PAX Recap: More Guild Wars Madness!

Well Saturday morning I met up with Malibu of G.W.E.N and went to ArenaNet’s Dynamic Event panel which was chuck-full of crazy amounts of information. We were given a great surprise when Eric Flannum said we’d be designing a dynamic event chain that would eventually be implemented into the game.

Eric, Jeff, and Colin!

The first chunk of the panel was a brief rundown on Dynamic events. It was a lot of stuff we already knew, but the most interesting part was that they gave us a map with a dynamic event quest list, which I unfortunately didn’t get a good image of. We learned a few tidbits of gameplay and new info on races. Dynamic events are made to be successes: there’s no incentive to failing one. Furthermore, they are meant to promote teamwork. All other players are allies, not enemies, when in the persistent PvE world. They also discourage completionism in the events system: there’s no reason to go back and purposely fail an event.
The tengu are back! Ogres are beast-masters who usually have pets. The quaggan are a new, passive race that get bullied by the krait, who are vicious and slave-driving. Not all races are black and white; some will be allies or enemies depending on the situation. Others are always bad and others, always good. We learn that the Norn and Slyvari have a lot of interaction, as well, and the Norn like to mess with them by tricking them into doing weird things: “Go kick the hive over there!” “Ok!”

Maps = <3

After the run-down, Eric starts with explaining how we’d create our event: first he gives us three locations, explains the terrain, races, and major hubs in the area. The group chooses Timberline Falls, a 50-60 zone, as the setting and the conflict between the Quaggan and Krait as a basis.
We cover a lot of ideas over the panel with Eric and Jeff Grubb explaining how and why they will work and won’t work. Some were silly (MEGASHARK > INSERT WALRUS), epic (Underwater Super Weapon), and downright wonky (Tricking the Slyvari into raiding the krait towers?). I started zoning out by the end, but we eventually got a solid basis that involved training the quaggan to fight and commissioning a super weapon. After the event chain is complete, the Vigil will likely step in to recruit and continue training the quaggan.

Right after the panel, which ran over by 20 minutes or so, we met up with a handful of people from Guild Wars 2 Guru. Sadly, JR, Neo, and a few others had bailed right after (jerks!) and we didn’t get a chance to say hi! Due to time and trivia contests, we split instead of going to lunch.

I met up with Jess and we ran around playing games, grabbing shirts, hitting up the LAN, sneaking in lunch, and relaxing at the hotel before heading out to the ArenaNet fan party at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Martin never smiles in pictures.

The party was such an awesome experience. We got to mix and mingle with a slew of ArenaNet employees, from familiar faces to completely new ones. Malibu and I made the rounds taking pictures and introducing ourselves to whoever we didn’t know. Eventually, Jess and I got into a lengthy chat with Stephen Hwang, a level designer who was extremely awesome to talk to. We ran down a whole bunch of topics, starting out with introducing GuildMag (he hadn’t heard of us!), what it’s like working with A-Net, and the general reception of GW2 from old fans and new. It was really awesome hearing about the game from another designer. Likewise, he explained how seeing the game from the view of the fans puts things in perspective. We all know what it’s like when you stare at your own piece of work for so long, it’s difficult to see it objectively.

I think the most important information I got out of that conversation, though, was just the amount of passion about working on this game that Anet has. We always hear these guys say how much they are gamers like us and are doing this because they love it. But to hear it in person, and not him directly saying it but just the way he talked about being a part of this team, it’s really humbling. It’s easy to see why this game is shaping up to be as awesome as it has lately when the minds behind it believe so much in what they’re doing.

Tix~!

Stephen was nice enough to give me a better run-down on the other employees people might not hear about as often but are just as important to the success of the company. He also introduced us to a few of them who walked by, and I tried my hand at convincing everybody to go to Pax-East (rumor has it they are!) and learned they will be having a small presence at New York Comic-Con next month, which I’ll try to go to.

All-in-all…it was a great experience. The connection Anet has with their fans is undeniably a huge reason they are doing and will continue to do well in the future. Dorkishly enough, I am really proud to be a part of this community.

Check out Jess’s recap on the weekend and Guild Wars at Paladin-Bias, Kaae’s thoughts on Way Too Serious, and the GW2G Pax10 Megathread for more!

