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Things I Learned at Fan Faires (2007 Recap)

Another Fan Faire has come and gone, and, as always, there was wasn't enough time and "oomph" for me to do and see a fraction of the things that I wanted to. This comes as no surprise to me, as I've been to six (or more, I have lost track) Fan Faires now, and it is always a busy, busy, time.

Since there are already several good Fan Faire writeups up in various spots (I recommend checking out the "Community News" section of the SOE forums for various links), I'm going to do something a bit different in my review of this event, and go for mostly the fun and social bits and leave others the meatier news.

Things I Learned at Fan Faires - General

  1. Since there are no longer any "tradeskill panels", trying to cover tradeskill news for more than one game is an exercise in frustration. You will miss some of the juicy stuff no matter what you do
    • Having Ngreth, Nolrog and Kyros all around for the EQ side of things made it easier, leaving me to focus on EQ2 and Vanguard (VG as a player - no we're not making a VG site!!)
    • Even having a lighter load of "must attend" panels doesn't do much good when a nap-attack strikes.
  2. It says a lot for the new state of tradeskills that, in a mixed panel of devs, folks broke out into spontaneous applause when Domino introduced herself. (I heard that Ngreth was treated to the same in his panels.)
    • While there is always room for improvement, crafting has come a longgggg way from the almost-afterthought days back at the launch of EQ.
  3. Any in-game "live" event at Fan Faire will likely be prone to technical and/or scheduling issues. The folks at SOE work really hard to prevent it from happening, and try their best to work around any such issues, but ... stuff happens.
  4. Badges with smallish print, coupled with lots going on and tired eyes, means you're likely to not recognize folks you were looking for. Plan ahead if you want to meet someone specific, use the bulletin board set up in one of the hallways to exchange notes, etc.
    • Having a larger-type version of your name from earlier years (or from your laser printer) that you can tape onto your current badge works wonders
    • This does, of course, assume that you can find some inventive substitutes for tape, such as band-aid adhesive, etc.
  5. Hotels of any type are known for overpricing food and drink. Figure out where the cheapest spots are for the neccessary things in life, like water, soda, etc. are and pick up a stockpile for your room as able.
  6. SOE-sponsored evening parties tend to require things like ID if alcohol is served - make sure you have yours on you, so you don't have to run back up to the room, etc. after waiting in line
  7. There will be much standing and walking. Make sure you have at least one set of comfortable shoes, sneakers, etc., but two is better "just in case".
  8. Spare notepads and pens are a must, not only for taking panel notes, but also for cell phone and room info, names and email addy's, etc.

