many Cosplay panels?). The lack of diverse panels is frustrating, which kind-of ties into our next point…

    Where are the ACAM people? It has been too many years without them at PAX-East. Their panels with retired game creators were always well-worth attending. Their arcade room was one of the highlights of PAX-East for my group. Whenever our group would split up for individual activities, our central meeting hub for getting back together was always that arcade. That room made us feel like kids again. Not having proper representation of arcade games is a huge negative in our opinion. PAX-East planning staff, please do whatever you have to do to get them back.

    We 100% agree with the person above who mentioned the smokers area and the food trucks. We talked about that very topic at length on the ride home. It is worth noting that the smoking problem goes beyond the food truck area as there are smokers who think it is appropriate to light up right next to a door and blow smoke at you while you attempt to pass by. That situation needs to be fixed ASAP.

    Best advice we can give to anyone looking for food at the BCEC: Don’t eat at the BCEC. The food trucks are a great addition since the BCEC food is, well, crap…but the lines and the smoker area are a bit too much for us. Catch an Uber and head over to the North End, Quincy Market or other food-friendly areas around town. Boston is such a great city to explore. Get out and do some of it during the con when you start to get a little overwhelmed by the con crowds.

    The app is underutilized. So much untapped potential keeps going to waste. The exhibitors need to provide info for what they are showing and that content must be searchable.

    The reservation system is WORSE than OnPeak.

    The Cookie Brigade situation is exhausting. I can’t speak for my group on this one, but I really don’t want to hear about contractual obligations, or whatever the BCEC/PAX-East excuse is this year. Cookie Brigade are doing a great thing with their fundraising and this needs to be fixed before the next con.

  • harleyquinn228harleyquinn228 Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    predden wrote: »

    Panels. Ugh, we have so many issues here that there is no way to summarize everything. We all agreed that there are too many panels on things that are pointless. (The Business of Butt Jokes? Really?) There seems to be entirely too much overlap in multiple panels (Cosplay being an offender here. Do we really need that many Cosplay panels?). The lack of diverse panels is frustrating, which kind-of ties into our next point…

    Where are the ACAM people? It has been too many years without them at PAX-East. Their panels with retired game creators were always well-worth attending. Their arcade room was one of the highlights of PAX-East for my group. Whenever our group would split up for individual activities, our central meeting hub for getting back together was always that arcade. That room made us feel like kids again. Not having proper representation of arcade games is a huge negative in our opinion. PAX-East planning staff, please do whatever you have to do to get them back.

    People who want to host a panel ask to do so. PAX approves them. Maybe I'm wrong, but at a con like this, I would think mostly people are asking to be apart of it, not PAX asking people to be there. Just because you aren't interested in Cosplay, doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of people who are. As someone mentioned above, the naming could have been better, as the 3 cosplay panels weren't the same, but were confusingly named very similarly. The other thing is, that the panels in no way effect you. If you don't like them, don't go to a particular one. I certainly didn't go to the Business of Butt Jokes, but maybe it would have been a fun hour to be off my feet if I stumbled in. Then again maybe not, but I didn't even see it on the list, is must have passed under my radar.

    In terms of ACAM, I def miss them at PAX. Here is a post from 2015 explaining why they aren't there anymore:
    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/31632000/#Comment_31632000

    It's sad, I can't imagine that it's cheap to travel with the room full of games they came with, and then to worry about repairs on top of that after 35000+ people bang on them all day.

    harleyquinn228 on
  • evanestalevanestal Registered User regular
    Overall, I thought the floor was easier to traverse. I found more of interest (especially video games this year), and I thought lines were generally manageable. Bathroom maintenance seemed better this year in general, with a few exceptions on Saturday. TRI's D&D process and capacity were excellent, great DM's and fun games.

    Suggestions
    1. The new parking garage across the street was a huge help and relief for parking, pre-sell that with badges.
    2. Have folks walking about selling waters on the floor, mobile vendor style (like at a baseball game).
    3. Where did "Pitch your game idea" go. It was a hilarious and well-attended event - and is sorely missed.

  • XenomasterXenomaster Registered User regular
    Xalara wrote: »
    • The issues with the AV equipment during the Gearbox panel must never happen again. Granted, that's more an issue with ReactionAV, but it's PAX that takes the blame.
    I mean or it could have been the fault of gearbox

  • krae_mankrae_man Registered User regular
    Some of the things I noticed that need to be worked on:

    -The long black drape walls on the outside edges were annoying. There were escalators that let you down to the expo hall floor right in the middle of them and you had to walk a ridiculous distance before you could get around them.

    -Bag check lines were Russian roulette. Some lines had multiple people checking bags per metal detector, others just had one. Some security guards thoroughly checked every nook and cranny of every bag, others barely glanced in each bag.

