Thoughts Akimbo at E3 - Day 1
You all know that many of us are down here at E3, showing off Guild Wars Factions, running the E3 Challenge, and checking out the rest of the industry. Since most of you couldn't make it, I thought I'd share some of what has happened so far.
May 9 - Arrival
After arriving at the Seattle airport at 8:15am to catch my flight I learned that flying out on a Tuesday means that the airport parking lot is dang full! I had to park on the top floor all the way at the far end of the lot! It meant dragging my too heavy luggage (laptop, PSP, books, magazines, snacks, water, and some clothing) the whole length of the airport.
I was worried that security might be slow so I trotted as fast as I could to Alaskan airlines, checked in, rushed to the gate, and found I had time to spare. After grabbing an onion bagel with cream cheese and some kiwi-strawberry juice, I boarded the plane.
I was pleased to see that the middle seat next to me was empty. This meant arm room!
I was unhappy that there was something wrong with the plane and we ended up sitting on the runway for an hour before we finally took off.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, I was glad I had grabbed a jacket when I left. It has been oddly chilly down here this week. Could this be caused by global warming? Or perhaps it's the start of a new ice age?
I grabbed the shuttle over to our rental establishment and picked up the 12-seater van I would be driving here at the show. I needed this as I would be driving the 8 members of The Last Pride, David Cho (Agrias from Treacherous Empires who is acting as a translator for us), and lots of luggage to the airport and to the show each day.
After picking up everyone, we started out for our hotel. We are staying at this hotel which is 15+ miles away from the convention center because all of the closer hotels were full. E3 does bring in a lot of people you know.
I was somewhat nervous about driving such a large van in Los Angeles traffic. Long vans full of international visitors in heavy traffic can do that to you.
Then someone hit us.
It was a minor clunk into the side of our van and everyone was alright (including the other driver who hit us).
Needless to say, after we filled out the accident form, I was even more nervous driving the rest of the way.
We made it to the hotel fine though and everyone checked in.
We then all loaded up in the van (I had to drive us again in heavy traffic) to a nearby Mexican restaurant where all of the ArenaNet staff and guests, had margaritas and good food.
After drinking and eating and a long day of travel, we were tired and all went back to the hotel to crash. Especially since we were leaving at 7am the next morning.
May 10 – 1st day at E3
If you have ever traveled much, you know that no matter how nice a place you stay at, there's no place like home.
The hotel we are at is nice, but you never get as much sleep as you would at home. And 6:20am came too early.
After a quick shower, sending out images back to the web team of the medals, and running all of the skill pins (Crippling Shot and Aura of the Lich are being given out at E3 remember?) down to the lobby, we finally headed out... into heavy LA traffic.
It took us 50 minutes to go the 15 miles to the convention center...
...but at least no one hit us.
After parking, I prevailed upon The Last Pride to help carry the skill pins into the show.
After crossing the busy street, I grabbed a quick shot of The Last Pride and David Cho before we went inside. Look how alert and awake they look!
We walked into a huge hall filled with GIANT booths, even more GIANT video screens, booth babes, and more! I'd show you pictures, but you've seen all that before right?
We got The Last Pride set up on the computers they would be playing on (right in front of the stage) and let them play for a couple of hours before the show opened to the full public.
If you haven't heard yet, when The Last Pride was setting up, they checked the tournament ladder and saw they were #2, behind War Machine. Since they had some time to play before their first E3 Challenge match, they decided to play a rated game and guess who they ended up playing? War Machine!
It was a crazy match where both guilds charged the other team's guild hall and ignored each other. They started taking out each other's npcs, and War Machine ALMOST managed to take out EvIL's Guild Lord! With some dextrous healing though, The Last Pride managed to survive and ended up beating war Machine in 6 minutes time! Suddenly, they were ranked #1 again, just in time for their first challenge match.
Before each match though, Mutator, played on stage. Mutator was playing music from Tabula Rasa, another fine NCsoft product. In some sets they had a couple of guys from Nine Inch Nails (the composers of the Tabula rasa soundtrack) join in too!
More than just the interesting music, was the interesting show that Mutator put on. Lots of fire spinning, people doing amazing things with hula hoops, and other things.
Then the batteries in my camera died.
But I can tell you that the 3 matches of the E3 Challenge were all exciting!
First, No Clue took on The Last Pride. The Last Pride were all warmed up after their match against War Machine and came out quick and strong and won decisively at 17:47.
The second match, against Bring Back the Rifts went a little differently. Since they had already beaten their first challenger, EvIL wanted to experiment and have some fun. They ran a build using 5 Elementalists in it. If you know Rifts, you know that they usually run thus type of build, so it was funny to see EvIL playing what Rifts normally ran and Rifts playing what EvIL usually ran.
Rifts had the advantage most of this match and pushed EvIL back to their Guild lord. EvIL then held the line though and Rifts was unable to win within the 20 minutes each match was allowed to run. So Rifts won the "go the distance" prize for lasting 20 minutes against EvIL.
For the 3rd match, against I Guild I, EvIL went back to their more standard build. I Guild I came out strong and ended up with a large morale bonus for most of the match. Once again though, EvIL as true to their namesake, is very hard to stamp out. The Last Pride started cutting the morale difference down and managed to hold on and protect their Guild Lord and all of their henchmen (they took out I Guild I's bodyguards) and not lose yet again. So I Guild I also won the "go the distance" prize though with the number of kills they managed against EvIL, they are still in the running for the silver or bronzed medals if it comes to tie breakers.
After a long day, we drove back (bad traffic again, why do people live here?), all ate way too much at a nice restaurant (with ribs!) and staggered back to the hotel. The Last Pride gave Isaiah and I some very cool gifts from Korea that I will take pictures of and show you all tomorrow. You know, the Koreans may be hard to beat at gvg, but they are a bunch of great guys!
Right now, The Last Pride, David, and Isaiah (Izzy) are all in one of their rooms drinking and I am will soon be getting some sleep so I can see more of the show (after I get more batteries) and share more of it with you tomorrow night.
Talk to you tomorrow!
ArenaNet Tournament Coordinator
On to Thoughts Akimbo at E3 - Day 2