Tag Archives: PAX East 2014

#504 Gone PAXin’

If you are reading this, it means that I am currently in Boston enjoying my first day at PAX East.

If you are interested in following me and my adventures navigating through the expo hall and my thoughts on all the panels, people and parties IN REAL TIME you can follow me on my Twitter page @Snozell. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be tweeting about anything and everything in between.

Street passes and proper Boston style pizza, here I COME

Street passes and proper Boston style pizza, here I COME

 And be sure to check back here this Monday for my thoughts on the new games I saw and the event on a whole


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#500 Thank You PAX East #Thankacreator

Boogie2988 recently created the #Thankacreator hashtag, and in his video he explained that the purpose of the Hashtag was to use the Internet to spread a little bit of positivity around the net by personally thanking your favorite entertainer and content creator. This will be my fifth year attending PAX East, and every time it has been able to one up itself in terms of content and entertainment. For my 500th blog post I would like to dedicate this post to the wonderful people who planned and execute the PAX East Expo each year.

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Thank you people behind PAX for organizing and supplying enough content and entertainment to last for a three day weekend.

For years the PAX Staff has constantly reached out to Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, the other major videogame companies, and gaming personalities to fill up the expo hall to the brim and still have enough panels constantly running in every theater from open to close. I have participated my fair share of event planning for my small college and I can only imagine the nightmare of negotiating with these Triple A game companies and major videogame celebrities living and working in different time zones around the world to make sure everyone shows up and are happy with the PAX East accommodations.

It does not go unnoticed

It does not go unnoticed

Thank you PAX East for making such a welcoming place.

I attended my first PAX East when I was well into college and at that time I overcame my insecurities about being a geek, by the time I first walked through the front door of the BECE. But I can see the importance of an event that is all about a celebrating and embracing everything it means to being a gamer, a nerd, or a geek to a middle or high school student who might might still get picked on or bullied in class for still playing Pokemon or Magic the Gathering

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And despite what the news might claim, PAX East has always been a safe environment for any and everyone, with enforcers stationed everywhere, offering help if needed and checking and evaluating every prop weapon to making sure that they could not harm anyone. I have seen harassers that have attended panels be dealt quickly and responsibly, even this past year, with the aftermath of the Boston Bombing, PAX had upped security but as an attendee, I never felt restricted while I was there.

But most importantly, I would like to thank Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins for giving East Coasters something, anything videogame related.

America’s East coast kinda gets shafted when it comes to videogame conventions, with all the major events; E3, Comic Con, GDC, BLIZZCON, and even the recently announced TwitchCon choosing to stay in California. So thank you Penny Arcade for all that you have done in regards to launching and continuously supporting an event that people from New England to Florida can look forward during the spring of every year. While I do not speak for them, I assume many Southerners and Australians gamers share the same sentiment.

I don't see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Sea food.

I don’t see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Seafood.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#498 Tips for PAX East 2015 from 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen we are now a fortnight away from the people behind Penny Arcade’s PAX East opening their doors and starting the biggest videogame convention that the East Coast has the pleasure of hosting.

This year will be the fifth year attending the PAX East convention, and I was going to write a blog post giving out tips and advice on how to properly effectively capitalize on the most of everything that PAX or any other videogame/comic book convention has to offer you. Then I remembered that I already wrote blog post over at Sheep the Diamond last year. After re-reading the post I realized that I anything I write now would just be parroting that post. So I decided to take a leaf out of the triple A videogame industry by taking the original post, spicing it up a little by adding a bit of content at the beginning and end and re-released it as a “definite edition”.

So without further ado:

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This Friday kickstarts the 2014 Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest video game conventions on the East Coast and this year will mark my third year going down to Boston to experience all that is PAX with my family and friends. Over the years I have compiled my own list of must-haves to bring along if you do not want to miss a single moment of PAX or a similar videogame convention/expo.
A Good Backpack: This one is self explanatory, even if you take a glancing pass through the Expo hall you will end up having more loot that you can hold. Plus you will need it to hold everything else in this list. While the expo may supply you with a bag in the loot bag they do tend to rip and tear throughout a day of heavy use.

 

Phone Charger/Device Charger AND surge protector: Live tweeting takes a lot out of your phone or tablet’s battery and if you plan to play with a handheld while passing time in the lines you will be needing a charge and because electrical plugs are finite in the building, bringing a surge protector along so you can share the electricity with other people. Who knows you might even make a friend or two.