The full album is here, and a few of my favs down below:
[simpleviewer gallery_id=”1″]

PAX Day 1

Alright, so the day is finally winding down here in WA. Day one was pretty nuts!

On the Guild Wars front, there was a lot going on. The lines to test out the game were nuts: I was standing for almost 2 hours before I decided I had to go.

On the bright side, I got to watch both presentations by Martin and got a pretty in-depth look at the combat systems. Seeing the UI in action up-close, too, made me feel a lot more comfortable with the way it’s going so far. Screenshots definitely don’t do the game justice.

I got to meet a lot of awesome Arena-Net people, too! Martin, Regina, Emily, and Habib (??), a programmer who’s probably not as well-known but still awesome. Everybody was really cool to talk to. I saw Izzy, Kristen, and Joe but didn’t get a chance to say hi.

I’ll be hitting up the Dynamic Events panel tomorrow morning and the party at night, so it’ll be a whole lotta Arenanet goodness.

I got to play a few other games, too, and got a lot of free T-shirts. We plan on getting a few more tomorrow. A few WoW loot cards, LoL codes, tons of betas and trial codes, trading cards…yeah. Lots of loot.

More pics and info tomorrow!

-Izzie

A few pictures for you guys:

Pax Prime 2010 Preview

As a lot of you know, I’ll be heading to PAX-Prime this week over in Seattle. I’m ridiculously excited about going, and mostly because I get to try out the Guild Wars 2 demo! Jess and I will be heading over representing GuildMag and our podcast. It’s going to be both  thrilling and crazy busy.

We’ll be heading in Thursday night and plan on hitting up the Triwizard Tournament drinking tournament with some PAX buddies from over here on the east coast. If the Pokemon pub-crawl at Pax-East is any indication of what I’m in for…well. Lets just hope I manage to get up the next morning!

Friday, first plan of business is heading over to Arenanet’s booth to snag a ticket for their Dynamic Events panel and introduce myself to the crew there. Depending on lines I’ll try to get a demo session in, too. At some point I need to figure out when I’ll be hanging with Barbie from the GW-EN network, too!

Sometime after the panel Saturday, there’s gonna be a Guildwars2guru community meet up, which I’m looking forward to beyond all reason and then a lounge party that night with the crew from GuildCast that I’ll be hitting up around 8:30-9pm.

What are the panels I’m hoping to hit after?

Friday:
12:00 PM: Myth of the Girl Gamer
12:30 PM : Raud Warning Live Podcast (if the Girl Gamer panel is full, which is likely!)
2:30 PM: The Community Manager Challenge
4:00 PM: Mega 64
6:00 PM: The Various Roads to Becoming a Community Manager

Saturday:
10:00 AM:  Guild Wars 2: Designing Dynamic Events
12:00 PM: World of Farmcraft
4:30 PM: Women Own: A Conversation with Researchers, Professionals, and Gamers
6:30 PM: So You Want to Land a Marketing Job in the Game Industry?

Sunday:
3:00 PM: Ask a Games Journalist: Veteran Editors Answer Any and All Questions

I’m gonna try to check out community manager and girl gamer panels as a priority. During my down times I’ll probably be hitting up Team Fortress 2 in the open LAN room with buddies and collecting swag from around the expo center.

Keep an eye out for me on Twitter: I’ll be posting twitpics and updates on lines, events, and my general location. I may also be trying to update the blog with pictures and small updates, but no promises!

Hope to see you guys there!

PAX East: The Journey Begins

5:19 PM
On the bus with Kaae, Lizzie, and Gina. Somewhere in Connecticut, I think.
Bolt Bus is filled with PAX people, pretty hilarious.
POKEMON PUB CRAWL TONIGHT.

1:24 PM
Getting ready to leave work. Meeting up with the roomies at Penn station for some foods, exploration, and boarding.
It’ll be twitter from then ’til we get to Boston. Oh joy, 5 hour bus ride out of Manhattan -_-;

10:33 AM

I’m sitting here at work, watching the clock count down the hours. My roomies are at home probably still sleeping.
Lugging my suitcase across Manhattan was less than stellar but at least I got some cardio out of it (lol?).
Can’t get twitter to validate my phone. This is displeasing.
Free munchins in the kitchen…