Well, Elquin and Jethal went to SOELive 2013! Here are my thoughts.. If you want a comprehensive look at all the happenings, I suguest you seek out Zam.com or EQHammer, this article is just an overall impression and brief account of happenings..
First off, I’ll say that Planet Hollywood was a lot better than Bally’s. Both in atmosphere and condition. The rooms were in better shape, the staff was wonderful and there were a lot more shops to accommodate our needs without having to go outside into the brain-melting heat.
That being said.. Ph wasn’t without it’s flaws. Gearing to a younger crowd, the music was insanely loud. Which is a vicious cycle of.. Loud Music, Louder Talking, Louder Music, Louder Talking.. until everything is just a bass thumping headache. The bathroom shower heads, sucked. They were cheap, leaking and (in our case) needing desperately to be cleaned.
While looking for a place to relax, Brasse, Elquin and a few others tried going to the “KOI” bar.. but it was sending out sonic vibrations which would have sent us all into a psychotic fit and there might have been many deaths. So, Elquin suggested that we try this place in the center of Planet Hollywood, called the “Heart Bar” – which we have now named “The Neriak Bar” due to its resemblance to the Maiden’s Fancy in EQ1. Music, Drinking and scantily clad dancing girls. It seems that this is now “The” meeting place for we SOE Gamers at Ph, as the “Kelethin Bar” was in Bally’s.
The reception was great, and filled with energy! Our new MC “Mark Tuttle” did a good job. Coming from a radio background, he had good timing and humor that had us well entertained. Our good friend, Linda “Brasse” Carlson was set as a co-host this year, and I think they played off each other pretty well.
Oh, did we mention Brasse? Well, she out did herself again in this years costume! She’s been spending time in PlanetSide2 lately, and that was reflected in her red armor.. but, still with a dwarven flair! Heavily armed and mounted with lights, a minigun and, no less than, 6 flasks!
The next expansion for EverQuest2 has been announced, and, personally I can’t wait for High Keep! Of course, if you know EverQuest.. you know what lays on the other side of High Keep.. KITHICOR!! so, that brings us one step closer to going home!
EverQuest II: Tears of Veeshan – is slated to be a high end expansion, also introducing a new class called “Channeler”, which seems to be a healing class, who can make construct (ranger-ish) pets.
Oh.. and did we mention.. Jethal and Elquin debued a New Music Video this year?? that’s right.. Brasse was joined on stage by Jethal.. err.. that is.. Dufoo “The Drunken Dwarf!” to discuss the problems with hoarding and limited bag space.. here’s how it went down! (skip to around 14 mins in).
My only regret is that, I forgot we were doing it that night and I didn’t wear my Dufoo Costume.
Let’s see.. I cant think of anything else..
EVERQUEST NEXT!! Yes, we’ve had the long-awaited look at EQN, and I can tell you.. it looks awesome so far! Now, the word is.. this is not your daddy’s Norrath. Remember how we all went to see StarTrek, and the time line got messed up and now everything is different? yeah.. it’s gonna be like that. This is a new retelling of our virtual world. Yes, there will be familiar names and faces – but the story is different. How different? time will tell.
- Multi-Classing – You can be a jack of a few trades! A healer tank? yes.
- Destructibility – Everything in the world can be destroyed (and built back up)
- The World in layers.. Dig through the topsoil, and you may actually fall in to a cavern! or a lava flow!
- Build items in an internal program for yourself, or sell to others! No more paying for and using external 3d programs.
- Firiona Vie is a Ranger???
- Bikini’s for everyone! Your appearance is your own. No nudity, of course..
Check out EverQuestNext.com for more!
The “Grand Banquet” was good fun for all, Elquin and I did not partake of the actual food.. because, well to be honest, we’ve been so disappointed by the food in years past, that we decided to eat before we arrived. I was told that it wasn’t bad this year.. the deserts where fine. Mark Tuttle and Brasse had lovely banter and fun up on stage. And we were all highly entertained by the new “Players Got Talent” segment.. a player from EQ, called “Orennex” did a great job, singing about in-game death.. he was hilarious! and honestly, made me a bit jealous. Unfortunately, I cant compose music. I’ve tried, I just don’t have the knack for it. But this guy was awesome.
Now.. some not so great moments..
During the course of the first night, Mark Tuttle referred to Holly Longdale as “The Prettiest Producer in Gaming History” – I don’t think he meant it to be sexist, at least I hope he didn’t.. but it didn’t go over well. And I think that Holly was upset about it, although she certainly didn’t show it on stage. Women have not always been taken seriously in the gaming industry, and Holly is doing a hell of a job as Producer of EQ2.
I didn’t like the hall layout. It was too open, with no way of keeping non-conventioners out. Like, when a BIG group of people from another conference tied things up on the main floor for a few minutes by marching through our space in a group of a few hundred people. An insurance company, I think.
The layout also saw the vendors get very little traffic, as they were down a hallway that wasn’t marked “Hey, Vendors over here!” – I don’t think anyone knew where they were on the first day, until the reception. And really.. there weren’t a lot of vendors this year, at all.. a couple of private merchants and artists, but no big names like Nvidia or Turtle Beach, this time.
Pool Party – the lines for drinks were insanely long. And.. Two pools? you had to choose sides. I’m not a fan of having to split up the group.