Pax Virgin

Finger Wiggler Bel

WoWScrnShot_011515_063102 When I came back to the game during the tail end of Cataclysm, my account had been dormant for long enough to be eligible for that “welcome back” program that blizzard was running.  One of the perks was to get a free level 80 character on the server that your friend recruited you back into the game on.  Since I was recruited back by a friend in my own guild… I decided to spend the free 80 token on a character I thought I would never actually enjoy so I created a Worgen Priest.  Over the course of Pandaria I managed to level it to 85, entirely so that I could park it at the silk fields for daily tailoring cooldowns.  All of this time Belglorian has lived in this awkward place where he was essentially a glorified bag maker.  One of the tasks I have been trying to do is to make sure I had every tradeskill represented in the Garrison system.  Belglorian was the character that needed the most effort to get to 90ish and as such he was the last one to make it.

WoWScrnShot_011515_063332 Over the course of the weekend I got him to 90, but as of last night he is now 92 pushing him higher than several of my other Draenor alts.  I am not sure how or why… but I have actually been enjoying Shadowpriesting.  This is like the least likely class for me to ever be playing, but I find myself having fun.  Granted I hate the fact that I have no health and can take no damage, but the rhythms of the actual attacks are pretty enjoyable to me.  At this point I have every class over level 90 apart from Warlock and Monk.  More than likely those classes are going to be the next thing I try and push to Draenor levels.  This expansion more than anything has been an odd case of me enjoying mechanics that I have not in years.  I am playing Belghast my warrior as my main again, and Lodin my hunter is quickly becoming my chief alt.  The other day when I was playing my Warlock I was really enjoying that as well, so who knows what I ultimately end up leveling.

Pax Virgin

By this time next week I will be in transit to my very first gaming convention.  I have this mix of excitement and extreme anxiety about the concept of going to a big convention like this.  Granted growing up I went to a few of the local sci-fi or gaming conventions… but never anything of this scale.  For my readers and listeners that are savvy convention experts, what tips do you have for me?  Right now I am starting to plan what all I am going to bring.  As per my friend Ashgar, I plan on having my 3DS set to street pass so I can play the “collect the countries game”.  Other than that I picked up a pretty badass messenger bag that I plan on carrying around the necessaries in.  I’ve already been warned that food is going to be insane there so I plan on packing a few Cliff bars to tide me over until I can get “actual” food, similarly planning on having a water bottle handy that I can refill from a water fountain.

The biggest thing I have yet to sort out is what exactly I want to do.  The schedule is a rather nebulous thing, but there are a handful of panels I know I will already be attending.  Most of the events I am really interested in are happening on Saturday, so I am hoping Friday I can hit the floor before the big crush of people appear on Saturday since that day is completely sold out.  While I am not a huge fan of Guild Wars 2, I am interested in attending their panel because the speculation is they are going to announce and talk about the expansion.  There is even more speculation about what Riot might be announcing on the main stage later that afternoon as well.  From what I understand Riot almost always shows up at Pax, but rarely has a main stage presence so it might be interesting.  The other big thing that I have to see is the panel with Linda “Brasse” Carlson.  Its got Brasse, Lum the Mad and Sanya Weathers in the same room… so it has to be epic right?

More important than any of this…  I want to meet awesome people.  I’ve put a few queries out to my twitter feed but had minimal results.  I am hoping to meet up with various folks from my online connections.  If you are going to Pax let me know, and what days you are going to be there.  I want to at least do a drive by meet and greet if nothing else.  My plan is going to be simple…  I intend to post a picture of what I am wearing each day so that if folks see me, even if I don’t know them they can feel comfortable saying “Hi Bel!”.  This conference is going to push me far out of my comfort zone.  I am generally a deep introvert when it comes to face to face interaction.  I psyche myself up that something is going to be awesome… and then right before the time to do whatever it is…  I start feeling like it is the worst possible idea in the world.  I am sure I am going to go through this cycle on Wednesday and Thursday next week but I am hoping I can power through it and be amped for Pax South.