Things I Learned at Fan Faires - Mum-specific

  1. Promising to stop by "later" for an interview with the folks from Online Gaming Radio only works if you find the time to get back there. Sorry, folks. We will have to see about setting one up for another time. :(
  2. 80% of what is served at any catered event (banquet, party, etc) will hit on one or more allergies. The other 20% will be of dubious appeal when it is all you can eat.
  3. DenMother's Trail Mix is a must-have if you don't want a halfling gnawing on your ankles in hunger. (see #1)
    • The extra cost and effort of making enough trail mix to share is well-worth it. Just ask the folks that were fed who were stuck manning booths, or helping with live quests without any food, or in too many panels, etc.
  4. The full-sized version of the RPoD (rolling pin of doom) may look great, but it is too heavy. A small wooden pastry-sized one gets the idea across, and is far easier on the laden halfling.
    • RPoDs (or anything else that can be used as a weapon) are bad things to have at parties where folks have been drinking. Thinking ahead and not bringing temptation near such an event is a "good thing".
    • Realizing that the newlyweds needed a hand getting stuff back to their room, and that the crowd had thinned enough to have lost track of the rest of the Aggro Fish, much less any staff that could help, meant additional worries over the ceremonial sword the groom had. Finding other costumed folk who were sober and had past experience dealing with cons, weapons and mundanes was another "good thing" (thanks Rijacki and her boyfriend - yep, I really AM that terrible with names!)
  5. Having a pair of drunks corner Mum and Domino at a party and go on a rant about what "you folks" did to ruin the game and/or crafting, when almost nothing they said was anything either of us did was alternately embarassing and amusing.
    • Forgetting my own plans for creating emergencies and/or inventing somewhere else we needed to be at that point was an oops. 2 hours of sleep the night before meant many brain farts that night.
  6. Mock-thwapping Josgar with the mini-RPoD isn't as much fun as the real thing, but it will suffice ... for now
  7. It is generally a long walk from hotel room to conference area. This means playing pack-hobbit with stuff to save a lot of back and forth and dealing with the aches and pains from lugging extra stuff and/or a lot of exercise with a few problems of its own:
    • A path that would normally take you 10 minutes to traverse seems to take no time at all when you're looking for friends and can't see a familiar face anywhere that isn't already busy
    • That same path will take you a full hour to traverse if you needed to travel it quickly. You will end up stopping every 10 feet or so as someone else calls out your name and wants to talk ... and another ... and another.
  8. Short naps are anything but short when you've started off the con with a bad insomnia night.
  9. Having issues with depth perception and coordination when the fibro is flaring up means some outfit will become unwearable for one reason or another, whether from tripping over line of sight, or spilling something on it, etc. Make sure to have at least one extra change of clothes beyond what you think you will need
    • This year it was red wine ... whoops!
  10. Brasse is just an amazing lady. Nuff said.
    • Costumes, maps, comics, great accent, lovely lady under all that makeup and beard ... whee! Have you seen her site yet?
    • Watching her walk up to Tallika with a cry of "Son!" after the costume contest was great. Sadly, cellphone images don't have the greatest resolution, but I'll let you be the judge. Long lost son? (Yes, that's Grimwell seated off to the right.) Closer, if fuzzier, view.
  11. Picking up a new costume for the wedding of a guildie was a great idea
    • Finding out that said new costume liked to go out of alignment at the drop of a hat, especialy after having to repeatedly lift the heavy velvet skirts just to walk without tripping over them was not so good.
    • Kiara can help me play dress-up, and make various adjustments any time. {grin}
    • Aggro Fish are good for my ego. I felt a decade or two younger after seeing/hearing reactions to the gown.
    • Yes, Coyote, cleavage. {snicker}
  12. Instant horchata mix ftw! (inside joke, I fear) While he didn't follow through with his original plan of mixing it with vodka (and anyone in hurling range appreciates that, I'm sure), he has some evil plan for it.
  13. Fibro fog ftl! As usual, names often went in one brain cell and out another, so don't feel bad if you rarely heard me call anyone by name. I'm good with faces, but ...
  14. I have now learned Aggro Fish Rule #7364. Once the bride and groom have finished with the in-game wedding ceremony, pelting the guildmate, and the bride, and the GM with snowballs is a must! (I lost count of how many they threw while the event was still up on the big screen.) It kind of reminds me of the Bristlebane-ish tricks I used to play on various folks for whom Niami conducted wedding ceremonies for back in EQ. Much love to my fellow fishies!
  15. While I never did get finished the first square for Owlchick's Knitting Project, I at least made a good dent in it at a couple of the panels, much to the bemusement of other attendees. (The folks in the Vanguard panel I attended were especially confused and bemused by it.)
  16. Apparently I've been sleepwalking, or something, as Leonai over at Online Gaming Radio has reported a Denmother in Seattle sighting. {grin}
  17. Domino is a goddess and Calthine is one of the crafting divas. Both are far too modest about their contributions to the community.
  18. Calthine's hubby does play ... and on my server. Neener neener!
  19. Having a "present this letter to Grimwell for a free drink" only works if you not only remember to have the letter on you but also see Grimwell at a time when drinks are being served. Remembering about it in the middle of the grand banquet, when you're becostumed and the letter is in your room doesn't cut it. Me? Memory? Pfft. Fibro fog ftl.
  20. There never, ever is enough time, much less "oomph" to do a fraction of the things that I want to do at these events. The spirit is willing, the body is weak, and all that jazz.
  21. Regardless of how tiring they are for me and/or how painful, Fan Faires are just a wonderful load of fun. I adore meeting so many new folks that share the same love for the games as I have, as well as seeing many old friends. I'll be eagerly waiting for details on the next one ... after I hibernate for a month or two!
I strongly recommend that folks read Calthine's report on the "Into the Future Panel" over on the 'Zam network. That was one of the panels that I missed due to an overwhelming need to nap, and she's got a lot of good information in there that may be of interest specifically to crafters! (Layered clothing to customize your look while still wearing full armor as well, the most recent news on guild halls, etc.)

Created: 2007-08-09 12:28:02          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2007-08-14 08:25:00          

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