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The Think Tank: Thoughts on PAX East 2014


PAX East came and went last weekend, and as we do most years, the Massively writers got together to discuss the highlights and the disappointments of the con. Join the conversation -- what did you think was the best (and worst) MMO or reveal at PAX?

Anatoli Ingram, Columnist
@ceruleangrey: I haven't had especially strong feelings about any of the PAX stuff this year, which is kind of disappointing in itself. Both of the MMOs I play regularly have gotten major content patches within the past couple of weeks, so maybe that's why I can't muster up more than a "Huh" or "Oh, neat" for upcoming and recently announced stuff. That said, Landmark is looking neat.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna: This definitely wasn't a huge PAX for reveals, and in fact the MMO presence seemed a bit lackluster on the whole compared to the con in past years. Several games coming this year opted for GDC over PAX (like ArcheAge), which seems an odd choice. WildStar certainly dominated the con floor and the coverage, which is no surprise with its launch coming in June, but I was also glad to see several indie games (like The Repopulation) and even slightly older MMOs like Guild Wars 2 come out to play. It's also nice to see Blizzard descending from on high to participate!

Eliot Lefebvre, Senior Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre: Oddly, I was happiest and most disappointed by the same thing. I was incredibly happy by a good chunk of the stuff that Carbine Studios had on display for WildStar... and also incredibly disappointed by most of the answers and statements circling around raiding, displaying the same sort of tunnel vision that a lot of developers seem to have with this game mode. And then I'd circle right back around to being excited about the keen stuff that was on display. It's an odd state of affairs.

Beyond that, having attended the show so regularly, I have a different perspective; it comes down for me to what games are there, what games aren't this time around, how much has changed, and so forth. The sheer amount of writing I did prevented me from wandering the floor much, although I do find it odd that ZeniMax didn't bother to even nod at The Elder Scrolls Online from its booth.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor
@jefreahard: I was happy to see both Guns of Icarus and State of Decay moving toward more persistent/quasi-MMO setups (and getting some press coverage). Other than that, it felt like a status quo con to me.

Justin Olivetti, Senior Contributing Editor
@Sypster: I'm actually really excited about the Hearthstone single-player adventure, Curse of Naxxramas. More game modes (and cards) are always welcome, and I like the idea of working through a dungeon in a card game. Of course, during PAX, I was still waiting on the iPad release, so my excitement was only slightly tempered by my impatience. (It's since launched!)

Larry Everett, Columnist
@Shaddoe: PAX East was kind of weird for me this year. I wasn't champing at the bit for anything. I was a bit surprised to see Blizzard there. I'm definitely glad for it, but what does it say about the state of the game when BlizzCon isn't enough for Blizzard anymore? I was also surprised to not see Elder Scrolls Online represented there. I know it's launched on PC and Mac, but consoles were the crux of Skyrim's success. With the console version not released yet, I expected to see more. I guess Wolfenstien and The Evil Within were the bigger focus.

On the plus side, it's good to hear that The Repopulation isn't vaporware, and that the devs attended PAX. Too bad we didn't get a playthrough of any game content. Maybe PAX Prime will have something we can really sink our teeth into.

What do you get when you throw the Massively writers' opinions together in one big pot to stew? You get The Think Tank, a column dedicated to ruminating on the MMO genre. We range from hardcore PvPers to sandbox lovers to the most caring of the carebears, so expect more than a little disagreement! Join Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and the team for a new edition right here every Thursday.

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