 

CA$H: While the use of mobile apps that performs credit card charges on the go are increasing, plastic is not the preferred choice for the expo booths, and trust me you do not want to miss your chance to get a T-shirt from your favorite booth just because they don’t accept debit cards.

 

An Autograph Book: There are going to be plenty of famous and internet-famous people attending and you do not want to be caught with your pants down when you run into one of your idols and you don’t have anything on hand for them to sign. * Note: this packing tip comes from personal experience of mine when I ran into the creator of Red vs Blue on the expo floor.

 

Travel sized deodorant: There is already the stereotype of the smelly geek attending gaming convention, please don’t feed into it. Deodorant also serves as a college-age makeshift shower after being crammed into a convention hall with thousands of other geeks for three days.

 

Trail Mix: The snack food halls tend to drain the most out of your wallet so trail mix serves as a great way to cheaply save a few bucks and keep you going long into the night. The advanced expo traveler might even try to pack some lunch meats sandwiches in the morning before going. True masters might even try to pack the recommended nutritional value worth of food for the three days, but this is optional.

 

Energy Drinks: Trail Mix and good food may provide great healthy energy, but that always pales in comparison to the high you get from good old fashioned carbonated sugary caffeinated soft drinks. To quote a classic 90’s videogame mascot: during this weekend, YOU GOT TO GO FAST.

And now I am going to save yourself some hassle, pack some Emergenc-C or any types of Vitamin C drops: Bring this along and be sure to eat plenty of Vitamin C for the Post PAX crash because it comes down to this – there is so much stuff to do over this single weekend, the only real benchmark on how well you participated in the event is how comprised your immune system is on the following Monday.

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To add some little more content to this post I also highly recommend spending quite a bit of prep time looking at all the panels and events available throughout the weekends and building a schedule around those activities. One of my mistake during my first year at PAX was that I ending up wandering around the Expo hall for too long and I only realized that I missed out on some interesting panels only after I looked at the schedule the next day.

If you are planning to attending a panel, especially if it is a panel about a popular topic or with popular people allow your  schedule to wait in line. These panels fills up incredibly fast and in some cases a half hour before the panel even starts. if you have a particular panel or content that you want to not only attend especially if you want good seats.

I hope this post helps any PAX East first timers, and if you are going to be attending PAX East this year leave a comment down below. We could try to do a makeshift meet up.

 


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#489 Another PAX East 2015 Post

We are now little more than a month away from Boston hosting the next Penny Arcade convention. Soon Boston will be runneth over from nerds and geeks from all walks of life  Card game geeks, board games, to videogames, lets players and streamers to cosplayers and all around general nerds will converge  for a 3 day extravaganza.

Having Boston host PAX East  is  a more prestigious honor than housing the Olympics. ...In my humble opinion

Having Boston host PAX East is a more prestigious honor than housing the Olympics. …In my humble opinion

Along with them, major AAA and indie development teams from around the world will converge to onto Boston to show off their newest and latest games on the expo floor and expo theater halls will be full of panels of discussion ranging from gameplay philosophy to entertainment and journalism.

but as I said before, “the Convention is only as good as the people there, and while the panels and flashy booths on the Expo floor are a major crowd pleasers, the best part is the people you meet and the activities you do after the expo hall shuts down.

Lately I have been asking the people who tune into my stream this question for a while and I traditionally dedicate a few blog posts to reach out to everyone on WordPress and beyond to ask the simple question, “Who’s going to PAX East this year?”

If you are reading this and are planning on going for either one or all three days, leave a comment down below with what you are most excited to see at PAX this year. And lets see if we can meet up on the expo hall, exchange 3DS streetpasses or play a few rounds at the arcades booths that they always have set up over there.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#488 Heroes of the Storm First Impressions

Over the weekend, due to a combination of some free time, watching various PAX South Streams, and remembering that I actually had the game in my inventory, I booted up Blizzard’s second Free to Play game, the A.R.T.S/MOBA game Heroes of the Storm for the first time to play a few rounds.

I played between the two free ranged and support heroes of that week, Malfurion and Falstad, for a few matches in the Raven and Haunted mines map. I did have a fun time playing the game, winning my fair share of matches and even scoring a few killstreaks here or there, I contribute that to my months of Twitch training.