Square Outage

ffxiv 2015-01-05 21-01-50-66 One of the major frustrations over the last few days has been a series of rolling problems with Squaresoft and their servers.  The symptoms seem to be at least partially localized around the server cluster that Cactuar, our server, happens to be in.  As a result none of us have been able to log in and play.  This has lead one friend to renew World of Warcraft, and live in complete and total denial that they actually have done that.  For me it has been a nuisance since I actually have wanted to play. With the big 2.5 patch dropping next week it has me pumped about my member of the Lalafel Master race.  Also there have been a bunch of new folks filter into our guild, and I want to hang out with them.  I really hope they can get things sorted out soon because it is getting super frustrating.  Right now I am not sure if this is another DDoS or something more systemic.  In any case especially for my friends sake I hope it clears up before the weekend.

11 thoughts on “Pax Virgin

  1. I’ve been to PAX Prime.. 5 times? 6? A lot. You’ll have a great time — most of the crowd is just as introverted as you, which actually results in a really nice atmosphere. 🙂

    Advice! Wear comfy shoes. Cell phone/text reception will probably be crappy in the exhibition area (a billion nerds each trying to use their various devices), so set a “meet up” area ahead of time if you get separated from friends. Don’t miss out on the parties at night! My usual PAX routine is get up early and go do exhibitions/panels/play games, get back to my hotel room after lunch and recharge my mental batteries, then head back out around 6 for the evening events.

    Oh, and just my personal opinion but pretty much any panel you’re going to have to wait more than an hour for is not worth it. Honestly I won’t even do more than 30 minutes now. Any big news is going to be up on Twitter within minutes of it being announced, and any new game will come out eventually so you can see it yourself. It’s cool to be there for announcements, but PAX time is limited so IMO spending hours of it in a line is not making the most of things!

    Oh and go talk to the indie devs, they are always the nicest buncha folks. 🙂

  2. Yaaaaay, fun! Wish I was going, but alas, am not. However, I did write a “Covering Conventions” post for NBI back in Mat that has some good tips: http://talarian.blogspot.com/2014/05/nbi-conventions-of-conventions.html

    Make sure you get plenty of rest, comfy shoes, and food, water, and hand sanitizer (avoid touching people/shaking hands/touching railings or controllers, or if you do wash your hands immediately after). I stopped getting con crud once I started following that advice.

  3. Have fun at PAX! I’ve also never gone to something like that, so be sure to let us know how it is! It should make for some great experience blogging. 🙂

    My FFXIV server was also experiencing login problems last night. Sorry that it’s happening all over, but good to know it wasn’t just something on my end. I’m sure they’ll get it taken care of!

  4. The other night I logged in to Cactuar and was 8th in queue. While doing a dungeon I got disconnected. When it finally stopped saying “you still have a character in the world, please let it finish logging out” I was then 137th in queue. But then I was back in only about 20 seconds later. And then I saw that another person in my party had also been disconnected. Seemed kinda weird, but we didn’t have any other trouble. I was also able to log in last night and do my beat tribe dailies without issue, so…. hopefully they’re getting it all squared away.

  5. The foldable chair is a fairly good idea, as long as it’s not too much to lug around everywhere. You will spend a lot of time in lines. However, that is great time to meet new people. Or at the very least chat with new people.

    I always bring a water bottle and granola bars with me. Conventions usually provide water stations with cups. But with the aforementioned lines it may be hard to run to one for water if you need it. I always try to plan time to eat actual meals…but again, the lines mean that sometimes you’ll need to eat later so the granola bars to keep your energy up is always a good back up plan. Sometimes I need them, sometimes I don’t.

    And…this might seem silly…but there’s the 6-2-1 rule for conventions. Since you’re not a teenager like most first-time congoers that will get overwhelmed with all the fun opportunities presented to them… I know you have more sense…but…6 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day and 1 shower.

  6. Heh, I saw the title in my feed and read “Pax Virgin” as something like “Pax Romana” or “Pax Americana” and was wondering what the “Virgin Peace” was.

    As noted above, panels at conventions can be problematic. Hopefully they won’t have the Comicon issue where people go to early panels in rooms where the later, most popular panels will be an essentially camp there all day, so you can be in line for the big panel only to find that the room is already full.

  7. The one hour before the panel queue is lowballing it. Prepare to get in line MORE than an hour before if you want to be up front.

    Don’t know how your convention center is organized, but as the first PAX there, expect their organization to be messy. Checking which line people are in is going to be a common occurrence (so you’re not lining up for something you don’t want)

    http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3663284

    Get one of these. Seriously. An hour in line sitting on the floor, getting up, moving when the Enforcers tell you to get closer to each other to compact the line, sitting down again…you’re going to want one of these bad boys. XD

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