    -The app was a glitchy mess for me this year. Whenever I would scroll through a days schedule, it would "update" and warp me to 10am. It was a non stop fight to actually get to the end of a days schedule to add things to mine.

    -Is it just me or does this convention center have not nearly enough stalls/urinals in the bathrooms? Literally every bathroom had a line out the door at all times. I never experienced this at West.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the inflatable everything madness in the queue line every morning though. DONUT! DONUT! DONUT!

    The stuff people wrote on the inflatables was hilarious as well.

  • mommy.gamermommy.gamer Registered User new member
    Another great PAX East! As someone who comes mostly for the indie games, I thought that it was awesome to see so much space dedicated to the indie stuff. Also, many kudos to the Enforcers, as usual.

    A few suggestions for next year:
    - Physical maps hung or posted somewhere near the entrances. I never download the app because I don't want to be one of those people staring down at my phone and bumping into people, so I have no idea where some things are. Having a map on each floor (like you'd see at a mall or some museums) would be helpful if you're just looking for a bathroom, or a certain panel room or something like that!

    - Someone mentioned in an earlier comment that it'd be cool to have someone selling bottled water and I second that idea.

    - I know that this next one may be met with eye rolls, but it'd be great to have a quiet room for parents and kids. (If there was such a room, I didn't see it and when I asked an Enforcer about it he said that there wasn't one.) Last year, I tried to go into an AFK room but it was pretty clear that was not a toddler-welcome space. This year, an Enforcer was awesome enough to let us hang in one of the empty queue rooms so that we'd have some space to let our kid run around and get some snacks and water. NYCC has a room just for families, and yes, I know that NYCC isn't as big as PAX, but there were several empty rooms that could have maybe been turned into a family room. A space with some chairs and tables, trash cans for disposing of snacks and maybe a bubbler near a bathroom would be awesome. It doesn't even have to be sponsored (NYCC's was sponsored by Cheerios last year so they provided snacks and activities), although that'd be great. We were at PAX on Fri and Sat and I was quite a few parents there with kids of varying ages and I think that it'd be dope if there was a place for us to get a bit of quiet time and do parenting.

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  • harleyquinn228harleyquinn228 Registered User regular
    Another great PAX East! As someone who comes mostly for the indie games, I thought that it was awesome to see so much space dedicated to the indie stuff. Also, many kudos to the Enforcers, as usual.

    A few suggestions for next year:
    - Physical maps hung or posted somewhere near the entrances. I never download the app because I don't want to be one of those people staring down at my phone and bumping into people, so I have no idea where some things are. Having a map on each floor (like you'd see at a mall or some museums) would be helpful if you're just looking for a bathroom, or a certain panel room or something like that!

    There were maps by the entrances to the BCEC. They were on long banners, called "World Map" They had them on the sides by the escalators and there was at least one in the main lobby I think. This year they also had small fold out maps as well, which I thought was a great addition.

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    krae_man wrote: »
    -Is it just me or does this convention center have not nearly enough stalls/urinals in the bathrooms? Literally every bathroom had a line out the door at all times. I never experienced this at West.

    Its not just you. At a certain point, I just started going back to my room in the Aloft because that seemed like a quicker option. On one of the busier days, I literally walked around the entire convention center and there wasn't a single bathroom that didn't have a huge line coming out of it.

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  • XalaraXalara Registered User regular
    This is a feedback thread, so I don't want to derail too much, but I want to mention: Most of those lines were for the stalls. If you needed to use the urinal you could often walk past the line and go straight to the urinal. That said, the amount of stalls is a big weakness of the BCEC at PAX East vs. the WSCC at PAX West which doesn't have as many issues with stall shortages.

    millerm277Le_Goat
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    edited April 6
    Ten year East veteran here. Been there since the humble beginnings at Hynes. And maybe it's just me, but I become a camel during cons. So the bathroom issue has never been a big thing for me.

    That said, I have to say despite some initial hesitations when the schedule first released I had an absolute blast this year. Now, this comes with the caveat that I also make a lot of my fun. Because it's PAX, and they sure as hell give us the means to do so. So here is my feedback on some things people have mentioned so far as well as my criticisms, which are fairly light this year.

    Food: I can get the argument about food quality, as it should just be a common sense rule of thumb that if you want to indulge in a bowl of mac and cheese served from a kiosk that's your own poison. But I refuse to accept the 'overpriced' discussion. If you can afford tickets to PAX East and can afford flights and can afford poorly booked hotels and absurd overpriced parking, then $7 for a hot dog because you wouldn't bring groceries with you isn't going to kill you (I mean, the hot dog might literally kill you, but paying for it won't). Sandwiches are delicious and compact, water bottles are refillable at the dozens of water coolers, there are means to prepare for the inevitable. You have the power to make things work for you. Expecting something different to happen on its own is not a solution (neither are hashtags, seriously stop using hashtags to protest something- you're not helping), nor is it on PAX to help you take the initiative. I will say, though, that nothing hits the spot like a giant slush- price be damned!

