PAX East 2011 is officially in the past- we left at 1, met Ms. M and Mr. C in Waltham for lunch and got home just before 6:30 last night. We had a good time, which is good since I think it is safe to say that will be my one and only gaming convention experience.
Google directions got us through Boston safely, although I was not thrilled to cross a toll bridge in the middle of town (I expected trolls underneath, and I was sad I had no bigger goats to offer them) and worse, a tunnel! A tunnel under water, I fear. The worst sort. It was short however and traffic was light so no panic ensued. Since we made it to the hotel with almost 2 hours before check-in, we tried out my directions to the Convention Center. We missed a left turn, since the street sign was well off to the side, but we got there anyway, scoped out the parking lot, then headed back to the hotel.
Not so simple as backtracking, however. Thank you so much, Boston one way streets. D Street goes right down the side of the Center and should be a straight shot back towards the hotel. BUT- it turns into a one way street, for one friggin' block! Why? We strayed a little too far south and got near some scary (to us hicks) neighborhoods. Luckily Ameranth had just upgraded her phone and we had access to GPS so a nice lady voice showed us the way to go home. After maneuvering past school busses parked in one lane of the street (??) and having to pull over for an ambulance in a five way intersection, we were directed to the shopping mall behind our hotel because the front entrance is on a (you guessed it!) one way street.
Good news- no bedbugs! I did do the mattress check :) The hotel is being renovated and everything in the room looked new, and smelled new too, which sounds good, but gets a little irritating after awhile. Also, one bed rooms do not get the advertised microwave and mini-fridge as advertised, but the staff was very nice and I would stay there again.
PAX. It was big, noisy, crowded, and lots of waiting in lines. Since we really wanted to get a chance to play the Guild Wars2 demo, we got there early Friday morning. Not as early as some, who were waiting there when the doors opened at 8AM. That is, the doors opened at 8 to let you into the queue room to line up for the real doors opening at 10. It was a room bigger than a football field and got crowded quickly.
I'm not tall enough to get a good shot of how many people were there, but it was lots. The yellow caution tape separated the crowd into lines about 10 feet across, and then each line waited for their turn to go in. Not spontaneously, there were Enforcers with red shirts, directing traffic with light wands. Everyone cooperated nicely. The crowd was easily a 90/10 male female ratio and ranged from plenty of teenagers to people older than me- at least they looked older than me :P
(Alert- geekery ahead) We enjoyed the GW2 developers' demonstration of the Thief, the newest profession release and we scored Guild Wars2 bandanas and water bottles, but did not get to play hands on, since there were so many in line and we had panels we wanted to attend. Too late at the Meet and Greet that night too, and Saturday was even more crowded than Friday.
We decided to get there as early as we could on Sunday and made a dash for the booth. There were several hundred people ahead of us in the queue line to get into the exhibit hall, but we were each able to be third in line to try the game. Yay!
I was very self-conscious about playing this, since the gameplay was also shown on large overhead monitors. Plus my station was a laptop and had no working audio, but I decided just to enjoy it and ignore the people watching me go in circles and forget to pick up my trophies to get the rewards. I explored a bit and found a cave of grawl that needed to be demoralized, so we stole their food and killed them. That would demoralize me!
I was so pleased after trying the game that I actually went up to one of the Community Managers and introduced myself to thank him! Now, I wish they would just announce a release date for this!
More thoughts another day.