 Its weird starting fresh in new MOBA/ARTS game, relaying on the free champs that week instead of the handful of champs you know so well.

Its weird starting fresh in new MOBA/ARTS game, relaying on the free champs that week instead of the handful of champs you know so well.

My first impressions is that it is a fun game with more of a focus on map objectives than player kills, and the objectives are fun to partake in. from collecting skulls to power up your bulldozer of a Grave Golem as it marches from one side of the map to the other to claiming capture points to ensure that your team gets the highly prized buff or inflicting a powerful curse or attack on the enemy’s defenses.

I have only played for a handful of matches, so I do not know how I feel about Heroes of the Storm choosing a heavy focus on Talents and upgrading and side-grading the hero’s abilities over the item approach for character improvement. I definitely know that I am not a fan of Blizzard’s gameplay choice to let players pick their champions first and then enter the queue.

I lost quite a few solo-queue matches because our team was comprised of two supports and no damage and that was because there was no time to communicate to the other players and and change our team competition before rolling out.

I do not know how those two complaints will might work with the competitive scene of the game when it comes to the staple pick/ban phase and counting other champion’s play style we see in other games, that is if there is a community interest to move towards a competitive or metagame route.

of course it will, we have competitive Hearthstone tournaments

of course it will, we have competitive Hearthstone tournaments why wouldn’t we have a competitive HoTs scene

Those two complaints are not enough to deter me from the game all together, and I will still plan to play it but recreationally, I know that if I play Heroes of the Storm any more than casually I end up losing money, fast.

I know that if I lose money it will not be because of HoTs’s microtransactions or colorful unicorn mounts but by resubbing to World of Warcraft. It was the same problem I had with Hearthstone. While Heroes of the Storm uses assets from their Diablo and Starcraft games the game is heavily designed with the World of Warcraft Universe in mind, taking a bit of priority over the other Blizzard intellectual properties, with maps, building designs, heroes, mounts, sound effects, and the inclusion of Hearthstones as the item used for recalling back to base.

Even now, after playing a few games, I can feel the itch, the Warcraft itch to resubscribe to reenter the world of Azeroth to revisit those lands and important characters. The itch is especially bad with that new expansion that involves New Outland and time travel. I left World of Warcraft more than a year ago and I know that if I go back I will be lost forever giving $15 a month to Blizzard for the access to a game that I will hardly play.

I wish I could go back to World of Warcraft again, but I just do not have the time, thanks to my current schedule to to allow the time investment for the hours of preparing and committing to a guild that raids end game content continuously and progressively as I would have want.

The kicker is if Blizzard added a special champion costume exclusive to the World of Warcraft subscribers

The kicker is if Blizzard added a special champion costume exclusive to the World of Warcraft subscribers

Another reason that HoTs will not be played anymore than casually is because I already have a main A.R.T.S/MOBA game that I play,on a scheduled basis. A.R.T.S are like MMOs, you can only really choose one to sink enough time into to get the best benefits and I already have one and it’s not this one.


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#475 My 2015 Wishlist

We are at the very last week of 2014, as as many look back on the past year (just like what I did earlier this month in Be MOP #471), I would like to take this time to focus on the next year, 2015. While we are all ringing in the new year I want to go through my wishlist for the upcoming year with all of you guys. Consider this a mix of new years resolution and my wishlist for the gaming world. so in no particular order:

I have only one New Year's resolution since 2012, to update this site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 52 weeks

I have only one New Year’s resolution since 2012, to update this site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 52 weeks

A new self-built gaming PC.

I have a fairly competent gaming Laptop, which has served me well for a few years but the old girl is starting to show her age and have a feeling that she is going to be soon on her way out of the magnificent world. Before that hapens and catches me off guard I want to preventively replace her.  But I do not want to out out and just buy a new computer, I want to build it myself. This is a project I want to get started for a while and hopefully with Tax season just around the corner I will be able to cash in my rebate for the funding foundation of my next, great gaming computer.

I am also pursuing this project for two reason; I want 1080p/60fps for every game I own all the time, something my current computer can not do and I want a computer that can stream games with a tolerable frame rate on any setting above ‘Lowest’

Fun fact: From this year's Steam sales I have a list of games that to only be played on a better computer, playing a Platinum game on anything less than High graphics and constant frame rates.