    Raffles: The problem isn't public raffles, it's the people who participate in them. For all the progress that people have made this year in being more respectful to the environment around them (which I'll get to), there is still a large contingent of those who stare blankly at shiny objects and have no qualms with holding up entire lines or groups. In fact, I can easily count 7 occasions this year where a line was halted to a grinding stop because of one person who would just stop to look at something with ample room between them and said object to just scoot in out of the way. The Enforcers created a physical barrier to prevent the late Sunday Nintendo concert from spilling into the main aisle, so of course this is an option. But if we need to abolish them altogether, it's because we have no choice. Cows can't herd themselves.

    Lines: So, I can't speak to the daunting lines outside because in recent years I've restructured how I attend each day. Thursday is the only day I get there at 8am, where there isn't a soul to be found (I think the wait was 7 minutes?). Because it's the lightest day, I can be in the first group to get on the Expo Floor at 10am to get to the things I know I'll never be able to touch the rest of the show (Nintendo was the first stop, and I made appointments for Sony while in the Expo Hall queue). The other days I go after 10:30 when the Westin bridge opens. Even at its absolute worst, wrapped around the corner of the balcony, it was still a 10 minute wait tops. Here's where it gets different for me. Every year, I have a con bag with a million pockets and it becomes a burden within minutes. This was the first year that I only used a bag for half of Thursday. The remaining days I brought one of those reusable grocery bags, fully folded up, with my Switch, some snacks, and a water bottle. Once I get to security, all I have to do is place the Switch and the folded bag on the table and walk right through. Then I can open the bag, throw the Switch and food in, and BAM! An easy place for my swag to carry around. Even decorated it with some pins to make it feel PAX-y. But I also acknowledge this is a very specific situation that I adopted and found very serviceable. Security is still very necessary (story below), but yes I do agree that we need to work on a more streamlined method. Although, the way things have been going lately, I doubt that will happen.

    Thursdays: All of you praising Thursdays.... I swear to god, if word gets out and it becomes "just another day" I will blame each and every one of you.

    Ok, some pros and cons.

    Pros
    • Enforcers were really fantastic this year. Not that you aren't any other year, but for some reason there seemed to be something different this year. Also, props to the one who kept flagging people down to watch me speed run Super Mario World without my knowledge. Made me smile.
    • One of my biggest complaints last year was a vast abundance of people who had not mastered the art of walking and texting at the same time. This was diminished significantly this year, and even the "no man's land" aisles (the far left and right vendor aisles, where souls go to die... because no one can move) felt less congested.
    • Also, I agree with an above poster on the 'PAX funk' being significantly reduced as well. The walking farts are still an epidemic, though.
    • The expo floor overall seems to have found its groove in terms of spacing. There was ample room, while still feeling full. I loved it.
    • The perfect blend of indie, unique, and AAA. There felt like something for everyone, which I know is the staple of what makes PAX feel great (a sentiment echoed by many of the developers I spoke to like Behemoth and Randy Pitchford at Gearbox).
    • Merging the Smash Freeplay room and the Console Freeplay room into a giant free-for-all. One small criticism below.
    • Major shout out to the guy in front of me at the Bethesda Game Days line who was mouthy with the security guard about security checks being "dumb", who was promptly met with a "Tell that to the people who just wanted to run a marathon 7 years ago." and then kicked out. Yes, security is a pain. But the sooner you accept it as a reality, the sooner it'll just become second nature. Not really a pro, just something that made me laugh.
    • Just the Bethesda Game Days setup period. Free mixed drinks, swag, and demos? I mean c'mon.
    • The fried dough vendor who was laughing like a maniac on Saturday because he had a line out the door.
    • Classic Console Freeplay had a lot more going on this year. I feel like it's eventually going to need a bigger room, which would be great!

