I am alive! …but extremely jet lagged. No time for rest, though, because it’s back to work for me.
Anyhow, as you might know, I spent the larger part of last week in Las Vegas attending my very first MMO fan festival of any kind – the FFXIV Fanfest. I met up with 5 other members of my FC and we generally had a pretty good time engaging in the events and exploring a little bit of Vegas.
The fanfest was held at the Paris hotel this time around. While I have been to Vegas in the past, this is the first time I’ve stayed in this hotel.
While I think this was a lovely hotel to stay in, I’ll admit that the facilities for the event itself were a little on the small side given the size of the attendance. I don’t want to be too negative on the event, because I had a good time, but I’m not blind to the fact there were some things that could have been done better.
So, most of my FC buddies arrived on Wednesday with the idea to hit registration early on Thursday and have a day of wiggle room. Surprisingly, the one thing that gave us no problem was registration. There was hardly a line when we went, and we got our badges and goodie bags very quickly.
The very first thing that happened as we walked out of registration was other fans hitting us up for a Triple Triad card trade. I didn’t even have a chance to look in the bag, so I dug around to find my cards, excited at the prospect.
So each bag contained a set of 5 cards. Your cards were all identical (I got 5 Icehearts), and it was up to you to find other attendees to trade to get a set. It was a neat way to get folks to mingle (and we did). I completed my trades shortly before the Fan Fest started on Friday.
Of course there were other neat goodies inside, but the general consensus was disappointment that a t-shirt was not among this. Nor was one given out for winning the 24-man trial against the Proto Ultima. More on that later.
I did get this nifty Allagan Tomestone USB drive, though, which I plan to put to use!
Every hour or so, there was a new event up on the main stage. The festivities opened with the keynote and announcement of the Stormblood expansion. We got a bit of info on what to look forward to, though they were obviously holding back news for the other fanfests.
While no jobs were announced, Yoshi-P’s t-shirt confirmed Red Mage… which I’m super excited for. Red Mage was my original job of choice in FFXI, so it would make everything come in full circle for the job to appear in FFXIV. I’m holding back some of my excitement, though, because I have no idea how they plan on introducing such a traditionally hybrid job. I’m very curious about the talk of the battle system revamp and how that’s going to effect current and future jobs.
Anyhow, between the main events, you could pick up a Hildibrand quest book at the booth that was labeled Idyllshire. This was a pretty neat little story and RL quest that sent you around the hall looking for clues. As you completed the quests (most of them sent you to play mini-games), you got your book stamped to prove you completed them. In return, you got more Triple Triad cards, as that was the way to complete the set!
Mini-Games and Activities
There were four min-games to play – a Dragoon Spear toss (toss a nerf spear through a hole in the stand-up Nidhogg’s mouth), a shoot-the-Illuminati game, a Any Way the Wind Blows (players run around on a lighted dance floor pad), and a basketball game… which I don’t remember how it was tied into anything. I was quite proud to have won the Any Way the Wind Blows (since I’ve never won it in game) and get one spear into Nidhogg’s mouth (harder than it sounds).
Aside from that, there were computers set up with a PvP challenge, a Trials EX Roulette and the 24-man Trial of Proto Ultima. The only one of these I tried (because my FC nudged me into doing it) was the Proto Ultima. It wasn’t too bad… and it was interesting to see a Primal being downed in an alliance.
Ah… the merchandise line. If you’ve kept up with the event on Reddit, you probably already know how badly that was handled. For myself, I wanted to pick up a few things from the fanfest, especially the Lore Book, but I never even came close to having a chance. The line was ridiculous as soon as the keynote speech was done.
While I was disappointed at this, I was not going to spend hours of my time in a merch line. I paid for an event, not a queue. It was annoying, however, to see people toting around bags of multiple plushies and moogle slippers when so many didn’t even get a chance at them.
To add salt to the wound, the Lore panel, which I was very much looking forwards to, ended up being more of an extended commercial for the Lore book (which I could not buy and was sold out by that time). I know that they are very proud of all the work that went into the book, and I think the book is great, but I wanted to hear about lore, not about which font you chose for a book I can’t buy and why.
And then, to add even more salt to the situation, when Koji finally got to answering interesting lore questions, sometimes he wouldn’t answer them. Instead, he’d say, “Oh, it’s in the new Lore book. Go look it up!” or “Buy the book!”
The audience was like, “We CAN’T buy the book!” Finally someone told him that the book had been sold out since that morning. So, really? Were the devs that out of touch with the whole merchant line deal? It sure seems so.
Frustrating. Here. Have a fat chocobo (which I could also not ride because the lines were too long).
Anyhow. The Live Letter was almost a repeat of our previous Please Look Forward To It Q&A session… which I can understand due to the fact that it was one of the sections that was freely streamed. Still, the only thing of interest here was info on the 3.45 patch Palace of the Dead.
Both the piano concert and the Primals concert were very awesome to hear in person. My only wish was a bit more variety with Primals (they played one song twice), because I really wanted to hear something like King Moggle Mog in person. Ah, well.
On the up side, I did manage to get a few autographs from the dev team members including Soken and Masaki Nakagawa (Mr. Ozma). I came very close to meeting Yoshi-P, but they closed the autograph line only two people in front of me… bummer.
Overall, it was a fun time, though. I was happy to have the chance to be there for the expansion announcement. I’m looking forward to the new Deep Dungeon levels and more info on the Red Mage (DPS, please!).
Today, I’m still jet lagged and tired, but I’ve gotta catch up on everything and try to get back to reality.
Oh, and see if I can snag one of those Lore books off the store when it finally goes on sale. They sold out in about 30 mins, but I think I got my order in.