[ Added Note: As of today, I'm a staff writer for Rift Junkies, the #1 RIFT fansite! Hooray! I'll mostly be posting about raiding news, and I am super excited to be a more involved part of the great RIFT fan community. ]
Hi. What? Where am I? My feet hurt.
Most Popular Game Demo
Borderlands 2, which I didn’t go anywhere near. The line for the Gearbox panel was nuts too.
Most Popular Game To Watch
The League of Legends North American Regionals were played live on the sixth floor of the convention center, and seeing the crowds firsthand at a major gaming tournament was jawdropping. The setup reminded me of Blizzcon’s giant amphitheatre, and even if I didn’t entirely follow what was going on the roar of the crowd was infectious.
Game With the Best Swag
Cards Against Humanity, essentially an uncensored version of party tabletop game Apples to Apples, who gave out a gabillion shirts with odd or provocative statements from game cards. These were suddenly everywhere and had people talking about the game.
Game With the Worst Swag
Cards Against Humanity. There was a white guy at the Trion party wearing a CAH shirt that said “White Privilege” which was like.. what? I.. just.. bad idea, dude. I’m sure the CAH folks had the best of intentions, but making a shirt with that is just asking for trouble.
I’m going to write about all the RIFT stuff in detail later, because there was a lot including more crazy amazing housing dimension footage. Developer Trion was there with four games and hours of livestreaming each day from the convention floor. Plus they threw a great party and all of the official folks were super nice, including Scott Hartsman. And Defiance looks fun. And I am basically a total fangirl.
New PAX Trend 1: Kickstarted Games
Reaper Minatures, Organ Trail, and the aforementioned Cards Against Humanity are all Kickstarter success stories and were at the con happy to engage their funders. (Organ Trail is super fun and on Steam Greenlight looking for some love from voters.)
New PAX Trend 2: Facebook Likes and Paid Swag
Everyone seemed to have their own swag store this year. League of Legends and Minecraft had pretty significant retail storefronts, and there seemed to be more branded things for sale than usual. As a guildie noted, you could buy a Bastion t-shirt for more than the price of the actual game, which was pretty amusing.
The other new trend was giving away swag in exchange for showing on your phone that you “liked” them on Facebook. Aside from the vague unease around social media marketing, I’m not sure this system was a good idea. At best the mobile bandwidth from the middle of the convention floor is spotty, and good freaking luck connecting to the public wifi with 70,000 other gadget geeks. At worst you’re from another country, and the roaming charges would mean you’re suddenly paying $15 for a plastic zombie hand served with fresh barbeque. (Seriously, that was from The Walking Dead’s booth.)
New PAX Trend 3: Not Going At All
There were a lot of familiar faces who were missing this year. Arenanet probably had their hands full with the launch of Guild Wars 2 to have a booth, and to be fair their party on Saturday night had a terrifyingly long line. Valve wasn’t around, although some hardware manufacturers were showing DOTA2. Bioware just ran a few panels and weren’t on the show floor. Ubisoft didn’t show Watch Dogs, which was a bummer because I know it was at E3, and NCSoft wasn’t around to show anything about WildStar. Bioshock Infinite was there last year but not this one, which doesn’t bode well for the game.
Poorly Fitted Raeg!
I asked at every booth where t-shirts were concerned, and Minecraft was the only game store with women’s sizes of shirts that I encountered. So I bought one of their shirts, even though I haven’t played Minecraft in forever. If you make shirts that fit me, people, I will give you money.