    Cons
    • The Gearbox dilemma. I felt crushed for Randy and Paul, who were apologizing to no end during the autograph session after. People were very understanding, but still. You can't tell me that went through a dress rehearsal when the source of the problem was the main screen no one could see. I also call suspicious that your magic trick participant was a famous cosplayer.... (joking).
    • The Open Console Freeplay room had several stations for Smash Ultimate, but only two controllers. I saw a lot of people (myself included) brought their own accessories to have multiple players, but that just created confusion and disappointment for others when we had to leave and took it all with us. With that said, enforcing the supposed time limit on the 8 player Smash setup is definitely a must. Because some of us (also myself included) clearly broke that rule, and I know others personally who spent hours at the station without a word. If we can't increase the players on the other setups, then getting a more consistent rotation on the larger setup has to be put into effect for fairness (for context, I would offer my spot to rotate in someone who was behind us, but others would play until they couldn't hold the controller anymore).
    • I would not get rid of the appointments for the Sony booth, but I would increase the VR displays. I know it's limited space, but given that we're not actually moving or looking at a big screen TV I feel a lot of that space could've been downsized for additional units. This is as someone who successfully got appointments on multiple days, just looking out for others in general. Given the nature of VR headsets and the public, I would strongly advise against doing a "VR freeplay". That's just asking for trouble.
    • The Bob Ross cosplayer who was purposely holding up lines to get people to draw on his easel. And no, calling out that you're causing a disturbance doesn't alleviate the fact that you're doing it. You don't get a lighter sentence for committing murder if you tell the victim "this is probably a crime!".
    • Not super big into the design of this year (the Nick slime), but I didn't buy any merch so I'm not terribly bothered.
    • Probably the greatest offense in the history of PAX East, one that I took to heart and am still miffed about. You didn't post a 'Welcome Home' sign on the digital board outside. Shame. Shame on you all.

    Overall, I had a great time. Another solid year in the books.

    ....Is it 2020 yet?

    MephistoN7 on
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  • LejicLejic Registered User regular
    It was a wonderful year!!

    Not a pro or a con but For The Watch was SO amazing, I really wish I could see more of it! Every PAX I keep hoping "maybe this time"... So I was disappointed not to have it this year.


    Pros:
    (improvements over past PAXes)

    1. The expo floor seemed to flow much smoother. I'm sure there was a lot done to make it happen, but two things I noticed were that the raffle placements were better than before, and that any big space-consuming booths were either placed nicely (Discord) or were easy to walk through (like Behemoth).

    2. While I haven't really had any negative experiences with Enforcers before, they seemed even nicer and better this time around. Before I was just casually grateful, this time there was multiple times I stopped and thought "wow, that Enforcer was so great".

    3. I hadn't been to an East with a Thursday before: My god, what an amazing day.

    4. As others have said before: Loving the D&D focus

    5. I know nothing about astrology - and in fact had trouble trading because people kept telling me astrological sign names and all I could say was "ummm I'm looking for Josh's one?" - but despite that, the staff pins were SO PRETTY! They've been nice in the past (Jeff's French Fry one is always on my bag) but this year they were just gorgeous.



    Cons:

    1. Panels are the biggest appeal of PAX for me. I've found podcasts/games/etc. through them in the past. While I enjoyed some panels at EAST 2019, there just wasn't as many (for me) as before. Not really PAX's fault, since panel submissions are what they are. Since there're post-PAX surveys, I guess majority rules.

    2. Merch: Thankfully, I didn't miss anything I wanted, BUT: I didn't realize that they had such a low supply of the explorer merch and other sweaters as well - I knew that sizes for the main hoodies were a pain (so lined up for them early when I wanted them), but the explorer merch and video/board games sweaters were gone by Saturday... It's fine for people like me who always go on all days, but what about people who couldn't take week days off, and their first day of PAX was Saturday? Seems very unfair. Similar to pins, there should be a daily supply (I think). I do understand that Sunday has less people, but maybe at least up to that point, or less stock for Sunday?

    3. It's a personal thing, so I hesitate to write it as a con, but really not a fan of the Nickelodeon slime. In general I love the Penny Arcade graphic design team's work, so I'm surprised.

    4. Downside to the gorgeous pins: In the past I never felt like I needed to hound staffers, whereas this time the set just looks better together, so I was checking twitter and asking people if they'd seen X/Y/Z and... I don't know. Made me feel uncomfortable, and I ended up with only a partial set, which never used to feel bad, but now it looks like I have 3 quarters of a circle.

    5. I agree with the others that more information about the lines and rules about the doors could be given. I mean, many of us have the app or twitter, so even just a tweet or message on the app would've been helpful. Especially since I went on Thursday too, I really didn't care much (I could just have a late breakfast and wait until Westin skybridge opened), but I can 100% see why others were frustrated. Weather was good though, so could've been much worse of course.

  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    RE: Cookie Brigade. This year CB was fully approved to operate in the BCEC during PAX. There is some mis-information running around about what happened and what the future holds so i'm working with them on doing a post in these forums with some more information to try to help with that. We (Child's Play) are enormously thankful for all the Cookie Brigade has been able to do for us over the years in terms of raising money and spreading the word about our mission.

    -Beker/Erick
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    XenigmaTopherRocksiltaSleepzerzhulnevermore13
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