ArenaNet at Penny Arcade Expo 2007
PAX had a huge attendance this year. Fans and exhibitors alike constantly dropped by the ArenaNet and NCsoft booth, played in tournaments, tried out Guild Wars: Eye of the North, talked to developers, and amassed tons of free swag including T-shirts and other cool merchandise. The development team interacted with many long-time fans as well as a slew of brand new players. Overall, Guild Wars made a strong impression on people. Read on for a summary of each event.
10K Arena at PAX
Congratulations to Steve Mesa, winner of our PAX sealed play tournament! This skilled player fought his way through the rounds to land the top prize: a fully-decked-out AlienWare gaming laptop, $1,000 in spending money, and a Logitech G9 laser mouse.
The tournament was entirely sealed play, with a total of 80 skills randomly distributed to players. Players had 30 minutes to set up their builds before entering the battle arenas.
Multimedia "Art of Guild Wars" Exhibit
Along one wall of the exhibition booth, we revealed previously-unreleased concept art culled from throughout Guild Wars history. The art was displayed on three plasma screen televisions, each one cycling through different works.
Scheduled Artist Signings
Fans collected free, signed Guild Wars art and chatted with the artists. We asked one fan which art piece he liked the most. "The Primeval armor because you can see all the detail and the time they put into creating the artwork."
ArenaNet artists reviewed the portfolios of many appreciative fans. Staff artist Katy Hargrove enjoyed meeting the masses of budding talent: "Hearing what people think and being exposed to their views in person was incredibly helpful and useful. I got positive feedback and it inspired me to make better art, and ultimately a better game."
Gaile Gray and other ArenaNet staff members distributed codes for free Grawl mini-pets and hosted special Guild Wars trivia events. Our favorite question was, “Which three Kurzicks transformed into juggernauts?" (Answer: Klaus, Leiber, and Ex-Redemptor Berta.) Fans showed their spirit and won T-shirts and Logitech mice and keyboards.
Guild Wars Skill Pins
The last set of skill pins from Series 2 were given away to folks playing NCsoft demos.
Trophy and Merchandise Display
A glass trophy case held some of the awards ArenaNet has won as well as samples of upcoming Guild Wars merchandise. The artful paper toys attracted much attention and interest.
History of Guild Wars Panel
The History of Guild Wars panel opened at noon in a very roomy theater. First up, writers and artists spoke about their time at ArenaNet and the various projects they've worked on. For the second half of the panel, more members of the development team took the stage. The History of Guild Wars panel was a big success, and gave fans a chance to interact with the development team and ask burning questions about the history, and future, of Guild Wars.
Look for a full podcast on the PAX website.
Inside ArenaNet Panel
At this panel, staff revealed details about themselves and the culture of ArenaNet. The first half consisted of women panelists who spoke of their experiences in the gaming industry. Panelists during the second half related their personal experiences about how they got into the gaming industry and offered advice.
Panelists offered a common piece of advice regarding breaking into the gaming industry: playing a lot of games is good, but it's more important to be passionate about what you do, and be the best at what you do. Passion is more than just a word; it is a tangible force that drives ArenaNet. It takes commitment, dedication, and devotion to make a great game.
Many panelists described the long hours in the industry and the sacrifices they've made. Some other helpful hints included: Don't settle for being second best. Focus on what you do. Don't give up. Be persistent. And finally, work the jobs you can get—even if it's selling games at retail or doing customer service—to learn the skills you need to advance further.
As with the prior panel, this one is available via podcast on the PAX website.
Party with ArenaNet at Gameworks
Saturday night. What better way to spend it than at the ArenaNet party? Eager fans challenged each other in intense games of skill like air hockey, arcade racing, and electronic drumming. The air hockey was fierce. Tufts of hair were flying, and the click clack of pucks and grunts of competitors went almost unheard in the constant din of the party. Ok, so no hair actually went flying. But it could have. And the pucks were loud. Fortunately, plenty of people walked away happy with their prizes.
Sneak Peek Weekend Free Play
After the tournament finished on Sunday afternoon, a healthy number of fans played Guild Wars on their own accounts at the NCsoft booth. We regard this as a compliment, and extend our thanks to the loyal players.
More Details about ArenaNet at PAX 2007