Fun fact: From this year’s Steam sales I have a list of games that to only be played on a better computer, playing a Platinum game on anything less than High graphics and constant frame rates.

More Amiibo supported games

I have talked about this last time (Be MOP #474) but I am adding it here again after training my Star Fox Amiibo figure in Smash and soon realizing that the only other game I have that is supported by Amiibos is Mario Kart 8.

I put this here again because after everything I have heard about the Nightmares of the Amiibos production and shipping line, and the multiple exclusive Amiibo deals Nintendo has with various videogames and toy stores I worry that we will not get constant, across the board support for all these little guys in future Nintendo games.

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Exclusively available at Toys R US! 

To have more fun at PAX East than last year.

This is one of the only major Gaming convention on the East Coast and because of that I am trying to push myself to have the most jammed packed gaming weekend each year, with goals of filling up my schedule with educational/intellectual panels, making at least one pass around every booth on the expo floor, and meeting up with online friends who are also attending.

In the lead up to each new PAX I have an ongoing challenge to try to have more fun at this year’s PAX East than last time. It started with me moving from two days pass to three days. The next year it got one upped when I turned 21 when I could start attending in all the various PAX parties around the city during the weekend and which is then one upped last year when I booked a hotel for last year instead of just hopping a bus back home at the end of each day. My goal for this year is to be even more efficient in all the festivities than last year.

The last few PAX East I was inspired to start a blog and then later Twitch account, so who knows what might come next.

The last few PAX East I was inspired to start a blog and then later Twitch account, so who knows what might come next.

No more Buggy AAA games.

This is the equivalent of “No more wars” on this list, but it seemed like constant, defining part of the 2014’s gaming world. Luckily enough to dodge a bullet on this terrible problem, but I know that the trend of pumping out half baked and incomplete games hurts everyone. It hurts the game’s community, it hurts the trust with the consumers, it hurts the image of the gaming companies that decided to push out a game without a proper test drive through the QA department, and it hurts the gaming world as a whole.

And I hope that the game developers and companies learn their lesson from this past year and make an effort to change their business practice for the better.

Its a on wish list for a reason

Its a on the 2015 wishlist for a reason


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#456 Who’s going to PAX East? -2015 Edition-

Earlier this week the people at Penny Arcade started selling tickets to their 2015 PAX East event and I was able to secure my weekend passes for the fifth year running.

The best part of maintaining a blog for over a year is that I can shamelessly reuse topical post titles from this time last year. AGAIN

The best part of maintaining a blog for over a year is that I can shamelessly reuse topical post titles from this time last year. AGAIN

PAX East is one of the few things I look forward to every year. It is a three day experience that is chock full of panels from everything from psychology of gaming, to marketing, to actually building a game an interesting level designs and engaging stories. Beyond the panels and talks there is an expo hall packed to the brim with all the popular gaming companies, showing off their their next games they have still in the works. Lets not forget about all the free giveaways and 3DS passes you collect over those three days.

Its crazy how much 3DS has changed gaming/comic/geeky expos. I was able to grind through the first two runs of "Find Mii" on my first day, by just idly checking my 3DS while waiting in line

It’s crazy how much the 3DS has changed gaming/comic/geeky expos. I was able to grind through the first two runs of “Find Mii” on my first day, by just idly checking my 3DS while waiting in line

All the stuff I just mentioned are just half of the reasons why I look forward to this every year, the other half and the more important half is interacting with everyone there. There has always been something reassuring that everyone there is just as much of an avid gamer as you are, knowing that you could literally turn to anyone in the convention and start talking about your hobby with the same level of passion.

There is an added layer of fun making new friends and meeting up with friends and you have not seen in ages or meeting with people you have only interacted with online. This year I am lucky enough to PAX with year with my brothers and some of my best friends.

But I am curious on who else is going? If you are reading this and you already booked your tickets for this year’s PAX East, feel free to leave a comment down below on which days you are going maybe we could meet up for a Pokemon battle or just to hang out.

At time of writing there are still a few Friday and Sunday day tickets available, if you are reading this while still being on the fence on buying them or not, take it from me (if you can make to Boston for the first weekend of March) go out and snag both or at least one day if you can because the experiences you will have there is well worth the price.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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