PAX 2008

PAX 2008: Reporting From the Show Floor - Friday

| 30 Aug 2008 03:56

PAX Show Floor Report - Friday:

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2:45 - Get to the convention center. Big crowd in front of escalators, being blocked off. Apparently there are too many people up on the con floor, so we've got to wait for some of them to leave before anyone else goes up.

2:55 - We get to go up! Pick up my shiny new Media badge. I feel special.

2:56 - The line into the exhibitor room is staggeringly long. An entire room that seems devoted to just this one line. Thankfully, I get to bypass that room and just get to the slightly-less-unending part of the line. My Media badge is handy.

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3:00 - Make my way through the PC tournament setup and into the exhibitor room. Unsurprisingly, this is also enormous and packed to the proverbial gills with people. I ask an attendee standing near me in the line how long he's been waiting. He shrugs and says that he'd rather not think about that.

3:15 - Head over to the Blizzard booth. See a massive-and-growing throng in front of the StarCraft II kiosks. No Diablo, and their Wrath of the Lich King isn't online yet (darn patches). Decide to head back over to Blizzard at some other time.

3:30 - The exhibitor hall has been open to public for barely an hour and a half. The men's bathroom is already a mess. I wish I could say I was surprised.

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4:00 - Head over to Flying Labs to speak with Michelle 'Misha' Williams about Pirates of the Burning Sea, with a focus on the new content for the latest patch. Details to come!

4:30 - Have scoped out Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, EVE Online, NCSoft and Cryptic booths. At the NCSoft booth, the constant repetition of the Exteel trailer just reinforces the fact that giant robots are actually pretty awesome. Feel somewhat like a honeybee, buzzing all over the place and moving from spot to spot. Will have more time with each of these games over the weekend.

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4:40 - The Fallout 3 booth is pretty awesome-looking. Way too many people right now, though.

5:00 - Meet with Jeffery Steefel of Turbine for a look at the new LotRO expansion, Mines of Moria. Jeffery shows me some of the new Legendary item stuff coming down the line for the expansion, and then gives me a little quick tour of Moria itself. The place is big - really big. I'm almost scared to ask how many man-hours went to building the place. Suspect that Turbine may be employing actual Dwarves from the line of Balin in their dev team. More details to come.

5:45 - Scope out LittleBigPlanet demonstration: building a mini level, adding rocket cars and a ramp to jump to the finish line. The demonstrator only adds three cars, noting that he doesn't expect all four players to make it that far. Unfortunately, have to head to another appointment so I don't actually get to see the competition itself. Do manage to stick around as the contestants customize their SackBoys. Unsurprisingly, one opts to make his look like The Dark Knight's Joker.

On a related note - number of Joker costumes seen so far: 3

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6:00 - Talk to NCSoft's Chris Hager, get some hands-on time with Aion: The Tower of Eternity. From a purely aesthetic perspective, it's one of the most gorgeous games I've ever played: not just the technical graphics (which are great), but the art direction is phenomenal. Also, I could spend hours just playing around with the ridiculously robust character creation system. More details to come.

6:40 - Show floor closes in 20 minutes. Stop by Blizzard again to note that the crowd for StarCraft II is as big as it ever was, and WotLK still isn't live. Will come back tomorrow.

6:50 - 10 minutes to close, I decide to see if I can get some play-time with Mirror's Edge over at the EA booth. As it turns out, I can! Also, as it turns out, I'm not very good at it.

Mirror's Edge is doing some really, really cool things. Granted, the bit that was playable (the build from E3 with what looks like a bit more polish) is very early on in the game so I'd expect it to be fairly simple, but the "Courier's Vision" bit marking potential routes in red is remarkably intuitive and works well. I'm curious as to how they'll keep making it fresh after 6+ hours of gameplay.

7:00 - Show floor closed. Head to press room. Start writing this up. Let the ScrewAttack folks know that I'll mention that they're a classy group in the writeup.

So, the ScrewAttack folks are a classy group.

Off to check out the PAX nightlife.

Stay tuned for more!

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